One thing that is relatively new on the hitch is they've started going the way of over-center clips and chains for the WD bars (exceedingly similar to all other WD systems) in lieu of the screw jack system. This was originally in response to entire classes of trailer (V-nose, for example) not being able to run a Hensley because of clearance issues.
Omitting the screw jack system and going with the chain/clip system saved me $300. Though I very much like features of the screw jack system, I could not overlook the price difference, which was a 13% savings in my case.
Hensley told me that they would sell me the screw jack system at any time for $300 and there was no modification necessary to change systems. No harm, no foul. I think the chain system will work fine for me.
I'm told there are some retainer bars to control the vertical pivot of the hitch head to suit connection to the TV, but that most people report the weight balance is such that the hitch 'floats' pretty well and the retainers aren't even necessary. We'll see.
I am eagerly awaiting delivery...my UPS guy usually comes between 4 and 5 in the afternoon. I'm pretty good friends with him and I'm sure he'll be giving me plenty of grief over the three boxes totalling nearly 250#.
And I appreciate the modification pictures. I'm sure those will come in handy.
* This post was
edited 07/14/11 12:09pm by keithinspace *
That is good to know about the WD setup. I have a toolbox mounted on my tongue which would not allow me to use the screw jack WD setup. Now that I know I have some options, I may have to look at the Hensley a little closer.
While I really like the screw jack system vs. the chain and clip system. To me certainly worth the additional $300.00 over the long haul. It is nice to have the flexibility to use the chain system in order to save a few $$'s or to solve clearance issues as mentioned above.
07'Duramax dually,12'Open Range 399BHS
Hawkshead TPMS,Hensley BD3,Killerbee exhaust brake
Blue Ox Bedsaver,air bags w/compressor
Arvika pin box bike rack,Bak Flip tonneau cover
5500 Onan LP,EMS-HW-50
14'Porta Bote w/8.0 Nissan
Vu Cube 2000,Splendide 2000S
Wow another Hensley topic with varying opinions. Imagine that. So while everyone is giving their opinion I cannot not weigh in.
I am running the HA and would never ever consider a friction sway control of any type ever again, period. $40K for the truck, $20K for the trailer and $2K (3.2%) for the refurbished HA. Heck the sales tax on the truck and trailer exceed the hitch cost by a big margin.
Keith, I did not read the entire thread to know what your final decision was. I sure hope you went with the HA or PP. With two engineers in the house, the money cannot be an issue Yea I too am an engineer and spending money is just not in our genes is it.
I too created a normal engineering research project prior to purchasing the HA. The video they sent is so stupid and is geared to scare you into buying it. My conclusion rested on the fact that no single HA/PP owner ever said it was not worth the money. The naysayers were all of the people without them.
I smile every time a person with a equalizer dual friction sway control hitch identifies the pull or push of a passing 18-wheeler as a natural phenomenon and is to be expected. A slight wheel correction with every passing truck is a natural event. I too thought that before I installed the HA. It really is NOT a natural event. At least to the extent I had experienced before the HA. I feel comfortable at all times and in all weather conditions with one hand on the wheel. White knuckle? Not with my setup.
Of course, I will admit that a well set up rig will always handle pretty good and with little to know issue. I ran a Reese setup on my last 26' Nomad with mostly no issues. I did feel the trucks passing much more than I do now. And you can bet the hitch was setup to the precision you would expect from an engineer. 12.00% hitch weight, .500" drop on TT front to back, TV level etc etc.
I cannot explain it but I believe I feel (yes seat of the pants feel) less of the 18-wheelers (and cross winds) with the trailer connected to the TV than without. I am concluding the way the hitch "locks" the trailer to the TV it creates an overall longer vehicle with a much longer wheel base (front of TV to rear TT axle). This aids in the ability to hold the road during these wind events. Not sure of my theory but I really cannot explain it any other way. (Maybe I am just so happy with the HA purchase I am willing this seat of the pants feeling).
We have pulled from Dallas to Glacier, Dallas to Yellowstone, Dallas to Durango and many local trips. Never ever think about sway or 18-wheelers, wind storms on my trip planning.
I just returned from a trip to Colorado. Coming across the Texas panhandle with 30+MPH thunderstorm outflow cross winds. Yes I felt the winds but never had to over correct or fight it. Certainly no white knuckle feelings.
More importantly, putting DW behind the wheel is no concern or issue under any situation.
BTW - Get a rear camera (my new truck has it) for hooking up the HA/PP. I believe it may save my marriage...... It makes poking that steel bar into the square hole pretty darn easy. Almost as easy as well......
Good luck with your decision and for those without the HA/PP hitch, have at it.....
Paul & Lisa
2010 GMC Denali 6.2L with Integrated Brake Controller and backup camera God bless the backup camera!
2009 MVP RV Coast 26LRBS
We have a small 16" Fun Finder 3000# wet ready for three weeks camping. We pull it with a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. We were told we would not need any type of weight distributing hitch or sway control. The drive home from the dealer was enough to tell me otherwise. I installed a Reese Pro Series SC (it's similar to an Equalizer hitch) I was very careful on how I set it up, not missing a single detail. I worked well for 2 years, from Detroit Glacierer NP from Detroit To Bar Harbor ME. No small 400 mile trips for us.
The 3rd year Detroit to Colorado we hit some construction on I80 heading west. We almost rolled the rig, scared us pretty good. We finished our trip without another incident.
The next year we installed our Hensley Cub Hitch. We headed to Utah for 2+ weeks. There are not words to describe how nice it is to pull our trailer. We just returned from a 3+ week trip from Detroit to The California coast 6500 miles. Heading west thru Nebraska we hit that huge storm that knocked trees and power lines down across the mid west. Drove right thru it with one hand on the wheel.
There simply is no other hitch I would buy. Nor will I pull a trailer without one again. You will not regret your purchase.
I'm keen to hear how the HA works out for you. I also tow a long trailer with a SWB Expedition and recognize it is not the optimal platform. That said, I wouldn't define my experience with the DC as being "sway" or movement at the pivot point, but is rather more like "tail wagging the dog" when there are strong crosswinds. I'm interested to know how you find the HA in that scenario. I'm also curious how you are going to work out weight-wise, as that has been part of my holdout on the HA. I have a hard time keeping below my receiver rating and my RAWR with the DC, and the HA adds a ton of weight to that. Please let me know how it works out for you.
2008 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer
2008 KZ Spree 290BHS
Again, let me offer my sincere thanks for the continued on-topic interest in this thread. This really is wonderful.
UPDATE: I got the hitch yesterday and it is HUGE. It really surprised me just how big, heavy, and beautiful piece of engineering wonder it really is. Very, very, very impressive. Since the first moment my wife voiced concern about my hitch setup and described to me "how she would like to see the truck connected to the trailer better", I pointed at this BEAST, showed her how the stinger connects to the main unit and asked "Is THIS what you were talking about?". Her response: "Yes. I hope it works." I hope it works, indeed.
Mr. Lantley: I agree with the superiority of the screw jack system from an adjustability perspective, but unfortunately money matters right now. They offered a no-harm exchange of the chain system for the screw jack system at any point for the same $300 discount they gave me in the first place, so I didn't see any way I could go wrong. It's worth a try if only to report how it works.
Mr. Peirek: Sounds like you and I were cut from the same cloth. I am 100% on-board with your analysis and perspective and am very glad that your experience was so positive. A couple of clarifications: First, I DID purchase and have it in my living room right now so I can look upon it and admire it as often as possible until I mount it to my trailer. After that, I think my favorite place in camp will be in a chair, staring at my Hensley in admiration. Kidding. A little. Second, I am a Mechanical Engineer by education, but currently run, with my wife, a civil engineering firm specializing in commercial land development. Being as the commercial land development sector TANKED about 36 months ago, having "two engineers in the house" isn't all it cracked up to be. Money is tight, but this was a required purchase.
Mr. Tomnytyz and Mr. Djtkach: I will absolutely report my impressions once I get the thing connected this weekend during my testing phase. I will probably connect it to my tractor to make it easier to manipulate the stinger during installation, but then take some drives with my truck. We're already planning the 'maiden voyage', after which I'll be able to share my thoughts in I-95 DC/Beltway traffic. That should put it through the paces...
Look forward to a technical analysis after the weekend.