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Old 05-09-2014, 01:33 AM   #61
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I am overseas at the moment and had a senior brain flash, so will have to look at my unit upon our return for the parts name. I also have the bag of consumables suggested to be carried at all times. None of those consumables are in/on the second generation hitch.

Jim Hensley designed the unit with his name on it and the company is not his, but pays him a royalty on each unit sold. He made a second generation design and the Hensley company declined the opportunity to move forward. So Sean, who was an employee at the Hensley company, started the ProPride company making the new design from Jim Hensley.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:38 AM   #62
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Trying to keep it to two sentences...

Support from Sean at ProPride
ProPride next evolution of Hensley

ProPride all the way!
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:12 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by switz View Post
I am overseas at the moment and had a senior brain flash, so will have to look at my unit upon our return for the parts name. I also have the bag of consumables suggested to be carried at all times. None of those consumables are in/on the second generation hitch.

Jim Hensley designed the unit with his name on it and the company is not his, but pays him a royalty on each unit sold. He made a second generation design and the Hensley company declined the opportunity to move forward. So Sean, who was an employee at the Hensley company, started the ProPride company making the new design from Jim Hensley.
Switz: I bought a new Hensley Arrow a few weeks ago and I did not get a "bag of consumables" from them. I have looked all over my hitch and I don't see any part, other than grease, that I would consider a consumable part.

My understanding is this second hitch Jim Hensley designed was for a different application and was never meant to be a "second generation design".
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:22 AM   #64
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You get to pay for the consumables. It is a bag with extra parts such as extra pins, collars for the spring jacks and the special spring nose plunger. They charge an arm and a leg for this little bag of goodies. The other wear item is the socket for the spring bars. They do get egg shaped after awhile and sometimes the weld that holds them together can break.
As with any hitch there are things that need to be periodically inspected.

There are two areas where HA could have improved upon which are the the silly little spring nose plungers and the attachment point of the strut bar on the hitch head. Now matter how I adjust the plungers the hitch just seems to eat them up. I have found more reasonably priced ones at McMaster Carr. I have also had to weld some extra steel on the hitch head after the strut bars stretched the holes. It is one place HA did not put enough steel.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:31 AM   #65
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Funny, as much as I have read this forum regarding this style of hitch, I never saw any mention of consumable parts till now.

Thanks for this info, information is the key to making informed decisions.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:25 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtech View Post
Switz: I bought a new Hensley Arrow a few weeks ago and I did not get a "bag of consumables" from them. I have looked all over my hitch and I don't see any part, other than grease, that I would consider a consumable part.

My understanding is this second hitch Jim Hensley designed was for a different application and was never meant to be a "second generation design".
I can't speak on Switz's behalf but you may want to go ahead and order the goodie bag.

The HA uses a spring-loaded dog point bolt or stud to retain the WD bars in the hitch head. While the bearing sleeves of the head handle most of the forces (point loading as the short end of the WD bar is trying to cock in the bushings), the "point" of the dog-point sees some wear and tear with the bars pivoting. It will wear out the "point" and the down side is that if you are in BFE when it happens, you can't run down to Ace Hardware or AutoZone and find something that will make do to get you home. I would say it's better to have them and not need them than to need them and not have them....but you will need them at some point in time and should be considered an expendable item.

Another scenario is when the dog-point studs are installed and you go a thread too deep (trying to make sure you have maximum dog-point engagement or the stud turns without your knowledge while trying to tighten the jamb nut), the WD bar will damage or smudge the threads on the end of the stud preventing the spring action of the dog point from moving freely. Once it gets sticky, the dog point can get pushed in but won't re-engage the groove in the WD bar as it should. Also, when the stud gets damaged, you have to use a second jamb nut to get the stud back out of the tapped hole of the hitch head. Forcing these damaged threads of the stud back out of the good threads of the hitch head is not good for those threads which will result in sloppy threads at best or galled threads at worst. I think the spring-loaded dog-point was conceptually a good idea that didn't pan out in the long run. All part of designing equipment.

Dog point stuck in the stud due to distorted threads...






This hitch came on a Classic 30 I bought...one dog-point completely stuck in...the second dog-point had limited travel due to distortion.



In a bind, I have removed the grease zerk and knocked the dog-point & spring out with a hammer and punch to dress up the hole, the threads and the dog-point itself to free it up enough to get back home because I didn't have spares on hand. I've had fun before and that wasn't any fun. It was a greasy, dirty job without the right tools and a bad way to end a trip.

I would say the dog-point studs are the most prevalent issue. However, with time, you need to keep an eye on where the "stiff arm" that run from the base of the jack towers to the head pin up. These arms are only supposed to be tightened until firm but as the head swings through the up & down axis, it apparently sees a bind as one of my hitch heads had elongated holes and there isn't much real estate in that area to sacrifice. I also had hole elongation at the base of the jack where it attaches to the WD bars.

The WD bar bushing (bolted into the head) with enough time and towing will also be an expendable item. With the tension involved in the WD bars and the leverage due to their length, grease can only do so much. I'm guessing when I say that Sean must have seen this scenario with the HA and therefore beefed up the bushings for the PP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtech View Post
After much research, I decided to go with a new Hensley Arrow.
Not trying to be offensive here and only want your (and our) towing experiences to be a good ones, but what did that research entail? After reviewing both, I came to the conclusion that neither the PP or HA are perfect...but found the PP closer to that criteria than the HA based on the items I posted above, a few minor ones I didn't bother to post and side by side comparison. Maybe I can't see the forest for all those trees and am missing something? In my earlier Airstream days, the HA was the Cadillac, premier hitch, hands down, compared to all others but fortunately in some ways and un-fortunately in other ways, time marches on.

I've been wrong before and am not afraid or ashamed to admit it.


Z
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:58 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
I can't speak on Switz's behalf but you may want to go ahead and order the goodie bag.

The WD bar bushing (bolted into the head) with enough time and towing will also be an expendable item.

Not trying to be offensive here and only want your (and our) towing experiences to be a good ones, but what did that research entail?
Z
I agree that both hitches are good at what they do. My research came down to several things but the main 3 points were:

1. I really like the fact that you can remove the HA hitch in about 10 minutes requiring no tools. The PP hitch looks like it would take hours to remove and requires tools. This is important if my vehicle broke down on the road and I had to have my trailer towed.

2. I like the telescoping jack system better on the HA. I feel it is more rugged and has less cantilevered forces on it.

3. Over the past several years, I have spoken to many Hensley Arrow users who have towed with the HA hitch for 10 years or more and tens of thousands of towing miles, and they have never replaced a single part. That says a lot to me.

As to the consumable bag, I checked with the factory and they sell that bag of parts for $15. Doesn't sound like a lot to me. It includes clips and safety keys that you could misplace or lose. On the WD bar bushing, doesn't PP also have that bushing? On the spring loaded pin, it again can be removed without tools and is only there to hold the bars up when they are relaxed. When tensioned, the pins serve no function. Both the pins and bushings are covered by the lifetime warranty.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtech View Post
I agree that both hitches are good at what they do.
You're happy with yours and I'm happy with mine. So, happy days are here again. And honestly, thanks for sharing your views.

Hope to see you on the road....soon. Happy motoring.

Z
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:55 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Zackybilly1 View Post
You're happy with yours and I'm happy with mine. So, happy days are here again. And honestly, thanks for sharing your views.

Hope to see you on the road....soon. Happy motoring.

Z
Same to you Zackybilly1, thanks.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:52 AM   #70
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Pro Pride, all the way

We are ProPride owners and have nothing but good things to say about the product and it's quality. What sets the ProPride apart from the rest is the support we have received over the years from Sean. You just don't get better support from any company, hands down. Even years later, Sean takes care of any question I have, no matter how silly it may seem. He's the best in the business.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:16 PM   #71
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On the question of hitch removal. ProPride would probably take only 15 minutes to remove and only require an adjustable wrench and the key to your hitch lock. The u-bolts on the WD bars have 4 nuts to remove and there is one bolt for the yoke center bracket. Then the jack to WD bar links just lift off the hooks. The jacks and yoke anchor crossbar can stay on the AS without interference with towing on the ball. Admittedly you get to lift some heavy stuff once it's off. I doubt the Hensley is much lighter.

Based on what I've experienced with my ProPride I doubt I'd have to take it off. It's very solid, and we travel over some pretty rough roads.


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Old 12-11-2015, 12:22 PM   #72
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My only real concern about the ProPride is the two safety locking pins for the overcenter hitch latches. I've dropped them into the dirt being clumsy, but they are available in big box hardware stores and I'm sure a call to Sean would get me replacements in a hurry. A sturdy pair of hardened shackle padlocks would do in a pinch. Or all else fails, a short Phillips screwdriver with duct tape to lock it in. That's the only part I worry about.


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Old 12-11-2015, 01:02 PM   #73
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I once traveled a bit more than 100 miles with both of the pins missing; neglected to put them in. Heart went in my throat when I was unhitching at our next destination and didn't see them. No harm done but scared me enough that I will never forget to insert them again. Good thing the wife doesn't follow these topics, I haven't fessed up to that one.

Thank goodness they are over-center latches rather than ones which are in-line. The over-center feature uses a cam-like action to lock the latch into place.

Most decent hardware stores carry these locking pins, just bring in the one supplied with the hitch to match size. Keep the spares next to the spare hitch pin and clip.

I also fitted lockouts to the end of the over-center adjusters to keep them at the proper adjustment.


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Old 12-11-2015, 01:18 PM   #74
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I use a padlock in place of one of my over-center locking pins anyway. It adds a small measure of security for me as someone would have to work harder to detach the trailer. In all my towing I have never had one of my cams come loose and contact the pins anyway.
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Old 12-11-2015, 02:30 PM   #75
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I do a lot of uphill and downhill towing. If the over center latch is a touch loose it could work loose downhill. Not a good situation given all the forces on the stinger. I like the padlock idea for security when parked but I wonder if you had an emergency (like a fire or gas leak) and needed to unhitch fast, fumbling for the right key could cause a delay. It's hard enough finding the breaker bar sometimes. Dunno what to think on this one!

Glad to see it 'usually' stays hitched. I triple check the hitch, jack, stabilizers and step before driving, and at every stop. Not that I'm paranoid....😄

I don't want to test the chains or breakaway switch for reals....


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Old 12-11-2015, 02:56 PM   #76
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We've had both. IMHO the Pro Pride exceeds the Hensley in both engineering quality, ease of hooking up as well as customer support (yaaay Sean)

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Old 12-11-2015, 03:19 PM   #77
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I've always been impressed with the sheer strength of the parts and how smoothly it swivels. Support both pre and post sale is super. I asked Sean a lot of questions before I bought ours, and I can be a PITA on engineering stuff.

I've also found that once you understand how it works, hitching and unhitching at extreme angles is quite easy. Just need to get the box aimed at the stinger and back it in.


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Old 05-12-2016, 11:53 PM   #78
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I am making the same decision now on which to buy, and one thing that was not mentioned in this thread is ease of use, I heard it was easier hitching up the ProPride because it is a wider opening and can connect at an angle. Any comments on ease of use?
I am purchasing 2016 23FB and 2017 Audi Q7 gas.
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Old 05-13-2016, 12:26 AM   #79
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Hensley vs. ProPride

I find the ProPride to be fairly easy to hook up for exactly that reason. Once you understand that the hitch head needs to be aligned fairly close, you will find it easy to hit the opening. I stop a few inches away and adjust the height precisely, then in it goes. Have done it at odd tilts and angles up to almost 90 degrees to one side. Sometimes a little fiddling with the WD jacks to tilt it just right, but you get the feel of it quickly.

I refuse to tow my rig with anything else. The stability is amazing compared to the old Husky brand setup I gave away as junk. I can dial in the WD to eliminate all porpoising and get a very nice ride at speeds I'd rather not tow at. (Got going a little too fast across Texas one day--gently backed down from 75+ when I realized how fast we were going. Was still super smooth at that speed.

I prefer the ProPride because it seems to be built heavier, does not require drilling holes in the A-frame, and I liked Sean's excellent support. The adjustable height and tilt stinger also saved me a lot of pain when I went to a taller Tow vehicle.


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Old 05-14-2016, 08:33 AM   #80
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Currently using both.

Had the Hensley on our 2013 25FB as the ProPride was not on the radar much in September of 2012. Kept it when we traded in on the Classic.

Installed the ProPride on the Classic since it was the second Jim Hensley design with many improvements. Use a 2012 Ram 2500HD Cummins as tow vehicle.

The Hensley Arrow returned to service on our 23D being towed by our 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI with a 3.0L diesel. The 23D scales at 6,068 pounds fully loaded. This is a better size for this car as all the ratings are in spec. We overloaded the axles when our 25FB was loaded for camping. Since I tow at 55mph with the 23D, I get passed a lot on the interstates and secondary highways. No sway issues at all.

Both are easy enough to hitch. Just takes practice. To be fair, both of mu tow vehicles have rear view cameras and that makes hitching world's easier. I can adjust the screw jacks to fine tune the ride as needed.
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