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Old 03-05-2021, 03:35 PM   #1
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2015 25' Flying Cloud
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considering upgrade from equal-i-zer to ProPride

I have an equal-i-zer hitch now, and have always been satisfied, but its the only thing I have ever towed my Airstream with. I do feel the forces of passing semi trucks, but I think its a stretch to say I have a problem I need to solve. My real question is if any of you have real world experience before/after upgrading to ProPride (or hensley), how much better is it really ? I read some posts that say never go back, and others that say the equalizer is more than good, so if the equalizer is the second best (or third best) option behind propride/hensley, I am trying to get a sense of the value add if I move forward. In general, I am of a mind to have good solutions, not just whatever I have on hand. I like having the better/best options when practical and economically feasible, and the ProPride is significantly more money than the equal-i-zer so if you have real experience with both, I would be grateful to hear your pros and cons, including the relative value (factoring in the cost difference).
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Old 03-05-2021, 03:47 PM   #2
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We PPP users can try to explain it, but you just have to use it to understand it.
I had no idea of how big of an improvement it would be
.
If performance and safety is most important and $$$ is not a primary negative....go for it. You won't regret it.
Some say they can be hard to hitch-up, but once the curve has been mastered it's not hard at all.

Go with Mikey


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Old 03-05-2021, 04:27 PM   #3
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noise

I forgot to ask in my original post if the ProPride approach eliminates, or substantially reduces the "screeching" and "poping" noises that originate from most other WD hitch solutions ...
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:56 PM   #4
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In 15 Seasons the haha hasn't uttered a sound.
At first, while learning, the only sounds I heard>>>slow, right, left, stop. ok.

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Old 03-05-2021, 05:02 PM   #5
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considering upgrade from equal-i-zer to ProPride

Since the Hensley design hitches, both the ProPride and Hensley Manufacturing versions, use a ball bearing system and a trapezoidal linkage to prevent sway, no noise. The popping and screeching noises come from the other friction or cam-type systems.

These hitches also DO NOT require disconnecting anything to back up when hitched. Near as I can tell they are silent in normal use. Yes, I tow with a ProPride system. Have used other WD only systems, and will not do that to myself again...

It does require a little bit of practice, and a backup camera is a huge help in hitching up. I have never had a hitching situation, including at extreme angles, that was impossible.

Sometimes it does take a bit of fiddling to get lined up right, but I find it much easier to hitch up a ProPride because I donít have to install WD barsóthey stay on the Airstream. All I have to do is back into the hitch properly, latch it, and tension the WD bars. Easy for this certified old phart.

Admittedly I cheat a little with my custom powered WD jacks, but hey, Iím old, tired, and into being head of the local Overkill Engineering Department. I just got tired of using the supplied ratchet wrench to tension the bars. I just hit the switch and measure the height of the jacks. Some day Iíll automate this as well.

See below:

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Old 03-05-2021, 05:24 PM   #6
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considering upgrade from equal-i-zer to ProPride

I did this upgrade (equalizer -> propride). I had about 25k miles towing with equalizer. I know have 5-10k with propride. Current setup is a 2500 truck with 30í trailer.

From a driving dynamics perspective the tv+trailer train feels more stable / locked in / drives as a single unit. Most noticeable on highways with strong cross winds in that the entire train will get slightly pushed, vs just the trailer getting moderately pushed.

I personally prefer hitching / unhitching with propride. Mostly because I can easily vary weight distribution force based on trailer and tow vehicle loads. I use a cordless drill to quickly adjust the towers.

Construction is very high quality and fully serviceable which I like as well given the more complex design.

I bought mine used for $1700 bucks. Was a great deal only wish I had upgraded sooner.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:51 PM   #7
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:28 PM   #8
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This will be a little different response to your question but an alternative to the equalizer as an improvement. I started with an Equalizer. I added the nylon pads and lube before each trip so I donít have the noise issues. However, I was having a few popped rivers and thrown cushions.
I tow a 27 FB Globetrotter with a GMC 2500 HD Duramax.
I adjusted my tire pressure on my TV and RV to my load first. That helped some. I run 65lbs on my RV. I run 65lbs in the rear of my TV and 60 lbs in the front.
The thing that made the big difference is I got a Gen-Y Torsion Flex 2 1/2Ē Hitch. You get rid of the Equalizer shank and replace it with this. You still use the same Equalizer head and ball and W/D bars. The torsion flex system isolates any movement/ bumps between the TV and RV to make the ride much smoother. No more popped rivets or thrown pillows. Around $700 to upgrade to this.
Iíve never had any sway / noise issues with the Equalizer. Just the rough ride and this resolved all that.
In fairness, I have not experienced the PP or Hensley so I canít comment on that. I can say the Gen-y was was good way to improve my Equalizer experience at a reasonable price.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:41 PM   #9
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popped rivets

Thanks for offering that suggestion, I definitely have seen a few popped rivets but I cannot say for sure when I got them. I also have had cushions tossed about. Ride quality improvement is certainly a welcome aspect, but its really not the reason I am entertaining the upgrade, my goal is improvement in the towing/handling, especially so in adverse conditions like high wind. I do have the nylon bushings, and I also do use lithium grease on key spots to help quiet the experience, but I stlll get squeaks and pops. I have the 1400lb bars, I wish I had less but it was all I could get at the time, and my tongue weight is probably in excess of 1200 so I am really not that far over. For those with PP or Hensley, can you comment on any observed ride quality improvements (reduces popped rivets, or cushions tossed about) ??
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:21 PM   #10
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I didn’t have an equalizer. I had a Blue Ox. I had to drive through Milwaukee and Chicago to get to my daughter in Indiana. There was no way of getting around it. That’s a lot of city travel with trucks, etc. When I did it with the Blue Ox it was utterly miserable being pushed around from the bow affect. After my first trip I decided something had to change, and that is when I learned about the Propride. I hesitated for a bit due to price, but then thought, “Hey, I have 150,000 invested in a camper and truck. I better enjoy using it. So I took the plunge. Couldn’t believe the difference. No sway. No bow affect. Drove through South Dakota with 30mph side winds. Handled great. My son drove part of the way and was amazed. Said you really don’t pay much attention to the trailer behind you. Just drive down the road normally.

The only thing I find different is that backing up on long straight aways is a bit different, but not impossible. You just have to go slow, and make adjustments as you go.

But hitching/unhitching isn’t difficult at all. Do agree a back up camera is really really helpful. I really like being able to adjust the WD with the towers. Very easy.

There is a learning curve, but not a big deal.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:13 AM   #11
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I also bought a ProPride when my equalizer was making so much noise I couldn't stand it anymore. Not so much going down the highway, but after pulling into a campground. Lots of turning heads!

Seriously though, if you really want to feel safe towing, get a ProPride. Find a good used one out there if you can (I still see them all the time come up at about $1700) as Sean (propride owner) will still treat you as if you bought it from him. He really does support his product well. Or buy a new one from him and you won't have to wire brush it and paint it!

All and all it is the best hitch that money can buy and you will not regret spending all that money.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1StreamDream View Post
I have an equal-i-zer hitch now, and have always been satisfied, but its the only thing I have ever towed my Airstream with. I do feel the forces of passing semi trucks,
I feel some force also. Here's how I think of it. The hitch makes friction resisting the flexing at the hitch. So as a semi approaches the trailer to pass, his air pressure wave pushes the trailer to the right, which results in my truck nosing left about 2". I've never considered this "white knuckle" driving. I wouldn't spend $3000 to eliminate a 2" nudge.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:25 AM   #13
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Came across an interesting investigation by an insurance company on YouTube which concluded the only functional/safety difference between the typical (reese/equalizer etc.) and the ProPride and Hensley type was $$$$$$$$ and the additional tongue weight they apply. Basically they all work and do the job. The major issue in towing accidents is driver error or tow vehicle specs under the requirement for the size/weight of the trailer.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I feel some force also. Here's how I think of it. The hitch makes friction resisting the flexing at the hitch. So as a semi approaches the trailer to pass, his air pressure wave pushes the trailer to the right, which results in my truck nosing left about 2". I've never considered this "white knuckle" driving. I wouldn't spend $3000 to eliminate a 2" nudge.
Consider...I also feel it when a semi passes.
But it doesn't happen until he's 3/4's past the TV and it doesn't require any steering input to correct.👍

A ppp hitch is designed more for sway elimination than bow waves from passing vehicles.

DB,
Came across it, how 'bout a link?
FWIW human induced has been the main cause for ALL accidents.
If you worry about TW, you are under-toed.

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Old 03-06-2021, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
Came across an interesting investigation by an insurance company on YouTube which concluded the only functional/safety difference between the typical (reese/equalizer etc.) and the ProPride and Hensley type was $$$$$$$$ and the additional tongue weight they apply. Basically they all work and do the job. The major issue in towing accidents is driver error or tow vehicle specs under the requirement for the size/weight of the trailer.


Awww. You just ruined the argument of why mines better...

Can you link the YouTube video or provide the name
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:44 AM   #16
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I just ordered my Hensley, I will have it a Tuesday. I have used my Blue Ox since July. The Blue Ox works great, the issue is I just completed 5,000 mile trip with 30-35mph crosswinds the entire trip. My wife would also like to drive. This is the reason for the Hensley, I have confidence in its future performance... I’ll add to this after our first excursion.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:50 AM   #17
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I have an Equalizer hitch also, about 50,000 miles on it. Never had sway but do get the "push" when a semi or box truck passes me on the freeway. Keeps me alert but not sure it qualifies as white knuckle driving. Now towing on the LA freeways can be white knuckle, especially in construction zones where the shoulder is closed with a concrete barrier.

My biggest complaint about the Equalizer is its ability to somehow put a grease spot ony pants whenever I get within four feet of it.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:36 AM   #18
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We have 3P. It’s less than 3% of our total investment of TV and TT, I’ll a lot more on solar. We purchased because it’s the safest, and as important for me, it’s quite. Dealer only offered a Blue Ox, but after much research, made my decision based on above. I’ve been told it’s overkill for our size trailer, and it may very well be, but I have the best and don’t have to worry about it anymore. Backing up doesn’t require any adjustments to the hitch, no squeaks, groans, or pops. I like quiet!
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:58 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
The thing that made the big difference is I got a Gen-Y Torsion Flex 2 1/2Ē Hitch. You get rid of the Equalizer shank and replace it with this. You still use the same Equalizer head and ball and W/D bars. The torsion flex system isolates any movement/ bumps between the TV and RV to make the ride much smoother. No more popped rivets or thrown pillows. Around $700 to upgrade to this.
Iíve never had any sway / noise issues with the Equalizer. Just the rough ride and this resolved all that.
In fairness, I have not experienced the PP or Hensley so I canít comment on that. I can say the Gen-y was was good way to improve my Equalizer experience at a reasonable price.
GOUSC, thanks. I have been using the Equalizer without any issues so far. I have only towed for about 2000 miles but I have yet to experience any sway. I don't mind the squeaks and pops but a smoother ride would be better for the trailer. I checked out the Gen-y hitch website. Do you know what model you have that can use the Equalizer sway bars? I am sure I can talk to the company directly but since you are an experience user a link on their website or a picture of your set up would be greatly appreciated.

Greg
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:02 AM   #20
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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Thumbs up Hensley Hitch

We used a Reese weight distribution hitch on the first two Airstreams, a 25FB and then a Classic 31, and I thought they did a good job until one windy day. A combination of the crosswinds and semi's passing us caused the 31ft classic to sway and it kept oscillating and getting worse even when I tried to slow down. I finally accelerated hard and got it under control and continued home. It was a white knucked event for me and my wife was petrified. Prior to this happening I could get her to drive once in awhile on long straight runs on the interstate highways. Afterwards she told me she would never drive towing the Airstream again.
I looked for a solution and watched the videos on you tube about the Hensley Hitch and decided to buy one. For me, it was well worth the money, I could not believe how well it worked from day one. I just did everything that Terry , their sales/ engineer guy, told me to do. From the ordering of the right hitch and the drop down height for the stinger to the installation, he was great.

The Hensley has been the single greatest improvement I made in the last 9 years since retirement. Like others have said it is expensive, there is a learning curve on getting it hooked up, but it is well worth it. When we travel I don't even worry about the wind affecting the trailer, the semi's, nothing. Even going through construction areas where they make you go through those "S" turns I don't worry about it because I know the trailer is going to go EXACTLY where the truck goes.


Good luck with whatever hitch you decide to purchase!


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