I have towed with both the Hensley (my current hitch) and the Pullrite and I would echo JJ's sentiments in saying that the Pullrite is the best hitch available at the current time...
There is nothing wrong with the Hensley or Propride but I have experienced the "bump" on several occasions, once on a wet crowned road going a bit downhill and nearly lost control of the trailer...
While this was an isolated incident and hasn't occurred again since I rewired my trailer's brakes and have my Jordan controller leading the truck brakes by quite a bit, it can and does happen and is a short coming in the 4 bar linkage type hitches...
On the other hand, when I was towing with my Pullrite, I experienced nothing even remotely like that and my Pullrite was rock solid under all towing conditions...
Guys, there are advantages and disadvantages to both these type hitches... Both (or all three) are excellent hitches but having towed with both a 4 bar linkage hitch and the Pullrite hitch (a 5th wheel hitch UNDER your truck) I would have to say that "best hitch" award goes to the Pullrite...
Just one man's opinion
2000 Ford F-250SD, XLT, 4X4 Off Road, SuperCab
w/ 6.8L (415 C.I.) V-10/3:73LS/4R100
Banks Power Pack w/Trans Command & OttoMind
Sold Trailer - not RV'ing at this point in time
The "Hensley Bump", which should be called the "4-bar bump" or "pivot point projection bump", exists on many forums. Just Google "hensley bump" to find others. It also is discussed on Page 35 of the Hensley Arrow Installation and Operation Manual. From the FAQs section: The first question is: "Why does the trailer shift to the left or right when braking?" The response is:
"This is a common question we get with a Hensley Arrow. The trailer wants to shift to the left or right because of the way the linkage system is designed. A feeling of the trailer bumping the vehicle is felt. This is the result of the trailer brakes NOT being applied soon enough. The trailer is actually traveling faster than the vehicle and has more momentum so it takes more to slow it down than your vehicle, hence the bumping feeling occurs. Most brake controllers have a Gain Control that can be adjusted so the trailer brakes will come on sooner. Tweak your brake controller so your trailer brakes are being applied shortly before your vehicle brakes. This should eliminate that feeling on mid to heavy stops."
Adjust it as you should (using a public scale), and use a top brake controller dialled in correctly and "it" returns to the la-la land from whence it sprang.
That might provide a happy feeling for those who are aware that "it" can occur with a PPP hitch and who have taken some of the steps to minimize the likelihood of "it" happening. However, those who are not aware and have not taken preventive measures should to be made aware.
I think the numerous 4-bar hitch users who have experienced loss of control or near loss of control while braking would disagree with your characterization of "it" being something which exists only in la-la land.
Adjusting the brake control is necessary for any setup, the HA is no different from any other tow combination. Singling out a particular hitch (or type) due to lack of proper setup by the TV operator is itself misleading. It may take a few tries to get the linkages correct -- to achieve best performance -- again, no different than other WDH's out there.
"Numerous" loss of control incidents? Due to hitch type or brand? That's a big set of jumps based on shaky allegations. Tire condition, type; then road surface condition, etc, make more sense to follow up on. Same with TT brakes. Where the rubber meets the road. The hitch itself is a ways further down that road after other variables are somehow accounted.
Proper setup of the hitch, proper brake gain control, proper TT brake electrical and mechanical adjustment; TV & TT tires in their aspects (type, age, condition, pressure, etc), road surface type, condition, weather, terrain . . it's a long list of large and small before a hitch design is "the problem". The variable of the driver is left out due to politeness, but is still the weakest link any of us would agree.
I also had that bump. Its scary if you are not expecting it. Mine was going down an off ramp. I adjusted my brake control and havent had it since. I still use a HA despite of this. It makes for a very relaxed drive.
I wanted to try out the pullrite since they do make one for my van. The expense, non-transferring to a different truck, not being able to use the hitch as a regular hitch, rerouting my exhaust, and how it looks in the stored position was just weird looking were the reasons I passed. Too bad since I also believe it would be the ultimate hitch.
2006 Ford E350 Van (standard length)
V10, 3.73, 5 Star Tuner, Hellwig Rear Sway Bar, Prodigy BC, Hensley Arrow Hitch
Some HA/PP owners say that the only people who deny the potential benefits of a 4-bar linkage hitch are people who've never had one.
I would say that the only people who deny the existence of the "4-bar bump" are people who've never experienced one.
I wouldnt have believed it (or how severe it could be) until it happened to me. If you have your trailer brakes leading from the get go and dont understand how the 4 bar linkage works (most dont) then it would be hard to convince someone that it can happen. Especially when the hitch gives them such a stable towing experience. I for one think that HA and PP should make people aware. When it happened to me, I thought my TT got rear ended coming off the exit of the freeway. Thats what if felt like.
It amazes me that we can’t discuss a product that has a issue intelligently with what I consider a critical flaw without the fierce loyalty for the product aiding and abetting the mfg in glossing over the flaw as something less than it is or can be…
it would seem that the loyal users would be the most concerned with not only bringing the issue to the surface but finding real solutions…
While adjusting the gain on the controller may prevent the problem under normal conditions, it in my opinion is not the solution and does not eliminate the root problem… and I do believe the root problem can be solved if the great minds at HA and PP set it as a priority…
A while back there was a u-tube video where a camera was mounted to the tailgate of the TV and it clearly showed the HA bump and it was violent… unfortunately the video and all mention of it has been removed…
The conspiracy crowd can most likely come up with a story for why that might of happened…
IMHO, You should be able to throw your brake controller out the window and not have the kind of movement I saw in that video…
if that type of movement is normal under any circumstances I wouldn’t have a HA myself, even though I acknowledge all of the positives that the HA has…
Some discussion on the video
Hi I am the poster of the YouTube video on the HA hitch. Let me assure you I do not work for any hitch company. This video was shot about 1.5 years ago. My brand new truck, that this video was shot with is a 2008 Chevrolet Duramax/Allison transmission, 4 door, short box. The trailer was also brand new 500miles on it, so the brakes were run in. The trailer is a 32 foot KZ Durango with a GVWR of 12,000lbs. The brake controller was a prodigy.
This is no joke I spent my hard earned dough to buy what I thought was the safest towing experience for my wife and I, as we are spending 5 years traveling.
I shot this video for the President of Hensley Hitch. When I explained this problem to both the help desk operator and then the President of Hensley on the phone, they said it was absolutely impossible for this to happen because of THEIR DESIGN. The videos I shot were to prove to the President that this scenario can and does happen. While not all the time in far to many instances.
I wished someone else had shot a video like this to show me what could go wrong in a bad scenario. I would not have wasted the $800 on shipping, brokerage, taxes, etc to try this out. I only ever heard good testimonials and never this scenario. The HA bump can be a significant thing in the wrong scenario.
My largest concern was the lack of interest exhibited by the company in admitting there is such an issue. They flat outright refused to admit that this could ever happen.
I find one members comments about the fact he plans for a 6" swing and off-track situation when towing with his HA scary. I hope he never has a panic stop around me.
I have returned the HA for a full refund as per their 30 day money back warranty. I do not use the HA hitch and have put on a complete 17,000lb Reese hitch assembly with Dual Cam Sway controls.
My goal is not to make anyone look bad but just to let people know the truth about our experience. I realize there are many HA users who are very happy, we are just not one of them. Perhaps certain trucks, cars and trailers are a good fit, ours was not.
* This post was
edited 06/03/12 01:48pm by JJBIRISH *
Love my mass produced, entry level, built by Lazy American Workers, Hornet
Again I agree with JJ and Ron Gratz... The "bump" is a real product of the 4 bar hitch and just because you haven't experienced it, doesn't mean it's not there or can occur at the most inopportune time...
Both the Hensley and Propride are very good hitches and I towed thousands of miles with my Henskey without incident... However, that little man always sits in the back of my head remembering when the bump did occur and how I almost lost control of the rig at the time...
While there are disadvantages to the Pullrite such as exhaust lowering, loos of spare tire storage in some instances , and the hitch not transferring to different vehicles easily, I never, ever, ever, had any issues with it at all when towing with it - it was just ROCK SOLID STABLE under ALL driving conditions!!!
If I had to find any fault with it at all, it would be that it was rather difficult for me to move my TT over just a few inches within the confines of my driveway and that was due to the limited space I had to turn the truck for the proper movement of the trailer and the slower response of the trailer due to the type of hitch that it is...
The Hensley Bump Is a real phenomenon. However It is the result of not having your brake controller set ahead enough. Or it can occur if you coast or drift into a turn. It will not randomly happen. It does not occur in a typical panic stop.
It is important to understand how a 4 point linkage hitch works, and how the infamous bump plays into the system.
In short the bump does exist however it can be totally eliminated by first setting the brake controller properly and second avoid coasting into turns or curves. Proper braking set up and technique eliminates the bump.
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