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Old 05-25-2022, 08:00 AM   #1
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2021 30' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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ProPride Hookup PIA

Just left Anastasia St Park yesterday after some great beach time. I had put most of my gear away the night before, so I just had to hook up and drive away. An hour later and soaked in sweat and cursing like a sailor I finally was ready to go.

The site was fairly level. Nothing really challenging and when I disconnected the stinger slid out of the hitch with no thumps. But going back in was one of the roughest disconnects I've ever had to date. The tilt angle was just too far off and I could not get the stinger in without the hitch tilting out of alignment. The easy fix for this normally would be to get loosen up the spring bars, get a jack under the stinger receiver on the ProPride and adjust the angle up. Unfortunately, I'd already put a bunch of stuff over my jack and did not feel like pulling all that stuff out to get to it. Eventually, I was able to achieve the same effect by placing my plastic leveling plates under the end of the ProPride and lowering the the hitch down using the trailer jack. Almost an hour of time I'll never get back. This does not happen very frequently, but when it does it really makes you want to rethink all the advantages the ProPride supposedly gives you.

No real point here. Just venting.
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:14 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

I'm sorry for your frustration. I know from experience that things like this can get the day off to a really bad start.


We just installed a new ProPride on our dear Lucy. We replaced our sixteen year old Hensley with it. We have only done about a dozen hook-ups with the ProPride so far, and all have gone without a hitch (no pun intended). We have found the ProPride to be easier to deal with than the Hensley was. I have been able to match the angle of the receiver box to the hitch bar by using the jacks on the ProPride and the tongue jack.


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Old 05-25-2022, 08:45 AM   #3
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I usually hit the stinger with a bit of WD40 (not ideal but its what I have) and if that doesn't work, I get the truck mostly lined up and then have my wife back it the rest of the way while I position the hitch head with my hands. I'm not particularly comfortable standing between the vehicle and the trailer but it can be the only way to get hitched if my trailer or vehicle is unlevel. The reality is that its probably not that dangerous unless my wife has a stroke while backing up.
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:59 AM   #4
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Stories like this remind me that I always try to find the best product for my needs at the best price. Sometimes though that product can suck time down the drain and that often makes it not worth it if the alternatives are very good as well.
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:07 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by WellSaid11 View Post
Stories like this remind me that I always try to find the best product for my needs at the best price. Sometimes though that product can suck time down the drain and that often makes it not worth it if the alternatives are very good as well.
The ProPride definitely has a different set of operating conditions and limitations than the traditional friction-bar type systems. That being said, there are time saving advantages to it as well. It's just a different system. It seems that once you are on the flatter part of the learning curve, like anything else, life is better.
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:31 AM   #6
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This is why I let the last ProPride go with the 2015 30' and would never buy another.

A few tips. I ground the leading edges of the stinger down quite a bit to help with the initial entry. I kept extra grease on hand. I had two scissor jacks and blocks, I also had a heavy ratcheting type strap that I would loop and round the back of the receiver and the trailer frame. This would allow me to draw it in.

I don't always camp on a level concrete slab! Over the course of 6 years, I had a dozen or so times where I had to jack the trailer up on one side and use all the tricks I could to get the stupid stinger in.

The small "perceived" sway advantage to using the ProPride or Hensley just does not overcome the added difficulty and occasional anger I had using it.

The BlueOx I use on my new 2022 25' works very well and is extremely easy to hookup. Did I say extremely easy to use.
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:45 AM   #7
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JonDrew55 - when you say the angle was too far off, had you adjusted the WD jacks so that the angle of the head matched the angle of the stinger?

I’ve not used a separate jack under anything when hitching. I carry the lot bar for insurance but have yet to use it. I have experienced hitching situations in which a slight adjustment was necessary as I backed the stinger. Say…as the truck goes back it encounters a rise in the terrain thus requiring a slight lift of the tongue jack or adjustment to the hitch head angle. The one situation I was at the cursing point was fewer than 10 hitchings-worth of experience. Luckily, my engineering savvy grandson noticed the angle difference. Five minutes later we were heading to our next campsite.

I keep a thin layer of lithium grease in the PP stinger receiver.
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Old 05-25-2022, 11:20 AM   #8
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These answers amaze me…
You should never have to do anything more than make a quick adjustment with the two weight distribution jacks to get the angle where you want it.
I use the breaker bar as a sort of rough measuring device to help establish the height that the Airstreams front jack needs to be and then just back the tow vehicle back into the hitch.
The one thing that will help is keeping the bar lubed with just a small amount of your favorite lube. Anything from WD-40 to grease helps.
Beyond that, if you are having difficulty, you are doing something wrong.
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Old 05-25-2022, 11:31 AM   #9
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I agree with Bruce. Had my Hensley since 2004. Only had a hard time about 4 or 5 times. you have to be able to visualize angles etc and set the hitch to that. Using the jacks.
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Old 05-25-2022, 12:44 PM   #10
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One thing I have had to do once or twice is leave the jacks all the way down so that the sides of the receiver have some play and as I slowly back the stinger into the receiver my wife will hold the receiver by the sides and rotate as needed so that the stinger inserts all the way. That is pretty rare though.



I also use Blaster brand white lithium grease spray on the stinger.
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:01 PM   #11
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I have this T-shirt.

The first 4 or 5 months with our PP, towing with my 2016 Ram diesel + our new 2017 27FC and then our used 2016 30FC (traded the twins for the Rear Bed and a bit more room) were very frustrating. When it was hitched up, it towed beautifully. But unless the site was straight and level, both hitching and unhitching were a hit or miss experience, and took quite a bit of time.

I recall trying to unhitch the first time after leaving Colonial at Cherry Hill Park in Greenbelt Maryland, on a very cold November night. It took me maybe 45 minutes to get unhooked. It was not fun. DW was not best pleased.

We did 48,000 miles in 2+ years extended travel across the US and Canada in the 30FC, so I would say I experienced a very wide variety of different circumstances. As a retired engineer, I lubed the stinger, and played constantly with the adjustments.

Another thing that helped is I painted the "Box" on the receiver two coats of bright white semi-gloss paint. I just covered up the black part with blue painters tape, cleaned the surface with alcohol and rattle-canned it a couple coats. I then had a bright white square in the rear view camera to aim for.

One more tip: I used an orange 6" soccer cone, stuck onto the stinger. this was a good contrast with the white box. (Attached picture was before I pained the "box".

Doing these two things helped a lot with the alignment.

By the end, getting connected and disconnected got much, much better, but was never straightforward. It's not a question of "doing it wrong". In my case at least it was just one of those things that took time and experience.

Does it tow without sway? Absolutely. Would I buy one again, with a 2500 truck, for a 27'+ trailer? I'm not so sure. Right now, it's kinda a moot question for us, as we tow our current 23GT with a 1500 Ram and Equalizer that Colonial installed for us. Works great. Very easy on and off. We parked next to a 30 bunk the other week at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart. He had a 2500 pickup, and was towing with a Blue Ox. I shoulda asked them how the sway was.

Not knocking the product; like I said, I owned one for a couple years. It works. But it definitely rewards a learning curve.
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce B View Post
These answers amaze me…
You should never have to do anything more than make a quick adjustment with the two weight distribution jacks to get the angle where you want it.
I use the breaker bar as a sort of rough measuring device to help establish the height that the Airstreams front jack needs to be and then just back the tow vehicle back into the hitch.
The one thing that will help is keeping the bar lubed with just a small amount of your favorite lube. Anything from WD-40 to grease helps.
Beyond that, if you are having difficulty, you are doing something wrong.
I agree with you. I should revise my comment earlier that my only occasional troubles stem from not using the included jack towers but instead using the Straptek system which I bought separately to allow full access to the front storage and reduce weight. I think if I were using the jacks they provide (or better yet, the new improved versions they just came out with) then I'd be fine.
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Old 05-25-2022, 01:52 PM   #13
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Sorry to hear of your frustrations, and I can 100% relate, early in my ProPride timeline, I had several re-hitching soap operas, and the MOST frustrating were when I was in a relatively short site, and when its time to reconnect, my back-in resulted in blocking the street meaning nobody else could get past. When its check-out time, this is very disruptive, because most folks wanting to pass already have a trailer connected, and they cannot turn around. Many 4 letter expletives in my inner voice on those days. I have also had a couple towing days in 30+ mph cross winds, and the stability I had made it worth those 4 letter expletives for me, so I will hang on for now. I am getting better at reconnections with experience, and I posted a sequence in a different thread on this topic that works well for me, I hope it helps you. https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ml#post2589527
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Old 05-25-2022, 04:33 PM   #14
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This may be a good reason to have the hitch and lock bar along with a typical ball hitch. I always carry mine along. That way I can attach it to a ball and move it to level ground. I also carry extra levelers along. On one occasion at the dealer moved the trailer in for repairs, and they got it too close to the entrance. The entrance had a steep little lip and I my back end was too high. I eventually got the stinger in after numerous efforts. That's when I decided I was going to carry extra wide levelers, because all I had to do is drive my front wheels unto them and problem would have been solved. Thought about that after the fact. This is also one of the reasons i put the jack on a few blocks. That way if necessary I can get the hitch up higher. It seems like in most situations that I've had trouble the issue has been the stinger is too high for the hitch. I haven't had the situation where the back end is too low.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:01 PM   #15
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There is a PPP learning curve...but it shouldn't be hard to outsmart an inanimate object.

What helped us. plus 'O'rings..

Bob
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:15 PM   #16
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Paint the “target box” outline white or safety yellow.

Place something on the tip of the stinger. Mine is a yellow silicone child’s cup that fits perfectly and softens the shin-banger.

Place another target at the base of the tongue jack. Mine is a yellow rubber duck that also slips over the stinger for even more padding.

Align those three points of safety yellow to easily hit the target.

Adjust the WD jacks for angle.

Get close enough for the OCLs to catch then crank it in snug with a 25-inch breaker bar.

As John Connor said, “No problemo” and “Hasta la vista, baby”.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:16 PM   #17
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Sorry, but that all looks like a PI(t)A to me.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSaid11 View Post
Sorry, but that all looks like a PI(t)A to me.
Driving with the Equalizer hitch was a PI(t)A to me…
The benefits of a nice towing Airstream far outweigh the learning curve of the “PI(t)A” problems associated with a sub par hitch.
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Old 05-25-2022, 05:35 PM   #19
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To each his own of course. I’ve towed all over the place with an EQ in some of the most challenging conditions possible and I’ve never had an issue to date. Great WD, no sway at all, no white knuckles and no nonsense. Use the L-brackets, grease as needed and very little if any noise as well.


Maybe a 3/4 ton diesel for much of that experience helps as well.

Add that EQ to the Gen-Y Boss and not needing to use jacks, orange pylons, a slide rule, vectoring and all the other accessories that would help me get it right and I think i’ll be ok.
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Old 05-25-2022, 06:12 PM   #20
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Not recommending though I do it every time.

I’m not recommending, though I have a trick I use everytime.
To start, I have a Hensley.
1. I back the stinger into the hitch.
2. I leave the truck idling in reverse.
3. I then use the Over Center Latches to pull everything together. The slight push of idling in reverse is enough to pull it all together 95% of the time without a second attempt.
4. Now that everything it latched, turn the truck off and finish up.
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