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chief916

Anti-sway hitch recommendations.

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What length and weight trailer? What is the wheelbase of your tow vehicle? The best hitches I am aware of are the Hensley, ProPride and Pullrite. They are also the most expensive and likely the heaviest. They provide a combination of sway control and weight distribution.

If your tow vehicle is the HDT pictured under your screen name, there is a shock absorbing hitch that some of the HDT members here have posted about but I can not remember the product name. 

Edited by trailertraveler

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When I purchased my used Nash 17K it came with a link to Hensley Arrow.  If your budget can handle the cost, and your tow vehicle gross vehicle weight (GVWR) rating can handle additional weight of the Arrow or Cub it is by far the best anti sway hitch I’ve used. I thought the Hensley products were smoke and mirrors until I towed the trailer back from Baltimore to my home in deep east Texas with the Hensley. The Hensley makes a notable towing experience difference but is a little tricky to hook and unhook up since the stinger stays on the Hensley. I’ve towed the Nash with a link to Fastway e2 hitch as well as the Hensley. When the trailer does not sway much with the e2 I can see it the trailer being “sucked in” a little with trucks pass me.  The trailer does not move at all with the Hensley. My tow vehicle is a long bed long wheelbase 2010 Tundra extended cab, 5.7 V8 4x4.

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9 minutes ago, ogaddcb said:

a little tricky to hook and unhook up since the stinger stays on the Hensley

I am confused by this. The stinger (the draw bar that attaches to the tow vehicle receiver) stays on the tow vehicle when hooking and unhooking. The receiver on the Hitch is tapered. It does take some practice to put a square peg into a slightly larger square hole. If the ground is uneven it can take some adjustment of the Hitch angle and height using the weight distribution jacks and tongue jack as the drawbar is moved into the Hitch receiver.

I have been using a Hensley Arrow for 12 years on trailers up to 10,000# towing with a 2500 long bed crew cab and now a 3500 long bed crew cab. I have never had an uncomfortable moment even when caught in winds up to 45MPH.

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19 minutes ago, trailertraveler said:

What length and weight trailer? What is the wheelbase of your tow vehicle?

This is the key to what you need to spend. While I generally agree with previous suggestions, in some cases you really don't need the elaborate towing equipment but do need sway control. I tow an ultra-lite travel trailer with a diesel truck. The travel trailer has an aluminum frame and the use of an equalizer hitch would void the warranty, but it still needs sway control as wind will impact such a lite (3800#) trailer even more than it does heavier ones. Even with a tow truck that weighs nearly twice what our travel trailer does and so isn't affected much by movement of the trailer, it is nice to have my trailer stay where it belongs so sway control is still important. 

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2 hours ago, ogaddcb said:

When I purchased my used Nash 17K it came with a link to Hensley Arrow.  If your budget can handle the cost, and your tow vehicle gross vehicle weight (GVWR) rating can handle additional weight of the Arrow or Cub it is by far the best anti sway hitch I’ve used. I thought the Hensley products were smoke and mirrors until I towed the trailer back from Baltimore to my home in deep east Texas with the Hensley. The Hensley makes a notable towing experience difference but is a little tricky to hook and unhook up since the stinger stays on the Hensley. I’ve towed the Nash with a link to Fastway e2 hitch as well as the Hensley. When the trailer does not sway much with the e2 I can see it the trailer being “sucked in” a little with trucks pass me.  The trailer does not move at all with the Hensley. My tow vehicle is a long bed long wheelbase 2010 Tundra extended cab, 5.7 V8 4x4.

Length 31

Weight 7700#

TV Ford f350 long wheelbase powerstroke.

The big rig will be used for pulling the toy hauler and I put a TS3.  So I'm thinking how good a hitch this one is but then I get sticker shock when I see that the arrow cost almost what I paid for the TS3.  I've pretty much told myself to suck it up buttercup.  Thank you for your feedback.

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Thank you to everyone who responded.  Looks like it's gonna be the Hensley for this new coach.  I appreciate and value each of your imputs.

V/R

Ben.  Chief916

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My father has started with a Reese cam style after about 10 years he bought a Hensley after about 2 years he switched back and it now sits in my garage. Its not that he dislikes the Hensley its just not as convenient and you cant ajust the hight without buying a new shaft. He was pulling a 30 something Montana that was about 14k with a 2500 Silverado crew cab. 

I use a regular Reese with a friction sway control on my 30 foot Avion at about 8 to 9k pulled with a 3500 Silverado crew cab.

My parents put on about 8k miles per year towing some years much more. And My longest single trip was 8k in 3 weeks neither of us have had any sway isues.  My parenst had to make veey hard maneuvers when a young man fell asleep at the wheel and came across the road and side swiped the trailer.My father said it was the Reese hitch that keeped them from wrecking. Happy trails.

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Hi chief,

 I have towed my 32ft 11000lbs tall  TT (Roughneck) with a PP hitch/SRW 3500. The combination handles like a single vehicle. The zig zag push from trucks and buses passing was eliminated completely. I chose the PP because: 1. Available used on Craigslist, 2. Adjustable height vehicle draw bar is standard. 

You have to get the hang of backing in to hook up. If the drawbar is not parallel to the hitch socket the hitch does not “Line itself up” it moves more off parallel and binds. You learn to set up the right tilt and slop in the assy with the sweet screw jacks and check when you touch- it can’t be forced. The more out of plane the tow motor and trailer are the trickier it can be. Exponential trouble ensues the bigger the supervisor audience is 😀.

My records:

about 10 back ins get out look do overs on a flat concrete spot at Sparks Marina. 276 in the audience...well maybe not that many...

and one time parked 21 miles from anyone in the desert I backs in and soft “thump” “chit!” I say practicing my Spanish, “I’ve hit the hitch and knocked the whole thing out of line, waaaa!” I walks back and it had engaged so perfectly I could close the latches by hand 😀.  Why is no one around....?

Anyway the other oh by the way is the hitch point cannot bend unless the tow vehicle turns first, thus the trailer cannot “sway” on it’s own. So you descend a canyon road using your retarded brake on The Big Cummins and turn into the first downhill switchback. Tow vehicle turns, trailer swings opposite a couple inches through the travel of the hitch and attempts to pass you on the outside of your turn and “bang” hits the stops. The famous “Hensley bump”. You deal with this by trailer braking into the turn or ignoring it if the roads are dry.  If you have a first time passenger you can holler “we’ve lost a wheel!” or something for fun.

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trailertravler is correct.  I was wrong when I said the stinger stays on the Hensley.  The stinger says on the tow vehicle and like trailertravler said “ It does take some practice to put a square peg into a slightly larger square hole”. 

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23 hours ago, Lance A Lott said:

My father has started with a Reese cam style after about 10 years he bought a Hensley after about 2 years he switched back and it now sits in my garage. Its not that he dislikes the Hensley its just not as convenient and you cant ajust the hight without buying a new shaft. He was pulling a 30 something Montana that was about 14k with a 2500 Silverado crew cab. 

I use a regular Reese with a friction sway control on my 30 foot Avion at about 8 to 9k pulled with a 3500 Silverado crew cab.

My parents put on about 8k miles per year towing some years much more. And My longest single trip was 8k in 3 weeks neither of us have had any sway isues.  My parenst had to make veey hard maneuvers when a young man fell asleep at the wheel and came across the road and side swiped the trailer.My father said it was the Reese hitch that keeped them from wrecking. Happy trails.

Lance....can you tell me why your dad stopped using the hensley?  If anything....becase of his investment I would have continued using it all the more.  Obtw does your dad plan to sell it or keep as a backup or what?  If so, PM me.  Either way, we get the coach this coming Thursday up in Raleigh and I plan to bring it home using a regular tri-ball hitch by B&H which is rated 1k tongue/10k gross.  No anti-sway.  I'll just take it slowly.

V/R

Ben....chief916

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On 6/2/2019 at 11:22 AM, noteven said:

Hi chief,

 I have towed my 32ft 11000lbs tall  TT (Roughneck) with a PP hitch/SRW 3500. The combination handles like a single vehicle. The zig zag push from trucks and buses passing was eliminated completely. I chose the PP because: 1. Available used on Craigslist, 2. Adjustable height vehicle draw bar is standard. 

You have to get the hang of backing in to hook up. If the drawbar is not parallel to the hitch socket the hitch does not “Line itself up” it moves more off parallel and binds. You learn to set up the right tilt and slop in the assy with the sweet screw jacks and check when you touch- it can’t be forced. The more out of plane the tow motor and trailer are the trickier it can be. Exponential trouble ensues the bigger the supervisor audience is 😀.

My records:

about 10 back ins get out look do overs on a flat concrete spot at Sparks Marina. 276 in the audience...well maybe not that many...

and one time parked 21 miles from anyone in the desert I backs in and soft “thump” “chit!” I say practicing my Spanish, “I’ve hit the hitch and knocked the whole thing out of line, waaaa!” I walks back and it had engaged so perfectly I could close the latches by hand 😀.  Why is no one around....?

Anyway the other oh by the way is the hitch point cannot bend unless the tow vehicle turns first, thus the trailer cannot “sway” on it’s own. So you descend a canyon road using your retarded brake on The Big Cummins and turn into the first downhill switchback. Tow vehicle turns, trailer swings opposite a couple inches through the travel of the hitch and attempts to pass you on the outside of your turn and “bang” hits the stops. The famous “Hensley bump”. You deal with this by trailer braking into the turn or ignoring it if the roads are dry.  If you have a first time passenger you can holler “we’ve lost a wheel!” or something for fun.

Noteven.... LMAO about your narrative with using the hensley... way to funny.   I've looked at the pp as well.  Isn't that nothing more than another newer version of the Hensley but just as pricy?  Thank you for your inputs... great narrative.

Ben...chief916

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Ben I will clarify with him as to why he stopped using it, and if He is going to sell it. It's in Vermont now so unless your coming up or going to Brownsville TX the shipping would be horable. The bar that goes into your receiver is the height adjustment to match the truck and trailer and is done by buying a new one. This may be the reason he stopped using it.

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Hi chief - I believe the trapezoid arrangement of the spindles in the design of an Arrow and a PP are basically the same. The PP comes with a height adjustable drawbar so it can be set for different vehicles and trailers. The PP has really nice screw jacks to set the weight distribution tension. Towing with it is really nice. Cross winds, passing big vehicles, ice and snow - everything is more stable and settled. Someone trying to “back you in” to hook up for the first time can be hilarious.

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One thing not mentioned is how you are loading your trailer.  How you load it can make a HUGE difference. Also speed will be a factor, so just slowing down and enjoying the scenery will make a difference. Also depending on the year of your Ford, it could have sway control. Very cool how it works. Below is a link as an example of what I said. 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrpowvtn0d8

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i2fkOVHAC8Q

Edited by rynosback

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3 hours ago, Lance A Lott said:

The bar that goes into your receiver is the height adjustment to match the truck and trailer and is done by buying a new one.

I don't know if it is still true or not, but in the past Hensley would replace the draw bar with one of a different drop/rise for just the cost of shipping. I do know that they just replaced a 12 year old screw jack on my Hensley that broke for just the cost of shipping. I believe they will also exchange the spring bars for just shipping. The parts are heavy so there is still a substantial cost especially if you are in a hurry.

I have had my Hensley on 3 different trailers and used two trucks and have not had to change the drop/rise of the draw bar. If you switch from a 2 wheel drive pickup to a 4x4 or vice versa, you will likely need a change of draw bar.

54 minutes ago, rynosback said:

Also depending on the year of your Ford, it could have sway control. Very cool how it works. 

The old school recommendation to stop sway in an emergency was step on the gas or hit the trailer brake lever. I am under the impression that the automatic sway control systems work by applying the trailer brakes to straighten out the trailer. Not sure I like that concept given the propensity for trailer brakes to over heat.

Edited by trailertraveler

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Going faster could also make the sway worse.  Sure manually applying just the trailer brakes through the controller should straighten the trailer. But it will also heat the brakes that you were concerned about.  Again I think the big key that you seemed to miss was loading the trailer properly and towing at a safe speed. There is a reason why the state of California sets the state highway limit at 55mph when towing a trailer. Just my thoughts. You might disagree with today’s  truck technically for anti sway, but it does help.

Edited by rynosback

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5 hours ago, rynosback said:

 Sure manually applying just the trailer brakes through the controller should straighten the trailer. But it will also heat the brakes that you were concerned about.  Again I think the big key that you seemed to miss was loading the trailer properly and towing at a safe speed.

I was not advocating for using acceleration or trailer braking as the primary method for sway control and I would not rely on the Ford system alone either. I didn't miss your comments on loading and speed and happen to agree. Didn't think I had to comment on every aspect of a post.

Edited by trailertraveler

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I would not solely rely on it either.  But I think if you weigh the trailer correctly, don’t tow fast this would help.  I believe it uses the antilock brake system to correct trailer sway. Many people were against antilock brakes when they came out, but it really does help you maintain control in a slick situation.

Edited by rynosback

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Well I tried  the Hensley hitch today..... took some time to back it in.  Hensley at first sent the 6" drop stinger.  It was way too low.  So they sent the 2 in drop stinger.  The TT pulled level and what a difference.  No charge for sending a stinger the first time.  I just have to return the 6 inch stinger and they pay for it.  

Cheers

Ben...chief916

 

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I fanly remembered to talk to my dad about his Hensley and why he stopped using it. It is a 10k hitch, that may be just the arms not sure but he said it is also a pain to hitch up.

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28 minutes ago, chief916 said:

Well I tried  the Hensley hitch today..... took some time to back it in...  The TT pulled level and what a difference.

Thanks for posting the update. I found that putting a piece of electrical tape on the bottom edge of the trailer on each side such that I could center the truck when looking back through the side mirrors really helped. The first time on uneven ground drove me nuts. Once I learned to make sure that the Hensley's receiver was parallel to the stinger, hooking up was fairly easy. If the stinger changes its attitude while backing, adjusting the Hensley's receiver is necessary to get everything back in alignment.

Setting the weight distribution jacks before raising the tongue jack makes setting them a lot easier. I have found that when unhooking if I lower the tongue jack until I can loosen the weight distribution jacks by hand, the stinger will pull out with very little effort as long as the truck and trailer are straight.

Edited by trailertraveler

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On 6/14/2019 at 11:06 AM, Lance A Lott said:

I fanly remembered to talk to my dad about his Hensley and why he stopped using it. It is a 10k hitch, that may be just the arms not sure but he said it is also a pain to hitch up.

Amen to that being a pain.  I've hitched up a couple of times and it definitely takes practice.

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On 6/14/2019 at 11:07 AM, trailertraveler said:

Thanks for posting the update. I found that putting a piece of electrical tape on the bottom edge of the trailer on each side such that I could center the truck when looking back through the side mirrors really helped. The first time on uneven ground drove me nuts. Once I learned to make sure that the Hensley's receiver was parallel to the stinger, hooking up was fairly easy. If the stinger changes its attitude while backing, adjusting the Hensley's receiver is necessary to get everything back in alignment.

Setting the weight distribution jacks before raising the tongue jack makes setting them a lot easier. I have found that when unhooking if I lower the tongue jack until I can loosen the weight distribution jacks by hand, the stinger will pull out with very little effort as long as the truck and trailer are straight.

That's what I started doing.  About the 5th or 6th time I finally connected all the dots.  I have 2 rivits on each side of the TT that I line my truck on and it works rather well.

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Thanks for the updates, I've been following this thread but didn't catch it early enough to participate. Your satisfaction with the hitch, along with many others, is swaying me toward the Hensley in the future. I've been using the Equalizer with great success but see that hooking up the Hensley can be much easier, especially as my body ages along with the hitch sequence required with each. Each of the hitches require lining up but the Hensley, like a 5er, lets you know that you're there with the bump (don't want to feel that with the Equalizer). Overall it seems much easier to hitch and provides exactly the type of control when towing that someone could want.

     Spot

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