Automated Safety Hitch

Discussion in 'Towables' started by RVFamilyOf6, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Anyone here use one? I ask because...

    ... we just put a deposit down on ours and it will be here in three weeks! We're towing with an E-350 diesel van, and have four kids, but always wanted a fifth wheel. This hitch looks amazing... but since it's so new to the market, I can't find a whole lot of reviews on it (from real RVers).

    If anyone here uses one, speak up now! Otherwise we can let people know how it works once we get it. We're taking a cross-country trip this summer. (The website is: www.safetyhitch.com)

    -Melanie
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Guess what, that qualifies as towing a second trailer..not legal in all states. Better check your local laws and the laws in the states where you are traveling this summer.
     
  3. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Kenneth, are you certain about that? That was one of my initial questions when researching it. The company said it is legal in all states -- it is not a dolly or second trailer but considered a "drop axle."

    Where did you get your information?

    Here's the website, (maybe you're thinking of something else): www.safetyhitch.com

    -Melanie
     
  4. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch



    "The Company" could be telling you anything to make a sale. From what I see, it is a trailer...it has it's own axle. I am going to contact my State Police about this tomorrow.

    Blue Ox has it's Sport Carrier II to carry Golf Carts (or whatever) behind a vehicle. Virginia does not allow it behind a trailer, because it has a wheel of it's own and therefore is classified a trailer. Behind a Motorhome, the Sport Carrier II is legal.

    Why don't you look under General RVing and read the Towing thread.
     
  5. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Sure, Kenneth, I see what you're saying. But we should be careful about spreading bad information about a device that could really help some people out. Another device like this, the Tow Buddy, has been successfully used by RVers for a couple of years without legal issues. Here's a link to a discussion over the the legality of driving it with a patrol officer chiming in: http://www.heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/1706-Hitch-Buddy-Tow-Dolly

    A friend of mine is a former highway patrol officer as well (and a fulltime RVer) and I'm going to get his input on these issues just to clarify further as well as contact the company with more specifics. People deserve to know the real story on it, right?

    Thanks for the input!

    -Melanie
     
  6. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    A friend of mine, who RVs in Oregon, just told me that the Safety Hitch is legally defined as an "auxiliary axle" in the state of Oregon. He is planning on buying one in the near future and did his homework. He said it is legal in all 50 states, but would be classified under different names (probably a variation of an axle). Since you're talking to the police tomorrow in your state, please let me know what the classification is there. I appreciate it!

    -Melanie
     
  7. Cruzincat

    Cruzincat Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Go to the site and click on the video called "turning maneuverability". Watch close as the truck makes the turn, and you will see the hitch's tires dragging sideways. If you do a lot of turning you will be replacing a lot of tires.

    Wondering what kind of stress is on the truck frame from that as well?
     
  8. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Just viewed the video again and don't see what you're talking about. I see it turning, but I don't see the dragging you're talking about.
     
  9. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    What looks like the tires being dragged must be a turning mechanism. The wheels on the "hitch" must have steering to them. The "hitch" is hooked rigidly to the truck, so either the wheels steer or they will be shoved around by the truck.

    I think there probably is some of both going on when sharp turns are made.
     
  10. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    The hitch steers under 25 miles per hour.
     
  11. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Well, ran this up the flagpole, all the way to Richmond. The safety officers called this company and is seems this is allowed in VA. He did tell me that whatever tow vehicle was used, it better be able to handle the LOAD. In other words don't hook a 1/2 ton truck to this thing and try to tow a 10,000lb. trailer.

    I personally don't understand it yet, but going to do more research. I did not get any help from the company myself. I sent them and e-mail and they gave me a VERY short reply. When I asked for a little more explanation, I have heard NOTHING.

    Time will tell as wether this is the next piece of sliced bread or another....you know what.
     
  12. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Great work, Kenneth. I like that you actually looked into it before making a call on it. Yeah, it's definitely a novel concept, but we really feel comfortable with it. You're in the RV business, so maybe you recall the "Hitch Buddy" and another similar product that's been out for a few years? Apparently there's 200 Safety Hitches in use right now, half straight RVers and half "horse people" with gooseneck hitches. The company gave me a long list of customers to call for reference and I've talked with three -- all very positive feedback. One user is "Mr. Trailer" of the website by the same name. He tows for his day job and he's put about 3000 miles on it *and* he double tows (two trailers). All positive feedback, especially the braking capacity. You got another set of 1-2 ton truck-equivalent brakes on it. One customer said, "I can't believe how fast I can stop with it."

    The redundant brakes is the big "safety" part of the hitch. The company said they have a lot of support from safety-oriented people in the community, like patrol officers and such. (In a typical stopping scenario, the weight of the trailer down on the back end of the vehicle, making the front brakes weaker -- just when you need them the most.)

    Anyway, I was wondering if there were any RVers on this forum using it. We'll be getting ours in a couple of weeks. We're pulling with a 1-ton diesel van.
     
  13. LEN

    LEN Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Looks like it might be a good option for a 5ver tow. With 5 axles to hold steady in the wind and with 5 pairs of brakes should be a plus. Then steering under 25 mph for making turns. The only question I have and didn't see was is this a 5th wheel or goose neck or just goose neck. If not 5th wheel and adding the goose neck to the 5ver you will have non engineered stress on the 5ver.

    LEN
     
  14. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    Don't think I put my blessings on this, just because it might be legal, I am not recommending this to anyone. Especially someone who is towing a trailer with this and then another trailer behind that...that is just not safe. Professional drivers are one thing, but just anyone hooking up to this and towing a big trailer I think is just asking for trouble.
    I am still trying to figure out if you are a customer or are the manufacture.
     
  15. RVFamilyOf6

    RVFamilyOf6 New Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    I'm an almost customer. Haven't driven with it yet. (Not working for the company!) Don't worry, we don't plan on double towing. Here's a picture of "Mr. Trailer's" or "Mr. Truck's" double trailer. I believe he does this professionally. http://mrtrailer.com/cushiontour.htm

    Len, it can be used for both. We are using it for a fifth wheel, so the company is adding the hitch. My husband and I like the concept, but it is novel to the RV world. We were set to tow a trailer behind our van, (with four kids you need more seating than a crew cab offers) but I really wanted a fiver. We shall see how it goes.
     
  16. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Automated Safety Hitch

    That is what I say is illegal in VA and many other states..You CANNOT use a BALL towing DOUBLE. It also take a 40 acre field to turn around. You CANNOT back up more than 20 feet before the rear trailer goes sideways..I know..been there, done that. I actually got pretty good at it, but not easy. I knew every gas station and motel from OK to VA that I could drive thru and not have to back up.
     

Share This Page