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Old 11-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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2011 27' FB Flying Cloud
Bradenton and Saluda , Florida & North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 176
Read HAHA Users Guide Need Help

As some of you know, we had a terrible accident and the 23' FB was a total loss. Now we are getting a new one and want to make sure we get the sway control to not be another issue. I have read the HAHA users guide, thanks 2air for putting it all into such a great way to read and move forward, but now I need to ask a few ???

Previously had a reese dual cam 800#, I am concerned about getting a HAHA and not getting it installed properly, not being able to connect, reconnect, etc. Make necessary adjustments on use, etc. Our TV is a Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland that has a tow capacity of 7700#, TW of 750#.

We are getting our new trailer the 1st weekend of December, and I must say I am getting nervous. I have driven 45' diesel motorhomes over 60,000 miles, towed the two trailers over 5000 miles (we have only been in the AS experience since February this year). I was not driving the trailer when the accident happened, and I want to make sure that it not only does not happen again, but that i can handle getting it hooked up, etc when I travel by myself, which happens frequently.

Wish there were traveling hitch consultants that gave house calls! Any helpful feedback will be greatly appreciated.

Nan
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Nan, if we still lived in Florida, I'd be happy to make a house call. But since we are now in smoky L.A., the best I can do is tell you to read the entire HAHA user's guide thread carefully. You can also post a plea for help in that thread, someone may be close enough to help you. It is a good piece of equipment, and after you've used it a couple of times, you'll have the hang of it.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:44 AM   #3
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2007 31' Classic
holland , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Oct 2008
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nan,i use a hitch camera since i prefer to hook the trailer up by myself.once you back into the hensley put your vehicle in park and also set the emergency brake,otherwise the vehicle will come forward and make it harder to set the ocl latches.the hensley instructions are very good,and i have found that as long as you make sure all the tension is off of the spring bars and you are at the right height everything comes together pretty well.it does require practice to get comfortable with this setup,but the towing experience is well worth the learning curve.i can usually hook everything up in about 5 minutes now.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:57 AM   #4
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Burlington , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xonvldz View Post
nan,i use a hitch camera since i prefer to hook the trailer up by myself.once you back into the hensley put your vehicle in park and also set the emergency brake,otherwise the vehicle will come forward and make it harder to set the ocl latches.the hensley instructions are very good,and i have found that as long as you make sure all the tension is off of the spring bars and you are at the right height everything comes together pretty well.it does require practice to get comfortable with this setup,but the towing experience is well worth the learning curve.i can usually hook everything up in about 5 minutes now.
I recently bought & installed a Hensley to use on our new-to-us AS.

I haven't had much experience with it yet - only hooking up / unhooking a few times to take the trailer back & form between our home and the storage area.

So far, I have had no difficulty at all in hooking up, although I expect my trials are still to come when I have to deal with an off-level campsite.

Plenty of good tips here on the forum though, so I think I am up for the challenge - as long as there aren't too many well-meaning bystanders!

I have already bought a set of the "hitchin rods" which seem a great investment for $20!

I'm also playing around with a backup camera - I have a cheap one I bought previously, the kind that mounts on the license plate.

When I had it installed on our truck, the camera kept filling with condensation and i couldn't seem to seal it so I took it off.

Now I have modified the camera with a suction cup mount and a 9v battery so I can stick on the back window of the truck for use just when I'm hooking up. I'm not sure I will need it with the "hitchin rods" though.

One tip I have learned, that I did no read anywhere on the forum............

When you are unhooking, and have your spring bars loosened, you still need to ensure that your electric jack is use to take the weight off the truck before you attempt to disengage.

It is easy to go too far with the jack and then start lifting the truck - that again makes the unhooking more difficult.

I found that if you closely watch the hitch bar just where it enters the receiver on your vehicle, you can soon learn to recognize the point where the bar just becomes loose as you work the electric jack. You can actually see the bar come loose before it starts to tighten up again if you go too far.

One you learn to find that "sweet spot" unhooking is clean and simple as you like!

I also bought the gadget that Hensley sell to move your trailer sideways to help in lining up the hitch. I haven't tried it yet, but almost feel that with the "hitchin rods," I likely will not even need to use it.


Brian.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #5
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I think that starting this thread was the right idea. I had my H/A only a few months before finding this site, and used what I could then -- and now -- to address any problems (the ones in the owners head!), and, FWIW, those problems come along as I am willing to sit down and analyze. Keeping some notes would be good.

I'd start by having a toolbox of some sort to keep all H/A-related spare parts, tools, instruction copies, etc, in. That is used every time I hitch or unhitch. In example, I go to two places to hitch or unhitch: a trailer side-compartment that holds torque wrench, jack pads, chocks, etc. And an underseat tray in the truck that holds all the H/A stuff. That is where I usually store the RYOBI cordless drill bag and batteries (the charger stays in the trailer).

I completely separate any camp breakdown from being road-ready. That is, any procedure that has to do with on-the-road safety has a separate checklist to follow. And, for me, the stabilizer jacks, tire chocks and the rest one uses in being parked (unhitched) are part of this.

The H/A is either at the top or bottom of the list. I don't ever jump into the vehicle to take off after hookup, I do something else before that, so that some time has elapsed prior to my walk-around before departure. A second check of the list.

The list is an abbreviated version of the H/A instructions, and, with my notes on any changes, ensures that I have not left something undone.

This really is no different from a conventional hitch, it's just that I am (still) expecting to "see" a conventional hitch (eye-memory? similar to body memory in a new procedure), and have to mentally go over what is and isn't done.

As to unusual or non-level hitching, that is only trial-and-error. It has taken me more than thirty minutes on at least one occasion to get the thing set; but, then, as a professional truck driver I have had more occasions, in backing a 38' or 53' trailer, to fall prey to the same problem of coordination. It isn't always a matter of practice and daily routine, there simply are days one cannot back up (or back into) worth a hill of beans. That is also a good reminder not to assume the on-highway skills are going to be very good that day.

I have to remind myself to drive with the mirrors (the basic rule few RV'ers understand), to take a slightly slower speed, etc, as one is not always at the top of ones form; to let prudence rule the day.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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I have found that I can hook up the HAHA quicker by myself than having help. The toughest part is getting the vehicle square to the hitch when you are backing up. Keep the spring bars loose.
I carry 3 tools when hitching up.
1.) wrench for the OCL latches.
2.) I have BAL jacks so the speed wrench for these is the same size for the HAHA spring bar jacks. Goes very quickly.
3.)tape measure - I keep both spring bar jack equidistant and I know the distance that the tongue must be for the trailer to ride level.

In the beginning it took some time to understand how things work. After a week of camping I went down to about 5 minutes for a complete hookup my myself. It took 15 minutes once on an unlevel spot (I kindly asked my wife to let me drive the tow vehicle - she wasn't getting the tow vehicle square to the trailer). Don't be scared of the HAHA - it's just a learning curve.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Not all that difficult...



Don't be intimidated, the haha is not all that difficult to use. On our second use, while waiting for the DW to help, I got out to check how I was lined-up and wonder of wonders it was right on!! The Hitch'n Rods are a real help.
There are also several different styles of aftermarket B/U cameras available. I found this at Wallyworld for less than 100 bucks. Has worked great all season. I also tried the Swift-Hitch, much more expensive and I have had several failures. (on my 3rd unit, all have been replaced no charge)

Magnetic Hitchin' Rods - Item - Camping World

back-up camera system - Google Video#

As far as uneven hitching, the manual goes over the procedure very well.

A very useful tool is a cordless drill/impact driver, at least 18v, to adjust the jack bars. (Also comes in handy deploying the stabilizers).

If you haven't received your haha yet you can download the manual directly from their website. It did take several readings to get used to the different nomenclature. Did the install myself, took my time not really difficult at all. You can see my and several other installs on the haha users thread.

Again, don't be intimidated, You'll get used to it in no time. If I can do it anyone can.

Here are several pics, one of a VERY uneven site. The orange cone is my own version of the very necessary "shin-saver". The O rings on the Hitch'n Rods is a quick way of determining hitch height. Hope this helps.

Good luck, Stream Safe.

Bob
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