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Old 12-13-2014, 01:12 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
.......... persecuted to the fullest.
I think I see the humor....
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:15 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
The VPP hitches can be found used all the time for less than half the price of new. It's a false argument of economy given the value of the two vehicles and the grave importance of lashup.

A BO looks good to me for the price but not if I can find the better one for not a lot more. WD is not as critical if one ranges from 50-100% FALR given TV instructions as antisway is not dependent on WD, though rig handling is for most combos.

A

Economics is a very valid argument if you just simply don't have the money. I can't purchase s ProPride with my good looks, not even a $750 used one. I simply do not have the money to buy one at any price. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this category. This year I have had a $3,500 a/c unit and a $4,200 roof in addition to a 5,600 hospital bill. My washing machine is dying as I type this post. Maybe next year...
If I had no weight distribution/anti-sway hitch at all maybe I would look at it differently, but I'm a broke person with an Equal-i-zer and that's the way it is/it is what it is-
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:19 PM   #45
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When life events stop (if ever) and I come up with $2,300 y'all know I'll get a ProPride. I fully believe all the testimonials, but that don't put money in my pocket. It's Christmas. Any money I cone up with now will go to gifts for the family.
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Old 12-13-2014, 01:22 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Economics is a very valid argument if you just simply don't have the money. I can't purchase s ProPride with my good looks, not even a $750 used one. I simply do not have the money to buy one at any price. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this category. This year I have had a $3,500 a/c unit and a $4,200 roof in addition to a 5,600 hospital bill. My washing machine is dying as I type this post. Maybe next year...
If I had no weight distribution/anti-sway hitch at all maybe I would look at it differently, but I'm a broke person with an Equal-i-zer and that's the way it is/it is what it is-

Nope..... you're definitely NOT the only one in your situation. Luckily, I didn't have to pay for ANY of those expenses this year, but even so..... I'd have a hard time forking out the price of a PP-type hitch. I get along just fine with the setup I got from Curt Mfg. "Typical" WD/sway setup. My 1987 34' Avion doesn't have a sway problem to begin with.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:05 PM   #47
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For me it isn't the huge expense so much as the weight. I have other things I'd rather spend two hundred pounds of payload on.

VPP's are elegant engineering but the con's overwhelm the pro's for my rig.

Mike
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Old 12-13-2014, 03:00 PM   #48
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For me it's the payload issue also, keeping me from using a PP or HA. When I'm fully loaded to camp, with my 1/2 ton truck, the gross weight is within 100 Lbs of it's GVWR. If I had a PP or HA I'd have to leave my canoe at home or be overloaded.

My WD hitch, ball, snap up brackets, trunnion bars, and sway bar weigh a total of 91 Lbs. When I tow my Safari, I'm still using a 30+ year old trunion WD hitch manufactured by Quality S and a friction sway control bar. I've not has a sway event while using it.

The sky might fall and hello may freeze over since I admitted that.

I once had a Reece dual cam, which was the only WD hitch that I did not like.
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Old 12-13-2014, 03:06 PM   #49
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I use the Blue OX SwayPro and do not have any issue with sway. I have passed and been passed by semis on both 4 lane and 2 lane roads in both directions and never experienced any issues. The trailer is back there where it should be and does not sway. If you want to add 200 plus pounds to your trailer tongue and spend $3000 for the privilege of doing so, knock yourself out. I like what I have, it works and didn't cost anywhere near $3000.

To the OP, I use a Suburban 2500 to tow with and the BO works just fine.
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Old 12-13-2014, 03:49 PM   #50
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Our ProPride was $2500, that's about $1800 more than most others. It weighs 180#, that's 90# more added to the hitch area than most others which is practically insignificant when distributed across the four axles and eight tires of our truck and trailer. Especially when considering the drivability and safety measures it provides.
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Old 12-13-2014, 05:52 PM   #51
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Murrey Walker's simple answer is correct, you will need a hitch that provides both weight distribution and sway control. Moosetags gives good advice regarding the need for a brake controller.

As you've seen already, people on this forum are as loyal to hitch brands as they are to truck brands, schools they attended, and their families. Over the past few years I've learned Airtreamers can be extremely emotional about hitches, tires, leaks, and tow vehicles.

I won't weigh in on specific hitch brands. I will share that in the early 1970's my father bought his first travel trailer and my family was involved in an out of control sway event on the beltway around Washington, DC. It was the second scariest event in my life, the first being surviving a plane crash. My father had not purchased sway control, only load equalizing bars. A tractor trailer blew by us, the travel trailer started swaying causing my father to lose his ability to control the direction of the rig. We ended up sideways across the lanes of traffic and it was a miracle we didn't roll over or end up hitting another vehicle. My Dad slowly pulled the trailer along the shoulder to the next exit, which was fortunately the exit off which the dealer who sold him the trailer was located. At the dealership he exchanged the weight distribution bar hitch for one with sway control cams. He also added a friction bar for good measure (very much overkill and today not really recommended). We never had another sway incident but living through that one event has made me obsessively concerned about safety when towing.

I tow with the weight distribution hitch (with sway control) that came with my trailer and had been used by the prior owner. In 21,000 miles of towing I've never felt the least amount of sway. While I'm pleased with the performance of my current hitch, were I to sell my trailer, and purchase another used trailer with hitch, I would certainly give the hitch that comes with the trailer a try, assuming it matches the specifications required for my tow vehicle and trailer combination.

Whatever hitch you buy, the key is getting it set up and aligned properly. This will take several hours to do right. Most dealers won't put the 2-3 hours of time required to set it up, road test it, make adjustments, road test, fine tune the adjustments, road test, and continue the process until everything is dialed in perfectly, even if you pay them for the effort. Having paid one very large Airstream dealer $300 to set up my hitch (improperly), and the Airstream factory service center in Jackson Center another $250 to set up my hitch (again incorrectly), I've learned the hard way adjusting a weight distribution hitch properly is something the owner has to do to get it done right.

Keeping a hitch properly adjusted is an ongoing process. Set-up and adjustments should be made when your truck and trailer are fully loaded for camping so you can perfect your rig under actual towing load conditions. Don't forget to have the tires properly inflated as well.

Over time things will occur which will move your hitch out of perfect alignment. Adding a cap to your truck may change the weight of the tow vehicle enough to require hitch adjustment. Switching the tires on your Airstream from 15" to 16" will be enough to require adjustments to your hitch and ball shank. Adding a solar system and extra batteries will change the weight of your trailer and require the weight distribution to be dialed in. This can be a time consuming exercise but it is critical for your safety and piece of mind.

There are a number of threads on Airforums about the proper weight distribution bars for an Airstream. The consensus of many experience people seems to be the 1000 pound and 1200 pound bars are too heavy for Airstreams particularly when the tow vehicle is a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. Airstreams need a softer ride due to their design and construction. I found this to be true. I moved from the 1200 pound bars of the prior owner to 800 pound bars because the ride was harsh and rivets were popping. I am currently considering moving to 600 pound bars even though the tongue weight of the trailer is about 925 pounds.

As to hitch failure, it can happen. Parts wear and fail, the owner can forget to install a hitch pin or equalizer bar pin when hitching up to tow, the owner may not maintain the hitch properly. These issues only speak to the need to have a checklist and inspect the hitch thoroughly before towing as well as setting up a periodic maintenance program for the hitch every few thousand miles.

I know quite a few Airstreamers and most are very happy with the performance of their hitches, no matter the brand. I've come to the conclusion any brand of weight distribution hitch, properly matched to the tow vehicle and trailer, carefully maintained, and properly adjusted will do the job required and be safe for a safe driver. Whether or not the nuances of each hitch are significantly different and worth the price differential is subjective. To date I am unaware of any current government or independent scientific study, with a large enough sample size to be statistically valid, demonstrating any weight distribution hitch with sway control is superior to another. I am aware of a number of hitch owners who are convinced they have the perfect solution.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:00 PM   #52
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Chuck, I am aware you are convinced your hitch is doing a fine job. And it most surely is.

We thought the same about our conventional hitch until we installed a Hensley/ProPride design. The difference in towing comfort in all conditions was a surprise.

I would mention as well "dialing in" the hitch for changes in load is as simple as turning the w.d. jack screws with these designs.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:35 PM   #53
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I would have to drive a rig using one before I made the switch. Just too much for me to go on blind faith. The other thing that bothers me is the loss of ground clearance. We plan to boondock and traveling on gravel roads would concern me.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:14 PM   #54
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Chuck, I am aware you are convinced your hitch is doing a fine job. And it most surely is.

We thought the same about our conventional hitch until we installed a Hensley/ProPride design. The difference in towing comfort in all conditions was a surprise.

I would mention as well "dialing in" the hitch for changes in load is as simple as turning the w.d. jack screws with these designs.
The Hensley design is superior, but not without it's flaw's. It left me stranded this summer with a complete failure when the entire unit broke. All I can say is no matter what hitch you have you need to understand it and know how to maintain it. I wish I had taken mine apart before the towing season and perhaps I could have prevented the complete and utter failure of this unit.

I'm towing now with an EAZ lift. It works, but I still don't like it. Even with 2 anti sway controllers it still doesn't fell as secure as the Hensley. In addition my rear door doesn't open now. For now it will have to do. I can't go through another Hensley hitch failure. One was scary enough.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:05 PM   #55
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gator, any hitch component can break for a variety of reasons including the one you are now using as well as the one I am using. And they do. That does not represent a failure of w.d hitches as a concept, nor any particular design.

Hensley has been providing hitches for twenty years, some are wearing out and some have been abused. There was another report on the forum today of a broken Reese hitch. Should Reese then be considered unsafe as well. I don't think so.

Used and maintained properly Reese and Hensley w.d. hitch designs as well as many others have proven to be reliable.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:17 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
The Hensley design is superior, but not without it's flaw's. It left me stranded this summer with a complete failure when the entire unit broke. All I can say is no matter what hitch you have you need to understand it and know how to maintain it. I wish I had taken mine apart before the towing season and perhaps I could have prevented the complete and utter failure of this unit.
YEP.....Proper Maint required......off in the Fall, on in the Spring,(40min), complete inspection and service. Big $$$$$ doesn't preclude proper care. Eight years and counting.
BTW....the Arrow is getting less expensive every year I use it.

Bob
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