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Old 06-23-2010, 10:45 AM   #1
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2001 34' Excella
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Choosing a hitch system

I am using a Reese hitch with a friction sway control and 1000# bars towing a 2001 34' Excella with a 2002 F350 (only two rear wheels).

I want to improve handling, turn radius and backing. Please give me opinions as to Hensley Arrow hitch V's Pro Pride 3 P and both compared to the existing Reese.

I will be leaving in Sept & traveling 5 to 10,000 miles each year.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbailey01 View Post
I am using a Reese hitch with a friction sway control and 1000# bars towing a 2001 34' Excella with a 2002 F350 (only two rear wheels).

I want to improve handling, turn radius and backing. Please give me opinions as to Hensley Arrow hitch V's Pro Pride 3 P and both compared to the existing Reese.
Good choice on the TV -

Lots of threads here on both the PP and the Hensley.

You really won't go wrong with either one.

PP offers an "adjustable" height draw bar, but Hensley offers draw bars with various amounts of drop - it's just that the Hensley drop is permanent - but you can always change out draw bars.

The change out to a Reese Dual Cam from your present friction sway control would be a much cheaper investment with a huge benefit -

You pretty much gets what you pays for when it comes to hitches.

If you don't have one, a cheapie (about 100 bucks) back up camera helps in hooking up - the approach angle on the Hensley and the PP is a bit more critical as opposed to backing up to the Reese connection.

I "graduated" from a Reese Dual Cam to a Hensley - made a big difference when pulling with a slightly marginal 3/4 Ton Dodge shortie van - not much of a difference (comfort of towing) with the Excursion - you probably would not notice so much difference with your 1 ton beast.

The Hensley and PP shine when it comes to controlling induced sway.

On turning and backing - you have to be careful not turn too sharply - practice and observation will dictate how close you can actually turn with both the Reese and the more complex hitches - I have not been in a situation where the Hensley or the PP would have an advantage (or disadvantage) over the Reese. I know that with the Hensley the hitch can go "off center" easily - especially when backing - but overall it makes such a small difference that making one or two more stabs at that "perfect parking job" it's tough to make a judgement call.

Safe Towing!
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
I want to improve handling, turn radius and backing.
most of that is in your rig geometry, suspension, load distribution, and tires. What an improvement is may be a matter of personal preference, including the trade-offs made in equipment choices.

Quote:
The Hensley and PP shine when it comes to controlling induced sway.
One should not confuse perceptions with manner of response of a rig to environmental conditions. These geometry adjusting hitches tend to reduce oversteer which drastically changes driver perception.

One thing you can do to make backing easier is to put a receiver on the front of your truck so you are facing the trailer when maneuvering it.

Any choice is a trade-off. The trick is finding out what is giving for what is taking.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jbailey01 View Post
...I want to improve handling, turn radius and backing...
get a newer truck.

the 02s have leaf springs up front,

05s and later |SD trucks have coils up front

so the turning radius shrinks by many feet, it's a vast improvement.

also the coil front ends 4x4 OR 2x4 handle better (as big trucks go)
__________

that ONE change will address all THREE parameters listed above.
__________

the pp and haha are extremely well covered in other threads, so don't expect us to REPOST for you.

go read, the info is readily at hand do the work to find it.

the questions of IF and HOW MUCH handling and towing are improved with these fancy hitches

gets endlessly debated...

with those that have never used EITHER hitch voicing the loudest opinions about the issues.
__________

i have been in situations where having that extra turning angle has been a HUGE help...

really really huge.

but it's sorta like 4x4 isn't needed often but when it is needed, it's a nice thing2have.
__________

there are things one can do to an 02 truck for handling,

but without spending a LOT o'$$ on the underside, the returns are small.

it's basically a beast on wheels and the 05s and later handle/turn/back MUCH better.

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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I had the same hitch setup for our 1997 34' Excella and 2009 F150. I went with the 3P and am extremely happy.
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:33 PM   #6
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Well, I like the idea of a front mount hitch for those "impossible" parking spots; I've found it really handy when things are tight and visibility is poor. You may need to search for one that can take the tongue weight of your trailer, though...

- Bart
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