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Old 02-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
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Post Hensley Cub vs Vibe 6504

Hi,

I've purchased a 2014 Vibe 6504 and a Hensley a Cub is "in the mail".

I understand the Hensley won't 'plug-n-play' on the Vibe. If anybody has any experience, let me know.

Meanwhile, I'll post my progress, as I work to get this to fit...

So far, I know I'll have to get the load bar chain frame brackets welded to the frame.

Thanks
Eric
Ontario
2009 Dodge Grand Caravan (with factory tow)
late2014 Vibe 6504
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:24 PM   #2
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Copied from another thread...these are more relevant in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
Can I ask how you are going to attach the Hensley Cub to the vibe. With the V nose there is no room for the spring bar jacks. also attaching the brackets for the strut bars will be hard because the body of the trailer sits on the frame where the brackets need to go. I would hate to see you spend that kind of money and not be able to install the hitch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellReyn89 View Post
I am in agreement as it was my understanding when I bought my Vibe the Fastway E-2 was one of the few WDH/sway products that could be used. The reason I think they pre-welded the tabs at the factory.
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Old 02-20-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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The Cub comes with typical 'snap up' bar chain pins...not the jacks anymore.

They also have an optional 'almost' 0clearance bracket that the chain hangs from. You couple, jack up both the TT's nose and TV's butt, slip the chain onto the bracket, and when you lower the jack the WD preload occurs. More or less chain = less or more WD preload.

This L bracket needs ~1/2" clearance, for 3/16 top plate and the 3/8" Ubolt that secures it to the frame. (This bracket also holds the sidestrut)

If there is absolutely no clearance, I'll get my local fab shop to cut the top 'L' off and just weld the plate onto the side of the frame.

I'll keep yous posted, since it's worth knowing for The Collective.
I certainly would have liked to been able to find out first...

Thanks
Eric
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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 02-20-2014, 04:25 PM   #4
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Copied over from another thread...these are more relevant in this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Vibe View Post
I have one of the first 6501's and it did not come with the brackets preinstalled. So I had to get the L brackets for my E2 welded on.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:52 AM   #5
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Whew....

Picked up my trailer today.
Old School'd it down the highway to the welder guy. Jiggly-Wiggly...didn't like it at all.
Erik (the Welder Guy) did an awesome job welding my brackets on.
Then I spent an hour in a gravel parking lot, installing the Hensley Cub. It was hard/repetitive that I was able to pin it alone.
Return trip, up the highway, felt much much better. The anti-sway might not have had so much effect, but the weight distribution was great!
...supper time at the inlaws...
...time to pack the family and head back home....
<gasp>. It's snowing!, kinda happy light though...,no biggie.
...
Almost 4 hrs later (usually 2) finally home and even managed to back this thing in, kinda good enough for tonight.
.
I don't have enough fingers to measure the whiskey shot I needed to have.
.
A newbie hauling in a full-on mini blizzard was just too much. I was ABSing every stop and TCSing every go...and I'm talking 10kph or less. I rarely saw pavement.,..where the hell are all the snowplows these days, anyway?
Did see an almost inverted giant SUV in the 407 ditch....that was cool.
...
Just wanted to check in. I'll be detailing, with pics, shortly...
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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 03-18-2014, 01:38 AM   #6
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Install Pics

Here are the pics for the install...

The 'Spring Chain Hanger Bracket' has to be welded on. The front edge of the bracket has to sit 25.5" (+/- 0.5") from the CenterLine of the coupler/ball.

We loosened the two nose/frame bracket bolts, and that gave enough slack to manage to tap-tap/slide the brackets in against the rail. Otherwise, the top L-angle part of the bracket would have to be cut off...I managed to 'jam' it in under the floor, above the rail.

The rubber moulding excess, bent & screwed underneath, had to be removed, to allow the bracket install. The moulding excess was trimmed and re-screwed after.

Erik (Owner of Trailers Niagara - custom trailer manufacturing) had to put a sheet metal heat shield up against the floor, to avoid burning the tyvek? floor under-covering.
The sheet metal should go in before grinding off the paint, also. Mine didn't and the tyvek? got ripped buy the wire brush. No biggie, I fixed it with sealant.

Once the brackets were on, it was fun times out in a gravel parking lot...in the winter...at 5pm. I managed though, as described in post above.

You may be wondering how to set the weight distribution? The only way is to hitch up and then jack the whole damn thing even higher up. I had to jack the whole rig, up about 4" in order to get enough bar/chain slack, that I could place the 3rd link over the pin on the bracket. That chain length put my van almost back at stock ride height...or so it seemed....when I undid the jack.
I've bought a Husky 4500lb electric jack (from Costco.ca!) to replace the puny cranker...and to save my puny arms.
I'm also going to hit the local CAT scales and measure out the van's natural Front/Rear 'normal loaded' axle weights. Then I'll hitch up and try different spring bar-chain lengths to see if I can bring the van axle weights back to stock. I figure if I can do that, then the van's handling should be as safe as possible. (I still have to do some research on my line of thought...surely someone has already figured out the proper way to load a WD hitch....)










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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 03-18-2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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Looks like they did a good job of installing the bracket.
Does you van have the self leveling rear suspension?
Did you measure the distance from the ground to the wheel well?
You should adjust the WDH so that the distance unloaded and loaded on the front is the same (or very close)
From what I have read to get the WDH setup you will need to disable the selfleveling and then set up the hitch so you get the weight back on the front wheels.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:57 PM   #8
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Yes, the van has some weirdo 'hydraulically pumped from the body wiggle' type of shock that will return the rear to normal ride height. Sachs Nevomat shock, I think?

I did not measure the wheel wells. I know my hitch inside top edge sits ~12" on average during normal driving. (lots of: drive, stop easy, jump out, measure...repeat). Before I hitched up, I measured the inside top edge. Then I hitched and 'loaded' to bring the inside top edge back to pretty close. (kinda coarse adjustment with chain links)

<phew> I have no idea how I would disable the self-levelling on these shocks. It's all self contained...and at (apparently) $800 a set...I'm not going to tinker with them.

I am also going to hit the local CAT scales to see how the axles are loaded, thru various setups...
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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 03-19-2014, 07:52 AM   #9
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I believe you can pull a fuse to disable the shocks. But if you go to a cat scale that will give you the best measurment. Just make sure when you go to the scale the trailer and van are loaded as they would be for a camping trip. You will have to be carfull with your weights as you will be over loading the van very quickly (I towed a 6501, 400 lbs lighter than your 6504, with a sedona minivan and I was maxed out with just the two of use and the dog.)
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:53 AM   #10
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Nope on pulling a fuse. Read the link, above, about the Nevomat shocks. Entirely self-contained/actuated hydraulic system.

Yep on the loading. I did the curb+dry math and I've got about 1200# GCWR to spare (driver+full gas+empty trailer). Actually more like 1000#, since the Hensley Cub weighs ~150# and full propane + essential accessories will easily eat the other 50#.

We'll have to put the kids on a diet!

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...but, could you imagine if you got pulled over on Labour Day weekend...or worse out in California...

It'll be awhile before I hit the scales...but I'll post it...
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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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