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Old 02-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Hensley self tapping shear bolts

What size are the self tapping shear bolts used to hold the Frame Bracket to the A Frame

Thanks
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:39 AM   #2
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The self-tapping shear bolts on the Hensley Arrow are 1" x 3/8". As far as bolt grade goes, you do not want a high grade bolt as it needs to fail when certain pressures are reached. If it doesn't, it may cause damage to the Hensley.

Go to the hardware store and get 1" x 3/9" wood lag bolts.

Brian
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #3
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Different Take On Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
The self-tapping shear bolts on the Hensley Arrow are 1" x 3/8". As far as bolt grade goes, you do not want a high grade bolt as it needs to fail when certain pressures are reached. If it doesn't, it may cause damage to the Hensley.

Go to the hardware store and get 1" x 3/9" wood lag bolts.

Brian
My 2002 ASCL 31 was set up with the Hensley by CanAm RV. Before the Hensley was mounted Andy Thomson advised me that although the shear bolts would help protect the Hensley from damage in an over stress situation, that is exactly the situation in which failure is not an option and that to have a bent Hensley strut (keeps the Hensley from "yawing" on the ball) is far better than having the bolts shear and loose control of the AS.

He advised that he welded the strut attachments to the "A" frame, and I agreed with him; been welded for over 35,000 miles without incident.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
My 2002 ASCL 31 was set up with the Hensley by CanAm RV. Before the Hensley was mounted Andy Thomson advised me that although the shear bolts would help protect the Hensley from damage in an over stress situation, that is exactly the situation in which failure is not an option and that to have a bent Hensley strut (keeps the Hensley from "yawing" on the ball) is far better than having the bolts shear and loose control of the AS.

He advised that he welded the strut attachments to the "A" frame, and I agreed with him; been welded for over 35,000 miles without incident.
Other than the downside of damaging the Hensley are there other safety concerns in welding the strut attachments to the A frame.

The shear bolts that were installed when I mounted the Hensley about 10 years actualy sheared on oneside a few days ago when I was backing in to my drive way. Although I have done this 100's of times, on this occasion I backed to sharply (jack knifed) to one side and the bolts on strut mount sheared and the strut mount moved back along the A frame. No damage to the Hensley struts so the shear bolts did their job.

I tried the 3/8' wood lag bolts but could not get them started.

Don
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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Other than the downside of damaging the Hensley are there other safety concerns in welding the strut attachments to the A frame.
Don
The only other down side would be that you could not readily move the Hensley from the AS to another RV without either grinding the welds away or purchasing new mounting hardware from Hensley (which is what I would probably do as it shouldn't be that expensive).

Welding them to the AS "A" frame does no damage as I don't believe the frame is made of any specially tempered steel which heat would affect. The welds on mine are only across the top and down the side of the REAR of the bracket keeping the bracket from sliding along the "A" frame, while the 2 each "U" bolts hold the bracket to the "A" frame.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #6
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POI...on install I used one of the extra bolts to thread all the holes before mounting the plates.
Just seemed to me there was way too much torque being applied while cutting the threads, the bolts just might be very close to failure right from the 'git-go.
I remove the haha during Winter storage, ('cept plates), and check everything thoroughly at Spring get ready.
Bolts are galvanized and have been replaced twice in five years following the RCM procedure. SFSG.

Welding?...

Bob
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl View Post
My 2002 ASCL 31 was set up with the Hensley by CanAm RV. Before the Hensley was mounted Andy Thomson advised me that although the shear bolts would help protect the Hensley from damage in an over stress situation, that is exactly the situation in which failure is not an option and that to have a bent Hensley strut (keeps the Hensley from "yawing" on the ball) is far better than having the bolts shear and loose control of the AS.

He advised that he welded the strut attachments to the "A" frame, and I agreed with him; been welded for over 35,000 miles without incident.
I, also, had one of the Hensley bolts shear in a tight backing situation several years ago. Had it not sheared (as designed), it may have resulted to damage to the hitch and/or the Airstream.

Each can do as he or she likes, but I think that I will cast my lot with Hensley's advice versus CanAm.

I have now towed Lucy almost 90,000 miles without a hitch (no pun intended).

Brian
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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another question

For now I am going to stay with the shear bolts.

I have another question. The struts mounts are back in place and the ubolts are on with the shear bolts. I have lined of the orange hear front to back and sise to side and tightened the struts on bolts sides. But although the struts are tight I can still with some effort lift the lock on on the right side and cause the cause the orange head to shift off line about an 2 inches. in other words if you look at it from the front the heaqd is leaning to your left. I have loosened the struts and leveled and tightened the struts but this still happens. Any thoughts.

Thanks

Don
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by adonh View Post
For now I am going to stay with the shear bolts.

I have another question. The struts mounts are back in place and the ubolts are on with the shear bolts. I have lined of the orange hear front to back and sise to side and tightened the struts on bolts sides. But although the struts are tight I can still with some effort lift the lock on on the right side and cause the cause the orange head to shift off line about an 2 inches. in other words if you look at it from the front the heaqd is leaning to your left. I have loosened the struts and leveled and tightened the struts but this still happens. Any thoughts.

Thanks

Don
To adjust the struts you must pull the assembly forward until it is ABSOLUTELY straight, then adjust the struts so that each is under "some" compression when the orange "head" is in alignment. If the Hensley is new this may take several iterations over a few miles as the struts may loosen as they wear in as mine did.

Additionally, the "head" is free to move in pitch and roll on the ball; it is only held firm in yaw.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Don,

Do you have the Hensley manual?, adjustment explained on page 17.

Remember you can use the jacks to level the head side side to side, as in pic.

Bob
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:20 PM   #11
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getting back to this

I have had the trailer in storage since the last response but I have it home for a few days and maybe I can back to this issue. Yes I have the manual and I think I have followed the set described on pg 17. But here is what I have experienced recently after not having this issue for the past 8 to 9 years that the Hensley has been on the A/S.

The "yaw as indicated in a previous post is held firmly on place by the struts. But when I unhitch from the TV the orange will move shift off line about 2" and the hitch box with actual tilt downwar a little to the ground. I tried using the jacks to realign and get the hitch box level but that did not seem to works. The end result is difficulty hooking up.

Like I say I have the trailer home and I will take some photos that might show what I am experiencing better.

More to follow

Don
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:00 PM   #12
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......."when I unhitch from the TV the orange will move shift off line about 2" and the hitch box with actually tilt downward a little to the ground. I tried using the jacks to realign and get the hitch box level but that did not seem to works. The end result is difficulty hooking up."
Don,

The same thing happens with ours, mostly when the site is not level fore/aft, but I have always been able to level the head enough with the jacks, so that if the height is right the stinger will line up and seat fully.

Sometimes when unhitching, the drop lock misses the the groove and the head will swing rt to left...pain to unlock and get straight but not critical.

Bob
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #13
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Here are the pictures

OK the pictures 1 through 4 are just after disconnecting the T/W. You can see from each side and from the front everything is straight and level. The struts are tight and the jacks are loose. I could back right back in to the hitch box and hook right up. But pictures 5, 6 and 7 shows what is happening. By simply pushing down on the orange hitch the head drops a couple inches in this case to the left. It's then hard to lift this back in to a level position. If I use the jacks to try and level the head side to side it gets worse as in picture 7. The solution that I then use is to back off on the struts and get things level again.

What am I doing wrong. I have had this Hensley set up for close to 10 years and have pulled this trailer all across the country and never had any issues like this. So it has to me and something that I have not done correctly. Thanks for the help.

Don
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:39 PM   #14
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Don,

The only thing I see in your pics is the fact that you have only 2 empty holes showing at the bottom of the jacks (extensions). If you move them down so 3 are showing empty, I believe you will have more free movement of the hitch box without spring bar interference.

The tilting thing, I just twist it to match the "tilt" of the TV and thus the stinger and just back it in. Also, with the jack extensions lower, I believe you will have more freedom to use the jacks to hold the tilt, again, without putting so much tension on the system that it make for inflexibility while backing the stinger in.

EDIT: OOPS, I do see something else. I believe you should move the rear strut to the bottom hole in the frame bracket. You want the strut to be as close to parallel to the frame as possible.
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