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Old 07-01-2003, 03:59 PM   #15
Rivet Master
2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
Join Date: Nov 2002
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How much your rear springs sag under the tongue weight is irrelevant. It just indicates your spring rate under a 600 lb (or whatever) load. If your rear springs are stiff the rear may not sink at all. That does not change the fact that the entire tongue weight is on the rear axle of the vehicle. The weight distribution bars are there to... distribute weight. This improves the vehicle handling. Use weight distributing bars!

Add anti-sway if you need it or feel more comfortable having a greater safety margin. Preventing an accident is really cheap insureance IMHO.

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Old 07-02-2003, 02:06 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5
Arrow Why not try a Hensley Arrow Hitch

If the Hensley Arrow hitch does 1/2 of what they say it will do , it would seem that this would be the answer to all our problems. I have just purchased one and I will soon let you guys know how its going! Expensive , yes, but if it solves jackknifing or flipping over in wind or on the Interstate when these 18 wheelers come by so may just be worth it. Prehaps some genius can come up with a less expensive hitch that is as simple to install and does what they claim it will do. Do any of you have experience with this hitch?

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Old 07-02-2003, 02:16 PM   #17
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2001 30' Excella
Bedford , New Hampshire
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 347
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I think you'll like the hensley alot. I tow with a 1/2 ton suburban and have no problems with the rig, hitch and all.

Good luck

-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:16 AM   #18
3 Rivet Member
1993 29' Excella
Jonesboro , Louisiana
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 125
I have owned a Hensley now for about 2 years and it does everything that it claims. Before the Hensley, I owned a Reese WD hitch with one friction control. Trucks and cross winds gave me lots of trouble. My Expedition has load levelers. With the Hensley I get absolutely no sway when an 18 wheeler blows by me. It has improved my disposition greatly! Yes, it is expensive, but I feel the cost of safety for me and my passengers is priceless. The hitching process takes some relearning and practice.
James Schmidt
29 ft Excello 1000
97 Expedition/Hensley Hitch/
McKesh mirrors
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Old 07-03-2003, 08:44 AM   #19
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2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
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The trailer swinging horizontally is sway. The trailer pitching fore and aft (vertically at the hitch) is porpoising. There is no hitch today, including the Hensley and Pullrite, that addresses porpoising. The spring bars do not damp porpoising or eliminate its lever arm on the tow vehicle. While they may oppose that motion in one direction, they contribute to it in the other. Porpoising is addressed by shock absorbers on the trailer, and by adding axles to it, which lenghtens its base on the road.

All towed vehicles, including fivers and semi trailers, have the potential to swing behind their pivot point. This is generally not referred to as sway, and most consider fivers and semis are considered not to have sway, even though anyone's who's spent time on the highway has seen them swinging behind the tow vehcile. What's generally referred to as sway is the swinging or oscillation behind the tow vehicle that increases in magnitude unless something like manually braking the trailer and accelerating the tow vehicle is done to reduce it.

The problem with sway, with a conventional trailer hitch, is that it steers the tow vehicle from the rear, by yawing it, in the opposite direction of the trailer, using the lever arm of the rear axle to ball distance. What sway does to the tow vehicle in this manner is the same as the driver yanking the steering wheel back and forth. This, in turn, increases the magnitude of the trailer sway.

A conventional sway control can only oppose the steering effect of sway as much as it opposes the steering effect of the driver. In other words, in order for the tow vehicle to be able to turn the rig without the sway control binding, its damping, or opposition, to sway has to be significantly limited also. At best, it can reduce sway and slow down the rate at which severe sway increases in magnitude.

A Hensley or Pullrite doesn't just attempt to fight sway. It totally disarms it my removing its weapon against the tow vehicle, the lever arm of the rear axle to ball distance. Sway cannot yaw the tow vehicle of a Hensley or Pullrite equipped trailer anymore than it can yaw the tow vehicle of a fiver. While these may wiggle a bit, there's no reinforcing feedback from the tow vehicle, hence there's no increasing oscillation.

The reason you see semis and fifth wheels overturned isn't because of sway. It's because of the high center of gravity, and the greater side (sail) area and the higher center of wind pressure. The much lower trailer's handling (especially in emergency manuvers and curves) and vulnerability to wind (even when parked) is actually better than a fivers or a semis.

I've gotten to the point of not even comparing the Hensley to the Pullrite, because the differences pale in comparison to the difference between them and anything else. I'd rather see a new owner with either than something much less.
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Old 07-03-2003, 08:54 AM   #20
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
Join Date: May 2003
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Sway is both a horizontal and vertical thing. Vertical is handled by spring bars. Horizontal is by changing the pivot point or by damping rotation around the hitch point.

The Hensly arrangement puts the horizontal pivot well forward of the rear wheels which means all tow vehicle tires are working in unison to prevent sideways movement.

The Pullrite puts the horizontal pivot at the rear axle which means the sideways forces are countered, essentially, by the rear wheels alone.

The Dual Cam and Equalizer hitches resist pivot motion at the ball and dampen any potential oscillation. sidways forces with the pivot behind the bumper tend to yaw the tow vehicle, which is easier than just moving it sideways.

Some other thoughts at

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