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DreamStream 03-02-2004 09:22 AM

Hensley To Equal-i-zer Hitch Experiment
Thought maybe some of you might be interested in following our experiment, going from a Hensley Arrow hitch we've had for six years now to an Equal-i-zer. I have a perceived notion that hitching and unhitching will be much easier and now that we have an adequate tow vehicle, that we will have quite adequate sway control using the Equal-i-zer. (Our former tow vehicle was a very inadequate Ford F-150 shortbed stepside with the standard V6) I have kept the Hensley Arrow just in case my perceived notion turns out to be false.

Experiment step 1 ... took the plunge and ordered the Equal-i-zer hitch with the 1,200 lb tongue weight option from Nice on-line ordering experience and the total came to $399.00 with free shipping and no sales tax.

I looked at also but they were charging an extra ten dollars for the 1,200 lb. option.

I e-mailed Lindon hitch for sizing help and they recommended the 1,200 lb. option with the standard shank for our 1 ton Dodge and the 30' Holiday Rambler. They had an on-line order form link or a link to all the Equal-i-zer dealers you could order from. Their on-line order form link was showing $ 590.00 plus 60.00 shipping for a total of $ 650.00.

As you can see, there is a big savings by ordering from

I will keep you all posted with the installation and the towing results / comparison with the Hensley Arrow.

jcanavera 03-02-2004 11:31 AM

For those following this thread as it develops, also note that there is an Equal-i-zer hitch and shank rated for 1,400 lbs. They don't advertise that on their web site. I use that model with my Classic S.O.


j54mark 03-02-2004 12:07 PM

The tow vehicle and trailer involved might also be of interest.


InsideOut 03-02-2004 12:16 PM

Mark ~
From original post...

Originally posted by DreamStream
... for our 1 ton Dodge and the 30' Holiday Rambler....
Stephen & Miriam
2003 Dodge 3500 QuadCab SRW CTD HO/48RE Auto
SOB 4 now, Airstream dreamin'


Theo 03-05-2004 08:52 AM

One question.. Why would you want to?

Looking at the geometry of the Hensley hitch suggest far more benefit than just weight distribution, and sway control. Reverting back to a standard pivot system seems like a step backwards in towing experience. I have not gotten a Hensley (yet) but like the principle of the beast, that cannot be replicated by a conventional system.

I also like the feature that Hensley provide, whereby you can either purchase, or trade for a new tow adapter, to fit a new or different vehicle. The price to buy it is not much different to that of a new heavy duty receiver drop hitch.


aluminauts 03-05-2004 09:36 AM

Although we are VERY new to towing, our experience and a driving course we took in PA showed up the benefits of the Hensley.

One exercise we did was to park next to a “curb”, then crank the wheel to far left and slowly pull away from the curb. The instructor had placed a cone about a foot away from the curb side rear bumper. He had EXPECTED the end of our 34’ to swing out and knock over the cone. When we all looked, the trailer had moved very slightly in the swing out exercise, not at all close to clipping the cone. The Hensley took up all the distortion to make the pull away safer than with a normal hitch. This benefit was also noticeable during my drive up an 8% grade, switch back road. The trailer “tracked” much wider than if we had been using a straight hitch.

The second example was a U turn we tried during our course. We were in a LARGE cul du sac and my wife slowly tightened the turn until we could see the back of the suburban approach the A frame of the trailer. We had gone to almost 90 degrees and still had room. The triple tires would not have appreciated continued movement at 90 degrees, but the Hensley had clearly made our free and clear tuning as sharp as I would ever want.

Yes, the straight backing up is not helped as the hitch settles to one side or the other of center, but it can be controlled.

These factors plus the non sway aspect have made us happy we went the Hensley route.

Steve Heywood 03-05-2004 09:42 AM


Originally posted by Theo
One question.. Why would you want to?

The price to buy it is not much different to that of a new heavy duty receiver drop hitch.



A new Hensley is $2845.00 including shipping.

I priced a 1200 lb. Reese with the (bolt-on) dual-cam sway control, a 2 5/16" ball and a drop shank and everything came to $583.32 shipped to my door.

bryanl 03-05-2004 10:08 AM

Hey Steve, you are talking to Hensley owners!

You can get a complete EQ hitch for $400. And most trailer towers on the road find that a friction bar at under $300 works very well for them.

But there is some sort of disease attached to owning a Hensley that I haven't quite figured out yet. It worries me. The disease is evident, for example, in combatting price differentials via special deals on hitch trader or garage sales. The tracking tests (which are inherent in the pivot point advantages of a Hensley) are another.

What seems to get lost in HA benefits discussions is any sort of cost vs benefit comparison of various options. The tracking test is one of the few examples I have seen with some actual measure of HA benefit but I have no real idea of how much such a benefit is worth on the cost vs benefit equation. (what is the value of reducing the risk of wiping out a gas pump?)

Mostly I hear the HA owners saying that any cost is worthwhile for safety - but to me this misses the fact that safety is not binary and costs are always involved in tradeoffs.

That said, it does appear that there are a significant number of Airstream owners who think that $2,000 is not a bad price for a bit of an additional feeling of security while driving due to a feel of greater rig stability.

There is also the consideration that there are other ways to obtain that secure stability feeling. Most do it with longer wheelbases and heftier tow vehicles. Calgary Andy and his Dodge Intrepid experiments illustrate this. Others use careful rig loading and attentention to tires and other factors to get the same feeling.

I'd just like some measure of what the money for an HA actually buys besides peace of mind.

There are some who are trying to create some measures. Ron, for instance, has calculated virtual pivot points to generate a table of ratios that provide one indicator of stability. But actual on road measures remain, as far as I have seen, entirely subjective.

Dwight 03-05-2004 10:35 AM

Yes, the Hensley is expensive. The price was a big hurdle for us to get over. We figured that if we were going to own the best trailer, then why not own the best hitch.

We are on our second 34' trailer and our second Hensley hitch. The couple that bought our first 34' trailer wouldn't buy it unless the Hensley went with it. We have owned a Reese Dual Cam and liked it until we tried the Hensley during their 60 day money back period. The Hensley has only been on the market for about 10 years.

Big Dee 03-05-2004 10:39 AM

I just got the HA. It is a big decision. I figure that it was worth $3000 if I was guranteed never to feel sway for the rest of my towing life. If I am lucky enough to enjoy my HA for 20 years, then that's a $150 a year for total towing comfort and safety. And I plan on a lot longer than 20 years.

Steve Heywood 03-05-2004 10:54 AM


Originally posted by Leipper
Hey Steve, you are talking to Hensley owners!

Mostly I hear the HA owners saying that any cost is worthwhile for safety - but to me this misses the fact that safety is not binary and costs are always involved in tradeoffs.

Notice that I didn't "attack" the price of a Hensley. I was simply pointing out the cost difference to someone who (incorrectly) thought that the cost difference was minimal.

The Hensley is worth every penny....AND I don't even own one!

bryanl 03-05-2004 11:49 AM


Notice that I didn't "attack" the price of a Hensley.
this fills me with despair. I did not say there was an attack. I did not mean to convey there was an attack. I didn't even mean or try to say that the hitch is not worth its price to many. I did try humor, but it seems that attempt went right on by to some other region.

But what I say and how I say it seems to be inadequate to convey what I mean or intend.

It fills me with despair.

What I would like to find out is why attempts to discus the benefits and value and operation of the hitch so often yields such perceptions; why is its value presented as absolute without any reservations; what are the measures used to determine its value; where are the realizations of the precision and accuracy and nature of measures used to determine its value; where are the considerations of risks and benefits that always couple costs in the real world.

But no, I am not able to express myself in a way that doesn't yield words like "attack" in response.

It fills me with despair for learning what I am curious to know.

jcanavera 03-05-2004 12:02 PM

Hmmm....I think it has something to do with the amount of money we spend. I know some of my non RV friends are pretty critical of what I spent for my new trailer for their perceived value received. So I may tend to get somewhat defensive when we try to justify our purchase. I don't take offense is just when you spend this kind of money, either for a new Airstream, or a Hensley, you have some folks questioning your judgement.....but that's their opinion and I have mine.


Theo 03-05-2004 07:01 PM

Given the cost of the entire HA is prohibitive, but someone who has the main part, the hitch part to fit another vehicle is much the same price as a drop bar for another system. That is what I implied in my comment.

I am sorry I did not spell it out clearer, to avoid the confusion.


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