Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-21-2004, 08:26 AM   #15
BAUXITE
 
Ed Keyes's Avatar
 
2004 25' Classic
homosassa , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 50
Thumbs up Is Hensley worth it?

I had a 25' Safari and it pulled like a dream with a Reese hitch. When we bought a 25' Classic, we had a lot of sway. We bought a Hensley as I convinced myself that it was worth it, if it would help eliminate a accident, not to mention what I have invested in trailer and pull vehicle. Have been in a few situations where something is on the highway and it is necessary to swerve quickly to avoid it. Not supposed to follow too close but you know how the space in front of you fills in. Hensley pulls great. As far as hooking up there are trade offs. You have to develope a knack of hooking up. Sometimes you cannot believe it is so easy and other times you have a little more trouble. You do not have the bars to content with and this is a plus. The spring bars are always in place and it only takes seconds to adjust with a portable drill. I use the drill, with the same size socket for the stabalizer jacks. The hitch bar is also lighter in the situations that you want to take it out and store it when set up in camp.
__________________

__________________
BAUXITE
Ed Keyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 08:27 AM   #16
4 Rivet Member
 
markjoandall's Avatar
 
2001 30' Excella
Bedford , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 347
Images: 4
It's worth every penny. If your GMC is the shorter "tahoe" style wheelbase you will need it with the weight your are towing. Once you get it installed and learn to hook up, you'd break anyone's arm if they tried to take it away.

I guess the best way put it, my wife would never drive while towing our sob. When we got the AS and the hemsley, she'll readily break me to drive. There is absolutely no hint of trailer input into the steering wheel.

We have the Jordan brake controller, you should have one that uses brake peddel pressure instead of the tail light to activate the brakes.
__________________

__________________
-Life is a journey, not a destination.
Aerosmith
markjoandall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 10:05 AM   #17
Rivet Master
 
Big Dee's Avatar
 
2004 30' Classic
San Jose , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,664
Images: 24
Thumbs up Wow, So Many Replies! Thanks!

I should have said in the first post that the Hensley would be for a 30' Classic (decided against slide). With my 25' Safari, I have a friction sway and with over 25,000 miles I've NEVER EVER felt sway. To this date, I don't know what it feels like.
So with the upgrade to the 30' Classic, I thought I don't want to start feeling it now.
I am going to order it today. I am still worried about the issue of not being able to realign the Hensley after unhooking on uneven ground.
Also, do I leave the Hensley on the trailer when storing??? That is worrisome, such an inviting target. What does everyone do with it when storing?
__________________
"It's the journey."

NorCal Fall Rally, Jackson Rancheria, October 7-9 2011 Click here for more info

Come rally with us.
Big Dee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 10:55 AM   #18
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
My 29' Ambassador came with a single friction bar. On the 'burb it didn't make much difference and I had no 'white knuckle' experiences with or without the friction bar. And that is in a place where they frequently close roads because of winds and there is a lot of commercial traffic on secondary highways and mountainous driving.

The B-190 is a bit more squirrely on its own and the trailer on it gave some evidence of needing some handling assistance. The old hitch was losing parts due to wear and corrosion. So I replaced it with an Equal-i-zer for $400. That did make a difference and improved handling on the B-Van and 29' trailer. I haven't tried the EQ on the 'burb, yet.

To me, sway or other handling problems should be addressed at their source if at all possible. This means proper loading, good tires at max inflation, well maintained vehicles designed for the task, and appropriate considerations in rigging.

From my experience, a properly configured Airstream, even the longer ones, do not need much in terms of sway control to improve handling - if all the basics are covered.

What you get with a Hensley is better handling and potentially better peace of mind. You have to compare these benefits to the cost for yourself. But please don't fall for the FUD mongering that is so commonly used to rationalize the expense. A Hensley will not completely eliminate sway (nothing will). A Hensley does not offer a fool proof zero risk hitch solution. The Hensley does have its quirks and maintenance needs that cannot be ignored, either.

You might also take an inventory of hitch types next time you stop at a campground. You will find very few Hensleys and even DC's and EQ's are not that prevalent. This says that simple friction bars or no sway control is completely satisfactory for most folks.

Its your money. A lot of more folks swear by the Hensley rather than at it. But it ultimately comes down to how much you want to spend for what you want to do and how you want to feel about it.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 11:08 AM   #19
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Quote:
We have the Jordan brake controller, you should have one that uses brake peddel pressure instead of the tail light to activate the brakes.
This, I think, is misleading. There are very few modern brake controllers that use the tail light to activate brakes.

The may use the switch (not the lights) on the brake pedal much the same way the jourdan does - to tell when braking is needed, but they don't use it to activate brakes.

With the jourdan, the position of the brake pedal is used to activate the brakes proportional to how far down the pedal is pushed.

The alternative, exemplified by the prodigy, uses the response of the vehicle to braking rather than the brake pedal position to determine proportional activation of trailer brakes.

My 'burb uses a hydraulic tap to set proportional trailer brake activation but that doesn't have any 'smarts' in the 'burb brake system to confuse things. There are some modern controllers that still tap into the hydraulic line, though.

Both the Jourdan and the Prodigy have many pleased customers. So let's not get into bashing what we don't have to rationalize our own choice. Instead, let's define our personal preferences that lead to our choice - and try to make sure these aren't falsly based.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 01:23 PM   #20
4 Rivet Member
 
markjoandall's Avatar
 
2001 30' Excella
Bedford , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 347
Images: 4
I'm not into bashing brake controllers. It's just that with a Hensley, in a hard braking situation that is also in a turn, the tow can receive a "bump" from the trailer that is a little un-nerving. I found that the inertia type controller did not have enough braking force soon enough to control the bump. I was constantly adjusting the gain for freeway driving and then back again for city driving. With the Jordan this is completely elimated as is the bump.

Also, I may be wrong, and anyone out there can correct me, but I think the power to the brake light is the indicator to turn on the inertia controller and begin a braking situation.

Mark
__________________
-Life is a journey, not a destination.
Aerosmith
markjoandall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 01:39 PM   #21
Rivet Master
 
Pahaska's Avatar
 
2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Hays County , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,822
Images: 3
Quote:
Originally posted by markjoandall
Also, I may be wrong, and anyone out there can correct me, but I think the power to the brake light is the indicator to turn on the inertia controller and begin a braking situation.

Mark
Ground through the brake light switch is the signal the controller uses. The hot side of the switch usually floats at close to 12v. That's where the controller connects. When you step on the brake, that point is grounded.

Arguably, this could be considered "power to the brake light", but circuitwise, it is the grounded condition that activates the controller.
__________________
John W. Irwin
2014.5 Touring Coach, "Sabre-Dog IV"
WBCCI #9632
Pahaska is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 02:05 PM   #22
Rivet Master
 
1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,351
Quote:
I found that the inertia type controller did not have enough braking force soon enough to control the bump.
this is indicative of a misadjustment. A properly adjusted brake controller of any type should not have any noticeable delay in its operation.

A disjoint braking effort is going to show with any hitch. The bumping you described is not characteristic of an intertia driven brake system.

What the hensley does as far as turning is to move the pivot point for the trailer well forward. For small angle turns, a Hensley towed trailer would tend to turn outside the tow vehicle track. For larger angle turns, the pivot point is farther aft tending towards an inside track as most hitches provide.
__________________
bryanl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 05:53 PM   #23
Rivet Master
 
Big Dee's Avatar
 
2004 30' Classic
San Jose , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,664
Images: 24
Need Some More Help...

Hensley owners, please tell me what you do with the hitch when you store it. I understand that the unit is suppose to stay on the trailer. Could someone steal it easily? What about the weather? Is it removed easily?
__________________
"It's the journey."

NorCal Fall Rally, Jackson Rancheria, October 7-9 2011 Click here for more info

Come rally with us.
Big Dee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 06:08 PM   #24
4 Rivet Member
 
ctdair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 328
Images: 3
Hitch lock should keep the honest people honest. Im looking at making some sort of cover for mine , just in the snow now. Ive heard paint doesnt hold up well. only towed a short distance with mine since ordering but like the feel. Never realy had sway with safari but when I went to 30SO experienced some and decided to go to hensley. I will weigh as road king moe suggested but looks like I should have a cat V hitch on truck as well. Is the weight hitch reason why You went to a non slide after It sounded like You fell in love with the slide? I LOVE my slide out what a gorgeus interior and I like the room when Its out. If you can swing it with some hitch upgrades You wont be sorry
__________________
"Forbidden Wheels Clubhouse Recon Team"
S/OS #010
2004 30ft Slide Out with Hensley Arrow hitch. Pulled By 2010 Dodge 2500 Diesel 4x4 Megacab
ctdair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 06:47 PM   #25
Rivet Master
 
Big Dee's Avatar
 
2004 30' Classic
San Jose , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,664
Images: 24
I was worried about the tow numbers. Then the hitch weight of 1250 hit me. The manuel says 1000# limit regardless of hitch class. That was it for the slide. But I sat in the non-slide 31' and it was a very nice floorplan. It has a very nice credenza and cabinets above the dinnete and more counter space. It dosen't have that open feel of the slide.
But the weights are much more in line with my Denali so it was an easy decision to go slideless. Also don't have to worry about any slide problems that I have read about in this forum. It is suppose to arrive in middle Feb. How do I pass the time?
__________________
"It's the journey."

NorCal Fall Rally, Jackson Rancheria, October 7-9 2011 Click here for more info

Come rally with us.
Big Dee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2004, 09:39 PM   #26
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
For security, I use a coupler latch lock, and weave a 5/8" Kryptonite cable in and out of the Hensley and through the A frame. Just trying to make it a little harder for them, as well as show the insurance company I've exercised "due care."

I also pull the breakaway cable back over the switch, wrap it around the jack, and run the Kryptonite cable through it. I do this to prevent vandals from pulling the pin and burning up the brakes, killing the batteries if the trailer's not plugged in or detempering the axle spindles if it is.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2004, 12:40 AM   #27
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Since you asked I'll tell you. Some say yes and some say no. I am from the camp that frankly feels that it is a great hitch, but not worth the money. There are several other great hitches out there. Are they as good, maybe...maybe not. It's where you'll have to do your own homework and take into account what has been said on the forums using the forum as a guide to ask further questions.

There are several games in town when it comes to hitches.
__________________
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2004, 01:25 PM   #28
Rivet Master
 
Big Dee's Avatar
 
2004 30' Classic
San Jose , California
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 1,664
Images: 24
Well, I ordered the Hensley today. I also ordered the tongue twister, extra part kit, extra wrench and the McKesh mirrors. All for the grand total of $3038.80. Ouch!!!

Thanks for everyone's two cents!
__________________

__________________
"It's the journey."

NorCal Fall Rally, Jackson Rancheria, October 7-9 2011 Click here for more info

Come rally with us.
Big Dee is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.