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5th Wheeler hitch evaluation reverses mind-set as GoSee starts hitch and handle information series

February 03, 2012
5th Wheeler hitch evaluation reverses mind-set as GoSee starts hitch and  handle information series

GoSee is back at "school" in the first Information Article with pictures on how best to handle a 5th Wheeler.

First essential lesson is read the safety instructions either online or from the warning stickers on products and in the owners manual. Then right off the bat we reinforced that the closer the hitch pivot point is to the rear axle of a tow vehicle the easier it is to control a towing combination.

As the Hayman Reese 12.65K Euro Hitch GoSee usedbolts over the rear axle of the Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab 4.0-litre V6 petrol prime mover 'easier' is the first 5th Wheeler handling lesson learnt.

As Dual Cab Utes gain support as a useful all-rounder tow tug Hayman Reese has responded with a new range of 5th Wheel and Gooseneck hitches which are vehicle specific.
The systems come with the lot as Hayman Reese (Aust) works with Reese (US) to produce systems which comply with Australian Standards. The systems available suit RV trailers, horse transporters, livestock units, race car trailers, industrial trailers and toy haulers.

But first to some hands-on 5th Wheel education. Unlike reversing a caravan onto a campsite the Nissan Ute must be placed lined-up to do the job first.

This means that from the drivers seat the reversing line to the campsite marker peg we used in our reverse parking evaluation is determined by the initial position of the Ute's rear wheels, not a predetermined point at the rear of the RV as with a caravan .

Directional control of the Trailblazers RV Fifth Wheelers 240E (7300mm) trailer is up close, precise and easier than reversing a caravan which has its towball connection well back from the tow tugs rear axle.

This is one reason why 4WD's make good tow tugs for caravans, boats and trailers. Their high off-road entry and exit angles mean the back axle is close to the towball.

The pivot point on a caravan is typically between one and two metres from its rear.

With the Hayman Reese Hitch mounted over the rear axle of the 833kg Nissan rated cargo carrying capacity of the auto Nissan Ute the kingpin which locks into the closed jaws of the pivoting hitch receiver pivot control is right behind the driver.

The result is precise and another challenge for a long-term caravan user mind-set. It is easy to overcook reversing corrections.

With the pivoting front of the Trailblazer just aft of the Ute cab too much right hand down sent the left hand side of the Trailblazer trailer out of the vision of the excellent Clearview mirror on the left of the ute. The only solution is to haul forward, correct to the left, until the Clearview picks up the trailer edge again and then, use both external mirrors to reverse to place the Nissan Ute in line with the campsite marker.

Tape optimum angle markers can be placed on the trailer to line-up in the mirrors. Or, as we found, the fixed reflectors low on the bottom leading edge of the Trailblazer deliver the same constant angle references. As the Hayman Reese Hitch applications include RV trailers, horse transporters, livestock units, race car trailers, industrial units, and the increasingly popular toy haulers drivers can establish their own reference points to suit.

About the Hayman Reese 12.65K Euro Hitch:


The hitch is engineered to be stronger than its competitors.
It has a wider and stronger entry funnel compared to Reese hitches to meet Australian Design Standards.
The double oscillating hitch head makes hitching easier and handles rough going on Australian roads.
The hitch has wide-stance one-piece legs for improved stability.
Engineered to be vehicle specific mounting kits bolt with no drilling to the chassis. Holes need to be drilled in the Ute tub.
For load carrying when the hitch is not being used only the bed rails remain in the Ute.
Wiring tails and vehicle specific mounting brackets are included.
Rated to 3500kg the hitch is backed by a five year limited warranty.

Oops where did the left side go
Oops where did the left side go

About the tow vehicle:

Nissan Navara ST-X Dual Cab. A 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine has more power (198kW compared to 140kW for the diesel) but it has less torque (385Nm at 4000rpm compared to 450Nm at 2000rpm) and uses more fuel (about 13.6L/100km compared to 8.5L/100km). 90 percent of all Navara sales are diesel.

Towing capacity is 3000kg . Dual Cab ST-X PU 4x4 Petrol. Displacement 3954cc. Max power 198@5600. Max torque (Nm@rpm) 385@4000. Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)** (kg) 2805. Carrying capacity (kg) manual/automatic 828/833.

Rated Towing Capacity Trailer with brakes (kg) 3000kg. Fuel consumption l/100km (combined ADR 81/02) (automatic) 14.0.

** GVM includes the driver, passengers, full fuel tank and luggage.

Editor's note: Nissan's Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) sliding scale ballweight adjustments do not apply with hitching a 5th Wheeler. In the case of the Trailblazers 5th Wheeler evaluation GoSee works from Nissan's carrying capacity rating for the Nissan Navara Dual Cab ST-X PU 4x4 Petrol. Nissan says this is 833kg for the auto version of the Nissan Navara Ute model.

Trailblazers says the tare hitch weight of the 240E trailer evaluated is 300kg. Trailblazers tare for the 240E is from about 1980kg. Trailblazers notes on its website www.trailblazersrv.com that weight and height varies with different models and fitted features and options.

For caravans and trailers of all types on a drawbarNissantowing capacity is subject to towbar/towball capacity.

The capacity may be reduced if a non-genuine Nissan towbar is fitted. The permitted download is directly related to the laden mass of vehicle. For caravans and trailers the maximum towball download is 300kg.

Fuel use figures have been calculated by Nissan in accordance with ADR81/02 (combined fuel consumption data).

Nissan says actual fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions, driver behavior, the condition ofthe vehicle and the accessories fitted.

About the trailer:

The Clearview towing mirror is the best unit GoSee has used so far
The Clearview towing mirror is the best unit GoSee has used so far

Trailblazers RV Fifth Wheelers say they combine luxury with comfort and space.

Designed and built at the Braeside, Victoria factory the range includes models with layouts to suit couples, families and working holidays. Floorplans include 2, 4 and 6 berth.

The Trailblazers RV Fifth Wheel range includes models from 20 to 30 foot with low, mid and high roof profiles and a Sport range with flexible cargo areas.

All Trailblazers RV Fifth Wheelers are built to order with a wide range of options.

The 24ft (7300mm) series is an all-rounder. With an aerodynamic low profile bed area, Not only is it fuel efficient but it is still light enough to be towed by a smaller tow vehicle.

The 24ft series comes in a variety of layouts with the option of single or double slide out modules available.

Weight and height varies with different models and fitted features and options. The 240 (24ft) Series GoSee used in our Reese towing product evaluation is 7300mm long and 2200mm wide. The height of the 240 is 2500mm. With an airconditioner on the roof the height is between 2750mm and 2900mm.

There are four floor plans - 240E, F, SL and DSL. The DSL at about $110,000 (Double Slideout floorplan) has an ensuite across the back. Tare weight for the 240E is about 1980kg with a hitch weight of about 300kg. The DSL is about 100kg more.

Take the tug forward to correct until RV appears in the left mirror
Take the tug forward to correct until RV appears in the left mirror

So in travel trim, loaded, assume 3 tonnes with a hitch weight of 300kg over the Ute axle in a auto Nissan Navara Ute rated to carry 833kg.

So the actual tow is about 2700kg to 2800kg. This includes 150 litres of fresh water over the Trailblazers trailer twin axles. 110 litre grey and black water tanks can be fitted too if required. The 240E cost about $95,000 Phillip Richardson of Trailblazers RV says.

The lightweight construction suits smaller towing vehicles, including Falcon, Hilux, Navara, Landcruiser, Colorado, Dmax, and light trucks single, extra and twin cab utes or trays. I reckon we fit every twin-cab ute on the market, Phillip said.

Editors Note: Also see -

Campsite marker peg lines up in the drivers mirror
Campsite marker peg lines up in the drivers mirror
Hayman Reese Hitch
Hayman Reese Hitch
Essential Hayman Reese hitch rating information
Essential Hayman Reese hitch rating information
Essential safety reading
Essential safety reading
Breakaway brake system must have fully charged  battery
Breakaway brake system must have fully charged battery
Clearance  is key  Dont reshape the Ute  Remember to open the tailgate
Clearance is key Don't reshape the Ute Remember to open the tailgate
Nissan Navara  refitted with tyres to suit the task
Nissan Navara refitted with tyres to suit the task
Hayman Reese hitch jaws open  Note skid plate ramp
Hayman Reese hitch jaws open Note skid plate ramp
Hayman Reese skid plate pivots left, right and forward and back. Keep  fingers clear.
Hayman Reese skid plate pivots left, right and forward and back. Keep fingers clear.