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Old 09-02-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
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Hensley / ProPride VS Friction anti-sway

Does anyone have experience with Hensley/ProPride and friction anti-sway systems using the same TV and Airstream? I have used a Hensley for 40,000 miles but found hitching and unhitching to be tedious. I would like a ball hitch for that reason.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Yes, I do. I have used Equal-i-zer, Reese Dual-cam, and hensley during the past 2 1/2 years. Here are my feelings on the first two.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...est-76068.html

I like the Hensley the best of all three. HOWEVER, I found my Hensley used at a bargain price I could not pass up. If I were buying new, I'd get a Propride for several reasons, but the biggest reason is the adjustable tilt/height stinger.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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i have the propride. hitching solo is pretty easy. in fact maybe easier because as mentoned above, with the tilt head i can adjust the head angle to match the stinger angle.

what i do is to back up to the head, get out and check/adjust the angles , then make the final connection. i've even done it in one maneuver a few times :-)

with just a ball, if you're off more than an inch side to side, you have to start over.
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #4
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Hitching and unhitching is tedious no matter what you've got. To make life a little less tedious (or at least more efficient) I've gotten in the habit of lining up the night before leaving and also getting rid of all the little tasks around the campsite that you can do in advance - what is left for the morning chores is just finish hooking-up and go.

As for the difference between a Hensley and Friction Sway Control? The answer will vary depending on the relationship between your tow vehicle and your trailer - our tow vehicle is a short wheel-based, high centre of gravity SUV - not the best for towing ......

Our first (and second) hitch with Friction Sway Control was "OK - kinda - sorta". These hitches always left me looking in the mirrors for the next truck to pass and then responding to the bow wave when it did pass. Towing in a strong cross-wind was not comfortable.

After upgrading to the Hensley towing has become very relaxed - no impact at all from passing trucks or other large vehicles - cross-winds do not have anywhere near the same impact (if there is it the whole rig moves as a unit - there is not sway) - an incredible difference in towing comfort.

So - for me there is no comparison - even thinking about going back to a Friction Sway Control is not in the cards.

If you were really intent on trying this - maybe make it an experiment - but don't sell the Hensley until you know your are comfortable ......



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Old 09-03-2012, 08:22 AM   #5
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I've had on our current trailer, a basic setup with friction sway, Dual Cam, then Dual Cam with friction sway, and now a Hensley. I would not go back, even though we now have an extremely capable tow vehicle. The frustration of hitching up, is more than offset by the relaxation of towing with the Hensley.
BAL makes a device called a Tongue Twister. It is set under the tongue jack base, and you crank a bolt to move the tongue side to side so it will line up with your tow vehicle. You only have to get "close", and you can adjust the trailer so it will slide onto the stinger.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
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If you don't like disc brakes, convert the TV back to drums. Same for radial tires and gas pressurized shock absorbers. There are always inferior mechanisms. Going from the best hitch type to one inferior in all ways is the wrong way to solve the problem (that isn't much of a problem once understood).

2Airishuman, in his long thread on the HAHA, has descriptions and pictures of how to more easily align the two hitch components for re-attachment using an inexpensive set of hitch aids.

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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I travel solo. Have a ProPride 3P....my TV has a very clear back up camera and I am able to get the stinger "on the money" with just a couple of tries. As Terry suggests, the tongue twister can be helpful IF I remember to drop the jack into it when I unhitch. Have had only one time when I needed to "re-angle" the stinger....that did take a bit more time. All this is offset by the towing experience -- zero sway -- and even a 53 foot 18 wheeler blasting by my at 65 MPH is almost undetectable.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:13 AM   #8
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and even a 53 foot 18 wheeler blasting by my at 65 MPH is almost undetectable.

That would be a 72' combination (the longest trailer length is 53'). I don't "quite" feel the TT, but notice the RA have to hold against the surge (truck bow wave) as the body moves against the suspension (bed topper makes for more sail area). There isn't so much of a steering correction as more the anticipation of needing to make one (road surface variances plus the bow wave blast).

This is entirely different than with the second and third tier hitches where anticipatory means actual steering corrections as a big truck passes (the amount and duration being in play).

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Old 09-03-2012, 09:42 PM   #9
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My biggest problem with the Hensley Arrow was with un-hitching. I resorted to unpinning the stinger at the tv and most often that would release before the stinger would come out of the box. Believe me, I used every technique in the book to make this work. It is an unacceptable design in my opinion. However, maybe mine was defective? I bought it new though. If anyone has not had any sticking of the stinger in the box I would love to hear that. I'm thinking of an Anderson next unless I can be convinced the ProPride has solved these Hensley issues. I liked the way the rig behaved with the Hensley for sure.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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I have never had a stick. If you watch the stinger/receiver interface as you raise the tongue jack, you'll see a moment where the two relax and move slightly independently from one another. STOP the jack switch. You're there. Get in the TV and drive off.
If you miss it, or don't go far enough, the receiver and the stinger are in tension and they will stick. Not a big deal, have someone show you what I describe.

Edit: This is after you have securely chocked the wheels and released the Over Center cams....as well as the chains and the breakaway switch cable.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:04 PM   #11
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I have Rock Tamers attached to the stinger. While I am lowering the jack, I have my free hand trying to shake the Rock Tamer bar. As soon as I am able to rattle it, I adjust the jack for maximum play. If something goes wrong and I miss the "sweet spot", I raise the jack and start over.

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
I have Rock Tamers attached to the stinger. While I am lowering the jack, I have my free hand trying to shake the Rock Tamer bar. As soon as I am able to rattle it, I adjust the jack for maximum play. If something goes wrong and I miss the "sweet spot", I raise the jack and start over.

Ken
Nice....same sweet spot but with a tactile input as well as the sight input. i have rock tamers too....I'll remember this.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rp709 View Post
My biggest problem with the Hensley Arrow was with un-hitching. I resorted to unpinning the stinger at the tv and most often that would release before the stinger would come out of the box. Believe me, I used every technique in the book to make this work. It is an unacceptable design in my opinion. However, maybe mine was defective? I bought it new though. If anyone has not had any sticking of the stinger in the box I would love to hear that. I'm thinking of an Anderson next unless I can be convinced the ProPride has solved these Hensley issues. I liked the way the rig behaved with the Hensley for sure.
Our first season with the Hensley we had some serious sticking when trying to unhook as well - but I've learned that an application of WD40 not only helps with the hooking up - but the unhooking as well. Before every hook-up wipe the stinger free of any oil or grease and apply a couple squirts on all four sides towards the end of the stinger and also on the sides of angled wedge portion as well. Never had the stinger stick since - that would be 5 camping seasons and literally hundreds of hook-ups later .....


Jay
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:53 PM   #14
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With our current rig (Suburban/30’ Slide), I used a 1200/12000 Equal-I-Zer for about (10,000) miles, and have settled on a Hensley 1400/14000 for about the last (25,000) miles.


Without a doubt, would never consider anything but a ‘pivot-point-projection’ hitch.

I still get the occasional ‘sticky stinger’. I’ve found it sometimes happens even after I’ve adjusted the tongue jack to the ‘relaxed’ position (i.e. where the stinger and receiver show no tension). When this happens, I hop out of the truck (with it in ‘park’, of course) and push on the stinger/lower receiver with my foot. Since there’s already tension on the connection, the back and forth motion is enough to pop it free. Works everytime… the secret is getting that ‘sweet spot’ where there is no tension or weight between the TV and hitch (and that’s easy to spot because there’s enough ‘slop’ in my trucks hitch receiver/stinger). But for those rare instances, I’m going to give RangerJay’s WD40 trick.


Before I had a rear-camera, I tried the ‘Tongue-Twister’. Didn’t like it, because you can’t chock the wheels until after you adjust the tongue left or right- otherwise, you end up just bending your tongue jack post… and attempting to hitch up, without the wheels chocked is risky…


Using a rear camera takes all the fuss out of it. Easy-peezy-lemon-squeezy.
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