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Old 03-22-2004, 08:08 AM   #29
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Stephen,

Thanks for getting us all the real deal with the info. I had no doubt that the Hensley was a great hitch, but your initial findings more than support what some folks have known for years, that some (not all) of the less expensive setups can do an equal job costing thousands less.

I am most interested in your long term observations.

I have to be honest here, when we got the new Safari, I nearly caved and went Hensley based on all the Hensley folks pounding into my head that it's the best, the rest are junk.

Well, common sense got the best of me and I went Reese Dual Cam based on past exp with Reese and a few folks that had it. This will be my first real season with the dual cam as up until now, given the length, I used the Reese friction sway control.

Anyway, thanks again for sharing your result online with us...I'll be looking at this thread closely to see what new info develops.

Eric
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:14 AM   #30
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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.
You didn't say how many miles you've towed with the new Equal-i-zer hitch. We noticed a loud metal-on-metal screech every 200-300 miles during the initial break-in of our Equal-i-zer. This was coming from the head unit where the bars rotate during sharp turns, not from the bars sliding in the L-brackets.

It would be interesting to hear whether this occurs for you. A little grease on the (underside) sliding surfaces of the head every 200 miles solved the issue until the parts worked in.

We have never greased the L-brackets and bars, assuming that doing so would eliminate some of the friction that helps the hitch do its job. They make some thumping noises occasionally but generally are reasonably quiet.
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:35 AM   #31
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Only have about 100 miles on it so far ...

I greased the underside of the head and the top side of the bar where it attaches to the head per the instructions in the manual. On sharp turns I could hear the noise everyone talks about but did not find it startling or objectionable.

I did need to take up some slack in the angle adjustment bolt and the two bolts on the top of the head after this first trial run.
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Old 03-22-2004, 09:57 AM   #32
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Interesting thread

A few observations I have had with towing.

First. A tandem axle trailer is more stable then a single axle trailer. The pair of axles is going to have the tendancy to cause the coach to go straight. The tow vehicle has to force the trailer to change direction. As such it needs less sway control. A single axle trailer wants to do anything but go straight. Crown of the road is going to make it want to change direction.

A HA may far exceed the performance on something like my 22ft single axle Caravanner then it would in a 30ft tand or tripple axle coach.

Second. Farther from the rear axle of the tow rig is always counter productive in my eyes in reguards to sway.

Sway is the trailer, for what ever reason, leveraging the rear of the tow vehicle. So the rear axle begins to ack like a fulcrum to the front axle or really bad, the trailer overcomes the traction of the rear tires and drives the tow vehcile sideways.. The farther out from the tail the more leverage it can exert. Wheel base counter acts this and even just a WD hitch does because it moves the weight foward on the tow rig . A properly set up WD hitch in itself fights sway. By the hithc head being angled backwards the leveling bars are always tryint to swing out to the sides. Well they counter each other and do add a certain amount of sway control.
The HA counters this by the use of a Cam design that is very effective but works on the same principle at a much higher level.

The above reasons are why a large, heavy, long vehicle is less prone to sway and more desirable for towing. The trailer simply has a much harder time pushing it around.

Third. The distance from the rear axle does effect many things and not the least of them is tracking. For the most part, if the ball is the same distance from the tow vehicles rear axle as it is from the trailers axle they should track nearly identical. As you turn the rear of the tow vehicle would swing out and negate the need for much of the attention needed to watch where the trailer is going and swing wide. So for somewhat tight manuvering the long hitch (before the pivot) on the hensley has a big advantage while traveling foward. Especialy true for a novice towing.

Fourth. Backing. A long tounge (Distance from trailer axle to ball) is typically a good thing. It requires more input from the tow vehicle and as such it is more easily managed and predictable.

Long draw bar or distance from rear axle of tow rig to ball is a little counter productive. It takes less movement of the tow vehicle to get the trailer to move to much.


My thought is that the ideal ratio for most people would be the distance from the tow vehicle rear axle to ball would be about half the distance of ball to first axle on coach. That ratio would be a good for predicatable tracking, ease of backing. The only disadvantage is sway but it would be better then something closer to 1:1 and that's where the sway control comes in.

Dreamstream. Do you think you could measure the distance from the rear axle of the tow rig to the ball on bothe the EQ and HA and the front axle on the coach to the ball so we can see the ratio?

I think where the HA is going to shine is on vehicles with a short rear axle to ball measurement and light weight.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:46 AM   #33
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The pair of axles is going to have the tendancy to cause the coach to go straight.
I don't see any reason why trailers with two axles are less likely to yaw than trailers with one. My experience indicates both swivel around the axles quite easily.

Quote:
The HA counters this by the use of a Cam design
The cam thingy is the Resse Dual Cam, not the Hensley Arrow. The HA uses a trapezoidal linkage to move the hitch pivot point forward.

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Do you think you could measure the distance from the rear axle of the tow rig to the ball on bothe the EQ and HA and the front axle on the coach to the ball so we can see the ratio?
On the HA, the pivot point is a function of the angle between the tow vehicle and the trailer. This is one reason why I think backing with an HA could be interesting because the steering input to the trailer will change depending upon how tight you are trying to turn it.

Ron was doing a thorough calculation for what he called the Virtual Pivot Point and comparisons between the HA, Pullrite, and ball pivot hitches. It would answer your questions about the relative differences in pumkin to pivot point ratios for various hitch and rig combinations, I think.
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Old 03-23-2004, 06:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by 59toaster
Dreamstream. Do you think you could measure the distance from the rear axle of the tow rig to the ball on bothe the EQ and HA and the front axle on the coach to the ball so we can see the ratio?
Haven't got the measurement to the rear axle yet ... I did measure that the EH puts me 11" closer to the rear axle of the TV than the HA does.
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Old 10-29-2005, 03:09 PM   #35
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We have just taken our first step toward being Airstream owners by ordering our TV, a Chevy 2500 HD Duramax. We will be ordering a 22' CCD in the spring.

Have been trying to decide between Hensley and Equal-i-zer and am interested in getting an update on Dreamstream's experience with the Equal-i-zer over the last year and a half and anyone else who has had experience with both.
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Old 10-29-2005, 04:37 PM   #36
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This past August I towed my 25' Safari on a 2000+ mile trip to Colorado using only a Reese 1,200# weight distributuion hitch without sway control. My TV is a Ford F250 Diesel. During the trip I traveled on both interstate and two-lane back roads. I passed and was passed by 18-wheelers on the interstates as well as having them pass me going the opposite direction on the two lane roads. My speed was typically 65-70 mph. During the entire trip I didn't notice even a hint of sway or buffeting.

I do, however, plan to add a dual cam sway control just for the added peace of mind. I can't imagine a circumstance where this combination would be inadequate for my rig. While a larger TT or smaller TV may benifit from a Hensley Arrow, I just can't rationalize the extra expense (about 5x) in my case.
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Old 10-29-2005, 05:53 PM   #37
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My experience towing

Have owned several Airstreams. At present have a 1989 25' Excella and a 1989 34' Excella. Have used the HA on both and thought that it was a great towing experience. Towed the 25' from Florida to Wisconsin to Colorado (through Orlando, Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis and Denver) all this time experienced very little sway or sideways motion from a passing semis. Towed the 34' on a trip to the Oregon coast. A similiar experience as the 25'.My wife got tired of me saying: "If I didn't see it in the mirror, I wouldn't know the trailer was back there".
Towed a 32' Holiday Rambler w an Equalizer for a friend from Denver to Phoenix and back (I-25 to I-40 to I-17) round trip. The handling of the trailer was scary although a lot could have been due to the sail area of the HR (apples and orages).The passing trucks on I-40 made it a white knuckler.
Have also towed 25', 31' and 34' Airstreams w Reese hitches and sway bar. Handling was good but not as good as the HA.
Not sure whether it is worth the cost but would recommend the HA all things being equal.
My HA came with the 25' when I bought it but I also bought one in Tucson last winter for a friend for $1,000. They are lso usually on E-Bay for anywhere from $1100 to $1700.
Used a 1995 Suburban 2500 for most of my towing but traded it in Iowa on the Colorado to Florida to Wisconsin to Colorado trip due to a dealer making me an offer I could not refuse on a 2005 crew cab Chevy Duramax($29,000 plus the Suburban). Should have bought two!
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Old 10-29-2005, 05:56 PM   #38
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Two weeks ago we completed a 2400 mile round trip with our 28' International and our crew cab dmax p'up. This was our longest journey to date with our trailer. The TT and TV handled great. I do not think a HA would have made my combo any more stable or well mannered. But, rest assured if I had to pull this TT with a Tahoe or 1/2 ton Suburban, I would probably only do so if I had a HA.

If you are only going to pull a 22' trailer with you D-max Crewcab, IMO a HA is not necessary, spend the money on diesel fuel and go visit a lot of great places!
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:03 PM   #39
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I'm getting a new eaualizer hitch and sway bar. Is it better to have the solid slide in part or is the hollow one just as good? I hope I'm asking this question so you will know what I'm talking about. I got caught in some Oklahoma wind and decided I needed more control of my 24ft Argosy. Never had any trouble before, but this was scary. Hope I am not over-reacting.
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Old 10-29-2005, 08:37 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juel
I'm getting a new eaualizer hitch and sway bar. Is it better to have the solid slide in part or is the hollow one just as good? I hope I'm asking this question so you will know what I'm talking about. I got caught in some Oklahoma wind and decided I needed more control of my 24ft Argosy. Never had any trouble before, but this was scary. Hope I am not over-reacting.
Judy, I have forgotten what tow vehicle you have, but I have personally had good experiences with the Reese Dual-Cam setup with a mid-size pickup and an Argosy 24.
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Old 10-29-2005, 09:36 PM   #41
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Buzzy, I'll do you one better....I towed our 1971 Sovereign from Marblehead Lakeshore, OH back to Baltimore, MD with my 1997 2500HD Ram 5.9L gasser and absolutely no EQ bars or anything....I just hitched up and went. I towed from I-80 down to the PA Turnpike, to I-70 with absolutely no sway and no push/pull from the big rigs. That Airstream tows like a dream. I've got a Reese EQ hitch system for it, and I'll probably use it for long trips, but I really don't see the need to spend gobs of cash for a system that is going to "make you feel safe", ya know?

Frederic
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Old 10-30-2005, 05:20 PM   #42
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Stingray, you're a real breath of fresh air. Here everyone on the forum has told me to get something with more control than just a 2 5/16" ball and two chains, so I go for it against my husband's advise, and now you say I probably don't need it. I'm pulling with a new Tundra V8, SE5 Step Side. The Argosy pulls like a dream too, but I've noticed it swaying badly in the wind on some two lane roads and it worried me. The interstate wasn't too bad, but when I opened the back curtains so I could look straight out the back, I can see it swaying. Didn't really notice it until I opened those curtains. Wow!
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