An offroad caravan needs an offroad coupling. Obviously. But they’re not all created equally. While the principal characteristics remain the same – 360° articulation on the horizontal and vertical axes – there are key differences that affect their performance and the ease with which they can be hitched and unhitched to a vehicle.
With more and more offroad couplings entering the market, we wanted to take a closer look at a coupling that’s been available for some time: the 3.5-tonne-rated Hitch-Ezy.
The latest iteration of the Hitch-Ezy is ‘hands free’ in operation and will hitch to the corresponding tow pillar at any angle – it has no inbuilt obstructions to smooth, trouble-free hitching.
The Hitch-Ezy consists of a one-piece body made of aircraft alloy fitted with bushes that do not require lubrication, and a rotating lid that defaults to the ‘open’ position when not engaged on the tow pillar. When the coupling is lowered onto the tow pillar the lid automatically rotates to the fully locked position. The primary and secondary locking functions, required by the Australian Design Rules, both occur automatically.
The Hitch-Ezy, which is also available with a five-tonne rating, also incorporates an important safety feature. If, for example, anyone rotates the lid while it’s on the tow pillar, it will automatically rotate back and re-lock. It’s virtually impossible for the Hitch-Ezy to be accidentally unlocked.
Another feature I liked: the built-in lever which, should the user have a problem affecting their grip, will allow them to easily rotate the lid when it’s time to unhitch.
And should the user require two hands to operate the jockey wheel in order to raise the Hitch-Ezy off the tow pillar, a special tool that’s provided will keep the lid rotated in the ‘open’ position.
To keep both the internal sleeve and the tow pillar of the Hitch-Ezy clean, it comes with a tow pillar cover and a ‘dummy’ pillar that can be inserted into the coupling. The coupling will lock onto the dummy pillar, keeping it in place until the user wants to remove it. The Hitch-Ezy also comes with a handbrake.
This coupling is compatible with weight distribution hitches and, importantly, its low profile makes it ideal for 4WDs with awkward tailgate access, such as the Pajero.
If you’re in the market for a new offroad hitch, the Hitch-Ezy is worth a close look.
RRP: $700 (approx) – includes tow pillar, tow pillar cover, spacer for use with a WDH, dummy pillar, stainless steel handbrake and mounting bolts.