Caravan Camping Sales

Locally-developed Land Rover hitch solves towing problems of factory-fitted option

With their luxury, air-suspended ride, torquey diesel engines, and 3500kg towing capacity, the Land-Rover Discovery 3 and 4 models  make magnificent tow cars.

However their standard tow hitch, particularly on the Disco 3, is not worthy of the rest of the vehicle, with the factory’s low-slung, Z-shaped cast iron appendage earning itself the ignominious nickname of ‘the plough’.

Sitting too low, it greatly reduces the vehicle’s off-road departure angle, but even more incredible for a vehicle designed to tow off-road, you cannot remove the under-floor spare wheel on a D3 with the hitch fitted, so you can imagine the hassle if you have a flat with a heavy caravan or camper trailer hanging off it!

The spare wheel issue on the Discovery 4 has been resolved with a revised factory hitch that allows the spare wheel to be wound down from its under boot floor well without fouling, but it will cost you close to $700 if you want to update your D3 with a factory hitch. Even then, it sits too low for the serious off-road caravans, campers and hybrids that Disco owners are likely to tow.

Sydney-based engineer Aaron Mitchell’s better solution has been to engineer a new steel 3.5 tonne-rated and ADR compliant hitch that utilises the wedge-shaped recess of the factory hitch receiver and bolts to the hitch base and bumper-mounted towing eye.

It took nine months and several hundred man hours to develop, but the result is a bumper-bar level hitch that weighs just 8kg, sits 200mm higher than a factory D3 equivalent (150mm higher than a D4 hitch) to ensure your off-road trailer tows level.

It’s also easier to use, stronger, does not impede removal of the spare wheel and only reduces the vehicle’s departure angle by one degree (compared with a D3/D4 without a hitch). For $695 it’s a no brainer if you’re planning to tow a serious off-road camper or caravan.

Melbourne Land-Rover specialist Ritter Automotive, has fitted many of the 700 ‘Mitch Hitches’ currently in service on D3s and RR Sports around Australia.

The job takes up to two hours, which includes the fiddly task of rotating the rear bumper parking sensors so they don’t go ballistic when they see the protruding Mitch Hitch.

When towing conventional on-road caravans or trailers with a much lower drawbar, I simply fit an adjustable drop-hitch, which replicates the height of the standard D3 hitch.

For more information visit the Mitchell Bros website.


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