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Old 07-08-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Upgrade Hitch package or not

I realize there is much discussion about hitches and many different opinions. We currently use the Reese hitch with friction stabilizer bar and have no problems except as age comes on, lifting the equipment becomes more difficult.
I am thinking of changing to some other system. I have read up on the Andersen, Hensley Arrow and ProPride. Our rig is this: 2012 25 foot Flying Cloud-traded a 2008 20 ft. Safari this past winter --2011 F250 Diesel with 20 inch wheels.
Have never experienced any sway problems. I am wondering, with the F250, is it overkill to spend all the extra money for a hitch system offering non-friction type sway control. We will be retiring in less than 2 years and using the FC more and more. Thanks for any input.
Tom
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:56 PM   #2
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Can you tell us more about what you mean by 'lifting the equipment'? The Andersen is certainly the lightest, with the Hensley and Propride being more than a handful to lift. Are you removing the hitch from your tow vehicle frequently?

A nice step up would be a Reese dual-cam... that would get you a fairly easy weigh-distribution setup, sway control, and it's not a huge monster. Any traditional WD hitch though is going to have a pretty beefy head to manage the load bars. The Andersen is unique in this regard... is getting good reviews so far... but has a lot of people questioning it's ability given it's simple and cheap(er) design.

Hensleys and Propride's require more time and skill if you are re-hooking a lot... but, if you are going to put on more miles, they are the end of the story for sway.

Your rig will be pretty hard to shake... and if what you've got is working, you might want to stick with it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:23 AM   #3
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Get a ProPride and don't sweat it. The more miles, the better as a choice.

As to "no sway", well, one can follow most any TV-TT combo and film it . . there will be the "incipient" sway (side-to-side) that pickup truck drivers pretty well cannot feel through the dead steering of those vehicles (unless 2WD with rack & pinion). Yours will be no exception. It is said not to matter, but it is what every other hitch type fights, ultimately without success (in other words, when it most matters). There comes a point where the tail wags the dog. A pickup delays that moment, but also worsens it due to its own compromises. The best hitch is always the best choice, especially with a compromised tow vehicle such as a pickup.

A friction bar type (worthless) must be removed in wet weather. Junk it. A VPP type hitch eliminates sway (in a manner of speaking). It is what you will say to yourself after driving with one, beleive me. No one goes back to other hitch types afterwards.

As to "lifting it" the one item I need lift on the Hensley I have is the "stinger". And that so little often as to make it a non-issue.

Trailer disc brakes and DIRECLINK brake controller with trailer ABS should also be on your upgrade list. Same for LT tires on 16" wheels (Hunter GSP 9700 spin balance with CENTRAMATIC).

.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:38 AM   #4
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Get the Andersen and never look back. Great system, light in weight and so easy to set up and use. Every review and comment by people that actually have and use one have been over the top positive. The only people questioning it seem to be the type that question everything and only because it is different and they don’t or are unable to understand how it operates.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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I pick up my Andersen monday. I take my WD out when I get to camp and it's just a pain. Then it sitting on the ground for the kids to play with the grease. I wanted something simple and effective and everyone who has it loves it.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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I know I will get killed here. Why don't you just hitch the trailer without any equalizing or sway control and try it? I think the diesel is so front heavy that if you make sure the rig is leveled by correct hitch height you will tow way better this way. I have 20FC and dodge diesel and I would never use anything else, 27000 mi experience, absolutely no problem. Your safety is in properly working brake controller - light but definite braking adjustment.
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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Silverbee, we are sharing your needs, a light hitch to handle and desire for a safe system. We have the same trailer and a much lighter truck, but the concern for any truck to handle sudden emergency maneuvers remains.

The Propride/Hensley eliminates sway induced by the trailer, but not sure what happens when the truck has to make a sudden avoidance swerve and introduces a sharp turn of direction.

Perhaps in that situation no hitch is superior, its up to the vehicle/driver/road conditions to maintain control (where's my Porsche diesel when I need it).

But for driving ease, no heavy hitch lifting I would think the Propride/Hensley is the ticket.

doug k

Hmmmm, Porsche diesel and Propride/Hensley?
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Bovk, that's a heavy truck and somewhat lighter trailer, but 5000# is not that light. The danger is the emergency maneuver which seldom happens, but may. You have lightened front traction and no sway control in a truck that handles this poorly without the trailer.

Risky and dangerous I think and would sure not advise others to do it.

doug k
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #9
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Tried all you described, on wet roads, mountain switchbacks and I still disagree that any equalizing hitch improves safety, it is all in the brake controller, well working electric brakes and good tires. Yes, I am only talking about dodge diesel and 20 FC trailer. When I hook up my trailer the front of my pickup goes up by 1/4 " and the whole rig is leveled so what is there to equalize? That tiny sway bar must be the most useless piece of equipment I ever saw.
Owners with larger rigs should take this post as info only, not a recommendation, make your own judgement.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bovk View Post
Tried all you described, on wet roads, mountain switchbacks and I still disagree that any equalizing hitch improves safety, it is all in the brake controller, well working electric brakes and good tires. Yes, I am only talking about dodge diesel and 20 FC trailer. When I hook up my trailer the front of my pickup goes up by 1/4 " and the whole rig is leveled so what is there to equalize? That tiny sway bar must be the most useless piece of equipment I ever saw.
Owners with larger rigs should take this post as info only, not a recommendation, make your own judgement.
In your case and Equalizing hitch probably won't improve safety but to call a sway control system "the most useless piece of equipment I ever saw" is ignorance.

Your trailer is long enough, and heavy enough to cause sway in extreme circumstances and is big enough to throw your truck in the ditch. You may not have had sway to worry about yet, and may never need it till that fateful day when your in the medium on your side.

A brake controller is key but doesn't fix thing fast enough when they go south and go south fast.

I have seen a dodge with horse trailers on its, side and had to put the horse down because they lost control. No sway or equalizer.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #11
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I knew,I will get killed here :=) but the fact is that I tried to sway my rig enough to get confidence that it does not increase the amplitude of the sways. So I will stay with my setup, keep checking my brakes and brake controller adjustment and in some years we can compare the notes.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bovk View Post
..................................
Yes, I am only talking about dodge diesel and 20 FC trailer.

..........................................

.
If you only talking about that configuration, why are you bothering to post. The OP wants information about towing a 25 foot trailer that is significantly larger than yours. To post here and suggest that he tow with no WD or sway control based on your experience with a 20 foot trailer is simply irresponsible.

I also don't have much regard for the opinions of users who set up their profiles so that others can see nothing about them.

Let's just let the thread pertain to helping the OP with his question.

Ken
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbee View Post
I realize there is much discussion about hitches and many different opinions. We currently use the Reese hitch with friction stabilizer bar and have no problems except as age comes on, lifting the equipment becomes more difficult.
I am thinking of changing to some other system. I have read up on the Andersen, Hensley Arrow and ProPride. Our rig is this: 2012 25 foot Flying Cloud-traded a 2008 20 ft. Safari this past winter --2011 F250 Diesel with 20 inch wheels.
Have never experienced any sway problems. I am wondering, with the F250, is it overkill to spend all the extra money for a hitch system offering non-friction type sway control. We will be retiring in less than 2 years and using the FC more and more. Thanks for any input.
Tom

First of all, I do not know if your current hitch is sufficient, but since you are growing tired of the hitch/unhitch procedure, this is my input. I am using a ProPride to tow my 31 classic with a Dodge 3/4 ton diesel . It is a dream to tow with and has been trouble free. However it is also a significant investment. If I had your trailer, I would look carefully at the Andersen hitch if I did not want to make the investment in a Pro-Pride. If money was no concern, I would definitely get the ProPride.

Ken
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #14
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Right now if I was looking for a new hitch I would either get ProPride or Andersen. Many new tow vehicles require a 10" drop to get an Airstream level with a Hensley which they do NOT make (max 8" drop) which is the main reason I would get the ProPride instead of the Hensley. The Andersen has a much lighter hitch head then other WD hitches, neither Andersen or ProPride have WD bars that you have to deal with when hooking up (Andersen uses chains which appear much lighter and easier to work with then bars and with the ProPride the bars stay mounted on the trailer you only have to adjust the tension with a wrench or drill). With your situation your trailer is about 1/2 your tow rating so if your not towing a lot of miles I would probably get the Andersen.
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