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Old 09-21-2013, 11:29 AM   #1
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2011 27 FB International
Belfast , Maine
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Help deciding please

I was advised by Colonial AS when considering a 25' Int'l that a Propride or Hensley was over-kill. I later bought a 2011 27' Int'l which came with a Reese (w/sway control bars). My first time towing from NJ to Maine went well, with no swaying or towing issues (TV is 2011 Tundra v8 5.7L w/towing package) .

But because I'm completely new to AS and towing, and have a minute or so of experience, I'm still unsure. I want to be as safe as possible, I also want a hitch system that has some redundant safety, in case I make a newbie mistake...I won't see my AS fading from view in my side mirrors as I'm heading down the road!

So I'm again asking for your wisdom to help guide me. I'm on the road late October traveling to Austin. Do I see how the Reese does or should I appease my nervous Nelly, who says I could run into conditions I couldn't handle, and upgrade to a Pro or Hensley? What do you think?

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Old 09-21-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by anniemaine View Post
I was advised by Colonial AS when considering a 25' Int'l that a Propride or Hensley was over-kill. I later bought a 2011 27' Int'l which came with a Reese (w/sway control bars). My first time towing from NJ to Maine went well, with no swaying or towing issues (TV is 2011 Tundra v8 5.7L w/towing package) .

But because I'm completely new to AS and towing, and have a minute or so of experience, I'm still unsure. I want to be as safe as possible, I also want a hitch system that has some redundant safety, in case I make a newbie mistake...I won't see my AS fading from view in my side mirrors as I'm heading down the road!

So I'm again asking for your wisdom to help guide me. I'm on the road late October traveling to Austin. Do I see how the Reese does or should I appease my nervous Nelly, who says I could run into conditions I couldn't handle, and upgrade to a Pro or Hensley? What do you think?

Thanks AD
How well a load equalizing hitch works, depends on several things.

Staying solely with the Reese, the performance depends on it's rating, it's installation and adjustment.

The ratings are dictated by the tongue weight, and the exact type of tow vehicle and it's suspension system.

If everything is as it should be, then the Reese will do a great job for you.

If you still have doubts, the please post the type tow vehicles, and the rating of the Reese bars.

Andy
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Old 09-21-2013, 11:42 AM   #3
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I bought an Intl 25 and after reading hundreds of posts on this forum, I concluded that I wanted the best hitch I could buy to give me insurance against any towing problems. Since I had experience towing boats, not TT's, I never considered that a hitch could be overkill for a 25 with a 1/2 ton pickup. I bought the ProPride and have been happy that I did.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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I too got a pro pride. Sean, the owner is available and friendly. Check used too.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #5
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It's hard to explain the benefits of the PPP design until you've used one.

We got the Hensley in 2007 and have absolutely no regrets.

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Old 09-21-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you did not have any problems with the Reese on your recent trip, I would go to Austin with it. That will be a longer trip and you can better evaluate how it handles your rig. If you are happy with it you can save some bucks.

I have a Hensley on mine and it works great.
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Old 09-21-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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My 34' came with a Hensley as part of the package. The first day we towed the trailer from the dealership on our shakedown trip I felt just as nervous as you do now. Then we went through a rainstorm on a rural highway, with heavy trucks on the other lane throwing up mist and turbulence.

It was really scary for the first two minutes, then we realized that the rig was 100% stable and that there was really nothing to worry about. There was no sway, no movement, nothing, just car and trailer moving as one single unit. I dropped the speed to 40-45 and we just motored on at that speed until the heavy rain stopped and we went back to 60.

I love the Hensley and would never consider anything else. With a backup camera it is also easy to hitch up by yourself.

If money isn't a problem, I'd say go for it. Keep in mind that the 34' tows extremely well "out of the box", (it's supposed to be the most stable trailer AS has ever built) so if we get that kind of benefit, you should experience it even more.
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Old 09-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #8
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We have had an Equalizer for 6 years and have towed almost 50,000 miles with it and had no problems. It even worked well badly set up by the dealer. We've towed through all sorts of situations including snow and heavy rain with punishing cross winds and the trailer has always stayed right behind us.

The ProPride costs less than the Hensley and it supposed to be an improvement over the Hensley. I haven't felt the need to upgrade. I know nothing about the various hitches Reese makes, but it appears many are happy with them.

How safe any hitch is depends largely on who is driving, so being careful and avoiding challenging situations when you can is always a good idea especially for a newbie. It appears that longer trailers than yours and mine may have a real benefit from the more expensive hitches. If is works, maybe it ain't broke.

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Old 09-21-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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Hi, buy and use whatever makes you feel better and won't cause you to lose sleep. "In 9 years of having the same trailer, tow vehicle, and hitch, my trailer has only once swayed violently out of control; It was parked in my driveway during a 5.0 Earthquake." At Rallies or in camp grounds I have seen every kind of hitch made; They all made it there and I'm sure they all made it home. I have only actually seen, with my own eyes, one Airstream sway while it was being towed. It was a Bambi being towed on the ball only. The best safety device is driver ability.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, buy and use whatever makes you feel better and won't cause you to lose sleep. "In 9 years of having the same trailer, tow vehicle, and hitch, my trailer has only once swayed violently out of control; It was parked in my driveway during a 5.0 Earthquake." At Rallies or in camp grounds I have seen every kind of hitch made; They all made it there and I'm sure they all made it home. I have only actually seen, with my own eyes, one Airstream sway while it was being towed. It was a Bambi being towed on the ball only. The best safety device is driver ability.
You gave good advice! Especially the last sentence. I've used a Reese Dual Cam for years, and after 150,000 miles with it, never had a problem. Prior to that I had a Pullrite, with a larger SOB, and never a problem with it either. If people simply take the time to learn how to hook it up and adjust it properly, they won't have a problem...
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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Our dealer told us the same thing and sold us an Equal-I-Zer brand hitch but they were wrong. After a couple of years we were not happy with it's performance and finally got a ProPride.

The Hensley/ProPride eliminates any possibility of uncontrollable sway. There is also a difference in day-to-day towing comfort, especially with semi-trucks passing when there are crosswinds.

With the Hensley/ProPride the semi truck passing feels like when you are driving your tow vehicle with no trailer. In normal conditions it's nothing, with strong crosswinds you may feel the truck passing, but everything stays in line and it is a complete nonevent.

That is because with Hensley/Propride the trailer cannot move from a straight line with the tow vehicle; with other hitches the trailer is pushed slightly out of alignment (depending on size truck and strength of crosswinds) with the tow vehicle as the semi truck passes, then returns as it goes by.

I think the additional safety of the Hensley/ProPride sway elimination hitch and the everyday towing comfort is a value in the overall cost of the truck/trailer combo, the best thing we have done for our Airstream.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:46 PM   #12
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We've towed across the US from California to Belfast (have friends in Belfast & Searsport) and into Canadian Rockies, over mountains and deserts, using either Suburban 1500 or Ford Excursion and similar hitch.. Properly adjusted with spring bars and anti-sway friction bar, we've had no problems with trailer averaging around 6500# on the road.. The bigger heavier hitches may offer peace of mind for larger and heavier trailers, but I believe you are at mid-point where you can stay with Reese if you feel comfortable, or spend more and add more weight to truck with heavier complex hitch.. Understand as well that Hensley takes more effort to hitch as well, especially in tight campgrounds with angles or tilt, since getting square tube into receiver can be challenge...
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:45 PM   #13
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I have a Hensley and love it

I have towed everything from garden trailers to semi's for the past 36 years. I own a 1978 31' Sovereign. I have towed it with a Dodge Ram 3500 Dually, a BMW X5, and now a Hummer H2. I can tow it safely with any of the above without a Hensley or PP, but with the BMW and the Hummer, I much prefer to tow it with the Hensley. If there is a hazard, it would be because you forget it's back there. It's like driving a train!
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:15 PM   #14
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We were told by multiple dealers that the Hensley or ProPride were "overkill". One dealer even told us that A/S in JC said that it was overkill, and that they had many trailers with "popped rivets" due to the stiffness of the Hensley. Of course, as Andy mentions, set up incorrectly about any hitch will cause issues. This is for a 27FB. I called JC and they did not recommend for or against ProPride or Hensley. The only thing I can think of is that the dealers have a better margin on other brands like Equal-i-zer and don't have much financial upside on the Hensley or PP.

There's tons of actual user data on this Forum.

We chose the PP for our rig and are very pleased.
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