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Old 05-05-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
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Can a Hensley allow me to tow heavier, or just longer?

Hi Guys,

I have been researching the Hensley Arrow and I am intrigued by an old article that talks of an early 80's Dodge Ram Charger pulling a 27 foot Airstream. I can see how the geometry of the Hensley can help the shorter wheel based truck pull a 'longer' trailer, but can it allow it to pull a heavier trailer? My 1972 Blazer 4x4 1/2 ton says its towing capacity is about 5800#. Most 27 foot Airstreams have a dry weight of about 5000#. Could my Blazer pull a 27' Airstream with a Hensley then?

To quote the article (from 1995 Trailer Life, written by Bob Livingston), it says, "It is an expensive piece of equipment, but it works. If it postpones trading for a more suitable tow vehicle and taking a financial loss in the process, the initital cost might be justifyied."

I don't really intend to pull a 27' Airstream with my 1972 Blazer, but I would like to hear from you guys, do you think I could pull a 25-29' Airstream (usually having dry weights of between 5000 - 5400#) with my 1997 Chevy Tahoe 4x4 with a 5.7l, automatic, 3:73 gears, and the "Towing Package." The Tahoe's tow rating, if I remember correctly, is 6600#.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this one!!!

Thanks,

Rod
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72Blazerod
Hi Guys,

I have been researching the Hensley Arrow and I am intrigued by an old article that talks of an early 80's Dodge Ram Charger pulling a 27 foot Airstream. I can see how the geometry of the Hensley can help the shorter wheel based truck pull a 'longer' trailer, but can it allow it to pull a heavier trailer? My 1972 Blazer 4x4 1/2 ton says its towing capacity is about 5800#. Most 27 foot Airstreams have a dry weight of about 5000#. Could my Blazer pull a 27' Airstream with a Hensley then?

To quote the article (from 1995 Trailer Life, written by Bob Livingston), it says, "It is an expensive piece of equipment, but it works. If it postpones trading for a more suitable tow vehicle and taking a financial loss in the process, the initital cost might be justifyied."

I don't really intend to pull a 27' Airstream with my 1972 Blazer, but I would like to hear from you guys, do you think I could pull a 25-29' Airstream (usually having dry weights of between 5000 - 5400#) with my 1997 Chevy Tahoe 4x4 with a 5.7l, automatic, 3:73 gears, and the "Towing Package." The Tahoe's tow rating, if I remember correctly, is 6600#.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this one!!!

Thanks,

Rod
Rod,

I have no personal experience with the Hensley, but have towed a 25ft vintage unit ( 71 TradeWind, and 63 Overlander) with my similarly powered 97 Suburban 2x4 many miles, without a problem. I realize that the Tahoe has a shorter wheel base, but it should do fine with a 25ft or shorter vintage Airstream. New Airstreams are much heavier, and require bigger tow vehicles to safely tow them.
The Hensley hitch supposedly makes a properly matched rig tow like a dream. I doubt the statement that it can cheat physics, and allow towing large trailers with little tow vehicles. There's much more to towing than a hitch. You are still dealing with tire load ratings, mechanical ability of the tow vehicle, and steep grades.
Honestly, I would love to try a Hensley-Arrow. I am unhappy with my Reese Dual Cam HP.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:59 PM   #3
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The Hensley will not improve the ability of the TV to control the trailer from the point of view of being able to pull it up a grade without frying the transmission or stopping the combination coming down a big grade. It would depend on the year of the 27 footer as they vary alot in the later years with corian countertops and heavy solid wood cabinets. The Hensely will definitely help you in controlling sway but that is all they are really advertised as being better at. Go by the weight rating given by the TV's manufacturers and discount it 10 20% for safety.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:26 PM   #4
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Rod---Trailer hitches don't influence the tow vehicle maximum towing capacity rating. The rating by the mfg is what it is and shouldn't be exceeded. Hitches do influence the dynamic stability of the TV & TT combination. The Hensley is highly rated for its ability to minimize unwanted stability issues. I'm very satisified with the performance of mine on the GMC Yukon, which has the same wheel base as the Tahoe.

By the way, be sure to compare trailer GVW to the TV capacity rating. In the newer AS, the dry wt is an unachievable number for an on the road value. Many of us need to be vigilant not to exceed the trailer GVW.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:41 PM   #5
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Ditto everything already stated above. We have a Hensley it eliminates sway and makes for very stable towing. The one other tidbit I recall from the marketing DVD is that you could tow safely at a higher speed. Something I don't do and you probably couldn't do if your motor is not powerful enough for the weight of your trailer. Sorry.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:44 PM   #6
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The Hensley is a great hitch...pricey, but great. It won't however, help the tow rating capacity of the tow vehicle.
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