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Old 09-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #1
1996 34' Classic
 
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1996 34' Excella
Locust Grove , Virginia
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Uncoupling my Hensley Hitch

I don't have issues with hitching up between my GMC 2500HD and my 1996 34' Excella 1000. I use the jack to make sure the height of the tongue and the hitch are correct. My problem is with un-hitching. It seems like it always binds and then when I pull away, the tension keeps us connected. Is there a secret to the correct height of the tongue so that disconnecting isn't an issue?
Many thanks,
FT.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:36 AM   #2
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My 'trick'....

Loosen the WD Jacks.

A finger on the top receiver opening, raise & lower the tongue jack 'til you just feel the stinger move inside the receiver.

Practice.... it becomes second nature.

Bob
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:27 AM   #3
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What works for us is: Jack the trailer until the jack takes a very slight amount of the tongue weight and loosen the spring bar jacks until they are floppy loose. Use wheel chocks to keep the trailer from moving.

Tim
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:52 AM   #4
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In addition to what Robert says...after some time the wedge of the stinger mates to the opening. If this interface is dry, there can be a friction sticking situation. I periodically coat the ramps of the wedges with mountain bike chain lube (dry, wax-like film left behind). This eliminates the sticking completely for maybe a half season per treatment.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:38 PM   #5
1996 34' Classic
 
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1996 34' Excella
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Thumbs up Thanks to all three of you

I appreciate your guidance. I've put white lithium grease on it but think I might need something a bit 'heavier' for longevity.
Take care and safe travels.
FT
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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White lithium works well, but attracts a lot of sand and road grit....and inevitably gets all over your hands and pants. I suggest a dry lube of your choice. Jus' sayin'. Been there, done that.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:13 PM   #7
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Another tip we have learned. After backing into a campsite, right away pull ahead about a foot or two to take any sideways tension off the stinger/hitch head connection. I believe that sideways tension is from twist in the multiple axle tires that inevitably happens backing up.

That sideways tension locks the connection, you may hear/feel a pop when they come apart. It should pull away smoothly or there is horizontal or vertical tension on the connection.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:11 PM   #8
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Another tip we have learned. After backing into a campsite, right away pull ahead about a foot or two to take any sideways tension off the stinger/hitch head connection. I believe that sideways tension is from twist in the multiple axle tires that inevitably happens backing up.

That sideways tension locks the connection, you may hear/feel a pop when they come apart. It should pull away smoothly or there is horizontal or vertical tension on the connection.
X2

The tires are almost always under sideways tension. Since I started to carry 2x10 pressure great in 6' lengths -- backing beyond the point of rest, and pulling forward onto the wood -- the problem is gone. It's when I'm stopping overnight and have decided to make a store run I find out the hard way if I got the tire tension reduced adequately.

I have more than once in backing into a long term site alternately jacked the SS port & starboard to get the tire twist settled when no room was available. That I'm also going to overinflate the already at max tires makes me feel a little better about such a procedure. And easier to get tire covers secured. I really don't want to think about the $&#%^ tires than I already do.

Consider it a bonus. A little alarm has gone off that you've not properly finished parking the trailer.

.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
What works for us is: Jack the trailer until the jack takes a very slight amount of the tongue weight and loosen the spring bar jacks until they are floppy loose. Use wheel chocks to keep the trailer from moving.

Tim
What he said. Don't try and adjust the height to match, you already have that when you just start to take the weight off the tonque. I use the wheel chocks that open up between the wheels. I have found it is best to undo the lever things before losening the WD bars. There have been some occasions when the truck roles forward a couple of inches when losening them. Found the hard way its better to have them already released if there happens to be some tension in the hitch.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:31 AM   #10
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Hensley Un-hitching...

Tim had it right... his technique has worked for me for almost twenty years with no problems

"...What works for us is: Jack the trailer until the jack takes a very slight amount of the tongue weight and loosen the spring bar jacks until they are floppy loose. Use wheel chocks to keep the trailer from moving.

Tim

...the only thing I would add is that I use a dry lube on the stinger and inside the receiver every time to ensure a slippery entry and exit... I also am a big believer in using a "hitch helper" under the post to make minor lateral left and right adjustments when re-hitching...
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:01 AM   #11
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I have the opposite problem. I have no problem dropping the trailer in the campground and driving away.

My issue is hooking the damn thing back up.

There is never a level campsite so you are always either raising or lowering the tongue jack to get the trailer level.

My issue is I can never get the proper height so the stinger slides in correctly, it always hangs up.

Love the hitch but when it takes over an hour plus to hook up to leave I find that frustrating to say the least.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by KWN306 View Post
I have the opposite problem. I have no problem dropping the trailer in the campground and driving away.

My issue is hooking the damn thing back up.

There is never a level campsite so you are always either raising or lowering the tongue jack to get the trailer level.

My issue is I can never get the proper height so the stinger slides in correctly, it always hangs up.

Love the hitch but when it takes over an hour plus to hook up to leave I find that frustrating to say the least.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...id-171968.html

This technique with a wireless backup camera looking right down the stinger into the receiver works like a charm. Five minutes, tops.

You take the yellow pole off when you get close to the stinger and then use the camera to make the final 3 or 4 feet to the receiver. Simple.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:20 PM   #13
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When hitching up measure the height of the stinger just before backing it into the hitch. When unhitching set the Hensley receptacle at this same height. This procedure will get you close. I also use the method Tim relates above. It works well if the stinger is not binding in the hitch. I did not grease my stinger until it stuck in the Hensley hitch once this Summer Now i put up with a greasy hitch and stinger.
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tim A. View Post
What works for us is: Jack the trailer until the jack takes a very slight amount of the tongue weight and loosen the spring bar jacks until they are floppy loose. Use wheel chocks to keep the trailer from moving.

Tim
Yes, use wheels chocks, loosen the WD springs (either the pry-up chains off/loose or the adjuster jacks all the way down/loose), & the tongue jack up enough to unload the stinger bar in the head's box. It's easy to forget to un-tension the equalizing spring bars.

Also - those TVs all have different heights to the receivers on them, so you may need to use a different drop ht. stinger for the Ford vs others, in order to keep the trailer within +/- 1" of level front to rear. If not & the trailer is nose or tail low, then it will put the stinger at a wanky angle (technical term ;-) & may cause more resistance when pulling out.

(PS - I'm assuming that you're having different experience between the GMC & Ford trucks/TVs - if not, just on the GMC - the proper stinger drop still applies. Terry Powell at Hensley can set you up with their lifetime stinger exchange if 1 TV at wrong drop ht., &/or with an "extra" stinger for about $100 IIRC if 2 TVs.)

Good Luck!
Tom
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