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Old 01-06-2021, 04:31 PM   #1
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2021 25' Flying Cloud
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Question Alternatives to Hensley/Propride

Recently placed my order for a 2021 FC 25FBT that is due to come in April. My TV is a 2019 F150 Super Crew 4X4 short bed with the Max Tow pkg and a GVWR of approx 1,600 lbs. I want to get a WD Anti-Sway hitch before the unit arrives and, from what I've read, the Hensley and Propride are top-of-the-line. I'd like to go that way but, the cost and the added 200 lbs weight for these hitches are hard to get past! What are your experiences with alternative WD Anti-Sway hitches?
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:05 PM   #2
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Welcome! Your Ford Tow Vehicle (TV) sounds good! Did you mean the payload max is 1600 lbs? What's the Ford tow weight max?
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:08 PM   #3
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I wavered on buying my ProPride because I wasn't really having any sway problems but liked the concept. I finally bought my ProPride because it would put my Airstream back a few inches allowing me to lower the tailgate on my truck while hitched and because the bulk of the machinery stayed on the hitch so I didn't have to store the bars. Goofy reasons I know but that's the truth.
Now I kicked myself for not getting it sooner. It's awesome! I does everything it says and I couldn't be happier.
Read threads on here, look at the reviews on their Facebook page. I had once thought about a hensley but like the changes on the ProPride....it's just an awesome hitch!
There is a learning curve on hitching but I've mastered it and I can't be hitched and rolling in no time.
The customer service from ProPride is second to none and you'll hear that over and over again.
I HIGHLY recommend it!
Best of luck to you.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:12 PM   #4
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Yes, 1,600 lbs payload. The FC 25FBT has a hitch wt of 835. It's just my wife and I plus our small dog (around 300 lbs total). Max tow 12,700 lbs.
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Old 01-06-2021, 05:49 PM   #5
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Welcome Aboard👍

Most have experienced the tongue weight dilemma, the AS stated TW is underrated, add 200 to 350lbs for a loaded for camping Airstream, without the weight of the PPP hitch.😲

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Old 01-06-2021, 05:54 PM   #6
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The advertised tongue weights for Airstreams are notoriously low. I wouldn’t count on less than 1000# especially front bedroom.

I use the Reese dual-cam (came with the trailer). Works fine and pretty easy hook up. Can be noisy when cruising around the campground at 5 mph but you don’t notice it after you start moving for real.

I towed my old 8000# 1986 Sovereign with a first generation Nissan Titan over 80,000 miles with zero problems so it can be done safely with a half-ton. What you can’t do is carry a bunch of stuff — if you need bikes, multiple gensets , kayaks etc., you will run out of payload.
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:30 PM   #7
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Hitch performance of the PPP hitches (Hensley and ProPride) more than compensates for the extra bulk, and longer geometry. Engineering wise and performance wise, there is nothing else in its class. It hands down out performs everything else. When you see complaints about it they are usually of issues that are a result of the combined system, that the hitch cannot address but can be solved through other means. An example, the combination is excessively stiff due to the WD bars combined with a stiff rear TV suspension. Solution, Sulastic spring Shackle shocks on the tow vehicle since you can't do anything to reduce hitch stiffness.

Ok so Hensley and ProPride are the best, so how do you decide if you are a good candidate for the best? It depends on your risk profile and your tolerance for lateral movement while towing. If you want a very sure and steady combination, that nearly eliminates sway for all practical conditions on the road when the combination is set up and driven properly then these are the hitches for you. If instead you are ok with a system that dampens movement so that while it is present, it does not amplify into sway for the same conditions previously described, then a hitch with excellent sway control is adequate. Both methods work, both methods will provides very close to the same protection. Now the PPP hitches do also arrest sway and oversteer to a greater degree even if the driver makes a serious error, or loads the trailer poorly but neither system can save you from negligence. So you need to decide what you are comfortable with.

All of this applies to your setup because the basic combination is competent. Others who have combinations at risk for sway, the PPP hitch become mandatory. If you decide on the best performance, great! If you decide good enough is good enough. I can help you with some good hitch choices.
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Old 01-06-2021, 06:45 PM   #8
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I have been using a Blue Ox SwayPro for the last few years. It is easy to hookup, makes no noise and is very effective for both preventing sway and distributing weight.
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Old 01-06-2021, 07:15 PM   #9
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I have a 28’ Rear Bedroom and have similar pickup to yours. I use the Propride. Just pack the bulky light stuff in the bed of the pickup. Having said that my axle weight is rated to 1250lbs. I got 20 inch wheels to get to 1250lbs. That added 200lbs to the rear axle weight which is probably more important.

Two things:
1) What is your rear axle weight rated at?
2) Can you reduce your payload in the pickup by loading it in the trailer?

Having said that I towed with my previous F150 that didn’t have the axle weight and it did just great.

Also I would recommend upgrading your shocks to Bilsteins OR getting a roadmaster suspension system. That will help with the porpoising and make for a better ride.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:15 PM   #10
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The Hensley/PP hitches are really nice, but in my opinion overkill for a 25 foot trailer and a big truck. They are smooth and wonderful, but definitely not necessary. They are often also a pain to deal with because they weigh so much. And as you have already mentioned, in comparison to other hitches, they are incredibly expensive.
I towed with a Hensley for a couple of years until the hitch physically failed (pins tore through the 1/4" steel sheet near the strut attchment... very disappointing (and dangerous) for a $2k set up).
I started using a generic "chain and sway strut" (similar to the one at Harbor Freight) set up that came with another trailer. The friction sway strut is incredibly loud when turning, but the functionality of the system is not noticeably worse than the Hensley for a 25 foot trailer. Last November coming back from Mount Rushmore, I was in 60mph crosswinds and didn't even realize how strong the winds were until getting out of the vehicle to fuel. I should note that my trailer is a bit lighter than most (only 4200# fully loaded).
If you were towing a 34 foot trailer I would push for the Hensley/PP, but for a smaller trailer, you can definitely get by with less. Are the more expensive hitches really nice? Yes. Are they worth it? Mileage may vary. Are they necessary? No.
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Old 01-07-2021, 12:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T View Post
Yes, 1,600 lbs payload. The FC 25FBT has a hitch wt of 835. It's just my wife and I plus our small dog (around 300 lbs total). Max tow 12,700 lbs.
Just be careful, our 2014 FC 25 FBT tongue weight was 1,250 pounds. That’s why we upgraded from a F-150 to a F-250.
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Old 01-07-2021, 01:03 PM   #12
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Just so others know the Hensley is plenty strong but does limits backing sharply and is susceptible to damage. I'd call it operator error but others might call it a design flaw.

Some of F-150's are approaching stability limits with a fully loaded modern 25' at 7300 lbs. so a Hensley or Propride may well be a good choice for people who are looking for rock steady and low risk.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:19 PM   #13
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Data point. The ProPride is a vastly improved version of the Hensley. It has no issues backing up at sharp angles and appears to be much sturdier that the Hensley Manufacturing item. I won’t tow without one.
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Old 01-07-2021, 02:28 PM   #14
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I have a Hensley Cub on my rig. They are worth every penny. My recommendation is don‘t try to cut cost here; you‘ve got too much invested to do otherwise....
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Data point. The ProPride is a vastly improved version of the Hensley. It has no issues backing up at sharp angles and appears to be much sturdier that the Hensley Manufacturing item. I won’t tow without one.

Rich....
Vastly? Only to those who own one.

I can FAIL anything. 😂

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Old 01-08-2021, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Rich....
Vastly? Only to those who own one.

I can FAIL anything. 😂

Bob
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Having self-installed and towed with both, the "vastly" description is apropos. Obsoleting the struts makes a much more robust system.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:50 PM   #17
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Having self-installed and towed with both, the "vastly" description is apropos. Obsoleting the struts makes a much more robust system.
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If other people are un-happy….it’s not”
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
Having self-installed and towed with both, the "vastly" description is apropos. Obsoleting the struts makes a much more robust system.


And no struts also means NO holes to drill in the A-frame. That’s one of the big reasons I went with the ProPride system.

Anything can fail if it’s abused or overloaded. I worked with a bunch of oilfield workers. If they didn’t have a big enough tool to break something, they would go into their shop and build one.

To this day I don’t know how they managed to destroy a piece of hardware built into an armored box capable of withstanding the forces generated by submerging it to a depth of over 1,000 feet. They totally warped and bent a 3” thick steel cylinder somehow!
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Old 01-20-2021, 11:29 AM   #19
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I had an EZ hitch, It was not safe

I bought a used Hensley. there is a night & day difference. The Hensley is great.

Getting by is not the right way to go, in this instance.
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Old 01-20-2021, 03:18 PM   #20
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Something many don't consider. TW is a class-2 lever function. TW is the effort needed to lift the weight of the trailer that is not carried by the trailer wheels. TW can be calculated by determining where on the lever arm weight or down force is positioned and then doing some more math related to the distance from the fulcrum (trailer axle) to where the load is measured. On a conventional hitch, that is the ball. Lengthening the lever arm effectively lowers TW. On a Hensley design hitch, the load is moved farther from the axle into the TV receiver. Since the lever is longer you may end up with a lower TW than with a conventional hitch. Simply said, more of the base trailer weight is carried by the trailer wheels, offsetting some or all of the additional weight of the hitch. From reading lots of posts, the delta is likely to be +/- 25lbs of a conventional hitch.


As for price, no reason you have to buy new. Both Propride and Hensley come up for sale as folks move to 5vers, class A or C's, or retire from RVing and sell the hitch separate from their trailer.
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