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Old 04-09-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
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Hensley Installation Recommendation in San Antonio, Tx

Hi All,

I would like to get the Hensley Arrow Hitch for my, 31Ft. Classic Airstream. I would like to get it installed correctly and to be instructed on its operation and maintenance.

We now have the Reese hitch. I don't know if it is our long bed of our Ram truck or this Reese Hitch, but our trailer seems to fish-tail easily, at 60 to 65 mph. I am hoping for better control. I also have the 16" Michelin tires.

Can anyone recommend a place to have the Hensley Arrow installed in or around San Antonio, Texas ?

I also noticed that people have the Hensley hitch welded to the frame. Can anyone tell me the wisdom behind this?

Your comments and recommendations would be much appreciated.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
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I have never seen a Hensley Arrow welded to the tongue of a trailer. They are supposed to be clamped to the tongue with U bolts, and secured with shear bolts. I have seen a couple of misguided people drill holes completely through the tongue and put bolts through to hold the struts in place, but all that has done has caused the struts to be destroyed if they get in a bind.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:36 AM   #3
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I found the directions to be written clearly enough for the DIY person. It would be good for you to be at least somewhat involved in the installation if you hire somebody so if something happens on the road you will have an idea of what has gone wrong and how to fix it. Any mechanic or RV service center could install the hitch. If you were near me I would install it for you.

Hensley manual.pdf
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:49 AM   #4
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You will do a better job than the typical RV Dealer. Most have never seen a Hensley.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:20 AM   #5
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We just installed our Hensley. Took appox 3 hr. I did call terry at Hensley. Just to make sure.
It's great.
31' classic. '08
3500 meg cab

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Drilling hole

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Pull threw. Airstream park. Tx. On lake raybon
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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As stated, no welding. Are you SURE your Reese is set up properly? After I got mine dialed in, I never got any sway at all with my 30'er. I'd still be using it if I hadn't stumbled onto a great deal on a used HAHA.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:41 AM   #7
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I agree with what others have said. If you are at all handy with simple tools, you will find that the instructions with the Hensley are well written and easy to follow. Hensley are as close as the phone if there is any aspect about which you are unsure.

Installing it yourself will give you a grater level of comfort if ever you need to do any work on the hitch when on the road.

We have used our Hensley for about five years. So far the only minor issue I have had with it was having the threads on one of the U-bolts strip when I was re-torquing it.

I carry a Hensley spare parts kit with us - just in case. (I also carry a set of replacement wheel bearings/seals for one hub for the same reason.)

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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It may be wise to sort out the swaying issue you presently have first, shouldn't sway easily. Adding the Hensley may mask a greater problem.

My experience is a trailer without at least 10% of its weight on the tongue is susceptible to sway aas speed increases. Could you be loaded heavy in back of the trailer?

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Old 04-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedomrider View Post
Hi All,

I would like to get the Hensley Arrow Hitch for my, 31Ft. Classic Airstream. I would like to get it installed correctly and to be instructed on its operation and maintenance.

We now have the Reese hitch. I don't know if it is our long bed of our Ram truck or this Reese Hitch, but our trailer seems to fish-tail easily, at 60 to 65 mph. I am hoping for better control. I also have the 16" Michelin tires.

Can anyone recommend a place to have the Hensley Arrow installed in or around San Antonio, Texas ?

I also noticed that people have the Hensley hitch welded to the frame. Can anyone tell me the wisdom behind this?

Your comments and recommendations would be much appreciated.
I'm assuming you are in the San Antonio area for a while yet? Thus there is some time for setting the background for proper hitch adjustment.

The manner of setting up a weight-distribution hitch, any brand/design, is the same in regards the outcome. And the "outcome" is based on weight values seen on the axles (three sets: TV FA [steer axle], TV RA [rear axle] and TT axles).

One is "distributing" the TW across these three sets versus having most of it on the TV RA.

So, in best practice, a series of [certified] weight scale tickets is obtained. And the first is without the TT:

One

The adjusted empty weight of the TV: driver, full fuel and permanent supplies/tools aboard. In other words, the least amount of weight the tow vehicle will see in its' daily life. FA + RA. This will be higher than the manufacturer published weight. This is for reference, in main.

But if one carries heavy tools, etc, aboard, the individual wheel positions ought to be weighed as as to be aware of any side-to-side imbalances that cannot be corrected. The "heavy" tire at the end of either axle is the value sought for tire inflation on that axle. And that is within the vehicle manufacturer guidelines (drivers door post).

See Chapter Four of this Tire Service Professional manual for how to use the scale to weigh the vehicle[s] to obtain individual wheel weights.

As you are traveling, then the TV with all that is normally aboard while underway is best for this initial weigh (and any passengers, or representative weight on that piece of floorboard where they sit).

With any load adjustments made to the truck -- and tire pressure optimized -- it is the steer axle, the FRONT AXLE weight that is crucial from this pass across the scale. Once the TT is attached, and WD applied, we want to see FALR Front Axle Load Restoration, which is the value obtained by this first pass across the scale.

The second, third and more have to do with the TT attached as well as more info necessary to proper TV tire pressures (TT tire pressure is always sidewall maximum). But this first weigh will give some familiarity with how to use a CAT Scale. There are a fair number around SA, and the bigger the truck stop, the more room during the day for all concerned (for that time when it is necessary to make final adjustments to the hitch to get proper WD). I use the truck stops off of IH-10 just east of town when I am at work.

This is where I would start: get the adjusted weight of the tow vehicle.

The thread in the Towing Sub-forum with "CAT SCALE" in the title is the basic primer. Read it, for starters.

A HENSLEY ARROW is a fine VPP hitch. I have one. I would today purchase the PRO PRIDE, but either is state-of-the-art for "sway elimination". Still, one must distribute the TW in a prescribed manner as with any WD hitch. So, with or without, some preparatory work is necessary. Thus, weighing the TV solo.

Once one has the scale ticket, report those numbers in this thread, and also the manufacturer shipping weights, plus GVWR, FAWR and RAWR, as found on the doorpost, in DODGE literature, or in the Towing Guide, online.

Just keep in mind that hitch adjustments will need to see the TV with the EXACT same loading when one did this initial weighing.

You needn't do the weighings separately, I am suggesting it as a course of familiarity with using a CAT Scale for the first time. Again, see that thread.

.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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Thanks for the education on the Hensley. I like the idea of putting it on myself and enlisting the help of a Hensley owner.

Now that it was mentioned, I am concerned about why it is "Swaying or Fish-Tailing". I talked to my dealer this morning who installed it. He recommended trying increasing the tension (link in chain) and it would not be a bad idea to take it to the scales.

I believe I will pursue taking it to the scales and go from there.

slowmover, thanks for your thoughtful explanation and food for thought. Would like to PM you, if ok.

I like the thought of getting to the bottom of this before moving on.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:38 PM   #11
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Do you have a Reese dual cam? Perhaps a pic of your rig hitched and ready to go?
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:54 PM   #12
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A little anecdote here. When I purchased my 28 in January I had the moving of the Hensley thrown in the deal. I was assured they knew what they were doing. I even dropped off the installation manual and asked that they verify everything. When I picked up the trailer I towed 50 miles to the Campground, white knuckle front end light, I have never had this issue before. I unhitched and realized the dealer had the spring bar jack bracket an inch and half out of alignment and the strut bars were not level as instructed. I was able to adjust the strut bars to correct the alignment of the hitch head and I leveled the struts. I towed another 125 miles home with no issues. I had installed the Hensley on my Safari and that experience paid off years later.

Sounds as you may be tongue light. Get a Sherline scale and weight your tongue.
Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
As stated, no welding. Are you SURE your Reese is set up properly? After I got mine dialed in, I never got any sway at all with my 30'er. I'd still be using it if I hadn't stumbled onto a great deal on a used HAHA.
I'm glad to hear someone else with a Reese say this.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:17 PM   #14
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It is a great hitch! The reason I asked about dual cam. If you don't have the cams adjusted so they are dead center of the bar end humps, you will get a twitchy on center feel. Once they are right, you're fine UNTIL you make a change in bar tension or a relatively significant change in TW or TV load.
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