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Old 02-15-2016, 10:08 AM   #1
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2016 30' Classic
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Question Thoughts on Hitches for my rig.

Hello guys, I will be pulling a 2016 Classic with my 2016 Ram 2500.

I've been doing some research and believe I've narrowed my purchase to two combo's. ProPride 3P or a Blue Ox SwayPro with AirSafe.

I would like to avoid any brand thumping or all other hitches are junk because it's not what I own talk. Please keep any posts constructive and objective and let me know if there are any considerations I've missed.

1. Weight Distribution. I am expecting to roll around with ~1,000 lbs tongue weight. I will load heavier items towards the back of the trailer and lighter towards to the front to not go much over 1,000 lb tongue. From what I can surmise, both setups would accomplish this task the same.

2. Sway control. Obviously the 3P's geometry setup will be superior to the Blue Ox spring bar sway control. From my understanding, the Blue Ox controls sway by increasing the tension on the spring bar on the inboard bar, applying a force to try and bring the trailer back in line. The 3P's design will be superior in this aspect, but not sure if it would be so much superior to trump not having any shock force limiting.

3. Shock force. I'm a huge believer in limiting load transmittal and shock force propagation. This is huge in the aviation community. The AirSafe videos demonstrate how much work that thing does to keep the shock between TV and trailer to a minimum. From what I can tell, the 3P has no way to limit shock.

4. Price and weight. The 3P would be about $1000 over the cost of both a Blue Ox and AirSafe. The 3P is almost another 100 pounds heavier than both of those items together.

The 3P seems to give the best sway control, with weight distribution but with the penalty of cost and weight and basically no shock forgiveness. (I got an email from Sean at ProPride saying such)

The Blue Ox SwayPro and AirSafe combo would seem to give marginal sway control, with weight distribution but with excellent shock limiting. The cost and weight penalties are also lower.

What are your guys thoughts? Would you go with either of these setups or a completely different direction?
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:26 AM   #2
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My only exception to your comments would be don't loading your trailer to accommodate your tongue weight. Trailer tongue weight should be between 10 and 12% of the trailer weight. This is a universally accepted design criteria. Deviation from this design criteria results in a natural tendency to sway.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:28 AM   #3
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...our 25 Classic, 1200lb TW. W/1000lb bars. moving 660lb to str axle & 160b to trlr axles. Burb 2500, Hensley 3p, Reese V Tow Beast, no regrets & no weight penalty.



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Old 02-15-2016, 10:35 AM   #4
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We have pulled our Airstream 25FB's about 150,000 miles over the last ten years. We have had a Hensley Arrow hitch system from the beginning. We have been very satisfied with its performance. We have never experienced any trailer sway. Our Airstreams run at about 7,400# ready to camp with a 900# tongue weight.

That being said, if we were buying a new hitch system today, we would seriously consider the ProPride as it functions like the Hensley. The ProPride was not yet out when we bought our Hensley.

I cannot comment on the Blue Ox as I have never tried one.

Brian
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
My only exception to your comments would be don't loading your trailer to accommodate your tongue weight. Trailer tongue weight should be between 10 and 12% of the trailer weight. This is a universally accepted design criteria. Deviation from this design criteria results in a natural tendency to sway.
Very true, but my comment was that I plan to keep the tongue weight in the 10-15% zone by moving heavier stuff to the rear and not the front. I'm actually worried about overloading the tongue, not under-loading it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
...our 25 Classic, 1200lb TW. W/1000lb bars. moving 660lb to str axle & 160b to trlr axles. Burb 2500, Hensley 3p, Reese V Tow Beast, no regrets & no weight penalty.

Bob
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We have had pulled our Airstream 25FB's about 150,000 miles over the last ten years. We have had a Hensley Arrow hitch system from the beginning. We have been very satisfied with its performance. We have never experienced any trailer sway. Our Airstreams run at about 7,400# ready to camp with a 900# tongue weight.

That being said, if we were buying a new hitch system today, we would seriously consider the ProPride as it functions like the Hensley. The ProPride was not yet out when we bought our Hensley.

I cannot comment on the Blue Ox as I have never tried one.

Brian
For those of you with the Hensley's, do you ever wish for more shock absorption?
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Old 02-15-2016, 11:41 AM   #6
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I would go with the ProPride.
I am not a ProPride owner- only wish I was-
I endorse it because I honestly believe in the theory/principle/design.
All hitches are good.
Some are better.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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We've been using the Hensley Cub - their "Jr. Arrow" for a few years now on our much lighter & shorter (than your AS 30') 1960 Avion T20 20'-6" - which is Hensley's smaller unit for trailers up to 6000 lbs.

Our T20 is 3000-3500# wet & loaded with 542 lbs. HW including the 120 lbs. of the Cub + the PO's upgrade to 2x 30# LP tanks + 27 gals water (up from OE 20) at the front wall inside, & my Tekonsha RF trailer brake unit with custom steel mounting plate, all on/next to the A-frame - up from the listed 285# HW of the base trailer.

ProPride & Hensley Arrow will add about 180# to your HW FYI, so check your TV's & hitch's HW rating.

I'm very happy with both the excellent sway elimination & WD, as well as it being easier for me to set the WD springs with the wind-up jacks, & the whoe unit stays on the A-frame when parked - so no messing with greasy bars & storing them somewhere off the trailer at home.

I looked at all 3 of ProPride & Hensley Arrow & Cub, but the Cub was about $1500 on sale & all we needed, plus the PP's attachment wouldn't work well with our shorter vintage A-frame without loads of mods. & it was $1000 more for 10,000#/1000# rating which we didn't need. So for us the Cub was perfect, but won't work on your 30' AS.

I can't speak to personally towing with your other choice, but know many others using them who are happy with them, even if the sway control on them can reach limits of the friction or cam type anti-sway, whereas the PP & Hensley types are pretty much no limit & fully eliminates the sway - rather than counteracting it.

Although the PP & Hensley are multiples cost of the BlueOx, I look at it as cheap insurance on a $80-100k new AS (or an $18k vintage kin in my case), for no worries sway elimination + ease of use + easy driving.

However, if your decision is also to go with PP, then I'd suggest that you talk to both Sean at ProPride & Terry Powell at Hensley for both flavors of the 3P hitches, each company's story & best pricing.

Also, if you're modestly mechanically adept & have a helper for lifting the hitch head, you can install either PP or Arrow yourself, or have it done by your AS dealer.

Good Luck!
Tom
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #8
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I have a 2014 Ram 2500 and Flying Cloud 30fb. I started with the Blue OX SwayPro and moved to the ProPride so I can appreciate your dilemma. I think the SwayPro is a good hitch, but my opinion (and experience) is that a 30' trailer pushes it's limits. I was never completely comfortable with it. My dad now uses my SwayPro on his 25' SOB and really likes it though.

I feel like the ProPride is much more stable on my setup and am happy I made the investment. I also think the new Ram 2500's with the coil rear suspension are pretty gentle on an Airstream, especially with a larger trailer that has a heavier tongue weight. My personal opinion is that it tows so much more effortlessly. I do not think it is that difficult to hook up, but even if it were it would not change my mind. I rather have a little trouble hooking up than any type of trouble at 65mph.
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:42 PM   #9
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I started with the Equalizer Hitch, went to to Anderson and last year Switched to the Blue Ox.
The Equalizer had good performance both with WD and Sway but the ride was a constant rivet popper. The Anderson was a huge disappointment, difficult to get the WD set right and there is absolutely no sway control. That hitch is over hyped. The Blue Ox does everything it is advertised to do. Excellent WD and great Sway prevention and ride is smooth.
Pulling a 2013- 30' International with a F-150 Ecoboost.
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input guys. Yes, if all I cared about was weight distribution and sway, I'd get the ProPide in a heartbeat. But it has no shock control.

My Ram 2500 does have rear coil springs though.

I'm just wondering if the Blue Ox with AirSafe would be a more "rounded" hitch package when considering Anti-Sway, WD and shock resistance. Shock resistance is very important to me as I plan on having this Airstream for a long time and don't want it to get beat up.
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:30 PM   #11
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We towed Old Lucy (2005 Safari 25FB) about 110,000 miles with the Hensley and never experienced any issues relating to the trailer getting beat up. We have had three tow vehicles, a 2004 Suburban 2500, a 2005 Suburban 2500, and a Silverado 3500 Duramax.

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Old 02-15-2016, 03:34 PM   #12
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BO user for exactly the reason you are discussing. Delivers a nice soft ride. Having said that, if I had the weight capacity for another 100#s on the receiver, I would look very closely at the force projection hitch.

There is a concept presented on either the Reese or Equalizer hitch thread that suggests a lighter bar is better ride for the trailer as TV stiffness goes up. It is referenced in the BO thread. Does this work with the PP or Hensley as well?

Good luck with your inquiry. Pat
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Old 02-15-2016, 04:21 PM   #13
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Ya, the problem with force projection though is no shock reduction.

I've contact both AirSafe and ProPride and both say there is no solution to connect a force projection hitch to the AirSafe.

I guess you could contract a machine/welding shop...
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Old 02-15-2016, 04:55 PM   #14
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Thumbs up

"For those of you with the Hensley's, do you ever wish for more shock absorption?"

We have had problem with our 2500 Burb, it does have the Autoride active suspension and I use 1000b wd bars with the haha.
Using the 'softest' bar that transfers the weight needed will contribute a lot towards softer ride.

If you install the ppp yourself you'll learn everything you need to know about the care and feeding, not difficult at all.

Bob
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