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Old 03-24-2013, 11:38 PM   #29
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The photo of the broken hitch bar is here:

Hitch bar failure - truck end | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:12 AM   #30
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Amazing, looks like it went out of the factory with 2 sides welded, 3/16 inch weld X 4 inch of weld, or about 3/4 square inch of weld. Total. Probably 70ksi filler metal, or about 52,000 pound strengt in that weld. What kinetic force does a moving trailer push with when you're stopping? I forget that physics.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:36 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The photo of the broken hitch bar is here:

Hitch bar failure - truck end | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Hi, that would be scary to have your hitch break like that while traveling.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:24 AM   #32
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I have a Hensley. Today, I'd have the PRO-PRIDE were I starting anew.

The weld failure above is a non-starter, IMO.

And, further up, driver skill -- while important -- is only part of larger perspective and that is risk minimization. Hitch design is part of that, as is hitch set-up (certified scale values in use). Same for type of road, weather, traffic, tires, brakes, etc. All play their part in avoiding loss-of-control accidents.

A PRO PRIDE, trailer disc brakes and state-of-the-art brake controller is a no brainer for starting off right.

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:32 PM   #33
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I'm sure adequate engineering is in place for that weld, just that particular piece didn't get the welding, or the inspection.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #34
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I'm sure adequate engineering is in place for that weld, just that particular piece didn't get the welding, or the inspection.
The weld on the left has lack of fusion nearly the complete length of the weld. It didn't tie into the stinger at all. The bending stresses were concentrated in the lower weld causing a crack to propagate. You can tell how far the crack got on the bottom weld by where the rust is.

Once the crack weakened enough of the good weld, it was just a matter of time before a high stress event led to a failure. Based on the reported circumstances of the failure, I'm guessing the TV was backing while turned to the right when the stinger failed.

I am a little surprised that the joint isn't beveled more and a multipass weld used to allow for greater penetration and a larger weld. Particularly since the reinforcement has to be ground off to allow for stinger height adjustment. However, with a good weld it's not likely to be an issue.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:59 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The photo of the broken hitch bar is here:

Hitch bar failure - truck end | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
As a former welder / instructor ... I would rate that as a failure due to limited penetration ... a "surface weld" only. In this day and age - most anybody can fire up a mig machine (and call themselves a welder) ... not necessarily properly, however. It is unlikely that the welder responsible for that weld only worked on one hitch. If it was inspected prior to shipment ... all of the welds done by that person while employed there would be suspect and possibly subject to recall ... IMHO.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #36
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With my first Airstream I wanted a Propride but started with a Equal-I-Zer hitch because the dealer said they would have trouble servicing with out a stinger, I'd have to leave my pickup there. They also sold Equal-I-Zer with dealer commission, but not Propride which offers no dealer commission; instead Propride sells direct to the customer saving you $500+ on similar products. So it was more than the servicing that concerned them.

Not liking the hitch I had, I bought an Andersen hitch. What a great improvement in ride, sway control, weight and ease of use, loved it. Now I find out the Andersen is not compatible with my Airstream hitch coupler, could break the latch and come loose from the ball. Not good, but I could cut off the coupler and weld on a different model. A terrific hitch design, it would probably work, but what if it didn't.

Tired of all this and two long trips coming up (one in two weeks), I spent the bucks to get what I wanted in the first place, a Propride. The Propride and Hensley stand alone, no other hitches provide the safety and ease of towing these do. I choose the Propride because of the excellent reviews by users who have used both. Dealers recommend what suits their business and profits best. Internet forum opinions are of little value unless the poster has experience with both products.

So this is how I came to the long and more expensive route to Propride. It'l be here in a week or so and we'll see how it goes. Hope I'm done buying hitches.

doug k
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:10 PM   #37
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For those of us without 3/4 or 1 ton trucks, hitch weight is a concern. From what I've read the ProPride or Hensley hitches weigh in at around 220 lbs, putting most Airstreams at or over 1,000 lbs at the tongue. That's a big hit to payload too. The weight of the removable part of the hitch is also a "back pain" issue.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:44 PM   #38
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With my first Airstream I wanted a Propride but started with a Equal-I-Zer hitch because the dealer said they would have trouble servicing with out a stinger, I'd have to leave my pickup there. They also sold Equal-I-Zer with dealer commission, but not Propride which offers no dealer commission; instead Propride sells direct to the customer saving you $500+ on similar products. So it was more than the servicing that concerned them.
That particular dealer (and probably many others) likes to use a skid loader to move trailers around the lot. They have a Hensley stinger in the skid loader but not a ProPride one. I think my trailer was the first one their service department saw with a ProPride hitch.

The first few times I was there for warranty service they had me leave the trailer in a location where they could work on it without moving it. The last time I was there they asked me to leave the stinger for them to use, which worked out OK.

So now they seem to have it down to a system.

I installed the ProPride in their parking lot after taking delivery of the Airstream. I've never towed it with anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
For those of us without 3/4 or 1 ton trucks, hitch weight is a concern. From what I've read the ProPride or Hensley hitches weigh in at around 220 lbs, putting most Airstreams at or over 1,000 lbs at the tongue. That's a big hit to payload too. The weight of the removable part of the hitch is also a "back pain" issue.
The lighter systems still weigh a little over 100 pounds, so, sure, there's a difference, but it's 120 pounds not 220.

Yes the stinger is heavier than the WD bars on a Reese Dual Cam. Some people have made a handle for the top to make it easier to carry.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:20 PM   #39
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The Propride and the Hensley seem to be equal in performance, so I looked for details, none of which are much by themselves, but begin to add up in favor of the Propride.

Here is a cut & paste from another forum, describing the differences/improvements:

Both the Arrow hitch and the 3P operate through the exact same principle. Towing down the road you wouldn't be able to tell which hitch was on the trailer. The linkage that projects the pivot point was Jim Hensley's original patent. However, over the years Hensley owners voiced many things they'd like to see addressed with any new design. All improvements the 3P has came from listening to the Arrow customers and finding a solution for the problem or complaint. Those improvements are as follows:

The 3P has an adjustable hitch bar to match different tow vehicle and trailer tow heights, instead of a solid piece like the Hensley. This can save the hitch owner some time and $$ in shipping charges when a different offset is needed when switching tow vehicle or trailers.

The hitch bar wedges on the 3P are closer to the hitch bar tabs which moves the effective pivot point even further forward.

The 3P's hitch bar wedges and the hitch box have a greater angle to help in hitching and unhitching without the bar sticking in the hitch head.

The 3P uses a one piece yoke to hold the hitch head square to the front of the trailer instead of the strut bars used on the Hensley. The one piece yoke is not as prone to allow movement as the struts can in some cases.

The 3P hitch requires NO drilling into the frame for installation, the Hensley does in some cases.

The weight distribution jacks sit on top of the frame with the 3P rather than hang on a pin outside of the frame. This can provide better leverage for the spring bars by moving the tail ends of the bars closer together.

The spring bar keeper is a disk rather than a spring loaded keeper. The disk will not wear and allow the spring bar to fall out of the bottom of the head like has been known to happen with the Hensley.

The steel is properly pre-treated for powder coating. This will help prevent against chipping and rusting, which Hensley hitches are known for.

The control links on the 3P are thicker.

The hitch box on the 3P has been reinforced to eliminate warping of the top edge of the box.

The main unit is 20# lighter because there is no unnecessary orange steel.

doug k
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:52 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
For those of us without 3/4 or 1 ton trucks, hitch weight is a concern. From what I've read the ProPride or Hensley hitches weigh in at around 220 lbs, putting most Airstreams at or over 1,000 lbs at the tongue. That's a big hit to payload too. The weight of the removable part of the hitch is also a "back pain" issue.
I have owned an Equalizer, Reese dual-cam, and a Propride. From my experience the Equalizer head weighs more and is much more difficult to lift and mount to the truck as compared to the Propride stinger. The Reese head may weigh less than the Propride stinger. I have not ever weighed the hitch heads and stinger individually... just estimating from experience in using the three different hitches.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:27 PM   #41
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I think those of us with the ProPride would have nothing else. Yes, it is heavy, but being substantial seems to make sense since is the device that connects my TV to my Airstream. With regard to leaving my trailer for service, I can vouch that when I left my trailer for service at my dealers without the stinger, they were unable to move it until I came back with it. (I'd left it after hours and there is no way I'd drop my trailer anywhere "unsupervised" with my stinger attached....) An inconvenience, but not a deal breaker. The original poster of this thread is buying the SAME exact trailer I have (mine's a 2012). He couldn't do better than a PP -- my opinion, of course....but based on towing experience!
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:14 PM   #42
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Done.

The final decision after too many months driving myself nuts reading everything I can on hitches is.... ProPride.

Would have preferred something lighter but I sure don't see too many people unhappy with their towing experiences with ProPride or Hensley hitches. I'm only about 45 minutes away from ProPride and feel that I have great support if needed. I haven't decided if I will install and get this set up on my trailer when it arrives or have the dealer do it. They said they have installed several ProPride hitches so I'm comfortable with having them do it. However, I'd like to have a lot of knowledge on all if it so it might be best to just install it myself.

Thanks for all the comments, help and suggests here and on all the other posts on hitches on Airforums.
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