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Old 06-15-2009, 06:07 PM   #1
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Hensley Arrow Hitch -

Other than the pricetag, has anyone used or have any opinions on the Hensley Arrow Hitch? We just brought our 2007 Salem LE 27BH home last Saturday, and the 30 mile drive was horrendous - we were all over the road and I have never been so scared. The hitch and "sway bar" the dealer connected for us just doesnt give me any confidence. We bought an inexpensive TT, but we would have never compromised on price where safety was a concern. We thought we were being taken care of as we told the dealer several times we were green, but we addressed our safety issues and concerns and told them we wanted as much sway control as possible. We are newbies, firstime RVers, and this was a nightmare. The dealer installed one friction sway bar, and this obviously isnt enough. The hitch system makes so much noise we thought our transmission was falling out. We are so dissatisfied with the entire setup. My husband poured over the internet and found the Hensley. Does anyone have any advice on this system? Thanks much. I love this forum. PJ

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Old 06-15-2009, 06:48 PM   #2
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Dealer should have sold you Reese dual cam hitch setup or Equalizer hitch at the very least. No need to go for Hensley expense unless money is no object. The friction sway control may work up to 21' but not much more. Your trailer is 27-28' long with gvwr of approx 7500# . Hope your tow vehicle is up to the task. I would demand a refund. If this guy sells rv's for a living????

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Old 06-15-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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What he said, The dealer should have set you up with a better sway control system. I was towing a 30 footer with a friction sway system and always had a small amount of sway, even with the sway bar just as tight as I could make it. I upgraded to a 34 ft TT and searched this forum for a solution. The general opinion was to go for either the Reese dual cam or the E-qualizer systems. I opted for the Reese dual cam as a friend of mine had one and swore by it. Well...The reese has done all I hoped for and then some. Good luck
2008 Dodge Ram 4X4 Quad cab LB 2500 Cummins 6.7L TD / 2013 Columbus 320rs. Camped 50 days in 2015. RIP Angel the camping Cat, we will miss you.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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I also agree with the others. I'm on my second trailer and this is the second one with the Dual Cam setup. The first trailer was 27' and the current is 33' -- I wouldn't use anything else.
Also, an important item missing is -- what are you towing with? I am assuming it is something in the 1/2 ton class?
Both of my trailers have been towed using an Expedition for many thousands of miles.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:51 PM   #5
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I have the same camper sold under the Wildwood brand. I have a friction sway device and it does a pretty good job. I pulled it to Yellowstone last year and everything went fine. What kind of tow vehicle do you have? I have a friend who uses the Hensley setup and it's a pretty cool concept, crazy expensive and very heavy... With a little tweaking you may be able to get your current setup to work.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:39 AM   #6
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Hensley Hitch

Thank you all so VERY much for the responses. We felt this very well known RV dealer should have set us up with something better as well. Our TV is a Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0, Trailerlife stated up to 6700 pounds, trailer weight is 4790. TV manual said 11,000 total. Again, we were told by the dealer the TV was fine.
Does the Dual Reese Cam make as much noise/grinding/popping as the current setup given to us? Thanks again for the quick responses as we want this resolved ASAP so we can take her on our maiden voyage, and I want hubby to feel safe and not have a "white knuckle" experience.

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Old 06-16-2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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You've come to a good place to ask questions and find useful help. Even I'll try and help a little.

I believe that most of your problem is that you didn't have enough tongue weight and your TV tires probably wern't inflated to the max. That coupled with the fact that one friction sway bar isn't nearly enough, caused the issues you had.

<< Below is my honest belief. Please don't take it the wrong way >>

"NEVER use any type sway control hitch to mask a bad setup!!!! Make sure your setup is as good as it can be then add sway control as insurance.

You should be able to safely tow your RV without any sway control devices on a straight, level road with no wind and it not sway." I would never recommend or condone towing without sway control. I'm just saying that on a perfect day you should be able to.

That said, I agree that you need a better hitch and it needs to set up properly.

In order to make your rig safe and happy you need to load the RV for camping and go to the nearest scale and weigh it and the vehicle. Hooked up and unhooked. If you don't know how, please ask here and some of us will give you a detailed explanation of how to do it.

You should inflate your tires to the max sidewall pressure.
You should shoot for 12% of the RV weight on the tongue.
You should have the WD (weight distribution) hitch set up to transfer the weight properly.
You should have your brakes and brake controller set up properly.

If you do all these things you should be able to have a much less stressful tow.

I have the Equal-i-zer and am very happy with it but for you I'd recommend the Reese Straight Line Dual Cam. You complain about the noise and the Dual Cam makes a little less noise than the Equal-i-zer. BUT, they all make noise. The noise you're hearing now is most likely the friction bar. They grunt pretty loud when they're tight.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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While a Dual Cam is definitely better than a friction sway bar, you need to make sure the hitch is properly setup. most of the time the stability problem stems from the hitch not being properly setup and insufficient tongue weight. I don`t know how many times I`ve seen people say the Hensley cured thier sway problems when in reality it may have been nothing more than tweeking their current hitch.

Double check that you have enough tongue weight and then check to make sure the hitch is distributing enough weight. follow the instructions closely.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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You may not have enough tow vehicle. The Ford manual gives 5620 as the max trailer weight for a 2000 explorer with a 5.0 engine and 3.55 gearing. 3.73 gearing is rated at 6620 pounds. You also have a very shory wheelbase for a tow vehicle. Your Mountaineer is basically the same vehicle. Also gives 10,000 pounds as max total weight of tv and trailer. Get it weighed. Also go to Mercury or Ford to look up specs, they built it, not Trailer Life magazine. You can find the numbers for your vehicle inside the driver's door on a white label.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
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We pulled our 28' Rockwood with a 2001 V6 Nissan Pathfinder no problem and our friends still pull their 28'Rockwood with an Olds Bravada with a 6 cyl. No problems as long as hitch is setup properly. I think you TV will be ok.It is not optimal but will do the job satisfactorily Just keep speeds to max 60 MPH which I think is max speed anyone should tow at no matter what their TV is. Reese is only noticable for noise at low speeds when turning and backing up. It is not that noticable or annoying.

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