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Old 07-22-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Hensley, Pullrite, Air Ride hitches

I'm so confused....Each hitch has a purpose and very valid advantages. At what point do the positives start to out weigh the negitives...Where do we draw the line....How do I decide....Help me please. 28-31 Airstream, 2500 Dodge Ram 4x4.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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Here's some reading material for you: The Jim Hensley Hitch Story | ProPride, Incorporated
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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No where is there mention of the Hensley hitch absorbing the rough road energy between the truck & trailer like the Air Hitches with sway control do...I'm under the impression that the stiffness of a HD truck and the Airstream don't mix...
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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The Hensley, Pullrite serve 2 functions, weight distribution and sway control. The Air Ride, if equipped with WD adds a third, limiting the transmission of shock from TV to trailer and back.

Unless you are driving on the back roads of Alaska all the time I can't see a reason for an Air Ride Hitch.

With your 2500 Dodge I would look at a Reese Straight Line Hitch as more than enough. Yes the Hensley, and to a follow up extent the Pullrite have strong followers but the hitch up problems don't come any wheres near justifying the cost.


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Old 07-22-2009, 03:55 PM   #5
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As HowieE has stated, the Airide is designed to reduce shock to the trailer, and from the trailer to the tow vehicle...basically, ti improves the ride. I may be also combined with weight distribution, but I have not seen it coupled with the type of sway control that is used with either the Pullright (really a variation of a fifth wheel hitch), or a Hensley/Propride (both pivot projection hitches).

They are designed to do different things, and only you can determine what it is you need. If it's sway control, look at the Pullright, Hensley, Propride, or even some of the less "technical" of the weight distribution hitches with sway control. However, if it's improved ride you are interested in, you may want to consider the Airide, but I suggest you discuss your towing problems with each manufacturer to determine if their product is what you need.
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
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I personally have never been able to justify the amount of money that is Commanded for exotic hitches. My father used the REESE Straight Line Dual cam on the SOB's he owned and towed for yrs. I also have the same hitch (not his) Reese/DrawTite that do the job for me. I have no sway issues, my wife hates Interstates, so we travel alot of state and US highways, mostly 2 lane roads. I meet semi's of all configurations with all kinds of different wind conditions and have never had an issue.
As you can see by the lower corner of the page we have a F350 diesel, I use 550 lbs bars which give me flexing in the hitch without recoil or rebound and gives us and the trailer a smooth ride. I did have 1000 lb bars that were way to harsh, so I sold em.
The Reese will cost you about 1/10th what a exotic hitch will cost you and do the same job. Tow your trailer!
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The Hensley, Pullrite serve 2 functions, weight distribution and sway control. The Air Ride, if equipped with WD adds a third, limiting the transmission of shock from TV to trailer and back.

Unless you are driving on the back roads of Alaska all the time I can't see a reason for an Air Ride Hitch.

With your 2500 Dodge I would look at a Reese Straight Line Hitch as more than enough. Yes the Hensley, and to a follow up extent the Pullrite have strong followers but the hitch up problems don't come any wheres near justifying the cost.

I was a bit concerned about potential hitch up problems when I bought my Hensley.

My experience with it is still pretty limited, mainly just one cross country trip & back, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised.

A careful reading of the manual plus a few helpful tips from folks here on the forum, and so far, I have found hitching a breeze - plus no spring bars to install and hook up every time we hitch up. (they remain on the trailer)

As for the hitch performance - amazing - does exactly what they say!


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Old 07-22-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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I was a bit concerned about potential hitch up problems when I bought my Hensley.

My experience with it is still pretty limited, mainly just one cross country trip & back, but I will say I was pleasantly surprised.

A careful reading of the manual plus a few helpful tips from folks here on the forum, and so far, I have found hitching a breeze - plus no spring bars to install and hook up every time we hitch up. (they remain on the trailer)

As for the hitch performance - amazing - does exactly what they say!


Brian.

with all the positive remarks on the Hensley, does it do anything for the breaks in the Hwy. What I'm trying to say is does it eliminate the Jerk/Backlash between the Tow Vehicle and the Travel Trailer...??
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Old 07-22-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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Hitch up problems have been virtually eliminated with the new design of the hitch box on my hitch. With over 1000 on the road I have had less than 10 hitch up calls with the new design. At the orange company I had a full time guy that answered these calls daily. I would say that of all the improvements that Jim made in the new design, the hitch box design has been the single greatest improvement. It is the single most commented on feature from former orange owners now using the ProPride.

(As for the "exotic" hitch comment... the Orange, Pull-Rite and ProPride do NOT operate the same as the conventional designs)
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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Hitch up problems have been virtually eliminated with the new design of the hitch box on my hitch. With over 1000 on the road I have had less than 10 hitch up calls with the new design. At the orange company I had a full time guy that answered these calls daily. I would say that of all the improvements that Jim made in the new design, the hitch box design has been the single greatest improvement. It is the single most commented on feature from former orange owners now using the ProPride.

(As for the "exotic" hitch comment... the Orange, Pull-Rite and ProPride do NOT operate the same as the conventional designs)
Understanding that now the (hitch up) design flaws have been answered. Can you comment on my prior question...How does the hitch handle the Jerking/Clunk associated with broken Hwys and the stop & starting feeling that the Air Ride hitches solve...? For us, that rough ride (bucking) between the trailer and tow vehicle makes for a very uncomfortable road trip.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stufarmer View Post
Understanding that now the (hitch up) design flaws have been answered. Can you comment on my prior question...How does the hitch handle the Jerking/Clunk associated with broken Hwys and the stop & starting feeling that the Air Ride hitches solve...? For us, that rough ride (bucking) between the trailer and tow vehicle makes for a very uncomfortable road trip.

Jerking and clunking is a combination of a lot of factors. The hitch will do no more for jerking and clunking than any other weight distributing hitch. The weight distribution system of the hitch is the same as any other. As has been discussed at length in other threads, the spring bars need to be properly sized (600, 800, 1000 or 1400 are all available). If the bar is too stiff it will not flex under load and that will be transferred into the tow vehicle and trailer.

I expect to have an air ride option for my adjustable hitch bar by the end of the year and that will also help damp some of the road problems.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:37 PM   #12
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Howie says he does not see the advantage of Air Hitches on other than rough roads. Steve says he has not seen an air hitch with sway control as in Hensley or Pullright. Stufarmer asks about "Jerk Clunk"

I just put on a Air Safe Class 5 hitch. I have a Husky WD hitch attached to the Air Safe. The Husky has the usual place for a friction sway control.

I did this primarily to protect my Airstream from the rougher ride of my F250. I can say that the Air Safe dramatically improves the towability and you can see the AS suspension operating independantly without transmisson of minor bumps from the F250. Also bigger bumps are more quickly absorbed without being sent back and forth in wave fashion between the TV and towee. Overall the trailer tows straighter and is less subject to blow by from large vehicles. In general the trailer is significantly easier to tow. "Jerk/ Clunk is also intially reduced and is limited to the initial bump without aftershock. This is on the interstate at 60-70 mph and not on rough roads. On rough roads there is also great improvement in towing and comfort. I didn't know what I was missing till I tried it. I should say the only previous hitch I had was a Reese WD and have never used a Hensley or Pullright so I can't compare those hitches which I am sure have their advantages.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:48 PM   #13
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I have no doubt that the air ride hitch will reduce road shock to the trailer and tow vehicle. It is quite effective in 5th wheel hitches so I'm sure the same would be true in travel trailers.

I don't see how it could help in sway control whatsoever. Sway occurs in a different plane than the vertical plane that works with the air bags. In fact, it increases the lever arm between the rear axle of the tow and the hitch ball because it needs that space for the air bags and hitch mechanism. A force in the horizontal plane acting on the ball will create more steering torque in the tow vehicle and will require steering to control the trailer.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I have no doubt that the air ride hitch will reduce road shock to the trailer and tow vehicle. It is quite effective in 5th wheel hitches so I'm sure the same would be true in travel trailers.

I don't see how it could help in sway control whatsoever. Sway occurs in a different plane than the vertical plane that works with the air bags. In fact, it increases the lever arm between the rear axle of the tow and the hitch ball because it needs that space for the air bags and hitch mechanism. A force in the horizontal plane acting on the ball will create more steering torque in the tow vehicle and will require steering to control the trailer.
The specs on Air Safe (I assume Air Ride is similar) say I could use a Air Safe class 3 hitch for my Tradewind. This hitch does not have the capability of use in conjunction with a WD hitch and/or a sway bar. This is the combo I use: Class 5 Air Safe which also accomodates a Husky WD and friction sway bar. A big factor in choosing the Class 5 Air Safe was so I could also use a WD and sway control.

It's kind of like pornography. A Supreme Court Justice (forgot who) said I don't know how to define porn, but I know it when I see it. Your comment makes sense but I don't need to understand the physics behind the hitch to feel the noticable improvement in tracking, sway and being blown around by big rigs on the interstate compared to my Reese WD with the same friction sway bar. So for me this combination does reduce sway. Also, I am only using one swaybar and the hitch can accomodate 2. Syllogistically speaking, if the combination of Airsafe, WD and sway bar reduces sway more effectively than WD and sway control alone the Air Safe plays a role in reducing sway. This is not to say the Air Safe will reduce sway on it's own. Maybe, maybe not.
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