GoSee finds heavy lift calls for care and control in 5th Wheeler hitch manoeuvres
Line-up Hayman Reese Hitch
skid plate and hitch-kingpin
In the 2nd Information Article in the GoSee-Hayman Reese hitch and handle series on 5th Wheelers we enter the heavy lift with care and control world of trailers.
The Owner's manual for the trailer, in this case a Trailblazers 240E and the tug a Nissan Navara must be read to ensure safe operation. www.reeseprbd.com or the dealer/installer are the source of correct information.
An essential part of this self-discipline is correct 5th Wheeler terminology is learnt and with that knowledge understanding means safe operation.
Trailers that are not stable or not properly hitched can fall and seriously injure or kill. Avoid as far as possible putting your body under the trailer or between the tow tug and the trailer.
The pivoting hitch mechanism must be respected too. Hands clear please. Select level ground for the hitch process. The trailer landing gear must rest on firm level ground. The tow tug must be stationary in park with the emergency brake on when the driver is not actually manoeuvring it. The trailer tyres should be chocked during the hitch-on hitch-off processes.
Lining up for hook-up with auto Nissan Navara Dual Cab ST-X PU 4x4 Petrol
To unhitch the trailer - reverse gently onto the campsite after first checking the ground is firm, level and all required auxiliary campsite facilities can be accessed.
Allow for the width of extended roll out awnings.
Put the tow tug in park with the emergency brake on.
Chock the trailer wheels.
Check all clearances. With Utes like the Nissan Navara open the tailgate.
Unhook the towing electrics.
Unshackle the breakaway brake cable.
Check the landing legs adjustment lock-pins for height and security.
Use the electric landing legs winch to bring them down. The gearing is low and this will be slow.
Now with the landing legs on the ground take care - not too much clearance above the hayman Reese Hitch skid plate.
Use the electric winch on the landing legs just enough to release the hitch kingpin. (see 1st picture in sequence at end of story).
Do not take the short-cut under the trailer front to get to the hitch release handle on the Ute's passenger side. Yes the release on the passenger side is a hangover from US right-hand-drive.
Walk around the front of the Ute to reach the hitch-release.
Release and lift the hitch-pin handle safety lock.
Pull firmly on the hitch-pin lock jaws release handle. It needs a solid tug and the lock jaws release can be felt.
Back in the drivers seat ease the tow tug slightly forward to test the hitch-lock jaws have released fully.
Last check on clearance and move the tug away.
Clearance is key Don't reshape the Ute Remember to open the tailgate
To hitch the trailer - Drop the Ute tailgate. Check all trailer wheels are chocked.
Line up the Hayman Reese Hitch skid plate and the hitch kingpin.
The bottom edge of the kingpin should line-up with the shallow ramp which is built into the Hayman Reese Hitch skid-plate.
Fortunately the Nissan Navara GoSee used was an auto and could be eased back on brake and light throttle use. But add the clutch which goes with a manual gearbox and GoSee believes the manoeuvre would require an acrobat in the Nissan Navara.
Drivers who regularly tow establish known reference points relative to their vehicle when they line up a hitch and that is the case with the lettering in the rear cab window which serves double duty in the auto Nissan Navara we used.
Many contemporary vehicles have bad rear vision. This is usually caused by styling trends, low profile seating, high-backed seats, blind pillars and cabin clutter. GoSee understands from industry and trade sources that in manual versions of one established Ute brand clutch failures at about 30,000km are too common.
So slipping the clutch in regular towing work could be too expensive to consider for owners at about $3600 per replacement.
Lined up the Hayman Reese kingpin slides in with a clunk.
It is not gentle and CLUNK is the contact level.
Hayman Reese SmartClick electrics reconnect tug and trailer.
Breakway brake control cable shackles back to the hitch.
The landing legs wind up via the low-geared electric winch and the hitch meets the skid plate.
The hitch lock-bar is pushed firmly in and the lock jaws shut.
The snap-lock shuts down on the lock bar.
Clearance check all round.
Back in the driver's seat gently ease forward with the tailer chocked to check the Reese hitch is locked.
Shut the Ute tailgate.
Check the trailer awning/awnings are furled and locked for the road.
Check turning, brake and running lights operation.
Chocks out from under the trailers wheels and ready to go.
Gently back onto the campsite
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 Nissan towing 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 of the vehicle and the accessories fitted.
Hayman Reese Hitch
About the Trailblazers 240E:
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.
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 Trailblazerstrailer 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.
Editors Note: Also See -
5th Wheeler hitch evaluation reverses mind-set as GoSee starts hitch and handle information series
For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Just enough clearance Hayman Reese Hitch-pin ready to release
Breakaway brake cable shackles to the Hayman Reese hitch mounting
Hayman Reese towing plug adapter
Hayman Reese tow-plug adapter link to SmartClick harness
Hayman Reese hitch ready to lower and lock
Hayman Reese Hitch jaws closed
Hayman Reese hitch jaws open. Note skid plate ramp
Hayman Reese hitch-kingpin
Hayman Reese hitch-kingpin slides in with a clunk
Snap-lock up. Pull out the lock-bar
Winch button activates supports The RV and tug are chocked and braked
Adjustable landing supports winch down from low-geared winch Don't get underneath
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