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Old 07-04-2020, 06:08 PM   #1
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Optimizing hitching up, moving from blue ox to Hensley?

Hi all

I don't enjoy the blue ox hitch up process where I have to jack the vehicle up a mile in order to avoid losing a finger (exaggerating of course!).

If I move to Hensley, is there a similar process? To I gain efficiency during hitching? If so, are there any negative aspects other than cost?
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:18 PM   #2
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Optimizing hitching up, moving from blue ox to Hensley?

Nope. Just tighten up the WD jacks with a ratchet wrench. You can raise the tongue Jack a bit to make it easy to crank. (I have a ProPride system. I think the Hensley Manufacturing version is similar.)

Given that Iím in the ďOverkill Engineering DivisionĒ I just hit the switch on my powered WD jacks to crank them up. I still raise the tongue a little to save battery power.

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Old 07-04-2020, 07:04 PM   #3
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I have only ever used our Hensley (since 2002), so can't compare it with other hitches. Hitching up does require having the stinger (which it in the tow vehicle's receiver) aligned with the receiving hole in the hitch. That works best if the tow vehicle and the trailer are aligned. Following up on rmkrum's advice, the height and tilt of the hole in the hitch head can be adjusted with the trailer jack and the position of the spring bars.

The backup cameras in today's tow vehicles make the process easier, but new owners of a Hensley or ProPride need to practice a bit initially to avoid amusing their neighbors at a camping site.

Hitching up with a Hensley does not require two people. My wife always leaves when I am hitching up. Not because I have so much trouble, but so that I don't ask her to help!

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Old 07-04-2020, 07:13 PM   #4
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I'm more basic....🤓
I started without a back-up camera assist...it do help but not an absolute.

I use Hitchin rods and O-rings. One on the stinger the other haha to align, and the O rings to elevate.



Oh...and do it slow and resolute.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:29 AM   #5
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Hitching process

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alreddawg19 View Post
Hi all

I don't enjoy the blue ox hitch up process where I have to jack the vehicle up a mile in order to avoid losing a finger (exaggerating of course!).

If I move to Hensley, is there a similar process? To I gain efficiency during hitching? If so, are there any negative aspects other than cost?
I use an 18 V battery operated electric bill for the past nine years to raise and lower the bars on my hensley hitch.. I also use it on my stabilizer jacks. Very quick and easy.. A backup camera is a great assist in hitching but, lacking that, I used to use three telescopic magnetic pickup tools, each about 36 inches long. Attatch one on the hitch of your vehicle and two of them on the trailer to perfectly lineup every time. When all three points are in alignment your exactly lined up.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:33 AM   #6
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Good move going to Hensley or Propride they are the safest hitches available. Absolutely no sway. There are rebuilt and used ones on the market for reasonable prices. Call Hensley Mfg. or ProPride for their rebuilt prices. The main wear points are the bar sockets, Trapezoid bearings (4, and the same as wheel bearing available at any auto parts store) and modified Zerk fittings used for grease and load equalizer bar locking pins. If you buy new, or the used extended warranty parts are replaced free for a lifetime. Never buy the cheapest hitch always buy the safest. The same principle as with parachute purchases.
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Old 07-05-2020, 11:34 AM   #7
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I have a Propride (similar to Hensley) which I love when towing. However, it is a pain in the a-- to hitch up when compared to a regular ball. You better be level between the TV and AS or you will probably have a problem. I NEVER unhitch unless I am on a level surface because someday I will have to rehitch.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:25 PM   #8
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Iíve had no issues on unlevel surfaces or odd angles. Just need to adjust the hitch angle and tilt to match up with the stinger.

Worst one was with Airstream parked at a 45 degree angle on my tilted driveway and having to approach at almost 90 degrees to the centerline. A little tilt adjust and aiming it just right, got it on second try.

Practice a lot. I usually have more trouble on level ground and straight approaches.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorlewis View Post
I have a Propride (similar to Hensley) which I love when towing. However, it is a pain in the a-- to hitch up when compared to a regular ball. You better be level between the TV and AS or you will probably have a problem. I NEVER unhitch unless I am on a level surface because someday I will have to rehitch.

You know you can tilt the haha hitch head U,D & SS.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:44 PM   #10
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I was using a Blue Ox with my AS FC 27 FB and became impressed with all of the positive comments about the ProPride system on this Forum. I saw an ad for a "like new" ProPride, bought it, and installed it. I observed no difference in towing with the ProPride than with the Blue Ox. If anything, the ProPride gave a harsher ride than the Blue Ox --- my sweetie, riding shotgun, immediately complained about it. Therefore, I removed the ProPride, re-installed the Blue Ox, and sold the ProPride.

In my opinion, the ProPride system was more difficult to hitch up than the Blue Ox system. For example, with the Blue Ox, I have no trouble hitching up if there is an angle between my truck and trailer; I can easily hitch up at an angle of, say, 30 degrees, which I have had to do on occasion. In my experience, hitching up with the ProPride required me to have the truck and trailer in at least an almost straight line --- and in general was just "more fussy" than hitching up with the Blue Ox.

In the meantime, I discovered the Lippert Straptek system, as a substitute for raising the weight distribution bars, on whatever system that uses them, Blue Ox, ProPride, whatever. I bought and installed Straptek, and in my opinion, using the Straptek system is superior to and less risky than the stock way of adjusting the height of the bars. Note that ProPride sells Straptek on its website for use with its system, although at a price that is greater than that available elsewhere; I bought mine a year or so ago for around $150.

https://store.propridehitch.com/lipp...echnology-kit/
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alreddawg19 View Post
Hi all

I don't enjoy the blue ox hitch up process where I have to jack the vehicle up a mile in order to avoid losing a finger (exaggerating of course!).

If I move to Hensley, is there a similar process? To I gain efficiency during hitching? If so, are there any negative aspects other than cost?
I purchased a 25" breaker bar from Harbor Freight Tools and the appropriate socket from Lowes. Much easier and safer than the tool Blue Ox provides.

Having said that, after pulling our 27' Globetrotter for 2.5 years with the Blue Ox SwayPro hitch, I'm really starting to consider a ProPride.
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Old 07-05-2020, 01:19 PM   #12
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I really liked my Hensley. The one trick that I had to learn for my self was using the cam locks to pull the stinger into the hitch. I was spending way too much time trying to get it inserted in perfect alignment. ( with no camera!)

I always used the jack to raise the hitch since I was using a speed-bar to crank the equalizer jacks, but if you use a power tool that may not be necessary. I personally prefer to give the mechanical things an easy go rather than wearing them out under load.
My Hensley broke after 20 years of service (I'm the third owner) and I wasn't about to spend $3K us on another one. CanAm sold me an Easy-lift which does the job.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:28 PM   #13
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Hensley/ProPride hitch-up procedure made simple:


I use 2 of these that have magnetic bases.



Place one on the stinger and one on the PP receiver housing. Raise/lower the tongue jack so the end of the stinger is aligned mid-point with the PP receiver. Then use the WD bar adjustment to tilt the receiver left/right or front-down or front-up to match angle of stinger as dictated by matching the 2 bubble levels. Works like a charm with no sweat or fuss.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:38 PM   #14
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Clever! Source for the levels?

Iíve been doing it by eye successfully so far, but itís hard in bright sunshine or dark at night.

Iím considering a camera behind the hitch with a target on the end of the stinger with appropriate software running my power WD jacks and tongue jack to control the tilt, yaw, and elevation of the trailer part.

Yup, the department of overkill engineering is still on duty.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:05 AM   #15
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[QUOTE=rmkrum;2379943]Clever! Source for the levels?

Don't recall the source for the bubble levels but probably Amazon. Glue a piece of magnetic sheet cut to fit base of each level to hold 'em where you place them on the stinger and receover.



Have to remember to remove the levels once the alignments are made and then just back the stinger into the PP receiver.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:14 AM   #16
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Rock Tamers

Will my Rock Tamers work with a Hensley ?
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Old 07-07-2020, 10:10 PM   #17
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Rock Tamers - Hensley

I could not get enough clearance with my Hensley hitch bar to accept the beefy RT collar. I have good clearance with my ProPride hitch bar, so now I can use them. YMMV. Some grinding may be required.
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Old 07-12-2020, 09:33 AM   #18
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I love the propride. Cust service is amazing. Hitch is sweet. So stable. Only downside is it adds 200# to tongue weight. I tow with 2020 Silverado 1500.
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Old 07-12-2020, 10:51 AM   #19
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Count me as one who is content with Blue Ox. I started using one seven years ago with the purchase of my ‘90 25’ Excella and have never had reason to question it. It’s maybe a bit of a hassle to raise the rear to mount or remove the tension bars (I have a shop full of tools but I still use the tool provided by Blue Ox. Just lazy I guess.). But then again just about everything to do with RV’ing is a bit of a hassle.

I think the greatest test was the semi’s passing at 80mph in Utah - no discernible sway. I hear a lot about some hitches being noisy and I like the fact that the Blue Ox is quiet. And that I can back up with no preparation.

I admire Hensley and ProPride for their quality and innovative engineering. If I had a hitch business I would want to sell theirs as the premium Best-in-Class™️ product, but Blue Ox, while it may not be the best, seems to be adequate for me given my budget.

Cheers,
John
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Old 07-12-2020, 02:09 PM   #20
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Hensley also makes a 'hitch helper' that allows you to adjust the tongue of the trailer up to 3 inches left or right of center in case you're off a little when backing up. I think it is a great add-on
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