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Old 02-10-2007, 12:50 PM   #1
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Lets talk Hensley Arrow Hitches

Hi All,
We have a 2004, 28' Classic with a Hensley hitch. The hitch works as advertised especially when a double trailer rig goes flying by at 70 mph. We've pulled the trailer about 2,700 miles since we bought it, this past November.

Now the confession: I've only unhitched the trailer twice, each time to leave it at the storage facility. WE have the darnest time getting the whole thing lined up to attach the trailer to the truck. We've been married 37 years and I really thought we knew how to communicate with each other, that is until the "Hensley hitch came into our lives.

Any of you "pros" out there have any suggestions or tips that can help us figure out how to get the whole hitching process done efficiently?
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Old 02-10-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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hi rover and welcome to the forums...

there are many threads here already on this topic.

so search a little.

i'm not inclined to repost but others may...

repetition is the key. hook;unhook, hook;unhook and so on...

here is a thread that does have great tips on the hitching/unhitching process...

and photos too!

http://www.airforums.com/forum...de-26279.html?

and many other haha related issues...

enjoy what is there and add your experiences or user tips...

it's all good

2air'
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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Hitching Woes

we also had a heck of a time trying to hook. We finally realized that getting the angle matched was the problem. Getting the hitch bar and receiver straight is only half the battle. The pin will not set if the angle of the drop bar and hitch reciever aren't the same. After we realized this, hitching is a snap. Look in the manual and it will show how to do it, although we don't do the measuring thing, we just eye ball it. Hope this helps. 'shaker
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:17 PM   #4
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2air provided a good link.

In my line of work, acronyms are capitalized. For the benefit of future searches, "haha" is short for Hensley Arrow Hitch Apparatus.

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Old 02-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #5
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1985 31' Sovereign
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Hook ups

I made my life easy when I bought two yellow fiberglals sticks that have a magnet on them. One goes on hich ball and one on the trailer. Just line them up and back up ontil the one on the ball hich falls off. No more argument or hard feelings between us. They are available from your local AS dealer or from any RV store.The cost is under $25 but surre saves on bad feelings.
Regards from Russell in sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 02-10-2007, 01:43 PM   #6
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And I would only add that the key is, as someone said, getting the angle correct. So what I do is leave the hitch in the A/S, back up close with the tow vehicle and make sure the angle looks "right". Then transfer the hitch into the TV and back up. Works like a champ.
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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Backing up with to the unit then eye balling the angle of the hitch and drop bar seems to work for us. We tried the leaving the drop bar in the hitch method and not only was it more work, but we felt like we would be equipping the less than honest element by providing all the euipment to drive off with our trailer. Just a thought. 'shaker
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:28 PM   #8
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Yes, I would never recommend leaving the drop bar (or whatever it is called) installed. I only meant while hitching.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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nilesrob is correct in post #6. Also read 2air's the ultimate haha user's guide that he referenced in post #2. I've pulled some sort of trailer most every day for 45 years in the ranching business. For me the Hensley is the easiest hitching arrangement I've ever used.

With the typical ball or typical gooseneck, you not only have to line up the hitch and ball side to side, but you have to stop directly over the ball. A fifth wheel works much like a Hensley. With the Hensley or a fifth wheel, you don't have to worry about where to stop over the ball.

As posted above, watch the angle and height of the stinger and hitch box prior to backing up. My truck hitch is 18 and 3/4 inches high from the ground. I always raise or lower the trailer so that the upper inside surface of the Hensley box also measures 18 3/4 inches. Unhooking and hooking back up is a breeze if this is done and the angles are anywhere near correct. Practice, practice, practice.

My wife and I communicate well and she has always been most willing to help me back into a spot or hitch up, but since getting the Hensley, I never ask my wife to help anymore with hitching up. It really is simple. Much easier than a ball. If you are having trouble with the Hensley, then you'd really have trouble with the typical ball hitch.

When my wife does help me back into a spot, she uses a walkie talkie to communicate with me. I just turn mine on and she does all the talking. I do all the listening. With the walkie talkies, I don't have to see her for signals. We've also found that using the directions "passenger side" and "driver's side" rather than "right" and "left" works wonders. That way no one has to think. It is obvious to both of us which way "passenger side" is.

One final suggestion that help me, I never turn around. I sit in a normal position in the driver's seat and look through the center mounted windshield mirror. By looking at the Airstream window frames in the mirror and can usually hit the hitch dead center. At least with the Hensley, (knock on wood) I've yet to not be able to hook up, first time, every time.

GStephens
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:14 PM   #10
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Ever since I got this hitch mirror, hitching up has been pretty simple. I highly recommend it.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:04 PM   #11
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We have always hooked up our Hensley using extendable antennas glued to strong magnets as guides. This is much like the commercial product mentioned above except that they can be stored collapsed. One goes on the hitch and one on the stinger and then I aim the two together while backing. My wife refuses to give me backing directions because of my notorious lack of understanding of her directions. She is right, darn it!
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:23 PM   #12
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When hitching up, be sure the tension in the weight distribution bars is totally backed off so that the mechanism is loose. If you don't, the unit points down in front and is not parallel to the ground. Really tough to hitch up in that mode.
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:29 PM   #13
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Plain and simple, the more you do it, the better you get.

At first we thought that the Hensley would beat us. Now I hook it up by myself first time, every time.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr8tshaker
we also had a heck of a time trying to hook. We finally realized that getting the angle matched was the problem. Getting the hitch bar and receiver straight is only half the battle. The pin will not set if the angle of the drop bar and hitch reciever aren't the same. After we realized this, hitching is a snap. Look in the manual and it will show how to do it, although we don't do the measuring thing, we just eye ball it. Hope this helps. 'shaker
What is the recommended technique for hitching/unhitching when the angle of the drop bar changes relative to the receiver at the point of engagement, as may happen on certain sites? For example, on a site that is otherwise level but where the approach is on a moderate incline. If the TV's back wheels are on the level section and the front wheels are on the incline, the angle of the drop bar will change as the TV backs up.
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