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Old 10-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #1
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Hitch weight

My wife and I are newbies to Airstream, trailering and Air Forums. We dove in at the deep end and purchased a 30' International Serenity RB Twin, which is scheduled to roll off the production line in early December. My question relates to the weight of the hitch assembly. The dealer is recommending an Equalizer hitch. I have a bad back and would like to have the lightest hitch ball/stinger assembly. I have researched most of the well known hitches (Equalizer, Blue Ox, Reese, Hensley, etc.), but nowhere can I find the weight of just the hitch ball/stinger assembly which I will have to lift and insert in the receiver. I have read the the posts on hitches on the Forum and know about the Hitch Grip, which I have purchased.

Does anyone have an opinion as to which hitch ball/stinger assembly is the lightest among the above-referenced hitch manufacturers (or any other quality hitch product)?
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:03 PM   #2
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Hensley and Propride are more complicated and may weigh more, just guessing. With a more conventional hitch there would be no need to remove the stinger and ball. It could be locked to the receiver if there was a risk of theft. Trunion or spring bars probably weigh 15 to 20 pounds. Another consideration is the effort needed to lock the spring bars to the A frame.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:28 PM   #3
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Welcome Aboard!! 👍

IMHO... The lightest is not the most important consideration.
I also have had spine surgery...so I have to be very careful.
The Hensley stinger is not a lightweight, but it only HAS to be handled twice for every trip. Hook-up & Remove.

I just leave it in the receiver...👍

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Old 10-15-2018, 04:50 PM   #4
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The weight is going to depend a little on the height of your TV. How much drop do you need. I use the Reese. I leave the hitch head and ball in the truck the entire time we travel. The bars detach easily and are not very heavy. I put a rubber cover on the ball. I can still get mine in and out if I have to but do not like to do it. I think you probably need to deal with finding a way to handle the weight that you can live with rather than hoping to find a light hitch head.
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Old 10-15-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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Reese Steadiflex rated for a 1200lb tongue weight; comes in at 39lbs for the stinger+ball and 8lbs for each tapered bar (total of 16lbs for both bars). You can leave the stinger+ball attached to tow vehicle during the entire trip and just dismount and remount the tapered bars for each hookup during the trip. Just place the bars in the forward storage compartment near battery. This effectively reduces your weight handling.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
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I made two PVC tubes 3' long with caps on the end. As I remove the bars, I slide them into the tubes and they live there.
On the road I leave the shank/head in the receiver. +/- 50 pounds? At home I back to the garage and using the Hitch Grip, I pull the hitch out and set it on the pavement, then cover it with a Rubbermaid tub. Although I may resort to a cheap furniture dolly for moving it into the garage.
I try to minimize the carrying because I fear dropping it on my foot more than hurting my back. To install, I put one hand on the bumper, and the other lifts the hitch into the receiver.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:36 PM   #7
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I have a ProPride (Improved Hensley design) system. The stunningly heavy PPP head mechanism and the WD bars stay on the trailer A-frame all the time. That all got installed with the assistance of a floor jack, and a bottle jack to do the heavy lifting. If I get enthusiastic and want to lube and clean it, I use my floor jack to lower and raise the whole assembly.

The stinger probably weighs 75+ pounds. I have a steel bar slid through one of the top holes that I can grab with both hands and slide it into the truck receiver easily. The WD bars are tensioned using a set of jacks. The stock ones adjust with a 8" long ratchet wrench. Mine are powered, but are a rather unique custom rig from the "Department of Overkill Engineering" design studio.

Once the stinger is in there at the start of the trip, it stays on the truck. Dittos on an orange cone and bungee cord to keep it covered and pad my shins from the guaranteed "walk into it blindly" episode. I have the scars to prove I'm clumsy...I'm usually always hitched up until we get to the far end of a trip, or get back home.

When not in use, the stinger sits on a plywood box built onto a 4-wheel furniture dolly that gets parked in the garage at home. I only have to lift it a couple inches to install it. And yes, I am a well-past retirement, certified old phart.

For the weight of the full ProPride stinger assembly, call or e-mail Sean Woodruff at ProPride--phone number is on the website. He can tell you what that assembly weighs exactly...
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, Gneff. Many people leave the hitch assembly attached to the truck, especially if they are moving frequently. Robert's orange cones are a great idea.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:38 PM   #9
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The stinger on the Propride does not weight 75 lbs. The total hitch weighs about 180lbs. The stinger has to be less than a 1/4 of the total weight. I’ll have to weigh it tomorrow.

I understand the bad back though. I have one right now from reaching too far for a ball playing tennis. The stinger is pretty easy to have two people hold and insert into the receiver if you need to. My suggestion is to get a cart to set on and move it around. When I’m at the camp site and at home I don’t put the stinger on the ground. Just move it to the assembly. Bad part I have a tendency to knock my knee on it. That’s where the cone would come in handy. But I don’t have to bend down as far then to insert it to the truck as I back up as close to the trailer as possible. Only have to move it about a foot then.

I don’t leave the stinger on the truck however. Too easy to back up and hit someone while parallel parking etc. But to each their own. Not saying you can’t do it.

I know the Blue Ox was a lot heavier to maneuver around and more bending down etc to hitch up.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:40 PM   #10
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I have a Blue Ox. The insert and ball assembly likely weighs 40# +/-. Which I lifted up and inserted with a broken wrist and bad knees when I purchased the trailer. Unless I'm towing something else I leave it in the receiver of the hitch.

When people whine about knocking their shins on the hitch I tell them to, Get away from my truck!
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