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Old 01-27-2003, 12:46 PM   #1
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2015 30' International
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Question Getting Close!

Off to the RV show at the start of next month in Toronto. We are pretty certain that we will be ordering the Safari 25C at that time. Looked at the soecs for the 28 S/O, but given the extra weight and goodness knows the extra cost it is not viable at this time.

So my question is - what should I be looking for? Do I need to get the LS package and all that it entails, or is the base model okay. I will be ordering it with a Hensley as well - I figure if I am going to spend the big bucks on the coach why not get the best hitch as well.

Any thoughts, experiences would be greatly appreciated
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:16 PM   #2
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Hensley Hitch

You didn't ask, but here goes anyway: In my opinion a Hensly hitch for a 25 ft Safari is a waste of money. Why spend 10% of the cost of your trailer on a hitch? Any good equalizer hitch with a friction sway bar should be more than adaquate.

Bruce
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:18 PM   #3
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hensley hitch

As an after thought: Whether or not a Hensley hitch is "the best hitch available" is arguable/
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:19 PM   #4
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best hitch

Probably the best hitch available is on the back of a one-ton pickup truck.
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Old 01-27-2003, 01:23 PM   #5
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I didn't really catch it until I saw it posted on a thread here, but the 25C only has an 18 gallon black water tank, compared to it's 39 gal fresh and grey tanks.

You're gonna start the trip with at least 3 gallons of water in the black tank to keep solids from sticking to the bottom and building up under the toilet. That leaves 15 gallons at most and you probably won't want to wait until the tank is full up to the joint where the toilet joins it, or where the tank vent is covered before dumping.

Maybe 70-75% of the fresh water is going to go in the grey tank, with the remainder in the black tank, depending on how you flush and how often. So that's 10-12 gallons in the black tank.

Problem is, you're may be adding at least another 10-12 gallons of processed soda pop, beer, pizza etc. during that time. So using the campground toilet (or for guys, the bushes when boondocking) may be necessary.

The bed is both narrow and short, and the side against the wall is not only limited at the foot by the wardrobe, but loses some at the head due to the curvature of the trailer. You definitely want a short person sleeping on that side. And they shouldn't be bothered by cold because they're up against the wall and could have cold air migrating down from the window in winter.

Those are the main concerns I'd have about this model.

You won't hear that the Hensley hitch isn't the best, or that they aren't worth it, from a Hensley owner. Only from those who have no experience with them.
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:17 PM   #6
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Kam,

Forum member "Dmac" just bought the Safari with the LS package. You might want to contact him for his opinion.

As far as the Hensley Arrow is concern IMHO, it's worth every penny! Smooth cornering, smooth backing, NO sway at all and a great weigh distribution!

As far as sleeping next to the wall in cold weather, I have twin rear beds, have been in temps as low as 5F and NEVER felt any cold coming through either the wall or the windows.

Good luck-John
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:34 PM   #7
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hensley hitch

John, don't forget hard to hook-up, requires level ground and increases tongue weight. Anyway, I have never talked to an Airstreamer that paid $2500 plus for one of those critters that was willing to say the value might not have been there.

I pull my 31 ft Excella with a one-ton Dodge with an weight distribution hitch without a sway bar (quit using mine when changed from 3/4 ton to 1 ton). I also have zero sway, smooth cornering, and easy backing. All of this for less than 25% of the cost of an Hensley.

I think that the reason many people have towing problems with a conventional hitch is that they do not set them up properly.

Just another humble opinion.

Bruce
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:51 PM   #8
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Bruce,

Have you ever owned a Hensley Arrow Hitch?

Because it's not hard to hook-up, I'm disabled and have no problems hooking it up.

You don't have to be on level ground. I've unhooked and rehooked on every unlevel ground.

And as far as the cost, it's an awesome piece of equipment that's every well made and machined.

You continue towing as you will and I'll do the same. You gave us your opinion and I did too. Let it go-you don't have to be correct 100% of the time!!

John
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Old 01-27-2003, 02:55 PM   #9
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hensley hitch

Pretty touchy there John............

Bruce
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:15 PM   #10
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Some of the things I have learned in my short career as an Airstreamer is to never call someone's child ugly, never kick their dog, and never, EVER suggest that the Hensley Arrow is less than God's chosen towing device.

I would not (have not) bought one for my 25' Sovereign because 1) sway has never been an issue with my Reese system, 2) the price and 3) the extra tongue weight. But I also understand that the peace of mind could be worth the price alone. And I would sure think hard about one if I towed a 34'!

I do disagree about the friction sway bar. To me they are largely an exercise in wishful thinking. The Equilizer system or the Reese twin cam cost little more and are are very effective - especially with a 25' Airstream.

Wallybyam is certainly right about proper setup. You have to get the right springbars, set up the head per instructions, do a lot of measuring, etc. It is too much bother for most people. And then they wonder why the trailer tows poorly.

If you want the 25C, get the 25C. Just because someone else hates the corner bed does not mean you will. I understand it is the biggest selling Safari model.

Yours,

Mark
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:36 PM   #11
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Mark,

I feel that in life, in general, one should do what one enjoys/feels good about/ ect ect.

I just don't enjoy when someone makes statements about a product that they have no 1st hand experience with. This IMHO, it's just plan ignorant.

John
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:44 PM   #12
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Mark, I wonder if "ignorant" includes me, you or both of us?

Mark, I live in NC but my wife and I both grew up in Missouri. A small railroad town named Newburg, just outside of Rolla, close to Ft. Leonard Wood. Own some property back there, planning to build on some day. Which neck of the woods do you hail from?

Bruce
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:49 PM   #13
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It will be interesting

I have no doubt that the Hensley is the hitch of choice for the longer trailers, overpriced as it may be. I would probably own one if I owned a 30+ foot trailer. I take issue only with those who push the Hensley to users with trailer/tow vehicle combinations where it is gross overkill.

I just looked up Hensley's patents. The big one is for the hitch itself:
US4722542: Trailer hitch assembly Ė filed 1986

There is another, filed a year later for a bevelled shaft to make hookup easier. Not being a Hensley user, I don't know whether this one is actually used:
US4811967: Trailer hitch - filed 1987

The interesting thing is that the 17 year patent protection is up next year, 2003. The question is, how many others are poised to jump into the fray at that point.

There is no question that the Hensley Hitch, from a purely physical standpoint, is grossly overpriced. I suspect that that situation may change very soon.
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:51 PM   #14
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Yes Bruce you-not Mark

Bruce,

I don't want to get into a pissing contest with you, as I enjoy trying to build and learn within the forum, rather than to tear down.

So I'm done with this nonsense-John
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:52 PM   #15
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Ignorance is a relative thing. Goodness knows I have my share.

I'm just down I44 in Springfield or, as we now say, just 30 miles north of Branson.

Your place is very near some awfully nice State Parks - Meramac Springs, Bennett Springs, etc.

Mark
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:53 PM   #16
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Hensley

As long as everyone else is in on the fray, I'll add my 2 cents.

A tow vehicle is an investment that in addition to towing about 15% to 20% of it's life need to be a multifunction family vehicle that gets reasonable gas mileage and doesn't break your kidneys when you're driving it unloaded. Hence the reason for a Hensley.

Before we purchased our AS, I towed a 27 foot Award TT with an Astro. The Astro had all the torque and horsepower I needed to tow, but with a short wheelbase we had all sorts of problems. I purchased a Pullrite and our problems were solved.

Because a Pullrite won't go under a 'burban without loosing the spare, I purchased the hensley.

Therefore, with experience with a standard weight dis hitch, the pull rite, and a hensley, I can say the Hensley is the best of all, and I might add, absolutely the easiest to hitch up. You won't know unless you try it. They have a 60 day money back guarantee.

How's that for 2 cents.

Good luck on your decisions, kicking the tires and looking at the new models is probably some of the most fun we've in AS'ing.
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:13 PM   #17
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Somewhere in all this we lost sight of an important question:

"Do I need to get the LS package and all that it entails, or is the base model okay."

I do not know how much they charge for the upgrade, but here are some thoughts -

Spare Tire & Bracket
Some people insist on them. You can drive an extended distance with a tire off, albeit slowly, so it is not actually essential. Remember that the weight will subtract from your useful load.

Fantastic Fan (Living Room)
Great item. Almost a necessity

Black Tank Flush System
Wish I had one

Aquajet Water Pump
Beats me

Cast Tail Lights
They do look nice, but scacely a reason for the package.

Electric Hitch Jacks
Absolute necessity in my opinion.

13,500 BTU roof A/C w/Heat Pump
Might be good if you do a lot of hot weather camping.

Jackets and Caps (2 Each)
Yeah. Ok.

Lavy and Shower Upgrade (Brass/Chrome)
Pretty nice item

Galley Faucet (Moen One-Touch Classic)
Really nice item

LS Graphics
Whoopee

Screen Door Guard
Another nice item.

Again, the important stuff can be optioned or added by your dealer - Fantastic Fan, electric jack, even the spare tire (so I am told). It just depends on the price and your wants.

Keep in mind, though, that you only pay for it once and get to use it from now on!

Yours,

Mark
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:15 PM   #18
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Cool Time's a flying~!~

John, my friend...We both have this problem...lol

Quote:
The interesting thing is that the 17 year patent protection is up next year, 2003. The question is, how many others are poised to jump into the fray at that point.
NEXT YEAR is HERE now~!~

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Old 01-27-2003, 04:27 PM   #19
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mark

My wife was living in Springfield when we got married. Also, I have several relatives there now.

You are right about the nice parks. Wonderful country. Have you ever been to the Cave restaurant near Richland? If not, should try it. It is high on a bluff, inside a cave and overlooks the mighty Gasconade.

We spend a lot of time at Newburg during the summer. Stay at Arlington Campground just accross the river from Jerome. Nice campground and a great place for a Rally if your unit is interested. They give WBCCI discount.

Stay warm!

Bruce
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:28 PM   #20
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Whoops!

So it is. I don't know what I was thinking. That was the first time I have (knowingly) messed up on the new year.

I think the patent was filed in June. That means we might see some competition to the Hensley before the year is out. I'll bet someone could produce a $500 to $750 functional equivalent.
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