Going back a couple of decades ago, you’d rarely see different towing hitches. Today, there are more options for towing a trailer than you can poke a stick at. Traditionally, Treg and the normal ball hitches were all you’d see, and while the Treg was a great option when it first came out, I would never, ever get one again.
Originally, I loved the idea of them; quiet, fully articulating, robust and low maintenance. My first camper trailer had one, and I liked the idea so much that I purchased a brand new, genuine Treg hitch for my off road boat trailer.
These days, I hate Treg hitches, and I detest using them. They work OK on very light trailers, but anything over a few hundred kilograms when used off road is just a total nightmare.
What is a Treg hitch?
Starting with the basics, a Treg Hitch is an off road trailer coupling that is used instead of a 50mm ball coupling. It’s designed to be quieter and to articulate much further in the up and down and side to side motion.
Why are Treg Hitches no good?
The reason is really simple; they are a right pain in the backside to hitch, and unhitch. On level bitumen or gravel they are easy enough to work with, but the moment you are doing it on soft or uneven ground, guaranteed you are entering struggle territory. They have two very distinct shortfalls
Perfection required for hitching and unhitching
By design, you need to slide a poly block into an opening that has about 1.5mm clearance.
This makes it awfully challenging when the ground is undulating, or soft as every time you move the vehicle the hitch height changes. If its not bang on, the block catches and flicks up or down, and you have to try again. Hooking on a Tregg hitch is a two person job, unless you get perfectly lucky.
Pressure on the pin
The above however, is only part of my gripe. My real gripe is the fact that the pin can be an absolute nightmare to put in, and even more so to remove. The moment the trailer has any force on the pin, you are totally at the mercy of physics. You have to struggle and sweat while pushing the trailer around and trying to free the pin, and it gets old real fast. This happens every time the trailer is pushing in a different direction to your 4WD (think basically every situation that isn’t perfectly level!)
I mentioned above that you get away with it with a lighter trailer, as its not hard to move it back and forth as required. Our boat trailer is under 500kg total, and is usually fine with it only rarely being a pain. Still though, I have had times where we’ve needed a couple of people to shove the trailer around while someone yanks the pin out.
Again, its a multiple person job and not one I particularly enjoy doing even on a light trailer. Imagine if your trailer was more than 2 tonne! A poly block hitch is simply not ideal as you have to line things up in three directions.
Watch out for fakes
Another thing to be very wary of is fake Treg Trailer Hitches. This is completely asides from the issues above, but the fakes often fail within a couple of years, in a very bad way. With all of the Chinese Camper trailer and Hybrids coming in, you can guarantee that most don’t run the genuine Treg, Tregg or Trigg blocks, and the materials have a bad habit of cracking and breaking away.
I’ve seen a significant number of new camper trailers that have come in running an imported poly block hitch, and they’ve failed within the first year. Not nice when you are in the middle of no where, and your hitch is welded on! If its bright red, there’s a good indication its not made here, and regardless of how hard it is to use, it could break at any time too.
What’s better than a Treg Hitch?
There are more hitches on the market now than I could even mention. The clear winner for me though, is the D035 made by Cruise Master. It’s a super clever design, and is easy to hook and unhook no matter where you are. You don’t have to get it exact, and that applies to all three directions.
As long as you are within about 40mm, as you lower the hitch onto the receiver it self centres. The only orientation you really have to get somewhat correct is the distance you back under, as its easy enough to lean on the drawbar and move the trailer side to side a few mm if required.
These lock and unlock without binding up, have the same articulation, are silent, rated to 3500kg and overall make hitching and unhitching a total breeze. We got one on our new hybrid camper trailer – a Reconn R2, and have been very pleased with it.
Hitching and unhitching used to be a pain in the backside, with lots of frustration. These days, its a piece of cake!
McHitches have a good reputation overall, and there are some others on the market but I have seen a few failures and the DO35 seems to be the most common.
What hitch do you run? How do you rate it?