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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 5128
Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
Current Bushtracker owner:: Yes
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: HITCH UPGRADES OVER THE YEARS.. WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
This is the first of the hitches, about 1996 to 1999

On Early hitches, it is a flat swivel on a large bolt with a spacer in it so it does not tighten down with the bolt, but remains free to swivel. The pin inserts sideways, through a Yoke on the end of a large greased barrel. In many years of use, or long term pounding off the road on the corrugation, we have seen some of these hitches start to fail. You need to inspect them for cracks along the top of the barrel, to the grease nipple area. In the interests of doing the right thing for you Second Hand Owners, I have saved a drum of this replacement part and will send it out to you.

SERVICE? If you pay the Postage, I will send it out to you Free of Charge !!!!!!

Or, upgrade to the newer style and much stronger coupling that we use now that is a 6 bolt and longer barrel style of coupling, improved to it's current condition after all these years.. And it is good.


I got a call from someone with an older van, 2000 model, with one of the first AT-35 hitches and the pivot pin was loose. He wanted to know what to do. It was an old 4 bolt hitch like this one:

This is a picture of the caravan half of the hitch, the other half goes on the tow vehicle...
Now the part worn, that he was talking about is the pivot pin, that welded bolt... His is one of the first versions that was a half inch pin. I had expressed my discontent at this size and it was subsequently increased to a larger 5/8" pin. I gave him istructions on how to pay for this upgrade, shipping it to VC in Brisbane..

However, as you can see here, his hitch was the old short barrel and a four bolt hitch. He only had an 18' van, and he reported that the barrel was not very worn, I.E. slop up and down.. (It was painted silver, they are a gold coloured plating) If there was much wear, OR he had a larger Bushtracker van, I would have firmly suggested this total upgrade:

This picture shows the larger 5/8" pin, but also the longer and stronger reinforced barrel and grease nipple I had them put in, in a reinforced housing. This is a much stronger updated version...

For larger vans, I would upgrade it, with this new 6 bolt profile, as it is considerably stronger with reduced wear and larger surface area of the barrel and housing.

Now this particular Owner, may not, as he reports very little wear.... And it is only on an 18' Bushtracker. For any of you with an older larger van, I would say this upgrade is well worth the cost.

The only Caveate is that you will have to clamp a piece of steel under the flat 1/2" and weld the bolt holes solid, whisk it off with a grinder flat and smooth, and drill in new holes. It is not a big job.

For those of you that do not know what the current hitch looks like, here are a few pictures of it:
Side view, the left part is the vehicle part, pin in, right part goes on the van...

Top view looking down, the stainless tang is the locking device to hold the T handle pin in place...

If you want to upgrade your hitch, call Peter at Bushtracker, and he can give you current prices. You will have to weld up the bolt holes and drill new holes per the above instructions...

Best regards, stg at Bushtracker
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