Helpful articles, videos and news to get you towing safely.

Can I back up/reverse with a towbar?

Yes, you can back up/reverse with a towbar, but you need to be careful and follow some safety tips. First check the clearance between your towbar and the ground, as well as any obstacles behind you. second, use your mirrors or a rearview camera to guide you, and avoid sharp turns or sudden movements. Third if you have a Weight Distribution Hitch ensure it is disengaged for tight turns.

Can I invalidate my vehicle warranty if I fit a Hayman Reese towbar?

Fitting a Hayman Reese towbar will not cause you to void your vehicle warranty. Just remember that you have to stay within the vehicle's recommended towing capacity. If there is a problem that arises as a result of the towbar being faulty and you have stayed within the recommended towing capacity you will be fully covered by the Hayman Reese Lifetime Warranty for as long as you still own the vehicle.

How do I know that the towbar I have purchased is a Hayman Reese?

Hayman Reese has a compliance plate on all our towbars with our name, the part number and vehicle description. This is usually found on the towbar cross member. A sticker with the Hayman Reese logo is also placed in a visible position on the towbar for identification.

If you have a hitch receiver towbar it can be readily identified by the aluminium collar which is fastened around the square receiver section.

What is the correct towbar to fit to my vehicle?

The towbar must have a capacity that exceeds the loaded weight of the trailer you are intending to tow. Therefore you must check the rating of the towbar and the vehicle's rated towing capacity which is included in the towing section of the cars handbook. There are two types of towbars available. For light-duty towing generally up to 1250 Kg 'standard' towbars with a bolt-on tongue are used. For heavy-duty towing a hitch receiver is used which has a square hole designed for a removable ball mount or the Hayman Reese Weight Distribution Hitch.

Can I fit the kits myself?

There is no reason why the kit cannot be purchased through one of the specialist installers for DIY fitment. However, in some States, this may mean that a Compliance Engineer is required to sign off on the installation. It is worth noting that the kits are very heavy and doing this work without a vehicle hoist can be difficult and is not recommended to anyone without an advanced level of motor vehicle workshop experience.

Does the coupling have to sit directly over the rear axle?

On a Light Vehicle, there is no legislation to define where a hitch has to be located relative to the axles. It is good practice to try to place the coupling as close to the rear axle as possible. If the installation does require it to be further rearward, it is recommended to assess the impact the additional weight rearward will have on the unloading of the front axle.

During the development of our Hayman Reese custom Fifth Wheel chassis kits, we try to place the hitch as close to the rear axle as possible.

A heavy vehicle installation is entirely different. The installation of a fifth-wheel coupling on a Heavy Vehicle is tightly controlled by legislation. Contact an Approved engineer for further guidance if you are looking to install a hitch onto a heavy vehicle.

How do I choose which system I need?

In many cases, this choice will be made for you. The caravan or trailer you purchase may already be set up with a particular coupling. It is important when choosing a coupling method that is suitable for the application. Typically, the Fifth Wheel system is used on caravans. Gooseneck is more common on horse floats, toy haulers, and livestock trailers. There are exceptions to this and there is no right or wrong answer.

One issue that may affect your choice if you are building your own trailer/caravan or can specify the coupling method is that the Fifth Wheel system can use the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box, thus providing more flexibility in caravan design. This system also improves the turning clearance between the tow vehicle and caravan, allowing tighter turns. For more details on this, see Will the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box fit my caravan? or Sidewinder Pin box.

How do I know which Fifth Wheel hitch to purchase?

It is important to ensure that you have adequate turning clearance for your vehicle-trailer combination. Accurate measurements of vehicle/caravan/trailer geometry may be required to ensure that when turning, there is adequate clearance between the corner of the caravan and the rear of the vehicle cab as well as the front skirt of the caravan/trailer and the vehicle bumper. This is particularly important when towing with the short-bed trucks typically found in Australia.

Your approved Hayman Reese installer will be able to assist you in selecting the appropriate hitch.

Alternatively, contact Hayman Reese for further assistance.

What are Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck?

Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck are terms that define the coupling method between the trailer or caravan and the towing vehicle. A Fifth Wheel coupling for a caravan works in the same way as for the large semi-trailers used by large freight vehicles where the coupling is a kingpin that is located on the trailer. The hitch for the Fifth Wheel (sometimes called a turntable) is located in the bed of the truck or Ute.

With Gooseneck, the coupling is a ball (similar to a tow ball) generally of 3" diameter. This time, the coupling is situated on the trailer and the ball is located in the bed of the Ute or truck (the reverse of the Fifth Wheel.)

The main advantage of these types of couplings is that the nose weight of the trailer or caravan is located over the rear axle. This provides inherent stability by loading over the rear axle.

Another benefit is that the overall vehicle length can be reduced because the area taken up by the drawbar on a traditional tow setup is no longer necessary.

The coupling systems lend themselves to (generally) larger trailers or caravans and due to the coupling method can only be used on vehicles with tubs or tray backs, to allow the coupling to be mounted over the axle.

What is included in a Fifth Wheel/Gooseneck custom kit?

Our Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck custom kits include the chassis brackets, two rails (which fit permanently in the tub of the vehicle), and a Smartclick™ wiring connection into the vehicle loom. We now also include a 12-pin flat socket with our custom kits, which allows trailer connection to be made near the hitch. Also included is the hitch system of choice, be it one of our Fifth Wheel hitches or one of our Gooseneck kits, which also includes the 3" ball. All kits include the all-important compliance plates as well as comprehensive fitting instructions.

If your vehicle requires the use of an ECU for the lighting, this will be required as an additional part. Hayman Reese has all the parts required. Contact your Hayman Reese approved Fifth Wheel Installer for more information.

What is the rating of the Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck kits?

The kits are rated according to the tow rating of the vehicle it is fitted on, up to the maximum of the specific hitch. This allows us to ensure compliance with the specific marking requirements in the regulations covering Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck. More details on tow ratings and maximum pin loads are available from your Hayman Reese approved Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck installer.

What size of ball does the Hayman Reese Gooseneck use?

The Gooseneck kit is shipped with a 3" ball.

What size King Pin are 5th wheel hitches compatible with?

All the Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel hitches are designed to be used with a 50 mm standard Kingpin.

What will the kit look like when fitted?

The appearance of the installation will vary between the different options and whether the vehicle has a tub or a tray.

For the Fifth Wheel and Dual Position Gooseplate kits installed in the tub of the Dual Cab utes, there will be two rails permanently bolted into the tub. These allow the hitch to be removed, as shown below.

On some Dual Cab Utes which have factory fitted roller shutters, the position of the roller shutter clashes with the hitch. This can often be resolved by using the Rear Position Leg kit as shown below. This optional item moves the hitch rearward to improve turning clearance but has the additional side benefit of providing more clearances for such roller shutters.
For Gooseneck hitch installations on trays, the Hide a Goose system is hidden underneath and the only visible part is the ball protruding (which can be removed when not towing) and a small hole to access the Secondary Lock mechanism which is required to comply with ADR 62/02/

When installing a Fifth Wheel hitch onto a vehicle with a tray there are a few challenges. Because the tray sits higher from the ground than the floor of a tub (to allow clearance for the wheels) a Fifth Wheel hitch placed fully on top can often sit too high and this would make the caravan/trailer up to tow nose high. A better solution can be to use the space under the tray to mount all the bracketry and then cut a rectangular access hole to allow fitting (and removal if required) of the hitch. This will allow the hitch body and skid plate to protrude above the tray and the height is more likely to be closer to the height required to match up with the Fifth Wheel caravan skid plate, which is typically around 1200mm from the ground.

What's the difference between Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck?

A Fifth Wheel system uses a kingpin coupling system (similar to that used on semi-trailers and heavy trucks.) The hitch (or coupling) sits on the vehicle, with the pin on the trailer.

Gooseneck uses a ball-shaped coupling system. The trailer has the coupling and the ball sits in the vehicle tub, the other way around to the Fifth Wheel.

Where can I purchase Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck products?

Specialist installers are used to supply the Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck product range. We have worked closely with these installers to ensure that they understand the legal requirements associated with installing these products and can advise customers accordingly. Go to the Stockist page and select Fifth Wheel & Gooseneck. If you can’t find a suitable installer contact Hayman Reese directly.

Which vehicles are supported by the custom install kits?

We are constantly developing new kits for vehicles and updating our range. Please contact your nearest Specialist Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck installer for the latest information.

Why aren't all the extra parts in the custom kit?

Custom kits don't include the ECU because vehicles that already have a tow bar will have an existing ECU. Information on which vehicles require an ECU is available from your Hayman Reese approved installer.

Will the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box fit my caravan?

The Pin Box we supply is the Hayman Reese Revolution Sidewinder. It is a premium Pin Box coupler designed specifically for short-bed pickups. Its ability to pivot at the rearward end can provide crucial additional clearance during tight maneuvers.

However, the Hayman Reese Revolution Sidewinder has a unique wing size & bolting pattern and is not directly interchangeable with the Pin Boxes on imported Fifth Wheel caravans, particularly those imported from the USA. These generally have different mounting plates and a different bolting configuration.

The fitting of the Hayman Reese unit may be possible with some modifications to your existing caravan frame, but this is something which we would recommend be done by a professional and it will certainly need to be signed off as a modification to the chassis by an appropriately qualified Engineer. For further information on this, please contact our customer service team on 1800 812 017

Can I flip my tow ball mount/adjustable shank?

Yes, in many cases, you can flip your tow ball mount or
adjustable shank. This is often done to adjust the height of the tow ball to
match the trailer or to gain more clearance. However, there are a few important
things to consider:

Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always check with the
manufacturer of your tow bar and hitch tongue. Some products have specific
instructions or restrictions about flipping the mount.

Vehicle Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Also, check with your
vehicle’s manufacturer to ensure that flipping the mount is allowed with your
specific vehicle.

Weight Reductions: Be aware that flipping the mount can
sometimes reduce the allowable tow ball weight. This is because the strength of
the mount may be affected when it’s flipped.

Safety: Safety should always be your top priority. If you’re
unsure about any aspect of flipping your tow ball mount or adjustable shank,
it’s best to consult with a professional.

Remember, every towing setup is unique, so what works for
one might not work for another.

Can I make it easier to hook up the chains on my Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH)?

As this can in many cases be a large weight, we recommend that you use the jockey wheel to assist in lifting the weight. Therefore, always wind down the jockey wheel so that the coupling of the trailer is lifted up before you put the spring bars in place and connect the chains. You may also have to hook up a progressively higher chain link to get to the desired link rather than doing it in one step.

Can I reverse with Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) engaged?

Reversing with a weight distribution hitch (WDH) engaged is
not recommended as it can damage your vehicle and trailer. The WDH does not
allow for sharp turns or backing up. If you reverse with a WDH engaged, you
risk bending or breaking the hitch components, as well as causing excessive
stress on the vehicle's frame and suspension.

How do I remove the tension bars on Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH)?

To remove the tension bars, you need to wind down the jockey
wheel so that the coupling of the trailer is lifted up, then use the snap-up
lever to disconnect the chains and remove the spring bars. Then remove the
jockey wheel and you can safely move your vehicle and trailer as needed.

How does Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) work?

A weight distribution hitch helps to balance the load of a trailer and the towing vehicle. It consists of a hitch receiver, a ball mount, spring bars, and sway control. The hitch receiver attaches to the towing vehicle and the ball mount connects to the trailer. The spring bars are attached to the ball mount and the trailer frame, and they help to distribute the weight evenly across the four wheels of the towing vehicle and the trailer. The sway control is a mechanism that prevents the trailer from swaying side to side due to wind or road conditions.

If I use a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH), does it reduce my trailers tow ball weight?

A weight distribution hitch (WDH) does not reduce the tow ball weight, but improves the stability and handling of the towing system.

What are other names for Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH)?

A weight distribution hitch (WDH) is also known as a load equalising hitch, stabilisers, Load Levellers or Equalisers.  Sometimes they are incorrectly referred to as sway control hitches or Anti Sway Device.

What is caravan sway?

Caravan/trailer sway, also known as fishtailing or snaking, is the side-to-side movement of a caravan or trailer when it is towed by a vehicle. It can be caused by various factors, such as wind, speed, road conditions, loading, tyre pressure, and hitch configuration. To prevent or reduce caravan sway, it is important to follow some safety tips, such as checking the weight distribution within your setup, using a Weight distribution Hitch (WDH) and/or sway controller and avoiding sudden braking or steering.

What tools do I need to set up Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH)?

To set up a weight distribution hitch, you will need the following tools: a ball weight scale, a torque wrench, a socket set, a measuring tape, and a level.

How do I know if my car can tow a trailer?

To find out if your car can tow a trailer, you need to check two things: the towing capacity of your car and the weight of the trailer. The towing capacity is the maximum weight that your car can pull safely and legally. You can find this information in your car's manual, on the compliance plate, or on the manufacturer's website. The weight of the trailer is the total mass of the trailer and its load when it is fully loaded. You can find this information on the trailer's compliance plate, or by weighing it at a weighbridge.

What are the regulations relating to towing in different States of Australia?

A set of national towing regulations are now in place governing towing in Australia for trailers up to 3500 Kg aggregate of loaded trailer mass. In short, the loaded trailer must not exceed the recommended towing capacity of the vehicle.

What is a rated recovery point, why does it matter?

A rated recovery point is a dedicated attachment point to your vehicle, designed to safely transfer the loads generated during a recovery – whether a snatch strap or a winch, directly to the chassis. It's designed and tested to withstand the additional load of a snatch recovery or winch load placed onto it. The X-bar recovery points are rated to 4 tonne (side recovery points) and 8 tonnes (centre recovery point).

When should tyre pressure be altered when off-roading?

For light off-roading on hard-packed surfaces, you can reduce your tire pressure to approximately 20-25 psi. When travelling through deep sand or mud, dropping it a further to 15-20 psi can help increase traction. On particularly rugged terrains with rocks or sharp objects, stick closer to 25-30 psi to prevent punctures.