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Old 08-22-2017, 05:53 PM   #1
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FC 20 (or other Bambi) + Hensley Cub

Anyone using the Hensley Cub with an FC 20? Can you provide some details on the performance, maintenance or any other pertinent info?


Friendly PSA: Iíd like to avoid having this thread turn into a hitch religious ideology war. If youíre not a fan of Hensley, or have never used one, please save yourself the time and energy by telling me how the Hensley is overkill, how it costs too much, or how Iím an elitist for even considering it as the hitch to pull my future AS FC 20. In return, I promise not to drive with my pinky in the air.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:09 PM   #2
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We had a 20 and later put a ProPride/Hensley on our 25. The 25 was more stable than the 20, both with the same Equal-I-Zer brand hitch and truck. The 20 would have definitely benefited from the Hensley.

Sure, the ProPride cost $2500 but if we had purchased it instead of the Equal-I-Zer, we would have saved $700 in the long run. We also like that we can open the truck tailgate when hitched up because of the ProPride longer length, and that the hitch head, w.d. bars, and w.d. jacks stay on the trailer tongue once mounted. It was the best money spent on our Airstream, there is nothing like safe, comfortable, relaxed towing.
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:18 PM   #3
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Not sure if its what you are looking for, but I tow a 23 International with a ProPride (Hensley design) hitch setup.

I do like the total lack of sway. I find it interesting but not impossible to hook up by myself, but its a bit easier with help. The design flat out tows great.

I find that I need to disassemble it a bit to lube the ball--I'm planning a grease fitting upgrade for the stock AS hitch to eliminate that pain. I did find that I want to either shim or lock the stinger in the receiver, because it clunks a bit. I have a gadget for that.

I did determine that I needed a slightly longer umbilical cable, because the Toyota 6-way socket does not hold the plug in as tight as I'd like. looking into a different system for connections that uses super strong magnets to hold it together... On my setup, the breakaway cable seems to be long enough. I did have to extend the chains about 6-8 inches so they would allow turns but not drag.

I plan to put a 3-4 inch Dexter lift kit on the trailer--the WD bars on the hitch are perilously close to dragging all too often, and a few more inches ground clearance won't hurt a bit...I have scraped on driveway approaches occasionally...

Other than those few minor things, I love the design and tow characteristics. I tried the rig over the Cajon pass in California (Interstate 15) before I went with a Hensley design, and one trip up and down convinced me that overkill on sway control/prevention is a darn good idea...white-knuckles are no fun at my age...

And I WON'T promise not to drive with my pinky in the air...
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:06 PM   #4
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We have been towing our 2002 19' Bambi since it was new using a Hensley Arrow (the Cub was not available). Absolutely no regrets, no sway, and, after the first year, no problems hooking up. The backup cameras on our last two towing vehicles have really made hookup easy.

Tim
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
We have been towing our 2002 19' Bambi since it was new using a Hensley Arrow (the Cub was not available). Absolutely no regrets, no sway, and, after the first year, no problems hooking up. The backup cameras on our last two towing vehicles have really made hookup easy.

Tim


How much maintenance have you had to compete on your HA?
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Not sure if its what you are looking for, but I tow a 23 International with a ProPride (Hensley design) hitch setup.

I do like the total lack of sway. I find it interesting but not impossible to hook up by myself, but its a bit easier with help. The design flat out tows great.

I find that I need to disassemble it a bit to lube the ball--I'm planning a grease fitting upgrade for the stock AS hitch to eliminate that pain. I did find that I want to either shim or lock the stinger in the receiver, because it clunks a bit. I have a gadget for that.

I did determine that I needed a slightly longer umbilical cable, because the Toyota 6-way socket does not hold the plug in as tight as I'd like. looking into a different system for connections that uses super strong magnets to hold it together... On my setup, the breakaway cable seems to be long enough. I did have to extend the chains about 6-8 inches so they would allow turns but not drag.

I plan to put a 3-4 inch Dexter lift kit on the trailer--the WD bars on the hitch are perilously close to dragging all too often, and a few more inches ground clearance won't hurt a bit...I have scraped on driveway approaches occasionally...

Other than those few minor things, I love the design and tow characteristics. I tried the rig over the Cajon pass in California (Interstate 15) before I went with a Hensley design, and one trip up and down convinced me that overkill on sway control/prevention is a darn good idea...white-knuckles are no fun at my age...

And I WON'T promise not to drive with my pinky in the air...


I was wondering about the breakaway cable and the electric hookup cable length and wether they would be long enough. Sounds like some extending may be required.
My tow vehicle will be a 2016 Chevy Silverado 1500, so Iíll have to see if anyone with a similar setup has had to extend their cabling.

I didnít think about WS bars potentially dragging. Has that only occurred for you a couple of times? I presume there wasnít any damage inflicted?

How bad is the clunking from the stinger while in the receiver?
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
We had a 20 and later put a ProPride/Hensley on our 25. The 25 was more stable than the 20, both with the same Equal-I-Zer brand hitch and truck. The 20 would have definitely benefited from the Hensley.



Sure, the ProPride cost $2500 but if we had purchased it instead of the Equal-I-Zer, we would have saved $700 in the long run. We also like that we can open the truck tailgate when hitched up because of the ProPride longer length, and that the hitch head, w.d. bars, and w.d. jacks stay on the trailer tongue once mounted. It was the best money spent on our Airstream, there is nothing like safe, comfortable, relaxed towing.


Did you end up going from the 20 to the 25 because of towing issues?
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ijoe13 View Post
Did you end up going from the 20 to the 25 because of towing issues?
No. We got the 20 for a few months extensive travel each year that extended to 6-7 months. The 20 is a great size for travel and shorter trips, but for the long travel months and stays, it quickly became too small.

A longer Airstream is more stable (greater length of hitch ball to trailer axle), but that's irrelevant with the Hensley/ProPride hitch.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
No. We got the 20 for a few months extensive travel each year that extended to 6-7 months. The 20 is a great size for travel and shorter trips, but for the long travel months and stays, it quickly became too small.



A longer Airstream is more stable (greater length of hitch ball to trailer axle), but that's irrelevant with the Hensley/ProPride hitch.


Gotcha. Weíre looking for a weekend ďcabinĒ on wheels where the background and scenery can change as we wish.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ijoe13 View Post

I didnít think about WS bars potentially dragging. Has that only occurred for you a couple of times? I presume there wasnít any damage inflicted?

How bad is the clunking from the stinger while in the receiver?


The bars only dragged a vouple times at low speed. No real damage, but I don't worry about the links to the WD jacks coming loose. The threads are well disrupted and will be interesting to get off. Minor paint loss on the bottom of the bars, but no damage to function.

The clunk is only a minor irritant. My receiver is fairly tight, so it's not a towing issue. I have a clamp that ties the stinger tight into the receiver so it won't wiggle around. I usually get a light clunk on first hook-up and drive away. It subsides after a moment of driving steadily.
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Old 08-22-2017, 10:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
The clunk is only a minor irritant. My receiver is fairly tight, so it's not a towing issue. I have a clamp that ties the stinger tight into the receiver so it won't wiggle around. I usually get a light clunk on first hook-up and drive away. It subsides after a moment of driving steadily.


So it sounds like the stinger simply needs to get seated and as force is initially exerted on it, itís a non-issue?
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:14 PM   #12
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How much maintenance have you had to complete on your HA?
About once or twice a year I lubricate with WD-40 the WD bar jacks and other moving parts on the hitch. Before a long trip, I grease (with the zerk fittings) the attachment of the WD bars. I have lubricated the ball twice and have painted the orange part of the hitch once since 2002. I probably should lubricate the ball more often, but there have been no problems. Perhaps that is because the trailer is small.

Tim
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
About once or twice a year I lubricate with WD-40 the WD bar jacks and other moving parts on the hitch. Before a long trip, I grease (with the zerk fittings) the attachment of the WD bars. I have lubricated the ball twice and have painted the orange part of the hitch once since 2002. I probably should lubricate the ball more often, but there have been no problems. Perhaps that is because the trailer is small.

Tim


That sounds very reasonable, especially given the age of your Hensley.
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Old 08-22-2017, 11:49 PM   #14
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So it sounds like the stinger simply needs to get seated and as force is initially exerted on it, itís a non-issue?


Yup. It's a non-issue once the slack is out of the stinger. The only reason I plan to clamp it is to reduce the rubbing on the paint, and wife does not like surprise sudden noises.

It pretty much stays in place once the WD bar tension is just right. The Toyota receiver is pretty tight compared to what I have heard about other brands on the forums. Some have had to use shims, others mentioned hitch pin holes getting elongated. The Tacoma needs a very long hitch pin because the receiver is heavily reinforced...and a bit thicker than others I have used.
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