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Old 01-27-2003, 02:52 PM   #15
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Ignorance is a relative thing. Goodness knows I have my share.

I'm just down I44 in Springfield or, as we now say, just 30 miles north of Branson.

Your place is very near some awfully nice State Parks - Meramac Springs, Bennett Springs, etc.


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Old 01-27-2003, 02:53 PM   #16
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As long as everyone else is in on the fray, I'll add my 2 cents.

A tow vehicle is an investment that in addition to towing about 15% to 20% of it's life need to be a multifunction family vehicle that gets reasonable gas mileage and doesn't break your kidneys when you're driving it unloaded. Hence the reason for a Hensley.

Before we purchased our AS, I towed a 27 foot Award TT with an Astro. The Astro had all the torque and horsepower I needed to tow, but with a short wheelbase we had all sorts of problems. I purchased a Pullrite and our problems were solved.

Because a Pullrite won't go under a 'burban without loosing the spare, I purchased the hensley.

Therefore, with experience with a standard weight dis hitch, the pull rite, and a hensley, I can say the Hensley is the best of all, and I might add, absolutely the easiest to hitch up. You won't know unless you try it. They have a 60 day money back guarantee.

How's that for 2 cents.

Good luck on your decisions, kicking the tires and looking at the new models is probably some of the most fun we've in AS'ing.

-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:13 PM   #17
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Somewhere in all this we lost sight of an important question:

"Do I need to get the LS package and all that it entails, or is the base model okay."

I do not know how much they charge for the upgrade, but here are some thoughts -

Spare Tire & Bracket
Some people insist on them. You can drive an extended distance with a tire off, albeit slowly, so it is not actually essential. Remember that the weight will subtract from your useful load.

Fantastic Fan (Living Room)
Great item. Almost a necessity

Black Tank Flush System
Wish I had one

Aquajet Water Pump
Beats me

Cast Tail Lights
They do look nice, but scacely a reason for the package.

Electric Hitch Jacks
Absolute necessity in my opinion.

13,500 BTU roof A/C w/Heat Pump
Might be good if you do a lot of hot weather camping.

Jackets and Caps (2 Each)
Yeah. Ok.

Lavy and Shower Upgrade (Brass/Chrome)
Pretty nice item

Galley Faucet (Moen One-Touch Classic)
Really nice item

LS Graphics

Screen Door Guard
Another nice item.

Again, the important stuff can be optioned or added by your dealer - Fantastic Fan, electric jack, even the spare tire (so I am told). It just depends on the price and your wants.

Keep in mind, though, that you only pay for it once and get to use it from now on!


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Old 01-27-2003, 03:15 PM   #18
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Cool Time's a flying~!~

John, my friend...We both have this

The interesting thing is that the 17 year patent protection is up next year, 2003. The question is, how many others are poised to jump into the fray at that point.
NEXT YEAR is HERE now~!~

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Old 01-27-2003, 03:27 PM   #19
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My wife was living in Springfield when we got married. Also, I have several relatives there now.

You are right about the nice parks. Wonderful country. Have you ever been to the Cave restaurant near Richland? If not, should try it. It is high on a bluff, inside a cave and overlooks the mighty Gasconade.

We spend a lot of time at Newburg during the summer. Stay at Arlington Campground just accross the river from Jerome. Nice campground and a great place for a Rally if your unit is interested. They give WBCCI discount.

Stay warm!

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Old 01-27-2003, 03:28 PM   #20
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So it is. I don't know what I was thinking. That was the first time I have (knowingly) messed up on the new year.

I think the patent was filed in June. That means we might see some competition to the Hensley before the year is out. I'll bet someone could produce a $500 to $750 functional equivalent.
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Old 01-27-2003, 06:43 PM   #21
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Blue Ox

I see the Blue Ox hitch in the catalog that our local RV dealer sells/gives out. Looks like it might be similar. Funny, I never see it mentioned in any of the RV forums.

I am going to stay out of the Hensley argument. But I will say this, I towed all last year, about 1800 miles, with nothing more than a plain old ball hitch. Seemed to tow fine, but I did notice the front end seem a little light. I am going to try a WD hitch this year. I have pulled plenty of 5th wheel and gooseneck ball hitch trailers, mostly horse trailers and like the stability and handling of those type of hitches. If the Hensley gives a person piece of mind, and makes the trip more enjoyable, especially to someone who does not have a lot of towing experience, than it's not worth $2500, it's priceless.
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Old 01-27-2003, 07:43 PM   #22
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I saw a chart not to long ago about testing that was done at a test track. A Suburban, Blazer, and a sedan each towed a large Airstream through a slalom course. In every case the use of a Hensley hitch allowed the combinations to drive through the course at an increased speed.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 01-27-2003, 09:38 PM   #23
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did i read you will be able to buy a hensley hitch stamped made in tiwan/mexico next year ???? never had one but i have friends who wouldnt have any thing else and some have a one ton dully pulling a 31 footer with the h hitch. nice to have the bucks//
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Old 01-27-2003, 09:53 PM   #24
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Open season

When the patent expires, it is open season to copy the concept or even produce a clone as long as it doesn't say Hensley on it.

What I hope might happen is that reasonably priced intermediate hitches might be produced by other folks that may not be all the H/A is, but would provide many of the benefits of the H/A at a greatly reduced cost. Just as the Reese Dual-cam is a step above a friction sway bar, there should be more increments of performance that could be achieved with the Hensley concept but at a lower cost and complexity than the H/A. And yes, they may very well be stamped Taiwan or Mexico.
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:41 AM   #25
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A $600 Hensley? ... maybe if a philanthropist decides to start marketing a Hensley clone.

If it's a capitalist, it'll probably be $1500-$2000... well under the Hensley price, in fact right at the price to compete head to head with the Pullrite... but maybe with some better features than today's Hensley, like powdercoating instead of painting, and sealed bearings in the pivot points.
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:44 AM   #26
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LS package


Get the LS package, the heat pump is great, I like it better than the furnace in near freezing temps. I understand that when the outside air temperature gets to a point the heat pump is no longer effective, the furnace kicks in automatically.

The electric hitch lift is a must.

The fantastic fan is also a must.

The rest all appears to be cosmetic, you'll probably get it back in trade or sale.

My thoughts,

-Life is a journey, not a destination.
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:16 AM   #27
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Look through my earlier posts on the Safari 25C. I bought a new 2003 in December. In summary:

- The selling price of the trailer should be discounted about 25% off list price.
- The LS package is nice, I would get it again (but not for the $4000 list price - it's worth about $500-$1000). The Heat Pump saves your LP gas supply on a cool night when you have electricity available, the electronic thermostat is much nicer than the standard one, the Corian counters are a minor plus, etc...
- I know nothing about the HA hitch - but it seems very expensive. On a relatively small trailer you may not need the high-end hitch. The Equal-i-zer (~$500) works fine for me - no sway.
- The Prodigy brake controller works great, and at only $140 it's not a big investment. I don't know what the cheaper controllers are like, but good brakes should be high priority!
- Good mirror extensions are a must. I can't find any for my 2002 Explorer though, so I've got cheap clip-ons.

Good luck with your purchase - if you need three sleeping areas in a smaller Airstream the C is great!
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Old 01-28-2003, 11:37 AM   #28
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Thanks for al the opinions and information.
A couple of things, I forgot to mention in my original question - we are going to have a few modifications made prior to taking delivery:
- no carpeting (probably replace with Pergo type or cork flooring)
- remove the flip up table in front of the couch
- have a cabinet/shelf built for the TV/DV
- bike rack installed on the back (3 bikes)

Interesting comment about the retail price - I wonder if that applies here in Canada. Kind of limited in dealerships up here ergo no competition. Any enlightenment would help before I start talking turkey with Andy.

Thanks again

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