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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.