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Old 10-17-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD FB
Gahanna , Ohio
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What swayed you to buy Hensley hitch?


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?



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Old 10-17-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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No feathers ruffled here. From my perspective, the $3K was a rounding error compared to the investment in Airstream, tow vehicle and family safety. Previously I had towed with an Expedition and 30' SOB with sway bars, and most trips ended with white knuckles.

In the scheme of things, going with Hensley was not a big decision. My view was that they were the tops in their space - possibly one of my easier decisions. Actually, about 1,000 times easier a decision than helping choose a wall color for our bathroom at home...

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Old 10-17-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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To each his/her own, but I'm with you. Except I back up with my sway bar connected.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:39 PM   #4
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Why did we shell out the money for a Hensley hitch? Short wheelbase towing vehicle, never pulled a trailer before, and did not want to experience any problems which would make our Airstream unpleasant for us. We thought of the difference between the price of the Hensley and another good brand of weight-distributing hitch to be an insurance payment. In the almost 6 years we have had the Hensley, there have been few times when it was "necessary," but we have never regretted the extra expenditure. We do not, however, expect everyone else to share our views on the hitch (and the forum makes clear than not everyone does ).
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:43 PM   #5
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I would certainly never "gig" you for your choice, You have to be comfortable with your equipment.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:51 PM   #6
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For the same reason I bought an Airstream; I wanted the best.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:03 AM   #7
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We towed with other equipment for a year or two and were fairly comfy with that setup. After testimonials from others here and on the road, we felt the addition of the Hensley would be like another good insurance policy on ourselves, our TV and Airstream. We were fortunate enough to be able to pony up the cash and take the plunge. Hooking up with the Hensley is second nature to us now and we wouldn't go back. Bottom line: I've always had a fear of hanging one side of the trailer rolling gear off the road and getting into sway configuration I couldn't recover from.
In dog years, I'm dead!
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:46 AM   #8
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Central Part , Maryland
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When I got my Airstream (19') two years ago I had never towed a travel trailer before so I relied on my dealer to tell me what I needed. I was retiring and buying the Airstream as a "present" to myself so the final total of $$$ involved with the overall purchase were not the main concern. I had worked hard for 30+ years and wanted the best (which is why I was on the Airstream lot and not some other brand).

If the dealer would have told me that the Hensley was the best hitch available I would have bought it without a second thought. However, what the dealer did instead was to more or less imply that I didn't know what I was talking about (probably true, but...) to even suggest such a thing for a small trailer.

The dealer specifically told me that:
(1) the only thing you put on a 19" trailer is Weight-Distribution
(2) Sway Control is only for trailers over 25' in length
(3) Hensley Hitches are only for trailers 30' and up...

So for the last two years and 15,000+ miles of towing I have been pushed around relentlessly by 18-wheelers and fighting sway...

This winter off-season I am making one last attempt to get my Reese WD setup correct and if I am not 100% happy with it by springtime I will just go and buy the Hensley and if I am the only 19 footer around with one then so be it.

In the overall scheme of things the $3K doesn't matter.

best regards, Dave
Dave&Shari Wagner
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2008 Ford F350 Diesel 4x4
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:13 AM   #9
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If you get "pushed around" then hensley is correct.

If you have a larger trailer, larger TV then the term would
be more like, "slight buffeting" sway isn't a problem.

If you have to "stop talking and get set" every time a semi overtakes you,
then it isn't a vacation. Hensley will allow you to see the scenery
instead of watching the rearview for the next semi-storm to blow by.

PS On seeing your Ranger as TV, make sure you get the correct weight on the spring bars.
500# should be right. The standard bars come 1000#. Too much spring bar can make the TV/TT
drive and behave strangely.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:48 AM   #10
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Sugar Grove , Ohio
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I'm still wondering about a Hensley hitch. I've had experienced 'Streamers tell me they wouldn't travel without one! They love it. On the other hand, I've had folks tell me it is important if one is pulling a 25' or larger - that I wouldn't really need one for a 23' International - if that is what I end up getting. I DON'T KNOW. Please keep the suggestions and comments coming as I have yet to make a decision. I want to get what is the best for me - the price isn't going to be the major concern. $3,000 is a concern but I'm not going to let the price make my decision for me. Thanks for your comments.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:47 AM   #11
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I'm still wondering also. I've never used a Hensley, and really don't understand how they work...yes I've watched the video, and heard all the testimonials. It's not that I don't believe that they work, it's just that even the video did not explain how they work.

I will say that I've pulled trailers all of my driving life... all the way from bumper pulled utility trailers to 24' Argosys. I've pulled small (17') travel trailers with a bumper hitch, used WD hitches without sway control, with friction sway control, and used the Reese WD hitch with the cams. I've pulled with long wheelbase 3/4 ton pickups, 1/2 ton Suburbans, and as small of vehicles as a Dodge Ramcharger pulling a 24' Argosy with no sway control with a WD hitch.

Did I have sway? Yes, on some of them, but it was never to the degree that I even felt uncomfortable, let alone fearful, and it could always be reduced if not eliminated with the proper setup of the hitch and the tow vehicle by adjusting things such as tire air pressure. If I felt the need, I would spend the $3000. Maybe if I used one I would feel differently, but then I would have spent the money just to find out. Decisions, decisions!
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:31 AM   #12
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Wow... this is a perennial subject. Let me start off by saying I do NOT own a Hensley. I have seen their advertising, and I have seen them in person. They are a superb hitch, I understand how they work and what they do, and the do exactly what they're advertised to do. I briefly considered buying one, but quickly recognized that they are several times heavier than a standard tow setup, and I could accomplish the same result in other ways.

All trailers have a propensity to sway at a high enough speed. That threshold varies from tow vehicle/trailer setup to setup. The speed at which the onset of sway occurs is a symptom of some other deficiency, not an inherent problem in the trailer that can't be cured except by a mechanical sway control solution.

What the Hensley is NOT (contrary to the advertising) is a cure-all for imbalanced trailers, poorly engineered tow vehicle suspensions, soft-sidewall tires, or any other of the myriad causes of sway. A Hensley, or Equal-i-zer with sway control or Reese Dual Cam will mask the causes of sway, but they don't eliminate the basic problems or causes of sway.

Sway control of any variety should be used, but only AFTER the causes of sway have been resolved. If you have a sway issue, and you don't correct it before applying a mechanical sway control solution, your basic issues remain and will merely be masked until you overcome the sway control's ability to mask the problem, whatever it may have been. And then you crash, and usually without warning.

So, if you want to spend the money for the Hensley, and it gives you peace of mind, go for it, but make sure that you've corrected any deficiencies in your tow rig that cause sway first. That's not easy, and as I found out towing my 34' tri-axle with my Excursion that diagnosing the causes of the problem takes time, perserverance, and perhaps some cash to throw at the tow vehicle/trailer combo, but it can be done. Once you've eliminated the inherent issues that cause the sway to begin with, then adding sway control for an added margin of safety makes sense.

And, BTW, sway control makes sense for ALL trailers, not merely 25' and up, and the sway control solution you apply has as much or more to do with the tow vehicle than the trailer itself.

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Old 10-18-2007, 08:37 AM   #13
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1986 25' Sovereign
Allegan , Michigan
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I have a similar setup - 2500HD and two different 25 foot Airstreams. (1975 is about 4200 lbs empty and the 1985 is 5300 lbs.) Since the truck is fairly heavy - 6700 lbs -I don't have the problem of the "tail wagging the dog" and the regular hitch works fine. (My previous TV was a 1/2 ton and the setup worked with the lighter trailer.)

I use the Reese system with the dual cam sway control and have been quite satisfied for the last 10 years. However, I have no experience with the Hensley so I can't comment on it. Lately, I've been somewhat concerned with "extra" weight and it appears that the Hensley woulc be a bit heavier that the Reese system.

If I had sway problems I'd certainly look at the Hensley - especially with a longer trailer. I bought some parts of my system used - total about 500. If you do go the Hensley route buy a good lock!

Good luck,

Whit Nash
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:07 AM   #14
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the thread title is written as a question to those that OWN this specific brand of hitch...

yet answers about this product often and regularly come from folks...

who don't own one, haven't towed with one...

and yet seem to know as much (or more) about the product as those who actually HAVE used it.

it is really just the strangest behavior 2 me....

like nuns giving advice on sex toys

or groundhogs explaining travel in outer space.

no offense intended guys but IMAGINE for a second IF the answers were ALL just to this point, and by those 'qualified' to answer...

"what led you to spend nearly $3,000 on a hitch"

roger is of course correct that many factors need to be addressed on the tv and trailer,

where dynamic control is an issue.

and druupy is right that 'relaxed towing' is one of the primary experiences with the haha...

so yakman,

IF your question is sincere just go back to "hitches" sub forum and rank the threads by replies or views....

a dozen threads will rise near the top and inside many of them are answers to the "why" question....

for others (wagnerda, pilgrim, steveH) wanting to understand more about the hensley go here...

MOST of the folks posting there are actual users and towing 100s of thousands of miles with the product.

LOTS of background on 'how' it works and plenty of user tips as well....

also a few folks describe the towing difference for them compared to other brands...

but for most of the haha users....

the topics focused on by non users are 'non issues'...

the haha is the only product i've ever encountered that has 99.99% user satifaction.

while the problems (with the haha) seem to only exist for non-users

one of my favorite observations was made by theo 2 years ago and it still holds true...

Originally Posted by Theo
I have noticed that the paint has gone, in some places.. when we get to our next spot, I will do some touching up, and maintainance issue stuff, on the whole rig.. I have hauled my beautiful 34 footer over 13,000 miles, and have nothing but praise for the lump of orange, on the tow bar.. It is amazing, better by far than anything else I have used ( with over 100,000 miles towing large trailers, with pickup trucks, I have used most everything else)

I visit other forums, where the members with Hensleys praise them all the time, and the members without say they aren't worth the money.. Funny that - if you haven't got a hensley arrow, it isn't worth the money, you haven't spent, but if you have one, you would buy another in a heartbeat if you needed to...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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