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Old 03-20-2014, 08:26 AM   #11
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All the best to you, don't want to get into a weight police argument. You may want to make sure your friend has had the suspension inspected on his hyundai (same van as the KIA) as they have a problem with the A arms rusting (I had a recall from KIA on this) and with the weight he has that could be a problem.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:35 AM   #12
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Wow. Thanks for the A-arm warning. I'll pass that on...
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2014 Forest River Vibe 6504 (4400# Lippert axle, AxleTek-10-GG self-adjust? drum brakes, Michelin LTX M/S2 P235/75R15-XL-108T) <> 2009 Grand Caravan SXT (4.0L/6spd-62TE), Factory Tow Package, Can-Am RV 'reinforced' OEM ClassIII & 7pin, Michelin Premier A/S 225/65R16-100H) <> Hensley Cub Arrow <> Tekonsha P3 brake controller <> McKesh Mirrors with 8" Convex
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:17 PM   #13
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Enjoy the camping and the drive. that hitch makes everything easy .Might watch your trailer tires mine didn't last long at all cheap!!
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sponge1971 View Post
... I'm pretty sure I'll blow over by a couple/few hundred on the hitch rating...but seriously...a ClassIII rated at only 3800?! I know a guy who's been pulling ~6000# (loaded 23or26'er) with a Hyundai (+full family) for a few years now...and he's doing just fine...he says. I'm all factory tow'd up, so I'm pretty confident my van could do the same ...
NOT!

I don't remember why I bounced off Can-Am RV Center (in London,Ontario) ... BTW, the same place my friend went to get all setup for the big 6k pull ... But I now understand why he's been getting away with it. They reinforce the tow vehicle receiver, so that all the tow weight and levelling torsion doesn't just pound on a couple of bumper bolts...like my OEM hitch does.

After seeing their videos, pics & magazine articles that mentioned poor quality OEM hitches twisting...I thought I'd have a look under my van...
I expected to see the typical Reese: big-square-tube-with-arms-and-8-bolt-holes-all-over-the-place...like my truck had. Instead, I saw an 8"? flat plate welded to some bumper bar? which is bolted into the frame? at the corners...with a chunk of 2" square tube welded into the bottom of the plate.(ok, so there's a 2nd plate welded to the front of the bumper bar too.) ... this is not like what I saw Can-Am does. FWIW, go check it out...it's pretty impressive...weight police or not.


I've got an appointment with them to reinforce my van's OEM receiver. My wallet will be a little lighter, but so will my concerns about a bad bump ripping the ass end off my van...I'd rather not end up dragging my trailer around by it's BreakAway cable...(mine is ridiculously hard to pull out).

I spent all this time doing the Hensley thing and it never dawned on me to actually eyeball under the van to see where the other end of the Hensley goes. Secondly, with all this 'Projected Pivot Point' Hensley voodoo going on...what other stress is my receiver seeing that is unusual...no doubt there is some 'yaw' going on between the stinger and the receiver tube...along with the yank and twist.
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2014 Forest River Vibe 6504 (4400# Lippert axle, AxleTek-10-GG self-adjust? drum brakes, Michelin LTX M/S2 P235/75R15-XL-108T) <> 2009 Grand Caravan SXT (4.0L/6spd-62TE), Factory Tow Package, Can-Am RV 'reinforced' OEM ClassIII & 7pin, Michelin Premier A/S 225/65R16-100H) <> Hensley Cub Arrow <> Tekonsha P3 brake controller <> McKesh Mirrors with 8" Convex
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:32 AM   #15
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Thumbs up Reciever Reinforced

It's been a 1000k since I had my reciver reinforced...

Wow! What a difference. I need more time to detail & pics...but let me tell yous quickly:

My OEM receiver was bent all to hell. (that's why it was so easy to pin up the Hensley...the stinger would 'shift' to suit any misalignments)

Can Am straightened the OEM and then welded a tube back to just above the rear axle. They said the OEM 'bumper-hang-down' portion was good and solid. But now the reciever isn't just an 8" tube welded under the bumper. It's 48" long and the end is welded above the rear axle. Now the WD torsion will actually push the front down...not twist the bumper. Also, the side-to-side yaw (from the Hensley) is distributed across a wide triangle, not just the 2" of bumper welds.

Now, pinning the Hensley is a PITA (no flex to compensate for mis-alignment)...but the trailer tows like a dream. I honestly can't say I noticed 'much' difference from before...but I'm sure things would have gotten ugly, with all that stress on the weak bumper.
(my hitch cam shows that the stinger doesn't wiggle around now, though.)

We loaded up for a 2 week 1000km trip. I'm certain my Tongue Weight was way light...maybe even negative? The cargo was stuffed and the nosecone was empty. However, I was able to drive over the Burlington Skyway in heavy winds...with no issues. The entire rig was 'moved around' abit, but it wasn't tail wagging...just buffeting. Like normal driving with semis or popping out from under a bridge on windy days. I've never towed anything before, so I can't relate to 'white knuckling' ... I was 'alert'... still being a noobie...but it was no biggie at all. Now?...<hmpppfft>...whatever...

This setup is pure magic. It's not cheap..but the 90% peace of mind is priceless. And, I bought this with the plan to do cross-Canada tripping.

(the final 10% piece of mind will come when I replace those POS tires.)
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2014 Forest River Vibe 6504 (4400# Lippert axle, AxleTek-10-GG self-adjust? drum brakes, Michelin LTX M/S2 P235/75R15-XL-108T) <> 2009 Grand Caravan SXT (4.0L/6spd-62TE), Factory Tow Package, Can-Am RV 'reinforced' OEM ClassIII & 7pin, Michelin Premier A/S 225/65R16-100H) <> Hensley Cub Arrow <> Tekonsha P3 brake controller <> McKesh Mirrors with 8" Convex
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:43 AM   #16
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The Hensley is the way to go IMO. I've seen really old ones that still worked great. the owner justed switched it to their new trailers as they got them.
I used to be sceptical about CanAm RV, but after seeing what they do, I agree. Fantastic workmanship and sound designs.
I'm copying some of them on our TV's hitch.
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Old 05-27-2015, 11:57 PM   #17
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Sponge1971 - Do you have an update?
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:27 AM   #18
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Update...

A new season is here! yay!

We've already been out for a 'shake down' run at our local provincial park. All went well. No over-winter free loaders made it into the trailer.

As for the Hensley, I'm pretty good at pinning it now. I built a stinger-cam so I can just 'drive' it into the box. easy peasy...

I *just* got new tires for the trailer. I went with the CanAm RV recommended Michelin LTX M/S2 P235/75R15 XL (2183# @ 50psi). I haven't rolled with them yet. (gonna do brake check and bearing re-lube...) However, I am impressed. I carried both original el-crapo wheels into Canadian Tire. But I could not carry both 'new' wheels out. These things just fill you with confidence. I also kept the el-crapo tires. When I picked them up, I couldn't believe how flimsy they felt. I can easily compress the contact patch flat. It just feels like the carcass is belted with string. BTW the stock tires were Power Towing Trail Express ST225/75R15-C (2150# @ 50psi)

I mentioned the CanAm RV hitch reinforcement I had done. Now I have the pics to post:

original Factory hitch. just a chunk of square tube hanging off the bottom of the bumper bar. it was twisted up about 20degrees, due to the torque from the Hensley load-leveling effort. The guy had to put a 20' bar on it and bend it back level.
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View of the hitch/bumper bar as it mounts to the rear frame.
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Fortified installation. you can see how the load-leveling torque will pry off the frame (just behind rear axle) and lift the rear bumper properly.
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Final setup, on my way back home...
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They told me to load the bars so that the van sat level, equal fender heights vs ground.
I stopped at a weight scale and measured this:
F-2739# (just me)
R-2332# (no cargo)
T-3773# (loaded, empty tanks, no luggage, no food/water/amenities)

All in all I would say the Hensley vs the Vibe has been an AWESOME combination. I very highly recommend this special hitch..but even more recommend you make sure your tow vehicle receiver is up to snuff, considering the load-leveeing torque it will see. A truck 'should' be ok, but your SUV and mini-van'ers had better make sure...You don't need to go to a specialty RV shop for this. Just get a reputable weld shop to help you out. They should immediately understand the physics and be able to weld up a very strong solution. I guarantee you will notice a difference!
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2014 Forest River Vibe 6504 (4400# Lippert axle, AxleTek-10-GG self-adjust? drum brakes, Michelin LTX M/S2 P235/75R15-XL-108T) <> 2009 Grand Caravan SXT (4.0L/6spd-62TE), Factory Tow Package, Can-Am RV 'reinforced' OEM ClassIII & 7pin, Michelin Premier A/S 225/65R16-100H) <> Hensley Cub Arrow <> Tekonsha P3 brake controller <> McKesh Mirrors with 8" Convex
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