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Hayman Reese
1800 812 017
49 Pacific Drive, Keysborough, VIC, 3173


Hayman Reese has the biggest range of towing solutions for the Australian market.


Technical Advice/ FAQ

What are Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck?

Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck are terms which define the coupling method between the trailer or caravan and towing vehicle. A Fifth Wheel coupling for a caravan works in the same way as for the large semi-trailers used by large freight vehicles where the coupling is a kingpin which is located on the trailer. The hitch for Fifth Wheel (sometimes called a turntable) is located in the bed of the truck or Ute.


Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck

With Gooseneck, the coupling is a ball (similar to a tow ball) generally of 3" diameter. This time, the coupling is situated on the trailer and the ball is located in the bed of the Ute or truck (the reverse of Fifth wheel.)

The main advantage of these types of couplings is that the nose weight of the trailer or caravan is located over the rear axle. This provides inherent stability by loading over the rear axle.

Another benefit is that the overall vehicle length can be reduced because the area taken up by the draw bar on a traditional tow set up is no longer necessary.

The coupling systems lend themselves to (generally) larger trailers or caravans and due to the coupling method can only be used on vehicles with tubs or tray backs, to allow the coupling to be mounted over the axle.

What's the difference between Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck?

A Fifth Wheel system uses a kingpin coupling system (similar to that used on semi-trailers and heavy trucks.) The hitch (or coupling) sits on the vehicle, with the pin on the trailer.


Hayman Reese R16 Fifth Wheel Coupling

Hayman Reese R16 Fifth Wheel Coupling

 Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box on the Jayco Fifth Wheeler

Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box on the Jayco Fifth Wheeler


Gooseneck uses a ball shaped coupling system. The trailer has the coupling and the ball sits in the vehicle tub, the other way round to Fifth Wheel.


 ball shaped coupling system in Gooseneck

How do I choose which system to go for?

In many cases, this choice will be made for you. The caravan or trailer you purchase may already be set up with a particular coupling. It is important that when choosing a coupling method that is suitable for the application. Typically, the Fifth Wheel system is used on caravans. Gooseneck is more common on horse floats, toy haulers and livestock trailers. There are exceptions to this and there is no right or wrong answer.

One issue that may affect your choice if you are building your own trailer / caravan or able to specify the coupling method is that the Fifth Wheel system can use the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box, thus providing more flexibility in caravan design. This system also improves the turning clearance between the tow vehicle and caravan, allowing tighter turns. For more details on this, see Will the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box fit my caravan? or Sidewinder Pin box.

What size of Kingpin are the Hayman Reese hitches compatible with?

All the Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel hitches designed to be used with a 50 mm standard Kingpin.


Will the Hayman Reese Sidewinder Pin Box fit my caravan?

The Pin Box we supply is the Hayman Reese Revolution Sidewinder. It is a premium Pin Box coupler designed specifically for short bed pickups. Its ability to pivot at the rearward end can provide crucial additional clearance during tight manoeuvres.

However, the Hayman Reese Revolution Sidewinder has a unique wing size & bolting pattern and is not directly interchangeable with the Pin Boxes on imported Fifth Wheel caravans, particularly those imported from the USA. These generally have different mounting plates and a different bolting configuration.

The fitting of the Hayman Reese unit may be possible with some modifications to your existing caravan frame, but this is something which we would recommend be done by a professional and it will certainly need to be signed off as a modification to the chassis by an appropriately qualified Engineer. For further information on this, please contact our customer service team 1800 812 017

What size of ball does the Hayman Reese Gooseneck use?

The Gooseneck kit is shipped with a 3" ball.

What is included in a Hayman Reese custom kit?

Our Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck custom kits include the chassis brackets, two rails (which fit permanently in the tub of the vehicle) and a Smartclick™ wiring connection into the vehicle loom. We now also include a 12 pin flat socket with our custom kits, which allows trailer connection to be made near the hitch. Also included is the hitch system of choice, be it one of our Fifth Wheel hitches or one of our Gooseneck kits, which also includes the 3" ball. All kits include the all-important compliance plates as well as comprehensive fitting instructions. 

If your vehicle requires the use of an ECU for the lighting, this will be required as an additional part. Hayman Reese have all the parts required. Contact your Hayman Reese approved Fifth Wheel Installer for more information.

Why doesn't Hayman Reese include all the extra parts in the kit?

We don't include the ECU because if the vehicle already has a tow bar, it will not be required. Information on which vehicles require an ECU is available from your Hayman Reese approved installer.

What is the rating of the Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck kits?

The kits are rated according to the tow rating of the vehicle it is fitted on, up to the maximum of the specific hitch. This allows us to ensure compliance with the specific marking requirements in the regulations covering Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck. More details on tow ratings and maximum pin loads are available from your Hayman Reese approved Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck installer.

Which vehicles are supported by the custom install kits?

We are constantly developing new kits for vehicles and updating our range. Please contact your nearest Specialist Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck installer for the latest information.

Click here for your nearest installer.

Where can I purchase Hayman Reese Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck products?

Specialist installers are used to supply the Fifth Wheel and Gooseneck product range. We have worked closely with these installers to ensure that they understand the legal requirements associated with installing these products and can advise customers accordingly. Click here to see our approved Installer network.

Can I fit the kits myself?

There is no reason why the kit cannot be purchased through one of the specialist installers for DIY fitment. However, in some States, this may mean that a Compliance Engineer is required to sign off the installation. It is worth noting that the kits are very heavy and doing this work without a vehicle hoist can be difficult and is not recommended to anyone without an advanced level of motor vehicle workshop experience.

How do I know which Fifth Wheel hitch to purchase?

It is important to ensure that you have adequate turning clearance for your vehicle - trailer combination. Accurate measurements of vehicle / caravan / trailer geometry may be required to ensure that when turning, there is adequate clearance between the corner of the caravan and rear of the vehicle cab as well as the front skirt of the caravan / trailer and the vehicle bumper. This is particularly important when towing with the short bed trucks typically found in Australia.

Your approved Hayman Reese installer will be able to assist you in selecting the appropriate hitch.


Assessing the hitch rating requirement

For trailers under 3500kg ATM

  • All of our hitch products are suitable and only specified by the ATM of the trailer

Calculating D Value for trailer ATM's over 3500kg

  • ADR 62/02 requires any coupling used with trailers over 3500kg ATM to be rated with a D Value
  • By using the following formula you can calculate the D Value and compare it to the D Value ratings on the hitch
  • In the formula, use kg (kilograms) for GVM, ATM and Pin Weight to ensure you get the right result


What if my vehicle is not on the custom install list?

We have a universal rail kit available and the hitch can also be purchased. However, this install will be more complicated and will require the involvement of a suitably qualified engineer to design the mounting arrangement. Additional hardware will almost certainly be required. Once installed, the unit will require a sign off by a qualified engineer in your State or Territory, who is registered to sign off vehicle modifications.

Will my vehicle require a compliance certificate following installation?

Because the hitch is generally fitted on a vehicle after registration, the legislation is controlled at a State level. Different States and Territories have different rules on this issue and it can be quite confusing. If you are uncertain, contact the vehicle registration authority of the state in which your vehicle is registered. In all cases, the use of a Hayman Reese approved custom install kit will make any compliancing more straightforward and in some cases, further inspection and approval of the installation will not be required at all.

Where can I get more information on the State Regulators?

Below are the links to the appropriate authorities in each State / Territory

ACT - http://www.tams.act.gov.au/roads-transport

NSW - http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/

NT - http://transport.nt.gov.au/mvr/about-us

QLD - http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/

SA - http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/

TAS - http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/vehicle_specifications

WA - http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/

VIC - http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home

Which Australian Standards do Hayman Reese products comply with?

All the products supplied by Hayman Reese are compliant with ADR 62 / 02. This is the standard covering "Mechanical Connections Between Vehicles." This standard makes reference to other standards both Australian and International. Where required, our products also comply with these related standards.

What servicing does my hitch require?

In the user instructions, it explains the servicing requirements. If you have lost or misplaced them and require another copy, please contact the Hayman Reese Customer Care team on 1800 812 017.

The Hayman Reese hitches are built strong, but will always benefit and reward the user with many years of service if properly maintained. In particular, it is important not to smear thick grease over the moving parts of the hitch. This will only attract dust and grit and act as a very effective grinding paste. Instead, use a dry lube spray, ideally silicone based, to lubricate running surfaces and wipe away any excess. The jaws on the R16 hitch also have grease points which ensure the internal bearing surfaces are well lubricated. Always wipe away excess grease to prevent it being contaminated with dust and grit.

Can I get spare parts for my Hayman Reese Hitch?

Yes. We stock a variety of spares and accessories for our hitches.

My technical question has not been answered here. What do I do?

Please call our Customer Care team on 1800 812 017.

Happy Fifth Wheeling!


Hayman Reese
1800 812 017
49 Pacific Drive, Keysborough, VIC, 3173