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Old 02-15-2004, 02:15 PM   #29
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Big Dee, congratulations !

I hope your new classic is everything you had dreamed of and that you also enjoy the Hensley.
We also wrap a security cord thru the hitch and around the trailer frame. When in use the lock housing is kept under the propane tank cover so it remains out of the weather.
Besides using the “tongue twister” to help adjust the horizontal positioning of the hitch, we also use the wooden “hitch ease” which allows the alignment of the hitch box and hitch bar without changing it back and forth from the car receiver to the Hensley. We also don’t need to make believe we can remember the angles of each, we just adjust the spring bars until the “hitch ease” matches the angle of the hitch bar. We then raise or low the hitch, remove the “hitch ease”, re adjust the height of the hitch box and back the bar into the hitch box.

We have learned the three most important points for hitching up are alignment, alignment, and alignment. This makes the whole process go smoothly. After about 4 or 5 times adjusting for each of our first 4 or 5 hookups ( 16 to 25 approaches) we have gotten much better at the alignment part.

We keep the hitch bar, hitch ease, wrenches and various other parts and check off list in a wooden carry box in the back of the suburban. When connected to the trailer, we keep the tongue twister, hitch ease, plastic blocks, various bungee cords, security cord, and check off list in place of the hitch bar so this box always has the unused hitch stuff in it.
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Old 02-15-2004, 07:10 PM   #30
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Thanks aluminauts,

That was a great post with nice pics! I take delivery of my new Classic on Wednesday and I do worry a bit about the Hensley hook up. I've read and reread good advice from you and others that should help the learning curve. I also purchased a set of telescoping red ball on magnets that should really help with the alignment when backing up. I'll let you know how I do hooking up the first few times.
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:03 PM   #31
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The Hensley is a great hitch I tried it and liked it, however the Reese works fine with the AS. When I get home and I need to back up the driveway to park, which is a pain, the Hensley is invaluable. I instead attach my tow bar to the tow receiver to the three point hitch on my tractor which makes backing up sooooo easy. There I a brake controller on the tractor. I would have kept the Hensley but you really don't' back up that much while in tow and that is what I liked about the Hensley. I'll keep the Reese and I'll keep my tractor.
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:06 PM   #32
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[QUOTE=aluminauts] remove the “hitch ease”, re adjust the height of the hitch box and back the bar into the hitch box.
Jack,
I am not familar with a "hitch ease" Where did you get it? It looks like it would save alot of time!
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Old 03-25-2005, 03:15 PM   #33
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I have heard some horror stories about hitching and unhitching Hensleys. I do know that I have put my 34 in places where I was at a horrible angle when I got on my spot and had to use the same 30-40 degree angle to get out, I'm not certain how well a Hensley would work in this situation it may do just fine.
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:26 AM   #34
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As I've posted here before, I put our 34 on one side of our 20' wide driveway from a 20' wide street. When hooking up, it's a Hensley worst-case scenario. The driveway slopes down considerably to the street and is crowned, so the trailer is nose-down and rolled to streetside. The truck backs up to the trailer at a 45-50 degree angle, with the right rear tire down in the dip where the driveway meets the street and the left front tire up on the street crown, so the truck is tail-down and rolled to curbside.

To get the Hensley, which is nose-down with the rest of the trailer, tilted up to match the angle of the drawbar, I adjust the screw jacks symmetrically, extending them almost all the way. To get the Hensley, which is rolled curbside, to roll to streetside to match the drawbar, I then adjust the screw jacks assymetrically. I use the trailer tongue jack to get the heights to match, and a combination of the Hensley rotation and the Tongue Twister to match the drawbar laterally, correcting any slight error I made in backing up to it.

Because our truck tailgate is so high, I use some backing aids consisting of yellow tennis balls on telescoping car antennas attached to magnetic bases, one on the Hensley receiver, and one on the drawbar.

It takes longer to write about it than to do it, and that's as bad as it can get with a Hensley.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:46 AM   #35
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Maurice, that sounds like a nightmare..

The only times I have had any difficulty hitching to the hensley, has been when the jacks were not down enough.. With the tongue twister, Terry gave me when I went to see them at Hensley inc, I have even less problem finding the hole.. )

I do not store my Airstream anywhere, 'cept on my own land, when I had some, so the security of the hitch has not been a problem.. Now you mention it, I had better figure out a way of securing the thing, whilst sitting here, living in it.
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:44 AM   #36
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Theo, Here's how I secure ours. It's in the Files area of the HensleyArrowRVHitchClub group on Yahoo and you may have to "join" the group to see it.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:05 AM   #37
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The hitcheze is the grey wooden bar that sits in the Hitch end and is used to help visualize the alignment angle and position of the Hensley receiver compared to the drawbar. Post # 29 above shows a picture of tongue twister, hitch eze, and the Gorilla cable that I keep thru the hitch when not connected to the drawbar.

This wooden bar takes the place of moving the drawbar back and forth from tow vehicle to hitch as the instructions indicate for alignment. As the I get the drawbar closer to the wood bar the ratchet wrench can lay across the gap and show the height and alignment between hitch and bar.
The hitcheze then comes out and I slowly advance until drawbar just enters the hitch, any slight adjustment (jack or tongue twister) and then continue back to seat the bar. So far, we’ve had no real problems hitching after the first couple of “learning tries”. I don’t believe we’ve faced the angles and tip that RoadKingMoe takes about, we’ll just have to see what happens when we are forced to hitch under such conditions.

The hitcheze bar was sold by Hensley, but I think they now have something that has added vertical backing view posts that somehow add to aid in viewing tow vehicle to hitch alignment while backing as well as allow drawbar alignment without moving the drawbar. I have not seen this offering, but would think a 2x2 wooden bar with the added centering collar, like the drawbar has, could be made relatively easily.
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:16 AM   #38
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So Big Dee....it's been a few months now, any updates?
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:20 PM   #39
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I tow 20 footers only. No need for rocket cience hanging from my bumper.
I would consider a Hensley if they stopped using the Intrepid towing a 34 footer in their advertising.
I use a Reese Dual Cam and a buddy of mine tows a bigger Argosy with the Equalizer and those both work great.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:50 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
So Big Dee....it's been a few months now, any updates?
Twink,

Well I towed all over the Pacific Northwest last summer so I really had a good tryout of the Hensley. I do love it. It just feels good to know it's there. The 30' Classic is prone to sway from what I read but not with the Hensley of course. If the strut bars are not tight on the Hensley then sway can develop. This one time my struts were loose I got bigtime fishtailing from a passing big rig. Scary feeling. You can bet my struts are tight now. Also brkoe the grease zerk when on the road and the factory sent me a replacement stat and didn't charge me anything. Great product backed by a great company. Twink, if you go for the 31' Classic, you will want to upgrade to the Hensley.
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:46 PM   #41
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Eventually, an entire crew of Airstreamers were around him trying to help, including Hensley owners. It was almost laughable -- too many cooks so to speak.
The only time I've have trouble hooking up our Hensley was the few times I've had a crowd watching. Must a be a Murphy's law kind of thing.

We could get by with a cheaper hitch, but with 4 kids in the tow vehicle I wanted all the help I could get. A couple of weeks ago I had to avoid a large block of wood on a busy interstate at dusk. I swerved instinctively without even thinking about the trailer, and it just followed along perfectly without a hint of sway.

I probably wouldn't have bought one new, but we got a used one for about half the price of a new one.

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Old 04-18-2005, 06:55 AM   #42
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Thanks, thanks,thanks,thanks,thanks!

Big Dee, Thanks for mentioning in post #40 of this thread that you noticed sway develop when your strut bars were not as tight as intended.
I have just returned from my first tow since I checked that my bars were TIGHT. They hadn't seemed to move forward or backwards when I jiggle them, but did seem to slide laterally on their mount bar. I slid back the box cover, and twisted on the lock nut, IT WAS about a full turn LOOSE on each bar. After I tightened according to the Hensley book, I could no longer even jiggle them on their mount bar.
AND NOW
I feel like a 54 foot suburban with trailer extension NOT just a pretty closely coupled trailer. I have moved up to a tow with NO SWAY as Hensley advertises.
Your comment in the mention post got me to thinking maybe I was not as tight as I should have been, I am eternally grateful.
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