Originally posted by markjoandall
Essentially the pullrite hitch turns your trailer into a fiver. You have all the stability and handling of a fiver.
Yes you do have load bars. I think you will have that with any trailer hitch.
It's kind of interesting watching your trailer go down the road on a pullrite, it wags any where the wind blows it, but the tow vehicle doesn't move because the pivot point is so close to the rear axel.
I think the hensley works on a different principle. Any turning movement in the rig has to be initiated by the tow vehicle. The trailer and tow vehicle are locked as one unit until the tow vehicle makes a turn.
The Pullrite DOES indeed turn your trailer into a fiver, and operates as Mark describes. But it has one major difference with the fiver. A fiver's living area starts at the tow vehicle's rear axle, where with a travel trailer behind a Pullrite, it starts some 7'-8' back. A rig that pivots at the rear axle follows the tow vehicle much more to the inside of the turn than does one that pivots behind the bumper.
This isn't as much of a problem with a fiver, since its trailer wheels are closer to the pivot point causing them to travel less to the inside to begin with. But it's more of a problem with a travel trailer behind a Pullrite, since the wheels are both back as far as a travel trailer AND it's pivoting at the rear axle. You have to swing wider with a travel trailer behind a Pullrite than you do with either a fifth wheel or a travel trailer with a hitch that pivots behind the rear bumper. To me, it looks like a trailer behind a Pullrite is trying to pass the tow vehicle on the inside in a turn.
The Hensleys "virtual" point of pivot is at the rear axle when the rig is straight or near straight, but it moves back behind the bumper.
Not only does this make the trailer follow closer in turns, but it also makes a big difference backing. One of the biggest complaints you'll hear from new fiver owners is how hard it is to back and park. And the Pullrite makes the travel trailer perform the same.
With a hitch that pivots behind the bumper, the smallest movement in the steering wheel and angle in the truck is magnified by the pivot being back behind the rear axle. Some find it hard to back a travel trailer straight without it "snaking."
A hitch that pivots at the rear axle is relatively insensitive to steering inputs and truck angle. While it takes very little angle and roll to move the ball sideways and turn the trailer on a behind the bumper pivot, it takes a lot more steering input and roll to move the center of the rear axle sideways.
A fiver (or Pullrite) rig may back a little straighter, but it take a lot more steering and roll to turn it! These rigs NEED the 90 degree capability to turn the fiver sharply.
The problem with the tow vehicle being at 90 degrees to a multi-axle trailer is that it's dragging the trailer front wheels one way and the rear wheels the other. The trailer is trying to pivot on a point at the X intersection of lines drawn across between the front and rear trailer wheels. It's also bending the trailer frame. It's not bad in sand, mud or grass, but murder on pavement. In fact, you can get into this situation even with the 82.5 degree Hensley. I have to pay careful attention to it on a triple-axle trailer.
So, yes, the Pullrite does turn a travel trailer into a fiver... with the same disadvantages... and it turns a 25' trailer into a 32'-33' fiver in turns.
Nevertheless, it IS as safe as a Hensley, but as Mark said, works a little differently with sway. The Pullrite lets the trailer sway in a manner that has no impact on the tow vehicle... just like a fiver. The Hensley essentially turns the rig into a motorhome with no pivot when the rig is straight. An engineer I work with said the point of pivot is at infinity in front of the truck as long as the rig is straight. But as the truck increases the angle from straight, a virtual pivot develops at the rear axle and moves back as the angle increases.
Both the Pullrite and Hensley share one trait that no other hitch has. While providing extreme resistance to sway or to its effects, they provide NO resistance to the truck turning the rig.
Any friction sway control, including an Equal-I-Zer, resists the truck turning the trailer as much as it does the trailer turning the truck. You have a compromise. If the friction control is tight enough to do much good against severe sway, it binds when the truck tries to put an angle in the rig. If the friction control is lose enough for the truck to put an angle in the rig, it has much less resistance to sway.
The Reese and Draw-Tite dual cam rigs for conventional hitches also resist the truck turning the rig as much as they resist the trailer turning the truck. But they only resist the truck until the angle has gotten large enough to overcenter the cams, so they're better than a friction sway control when it comes to binding in turns.
But the bottomline is that if any of these hitches resisted sway or its effects as much as the Hensley or Pullrite, they'd be so tight the truck couldn't put an angle in the rig.
There are your choices. All of them will have weight distributing bars that have to be hooked up and tensioned, to put BACK all the weight the tongue leveraged off the tow vehicle front axle onto the rear axle, AND put some of the tongue weight on the front axle.
And ALL of them, including the Hensley, benefit from raising the tongue jack up high when tightening the spring bars. In fact, with the conventional hitch with chains on the bars that hook on the tongue, that's the only way you can tension the bars. You'll find the Hensley screw jacks a LOT easier to crank up this way! I hope you aren't trying to crank them up with the trailer tongue down!
Hope this helps,