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Old 08-03-2017, 07:55 AM   #1
Fr Jeff
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1989 29' Excella
Oscoda , Michigan
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 169
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Hensley Hitch Bars Help

My recently purchased 1989 Excella 29 came with a Hensley hitch system. The PO included a 4" and a 2" hitch bar.

I need to know which bar to use for my tow vehicle.

On the level, my Ford F150 measures 19.5" from ground to top of receiver. The ground to top of hitch ball measures 18" on my Airstream.

So, which bar do I use, or do I need a different hitch bar?

Greatly appreciative of any help in this matter.

Fr. Jeff

2016 F150 Ecoboost
1989 Excella 29
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:14 AM   #2
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2010 27' FB Classic
LINCOLNTON , North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 76
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I had the same issue.

Call Hensley at 1-800-410-6580.

Give them your measurements and they will get you the correct tow bar. They will even take the other one back in exchange.

It's a great hitch, but there sure is a "learning curve" to get the hitching up to be drama-free. LOL

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Old 08-03-2017, 08:33 AM   #3
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,743
I would be inclined to take the truck and trailer to a nearby large and level carpark and try each bar in succession to see which one gives you a level set up, truck and trailer, when the spring bars are wound up - hopefully one of them will.

I forget the specifics now, but when I first bought my Hensley hitch, I advised the company of my vehicle and trailer and got a recommendation for the hitch bar (most of us call it a "Stinger!" )

But when I got it, I found that the trailer was riding noticeably nose up. Seemed to handle fine, but I just didn't like teh look of it!

I recall reaching way back to my high school trigonometry classes and using the belt line of the trailer as a reference and assuming a pivot point midway between the two axles, and doing a calculations to estimate how much more drop I would need to achieve a level setup - it turned out to be very close to an extra 2".

Hensley have a free exchange program for original purchasers of their hitches although you do have to pay shipping - that is what I did.

I couldn't swear to it, but I do believe my first bar had a 2" drop and I wound up with a 4" one that I have now used for about 8 years. Nice and level!

Our trailer is a 2005 Classic 30, and tow vehicle is a 2008 Sierra 4x4 2500HD diesel.

I certainly agree with NCMEDIC about the "Learning Curve! some folk seem to gat the hang of it sooner than me, but eventually I developed a few tricks that work for me and now I can usually hook up on the first attempt!

Don't get discouraged!

A backup camera is a big help. ,Also ensuring that as you back up the vehicle, the stinger is well and truly parallel to the axis of the hitch "pocket" is key.

I also use a gadget that Hensley sell - that goes under the tongue post and has a screw jack that allows you move the trailer sideways left or right to ensure the stinger is dead centre with the hitch.

I often will lay a bright yellow tape measure out on the ground leading to the stinger entry point , then when backing the truck, I can see the stinger and the tape on the ground and just follow the line as I back up to ensure stinger and hitch "pocket" are truly parallel.

In fact I also stick a dummy wooden 2 inch into the hitch. It sticks about about a foot, and helps a lot to visualise the relative angles of hitch and stinger. Of course you have to stop and remove it once the tow vehicle is close and you are happy that you are lined up well.

Sometimes, if it is just a tad of going all the way in, you can use the over centre latches on the hitch to pull it in - but if that doesn't work, you won't likely be able to force it in with the tow vehicle! (I've found that out!). Judt pull ahead and give it another try at getting things lined up!

Of course you can use your tongue jack and the hitch jack screws to get the vertical angles right.

Sounds complicated - but much more complicated to try to explain than to do!

I'm sure you will develop your own methods - and maybe you are one of the guys who never do have a problem from day one!
Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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