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Old 11-30-2008, 08:34 AM   #1
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Question Hensley Question for 30ft ?

I recently saw a video Hensley made promoting there hitches. They show a fairly recent full size car pulling a 34ft trailer. Does this hitch system allow you to pull you trailer with a smaller tow vehicle with ease. I have a 3/4 Sub (with the nuclear engine!) & 30ft Classic, I am considering possibly downsizing tow vehicle for fuel economy while traveling or daily useage.
If you can use a smaller tow vehicle, what do owners of 30ft trailers drive?
Can anyone with this type of hitch share experience or info on this.

Thanks,

Cary
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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You can give AndrewT on the forums a PM. He works for Can-Am RV in Ontario, and can give you some guidance with the HAHA and smaller tow vahicle.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantostream View Post
I recently saw a video Hensley made promoting there hitches. They show a fairly recent full size car pulling a 34ft trailer. Does this hitch system allow you to pull you trailer with a smaller tow vehicle with ease. I have a 3/4 Sub (with the nuclear engine!) & 30ft Classic, I am considering possibly downsizing tow vehicle for fuel economy while traveling or daily usage.
If you can use a smaller tow vehicle, what do owners of 30ft trailers drive?
Can anyone with this type of hitch share experience or info on this.

Thanks,

Cary
I still drive my F-250. Gotta watch out for those stray police cruisers.
Depending on where you tow and what you expect to get you may be able to get away with a smaller TV. I have had two accidents with an F-250 (3/4 ton) and my Classic 31. The first I was making ice and did not know it. Lost control and rolled the truck. I was not hurt. The trailer seperated and recieved "minor damage". The second accident I was on dry interstate and side swiped by a police cruiser. I manage to regain control and stop safely.
The reason. Wheel base of my truck realative to my trailer and the weight of my truck realitve to my trailer.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantostream View Post
I recently saw a video Hensley made promoting there hitches. They show a fairly recent full size car pulling a 34ft trailer. Does this hitch system allow you to pull you trailer with a smaller tow vehicle with ease. I have a 3/4 Sub (with the nuclear engine!) & 30ft Classic, I am considering possibly downsizing tow vehicle for fuel economy while traveling or daily useage.
If you can use a smaller tow vehicle, what do owners of 30ft trailers drive?
Can anyone with this type of hitch share experience or info on this.

Thanks,

Cary
I just bought a used 30' classic in September and towed it home from Ohio to Ontario with the 1/2 ton pickup that I owned at the time, and used with our previous Award trailer.

It was fine with the Award, but when towing the AS, I immediately recognized that it wasn't the relaxing towing experience I had been used to. I did experience some sway and felt as though I was only just in control. I was using a conventional WD hitch/sway bar.

Since then, I bought and installed a Hensley hitch, but haven't head time to really test it other than short 15 mile runs on secondary roads to my storage spot..

Even with the Hensley, I felt that my half ton was marginal at best.

When I checked the numbers (CGWV-combined gross vehicle weight) I found that my 1/2 ton in combination with the truck was 1000# over the
allowable CGVW for my truck.

That fact, coupled with the research I had done on this forum (seems that maybe 80% or so tow thirty footers with a 3/4 ton truck) convinced me to go that route and I picked up the new truck last Friday.

I believe it will be a great match.

Our case may be a bit like yours in that our truck will be our daily driver - i don't think the fuel saving would warrant our running a second vehicle, we are retired.

While I do think we could have gotten away with the smaller truck, I felt it was a trade off between economy versus safety and a relaxed towing experience, and I chose the latter.

I think that having the Hensley with the 2500HD can only be an added feature in terms of safety/relaxed towing.

Just my own conclusions/decision - I'm sure you will get many differing views!
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantostream View Post
Does this hitch system allow you to pull you trailer with a smaller tow vehicle with ease.
Can anyone with this type of hitch share experience or info on this.

Thanks,

Cary
Welcome Aboard

30 ft. "with ease".......no.

There is no inherent horsepower,torque,wheelbase or brake advantages built into the Hensley. It will allow you to tow with just about anything with NO sway. IMHO.. Your Suburban is a good choice.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy, that goes about 7500# loaded for travel. We have pulled Lucy over 40,000 miles in the last 2+ years. We have used a Hensley Arrow since Lucy was new. We have towed Lucy with two different 2500 Suburbans ('04 and '05). We have also towed Lucy with our 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe. All three can pull the load, and the Hensley prevent all sway. There is a noticeable difference between the Tahoe and the Subs. The Subs pull Lucy without any difficultly, and stop the whole rig with confidence.
The Tahoe did an OK job of towing Lucy. The main difference was in the upgrade department. The 5.3 just does not have the guts of the 6.0. In the stopping department, the Tahoe was just not as confidence inspiring.

The Subs are just deeper into my towing comfort zone.

Brian
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies, my previous (and first) trailer was a toy hauler with lots of hitch weight and lots of side wall surface, I never had any sway whatsoever. I would move my trailer on short distances using just a heavy duty hitch without any bars. I used this same hitch to pick-up my Airstream at the dealer and when driving home I experienced sway for the first time while passing a car. Conditions where great no wind, has I passed a car doing about 65mph the trailer started swaying. I hear alot of talk on this site about swaying, would this mean that Airstreams are prone to swaying or are they balanced in a different way?
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
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T I hear alot of talk on this site about swaying, would this mean that Airstreams are prone to swaying or are they balanced in a different way?
Airstreams are one of, if not the best towing trailers built.

Over 90% of the rigs on the roads today are not connected optimally. Of those 90% most are only marginal with many being "sad". That is why there is sway and handling problems.

Another aspect to consider is TV's. Many are not that good.

It is not an Airstream issue.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantostream View Post
Thanks for your replies, I hear alot of talk on this site about swaying, would this mean that Airstreams are prone to swaying or are they balanced in a different way?
As RR said it's NOT an Airstream issue, more like an Airstreamer issue.
I just believe that we all are a LOT more concerened about safety than the average SOB (A/S speak, some other brand), tower.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #10
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I'll agree with the above two. I do not have an Airstream, but vintage kin of all-aluminum construction and some degree of aerodynamic shaping. A/S owners have already decided that:

low center of gravity
fully independent suspension
great aerodynamics
lower weight (relative to size; moreso on vintage units)

give not only increased fuel economy -- less power needed to pull -- but more resistance to sway, whatever the cause of "wind". Mine is less by degree but has these characteristics as well (no IFS, though).

Problems with sway on this or any trailer are questions of proper rigging, and few, if any TV/TT combinations you will see on the road have been thoroughly gone over. Maybe 5-6 out of every 100 will be correct, or, as-good-as-possible.

An A/S is that next step up. What is possible -- for road-ability, if you will -- is much greater than ANY square box being pulled down the road.

The best example is on a highway crossing of the Great Plains with a constant 30 mph wind, with higher gusts, causing the tractor-trailers pulling 53' box vans to start to exit the road due to fatigue from keeping them in their lane. Higher winds can cause that huge sail area represented by the side of the van to start lifting the rear tandem axles off the road . . . and the driver not be able to feel it.

Square edges "trap" the wind, and in a manner of feedback the pressure along the wall can rapidly increase. Rounded corners, leading and trailing edges, don't have this same problem. The same for the IFS: high winds, pushing one side, can't lift those wheels off the ground so easily. Etc.

Even without the crosswind this means better handling as we trundle along with our own, self-created, 60-mph wind we pull our trailers down the road.

Be aware that the bigger tow vehicles also create their own problems of being insensitive, through the steering, to trailer movement. It is the best possible recommendation that no matter the TV, we should nail down every possible parameter of our hitch rigging.
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