How to hook up Weight Distribution Hitch gear for safer, easier towing

December 02, 2009
How to hook up Weight Distribution Hitch gear for safer, easier towing

In pictures and words GoSee and Hayman Reese take the mystery out of Weight Distribution Hitch set-up for safer towing.

First Hayman Reese Technical Advisor Gary Gardiner has compiled the trade names for the various WBH bits.

Then he puts a WDH together. He shows Hayman Reese Friction Sway Control equipment too. Now read on ...

In pictures and words GoSee and Hayman Reese take the mystery out of Weight Distribution Hitch set-up for safer towing. First Hayman Reese Technical Advisor Gary Gardiner has compiled the trade names for the various WBH bits. Then he puts a WDH together. He shows Hayman Reese Friction Sway Control equipment too. Now read on ...

Here with their correct trade names are the Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Control components. Those shown here relate to two of the three GoSee caravans. They are the lightweight GoSee Jayco Discovery 16.52 poptop caravan and the flagship of our company caravans the Jayco Sterling 23.

GoSee has three company towing tugs which are well within their warranted towing capacities when they tow the Jayco Discovery.

They are two Electronically Fuel Injected diesels both are Holden products the Captiva GXL automatic Sports Utility Vehicle and a Rodeo manual dual-cab. Both are fitted with the engine efficiency enhancing DPChip.

The third tug is the custom ARB suspended and custom turboed GoSee restored 1985 Retro Toyota HJ60 heavyweight 4WD.

We are fond of the Jayco lightweight family-style Discovery pop-top caravan and it has earned the title of The Disco among us since it came to GoSee travels fresh from the Jayco factory last March.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Hayman Reese100mm drop shank used with Jayco Discovery pop-top<!--mo3-->
Hayman Reese100mm drop shank used with Jayco Discovery pop-top

Jayco says the 2009 Jayco Discovery Pop-top 16.52 has a Tare of 1303kgs (unladen) the Gross Vehicle Mass is 1497kg and the ball weight with the water tank full is 100kg. There is a full 9kg gas bottle in the big boot at the front of the Discovery.

The GoSee Jayco Sterling 23 is towed by the company flagship tug the GoSeeAustralia 2005 100 Series Turbo Diesel Toyota Sahara (3200kg). This leather-clad EFI 4WD limo is also fitted with DPChip and Hayman Reese fitted towing aids including WDH and a Hayman Reese Fiction Sway Control unit.

Jayco says the GoSee company Jayco Sterling caravan's Tare (dry weight) is 2332kg. With the water tanks full the Sterling weighs in at 2507kg and the ball weight is 270kg.

So from the top here is how to hook up Weight Distribution Hitch pictures in sequence at the end of this GoSee Information Article:

1. The GoSee Jayco Discovery drops on to ContACT towball which is part of the heavy duty Hayman Reese towbar and 100mm drop down extension used with the high wheelbase of the 4WD Toyota HJ60 to set up the Discovery pop-top caravan level.

Note how the Jayco Discovery's electrical connection is kept out of harms way by passing it through the towhead lock lift handle. The two tonne rated tow chains and shackles are crossed and their length adjusted on the links so that if the towhead drops off the ball it will drop onto the crossed chains and be cradled by them above the road surface.

The adaptor for the caravans electrics is to the left of the lift handle. The jockey wheel is being used to lower the towhead onto the towball. The padlock is used to lock the towhead.

2. The crossed safety chains are adjusted for height and connected by two tonne rated shackles to the Hayman Reese heavy duty towbar. Hayman Reese gives a lifetime warranty with this equipment and it has a long life. In this case the Heavy Duty drawbar was fitted in 1985. Bolts which connect it to the chassis of the HJ60 are checked before and after each tow job. GoSee has had to take a few turns on lock nuts from time to time but the equipment is going strong after 24 years.

Regular checks of all towing gear are essential. Wheel studs on the caravan are another must be checked regularly area.

3. The Jayco Discovery electrics are plugged in. Note that the caravan hand-brake is still locked on (right). Double check that it has been released before driving away. The towhead lock is still open and must be dropped to lock too.

4. The handbrake is fully released and its lock pawl bar flicked fully back so that there is no possibility of it accidentally engaging.

5. Fit the first WDH springbar on the side of the towhead opposite the jockey wheel. This allows use of the jockey wheel to help get the springbar locked in. This can be of real value on campsites where the access and clearance is limited by uneven ground. Never reverse onto campsites, over gutters or up driveways with the WDH springbars in place. They can be damaged and warranty will not apply.

6,7 8. Count five links and hook the spingbar chain on. Use the lock safety-pin with its opening facing forward. It stays in place better that way.

9. Lift the WDH springbar to tension with the handle on five links of chain and lock with the safety-pin. DO NOT over-tension.

10. Remove the jockey wheel and repeat the springbar set-up on the left side of the towhead.

Note: The two snap up brackets to lift the springbars are set-up locked on the caravan towhead frame.

There must be a vertical drop from them for the springbar lift chain.

This determines where they are placed.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Hayman Reese Cams to suit cam lock adjustable ball mount<!--mo3-->
Hayman Reese Cams to suit cam lock adjustable ball mount

<!--mo1####mo2-->1. Discovery drops onto ContACT heavy duty towbar tow ball<!--mo3-->
1. Discovery drops onto ContACT heavy duty towbar tow ball

<!--mo1####mo2-->2. Safety chains and shackles connected.<!--mo3-->
2. Safety chains and shackles connected.

<!--mo1####mo2-->3. The Jayco Discovery electrics are  plugged in.<!--mo3-->
3. The Jayco Discovery electrics are plugged in.

<!--mo1####mo2-->4. Caravan handbrake fully released.<!--mo3-->
4. Caravan handbrake fully released.

<!--mo1####mo2-->5. Ready to fit the first WDH springbar<!--mo3-->
5. Ready to fit the first WDH springbar

<!--mo1####mo2-->6. The first springbar drops into place<!--mo3-->
6. The first springbar drops into place

<!--mo1####mo2-->7. Count five links and hook springbar chain on snap up bracket<!--mo3-->
7. Count five links and hook springbar chain on snap up bracket

<!--mo1####mo2-->8. Safety lock pin ready for use.<!--mo3-->
8. Safety lock pin ready for use.

<!--mo1####mo2-->9. Lift handle the springbar to tension on five links and lock with safety-pin<!--mo3-->
9. Lift handle the springbar to tension on five links and lock with safety-pin

<!--mo1####mo2-->10. Remove jockey wheel. Set-up left springbar.<!--mo3-->
10. Remove jockey wheel. Set-up left springbar.

<!--mo1####mo2-->Hayman Reese Friction sway control<!--mo3-->
Hayman Reese Friction sway control

<!--mo1####mo2-->Hayman Reese Friction Sway Control body<!--mo3-->
Hayman Reese Friction Sway Control body

<!--mo1####mo2-->Hayman Reese snap up bracket with springbar chain<!--mo3-->
Hayman Reese snap up bracket with springbar chain