Why I’d never buy another Treg hitch

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.

Dmax towing our camper trailer
Our old camper trailer running a Treg hitch

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.

Welded treg hitch
There’s literally a couple of mm clearance between the poly block and the receiver, making it a nightmare

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 off road 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.

Soft Floor Camper Trailer
Trying to unhook on anything but flat ground isn’t much fun

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 hitch 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.

A good indication of these is that they are often referred to as a Poly Block Tow Hitch, rather than a Treg or Trigg hitch.

Genuine treg hitch
Chinese treg hitch copy vs the genuine one on the top

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 hitch 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.

DO35 hitch
A DO35 on our Reconn R2 which makes lift so easy
Reconn R2
No articulation issues, and its so simple and easy to use

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 hitch seems to be the most common.

Mc Hitch or Tregg
The Mc Hitch is another alternative to the Tregg

What hitch do you run? How do you rate it?

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  1. Hi Breac,

    It has nothing to do with ones ability to drive. You have far less chance of lining a Treg up than you do for a DO35, or a tow ball for that matter, period. Have you ever tried to do it in really soft sand, or on a decent slope? Give it a go, and let me know how it works out for you. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, and moving to a more modern product can be an eye opener.

    I was living with our Treg, but having moved to a DO35 (not because we swapped, but because that’s what came with our new trailer), I can say they are far easier to use.

    I don’t understand your last sentence, but in many instances, a DO35 (or other hitch) is a great option.

    All the best

  2. Breac Macleod says:

    Never had a problem hooking or unhooking if you can drive the simplicity of the hitch is its major benefit. We have 7 trailers on our property and never had a problem.
    The overcomplicated overmarketed overpriced other hitches such as mentioned have never been necessary and still aren’t but unless your van is 4ft off the ground and running a DO35 or like your not able to go offroad.

  3. Hey David,

    Very interesting; I’ve never seen that but would imagine it would be a vast improvement.


  4. David Alexander says:

    I had the same problems with the Treg hitch on my camper, always a pain to use.
    McHitch make an adapter from the poly blocks to the McHitch style pin for around $100. Life has been alot easier since I started using it.

  5. Hey Viliam,

    If it does what you need, perfect; you can’t ask for more than that. We’ve sold our boat and trailer that had the remaining Treg hitch in use (not because of the hitch though!), and after using a DO35 for more than 200 nights away, I would never go back to a treg style.

    You can pay a lot for some hitches though

    All the best

  6. Have not had any problems using the TREG. Use a small timber wedge to hold coupling level, so no fingers to get in the way. Have seen some other hitches and after some use have the same problems as each other. Go with what you like. They are all expensive.

  7. Hey Grahame,

    We’ve not had much issue lining the DO35 up; most times you can get it good enough that it self centres, and if not I find just leaning on the drawbar while lowering the jockey wheel does the trick.

    Interesting about it clogging up; no issues for us so far.

    I’d certainly would not get a knock off Treg!

    All the best

  8. I have used both the Treg (still have it) and the DO35.

    I bought the Treg because due to the shortage of hitches last year I did not have another option at short notice.

    On level ground it is easy to back up onto but a second person helps to move it that last bit. On unlevel ground it can be a complete F$$%#@ bugger.
    The DO35 was better but you still had to line it up and move the camper most of the time and it did clog up on dusty roads.

    When changing over next time (more cost) I would not buy either of these products, there are now much friendlier ones on the market.

    Also, as others have said, if you go for a Treg, watch for the Chinese fakes. They generally come with a red poly block which I have seen disintegrate within two years, not from misuse or hard use but because the material is weak and it cracks and shatters. They are generally marketed as Treg or Trigg STYLE. Many imported campers have them. BE WARNED. They are dangerous.

  9. Hey Scott,

    Reading your experience makes me chuckle a bit; I used to get very cranky trying to line our treg hitches up. The DO35 is certainly a big improvement in usability, and there seems to be other alternatives out there as well which are very good.

    All the best with your new van!

  10. Had a Campomatic many years ago with a Treg hitch. in the driveway, fine. on sand/uneven surfaces/gravel…Oh how I loathed the thing. As a sole traveller, I had instances where, on Fraser, was an hour aligning the damned thing. All the mucking around with misalignments began chipping away at the block, and genuine notwithstanding, it was looking pretty sad when I sold it.

    Then went to a Coromal offroad van, where I upgraded the standard ball to a DO35. Standard ball was annoying, but easy compared to the Treg. But the DO35 was an unbelievable improvement.
    Same driveway, same type of offroad situations, and with a reverse camera, 100% alignment first try, every time, by myself. Easy on, easy off, the pin didn’t stick…so easy!

    New van coming, and DO35 is the fitting.

    The article is spot on in it’s account of Treg use, especially for the average Joe. I don’t disagree with what the die hard Treg users say, where experience obviously counts, but for durability, and easy of use, I’d go a DO35 every time.

  11. Hey Nigel,

    Good to hear you are happy with it. That’s the main thing, at the end of the day. I love the fact that there’s continual development, and that companies and individuals identify things that are frustrating or that fall short and come up with a better product or idea to resolve it.

    I haven’t seen much of the Ozhitch, but anything Aussie made is a good thing.

    All the best

  12. We have the ozhitch and love it, so easy to hook up.
    Great articulation and no more arguments/swearing episodes while trying to couple up to the camper compared to the treg.
    Plus it’s Aussie made, so no worries about cheap knock off’s.
    Can highly recommend them.

  13. Hey Derrick,

    I recall seeing a few photos online, and comments about them. I just had a quick look and can only find one photo showing a failure.

    To be fair with the number out there the failure rate is probably pretty low. I’ve heard of DO35 failures too, which is interesting.

    I would speak to someone who sells both in depth and ask their thoughts on them

    All the best

  14. Hi, when you reference the Mchitch failures were they design issues, poor maintenance or user error? I was wanting a D035 but they don’t make them for manual over ride brakes so settled on Mchitch and have been very happy with it. I’d like to know more details about these failures you reference so as I can be aware of them and clarify with the company if they have been addressed.

  15. Hey Sara,

    Cheers for the comment, and your thoughts. I’ve heard some good things about the AL-Ko hitch; it will be interesting to see how they go in terms of market share. Does it make any noise when travelling?

    All the best

  16. Sara Johnson says:

    Treg Hitch on 1250kg Cub Spacematic Drover was a nightmare to hook up and disconnect. If you like the Treg then fine but all the points raised by the author are accurate in my experience. I have moved to the AL-KO offroad ball coupling and have been very impressed. Took the Mt Lindsay Road and managed to make the journey without any issues. The benefit of the 50mm ball is that I can hook up to my boat and my 6×4 trailer all with the 1 coupling. Just my 2 bobs.

  17. Hey Bruce,

    The copies are notorious for failing, but sounds like you had a decent run out of it. Let me know how you go with the new AL-KO; I haven’t heard anything bad about these yet.

    All the best

  18. I had a 3 ton treg hitch copy on my off-road camper trailer for about 4 years. It worked well and I had no problems hitching or unhitching. On my last trip to Cape York the bloody thing failed, and started spitting and small chunks started falling off in 2 or 3 days. Caught short now, I found a replacement AL-KO 3.5 ton. This seems to work well now, but it’s early days still. BTW my trailer is 1.5 tons max with ball weight of about 140Kg.

  19. Hey Keith,

    Do you replace the tape each time you hook up? We normally just use two people, and take it easy and slow.

    All the best

  20. Keith Higgins says:

    For those who get frustrated in trying to line up the treg coupling, I use a bit of tape across the top of the block to keep aligned, check your height and then you just reverse as you would any other trailer. Hope this helps.