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Old 03-08-2004, 11:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Theo
One question.. Why would you want to?

Looking at the geometry of the Hensley hitch suggest far more benefit than just weight distribution, and sway control. Reverting back to a standard pivot system seems like a step backwards in towing experience.
Theo

Yes, and this is what I want to find out with my experiment. I am very familiar with the Hensley Arrow having towed with it for six years now and it's reputation for excellent towing characteristics is well justified. It's reputation, amongst a few of us, for expletive causing frustration in the hitching and unhitching in certain unusual situations (which I often find myself in), is also well justified.

I want to find out if my investment in a heavy duty, long wheelbase tow vehicle will allow an easier to use (my opinion) hitch such as the Equal-i-zer to give me all the sway control and peace of mind that I need.

Note: I do not plan to sell the HA until I am satisfied that the Equal-i-zer is working for me.
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:05 PM   #16
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I think this is a great experiment. I too wonder if the price is really justified. I know the Hensley is a great hitch, but folks seem to think that it's the only one out there that is ANY good and that the high price of just under $3k is worth it.

I gotta tell you all, we've used Reese for over 20 years and have not had most of what the Hensley folks claim they never feel since going to a Hensley.

Bottom line, if you got the money, they have a hitch out there to match your wallet and piece of mind. For me, I have several other things I'd like to purchase with that extra $2000.00 since my Reese Dual Cam and before that friction worked extremely well in all situations.

Again, for those sensitive folks, I am not slamming the Hensley at all, just pointing out that there are also other great hitch setups that do a fine job at a much lower cost. I'd also venture a guess that those that are actually honest here, you'd find about half have only actually had a Hensley and not had any other kind to really compare. Those that have had a different hitch setup, then went to the Hensley, I'd have a bit more data to back up the claim, but also you have to consider driver's style of driving, tow vehicle, the coach, the way the coach is loaded, etc. Point being, that anyone can say anything about raw seat of pants feelings but few might be able to mathmatically prove that other systems are not as good....... just my opinion here....
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Old 03-11-2004, 07:08 AM   #17
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Update ... Ordered the EH (Hensley owners always refer to their HA, Equal-i-zer owners can use EH for Equal-i-zer Hitch or even Excellent Hitch) 2 MAR 2004 and just received it yesterday, 10 MAR 2004. RVWholesalers.com advertises 7 to 10 business days for their free delivery by UPS and it arrived in 6 business days. My plans now are ...

1. Get the wire brush out tonight and scrape down a little surface rust from the A-Frame on the trailer.

2. Paint the A-Frame with some good flat-black rust preventative paint tonight so the trailer will be ready for the EH installation this week-end.

3. Install the hitch and perform initial test-drive's and get first impressions this week-end.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:00 PM   #18
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Can't wait to hear of your results. I am a HA newbie and worried about the hitch up process. I had the ball hitch down pat.
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Old 03-11-2004, 12:48 PM   #19
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I am very interested in hearing more about this experiment.
On the other hand;
Every one of you can try this first hand, so long that you can front about $ 3000,00 for a while. They have a money back guarantee. You will loose the interest charges if putting it on a credit card.
This shows that they are confident enough in their design to give you this option. You can go many places in 60 days, and they seem to be very customer friendly. Then, and ponly then can you decide if it is worthy to you.

Here is their guarantee, copied from their website www.nosway.com
BTW, their price is going up $ 100.00 by April, to $ 2945.00
------------------------------------------------------------------------

How does the 60-day money back guarantee work?

If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with the Hensley Arrow, we will return your investment, 100%.* We are so confidant in our product that we not only offer this guarantee, but we will cover the shipping cost to return it to us.* It is a no-risk trial where YOU can have your own personal demonstration of "The Ultimate Towing Experience."

Not only is there a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but we also warranty all the parts of the hitch for the lifetime of your ownership!
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:24 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Big Dee
Can't wait to hear of your results. I am a HA newbie and worried about the hitch up process. I had the ball hitch down pat.
It is not my intent to disparage the HA hitch or HA owners in any way. It is really not that hard to hitch up most of the time.

My intent is to see if an investment in a heavy duty, long wheelbase tow vehicle will provide an environment where the Equal-i-zer hitch is able to do an adequate, safe and similar job of sway control when compared to the HA.

If this is the case, I will gladly use the EH and sell the HA as I believe it to be easier to use and more flexible to use in situations where you want or need to back in at a pretty good angle to straight or where you are on quite uneven ground.

I too have the hitch ball thing down pat (boat trailer, motorcycle trailer, etc.) and look forward to using the EH on the big trailer if I am satisfied with it's performance after having used the HA for the last six years.
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:42 AM   #21
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Update ... EXPERIMENT DELAYED. Step 1 of the installation instructions is as far as I got this week-end. "1. Attach the hitch ball to the hitch head. (do not use anything other than a 1 1/4" shank on the hitch ball) Tighten to 450 ft/lbs."

So ... I went to my local Equal-i-zer dealer and purchased a Reese 14,000 lb., 2 5/16" hitch ball with a 1 1/4" shank that requires a 1 7/8" wrench/socket for the nut.

I put the hitch ball shank in the hitch head hole and put on the lock washer. I finger tightened the nut. Then, I realized I had a big problem ... I did not have any wrench or socket that could reach the nut which sits down in a hollow.

I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Discount Auto and then Pep Boys ... no luck. Nobody carried anything near that large. Finally, I found a 1 7/8" socket at Sears. I bought it and a 3/4" drive breaker bar and hurried home. No luck again. The socket was too big to slip down into the hollow where the nut was located.

I gave up. I decided to have my wife take it to the Equal-i-zer dealer on Monday (today) and see what they use to tighten the nut with. I will need to buy whatever it is so I can tighten it on the road if necessary. Maybe, I'll need to buy a ball with the two straight edges cut in the neck so I can get a wrench on the ball side? What do all you Equal-i-zer owners do to tighten this nut?

I'll let you know what I find out ...
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:59 AM   #22
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I'll bet he'll just use an air wrench to tighten the nut. The ball won't slip fast enough to keep up with the air wrench.
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:25 AM   #23
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Keeping it tight

Stephen,

I like your plan to have your own tools to retighten the hitch ball on the road, but that may be hard to accomplish. Maybe you could use a centerpunch or some paint to mark the position of the shank and nut on the hitch bar. Then if it starts to move around or come loose you have time to find another hitch shop to get it retorqued.
Keep us posted. Very good experiment!
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:12 AM   #24
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I use a big Stillson, monkey, pipe(or whatever you call it) wrench and just grab the bottom of the ball. Mine has a 2 foot handle and with a 4 foot cheater pipe... If you are using the lock washer the nut only makes about half a turn before it bites down and it is all tightening action from there.

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Old 03-15-2004, 11:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by wahoonc
I use a big Stillson, monkey, pipe(or whatever you call it) wrench and just grab the bottom of the ball. Mine has a 2 foot handle and with a 4 foot cheater pipe... If you are using the lock washer the nut only makes about half a turn before it bites down and it is all tightening action from there.

Aaron
Very similar except I have a very large screwdriver (heavy equipt. type) - a small 'crow-bar' with a flat end will also do- and wedge/lever it between one side of the nut and the cast that the W/D bars go into. The 'pipe' wrench (or whatever you call it) tightens the ball from the bottom flange (I avoid scoring the ball itself), the split lock washer adds enough resistance to the nut with the wedged screwdriver/crow-bar to tighten the ball. I have done this myself after watching 'pros' do it for me a few years ago. I've never had the/a ball come loose. I tow a lot & am vigilant in checking everything as much as possible.
I like the idea of making a couple of flat spots on the ball flange to get a lg. adj. wrench on it. I filed down the rough spots on the flange made by the 'pipe' wrench and re-painted-excessive but very me.
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Old 03-15-2004, 01:54 PM   #26
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Update ... I called Lindon hitch and they have a shallow thin wall socket available for $ 25.00. Then, you need a breaker bar for the socket. Alternatively, they said I could use a large pipe-wrench on the ball flange.

My wife drove over to Palm Beach RV here in West Palm Beach since they are listed as an Equal-i-zer dealer. They refused to tighten it for us and claimed that they did not even have the right tools to do the job. She was treated rather rudely after finding out that we had not purchased the hitch from them.

My wife ended up going over to Great Time RV in Palm Beach Gardens. They are an Equal-i-zer dealer and were glad to tighten it for us. Since we did not buy the hitch from them, they charged us their minimum shop charge of $ 17.50. Miriam could not believe the difference in attitudes between these two RV dealers.

The experiment will continue this Saturday ...
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Old 03-15-2004, 02:13 PM   #27
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Experiment Results

Results of Equalizer hitch experiment so far:

Palm Beach RV-Poor rating

Great Time RV-Satisfactory rating

Sometimes you discover bonus information that wasn't even part of the original experiment.


Keep us posted!
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Old 03-22-2004, 07:08 AM   #28
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Update ... After getting the hitch ball attached to the hitch head, the rest of the install for the Equal-i-zer is VERY easy. I am impressed with the utter simplicity of the L-bracket attachments to the trailer A-Frame and the fact that no holes need to be drilled into the frame. The instructions are easy to understand (even for the mechanically challenged) and setup and adjustment time is minimal.

Is the Equal-i-zer a match for the Hensley? For me, definitely yes with the following qualifications ... I've got a 1 ton pick-up with adequate wheelbase and weight to provide stability, I make sure there is plenty of tongue weight and I always leave with all tires set to their cold pressure max.

Here are my initial impressions after extensive testing with a 15 to 20 m.p.h. crosswind.

1. Very happy with the sway control. Sway - there is none. Is it as good as the Hensley? It is very close ... close enough that I really can't say for sure. If the Hensley is a smidgen better, I really can't detect the difference. Construction traffic with narrow lanes on I-95 were handled with aplomb.

2. I could feel the slight push-pull of passing semis. I could also feel them with the Hensley? The Hensley may have a slight advantage here, but again, the difference is not dramatic and I am not even sure there is a difference.

3. Hook-ups (as I initially thought they would be) are a breeze from any angle you wish to approach and from any combination of uneven surfaces. After attaching the hitch ball and putting a locking pin through the coupler latch, lifting the trailer and backend of the tow vehicle with the power jack provides a positive feedback that you are hitched solid and makes sliding the WD bars onto the L brackets an easy task.

3. The trailer seems to pull easier with the Equal-i-zer. This may be due to the trailer riding closer to the truck and getting smoother airflow. I am now anxious to check fuel mileage on a trip to see if it improves. The ride is the same as far as I can tell.

4. I found backing through the two big rocks at the entrance to my driveway to be much easier with the Equal-i-zer. The play in the Hensley hitch seemed to cause me unpredictable results when backing. With the Equal-i-zer, it just goes where you steer it to and corrective steering actions are effective immediately.

5. I did not grease the L-bracket area and did not find hitch noise while turning to be a problem. All WD hitches are subject to some noise while turning including the HA.


As you can see, I am very happy (make that ecstatic) with the Equal-i-zer hitch so far. Can't wait for the next trip ... will keep you posted.
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