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DO35 Hitch review

When we purchased our Lifestyle Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper, it came with a number of products that we’d never used before. Of course, I’d seen the DO35 hitch around many times, but until you actually own one, its funny how you really don’t think much about it. 

Our soft floor camper trailer ran a Treg hitch, and the offroad boat trailer that we also tow has one too. Asides from this, we’d had some experience with the McHitches, and that was it. I hate the Treg hitch, and would not recommend it to anyone after owning a DO35.

DO35 hitch

A DO35 hitch makes life so easy

What is a DO35 hitch?

There are lots of ways to couple a trailer to a vehicle, and there are at least 8 different hitch types that I can think of off the top of my head. The DO35 is a product made by Cruisemaster, and they are now onto their V3, or third version. 35 stands for 3.5 tonnes, and you can get a DO45, which is rated for 4.5 tonnes.

The DO35 is a fully articulating, off road rated hitch that is easy to use. 

DO35 Hitch

Fully articulating hitch

Do they perform well?

Coming from the Treg hitch, I was absolutely gobsmacked at how much easier the DO35 hitch is to use. They are simple to take on and off, lock in easily, are completely silent and articulate exactly as you need them to.

The fact that these are the standard hitch on most high end off road caravans and trailers speaks volumes. They are a great hitch, and have the reputation to match it.

DO35 Hitch review

The DO35 is a brilliant hitch

DO35 Hitch problems

Over two years of use, we have had ours stick twice, and in both cases it was due to the 4WD applying too much tension either forwards, or backwards. In both cases, you can feel the hitch isn’t releasing when you are trying to wind the jockey wheel up. Just jump in the car and let it roll forwards or backwards the 20mm that it needs to, in order to relieve the pressure.

If you don’t do this, you apply a huge amount of stress to your jockey wheel, and risk it coming off with a bang, and damaging something. I actually bent our Ark Jockey Wheel slightly because of this, but now know when its not coming off like it should be.

DO35 Locks

Cruisemaster make DO35 locks, which is what we use. This simply prevents someone from hooking up. It’s only a preventative measure, as anyone can still hook the chains up and drive off, or simply unbolt the hitch and replace it with something else in a matter of minutes. 

If you want a cheaper DO35 lock, you can use the hitch pin locks that you secure your tow bar hitch to the vehicle with. They don’t fit as well, and would be much easier to cut off with a battery grinder, but they do the trick too.

DO35 Lock

The Cruisemaster DO35 lock in use

How much is a DO35?

The DO35 hitch is about $430, and comes with the male and female pieces that you need to make it work, along with a spanner to tighten the male piece onto your tow hitch, a dust cover and the hitch itself. 

You can fit them yourself pretty easily, but make sure the bolts are done up correctly. 

Would I get another DO35?

In a heartbeat. I’ve seen a few other hitches on the market, and even the auto hitch ones, and I reckon for the strength, quality and design you still can’t go passed a DO35. When you look at the major off road caravan manufacturers, along with the hybrids and camper trailers, the DO35 is probably the most common by a long shot, and that speaks volumes in itself.

Please note this opinion is completely unbiased too, as we received the product as part of our hybrid camper trailer that we purchased second hand, with our own cash.

If you are looking for a hitch upgrade, you can’t go past the DO35. It’s amazing.

Hybrid camper trailer

We are very happy with our DO35 Hitch

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4 comments… add one
  • Billy Brown August 11, 2021, 8:17 PM

    Hi Aaron,
    I enjoyed your article, thank you.
    Would it be worth investing in the hitch for blacktop driving as a general rule, or only if doing off road towing?
    Thanks Billy

  • Aaron Schubert August 11, 2021, 8:40 PM

    Hey Billy,

    Honestly, probably not. They would be quieter, and if you ever rolled your vehicle it might stop the trailer going over, or vice versa, but the benefits for on road use probably end there.

    I guess that’s something I could have covered in the post!

    All the best

  • Mike Thompson September 16, 2021, 3:36 PM

    We have a DO35 come off on rough terrain smashing into the back of the ute.
    After inspection found that water and dust had managed to get into the springs which in turn stopped them working properly. After undoing the three Allan key nuts found that there was so much dust and water in there that the springs had actually rusted, so much so that the red button would not pop up fully letting the hitch actually slip freely between open and closed as per a video I showed to Cruisemaster.
    Their answer was that it was not a warranty problem. I beg to differ as something that is supposedly a “world beater” all terrain hitch should not be able to bind up so as not to work due to poor springs as I replaced the springs with a much better set that will not dust.
    Saying that I have now replaced it with a different hitch as I am sick and tired of people professing to be world beaters when in fact they use cheap junk. There seems to be so much of this going on in the off road campervan industry as it looks like there is no actual laws banning such things.

  • Aaron Schubert September 16, 2021, 4:16 PM

    Hey Mike,

    Sorry to hear that. Certainly not what you want to happen, and not a very good response from Cruisemaster. How old was the unit? What did you replace it with?

    All the best

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