Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-03-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
1 Rivet Member
 
Dike , IA
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
Hensley/Propride vs F150 upgrades

New here, but have been reading for quite some time. Seems to be a lot of great information about the Hensley/Propride hitches compared to other forums.
I am in the in-between, weird range of TT and TV relationship where its mostly ok, but it could be better sometimes.

I will start with the facts, and then the questions.

TV: 2016 F150 XLT Sport, Max tow package, 3.5 EB. 3.55 rear end. Purchased new to my specs.
Payload: 1720
Tow: 11,500
GVWR: 7000
GCVWR: 16,900
Truck loaded for camping: 5950# (remaining payload is 1,050) This includes current hitch, also knowing some of the TW is transferred back to the TT axles, about 12% in my case.

TT: (not a shiny box) 29' box, 33'-9" tip to tail.
UWR: 6,920
Loading for camping: 7,550
TW (as measured with a sherline scale) 850#, this did not include the hitch, just under the ball coupler.

Currently using a Equalizer, 1000# rating.

In general the combination tows pretty well until the wind picks up. Anything below 10-15 mph winds it goes really smooth. Once winds climb up to 15 and into the 20s, it really gets impacted. And in the midwest, its almost always 15 and above. Slowing down to 55 or below is the only way to control it. We tow about 5000 miles a season, and I put about 15k miles on my truck a year so 2/3 its unloaded daily driver.

My solutions I have arrived with to remedy the stability and towing comfort, in order of cheapest:

1. I have been doing it for 6 years, continue to deal with it and change nothing. Perhaps play around with the loading and hitch. Sitting at about 11% TW right now. Could increase some and see.

2. Do the above, but also add/change tires to LT rated and add shocks/active suspension to firm up the ride. about $1400

3. Do #1, but also change the hitch to a Hensley or Propride. about $2900

4. Go to a 3/4 ton truck and keep the E4 hitch. Current truck is half paid off, so not a fan of this option for starting over. Would go with a lightly used RAM 2500 or F250 in this situation, gasser to keep costs similar to what I pay now. (this is not a diesel debate).
I am well within all of my capacities on the F150, so this would be more of an ultimate stability thing. The payload bump would be a good bonus here that could be useful if we need to bring more adults with us. Currently myself, wife, young daughter and 2 lap dogs in the cab. Toys and some wood in the back. But I limit what I can put in the bed due to PL.

I am currently leaning most on #3 based on all of the great things I have read about these hitches, but my truck will need new tires in about 10-15k miles. In which case I would go LT no matter what if I keep it.

So my questions are:

Has anyone had a similar truck and trailer combination and did similar upgrades to the truck and had good results?

I am assuming the answer from most will be get the hitch, but just curious on different options and opinions.

thanks!
__________________

ISUboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 09:06 AM   #2
AirDreamer
 
turk123's Avatar

 
2019 30' Classic
Canfield , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 946
I had a 28' international Airstream towing with an F-150 and equalizer hitch. It towed very well. I added a propride hitch with 1400# bars and it towed even better. I did not have a sway problem with either.

I now moved up to a 30' Classic and an f-250 diesel. I originally had some sway. The trailer is 7800#. I ask Sean at Propride about the situation and he said at 30' lengths and the Classic model, there seems to be a small issue with sway. Interesting! We tightened up more on the jack stands and I fill my fresh water tank full and have all but fixed the situation, but at times it is still there and needs your attention.

That said, I would not rely on a Propride as your only solution. You need to find out what is wrong with your current configuration and correct it first.

Try adding more weight on the tongue. 850 seems light for that size trailer. You are not greasing your bars to stop noise are you? That would defeat the sway control.
__________________

__________________
2017 Airstream International Signature 27FB Twin
2019 Airstream Classic 30 Twin

***Support Airstream Forum***
turk123 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 09:18 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
AirMiles's Avatar
 
2017 25' Flying Cloud
Apollo Beach , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 680
What tire pressures are you running? Try pumping up the tires on the F150 and Travel Trailer to maximum sidewall pressure. Even with my F250, I get some "comfortableness" in stronger winds when at recommended tire pressure (65/70 PSI). Going to maximum tire pressure (80 PSI) stiffened up the sidewalls and stopped the uncomfortable wind buffeting.

I would also try moving weight forward in the travel trailer and cranking up the weight distribution bars. Maybe you need heavier bars? Is your F150 front fender height the same when towing as non-towing? Have you done a three-pass weighing? I had to move up to 1500# bars with 940# of tongue weight to restore my front fender height and front axle weight. The combination of more air pressure and increased weight distribution fixed my ride in higher winds.
__________________
2017 Flying Cloud 25FB (Miles) 234 nights 31,732 miles
400W Solar, 230AH 6V Batteries, PD4655 Converter, Champion DualFuel Generator, ProPride 1400# Hitch, 16" Michelin's
2019 F250, 6.7 Power Stroke, 4x4, 1.5" Leveled (Sully)
Sold: 2013 Casita SD17 89 nights 16,200 miles
AirMiles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
Rivet Master

 
2007 22' International CCD
Corona , California
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,407
Hensley/Propride vs F150 upgrades

Does the F-150 have a Panhard rod as part of the rear suspension? These usually are parallel to the axle, and run from a bracket on one side of the axle across the vehicle to a bracket on the body. It has the effect of keeping the rear axle stiffly aligned left to right to work against sway forces. May be something to look into adding.

Stiffening up the suspension agains sway forces might be part of the solution.
__________________
Rich, KE4GNK/AE, Overkill Engineering Dept.
'The Silver HamShack' ('07 International 22FB CCD 75th Anniversary)
Multiple Yaesu Ham Radios inside and many antennae sprouting from roof, ProPride hitch, Prodigy P2 controller.
2012 shortbed CrewMax 4x4 Toyota Tacoma TV with more antennae on it.
rmkrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 09:27 AM   #5
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13,196
Images: 1
Seans advise is where to start...ck your weights and WD settings.
If the TV has adaptive sway control try turning it off.
It may not be the trailer or the PP. The BCM could be overactive and applying the TV brakes.

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden


"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel its supposed to be done"..
Amanamus


"Tahawus"
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 10:52 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
Dike , IA
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
thanks for the replies thus far.

Try to answer most of the comments:

First off, towing in general it pulls pretty good. I never feel unsafe, just need to slow down some in higher wind situations. Cruising at 60-65 takes care of 80% of the trips. This is mainly why I feel a superduty truck upgrade isnt really needed. Passing semis do not tend to bother it that much, but then again I pull to the right in my lane when I see one coming behind.

I have tried to fill my P rated tires to about 43 psi (rated at 45 max) on a 4 hr tow. I THINK that helped, but the wind wasn't that bad that trip either.

I too was surprised at the low tongue weight. The TT has a wardrobe slide in the front bedroom, so typically they are higher TW than normal. I also have 2 30lb tanks. TW in the brochure is 834, so I was surprised to see mine at 850 loaded. This was without water, but my tanks sit over the axles. It does have a rear bunk and rear outdoor kitchen, which is heavy. It has the larger fridge, microwave, pull out cooktop, sink, and cabinets so that is probably all reducing TW some. I weigh 200 lbs, so I experimented with the scale. I recorded a video of the scale with me walking in and sitting on the front bed, and then walking to the center, and then to the rear. The scale climbed about 150# to 1000. Standing in the center and in the rear had almost no effect on the scale. I will try to load it at about 900 to 950 lbs and see if that can help. Problem is I really do not have that much stuff to add or shift up there.

I actually also have a E4 rated at 1200 lbs that was my fathers before he passed. It does need to be restored some with new bolts since its about 8 years old so I was planning on seeing if the heavier hitch would help out any.

I do not grease the bars...I do grease the points where Fastway says too.

When hitched, my front lifts about 1/2"-5/8". When WD is engaged, it is restored to original height within 1/8" of the fender. I do not really feel like I need more WD at the moment. Higher TW will need to be readjusted.

I have been on the scale to only know the weight of my trailer and truck. At the time I could not get the several different readings I needed due to how busy they were. I plan on doing that when snow melts so I can get to my trailer.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	scale reading1.jpg
Views:	62
Size:	321.1 KB
ID:	332885   Click image for larger version

Name:	scale side view.jpg
Views:	64
Size:	339.1 KB
ID:	332886  

ISUboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 11:05 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
2014 25' Flying Cloud
Temple , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 121
Blog Entries: 1
Just my opinion - but I think your AS is too long for a half ton pu. You are probably within the towing and tongue specs on your truck but 33 feet is pretty long for a 1/2 ton. I suspect what you need is a heavier truck to stop the sway. Our 25FB matches up to our Ram very well but longer then that I really think a 3/4 ton would be safer.

btw, you have an awesome basketball team this year, being originally from Iowa I try to keep up a little bit.

Here is to a great summer season with your AS!
__________________
2014 Flying Cloud 25FB
2016 Ram 1500
Blue Ox WDH
RamRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 275
I have been constructing my "Hensley Hitch Blog Post" for nearly a year now. What it boils down to is basically this: when it works, a Hensley hitch is the best thing going. The rest of the time it's a nightmare. I have read more than once on this forum about people with a Hensley hitch who carry a "back up hitch" for when the Hensley fails. I am now in this camp (a Hensley that is my "real" hitch with a cheap chain version in the cargo hold). I have had the Hensley fail me on three significant cross country hauls. That said, when driving across Kansas with 70 mile an hour cross winds, I can barely tell my 25 ft. Airstream is behind me. After more research, I think my next step will be giving an Equalizer a shot, but my hopes aren't very high for a "magic bullet" in the world of hitches.
__________________
25' 1972 Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel)
http://BeahmStream.com
kidjedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 11:40 AM   #9
1 Rivet Member
 
Dike , IA
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 7
ok, to make things easy I will just say if I go with a "superhitch" then it will be the Propride. I see tons of great things about it, and hard to find anything bad. Hensley...I can find plenty bad, as well as plenty good. Support for the PP seems to be far superior. Plus I like the design better.
ISUboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 11:41 AM   #10
PKI
Rivet Master
 
PKI's Avatar
 
2015 23' FB Flying Cloud
Walnut Creek , California
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,259
First - go to the CAT or similar vehicle scales and establish a baseline set of axle weights for your ready to travel loadout.

Next - move as much gear and provisions to the area above the trailer axles and as low as possible. Sway amplifies with weight in the back of the coach because sway control has more mass to control when it is farther from the axle pivot point. Only light weight gear should be in aft storage. On the TV, all heavy gear should be between the axles. It's the same concept. Keep weight out of the ends.

Now, go back to the scales and verify that your TV axles are loaded to minimum design requirements. Hitched steer axle weight should be very close to or more than solo steer axle weight. Hitched drive axle should not be overloaded or significantly less than the steer axle. If your weight distribution is off, adjust as required.

Next step is to test (one parameter at a time) - is more weight or less helpful on the steer axle (likely balance between steer and drive is best) - is more or less tongue weight helpful (likely somewhat more) - is more or less tire inflation a help (make sure you stay within the load requirement range).

By this point, you will have found that adjusting your EQ hitch is a pain. It is also not the best design for sway control as sway control and weight distribution are dependent. You need an independent adjustment system.

A PPP hitch is the best modification you can do to impact trailer sway. You should not upgrade, only if you can't afford the expense or can not accomodate the addition of hitch weight. The PPP adds about 100lbs. Yes, the adjustment is independent. Note, it is not always an adjust and forget system.

Rig tuning can always get better. You are starting with a box. Square edges high in the air are impacted more by wind than low curved edges. You purchased a tow vehicle with a tall profile and narrow suspension mounts on the rear axle. Your path forward is to lower the coach and tow vehicle within the constraints of the suspension and brake boundary conditions.

Easiest is tire height. So when it is time to buy new tires, go to a better towing option. LT tires have a stiffer sidewall. Low profile tires need less sidewall rigidity, because there is less sidewall to flex. Run flat construction adds additional stability to the tire sidewall. Give those ideas a look.

Suspension improvements are difficult, because OEM designers do a lot of work to make the vehicle handle best. Removing the compliance that is in place to provide vibration isolation can help. You do that with a hard bushing kit. Improved dampers (shocks) can help when the OEMs are not an integral element of stability control. If your TV does not have a panhard bar, look at that option.

Do not overlook leaving stuff at home. Firewood comes to mind as a first suggestion. You may find that your box is a 55mph rig in windy conditions. We all did a lot of traveling at 55 in the gas crisis of the 70s. There are advantages to that limitation, as it saves a lot of $s that you can spend for things that make you smile.

Travel safe. Good on you for looking to improve your RV experience. Pat
PKI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 11:54 AM   #11
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawus"
 
ROBERT CROSS's Avatar

 
2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 13,196
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISUboy View Post
thanks for the replies thus far.

Try to answer most of the comments:

First off, towing in general it pulls pretty good. I never feel unsafe, just need to slow down some in higher wind situations. Cruising at 60-65 takes care of 80% of the trips. This is mainly why I feel a superduty truck upgrade isnt really needed. Passing semis do not tend to bother it that much, but then again I pull to the right in my lane when I see one coming behind.

I have tried to fill my P rated tires to about 43 psi (rated at 45 max) on a 4 hr tow. I THINK that helped, but the wind wasn't that bad that trip either.

I too was surprised at the low tongue weight. The TT has a wardrobe slide in the front bedroom, so typically they are higher TW than normal. I also have 2 30lb tanks. TW in the brochure is 834, so I was surprised to see mine at 850 loaded. This was without water, but my tanks sit over the axles. It does have a rear bunk and rear outdoor kitchen, which is heavy. It has the larger fridge, microwave, pull out cooktop, sink, and cabinets so that is probably all reducing TW some. I weigh 200 lbs, so I experimented with the scale. I recorded a video of the scale with me walking in and sitting on the front bed, and then walking to the center, and then to the rear. The scale climbed about 150# to 1000. Standing in the center and in the rear had almost no effect on the scale. I will try to load it at about 900 to 950 lbs and see if that can help. Problem is I really do not have that much stuff to add or shift up there.

I actually also have a E4 rated at 1200 lbs that was my fathers before he passed. It does need to be restored some with new bolts since its about 8 years old so I was planning on seeing if the heavier hitch would help out any.

I do not grease the bars...I do grease the points where Fastway says too.

When hitched, my front lifts about 1/2"-5/8". When WD is engaged, it is restored to original height within 1/8" of the fender. I do not really feel like I need more WD at the moment. Higher TW will need to be readjusted.

I have been on the scale to only know the weight of my trailer and truck. At the time I could not get the several different readings I needed due to how busy they were. I plan on doing that when snow melts so I can get to my trailer.
Good info...your TW should be adequate, the scales will tell you what you need to know.
Wait 'til the snow melts...not worth the worry 'til you have all the numbers...👍
We have used our 'inferior' Hensley since '07 without any problems, regular maintenance only.

Bob
🇺🇸
__________________
"We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
W. H. Auden


"The hardest thing about Airstreaming, clearing your head and accepting how others feel its supposed to be done"..
Amanamus


"Tahawus"
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 04:14 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
Jeff7176's Avatar
 
2018 25' International
Washington , Washington, D.C.
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 21
I tried the wheel well height as a measure of effective WD. I had a fastway hitch and the scales showed I was pretty well setup. But I added a few things to the truck (topper, bed drawers, tools...I need to have them with me) and even though I had decent height measurements I could feel the steering being a little light. At the same time I decided to install a propride. Then winter started and I had to wait for a new set of scale tickets. Nice day came, loaded up, ran the jacks up about 5.5 inches, drove about 20 miles to the scales. Shocked! The truck was leveled very well but the front axle was way to light. Ran the jacks up to 8.5 which moved a lot more to the front axle but the rear axle was maxed out. So I could either dump the topper and drawers and tools or get a more capable TV. I got a more capable TV. Now the scales are proving I have done a better job setting up and I still have all my junk in the bed. I have about 4 inches on the jacks. If I take a much different load (add generator or bikes or kayaks or all three) I will set the jacks to support the load (no payload problems). Once I have a day off where the weather is nice I will load up fully, head to the scales, and get a number of different weights to know how to set my jack height.

So I guess all of that to say the PP is dynamic but you need to know where to set it based on your loads. And I dont trust the wheel well height metric. And when were out on the road and need to stop for fuel, I stop at least once at a place with scales. My wife gets a little impatient, but I try to make a point to fill up, ask her to run in and grab me a drink and hit the scales then. Shes small so I know Im not perfect then, but pretty darn close. And CAT has a great app so you just tun it all on your phone and have all the weight tickets electronically.

Sorry for the long post. Waiting for the game.
Jeff7176 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
2017 28' International
Baileys Harbor , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 612
Blog Entries: 1
You have a pretty long AS, so your experience may not be mine. I went to a PP and the difference was dramatic. I have pulled in 30mph cross winds. Not a problem. And when I go to visit my daughter I have to drive though Milwaukee and Chicago. No better test of stability than lots of truck traffic. I feel little bow affect. But then again I have a 28’. Also my tongue weight is about 950lbs since the kitchen is in the front. Also I run my bars up 9 inches on the WD towers. My F150 is level. Steering is good, and I’ve had to brake fast with no problems. I did see a YouTube where a guy went from a 1/4 ton to a 3/4 ton and he believed the towing experience improved significantly. Having said that I don’t like 3/4 tons for daily drivers. I have read that putting Bilstein shocks and heavier duty tires will also improve the towing experience. It won’t stop the sway, but it is suppose to improve stability. I don’t think you would go wrong with a PP hitch. But you might have to also increase the stability on the vehicle with shocks and tires. The fact is you may still have some sway with the present hitch and the 3/4 ton. And the suggestion above to make sure you increase tongue weight some may also be a solution. Good luck.

PS. Boring game.
Daquenzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2019, 11:43 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
Murfreesboro , Tennessee
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 21
I have a 2016 F150 and is basicly the same truck equipment except I have the 3.73 rear end. I am pulling a 2018 AS that has a tong weight of 1,100 lbs and trailer fullly loaded is about 8,800. I purchased the Reese 66130 load leveling hitch that has built in anti sway. It works great. I drove about 16,,000 miles last year across TX, NM, UT, KS, ND, SD and others destinations without a problem with wind. Now I grant you when high wind warnings above 30 mph were out I stayed put. I drove across TX running 70 mph with no problem. The Reese hitch was in blue about $600 installed. It’s real easy to hook up and I can be hooked up and on the road in about 15 mins. I grant you when I first got it it took about 4 or five trips of fine tuning to get it right. Had to keep adjusting chains and hitch ball heights. I run 50 psi in back tires and 80 psi in TT tires. I could go up the Guadalupe pass in West TX at 70 mph. Just keep plenty of white grease on hand for the hitch and grease the end of the bars and the rollers on the hitch.
__________________

dnsapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
F150 or 2017 F250 or 2018 F150 Diesel? wponder Tow Vehicles 63 09-12-2017 09:49 AM
Hensley or Propride rochar3 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 88 04-01-2017 11:05 PM
HELP!!! Hensley vs ProPride 3P sempi2 Hitches, Couplers & Balls 91 12-08-2014 09:43 PM
Hensley with Propride adjustable stinger boondockdad Hitches, Couplers & Balls 5 12-03-2008 07:55 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.