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Old 12-15-2015, 04:41 PM   #1
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Hensley Cub on 19' Flying Cloud

First, thanks everyone - these forums have been a great place to learn and get solid feedback! In preparation of picking up our first TT in April, I'm trying to determine what hitch is best for our situation (new to towing, nervous about sway, TV is a 2013 Ford Expedition, 7500 GVWR, max tongue 920 lbs, max trailer 9,000 lbs). What has been the experience of others with the 19' or 20' trailers? Does the Hensley Cub represent an overkill? Would the Blue Ox Swaypro be more appropriate?
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Old 12-15-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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We have had a 2007 20' Airstream and now a 25. Used two different hitches before getting our Hensley designed ProPride.

Knowing what I know now, I would have saved the considerable price of the first two hitches and bought the ProPride in the first place. The is just no comparison in the towing comfort and safety of these hitches in all wind, traffic and weather conditions. Hitching/unhitching is a simple procedure once learned, and the heavy hitch head stays on the trailer tongue.

Hensley (Cub) or ProPride, they both tow alike, the difference is in installation and ease of use which favors ProPride. A call to Sean (the owner) at ProPride will give you the right model for your Expedition/Airstream combination.
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:20 PM   #3
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Thanks Doug. Can you describe the difference between towing with the previous hitches and the ProPride. Was the added stability a marked improvement and worth the extra weight and cost?
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Old 12-20-2015, 02:49 PM   #4
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I towed our AS up and down the same route in similar conditions. Adding the ProPride instead of an old WD only hitch was night and day better. Same truck, same AS. It just tows so much better. IMHO the older friction anti-sway systems can't do much except try to damp sway after it happens, add complications to backing up, and are extra stuff to adjust and hook up. The Hensley design hitches of which ProPride is the latest design are light- years ahead for towing a fairly big AS with a somewhat small Tacoma. It follows like an obedient puppy, doesn't try to push the truck around, and is much better in panic stops. This is by actual A/B comparison trips. I won't put my family aboard without this hitch system. The peace of mind is worth it.


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Old 12-20-2015, 09:41 PM   #5
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I just bought a '71 Silver Streak, 26'. As a Mechanical Engineer, the friction sway control sytems didn't sit well with me, then I saw the Hensley and knew I wanted it, it just makes sense they way it's built. I contacted them and they recommended the Arrow model for my setup, had it shipped the next day. Picked up my SS and towed it with just a std ball for 5 miles to the closest tire-shop for rubber and a bearing re-pack. It didn't feel too bad, so I hit the highway to perform an experiment and see how it behaved. Scary was an understatement, with ZERO sway control. Pulled off at the first Tractor Supply I saw (needed new safety chains, and a few other bits..) and installed the Arrow in the parking lot. AMAZING difference. It does what it says on the box, (they should pay me for advertising).
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:29 PM   #6
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When we were in the process of selecting the first Airstream, I discovered this forum.

Among the many volumes of information were the hitch threads. We acquired the Hensley Arrow for our 2013 25FB International Serenity and I towed it home behind my 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI diesel. I had no issues going through the mountains from Los Angles to Phoenix nor while still driving at 55 mph into Arizona having the big rigs blow past at least 20 mph faster. The Mercedes became overloaded when the trailer was loaded for camping and my wife and I crossed the scales. A 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD Cummins took care of the adequate load capacity issues.

In order to use the Mercedes as a tow vehicle, I drove it to CanAm in London, Ontario (a one week long 4,400, mile trip) to get the factory tow receiver reinforced (see photo in my "Images" under the Avatar) and they modified the Hensley by shortening the car end and drilling a new locking pin hole and putting a slight bend in it to pre-load the weight distribution bars.

We traded the 25FB on a 31' 2014 Classic and I kept the Hensley in storage and installed the ProPride on the Classic (ProPride is second generation Jim Hensley design). The ProPride is just easier to use.

We added a 2015 23D International Serenity to the stable and installed our existing Hensley on it and we are towing with the same Mercedes. This is a perfect match of trailer and tow vehicle.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
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The Hensley/ProPride design eliminates all trailer movements (caused by wind or semi's passing) leveraged to the truck's front axle. It eliminates any sway. It keeps the trailer in a straight line behind the truck even in a heavy side wind, there is no angle between the two as you go down the roadway. It does not resist the trailer returning to alignment with the truck after steering input (as friction sway control will); this makes it safer on slippery roads.

Although some truck/trailer users may say they feel none of these movements with a conventional sway control hitch, the movements are happening and the truck/trailer misalignment in heavy side wind is there.

The comfort and safety of this design is a good buy, especially for those who travel long distances.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:05 PM   #8
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We tow our 1960 Avion T20 with a Cub for a few years now using both rented Nissan Pathfinders & 1/2 - 3/4 Ton Pick-ups with great ease, zero sway & are totally satisfied, but our trailer is lighter than most new ones at 19-20-21' at 3000-3500 lbs. wet & loaded, being a vintage silver twinkie. We are currently looking for a used `08-12 mid-sized SUV V8 Cayenne S as our own TV, so this Cub will work great with it too.

You'll need to check the trailer's GTWR gross weight rating to see if the Cub can handle it, since it's basically a Hensley version for trailers up to 6000 lbs & 600 lb hitch wt.

Otherwise, you should look at the Hensley Arrow (or ProPride) for trailers up to 10,000 lbs & 1000 lb HW.

The Cub will save you $500-1000 over the big brother(s) - if it fits your trailer size & wt. needs, & will save +/- 30 lbs. of the weight of the hitch on the trailer, that otherwise is more stuff to carry in the trailer within its max. rating. The Hensley Cub is listed as 160 lbs. for all of the parts & Arrow at 190 lbs., & I think the ProPride is about the same as the latter, but the heaviest part at the head is probably only 50 or 70 lbs. respectively, & they can be put on a crate, box, stand when mounting them (I lifted the Cub head myself onto a crate & I'm 63, while doing the install myself).

If you don't want to mess with the spring bar adjusting chains, then go for the adjustment jacks on which you can crank them easily by hand with the provided wrench or even a cordless drill.

These hitches also stay completely on the trailer's A-frame, so you don't have to mess with greasy-grimy spring bars & hitch-head on & off the trailer when you unhitch & park it, but get their accessory cover to keep the weather off it & warn you of shin impacts. ;-)

Hitching takes a little getting used to, since your backing a stinger into a hole, rather than a ball under a coupler, but is really not hard to master quickly. A good back-up camera with a good sized screen is a great aid in either type BTW, especially for solo hitching.

Hensley has a lifetime warranty - not sure about PP - & tow bar exchange if you change TVs & need a different drop/rise. PP uses an adjustable stinger bar, which I had some concerns about the failures of them, as also happens with some on other types of WD hitches too.

So that concern & the ProPride's attachment not working well for our vintage trailer's shorter A-frame, & the lower cost of the Hensley Cub led me to our decision to use the Cub with the jacks for our Avion.

If you look at the value of your trailer, of your TV & your lives - the sway elimination of the Hensley/PP design is cheap insurance, which I frankly think the insurance companies should give us a discount for using them! Any of the other top rated WD hitches with the anti-sway cam or friction or other sway resisting systems (vs. sway elimination on PPPs) will come in at $500-1000 with all in including their tow bar - so the Hensley & PP 3P sway eliminating systems are a $500-1200 premium to have absolutely no sway & a much safer, smoother towing ride & experience IMHO, on a rig worth $30-50k & up to not get into that sway & jack-knife situation.

Also BTW - there is absolutely NO difference in the way the ProPride & Hensley work as far as ease of use - except when you have one without the spring bar adjustment jacks, on which the adjusting chain lift-up system in more of a PITA in my & most folks' opinion - when compared to an easily & infinitely adjustable jack!

The ProPride can maybe be an easier installation - or at least trade-offs - relative to Hensley. Hensley you drill & mount brackets to your A-frame without removing any items thereon - whereas the ProPride requires you to dismount the LP tanks & their mounting bracket to install the yoke underneath the A-frame. So 6 of one, half dozen the other .... do you want to drill & mount brackets, or remove & remount the propane tanks/stand? Pick your poison!

There are several other topics in here about these hitches, along with a mess of opinions, so you can use the search function or google/bing/etc. to find them.

PS - In addition to talking to Sean at ProPride - also call Terry Powell at Hensley about the Cub or Arrow options, but have your trailer's weight specs in hand for both to know what you'll need. Then make your own decision based on the info you gather from them.

Good Luck & Happy Holidays!
Tom
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:11 PM   #9
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My main engineering issue with the Hensley original hitch was not wanting to drill holes anywhere in my A-frame. I was 65 years old when I installed my ProPride with the help of my 19 year old daughter, a floor jack and a bottle jack to do the heavy lift and hold stuff. Biggest issue was getting enough torque on some of the bolts-a quick trip to Harbor Freight solved that with a new 250 foot pound torque wrench with a long handle. Followed the directions and took our time. Happy user ever since. I believe it has a lifetime warranty as well.


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Old 12-21-2015, 03:27 PM   #10
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I wouldn't bother towing a 19/20 with Hensley/PP. I think I saw one in the wild once at a fleeting glance in a campground and it was on a 25fb Airstream.

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Old 12-21-2015, 05:23 PM   #11
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Hensley Cub on 19' Flying Cloud

I have a 22 footer. I disagree totally and politely. 😄 having tried it both ways.....

Won't tow a boat trailer without one😄

It gets too windy, and too many big trucks blasting past around here.

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Old 12-21-2015, 05:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
I was 65 years old when I installed my ProPride with a bottle jack to do the heavy lift and hold stuff.
.
Yup, I’ve found a bottle of Jack helps me do heavy lifting, too...
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:44 PM   #13
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Hm. I'll have to try that next time 😄😄😄😄😄


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Old 12-21-2015, 06:37 PM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the excellent discussion and advice. With my 119" wheelbase being somewhat on the short side, I am very much inclined to take to heart the side by side comparisons offered up as sage advice and go with either the Hensley or ProPride.

With the Ford Expedition's 900# max hitch load and the 19' Airstream's 550# recommended hitch weight, I feel the added pounds for either the Arrow or the PP over the Cub is not a show stopper. The Cub supports the Airstream's 4500 GTWR and 550# tongue weight. I am a little concerned about having only a 50# margin on the tongue weight and no growth path to a 23' Airstream if we are so inclined in 4 years when I finally get to retire.

I'll give a call to both Seth and Terry a call.

Has anyone placed either the Arrow or PP onto a current version of the 19' Airstream? It looks like the only installation issue with the Arrow is to drill the holes into the frame or to take off the propane tanks and remount them on spacers to accommodate the PP yoke. Anything else that I am missing?
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