Originally Posted by ryand
Sean- would you be kind enough to summarize the benefits of the P3 over the Hensley?
I will but I don't want to step outside the forum's rules. If this information does please feel free to delete this post...
As I said, both the 3P hitch and the Arrow hitch operate through a linkage system that projects the effective pivot point of the travel trailer to 52" forward of the actual hitch ball. This eliminates the leverage that the trailer will have on the tow vehicle when the towed with a conventional hitch.
Jim Hensley's original design patents addressed the mechanism for this projection. He licensed those patents to a man named Colin Connel who started the company Hensley Mfg., Inc. Jim Hensley never sold anything to the company named after him. He only licensed his patents to them. Through the years Jim continued to make improvements to his original design but the company never licensed any of them. In 2007, ProPride licensed all of Jim Hensley's patents to improve his original design.
What improvements have been made in the ProPride 3P design?
An adjustable hitch bar to match different tow vehicle and trailer tow heights. This will save the 3P hitch owner $100-$150 in shipping charges in the future should a different offset hitch bar be needed for a new tow vehicle or trailer. The Hensley Arrow uses a welded hitch bar and the company offers a "free" exchange. Free isn't accurate due to the customer being required to pay the shipping of the new bar and return shipping of the old bar.
The hitch bar wedges and the hitch box have a greater angle to help in hitching and unhitching without the bar sticking in the hitch head. Hitching and unhitching the 3P is MUCH easier than the Arrow. This is the feature that many of our customers who have owned Arrows in the past comment on most frequrently.
A one piece yoke holds the hitch head square to the front of the trailer and doesn't allow pivoting on the ball. This replaces the strut bars on the Arrow hitch. The independent strut bars do become loose from time to time on the Arrow hitch and allow the trailer to sway. When two independent strut bars must work together as one piece there is twice the probability of a problem. A SINGLE WELDED yoke will not become loose. Even if a frame bracket slips the yoke will not allow the trailer to sway. If an Arrow frame bracket slips it will allow the hitch head to pivot side to side and may damage the hitch.
The 3P hitch requires NO drilling into the frame for installation. Holes placed in the trailer frame weaken the frame. We do not think it is a good idea to drill holes in the trailer frame and weaken it. The Arrow requires holes to be drilled in the frame to hold the frame bracket.
The weight distribution jacks sit on top of the frame rather than hang on a pin outside of the frame. This provides better leverage for the spring bars by moving the tail ends of the bars closer together and also eliminates any possibility of the pin bending like can happen in the Arrow design.
The spring bars on the 3P are bolted into the hitch head rather than a hanging on a spring loaded keeper like with the Arrow. The bolt in design will not wear and allow the spring bar to fall out of the bottom of the head.
The steel is properly pre-treated for powder coating. This will help prevent against chipping and rusting. The Hensley Arrow paint problem is well documented on the internet. To date, not one issue has been reported with the 3P hitch. This will insure longer life for your hitch.
The control links are thicker. The control links are under a great load so the 3P increased the strength to prevent any bending.
The 3P hitch box has been reinforced to eliminate warping of the top edge of the box. Over time, the top edge of the Arrow hitch box bends under the weight distribution load. This diminishes the effectiveness of the weight distribution. The 3P hitch box design addressed this issue and solved it.
That's the differences in a nutshell.
I hope this helps.