DO35 Hitch

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 23:11
ThreadID: 129157 Views:1878 Replies:9 FollowUps:1
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Our 2007 BT 19ft is fitted with the older hitch with the pin. It works ok most of the time but when hitching up at angles can be time consuming to line up with only a mil or two of gap top & bottom to play with. It can also be difficult to unhitch if caravan wheels are under load with car/van combo at odd angles.

For those who have changed from the old to the newer version (i) how much easier is it to use, particularly on angles &/or when the van wheels are under load; (ii) what if any modifications need to be made to the draw-bar; & (iii) should it be fitted by BT or is it relatively easy for a handyperson to fit.

Thanks for your time & hope you are having a great day.

Greg 'Doinit-Ezy'



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Reply By: The Hob - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 23:30

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 23:30
I had the old one fitted on ours (Nov 2008) and found I had to use the jockey wheel to align the hitch. And yes it could be problem when not flat.

I have changed to the DO35 and life is so much better. The vehicle just drops over the pin on the van. I try to get close and the slightest push on the drwbar is all that is need to align the hitch.

The new DO35 is also placed on top of the drawbar and gives increased clearance of bars and hitch from the ground. I got BTI to replace everything to upgrade the hitch including the bit in the vehicle (200 series). BTI have to modify the standard hitch to give turning clearance.

I did scrape the old hitch on occasions with the low clearance.

It cost a bit (about $1300 for everything) but I am very pleased with the new clearance and the new hitch and the ease of hitching.

Alan
The Hob

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Reply By: Rob & Glen - Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 23:56

Wednesday, Jan 08, 2014 at 23:56
Greg
Don't overlook Hitch-Ezy (in supporters section)
5t rated, easy to hitch and unhitch (real marriage saver)
Good supporter of BOG
Ticks all our boxes

Rob
Just wearing the road out that we built.

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AnswerID: 587000

Reply By: Tracks n About - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:06

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:06
G'day Greg,
Have a look at post 9217 below. I to have the old hitch, but have learned to live with it. I don't consider the expense of changing is worth it for us. Mind you if our present one was to need replacing, I would certainly be looking at upgrading.
Lawrie.
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Reply By: Willie - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:36

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:36
Hi Greg,

I had the original pin type on my 2001 model replaced at the factory with an AT-35.

Then I upgraded to a McHitch which is much much easier to get on and off.

I saw there was a post on this site with a video which shows a newer and even easier McHitch. Definitely worth a look.

Cheers,

Willie

AnswerID: 587002

Follow Up By: Willie - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:37

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:37
Here


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Q-i9RKseQ
0
FollowupID: 855661

Reply By: wylaway - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:48

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 01:48
Greg

I have a 2007 21ft Bushtracker which came with the original "vehicle components" AT35 (pin model). In March 2013 I upgraded to the new DO35. The DO35 is significantly easier then AT35 to hitch and unhitch as you don't have to millimetre perfect as with the AT model. Have only really had the van on slight angles but no real issues although occasionally need to try a second attempt to hitch and unhitch. Hitching and unhitching is just a process of winding up and down the jockey wheel.

I tow the van with a 200 Series Landcruiser and have the older style WDH (ie. the straight arm version not the newer hockey stick style). My original AT35 hitch was mounted under the drawbar (ie. upside down).

I purchased the unit direct from vehicle components over the phone and had no issues. Their web site will give the current pricing, but I paid $333 for the coupling, $89 for the classic WDH adaptor plate, $30 freight and $45 GST. ( I assume everything with be a little higher now). Because I had the older style WDH, I needed the adaptor plate for clearance when turning. I found vehicle components very helpful and suggest you speak to them on your towing setup and requirements.

I again mounted the new hitch under the drawbar for clearance and it lined up exactly with the old holes of the AT35. Would suggest you purchase new bolts and nylon nuts for safety. I did the installation myself, but you do need some muscle to tension the nuts, particularly the adaptor plate. An extension bar of some sought for leverage is a great tool.

Drop me a line if you want to go it it in any more detail.

Peter
AnswerID: 587003

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 02:08

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 02:08
I agree with Rob and Glen, the Hitch-Ezy is by far the easiest hitch to hook up and release.
We have had several hitches over the years including the AT35 and I have seen others using the AT-45 and McHitch and the Hitch-Ezy is beats both of those for hitching and un-hitching.

If you have a camera on the rear of your vehicle adjust the caravan to the correct height with the coupling on the van on about a 45 degree angle. Reverse the vehicle until the coupling goes into the van section and stop when the van section becomes vertical or close to it.
Get out of vehicle and turn the top of the van section about 90 degrees and lower the van onto the vehicle.
Release the turned top section and the job is done. What could be easier?

To un-hitch turn the top section and jack the van up with jockey wheel or jack and it will disconnect even if there is sideways or other pressure on the coupling.

It is always just a one person job with the reversing camera.

I believe that the bolt holes have now been modified to be the same as where the AT-35 are, but if not the manufacturer is so helpful that he could probably do a special with the holes to suit.

The money spent is definitely worth it.

Brian
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Reply By: Doinit-Ezy - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 19:18

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 19:18
Thankyou all for the excellent info & I am convinced that a change will make life a little easier.

Obviously there is more than one choice & they all sound easier to use that what I now have. I'll look forward to contacting suppliers after they get back from hols.

Thanks again & have a great day.

Greg
AnswerID: 587005

Reply By: Googs & Zelda - Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 20:50

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 at 20:50
Hi Greg, we had the AT-35 with that dreaded small pin, but have tossed it and put a hitch- ezy on our 21' van and have not had any problems with hitching up .
Connecting up and disconnecting only needs one person (the driver) it makes trips more enjoyable and no more cranky wife.

cheers Dave

I have no affiliation with the makers of this hitch .
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.

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Reply By: Oldperc - Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 18:48

Friday, Jan 10, 2014 at 18:48
Our 2007 20' BT had the earlier AT35 fitted.
We never had any problems hitching up with the AT35.
Last year I felt the nylon bushes needed replacing so went to Vehicle Components for parts. Unfortunately you can't get bushes for this earlier AT35 only the newer AT35 which don't fit the older AT35.
So I 'upgraded' (not my word) to the DO35 and VC have me a good deal on all bits needed, given the circumstances.
We find the DO35 more hassel to hitch up compared to the AT35 particually having to wind up and down the jocky wheel ( Probably overcome with hydrolic system....extra cost and weight) and can be difficult to unhitch if there is any slight pull between the van and vehicle.
Nevertheless it tows well but I'd prefer an AT35.
David
David and Ann
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AnswerID: 587007

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