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Old 06-02-2009, 04:23 PM   #43
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If every case is different, then every man is right. That doesn't wash. Physics, statistics, etc, are all useful. The problem is in finding the information. I have seen SAE papers referenced and downloaded one a while back. A longer search on this site, alone, will reveal more information than perusing other RV sites of my acquaintance.

I have a "big truck", but the idea that it is best is faulty (to be generous). Though it is "rated" to tow beyond 12,000-lbs, still, the owners manual states unequivocally that tongue weights in excess of 500-lbs require a weight-distribution set-up. Doesn't matter -- at all -- that the bed can carry 2,400# or that the tires and axle are rated for a load well beyond that.

Weight, per se, isn't the issue. The issue is how the load -- the weight -- is spread. And an ordinary truck scale will show that instantly.

Then there is the matter of willful ignorance. At any campground my first question is, "Let's see the scale ticket", because any other approach is wishful thinking.

I would say that the problem is not W/D or not, but the scarcity of detailed, accurate information of what constitutes a safely hitched rig.

There are no accidents, my Dad used to drum into me.

Some of us are closer to accidental loss of control than others all other things being the same as to the driver (for which we cannot control). The TT, the TV and it's rigging we can.

This is an issue we have gone over often. So, here's another step: How fast can you drive on the Interstate making violent lane-to-lane changes? I've done it at over 55 mph; at over 50 mph -- throttle-on -- for over a mile as my test of a H/A hitch. Was that enough? NO. The weight distribution was still not up to par. Only a few (that I'm aware of) have demonstrated that with whatever hitch (scale numbers shown) that they have achieved all that is possible to achieve.

Give it a road test, and have an observer to comment.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:28 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Diesel View Post
Perhaps the size of the population of people willing to tow a large trailer without WD and sway control is genetically self-limiting ???



We could only hope...
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:12 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tin Diesel View Post
Perhaps the size of the population of people willing to tow a large trailer without WD and sway control is genetically self-limiting ???
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Originally Posted by Jaxon View Post
We could only hope...
I wonder if any have been nominated for a Darwin Award...
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:32 PM   #46
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I called our Airstream dealer today, to ask about the origin of our Hensley Hitch that was on our Airstream when we bought it from the dealership. Our 2006 Classic accidentally came equipped with this hitch, because of a choice of the previous owner, and our dealer had installed and set this hitch up for the previous owner. Our dealer says that they install and setup what the customer decides to use, and do not make the decision for the customer about the type or brand of hitch, and I think that this might be a liability type of a thing for the dealership.

Mom and Dad at the dealership, buy a new Airstream for use during the winter in Florida, and then sell it as a demo when they return home in the spring. Mom and Dad have always installed a Reese hitch on their trailer, because of the expense of the Hensley.

Our dealer said that we should not change away from the Hensley with our trailer, as we would sure tell the difference in handling. The dealer has made thousands of trips towing trailers, and only three years ago, made his first delivery of an Airstream that his shop equipped with a Hensley hitch, and he says “There is a noticeable improvement in handling with a Hensley”. Their shop has installed Hensley hitches for 10 plus years, but this was his first trip delivering a Hensley equipped trailer himself.

The observations of our dealer pertaining to Hensley and Reese hitches are that with the newer wide body Airstream trailers built from 1995 to current 2009, the hitches seem to be split evenly 50-50 percent between Hensley and Reese hitches. The dealer says that “The Wide Body style of Airstream tracks different from the older narrower Airstreams, as they seem to catch more air, and a Hensley hitch will make a difference with sway control.

The conclusions of our dealer about the Hensley hitch vs. Reese hitch are that the Hensley is a better hitch, except for the price of $2800.00 and the Reese is a good hitch for around $700.00.

Anne-Marie and I have only driven a little less than 4000 miles with our Hensley hitch equipped Airstream, and only once, during a windstorm in the Oregon Columbia River Gorge, did I feel the presence of the trailer during a tow. The constant reminder is in the mirrors that you have a trailer in tow, but our van doesn’t seem to notice that anything is different from not loaded.

We have checked and double-checked the weight of the front and rear axels of our tow vehicle empty and hitched to the Hensley equipped Airstream, and we have adjusted the Hensley to level the trailer and to balance the load on the tow vehicle as best as the hitch will allow. We have gone through the learning curves with the adjustments, and with the hookup process, and we seem to have a good working system now.

Had I voted with my pocket book, I may have chosen the Hensley over the Reese, because most of the time if an item or tool costs more, it most likely has a good reason, and is better than the lesser priced item or tool.

I could not imagine towing any trailer without a weight distribution hitc.

Steve
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:13 PM   #47
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Sounds like you have a smart dealer, Steve. Next time you are talking to him let him know that the technology and stability can now be offered for less money. Not as little as the Reese but less than $2500.
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