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Old 05-30-2009, 09:16 PM   #1
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HELP!!! Hensley vs ProPride 3P

Time to fish or cut bait. Have been talking to both Hensley and Sean at ProPride and have arrived at the decision point. We want the best anti-sway hitch on the market and narrowed it down to these two.

We have a 2005 Safari, 22 ft. and a 2009 Toyota Tundra (with tow package). And we are newbies. Currently using a eaz lift, but want to upgrade to a Hensley or ProPride.

Had pretty much decided on the ProPride with 800# tension bars until we saw the packaage from Hensley. They presently offer the cub hitch with numerous product options, ie: emergency kit, hitch helper, tire chocks, hitch cover at a price comparable to ProPride hitch and shipping alone.

SO - HELP - HELP -HELP - Looking for your input and experience.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:24 PM   #2
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Go with the cheaper of the two. Your trailer is not long enough to get wraped around the axal. Just a good anti sway and load leveling is adaquate. Do not spend money you do not have to.

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Old 05-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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Both function in very similar fashions, so price may be the best decider. We have a Hensley (purchased years ago) and are very, very happy with it because of the way it functions. The adjustable-drop stinger for the Pro-Pride is a very nice feature and would be something I would consider in addition to the price if we were buying today.
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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The standard Hensley and ProPride are comparable, but I think the Hensley Cub is a somewhat different animal. Make sure you compare apples to apples.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:18 AM   #5
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Well, I think everyone knows where I stand...

If it's a package comparison I can certainly do that too. I carry the products they copied from Norco/BAL and were sued for patent infringement on (settled out of court), the tire chocks and the tongue twister (they call it a hitch helper). The controller would be a Tekonsha P3. The ProPride does not need an "emergency" kit.

Normally I don't confuse a discussion talking about the hitch with throwing out a package "deal." I believe people would rather have me be right upfront about pricing and value without always returing to some kind of carnival barking and "deal" making.
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Old 05-31-2009, 10:27 AM   #6
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If you have so much extra cash lying around....

Quote:
Originally Posted by sempi2 View Post
Time to fish or cut bait. Have been talking to both Hensley and Sean at ProPride and have arrived at the decision point. We want the best anti-sway hitch on the market and narrowed it down to these two.

We have a 2005 Safari, 22 ft. and a 2009 Toyota Tundra (with tow package). And we are newbies. Currently using a eaz lift, but want to upgrade to a Hensley or ProPride.

Had pretty much decided on the ProPride with 800# tension bars until we saw the packaage from Hensley. They presently offer the cub hitch with numerous product options, ie: emergency kit, hitch helper, tire chocks, hitch cover at a price comparable to ProPride hitch and shipping alone.

SO - HELP - HELP -HELP - Looking for your input and experience.
...I think I have a few places you might put it. Buying either of these hitches for a 22-foot Safari is way, way overkill, IMHO.

I don't get it.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sempi2 View Post
Time to fish or cut bait. Have been talking to both Hensley and Sean at ProPride and have arrived at the decision point. We want the best anti-sway hitch on the market and narrowed it down to these two.

We have a 2005 Safari, 22 ft. and a 2009 Toyota Tundra (with tow package). And we are newbies. Currently using a eaz lift, but want to upgrade to a Hensley or ProPride.

Had pretty much decided on the ProPride with 800# tension bars until we saw the packaage from Hensley. They presently offer the cub hitch with numerous product options, ie: emergency kit, hitch helper, tire chocks, hitch cover at a price comparable to ProPride hitch and shipping alone.

SO - HELP - HELP -HELP - Looking for your input and experience.
Hensleys are difficult yo hook up unless you have two people. I cannot speak for the ProPride. Same Type of set up? Same type of difficulty.
A Hensley seems over kill for a 22 ft Safari. Lots of people are happy with Equalizer and Reese Hitches.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung View Post
...I think I have a few places you might put it. Buying either of these hitches for a 22-foot Safari is way, way overkill, IMHO.

I don't get it.

I've always wondered if it is better to overkill or underkill something.

And, who sets the kill line?

Some might say that an Airstream is overkill for camping shelter. I would disagree, IMHO.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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Either of these hitches would provide excellent capability, but I recommend you consider the advice of those who suggest these are "more than you need." IMHO these higher end hitches really shine when applied to a marginal TV/TT combination. I ended up with the Hensley because I was towing a 26 ft TT with a medium sized SUV. Though I've come to really appreciate its merits, and kept it when we bought the Airsteam, it might indeed be overkill on a 22 footer with a full-sized pickup.
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Old 05-31-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Just to provide a different point of view on the hook-up of a Hensley - it is certainly different than the typical hitch - but the learning curve is not steep and once you are familiar with its "rules" the hookup becomes easy (with the aid of the hitch helper). I would disagree that it needs two people - in my view it is a heck of a lot easier to hook up without assistance - in fact a second person really adds to the challenge.

I would also suggest that the Hensley really shines where the marriage between the trailer and tow vehicle is approaching marginal - I tow a 19 foot Bambi with a Pathfinder and the Hensley (our third hitch) has made an unbelievable difference in towing comfort and security.

The engineering behind the ProPride is similar. The Hensley has a 60 day trial period which may be a factor - if PropPride has the same I couldn't find it on their website. The adjustable stinger that Tim A. talks about is a plus for ProPride. You may also want to ask about the Hensley "bump" - if ProPride's design has been able to eliminate this that would also be a plus.

Whatever you choose I am sure you will be more than happy with.

Good Luck,


Jay
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:17 PM   #11
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Do the math...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Woodruff View Post
I've always wondered if it is better to overkill or underkill something.

And, who sets the kill line?
A 25 FB has a GVWR of 7,300 pounds. A 22 has a GVWR of about 4,500 pounds.

If pulling a 25 FB with a relatively inexpensive Equal-i-zer and an SUV produces zero, zip, nada sway, what possible improvement could either of these expensive hitches add to a light 22-footer pulled by a Toyota truck, which unless severely crippled has more capacity than my Dodge Durango?

Could you offer some empirical evidence of the need for such an expensive hitch under these circumstances? I understand the economic motivation; I just don't understand the real-world experiential motivation. Please elucidate.
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Old 05-31-2009, 01:48 PM   #12
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...I just don't understand the real-world experiential motivation. Please elucidate.
This discussion has gone on before and there remain a number of people who think that superb hitches like the ProPride or Hensley are not "necessary" for smaller trailers. Good, but that does not mean that those of us with shorter trailers should forgo the benefits of these hitches. If myoung is happy with his setup, also good.

My wife and I have had the experience of towing a smaller Airstream with shorter wheelbase vehicles with a Hensley hitch for about 7 years now. Our experience has been that it is a joy (for us) to tow without any concern about the trailer controlling the movement of the tow-vehicle-trailer combination. That has simply never happened, even in emergency situations. It sounds like RangerJay has had similar experience. And that appears to be true even after adding the expense for two hitches before buying a none-too-cheap Hensley.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:13 PM   #13
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I agree with Tim A. I ranch and have therefore pulled some sort of trailer virtually every day of my adult life. I figure I might not be worth it, but my wife's safety is worth the extra money. I pull with the Hensley. It has saved my bacon on numerous occaisions such as on the 10,000 mile trip we took summer before last. I realize that anything I say will not change the mind of those who who are on the other side of the arguement, but I felt compelled to say something anyway. I would think that either the Hensley or Pro Pride would offer similar safety values.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung View Post
A 25 FB has a GVWR of 7,300 pounds. A 22 has a GVWR of about 4,500 pounds.

If pulling a 25 FB with a relatively inexpensive Equal-i-zer and an SUV produces zero, zip, nada sway, what possible improvement could either of these expensive hitches add to a light 22-footer pulled by a Toyota truck, which unless severely crippled has more capacity than my Dodge Durango?

Could you offer some empirical evidence of the need for such an expensive hitch under these circumstances? I understand the economic motivation; I just don't understand the real-world experiential motivation. Please elucidate.

The only empirical evidence I can offer is that there has NEVER been a sway induced accident with either of these hitches on a trailer.

The common misconception is that tow vehicle size controls trailer sway. A trailer can sway behind a medium duty truck.

Years ago I happened to drive up behind a gentleman towing to the Huntsville, AL rally. He was towing with a dually. His Airstream was on its side. Large truck, trailer sway that flipped his trailer.

That might be as empirical as it gets.

And, sleeping in a tent also provides shelter while camping. A cooler with some ice keeps the food cold. And, a number of other examples could be offered. I'm not sure why the logic provided for hitches doesn't apply to other products used.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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I don't know if I can say this so that you will understand it but I saw a propride hitch installed a few weeks ago and my impression is that the only real difference that I could detect between it and a Hensley is that the Hensley allows the hitch head(main part of the hitch) to swivel more before binding.
What I mean is that you can go over more uneven ground before the hitch binds.
Something like driving through a depression and twisting from left to right.
I noticed this when my friend unhitched. The head of the propride doesn't drop as much as the Hensley.
Otherwise I think the Propride is really just the same in function as the Hensley.
Just like Hensley's brake controller is the same as the prodigy p3.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:29 PM   #16
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Understand that I am not referring to turning radius.
What I am referring to is up and down and twisting of the connection between tow vehicle and hitch.
I don't think either of these hitches allow as much articulation as a ball hitch.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
I don't know if I can say this so that you will understand it but I saw a propride hitch installed a few weeks ago and my impression is that the only real difference that I could detect between it and a Hensley is that the Hensley allows the hitch head(main part of the hitch) to swivel more before binding.
What I mean is that you can go over more uneven ground before the hitch binds.
Something like driving through a depression and twisting from left to right.
I noticed this when my friend unhitched. The head of the propride doesn't drop as much as the Hensley.
Otherwise I think the Propride is really just the same in function as the Hensley.
Just like Hensley's brake controller is the same as the prodigy p3.
Al
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigAl View Post
Understand that I am not referring to turning radius.
What I am referring to is up and down and twisting of the connection between tow vehicle and hitch.
I don't think either of these hitches allow as much articulation as a ball hitch.
Al

You're correct, Al. They both have the exact same pivot point projection through the steering links. That was Jim Hensley's original patent that he licensed to the orange company. They no longer have and licenses with Jim Hensley. They don't need one because that is out of patent.
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Old 05-31-2009, 02:42 PM   #18
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There have been lots of folks stop by to look at that orange "thing" on the front of our trailer - after some discussion a few (by no means all) will have judged it to be “overkill” often using the sentiment “you must have money to throw away”.

It’s true - I did “throw money away” - by listening to those (who should have known better) give me advice on my first two hitches - both those hitches are upstairs in my garage now - wasted money to be sure.

Regarding overkill ....

The sense of towing comfort and security is determined by the owner - and it is so very apparent that much of the criticism often leveled at the use of a Hensley is from those who have never had the experience of towing with one to be able to make an objective judgment - this seems so incredibly bizarre that such harsh verdicts can be based on nothing but arm-chair opinion. Sway is the important part of the story - the safety part - but there is more - the design of this type of hitch does not permit the trailer to have any side-to-side leverage on the vehicle in any form - the comfort this gives the driver is incredible - and it must be experienced to be believed.

The reality of comfort and security is a different measure - but traffic statistics are clear in identifying that all SUV’s (regardless of size), have a marginal safety record - are prone to rolling over - and this is before anything is hooked up! So, if you are going to tow a trailer - at least in my view - it's real smart to stack the odds in your favour - the design of the Hensley (and presumably ProPride) unquestionably provide a great leg up in the safety department - and this is not just good news - its great news.


Jay
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:03 PM   #19
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I have said this before:
I would rather have more than I need, and not need it, than need something desperately, and not have it. Therefore, I would rather have a Hensley or ProPride, and never be in a situation I needed the benefits of them, than the reverse situation. And yes, I do have a big orange "thing", and as soon as I get an extra $700 or so to get all the parts to make it work, it's getting installed.
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Old 05-31-2009, 03:22 PM   #20
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We have pulled our 7400# 2005 25FB with a 2500 Suburban using a Hensley for 45,000 miles without a single anxious moment including the last several days of towing in the mountains with minimal trailer brakes.

I find it easier to hook up by myself without any assistance.

I can't comment on the Pro-pride from personal experience, but it appears to be set-up like the Hensley. I like Pro-pride's height-adjustable hitch bar for it's flexibility. The down side to this feature is that it has to weigh a bunch. My Hensley hitch bar with a 6" drop weighs about as much as I care to deal with.

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