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Old 06-30-2008, 01:38 PM   #1
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Hensley Paint Failure

After less than 18 months my new Hensley started to look worse than the 30 year old hitch on my 76 Sovereign. The Orange was faded and the paint on the adjusting tubes was chipping and rust was starting to form on all the parts. I dismantled it and lightly sanded all the parts and then sprayed it with several light coats of the Airstream Grey touch up paint purchased from Colonial Airstream for $20.00 a can. Well the paint wouldn't completely dry, remaining sticky. Today I started using paint remover, a wire brush in an electric drill and a random orbit sander to remove all the paint down to bare metal and start over again. One thing that I discovered was , there was a lot of rust on the metal parts that was painted over at Hensley and they don't use a primer. Nice hitch, terrible paint job. They could do a much better job for $3,000.00 .Glad that I don't have to strip and repaint my truck every 18months.
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Old 06-30-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
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My Hensley is a little over 2 years old and has had extensive use, 260 nights out in the Airstream and over 32,000 miles. The orange is a little chalky and the black is beginning to chip and has surface rust. The orange can be brought back a bit with car wax. The black needs some touch-up, but I just haven't gotten around to it

The old Hensley isn't looking real great, but I'll keep it as opposed to a brand new shinny anything else.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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Mine made it [3] weeks before the paint chipped away from the rust in several places.
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Old 06-30-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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I finally stripped and repainted with POR-15 Inc.. It holds up great and doesn't chip.
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:16 PM   #5
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Yep, ours is the same. Great hitch but the paint job failed wicked early. Many folks in our club have repainted theirs using POR 15. We will be doing the same. Only thing to think of now is what color should we paint it?
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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It's kinda like the big red numbers; it's supposed to be ORANGE!

Brian
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
It's kinda like the big red numbers; it's supposed to be ORANGE!

Brian
Maybe. But folks in our unit have painted theirs to match the bottom trim of their campers (dark grey, blends right in), red to match their TV (looks wicked hot) and orange, which looks ORANGE. I'm hoping to paint ours royal blue, to match the trim line around our camper.......
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:49 PM   #8
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Same chipping problem after less than 6 months.

I should have waited and bought the Propride hitch.

I hope Propride puts Hensley out of business.

It's down right shameful for a company that's been in business for so many years to put out such a shoddy product.

Wake up Hensley before you become obsolete!!! (if it's not too late)

Dennis
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:57 AM   #9
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I should have....
well, there is NO question the paint is crap.

and the fact is i've had LOUSY customer service from hensley several times.

but short of something like the por15 product OR a linex coating...

they are ALL gonna chip/rust, even the black powdercoated new one...

but as for jumping ship, just yet....

YOU have read about the new hitch CRACKING right?

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Originally Posted by owheely View Post
First off we're back safe and sound from a 5,000 mile cross country trip... noticed a crack in the top plate of the main hitch unit later in the week when we were thinking about hooking up again...
see post #46 here...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ket-42311.html

it's not like the crappy orange paint should be a surprise to ne1 buying this product.

we've been covering that issue for 2+years, and actually much longer...

so much has been posted here, about the inferior paint job,

that folks buying HERE should know well in advance about the issue.

so 4 now, i'll take repainting for the 2nd time, over cracked welds or other as yet unknown structural issues...

it's a dog fight now folks between these 2 blocks of iron, and the next 2 years will be bloody (and rusty)...

cheers
2air'
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:23 AM   #10
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Hensley is a good hitch, but now that I own one, it's not $3,000.00 good. And, it's no big secret that they put a cheap paint job on them ,but if Orange were your trade mark color wouldn't you work with a couple of paint companies to find a paint that doesn't fade in a few months? When a company touts their product as the best, safest,most fantastic hitch on the market and then sends them out the door with a $2.00 paint job it's going to give me great pleasure to see a competitor eat their lunch. When I called Hensley to complain about the paint failing, they responded that they knew about it and was working on it. What they are actually working on is telling their customers that "we're working on it" I wouldn't recommmend the company to anyone.
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:10 PM   #11
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hmmm, let's see...choose between bad paint or good hitch? I'll choose the hitch and retain the right to complain about the paint until even I get bothered enough to repaint. I am pretty tough, though, in that respect.

Pat
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Old 07-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #12
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yeah...yeah....I'm a little calmer now...the topic just hit a nerve!
The Hensley is a great hitch...pulls like a dream.

But...why would a company put on such a lousy paint job?
People are always coming over to me to ask about the "interesting hitch"

I tell them how great it is.....they ask "how long have you had it?"
Less than 6 months.....they look at it...puzzled....what's with the rust?

Doesn't make them want to run out and buy one......

2air...I did see the post on the cracking hitch.....hmmm...should have spent less on the finish and more on product development?

Dennis
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
hmmm, let's see...choose between bad paint or good hitch? I'll choose the hitch and retain the right to complain about the paint until even I get bothered enough to repaint. I am pretty tough, though, in that respect.

Pat

Pat, it's not a choice between a good hitch and a bad paint job.A buyer should get both. The hitch is made to be left outside attached to your Airstream. It should be able to withstand the weather. I'm a Cabinetmaker, building custom furniture. Would it be O.K. if I built you something for $3,000.00 that the finished failed on in less than a year? Would you recommend me to your friends? Odds are if I continued to use poor finishing methods I'd be in court and out of business in short order. Hensley doesn't state in their glowing praise of their product that " needs to be repainted yearly". Yes, it pi$$'s me off. I have better things to do than to re-do what should have been done to a higher standard in the first place and no I wouldn't recommend Hensley to anyone. I think they already have as many over-the-top testimonials telling prospective buyers how the Hensley saved their lives as the need.
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Old 07-01-2008, 02:21 PM   #14
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Vintage Look for our Hensley

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