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Old 05-12-2022, 12:59 PM   #1
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ProPride for smaller Airstreams

Hi all,

I asked this question within another thread and already got a reply from someone with a ProPride on their 22-footer, but thought I'd throw it out here for a larger response.

Do folks out there have/recommend the ProPride for smaller rigs?

My setup is going to be:
  • 2021 Ford F-150, 3.5 Ecoboost, crew cab, short bed, normal tow package (7050 GVWR, 1808 payload, probably will be within a few hundred pounds of that with a family of 4 and all our gear)
  • 2022 Airstream Flying Cloud 23 Corner Bunk Bed (formerly called the 23D)

Is the ProPride overkill for our setup, or will it be worth the extra safety it provides? Spending money on prevent an accident to me is even more valuable than the insurance I carry.
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Old 05-12-2022, 02:34 PM   #2
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How many days / miles do you plan to tow in a year? With full-time or extended travel, you'd realize a lot more benefit with a ProPride.

Do you plan to be out on the interstate frequently with large semi tractor-trailers? A ProPride will be rock solid under high gusty winds.

Against that are factors like the expense, which is not a small amount. Sean's customer service is fantastic, he's a model of what every involved manufacturer should be.

Hitching and unhitching requires a bit of a learning curve, as you discover how to best connect your rig. You can mitigate some of this by keeping your rig straight, painting the receiver box with high-gloss white to give you a "target" when backing in, and using a decent lubricant to avoid the stinger "sticking" in the receiver. It does take some time, though, so I'd plan on a few months of shakedown playing with the hitch settings until you get it smooth.

If you like to remove the stinger when you disconnect, you will have to lift and carry it yourself. It's about 50 lbs; so doable, but don't skip arm day.

If you don't remove the stinger, but still want to drive to dinner, you'll have about a foot and a half of stinger to account for. Or you can do like some and leave the stinger in the receiver, and just remove the pin from the truck side.


I did 50K miles/2 years extended travel in a 30FC RBQ, across the US and Canada three times. I had a PP hitch and towed with a Ram 2500 Diesel. After we figured out how to use the hitch, it was ok for us. Towing was a dream, very very stable.

When we bought our 2018 23FC FBQ it came with an EQ hitch with 6,000 lb bars. I had no experience with an EQ, but it worked fine for the brief period we had it, with my Ram 1500 Hemi.

When we bought the 2022 23GT FBT, Colonial threw in an EQ hitch with 10,000 lb bars (same truck). We are currently on our maiden voyage for the summer, headed out to Montana (eventually). Towing down from New Jersey to Florida, and so far on the trip (we are in TN tonight) the rig is very stable, no issues. I've run with full water and it seems to be a bit more stable, but even empty, it's fine with no sway, and seems very planted in all conditions so far.

YMMV, but for a typical half ton truck and a 23' trailer, I would not see the need for a PP hitch. I mean, it's a nice hitch, but it seems like overkill to me for a smaller AS, under 25'.
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Old 05-12-2022, 02:48 PM   #3
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I have a Propride, but Hensley makes a Hensley Cub for smaller trailers.
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Old 05-12-2022, 02:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hikingcamera View Post
Is the ProPride overkill for our setup, or will it be worth the extra safety it provides? Spending money on prevent an accident to me is even more valuable than the insurance I carry.
Yes, the ProPride is overkill. I have used one on a 25' & 30' and would not again for a list of reasons. There are plenty of equalizer anti-sway hitches out there. I would go with what the Airstream dealer recommends and sets up for you. Airstream of DFW recommended the Blue Ox for my 2022 25' and it works great.
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:01 PM   #5
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I’ve considered a Hensley or ProPride hitch for my 23FB. I haven’t purchased one because my Blue Ox Sway Pro works so well. It’s hard to justify the expense of a ProPride hitch. If I had a larger trailer, then I would definitely buy one.
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:04 PM   #6
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Even the Cub is quite a bit heavier than the regular WD hitches. Personally had no need for it on our FC20 as it is very stable in all conditions with 15% tongue weight and WD. If weight is not an issue with you then check out the Cub as suggested.
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:28 PM   #7
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Thanks, this is all valuable insight.

We do not tow full time. We do do a fair number of trips. The past couple of years have been considerably slower between pandemic and wildfire cancellations, and becoming parents of one and then two kiddos. But assuming the past two years are outliers, we put around 5000Ė7500 miles a year in while towing.

I also have some concerns about our driveway as itís awkwardly steep. Our old 3200-lb, 19-foot SOB and Toyota Highlander had issues getting up and down without scraping the U-bolts of the Blue Ox SwayPro bars into our driveway. We probably overloaded the spring on the bars (by going higher on the chain) in an effort to avoid scraping. Granted, our hitch setup is going to be much different with our F-150 and FC. Now it may be the back end that has issues (we are getting it lifted as well). Weíll see. But I worry about hitch up at such an angle (the truck will be at a steeper part than the trailer will when parked).

But that gets to the last point, we already have the BlueOx SwayPro and like it (our dealer wonít install it, but a local shop we trust will for $150, which is probably about the same amount Iíd have to pay to get all the tools Iíd need to install it myself, lol).

I also worry about the weight of the PP, just because the payload of our trailer is so limited, and we are going to be close on the truck already.

Of course, towing in normal conditions is one thing. If I knew that the ProPride might prevent a catastrophic accident (the video that ProPride likes to point to of the trucker hitting the Airstream comes to mind :-P). But I donít have enough experience/understanding to determine if thatís more marketing or if it really will make a difference in an emergency situation.
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by hikingcamera View Post
Thanks, this is all valuable insight.

We do not tow full time. We do do a fair number of trips. The past couple of years have been considerably slower between pandemic and wildfire cancellations, and becoming parents of one and then two kiddos. But assuming the past two years are outliers, we put around 5000–7500 miles a year in while towing.

I also have some concerns about our driveway as it’s awkwardly steep. Our old 3200-lb, 19-foot SOB and Toyota Highlander had issues getting up and down without scraping the U-bolts of the Blue Ox SwayPro bars into our driveway. We probably overloaded the spring on the bars (by going higher on the chain) in an effort to avoid scraping. Granted, our hitch setup is going to be much different with our F-150 and FC. Now it may be the back end that has issues (we are getting it lifted as well). We’ll see. But I worry about hitch up at such an angle (the truck will be at a steeper part than the trailer will when parked).

But that gets to the last point, we already have the BlueOx SwayPro and like it (our dealer won’t install it, but a local shop we trust will for $150, which is probably about the same amount I’d have to pay to get all the tools I’d need to install it myself, lol).

I also worry about the weight of the PP, just because the payload of our trailer is so limited, and we are going to be close on the truck already.

Of course, towing in normal conditions is one thing. If I knew that the ProPride might prevent a catastrophic accident (the video that ProPride likes to point to of the trucker hitting the Airstream comes to mind :-P). But I don’t have enough experience/understanding to determine if that’s more marketing or if it really will make a difference in an emergency situation.
Recommend stopping before you reach your driveway, disengaging the WD hitch tension bars (and remove them if possible) before you try to put the trailer in your driveway. You won't need the weight distribution function or sway control features at low speeds and while backing into your driveway. You will have much better ground clearance without the dangling hitch hardware getting in the way.
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Old 05-12-2022, 04:17 PM   #9
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Recommend stopping before you reach your driveway, disengaging the WD hitch tension bars (and remove them if possible) before you try to put the trailer in your driveway. You won't need the weight distribution function or sway control features at low speeds and while backing into your driveway. You will have much better ground clearance without the dangling hitch hardware getting in the way.
Yeah, we'll see how it looks when we get it. With our old setup, it was the opposite, without the WDH, the rear of our mis-size SUV would hit and we actually bent the frame holding the 7-pin hitch on our first attempt to get up the driveway. But that may not be the issue with our new setup, instead it might be the tail end of the trailer which has the issue in which case removing the WD bars as you suggest hopefully will give us enough clearance. We'll see, not much I can do at this point until we get it and see how it rides up the driveway.
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Old 05-12-2022, 06:41 PM   #10
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We have towed our 2002 19' with a Hensley hitch since buying the trailer new. All of our towing has been with several Jeep Grand Cherokees. We love the towing experience with the Hensley. A ProPride hitch functions in the same way a Hensley does, so towing with one should be very, very similar. The adjustable ProPride stinger weighs more than a Hensley stinger, but it IS adjustable.

When we bought our Hensley, the ProPride hitch was not available.

So, is such a hitch overkill for a shorter trailer? Not in our opinion, which is exactly that, an opinion, but it is based on 20 years of towing with such a hitch.

Tim
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:01 PM   #11
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This is one of those questions where the answer is .. it depends.
Honestly, youíre towing an Airstream, there are many of SOBís on the market that would take you to your favorite campground / boondocking spot. Some would say owning an Airstream alone is a form of overkill.
The point Iím getting at is that itís a matter of opinion.

Will the Propride lower your TV front end? Yes
Will the Propride aid in eliminating sway? Yes
Will it give you peace of mind? If the answer is yes and you have the disposable income, why not?

There are other options on the market that can provide you what your looking for at different price points. But will they give you peace of mind?

Iím probably not the best person to take advice from when it comes to overkill. I have a Propride and F350 Platinum to tow a 30í AS.
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:49 PM   #12
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Yeah, we'll see how it looks when we get it. With our old setup, it was the opposite, without the WDH, the rear of our mis-size SUV would hit and we actually bent the frame holding the 7-pin hitch on our first attempt to get up the driveway. But that may not be the issue with our new setup, instead it might be the tail end of the trailer which has the issue in which case removing the WD bars as you suggest hopefully will give us enough clearance. We'll see, not much I can do at this point until we get it and see how it rides up the driveway.
You can install a lift kit on the Airstream.

Dexter makes these (same company that made the axles).

It will lift the trailer body and frame up ~ 3".

Helps a lot with preventing dragging the Airstream rear bumper (and perhaps WD torsion bars too).

Lift kit is about $400. Installation is about a grand at a dealer, though some folks install themselves.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:08 PM   #13
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You can install a lift kit on the Airstream.


Yep, we already have that included in our order.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:16 PM   #14
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This is one of those questions where the answer is .. it depends.
Honestly, youíre towing an Airstream, there are many of SOBís on the market that would take you to your favorite campground / boondocking spot. Some would say owning an Airstream alone is a form of overkill.
The point Iím getting at is that itís a matter of opinion.

Yeah. I wouldnít say the income is disposable, but we certainly have the means to buy it, but I only want to spend the money if it really is providing an extra level of safety. I had peace of mind before I started reading up on the ProPride/Hensley hitches. I think my question to myself is, have I been pulled in by marketing hype, or is it really something that could stop an accident if things go south. If it can stop an accident, keep me and my family safe, in situations that no other hitch could, then Iíd spend the money in a heartbeat.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:27 PM   #15
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Yeah. I wouldn’t say the income is disposable, but we certainly have the means to buy it, but I only want to spend the money if it really is providing an extra level of safety. I had peace of mind before I started reading up on the ProPride/Hensley hitches. I think my question to myself is, have I been pulled in by marketing hype, or is it really something that could stop an accident if things go south. If it can stop an accident, keep me and my family safe, in situations that no other hitch could, then I’d spend the money in a heartbeat.
Engineering is the art of “good enough”.

There are a lot of WD hitches with associated sway control devices that are “good enough” to keep your trailer under control and your family safe.

Is the propride technology superior in terms of what it does and how it does it? The answer is yes.

Are propride and similar hitches like the Hensley’s cost effective? Not so much. If a hitch is good enough, it is good enough … why pay more for a solution that isn’t really needed for small trailers? For large trailers where loads are larger and the opportunity for something to go wrong is incrementally more probable, it might make sense to spend the extra dollars. But it’s not going to make much of a difference for 23, 25, 27 ft trailers. Not really.

I probably kicked an anthill stating the above. If you already own a propride, please don’t be offended. It’s a great hitch.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:32 PM   #16
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ProPride for smaller Airstreams

Quote:
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Are propride and similar hitches like the Hensleyís cost effective? Not so much. If a hitch is good enough, it is good enough Ö why pay more for a solution that isnít really needed for small trailers? For large trailers where loads are larger and the opportunity for something to go wrong is incrementally more probable, it might make sense to spend the extra dollars. But itís not going to make much of a difference for 23, 25, 27 ft trailers. Not really.

Thatís a really good way to think about it, thanks. I think the idea that the Pro Pride eliminates sway while other hitches only manage it (their marketing words), perhaps had me convinced that it did something that no other style hitch could. Which maybe it does for bigger rigs, but maybe doesnít matter so much for smaller ones. Or maybe it doesÖ as you said, maybe you just kicked the anthill .
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:35 PM   #17
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A 3p hitch will improve any size rig...period.

Small? Consider the Hensley Cub. 👍

Disclaimer...We have used the Arrow for 15 years...SFSG.

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Old 05-12-2022, 08:49 PM   #18
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Yeah. I wouldnít say the income is disposable, but we certainly have the means to buy it, but I only want to spend the money if it really is providing an extra level of safety. I had peace of mind before I started reading up on the ProPride/Hensley hitches. I think my question to myself is, have I been pulled in by marketing hype, or is it really something that could stop an accident if things go south. If it can stop an accident, keep me and my family safe, in situations that no other hitch could, then Iíd spend the money in a heartbeat.


I can tell you my story, I had a 23D equipped with a blue ox that we towed with a 2500 High Country. The blue ox and that combination worked just fine. I sold that trailer and purchased a 27FB, same truck and same blue ox. Towed just fine with that combination as well.

I sold the truck and got a F250 for the diesel in hopes to get more power. So that combination was a 27FB, blue ox and a F250 Platinum (I like bells and whistles). All of a sudden I made the dreaded mistake and started caring about payload. Trips to the Cat scales became more prevalent.

I purchased a Propride, installed it and oh what a difference it made in regards to sway. Still wasnít happy with my payload numbers (platinum trim level and a 27FB can be a tricky combo) and didnít want to let go of the bells and whistles of the 250 platinum trim level. I researched myself right into F350 platinum, sold the 27FB and purchased a 30FBB.

So current setup is a F350, 30FBB and Propride. Iím extremely happy with the setup, no sway, donít really need the WD as I hardly squat at all in the 350.

My setup as I said before was fine with the blue ox. But towing with the Propride is definitely another level IMO. Interstate driving without issue from semis nor crosswinds. Iíve had one or two hard stops and quick lane changes and the trailer tracked me easily. Definitely have peace of mind.

This is my second Propride as when I sold my previous unit the new owner wanted the Propride. So I had to fork out the funds to purchase another. I did it without hesitation.
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:21 PM   #19
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Small? Consider the Hensley Cub.

Iím curious what your thoughts are on the benefits of the newer designs of the ProPride over the Hensley. ProPride specifically compares itself to the Hensley Arrow, but I wonder if the comparison to the Cub is less accurate.
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:52 AM   #20
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Iím curious what your thoughts are on the benefits of the newer designs of the ProPride over the Hensley. ProPride specifically compares itself to the Hensley Arrow, but I wonder if the comparison to the Cub is less accurate.
Pivot Point Projection...same mechanical design, slightly different execution.
I can't comment on the PP's 'improvements' as I've never used one.

The Arrow has worked flawlessly for 15 years, no reasons to change now.
The Cub is designed for smaller trailers...I don't see any reason it wouldn't work for your application.
All PPP's have a learning curve regarding hitching, (on & off) and maintenance, but it ain't roket seince, I lerned it.

Warning...Airstream makes the smaller trailers only as 'BAIT', when you upgrade longer, the full size Hensley or PP can be removed & used.

Bob
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