California Riding Magazine • May, 2008

Product Review: Swift Hitch
Hitch up and go!

by Rebecca Sparenberg

They say it is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. Well, I have loved and lost, and I say that is just bull. Of course, they may have been talking about romance, and I’m talking about the Swift Hitch trailer camera. But still, when I went to hook up my trailer for the first time this spring and realized that the camera was one of several items stolen from my truck in February – my heart broke a little!

You may say I’m exaggerating, but if you have seen the condition of my truck and trailer you would understand. I came to California with a new trailer and a 2003 Ford truck that was in great condition. Two years later, there is not any angle from which you can view the pair without coming across a scrape, dent or ding.

My co-workers may call me a “menace” behind the wheel. However, I prefer to say that I merely have a minor depth perception impairment! Due to my small impairment, hooking up my trailer can be a trial. I try to start slowly; by backing only a few inches at a time before I run out to check the alignment, then back to the truck to readjust. But all too often, even when I go slowly, I end up missing repeatedly. This just leads to me getting even more aggravated – thus backing faster, missing by large gaps and occasionally backing all the way into the trailer.

The first time I used the camera, not only was I hooked up and ready to go in under five minutes, but I didn’t have to get out of the truck once to check my alignment. Now you can understand my enthusiasm for the Swift Hitch – it was an instant connection. It was also exceedingly easy to use.

The camera magnetically mounts to your tailgate. You simply pop it on, aim it at your hitch and remove it when you’re all hooked up. Wireless and portable, the camera projects the imagine onto a two-and-a-half inch color monitor. It even has night vision, so you can hook up in the dark, something that was very helpful during the San Diego wildfires.

My only complaint is that the monitor needs a suction cup mount to attach it to the dash or windshield. I was able to sit the monitor in front of my speedometer and that was fine for hooking up. Nonetheless, we found another use for the camera, which a suction cup mount to suspend the camera from would have been great for – horse monitoring.

It started as a test. Would the camera transmit through a wall or say…a trailer? I had to get a step stool, but I was finally able to pop it onto the ceiling of my trailer. By pushing the camera into the far corner I was able to swivel it so I could watch my mare on the way down to my trainer’s. There wasn’t much to see, she trailers well, but every stop she angrily shoved at her hay bag. At least now I know why the trailer shakes.

The camera came in handy when I trailered my friends Emily and Eleanor’s horse, JP, from San Diego to Los Angeles for surgery on his stifles. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but when Eleanor and I arrived at the clinic they told us we had to come and take JP home by 9 a.m. the next day. We both worried about how he would handle the ride home with so little recovery time. It was such a relief to be able to keep an eye on him.

Overall, I think the Swift Hitch is one very cool gadget, something I would willing go out and purchase on my own. It makes hooking up a one person operation. I keep imagining that if I still had the camera I could find a dozen more uses for it, but, such is the way of lost love.

For more information on the Swift Hitch trailer camera, call 888-738-1193 or visit http://riding.horse365.com.