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Old 03-14-2019, 11:13 PM   #1
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New Truck, Old Trailer and Hitch

For about the last five years I have pulled my Primetime Lacrosse 329 with my 2014 Cummins Ram 2500 short bed crew cab. The truck pulled like a locomotive, stopped well, rode decent, but was recalled more than every other vehicle I have ever had combined. Stability wise towing was mostly good (the rear suspension on the truck was always a little squirmy with the coil springs vs. leaf springs) so I switched to a Hensley Arrow about 4 years ago. The Hensley was great going forward but backing up and hooking up (especially in tight maneuvering ) are not it's strong points.


I replaced the Ram with a 2019 Ford F350 crew cab 4WD dually. The new Ford has about 2 tons more payload capacity and about a 7 ton. Decided to go with the dually because the SRW 1 ton did not add much capacity over the 3/4 ton. The new Ford has a 3" receiver hitch with a 21K tow rating and a 2100 pound tongue weight rating. Only real downside on the truck is the turning radius - somewhere between a battleship and a glacier. Because the Lacrosse is only going to be running at about 50% hitch capacity I am thinking about ditching the Hensley and going to a straight hitch. A straight ball hookup is a lot easier to deal with and maneuver into tight spots (plus more ground clearance at the hitch). I have seen a lot of rv haulers pulling trailers even bigger than this one with no sway control or weight bars and they seem to do ok, plus I could go back to the old friction bar hitch if needed. Any thoughts on this idea?
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:42 PM   #2
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One comment, if your new truck has a rear-view camera, you will find hooking up a lot easier. My F150 has one and I really haven't had an issue plugging the stinger into the hitch. The camera has zoom capability and a guide line, so I get sort of close, zoom in and am able to line it up almost perfectly. I get out when I'm a couple of inches out, adjust the trailer height, then back in the rest of the way. Good luck on the new truck.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:21 AM   #3
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If I were you I wouldn't be concerned with going to a regular WDH setup. Unless your tongue weight is way out sway should not be an issue. Yes it may wag a little as you pass vehicles but that's not a true sway concern in my mind.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SailorSam20500 View Post
One comment, if your new truck has a rear-view camera, you will find hooking up a lot easier. My F150 has one and I really haven't had an issue plugging the stinger into the hitch. The camera has zoom capability and a guide line, so I get sort of close, zoom in and am able to line it up almost perfectly. I get out when I'm a couple of inches out, adjust the trailer height, then back in the rest of the way. Good luck on the new truck.

The Ram had a rear camera and the new Ford has the surround camera system, so that is not the problem. What is hard with the Hensley is stabbing it from an off angle. Straight on, easy peasy, trying to nail it at 35 degrees off center, PITA. One of the places that we like to go requires a lot of wiggling to get the trailer in, and with the new Ford being over two feet longer than the old Ram, that becomes more of a concern.
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Old 03-16-2019, 04:49 PM   #5
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The infallible innerweb says your TT GVWR is ~ 11,000 lbs. If that is true then the research I've done suggests that your choices are Hensley, Propride or Blue Ox. Since you have the Hensley I'd suggest sticking with it unless you simply cannot abide it anymore. In which case you should investigate Blue Ox and then make your decision.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:24 AM   #6
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Pick up a used Reese, Curt, etc from Craigslist and give it a try. If you don't like it, you can always resell it on Craigslist.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:27 PM   #7
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A parallel situation on a smaller scale.

My RAM 1500 is towing a 4000# GVWR pop-up. Tongue weight <500#. Tow capacity on the RAM is 7700 pounds. Max hitch weight on the RAM is unknown because i'm nowhere near close.

No WDH needed.
But I do have airbags to deal with the (as you know) softly sprung RAM's tendency to wallow and porpoise. It did that with a 2000# (wet) PUP that didn't even have brakes because it was so light. Based on that experience, I installed the bags when I took delivery of the pop-up-ma-hal. The air bags are transformational. I also boost the tire pressure in the rears on the TV by 5 to 10 PSI when hooked and loaded to deal with the weight.

The trailer doesn't tax the TV at all...under any circumstances. I recently towed 90 miles across the plains NE of Denver through cross-winds up to 65 MPH on a road where about 35% of the traffic is semis and other trucks. Zero issues with stability.

So I think your plans to experiment with not using the WDH are reasonable considering that your new TV is such an overmatch for your trailer. But, for the first few trips you might toss the hardware into the truck bed just in case you experience an unexpected case of the wiggles. Also bear in mind that trailer stability has a lot to do with how you load the trailer, whether you're riding level, and what percentage of the trailer's GVWR is dedicated to tongue weight.

Enjoy your new truck. There's nothing like overkill.

P.S. be very aware of those rear fenders sticking out. It's easy to forget they are there, because all the visual cues from the cab can lead you to forget about all that extra width behind you. I see LOTS of duallies with damaged rear fenders from cutting turns too tight.
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Old 03-18-2019, 05:44 AM   #8
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I don't know what the manual for your truck says so I would make sure I followed it to the letter...

My truck doesn't require a wdh up to the 2000lbs maximum tongue weight. I have a toyhauler and the load varies almost every time it gets pulled...I weigh the tongue every pull and I've seen 950 to 1500 tongue weight. Because of this loading issue a wdh would need to be adjusted every pull so I decided to keep the trailer loaded tongue heavy no matter what I'm bringing with and give it a go without a wdh. Trailer weighs about 9500 loaded up.

We drove across the windy plans (4 times) and through the eastern mountains (2 times) at the speed limit with absolutely no issues. Totally relaxed.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:55 AM   #9
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The SRW F-350 has a payload of about 3,775 and the DRW is 7,044. SRW is still pretty respectable.
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