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Old 08-16-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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considering purchase of used Hensley

I am thinking about buying a used Hensley.
I have some questions, though.
Maybe I can glean some knowledge from Hensley users.
Question 1:
Jacks or cam-over torsion bars? Does one have any advantage over the other? Which is preferred among Hensley users?
Question 2:
How much drop for a 2007 Tundra? My past 2 setups appeared to have no drop, but the Hensley may be a whole different ball game. I might need a little drop on the stinger to get it down under the coupler and hitch.
Question 3:
Will it be any easier to hitch up than my Equal-i-zer? The Equal-i-zer is already so much easier to hitch up than my EazLift. Anybody want my EazLift- oh, wait- that's another thread...
Question 4:
I think I need 1000# spring bars. Am I correct?
Question 5:
Will it really be a better/safer/more comfortable experience than my Equal-i-zer? Maybe some of you have towed with both.
I don't think I will ever know for sure unless I try it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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2003 25' Classic
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1. The Hensley uses screw type WD bars that stay attached to the AS frame.


2. You will need to get the level tongue height of your loaded trailer to
determine what drop stinger is needed. We use a 6" drop.

3. It will not be easier, but it is a learning curve that can be accomplished
easily with practice.

4. It will depend on how much weight you need to transfer. I average
between 1000-1200lb TW and the 1000lb bars work well on our 25'
Classic.

5. Yes...but thats hard to explain to folks without actually using one.

Good luck

Bob
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:49 AM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
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We have a similar ProPride so i'll take a shot at 3, 4, and 5.

Hookup is very easy if you are lined up, just back right in, the hitch head and w.d. bars stay on the trailer. If not lined up and you attempt hookup by trial and error, bring lunch.

You most probably need 1400# bars (that's what we use) to accomplish the needed weight distribution, and that makes all the difference in handling and ride (no porpoising on bad roads) as well as safety. My own experience with a 1000# bar Equal-I-Zer and 1400# bar ProPride suggests a softer ride is experienced because the ProPride bars are tapered, and because the heavier bar still has flexibility left when tightened while the lighter bar has almost none left.

The safety and comfort are a whole league ahead of the conventional designs. You will be astonished the first time a truck passes you on a day with strong sidewinds. It's a non-event. The tow vehicle/trailer go straight down the road to each other, no varying angle is possible with the Hensley linkage, and no sway is possible. Makes towing a pleasure under all conditions.

doug k
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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Here is what I know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I am thinking about buying a used Hensley.
I have some questions, though.
Maybe I can glean some knowledge from Hensley users.
Question 1:
Jacks or cam-over torsion bars? Does one have any advantage over the other? Which is preferred among Hensley users? You will likely only find jacks with a used Hensley. I believe the cam-over mechanism is only an option on the newer hitches. I like the jacks. I use the speed wrench used for the bal stabalizer jacks and cordless drill to adjust the weigh distributing jacks. I have also greased the threads on jacks to make it easier to adjust and not wear so quickly. Because of this I once had a jack loosen up. I ended up welding two small pieces of steel and put a clip in to hold in the jacks in place.
Question 2:
How much drop for a 2007 Tundra? My past 2 setups appeared to have no drop, but the Hensley may be a whole different ball game. I might need a little drop on the stinger to get it down under the coupler and hitch. Stingers come straight or in 2 inch increments. Place a call to them and they will tell you how to measure.
Question 3:
Will it be any easier to hitch up than my Equal-i-zer? The Equal-i-zer is already so much easier to hitch up than my EazLift. Anybody want my EazLift- oh, wait- that's another thread... I can only compare to a dual cam and I think it is much easier. No doubt there is a learning curve but I think they are very easy to use and very quick to hook up once you understand what's going on. Using a back up camera or hitching sticks makes this an easy one person job. My wife typically just hits the switch on the tongue jack for the final adjustment and then just back the truck into place.
Question 4:
I think I need 1000# spring bars. Am I correct? At least 1000#. You may need to get the tongue weight on your trailer. It is nice to have the infinite amount of adjustment in the weight distribution and can easily be dialed in by how the tow vehicle behaves.
Question 5:
Will it really be a better/safer/more comfortable experience than my Equal-i-zer? Maybe some of you have towed with both. I really like the hitch and how it makes a trailer behave with cross winds, it is easier to back into tight spots with the extra distance between the tow vehicle and trailer, and the trailer tracks closer to the tow vehicle tracks going around curves.
There are only a few negatives about the hitch. 1.) the "bump" I have gotten from brakes and brake controller not be adjusted properly. You will know if these are adjusted properly when you look in your mirror when coming to a stop and the trailer moves off to one side. This is a big clue you need to adjust one or the other.
2.) They could have had a better design the special grease fitting/lock pin for the weight distribution bars. No matter how I adjust them they seem to get eaten up in short order. The 3P hitch has a better design to hold the bars into place.
I would buy it again tomorrow even with a few shortcomings.
Is there something you do not like about your equalizer?

I don't think I will ever know for sure unless I try it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I am thinking about buying a used Hensley.
I have some questions, though.
Maybe I can glean some knowledge from Hensley users.
Question 1:
Jacks or cam-over torsion bars? Does one have any advantage over the other? Which is preferred among Hensley users?
Question 2:
How much drop for a 2007 Tundra? My past 2 setups appeared to have no drop, but the Hensley may be a whole different ball game. I might need a little drop on the stinger to get it down under the coupler and hitch.
Question 3:
Will it be any easier to hitch up than my Equal-i-zer? The Equal-i-zer is already so much easier to hitch up than my EazLift. Anybody want my EazLift- oh, wait- that's another thread...
Question 4:
I think I need 1000# spring bars. Am I correct?
Question 5:
Will it really be a better/safer/more comfortable experience than my Equal-i-zer? Maybe some of you have towed with both.
I don't think I will ever know for sure unless I try it.
1. I would go with the jacks. The snap-up brackets need a separate strut to hold the hitch head position when unhooked. This is not necessary with the jacks. Also, the jacks are infinitely adjustable whereas the snap-ups are not.

2. As already mentioned, you need to know the height of both the receiver opening and the coupler of the trailer. Then go to the Hensley website to get the answer on how to figure it out. I believe the stinger height is about 5 inches lower than the ball/coupler height.

3. After a short learning curve, and with using an assist such as a mirror or backup camera, it is much easier. I can hook up with only getting out to check the height one time. Without using as assist, it may take a couple of more "get out and looks" but is still very easy. Nice thing is no having to lift a heavy hitch head or mess with greasy bars anymore.

4. Can't answer that one without knowing the tongue weight.

5. It will absolutely be a safer and more comfortable tow! You will arrive relaxed and very happy that you spent the money. I was the same as you. Have towed with a regular WD hitch and sway bar, then with the Reese Dual Cam system. While the Dual Cam did a good job, the difference between it and the Hensley is quite amazing.
Good luck.
Barney
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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I choose the 1400# w.d. bars based on two factors.

Sean, the engineer who owns ProPride said I should have them to ensure enough weight distribution.

Your and my tongue weights are about 800# empty based on factory specs. Add the Hensley/proPride hitch weight and normal travel loads and we are over 1000# tongue weight; that is above 1000# w.d. bars operating range.

I believe the 1400# bars give as a soft ride because the bars are tapered, there is flexibility remaining in the bars, and the tongue weight is well distributed.

doug
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:50 PM   #7
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I use 1400 lb bars on my 1991 34'
I like the screw jacks
I have a 4" and a 6" drop stinger, the 6" works best with my 2006 3/4 dodge ram
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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"Used" means a thorough inspection. There is absolutely NO WAY to know what the previous owners have done to it otherwise!! From non-HA parts in the system, to the possibiliy of cracked welds, etc. There is a load limit on the system and I would be concerned that this may have been exceeded. On a very bad road. With a badly unbalanced load. Etc.

This would be true for any hitch . . "used" may mean it is more expensive than new.

Very, very good pictures of the standard HA components & parts (color, large) would be my priority.

The PP has now been out for six years . . I would lean that direction in trying to find a used VPP hitch system.

.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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2008 25' Safari FB SE
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Well, I just logged on to the forums because I have a major problem with my Hensley Arrow. I'd advise you to use caution with a used Hensley.

We bought a used 2008 AS 25FB in May 2011 from an AS dealer and were were told that they would include a new Hensley Arrow hitch. When we arrived to pick up the trailer, I could tell from the faded paint that the hitch wasn't new. I should have backed out on the whole deal. I asked the salesman about it and he said that it was the same thing as new; that an owner had bought it, used it for one trip and decided it was too difficult to hitch up. Rrrright.

Anyway, we've used the hitch for two years now. On the couple of occasions that I've contacted Hensley for minor questions, they've been heavy on trying to sell me a lifetime warranty - for some $495 or so - telling me that if the head ever needs repair it will cost $1,800 for a rebuild. I've resisted due to the fact that the Hensley Arrow is heavy and relatively difficult to hitch up. We've gotten pretty good at it, but you have to be patient if it doesn't .

As for Hensley's claim of no sway - it's absolutely true, in my experience. But it's still heavy (approx. 112#), somewhat complex, needs routine greasing of the spring bars, and it's expensive to buy - mostly because of the warranty, I suspect.

Anyway, we got home last evening from a trip and after unhitching this morning, the whole head wanted to fall to the right. I knew something was wrong and began looking at it more closely. I discovered that the main unit attach point for the right spring bar is fractured and that the entire right side of the (black) head is bent upwards. Although the part of the hitch that failed carries no direct towing load, just the right spring bar load, I feel fortunate that it didn't cause a problem yesterday on I-10 in blinding rain.

Rather than pay an exhorbitant amount for a lengthy repair, we will probably just buy another brand of hitch that is cheaper to buy and repair, lighter, easier to hitch up, and less complex.



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