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Old 12-05-2015, 04:44 PM   #1
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Equalizer vs. Hensley

First time poster, anxiously awaiting delivery of our new 2016 Classic and Silverado 3500 TV. Our dealer has recommended the Equalizer hitch, but all over the forum I hear how many people swear by the Hensley. I am sure this has been covered already, but I have not yet found a comparison between the two. Is the Hensley worth the extra $ in reducing sway?
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:56 PM   #2
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Oh boy, here we go. Gotta go get some popcorn.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:57 PM   #3
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This subject of hitch configuration is endless. You have a one ton truck pulling a 30 ft trailer, that's a over kill already as a 3/4 ton truck would have been plenty. Save you money, the Equalizer with 1200lb bars will serve you well. Enjoy your new rig. BTW, welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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With our 1/2 ton truck it is absolutely worth the money. It eliminates the possibly of sway, or instability in gusting side winds and semi's passing. For a 1 ton truck I'll leave that to those who use one.

My issue with an Equal-I-Zer hitch (we had one) and 1 ton truck would be the square, stiff weight distribution bars transferring too much shock from the heavy duty suspension and big rear axle/differential assembly to the Airstream. A hitch with round, tapered w.d. bars with plenty of flex in the bars would be better.
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:01 PM   #5
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With the Equilizer and your truck you probably don't need the 1200 pound bars, you can use lighter ones. And your truck us not ever kill!
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:49 PM   #6
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The only negative I have herd from a Hensley owner is when hooking up you need to be straight in ,you can't hook up from an angle .
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Old 12-05-2015, 06:20 PM   #7
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I cannot speak for a Hensley specifically or for a 1 ton truck, but in my experience with a 1/2 ton pulling either a 25 or 28, we absolutely love our ProPride. I started with the Equalizer and thought it was fine with the 25. When I bought the 28, I didn't feel it did that good of job and went to the ProPride. I can speak for certain how the ProPride performed when we got caught in the TX Panhandle with a very strong storm coming through. Confirmed 60+ mph cross winds and no problem. (We kept driving due to large batch of hail showing up on truck radar about to hit where we were) All performed very well in that situation. The ProPride is also easier to adjust distribution if needed for some reason than the Equalizer.

With a 1 ton, I might have to agree that the Equalizer would probably do fine. One big complaint folks have on it is that it is noisy. You are still looking at controlling sway and I would assume with the 1 ton that that could still be an issue as with any bumper pulled trailer. The Hensley/ProPride will eliminate it. The equalizer addresses it. Good luck in your decision.

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Old 12-05-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
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I'm a licensed Professional Engineer with four P.E.'s in Mechanical Engineering. No arrogance on my end So I'll just say it:

The projection hitches are better. No two ways about it. The Hensley Arrow and the Pro-Pride are a better hitch than the Equal-I-Zer.

That being said, I own a 1400lb Equal-I-Zer and have towed an Avion 34X (which is actually a 36' trailer) that weighs about 10,000 lbs over 25,000 miles behind a Dodge 3/4 ton and have had absolutely zero problems.

The EQ works very well. It is only noisy at low speeds and making sharp turns, like in a campground. Who cares. It does it's job well.

With your truck, you'd be fine with the EQ. Yes, the other two are better designs. If you don't mind spending the money, go for it. But reality is that you'd be more than fine with the EQ (you'd be OK with a Reese Dual Cam as well). You'll have to look at your tongue weight to see what size weight distribution bars to use. With the EQ, the 1200 and 1400 pound hitches use the same bars, but the 1400 has a beefier head unit. That's why I bought the 1400lb one. They offer lighter bars. Airstreams have lighter frames than Avions and are easier to break. You might find that you want to use a 1400lb head unit but 600lb bars. With a 3500 you don't need so much weight distribution as you do sway control. With the EQ bars, you can always have them machined down in the middle to make them more flexible.

There are other threads on here that discuss this.

At any rate, the simple answer is: The EQ would do you just fine. The other two would do you finer.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodfox45 View Post
The only negative I have herd from a Hensley owner is when hooking up you need to be straight in ,you can't hook up from an angle .
You can hook up from an angle, truck to trailer. The Hensley stinger just has to be in alignment with the box in the hitch head.

You can also hook up at vertical angles, or tilted. You can adjust the hitch head box at vertical angles, and tilted angles, by turning one or both w.d. bar screw jacks to match the Hensley receiver on the truck.

Tip: Set the hitch head box about 1/4" lower than the stinger; the stinger will lift the hitch head slightly (the head is resting at he bottom of its vertical movement) and go right in. Every time if the alignment is good. Never if the alignment is bad.

I also filed the sharp edges slightly off the end of the stinger so it is less likely to hang up, and give it a shot of spray lube just before sliding in to lessen any resistance.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:24 PM   #10
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Equalizer vs. Hensley

Here is my take, if a person is going to drop near 200K on a new truck and trailer then the extra money for THE BEST HITCH is a no brainer.

And fwiw, in my view, the size of a tow vehicle has very little to do with trailer sway.

A trailer wildly out of control will wreck a one ton about the same as a half ton.

If you want to pull without ever having to worry about sway, difficult hitch setup, or truck bow waves buy a Hensley or a ProPride and enjoy the drive.


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Old 12-05-2015, 07:28 PM   #11
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Worst case, on a bad day it took me all of ten minutes to hook to my Hensley once.


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Old 12-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #12
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We have pulled our three Airstreams over 150,000 over almost ten years with our Hensley Arrow Hitch System. We have never has a single anxious moment. Trailer sway is absolutely eliminated, period.

Brian
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:13 PM   #13
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Well that went well! I too have a Hensley and have never regretted it for a moment. Save money on other things like booze, mix, Bar B Q sauce, sun block, no name mustard, ........ any good hitch is the investment that protects the dollars behind your thruck as well as the dollars in front of your trailer!
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:50 PM   #14
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I initially acquired a Hensley Arrow with 1000 pound bars to tow a 2013 25FB International Serenity behind my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. I towed the new empty trailer home from Los Angles to Phoenix through the mountains. Once into Arizona, the speed limit increased to 75 mph from the 55 mph limit in California. I continued at 55 and woulds see the big rigs coming up behind and their bow wave caused no sway issues at all.

Sadly, when the 25FB was loaded for camping and with the wife in the car too, the CAT scales reported the Mercedes was overloaded. We migrated to a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD Cummins with a complete Kelderman airbag suspension conversion and continued with the Hensley. I had no issues reconnecting even when boon-docking and getting the truck stuck.

We traded the 25FB in on a 2014 31' Classic. I kept the Hensley and the Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake system in storage and ordered the ProPride (second generation Jim Hensley design) hitch for the Classic. The hitch has performed as promised and we tow with the rig running over 19,000 pounds. It worked well even when the tongue weight was 1,375 pounds (ProPride is rated for 1,400 pound tongue weight) and is now reduced to 1,175 pounds after a battery swap out from four Lifeline GSM batteries to a single lithium battery rated 600 amp-hours.

We recently acquired a 2015 23D International Serenity and the Hensley Arrow and the Tekonsha Prodigy RF brake control system were brought back into service with the same Mercedes. That hitch is perfect for this tow vehicle and trailer combination and the scales agreed as well.

I would not recommend any hitch with rectangular cross section bars for the OP's 1 ton and Classic as they are very rigid and the suspension of a one ton can be very stiff when the tongue weight and payload engage the overload springs.
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