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Old 09-16-2006, 03:49 PM   #1
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the ultimate haha users guide...

ok forum friends, hitch helpers, and towing wanna'bes,

i don't start many theads,
as my ratio of threads/posts will support.

usually when a question develops or a need arrises...
i can search a little and find the answer,
or find a current/past thread where my question fits...

the past few months however, i've been considering a couple of issues...
worthy of new threads.

this is one of them.

the hensley arrow hitch apparatus (haha) is a unique product.
many airstreams own the haha and use it for towing...
or from time2time consider getting one...

current users have a variety of practical questions or needs related to the haha

often when someone here asks about their haha the thread decays.

this makes finding the good answers and important questions difficult or tedious...

i think it also may limit those who genuinely have a question or need related to the haha...


my view is,
owning a haha is like owning any other product...
customer service/support, the warranty,
upgrades, repairs, maintenance, resale, installation, security and so on,
are practical issues user/owners must address.

owners also deal with actually towing with a haha.

so adjustments, road feedback, brake controllers,
utility with various airstreams, utility with a give tow vehicile,
hitching/unhitching, parking and so on,
are everyday or 'every trip' issues.

there are other less tangible but important things...
like how does that screwy looking orange thing work?
what are the differences from other hitch mechanisms?
how does the haha fit with my tv/trailer/towing needs?
why do you have THAT thing?
what is IT?
and so on.

also don't forget the endless and unresolvable...."is it worth it" debates...

then of course there are testimonials, foolish retorts and haha bashers...

as users it is sometimes hard not to wanna say "WOW" when a product 'wows us'.

it must be just as hard for the bashers not to bash...

anyway...

while there are installation instuctions and a user guide,
many of us develop tricks or techniques that making living with a haha easier

as airstreamers we like sharing and as haha-airstreamers we can do that too...

there is a yahoo group for haha owners which is good for the occasional 'haha 4sale'
but like many yahoo groups searching for useful posts is difficult and participation is limited.

here however we have some VERY bright airstreamers who own and use the haha...

i make no claim to special knowledge regarding the haha or hitches in general.

i'm just a user, who may have coined the phrase 'haha'...

i plan to post my good and bad experiences with the haha. hope other will do the same.
some of my efforts as the thread starter, will be to include useful links or past posts that help me. many have already written great posts on this issue...i'll link some here.

all of us who use the product can contribute and like most threads on the airforums, anyone can post.

it will take a few weeks for this repository to grow. as it does i hope we can all send folks with haha needs right here....

so lets help each other in....

"the ultimate haha users guide"

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:49 PM   #2
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ok we are started...

i've got lots of bits and pieces to eventually put here...

in no particular order...

buzzy4/ed, asked a few common questions

http://www.airforums.com/forum...06-post36.html

so i'll offer up a reply...

1. semi turbulence
2. crosswinds
3. hitching on uneven surfaces..

ed...

1. semi turbulence...
there is lots of good info on semi turbulance (bow waves and the venturi effect)...but an interesting fact is that oncoming trucks give us less of this effect than passing/overtaking semis...basically the fraction of a second for oncoming trucks and the 1-3 seconds for overtaking trucks creates a greater push/pull and as drivers we have more time to over react....also we usually see the oncoming trucks better than the overtaking ones...so even big box trailers feel less from fast approaching semis...now as for how the haha impacts push/pull turbulance...another time...soon.

2. i wondered about cross winds too. coming from a moho to a trailer and living in 'oz' ,
i've driven in lots of crosswinds. airstreams all handle this issue better than 'boxes' imo.
but i've seen a lot of trailers moving down the road angled behind their tv because of wind.
one can also see the constant steering corrections from many drivers....
i've seen long rows of semis and 5th wheels on interstates...all bents slightly at the hitch from wind...

so during the first few weeks using the haha i regularly thought about crosswinds...
the constant ones that blow and the effects of overpasses or interupted crosswind...

of course many things effect how wind forces are felt. tires, pressures, alignment, mass, load distribution and so on...

my experience with the haha is that it stays uncanningly straight, right behind the truck...while others are crooked and wagging.
if someone else drives while i focus reward, what i do see is 2-4 inches of movement at the front of the trailer side2side, not at the rear.
the hitch design allows small lateral movements at the front...but the design of the haha makes fishtailing of the 'trailer only' nill.
in other words the drive wheels/tires of the tv would have to slide sideways for fishtailing and they don't.

so having towed in at least 50-60 mph crosswinds and having been on the edge of some big midwestern storms...
the tv/haha/airstream are calm...so calm that getting out of the truck is often the only clue...
oh and the occasional house that blows across the road!

i did not suggest jack knifeing isn't possilble with a haha and that isn't what you asked.

3. hitching on uneven surfaces...
many suggest this is a deal braker for getting a haha...
i was so clueless about the potential, that i completely missed this when i selected a haha.
yes alignment must be considered when hooking and unhooking with a haha...
but going from zero to 20,000 miles of usage...
this has been a very minor issue for me.
and i've developed 2-3 tricks to make it very easy.
also the owners manual offers some guidelines...

perhaps other users want to share their tricks too!

i'll cover these in another post with pictures which will help more than words...
but i've hooked up at some very odd angles and very uneven surfaces...when i had to.

i mostly travel alone and hook/unhook without any human help...
i've even gotten good at doing it alone while others WATCH....that used to double my time!

so hitching isn't a big deal after some practice...i do it alone.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:17 PM   #3
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some users of the haha don't care how it works...just that it does.

others want to understand it...

in my investigations before and after the purchase a few interesting links with diagrams or info have been helpful...

here is a link to a simple diagram...

http://www.divtune.com/hensley/

the author also has written some concepts on hitches.

readers may find his words useful so click back to his page...

also here is a link to a fulltimer a/s user....... is patrick on the forums?

he recounts his experience from installation to hookup to towing...nicely written.
http://patrick-irish-wolfhound.com/f...v/hensley.html

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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as i was investigating the haha one document reviewed was the patent....

for those that like this level of detail here it is...

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7025370-fulltext.html

i had another version with all the design drawings...

i cannot find it...

ok, here is the link to the 2005 patent update...and the drawings are included...a pdf sort of document.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/6851696

basically the new patent is #6851696 and a search will lead to it...

anyone got a better link to this?

cheer
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:54 PM   #5
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leaving no stone unturned, when shopping hahas...

i found this thread over on the woodall's forums...

http://www.woodalls.com/cforum/index...pging/1/page/1


while it started 4 years ago and spanned 50 pages or so...

i read most of it in pieces...
there are lots of drawings, calculations, links and so on...
some parts are very deep.

some like that level of analysis....

while many just want to know if the haha is useful

and what issues are unique to it....positive or negative.

more later....

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:19 PM   #6
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another users description of wind, semis and narrow lanes...

buzzy4/ed and others...

i'm not big on mushy testimonials...

but user descriptions are useful sometimes...

roadkingmoe has many posts on the haah,

technical, practical and occasionally testiments...

here is a quote from him related to your questions...

""Having once been an RV tech (other brands) and having experienced severe sway more than once, I don't want to do it again. I'm not young and quick on the manual brake control like I used to be.

When we were considering one for our new 34', I downloaded the patent and studied it carefully. It looked like it worked to me. To double-check, I took it to a mechanical engineer I trust to look over it. He assured me it would do what they claimed, and was actually excited about the design.

It's like a seat belt. You may go your whole life and never need it, but when you do, it's too late to go back and use it if you hadn't. The difference is that you'll know when a seat belt saves you, while the Hensley may prevent the situation without you ever being aware it did.

We towed the 34' up to Jackson Center for service on a day a cold front moved through with 35-40 mph winds across the highway, and gusts over 60 mph. Semis were all over the road, but we didn't feel a thing in the truck. Coming home, we'd just entered a construction zone with concrete barriers on each side, when I saw a semi barreling down on us sure to pass. Just as he was blowing past us, the road (and barriers) jogged to go around an overpass support. One sway of the trailer as I made that manuver would've put it into the truck or the barrier. It tracked through like a sports car. That's a great description. It makes the trailer like a 10,000 lb Porsche on my tail through hilly, curvey two-lane roads.

We're sold. Can you tell? My wife was so convinced she sold her favorite motorcycle to pay for it. However, all this being said, I don't believe a Hensley is a substitute for a proper tow vehicle, the way their marketing and at least one Airstream dealer present it. It's an extra margin in a addition to it.
__________________
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WBCCI 5446
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cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:17 PM   #7
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well i am in no way promoting the haha from the vendors position.

i'm a user.

i've got lots to express eventually on the haha....

but a few more links as ground work may be helpful...

folks often want unbiased comparisons or tester shoot outs of each hitch.

this may never happen.

but back 95 trailerlife did do a published comparison....

here is the story attached as a pdf file...i hope.

also visiting the haha website will bring up the owners manual right here...

http://www.hensleymfg.com/Documents/...nualmedres.pdf

reviewing it, even as a non owner is helpful...
for owners it is essential...to read.
took me several times for some things to sink in my skull...

i've down loaded it to computer but also carry a copy...
and have one at home too.

i like redundancy sometimes i like redundancy

someone here works at the department of redundancy department?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:31 PM   #8
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Hitch weight

How much does the Hensley hitch weigh (including bars)?

THanks, Mike
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by air19
How much does the Hensley hitch weigh (including bars)?THanks, Mike
hi mike...
excellent question a basic bit of info that must be in the ultimate haha guide...

i saved my ups shipping invoice just for this...

but where did i save it?

according to the haha info i do have,

the complete setup is 75-80lb more than a conventional hitch with w/d and anti sway. so who knows...

maybe someone who has recently installed or recieved a haha can give us the usp figure.

i will contact the factory monday and post the answer...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:04 PM   #10
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
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haha weight

the folks at hensley say the shipping weight is 220# in 3 boxes, so they believe the hitch is around 200#. The hitch bar alone weighs 50#. Don't think you're gonna bend that one.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:14 PM   #11
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hi capt mark

welcome to the forums and thanks for posting!

saved me a call too!

by hitch bar, do you mean the stinger/drawbar/drop bar thing?

hensley does label it the hitch bar...

but some folks confuse this with the spring bars...

i agree it is one big chuck of iron.

and the straight one probably weights 20lb less than the 6 inch drop version.

are you using the haha with your classic?

cheer
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #12
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yes I am , came with the trailer. Actually it came in pieces, the rv dealer didn't know what it was and sent some of the parts off to Georgia to wholesale out. When all of the haha pieces finally got to me I ended up stripping and painting the hitch. The dealer ended up doing me a favor by forcing me to learn how the haha works.
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:01 PM   #13
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2Air didn't show my original post stating my question of the HA in this new thread.

I am convinced of the anti sway qualities of the HA. All I want to know is, can the thing be hitched up when the TV is on a different slope than the trailer without a complete disassembly. I see this as a potential problem when boondocking.

Understand, I'm not trying to be a contrarian. I would like to get an HA but, I must be convinced of it's practicallity for all my uses.



Ed
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Old 09-16-2006, 09:56 PM   #14
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hi buzzy4 and thanks for joining us...

i don't consider your post contrarian at all...

YES the haha can be hitched/unhitched on odd, uneven surfaces.

dis assembly is not required....

after weight distributiion tension is relieved from the w/d bars,

the jack assemblies are used to re orient the hitch box.

this movement along with adjusting the trailer tongue jack...

re orients the tv receiver box/hitch box relationship...
so the hitch bar can be pulled loose from either the tv or the trailer....

imagine a spot where the tv has a downward slope on the left
and the trailer has a downward slope on the right...
then add a dip/bump near the hitch so the tv is uphill and the trailer nose downhill...

in other words a twisted site with a dip or riser at the hitch...

even in these sites the haha can be unhooked and re connected without removing any parts of the hitch...

but the user does have to understand how the jack assemblies make this possible....

and early in the user experience flat straight sites are easier for docking...

i will post pictures of this next week...

i've boondocked on pretty lumpy sites without issue...

chocking the wheels really well is an absolute requirement imo.

cheers
2air'
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