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Open Roads Forum  >  Towing

 > Curious: difference between a WD hitch and Hensley Arrow

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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 09/25/20 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you're looking for something more affordable, we had great luck with our Reese Dual Cam WD & sway control setup.

I started out with the Reese Weight Distribution hitch and it was great, but the big rigs still pushed me around. I added the Dual Cam sway control and it was a game changer.

If we ever get another big bumper pull, I'll probably go with the Reese again.


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RobWNY

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Posted: 09/26/20 05:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BurbMan wrote:

The primary difference is that the Hensley design uses a 4-bar linkage to eliminate sway. Rather than allowing the trailer to pivot on the hitch ball like a regular WD hitch, the 4-bar linkage locks the movement of the trailer on the ball and uses geometry to create a "virtual pivot point" that is forward of the rear axle of the tow vehicle, making a TT tow like a 5er.

I had the ProPride hitch which is the "upgrade" over the Hensley Arrow. Both of those hitches are fantastic hitches and do what they are designed to do but towing a 5er, which is what I have now, is heads and shoulders a better experience than with either of those hitches.


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Lantley

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Posted: 09/26/20 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Once upon a time I towed a 36' 11KGVW TT with a Hensley and a 7.3 PSD Excursion.
It was a fantastic combo. It towed as well as my current fiver.


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BackOfThePack

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A Hensley-patent hitch is night & day different. Makes all other types obsolete. Sway is guaranteed eliminated. Handling problems (solutions) are now limited to the TV, and even MPG improved as trailer DOES NOT move out of alignment thus reducing a huge number of minor steering corrections (especially with adverse wind direction).

A 5er is a pig to tow in comparison. Top-heavy & unstable. Any winds and it’s time to stop.

Set the hitch as with any other (same as 5er): Steer Axle same weight value solo or hitched.

The trailer cannot move out of alignment UNLESS the TV initiates a turn.


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Seon

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Posted: 09/26/20 07:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently replaced my class c with a TT that had a Husky WD. The OP set the WD on my TV and while driving home experienced the swaying when the big rig passed. That decided me to buy a Hensley which eliminated swaying and I don't regret spending the high $$ for piece of mind.

Here's a good video about Hensley.

https://hensleymfg.com/how-does-the-hensley-hitch-work/

Lantley

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Posted: 09/26/20 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BackOfThePack wrote:

A Hensley-patent hitch is night & day different. Makes all other types obsolete. Sway is guaranteed eliminated. Handling problems (solutions) are now limited to the TV, and even MPG improved as trailer DOES NOT move out of alignment thus reducing a huge number of minor steering corrections (especially with adverse wind direction).

A 5er is a pig to tow in comparison. Top-heavy & unstable. Any winds and it’s time to stop.

Set the hitch as with any other (same as 5er): Steer Axle same weight value solo or hitched.

The trailer cannot move out of alignment UNLESS the TV initiates a turn.

I would not go as far as to say fiver is a pig.
Fiver's do not require weight distribution. Weight is placed directly over axles. 5'er tows well right out the gate. I have towed both fiver and Hensley equipped TT.

aftermath

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Posted: 09/27/20 10:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To the OP,

1. There are WD hitches out there that distribute the weight between the trailer and TV. They level things out and return weight back to the front end of the TV.

2. A WD hitch by itself does not reduce sway. The first level to help this is the add on friction sway bar.

3. Today there are hitches that combine WD with Sway control at the same time. Andersons, Equalizer Brand and Reese hitches are examples of this.

4. The Hensley or Pro Pride are different, have an entirely different design and suggest that you will never have to worry about sway....ever. People who own these are high on them but this thread is the first time that I have heard an owner actually claim that aside from all the miraculous claims, they will increase MPG too! Wow!

I have been towing for over 20 years now and have ONLY used an Equalizer. Back in the day I had to get a hitch, I was looking for a quick and easy set up. I did not like any of the spring up chain type hitches for they were problematic when backing up. You had to disengage these before backing into your spot upon arriving. This has changed and is no longer an issue. The Hensley is heavy, and you have to back the truck into the stinger. Most owners say this is not an issue after you have sufficient experience and I will accept that. I only knew that after watching two different owners struggle with hooking up in a camp that was a bit off level, I decided that this was not for me.

I went with the Equalizer and have yet to experience any issues. If I did have trouble with WD or sway episodes I would look at a different hitch. But since I now have over 50K miles towing my current trailer without any issues, I am not in a hurry to get something "new". That and the cost of a new Henlsey keeps me happy with my setup. Hensley is a very good hitch, not question. The best? Perhaps, but.....is the extreme cost a justification to drop a hitch that works for me?


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goducks10

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Posted: 09/28/20 09:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've used a Hensley Arrow, Equalizer 4pt Sway control, Blue Ox, Eaz-Lift and an Andersen WDH. The Hensley was hands down the best.
With that being said, if you don't have a trailer that is a bit loose feeling then don't waste your money on an HA. While it is the best WDH IMO it is not needed if you have a rock steady trailer using any friction based WDH.
If you have the money and want the best even though it's not needed then go for it. You won't be disappointed.

ACZL

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Posted: 09/28/20 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to everyone who replied. Reason I asked was I have a relative w/ a Tahoe towing a 30'+ TT and heard he had his hands full recently towing w/ a very stiff wind. Doesn't have a HA but guess now he's considering it. Imo tho, he'll still have a problem in that he has a Tahoe towing this trailer. Think it's a '10-'13 era, IDK.


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BurbMan

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Posted: 09/28/20 11:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some unsolicited advice....yes, the Hensley or Propride will completely eliminate any sway issues and that Tahoe will tow that trailer as straight as an arrow with zero sway in any and all conditions. I towed a 34' with my Suburban.

Now for the bad news...that hitch design places a lot of stress on the receiver. I twisted my factory hitch receiver like a pretzel with the Hensley. Upgrading the receiver is an easy bolt-on but definitely advisable. Next is the rear differential...GM 1500 series trucks that is a weak like (I had a 2500). Would advise synthetic fluid if he's not already running it and a Mag-Hytec finned extra-capacity cover. Would also strongly advise adding a transmission temp gauge.

Think of it this way....a strong cross wind or load imbalance will exert a sway force on the trailer. The hitch resists that sway force, but in doing so applies much of it to the the tow vehicle.

Wheelbase and suspension stability help the tow vehicle resist those forces, and the Tahoe is at the minimum edge on both of those. If the lack of sway makes in turn makes the driver overconfident about the rig he might wind up in trouble with the Tahoe.


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