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Old 02-22-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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To Hensley or not to Hensley

Any advice on whether or not the Hensley Arrow hitch system is as good as they say it is and if it's worth $3000.

Hensley tells me it totally eliminates trailer sway.

If so, why doesn't everyone have one (realizing of course that $3000 is a lot of money).
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Aquabud View Post
Any advice on whether or not the Hensley Arrow hitch system is as good as they say it is and if it's worth $3000.

Hensley tells me it totally eliminates trailer sway.

If so, why doesn't everyone have one (realizing of course that $3000 is a lot of money).

Because:
  • denial is not a river in Egypt but most of us think it is
  • $3000 IS a lot of money and we all have at least 10 things we could use it for
  • we've never had a near catastrophic event that has scared us badly enough to move the Hensley to the top of the list
BTW - there is also a new product - the ProPride hitch - same developer as the Hensley, but with enough differences to make it independently copyrightable.

There is a thread that was started by 2Airishuman comparing the two http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ide-57179.html

Hope that helps.

Paula
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:30 PM   #3
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If you plan to travel a lot and can afford it... go for it.

I ended up in better shape after long day driving and the stuff works.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:44 PM   #4
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Any advice ...

Hensley tells me it totally eliminates trailer sway.

If so, why doesn't everyone have one ...
I have no doubt that both the Hensley & ProPride products perform as advertised.

But my Reese Dual-Cam hitch has performed extremely well for me, and it is a lot easier to hitch up to than the $3k hitches.

What tow vehicle will you be using? That matters a lot with the size Airstream you have.

Tom
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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I noticed on ebay that a "Hensley dealer" was offering new Hensley hitches for around $2,500. While I purchased mine new, I would not hesitate to buy a used one. I have over 100k miles in 4 1/2 years and would not tow without it.

Do check out the new ProPride.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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If so, why doesn't everyone have one (realizing of course that $3000 is a lot of money).
Because no one has given me one (anyone want to give me one? I'd totally use it )

Seriously, I would like to have one someday, just for peace of mind. It might become a more reasonable expense if we ever switch to a smaller tow vehicle. Having a safe and easy towing experience is pretty important for us. I've heard nothing but glowing reviews of the Hensley/PP hitches.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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I cant afford one so that rules them out for sure. Other than that, I get the feeling that they may be difficult to hook up in un-level sites, as a boondocker that is a major consideration.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:33 PM   #8
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To me, this Hensley/ProPride design is a leap forward in hitch design, similar to when pre-war solid-axle front suspensions were replaced by independent suspensions resulting in better and safer handling cars. The older system worked, especially in normal operation, but when a loss-of-control event happens suddenly, we are glad we have the new design.

Doug K
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:39 PM   #9
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Any advice on whether or not the Hensley Arrow hitch system is as good as they say it is and if it's worth $3000.
It does what it's supposed to do. You should also look at the Propride hitch, which some people like better. They are similar.

Quote:
Hensley tells me it totally eliminates trailer sway.
I haven't found anyone who will dispute that.

Quote:
If so, why doesn't everyone have one (realizing of course that $3000 is a lot of money).
There is widespread agreement that the Hensley, Propride, and Pull Rite systems work better than the cam based or friction based systems.

Disagreement centers around whether the difference is important enough to be worth, say, $2000, which is the typical cost delta between a cam or friction system and any of the forward pivot systems.

Anecdotally, everyone who I've encountered who has used a Hensley or Propride hitch after having towed with a friction or cam based htich says that the difference is in fact worth it from a standpoint of convenience and safety.

There is no useful actuarial data or statistics on sway accidents. Andy has previously reported, at length, that based on his crash investigations, the common thread is a lack of weight distribution, sometimes combined with things that mask the symptoms of a heavy rear axle and light front axle (like automatic load levelers). Some people dispute these results. ::shrug:: I believe Andy's position is that we won't know what difference the Hensley and related hitches make until they've been on the market longer. Anecdotally, there are forum members who have been in sway-related crashes when using proper weight distribution and a cam or friction hitch, and there aren't any forum members who have been in sway-related crashes when towing with a Hensley.

I think there's widespread agreement that with a small, light trailer (Bambi) and a long, heavy truck with a short overhang from the rear axle to the hitch, sway isn't a big enough problem to warrant spending the $$$$. And there is, if not outright consensus, at least a widely held view that with a sufficiently large trailer it does become worthwhile.

I think it's money better spent than airbags.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:44 PM   #10
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... I get the feeling that they may be difficult to hook up in un-level sites, as a boondocker that is a major consideration.
There is no problem to do so... the receiver can be easily aligned to the pin in such circumstances. You just need to adjust tilt, angle, and shift if needed...

But that makes sure something else to learn...
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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I bought an old one off of flea bay and rehabbed. Cost of the hitch/grease, new parts (bushings/special grease fittings etc...) I am approximately 25 - 30% the cost of a new one.
Works just as advertised.
Once you hook it up a few times it's really no big deal - just a learning curve like anything else.
I am using shorter wheel base vehicles and there was a difference before and after noticable when the big trucks come by - stable enough that my wife had no trouble driving.
If you decide you want a used one you could get an adjustable stinger from the Propride folks who make the Propride hitch.
I spoken to both the folks at HA and PP - they are top notch folks to deal with.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:53 PM   #12
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Adjust?

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There is no problem to do so... the receiver can be easily aligned to the pin in such circumstances. You just need to adjust tilt, angle, and shift if needed...

But that makes sure something else to learn...
But I don't have to do that now.

Complete disclosure - I have never hitched up to a high-dollar hitch. But I have never read anything that makes me think it is as easy as my Reese hitch.

Tom
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
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I second the advice to check out the Propride. I have a Hensley and have compared side by side with Loudruffs Propride. There are likes and dislikes about both hitches but decide for Your self. They are equal in design in My estimation. If Loudruff pipes in and gives his 2cents worth all the better. I am far far less experienced than He at driving and can appreciate the Hensley but when a former Profesional driver is impressed at the handling difference and buys one (PRopride)after years of towing without that says something. Cost is a big factor but also a lifetime investment in safety.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #14
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I have towed a travel trailer for 17 years.

First a 2500 Lb GVW trailer with a Nissan Pathfinder and later with a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I used a plain hitch with no weight distribution and no sway control ( I didn't know what either was). It scared the dickens out of me with sway several times especially with the Pathfinder. That was the biggest reason for going to the Grand Cherokee.

Second was a 6500 lb GVW trailer. It was towed for the first 3 years with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and later with a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram. The hitch was a Equal-i-zer brand hitch. There were only a couple sort of scary instances with the Jeep and none with the Dodge. However, I still could feel some sway from passing semis and cross wind.

Third and present is a 10,000 lb GVW trailer still being towed with the Dodge. The hitch is now a ProPride. Result so far is no noticeable sway at all. A much more comfortable and relaxing ride.

People here, who have not used the Hensley or ProPride, will tell you it is harder to hitch. That is not my experience at all. After a short learning curve, I can hitch/unhitch the ProPride in about 1/3 the time with less effort and dirt.

I can not tell you what is best for you. My reason for buying the ProPride ( I would have bought the Hensley if the ProPride was not available) was safety and comfort. I felt that since I spent a whole bunch of bucks on a trailer that I intend to have and enjoy for quite a while, why cut corners on the hitch?

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Ken
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