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Old 10-18-2007, 04:38 PM   #29
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2air's post heavily edited for reply content by 85MH325 (no offense meant, Joe!):

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
so roger we continue to AGREE that...

1. the marketing info is a big turn off, while the company testimonials are rasping, like fingernails on a chalk board and
2. the product WORKS, period, end of discussion.

and while i agree it'd be nice IF everyone understood and addressed every issue related to towing dynamics before buying ANY hitch...

that same logic would suggest...

-no one can have traction control without understanding friction, driving and simple physics
-no one can have abs or disc brakes for the same reasons
-no one can use headlights without understanding how to drive within visible range
-no one can use seat-belts/shoulder restraints because they might be tempted to speed or drive recklessly...
-no one can install solar without understanding batteries and energy management

and so on.

also i find your take on price and weight misleading...

-the haha is essentially FREE for a 60/90 day trial, which other hitch does that?
-and the ultimate purchase price is 3% or less for most modern tv/a-s combos...
-used ones are readily sold at better prices than used a/s...

-the haha weights approx 100lb more than other sway control/weight distributon hitches...

-the weight difference is less than .005 of my total rig...

-and only 1% of a modern bambi/tv combo...

IF someone is within 100lbs of their load limits that becomes an issue regardless of hitch, you'd agree?


my claim was/is that having spent the cash, DOES qualify one to answer the original question in THIS thread...

cheers
2air'
Joe,

A couple of quick responses... the HA at a hundred pounds extra may only represent a small amount of your total rig's weight, but more than 10% of the total tongue weight. On a trailer with a 900 lb dry tongue weight, it could make a Class III receiver overweight when loaded. It is an issue.

If you spend $2,000 for your trailer (what I spent for my first '70 Safari 23') and $3,500 for a 3/4 ton Ford extended cab pickup (what I spent and towed the Safari with for about seven years), the Hensley comes up at over 50% of the total cost of the rig. So we have proven both perspectives with math. And I quote... "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics," attributed to statistician, M.P. (later Lord) Courtney c. 1895.

Folks don't have to understand the dynamics of hitch design, but they do need to understand what happens when they tow, and what causes sway. We're not talking about doing math formulas to illustrate it, just that they need to understand what having soft sidewalls does, for example. A better analogy than hitch design would be understanding why we steer into a skid on slick pavement to correct the skid. You don't need to be a physicist to understand it and employ it; you just have to be a competent driver.

I also disagree with your analogy about the techno-wonders you listed. Trailer cargo load distribution, tire pressures, hitch setup, and choice of tow vehicle and trailer are all well within the ability of the average trailer owner. How ABS works isn't. Frankly, I don't care for ABS or how it works (even though I do understand the principles behind ABS), and wouldn't have it on a vehicle if I had the choice ... but that's another whole issue! And... none of those techno wonders were invented to mask a repairable mechanical problem... they are at our disposal to assist the driver, and sometimes we don't get a choice about whether or not they come on the car we drive. We DO, OTOH have a choice about hitches.

So, yes Joe, I find that we continue to agree that the Hensley is, in fact, a good hitch and does it's job. I'm not saying to anyone that the Hensley is a poor choice. And, I'll give you that you (and RKM, and a bunch of others) have an HA and have actual towing experience with it that I don't. It's nice that you can afford a Hensley, and I'm pleased you're happy with it. I defer to your experience on that... my only point is that while a good hitch, the expense of a Hensley isn't necessarily the solution to sway issues. The Hensley is a fine piece of engineering, but merely the purchase and installation of one still doesn't make the original issues that cause sway to go away.

Roger
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:51 PM   #30
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And one won't, can't make the causes of sway go away. That's the point. How well can one minimize them is (in asking if this hitch is a good purchase).

One can perfect the rigging (and the two vehicles) to where Inland RV or Can Am go goggle-eyed. Then add the Hensley. That is, at this time, the final minimization. (Until Andy gets the Saf-T-Tow into production).
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:59 PM   #31
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Quote:
What I can't abide is someone spending the $3k for the panacea without knowing what the alternatives really are, and without fixing the actual problem that plagues them to begin with, but pronouncing it "cured".
Quote:
I utterly reject the notion that the only way to gain understanding of a tool or a condition is to experience it.
As one of the first to answer on this thread with our reasons for buying a Hensley, we obviously subscribed more to the second statement and less to the first when we decided to buy a Hensley. We tried to research, before buying, the various "sway-control" systems. We had no easy way to "know" the alternatives because our Bambi was our first trailer. We did know a lot about wind sensitivity because of having driven a VW camper for years and knew we did not want to have problems which would make our trailer experience unpleasant.

As for whether the "Hensley experience" is positive and contributes to the owner's enthusiasm for the hitch, I believe 2Air has pointed out that most owners would shell out the money again. We would. It only took one Mojave sandstorm pushing gigantic motorhomes and big rigs all over the highway while we barely felt anything to convince us that the money was well spent.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:12 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
I utterly reject...Using that logic
looks like we agree completely!

and is why i drew the distinction between understand and appreciate.

roger...

if the tongue mass is 900 lbs, i'd want a class 4 receiver regardless of hitch.

that's just too close to the limit for me.

but my understanding is that hitch mass doesn't affect tongue weight ONCE the w/d bars are tightened...

at that point the hitch is PAYLOAD and therefore affects the tv parameter instead.

regardless if within a 100lbs of any limit i'd opt for more boat or less ballast.

also we agree safety is paramount and all the issues that affect safe towing need to be addressed.

the list of issues is long and we only know what we know. my list of potential issues keeps growing.

many folks learn and manage these towing issues themselves and for most this comes AFTER the purchase, which again goes back to the original question..

'why spend 3k?'

there are those however that let others set up their rigs and dial in equipment....

should they NOT be allowed to tow? of course not.

i had a feeling you might not care for abs but what about indoor plumbing?

my point was that every day we use many gadgets...

some are for safety and others for pleasure or other gains...

almost anyone can defeat the best designed product but that doesn't mean they aren't entitled to have that product.

and one final point which is most likely a terminology issue...

the haha DOES eliminate sway completely...

IF sway is defined as lateral movement of the trailer on the ball (fishtailing)...

properly setup the trailer move as if it were on rails, connected as ONE to the tv....

all potential lateral instability however, is NOT eliminated.

but the tv would need to lose traction and then the 2 would move together side to side.

i don't think that is how sway is traditionally defined.

that would be the 'sheet hittiin the fan' in scientific terms.....

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:19 PM   #33
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Thumbs down I Can't Believe

I just can't believe that no one on the Forums has a perfectly set-up

non-Hensley rig. There must be someone who has one. But according to

some of the posts Iv'e just read if you experience "sway" or can feel it when

an 18 wheeler goes by, then you must be doing something rong. After all you

do have that "sway" control.....rite!

I may not be as experienced or as erudite as some of you, but I have been

Stream'n for 18yrs and have traveled many a mile in someone else's sob and

whether driving or not I have NEVER had a semi pass by at hi-way speed

without being pushed around.

Do you all feel it too??................Well... I DON'T!

say goodnight johnboy
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:02 PM   #34
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Saftey

I admit that I am a novice with trilers and hitches but I speak from experience about driving my AS from Illinois to Arizona with a Blue Ox hitch. Simply stated I was unable to tolerate the sway and the impact from large semi trailers as they passed me. I am convinced that the system that was sold to me by the As dealer was unsafe and I decided to try a Hensley. The problems were eliminated and I am very satisfied. If the Hensley didn't workI would have sold the trailer as I would not risk the safety of my family. Perhaps there are other less expensive products out there but for 2 grand more I have purchased an excellent product.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:08 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim A.
We had no easy way to "know" the alternatives because our Bambi was our first trailer. We did know a lot about wind sensitivity because of having driven a VW camper for years and knew we did not want to have problems which would make our trailer experience unpleasant.
FWIW, there have been a number of posts that discuss side wind-loading and call it "sway". Sway can be induced by side-wind loading if there are other factors involved, but merely that you get moved around or buffeted a little from wind-loading or truck wake isn't "sway". Sway is another whole phenomenon altogether, and anyone who has experienced sway will tell you they don't want to do it again.

Roger
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:21 PM   #36
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Roger - in your example - it is sway. When the truck passes your trailer, the bow wave pushes your trailer away. You feel the front of your truck respond in the opposite direction.

The fact that you don't lose control doesn't mean that you haven't experienced "sway"...

Pat
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:27 PM   #37
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Thumbs up What He Said

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
Roger - in your example - it is sway. When the truck passes your trailer, the bow wave pushes your trailer away. You feel the front of your truck respond in the opposite direction.

The fact that you don't lose control doesn't mean that you haven't experienced "sway"...

Pat
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:44 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmclemore
Roger - in your example - it is sway. When the truck passes your trailer, the bow wave pushes your trailer away. You feel the front of your truck respond in the opposite direction.

The fact that you don't lose control doesn't mean that you haven't experienced "sway"...

Pat
Pat, I can't agree. What you describe is normal, if uncomfortable, and you can watch the same effects on 53' tractor-trailers in a high side wind being passed by another truck. They even exhibit the phenomenon known as "heeling over" in sailing; e.g. their box leaning away from the wind during the pass. You can see it come up and then heel over again. A good, balanced tow vehicle/recreational trailer rig with adequate sway control will experience the phenomenon you describe by having the entire rig move as a unit with the wind.

Sway, OTOH, is an oscillation of the trailer (but not the tow vehicle) back and forth across the centerline of the tow vehicle/trailer axis that can't be controlled while driving at a constant speed without applying the trailer brakes or taking other extraordinary measures. Certainly wind loading can be a factor in initiating sway, but it isn't the cause, and it is possible to experience sway without losing control.

Roger
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:08 PM   #39
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as i fly by passing big rigs i don't feel a thing.

must be a properly set up reese for less than 500 bux

and

apply power as passing.

but

what do i know.

the hemi knows though...

kevin
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:53 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by yakman
Hello,

No pun intended, but I was wondering what led you spend nearly $3000 on a hitch? I towed our 25ft International back from South Carolina over the mountains of Virginia, NC and WV with a WD hitch/sway bar combo and brake controller. My TV is a new Chevy 2500HD Duramax. In most cases I was the one passing the semis, but I never noticed any sway and on the flats I could almost forget that the 25 footer was behind me.

Not to ruffle any feathers but $3000 is a lot of money to spend. I'm intrigued by the testimonials and the ability to back it up without having to run back and pull off my sway bar, but geez... that's a lot of cash to shell out.

Maybe with my TV and trailer weight, I'm not a good candidate for one?

Cheers,

Doug
Like 2air, I fail to understand why when a question like this is asked "what led you to spend nearly $3000. on a hitch", there are always those who have to respond with "why you shouldn't or why it isn't necessary to spend''. The question as I understand it was directed to Hensley owners. Perhaps a thread "why I would never own" "why I dislike,"why I think they are a piece of #%@ "should be started". Then all of the non owners would have a forum to discouss all the Hensleys short comings. --pieman
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:12 PM   #41
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Reasons?

Engineering & Construction.

A Hensley is not the magic, 100% surefire solution, but it is the closest thing to it.

Many dynamics are involved in stability when towing... tow vehicle parameters, trailer weight loading, correct configuration of the hitch, bar tension, traffic & road conditions, et cetera.

The Hensley, due to its' engineered design, is extremely forgiving of these dynamics being out of the correct range.

It represents a higher level of insurance for both the safety of my family and my investment.

I recall my drive back from New Mexico, where I purhased my trailer, through the Mojave. 45+ mph crosswinds, 3 trailers on their sides (getting assistance) as we transited the area, and watching the big rig's trailer in front of us sway downwind with each gust. I waited for a similar calamity to strike our rig, but it remained arrow straight throughout the ordeal. I have encountered similar, if not so dramatic, situations since then with the same experience.

Worth the money? Based off my peace of mind since I have owned it?

You bet!
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:14 PM   #42
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I think it might be time to quote myself, "We do not, however, expect everyone else to share our views on the hitch (and the forum makes clear that not everyone does )."

This thread started out with the question as to why anyone would pay for a Hensley and a number of us have tried to answer that. So far, I don't think we Hensley owners have suggested that it is the solution for everyone. If you have a setup you are happy with, for heaven's sake, stick with it and save yourselves a bunch of bucks.

As for the semantics of what "sway" means? No matter what the effect is called or what initiates it, oscillation (with reinforcing feedback) of the trailer is what the Hensley hitch is supposed to prevent. Fortunately, we have never experienced that type of oscillation. Perhaps the Hensley is responsible, perhaps I have not put us in a situation where the hitch had to save us. In the Mojave sandstorm mentioned above, we did see a large motorhome (diesel pusher) ahead of us towing a much smaller utility trailer and those people were experiencing oscillation of the towed trailer and that tail was wagging the very long-wheelbase motorhome. Of course, their setup could have been all wrong, but I did not try to check on it. We did not have any oscillation of our trailer even though we were traveling at about the same speed as the motorhome. No one was driving very fast and the motorhome slowed to a speed where the oscillation stopped. We assumed the wind initiated the oscillation.
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