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Old 08-09-2015, 08:21 PM   #1
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2009 19' Flying Cloud
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Loud "Thunk" - 4Runner and Hensley Cub

Hi all,

Have searched the forums for similar issue, but did not find anything. I have a 2009 19' Bambi with a Hensley Cub installed by the AS dealer (Colonial). As a TV I am using a 2011 4Runner with Tow Package, which I bought new specifically as a TV. I know the Cub was probably overkill, but I had never towed before, and was concerned about sway and control. I LOVE the hitch, though to be fair, I have no experience with anything else.

But here's my worry. When I first start towing, generally the first corner I take, and then when accelerating onto the interstate, the underframe of the 4Runner seem to make a loud "thunk" noise. It might happen once or twice, and then not again unless I brake fairly hard, and then it sometimes happens. I cannot tell for sure whether it's coming from the hitch assembly or the underframe, but it feels like the frame.

I called Hensley and they said the Cub would not do that, and I had the hitch reinspected by Colonial when I took the AS in for some maintenance, and all seems fine with the hitch installation.

I'm stumped and a bit concerned about that 'thunk', and wondering if any of you had any ideas? It's very hard to pinpoint since it only happens when towing, and when moving. I did notice that if I did not tighten the spring bars as much as I usually do for a comfortable ride (and thus did not shift as much weight to the TV) the 'thunk' was more frequent, almost constant with turning, accelerating etc. But when I tighten the bars, to 'normal', I still get it occasionally.

But otherwise, everything seems to be working fine, and the trailer tows beautifully and the 4Runner seems to have no issue with the Bambi.

Any ideas as to what might be going on?
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Old 08-09-2015, 08:30 PM   #2
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It is probably the bar shifting in the receiver box. No big deal.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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X2, normal.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:23 PM   #4
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Thanks Rich and Phil,

That makes a lot of sense, and it does sound and feel like that. It makes my wife grimace though when it happens, so any suggestions on minimizing it? Would a tighter hitch pin help?
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Old 08-11-2015, 10:59 AM   #5
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Assuming this is what we are talking about (the hitch bar shifting). No, a tighter pin will not help, the reason it thuds is because there is an enormous amount of weight on the connection.

Just to clarify, you would typically only hear this during a low speed turn, normally, a tight turn, correct?
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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Phil,
Yes, low speed, sharper turns - like when I first leave my driveway. The more I think about your explanation of it being the hitch bar the more it fits. That would explain why with less pressure on the bar it 'thunked' <grin> more often. Also, it does it when first accelerating, but then not again unless I brake strongly.

I guess I was not thinking of that on my own because there is not much play for the bar in the receiver, but I guess when you put several hundred pounds of tongue weight and towing a 4000 lb trailer, you don't need to move much to get that impact. And it's definitely a 'thunk' like something settling into place, not a scraping, grinding, or similar motion noise.

Byron
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:40 AM   #7
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Another thought is that there "might" be just enough lateral play with the hitch shank into the receiver. I've experienced this with the hitch shank hole is just a bit over sized for the locking hitch pin. This might be noticeable when just backing up or initially moving forward.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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Normal, but can be eliminated with a $23 "anti-rattle" device from Amazon- basically a u-bolt and a piece of flat steel that goes around the hitch shank to keep it from moving.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #9
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Hensleys do that

My Hensley Arrow thunks (trailer runs toward tow vehicle making the sound when the linkage goes to 90 degrees) when I brake and the trailer brake control needs a faster response setting. It's best if the trailer begins braking first and keeps tension on the hitch linkage. No more racket and resulting consternation.
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Old 08-11-2015, 01:22 PM   #10
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ProPride hitches behave in a similar manner. Best thing is to be sure the WD bars are well lubricated, the hitch ball is properly locked to the rest of the hitch and lubricated, and the hitch pin and holes in the receiver are not worn. There is a lot of force on these parts, and some noise, no matter how tight the clearance, is going to occur.

Some have reported that spraying the bar surfaces with Boeshield T9 anti corrosion spray helps with hitching and unhitching and reduces the noise by providing a waxy film on the parts. I haven't tried that yet. I get a little noise on tight turns or going from reverse to forward and vice versa sometimes. It's usually just slack working its way out.

If it gets too loud, disassemble and inspect for signs of galling or wear and make appropriate repairs or adjustments.


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Old 08-11-2015, 07:32 PM   #11
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All - very helpful responses. Very much appreciate you taking the time to post. I feel a LOT better. My wife read them too and I think we'll have a lot less grimacing. <grin>
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:40 PM   #12
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LOL - after reading m.hony's post about anti-rattle devices, went to Amazon and looked. Pretty funny. Had I known such a device existed, and looked there first, I would have seen all the reviewers raving about how it stops their hitch doing exactly what I am experiencing! Well, one more bit of RV knowledge added to the mental bank. Thanks again all.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #13
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Loud &quot;Thunk&quot; - 4Runner and Hensley Cub

I've noticed a similar thunk sound with my propride, but only on occasion and only when accelerating from a stop. Amazon has several of those anti rattle assemblies. Anyone have experience with a particular one they can recommend?
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Old 08-11-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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I have that same thunk with my Hensley Arrow. My fix was a heavy coating of grease in the receiver box. The movement is still there but no thunk.

Happy trails.....

GRA
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