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Old 10-18-2007, 09:18 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis
Like 2air, I fail to understand why when a question like this is asked "what led you to spend nearly $3000. on a hitch", --pieman
Because I couldn't find one that cost $4000.00
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:19 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo10
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
I'm with Kevbo as far as who's doing the passing and for the price. I think mine is a Husky. I do have my concerns though that the chains will break someday and leave me compromised on a trip or even the bars eventually. It seems like they have a lot of torque on them after everything is setup. When I originally looked at the Hensley website I thought the decimal was out of place to be honest. The past few years I've been towing a tandem axle trailer/21' bass boat combo. With my gear on board I figure I was a little over 4000lbs behind a Chevy Avalanche. It didn't require any special hitch..just hook it up and haul. I've never had a hairy situation and on the freeway coming home from Dale Hollow in TN one year it was a matter of joining the insanity. I had wanted to take it easy at 65 to 70, but the traffic on I-75 that day dictated a 75-90mph trip. The boat would "fish" a little back there. Now I'm hauling a new Intl 25ft FB with a 2500HD Duramax Crew Cab Long Box. It's one heck of a truck and a lot more capable/comfortable than the Avalanche. With the WD/friction sway bar combo, that 25 footer was rock solid. I did not encounter any heavy sidewinds, but that can be bad just running with no trailer. I drove from Detroit to Columbus one day in Avalanche with a sea kayak on it in 40+ gusting winds and it was not pleasant.

My inquiry was to see if most Hensley owners were people who were happy with their WD hitch one day and then came across $3000 to throw at their hitch?

I know what we could do. We should have a few rich AStreamers run a slalom course with a 27 footer behind a diesel TV with each hitch as well as some high speed swerves and put the video on Youtube.

It sounds more or less like the $3000 buys you a little bit of comfort in windy conditions. I still don't think it will save your butt if you drop a set of wheels of the rough two lane? At that point it's still up to the driver not to over correct and send the whole rig into a nasty situation.

This is fun... I can see us all sitting around the campfire bickering about our darn hitches..!

Cheers,

Doug
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:31 PM   #45
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This is fun... I can see us all sitting around the campfire bickering about our darn hitches..!
I could see it coming....
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:35 PM   #46
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It appears to me, that the cost of the hitch has been peripheral to this thread, and without counting it appears off hand that maybe Hensley owners are mentioning it at least as much as those who do not. Also, I don't recall anyone knocking the hitch, in fact I think everyone recognizes it is a fine product.What is up for debate and very much on topic is whether the hitch is the best option for everyone. The two big detours in this thread have been: 1) make sure you address the root causes of sway rather than just mask them (seems prudent and not dismissive of the hitch) and 2) whether anyone who doesn't tow with a Hensley has any right to an opinion about them or, if indeed, such a person can even grasp how they function. Frankly, in a free forum I find this second issue puzzling and discouraging. Personally, I suspect that hitches fall into the category of things explainable by physics and not mystical experience.

As to who the question was directed to, the nature of forums is that, well its a forum and not a panel discussion. The vast majority of threads end up with comments that do not directly address the opening post. For better or worse, thats the nature of the beast. On the other hand, in this case, if that concern were held paramount, then no comments about actual performance of the hitch in the users experience would be acceptable either. Notice the question was what lead up to the purchase.

I follow these threads because I often pick up bits of knowledge that I didn't have before. The discussion below about the danger of masking symptoms is a perfect case in point. It is hard to get to the root of things if fans of a given tool or outlook demand that nobody be allowed to ask questions or challenge assertions of fact.

One of the things I have been trying to ascertain from all of these threads is a what point does it become reasonable for the average person to elect to go with the big H. I think most would agree that 17ft trailers generally don't merit one, whereas a 34 probably does as a general rule. Likewise, presumably, the more you tow in a year the more sense one would make. How many miles? who knows? You can just keep listing variables. The truth is there is a calculus involved here where the factors are difficult to weigh for many of us and it is through the hashing out that we gain something akin to clarity.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
you can watch the same effects on 53' tractor-trailers in a high side wind being passed by another truck...

Sway, OTOH, is an oscillation... that can't be controlled while driving at a constant speed without applying the trailer brakes or taking other extraordinary measures... and it is possible to experience sway without losing control...Roger
i doubt this is what you meant but it reads like sway is motion that can't be controlled but can be experienced without losing control???

the 'nudge' or force from a passing bow wave is experienced by all objects the wave reaches....

in the water even fixed massive structures absorb this force.

the goal is to absorb it without crumbling or at an acceptable rate of decay.

i hate to use terms i don't fully appreciate but YAW is rotation about a vertical axis.

in towing these axis are the tires and hitch ball, i think.

observing the motion in 5th wheels or goose necks or semi trailers is very useful for explaining what the haha ISN'T and CAN'T do...

-watch them in a strong cross wind, they ALL will be angulated slightly at the pivot like a broken stick.

as they pass each other and interrupt the wind forces (with bow waves), the rigs 'yaw' slightly while the driver subtly corrects or rides out the action.

-now watch a haha equipped set up.

even in the strongest winds the 2 units remain straight. NO broken stick, no angulation at the ball because it ISN'T a pivot point.

the 2 units move as if ON RAILS...

yes the 2 may lean away from the wind (heeling over is your term) but ZERO yaw...

i think most folks use the term 'sway' to describe this tow vehicle/trailer yaw when the 2 are rotating in opposite directions,

it's also called fish tailing but one would need a mechanical fish with a 2 piece, single joint spine to be truly similar...

same with the 'tail wagging the dog' analogy.

it does happen with all 2 piece rigs that have a freely pivoting junction...

so back to the haha...

the haha does NOT have a freely pivoting junction....

so the trailer CANNOT exert a steering force on the tv, not at the hitch ball or at the rear tires...

IF a MASSIVE force (god twisting the trailer) could do this, it would need to cause both vehicles to pivot on the front steering tires...

in other words trailer and tow vehicle would move together (in the same direction) rotating at the steering (front tire axis) pivot...

that would not be 'oscillation' as roger terms sway but rather like the pendulum motion in a grandfather clock.

this is but ONE of the issues with a haha that is hard to grasp and IF grasped is nearly impossible to believe.

it's true however, i think.

corrective behaviors:

new or inexperienced drivers feel the yaw forces a trailer can induce in the tow vehicle as well as the lean from wind or uniform side forces...

but most of the corrective actions (good or bad) are directed at the yaw...

things like steering the opposite direction, braking, accelerating, touching the brake controller and so on...

this is all encompassed as 'white knuckle driving' with an overly tight sphincter meter...

skilled/experienced drivers know how to subtly react or 'do nothing' for all but the catastrophic forces....

they also wear gloves (to reduce/hide the white knuckles) and get hemorrhoids ...

so regardless of the term, pmclemore and woodedareas are describing the unsettling turbulence that makes towing NO FUN....

others are suggestion 'with enough experience and knowledge' we don't need the haha...

and this reminds me of learning to catch a baseball as a child...

there was the old man who would regularly tell me to 'take off the glove' because 'if your hands were tougher, you wouldn't need it'...

he was a tough mean old bully who liked to prove he could throw harder than an 8 year old and catch bare handed....

while my coach (a banker with soft hands) actually wanted us to experience SOME degree of comfort catching the ball...

so we could enjoy the game!

cheers
2air'

and i'm with the others who are thrilled the haha purchase price isn't higher, cuze i'd sell me' plasma to get one...
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:07 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
It appears to me, that the cost of the hitch has been peripheral to this thread, and without counting it appears off hand that maybe Hensley owners are mentioning it at least as much as those who do not. ...
because the 3k PRICE was the apparent topic in the original post....

now that yakman has posted again it's clear this wasn't a straight question....

I'll make you a deal...

start a thread entitled "how to tow safely without spending 3,000 bucks"

and i promise not to post anything in it about the haha....

ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
I The two big detours in this thread have been:
1)... and 2) whether anyone who doesn't tow with a Hensley has any right to an opinion about them or....
where in THIS thread has ne1 written about the right to an opinion on the product?

actually the detouring issue is explaining how one spends 3k on a hitch when they haven't...

it isn't about 'rights' but answering the 'why a person spent the 3k question, when the person didn't spend 3k is. as spock would say "highly illogical"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
I think most would agree that 17ft trailers generally don't merit one, whereas a 34 probably does as a general rule...
i don't agree with this statement and many on both sides disagree on this...

single axle trailers are far more prone to sway and yaw and instability than triples...

the triples have an inherent tracking behavior that singles don't demonstrate...

when a tire blows or other single wheel events occur the results are far more dramatic on single axle trailers...

and so on.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:13 PM   #49
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Control we had while towing our Airstream before HA: BAD (Me not happy)
Control we have while towing our Airstream with HA: GREAT (Me happy)

Worth every penny we spent on it. Now we don't have tons of $$$$$$, in fact we tow with a 1997 F150, this should tell you we are watching our nickels. Our Hensley allows us to tow safely, that's it's value add, period. I'm sure there are other hitches out there that may have worked for us but we listened to our fellow NEU members who have had great luck with HA and we made the big purchase. Best thing we've done to improve our trailering experience.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:19 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakman
Hello,

No pun intended, but I was wondering what led you spend nearly $3000 on a hitch?
...because i like orange hitches
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:08 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Streamer
...because i like orange hitches
This is the most persuasive answer yet! Karma to Steve!

BTW, since we were discussing what actually constitutes "sway", here is a video on youtube that illustrates trailer sway initiated by speed alone: YouTube - Trailer Sway Control Demonstration

Hensley owners: I am not dissin' ya. The fact that you're happy with your hitches is wonderful. I know that the Hensley works as advertised. I am, however, a skeptic of the Hensley mythos, and my premise is that the other integrated sway control solutions can be equally effective at a quarter to a fifth of the cost. If you read my other posts that Joe linked to in one of his, you'll see that for several years now, my basic position hasn't changed... except that where I once seriously considered purchasing the Hensley, as time goes on, I'm less and less inclined to ever buy a Hensley simply because of cost.

What I have seen and heard for the past five or so years are testimonials that the Hensley works, and I believe you. All of you! What I have not seen or heard yet is from an owner who methodically parsed out the problems with their towing rig with another brand of hitch, and then after addressing all of the possible problems switched to Hensley because they couldn't fix what ailed their rig after addressing all the common problems.

Many of you haven't towed with anything else, having bought the HA on the recommendation of the dealer or a friend. Many of you had issues and bought the Hensley to overcome them, but didn't address the issues themselves. Some of you bought the Hensley because you wanted a good hitch solution right away. Those are all fine reasons to buy a Hensley, but they're not sufficient to convince me that the Hensley is so superior to the other offerings on the market that I've had success with that it justifies the expense. Your experiences are all good, but they're not objective, and I've yet to see an emperical comparison of brands.

My own experience was that once my hitch was set up properly, and the engineering issues resolved with my relatively short-wheelbase tow vehicle (short for towing a 34' trailer anyway) that I experienced the same kind of handling expressed by owners of the Hensley with my Excursion/34' tri axle rig and my Reese.

Now, I confess that it's been four or so years since I looked at the Hensley video, but everything I can find today compares the dampening of the Hensley hitch to the same trailer on a bare ball. Please correct me if I'm not recalling the Hensley advertising video correctly. What I've not seen are independent, direct objective and emperical handling comparisons between the Hensley and the other manufacturers of sway control hitches used on the same tow vehicle/trailer rig under similar controlled conditions... in other words, the evidence that the original poster asked for: what makes the Hensley worth the money over the other manufacturers?

So, testimonials aside (because my experience with my hitch and tow rig is identical to that you describe with your Hensleys), please excuse me for being skeptical until I can have an opportunity to study those direct comparisons and determine for myself whether the Hensley actually provides such significantly better control than a properly set up and balanced tow rig using another manufacturers' product that it's worth the average person spending four or five times the cash for.

Roger
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:49 AM   #52
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To the OP: I currently tow a 30' SOB with a shorty Yukon w/Hensley. I could have spent $20,000 trading up the Yukon for a one-ton and completely ignored sway control, or just buy the Hensley for $3K. I made my choice and have never looked back.

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Old 10-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #53
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It's kinda like asking why in the world would anyone by a $2000 Honda quiet generator when they could go out and buy another 3000 watt generator for $500 or less. Because it's much better for the intended use, THAT'S WHY.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
I'm less and less inclined to ever buy a Hensley simply because of cost.
many feel this way about macs too...

till they own one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
...what I have not seen or heard yet is from an owner who methodically parsed out the problems...
actually i've read and discussed with several owners who've done EXACTLY that...

of course just because they'd dialed in everything and STILL weren't satisfied ,

doesn't me someone else might have set up their rigs differently...

or claimed what they felt was normal, so 'get used to it'

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
experiences are all good, but they're not objective, and I've yet to see an emperical comparison of brands.
actually most of the users who report, describe or relate their experiences

towing with brand x or with the haha are providing empirical evidence...

from mr. webster...

Quote:
Originally Posted by webster
empirical:

1 : originating in or based on observation or experience <empirical data>
2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory <an empirical basis for the theory>
and this article is as close as it gets to any comparison done by so called experts...

yes it's 10 years old. and it could be better (the drivers could be blindfolded)...

but the description of the experience is virtually the same as most owners report...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...0&d=1158451817

it is unlikely any other brand will stage the test and haha obviously doesn't feel the need to.

then we get into "what about this trailer, or this tv or this situation..." ad infinity...

how many test crashes would it take to sway those holding fast to their opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
... I experienced the same kind of handling expressed by owners of the Hensley with my Excursion/34' tri axle rig and my Reese.
how do you KNOW the same handling was experienced? the key to experiencing is riding/driving the set ups...

have you EVER been at the wheel with a haha?

i'd gladly let you drive mine some time,

but honestly doubt it would matter... besides it would hardly be objective right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 85MH325
... I can have an opportunity to study those direct comparisons...Roger
at some point the dialog become circular and we are retracing tracks long since covered.

with the skeptics adding new twists or 'yes buts' to the exchange....

no offense big guy but none of us are really waiting for you to rule on the haha data...

and i'm still looking for proof the earth isn't flat and those guys really landed on the moon...

cheers
2air'
Attached Files
File Type: pdf trailer_life comparison.pdf (407.2 KB, 173 views)
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:16 AM   #55
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Joe,

I concur we're beating a dead horse. I believe you're impressed with the performance of your hitch, and I have said repeatedly that I understand that the hitch performs. What I said wasn't that I wanted emperical or anecdotal experiences of which the Internet abounds, but the emperical results of controlled testing (which still hasn't been done, to my knowledge). Many of the folks who have bought Hensleys have no other experience with which to compare.

I appreciate your offer of test driving your truck and trailer (which, for those of you who haven't seen Joe's rig, is one of the most gorgeous rigs I've ever seen!), but out of the box, I'd expect it to be one of the most stable rigs on the road, even on a bare ball because of the weight and wheelbase of your truck, and the fact that the 34' tri-axle trailer is one of the most stable trailers on the road as well. If there are few issues to control, then I'd expect any hitch would work just fine.

An interesting clue is actually offered in the Trailer Life article you mentioned... it describes that the Hensley did wonders for a the lifted RamCharger short wheelbase tow vehicle attached to a trailer, but the article continues: "Of course, the new Dodge pickup exhibited nice road manners with the conventional hitch and friction sway control."

So, the question remains... is the performance of the Hensley so significantly improved over the other products on the market as to warrant spending four to five times the money for it? For those of you who own one, obviously that answer was yes. For those of us who aren't as ready to become true believers absent independent objective comparative testing results... the answer is... at least for me, probably not.

Roger
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:42 AM   #56
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Hi guys
How hard is it to install the Hensley hitch? Can a newbie to Airstream and rving do it by myself or should I order and have my dealer install it. Does anyone discount the Hensley or is it 3,000.00ish take it or leave it?
thanks
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