Hensley Arrow or Equal-I-Zer Hitch - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 04-29-2016, 10:31 PM   #1
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Hensley Arrow or Equal-I-Zer Hitch

I know that this discussion on other forums has got a little nasty, but I could not find the answer I was looking for.

I am lucky enough to own a Hensley Arrow and an equal-i-zer wd hitch. I am towing with an 02 Cadillac Escalade AWD with towing package. I am looking at buying a 2016 Kodiak 291RESL. This will be my first TT.

The Escalade has a max tongue weight of 820lbs. The Kodiak 291RESL has a tongue weight of 839lbs. I already over the weight limit. I am wondering what hitch I should use and how tongue weight effects the towing. I know all of the GCVWR, gas weight, passenger weight, cargo weight... I just have not been able to find much on the tongue weight. The Hensley Arrow is a heavy beast. It weighs in at around 190 lbs! Does that mean the my new tongue weight would be 1029lbs? I have read that with a WD hitch you can go over the max tongue weight, but I want to make sure. I do not want to cause a dangerous situation, and I do not want to hurt my TV. Thank you for all of the help!
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:08 AM   #2
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The more weight added to the rear of the vehicle the more weight is taken off of the steering gear. The steering gets light and the vehicle wanders and the tail starts wagging the dog.

Are the tongue weights you are quoting on the camper, dry weight or loaded?
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:38 AM   #3
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Based on your description I would not tow with the set up you are proposing. You are over the limits in all directions. No hitch in the world can over come that.

I have not towed with a Hensley, I have towed with the Equalizer and it is a good hitch and does what it says it will IF you have a tow vehicle that is properly sized for the trailer you are towing. I was towing a 1970's 31' Airstream with a F150. I did well on flat ground but was under powered in the mountains. FWIW the AS was right at the upper limit of what the truck was rated for. Tongue weight is only one item in a complicated set of calculations.

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Old 04-30-2016, 03:38 AM   #4
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The tongue weight is dry. That is what I was thinking, I didn't really trust those people that told me I could go over the hitch weight.

Luckily the TT is only 6300 dry, so I can put weight in the back to reduce the tongue weight (I Know not to reduce it too much). I will probably need to go with the equal-i-zer hitch because of the weight of the Hensley Arrow.

I am a pilot, so I am going to do the weight calculations on the trailer, like I would the airplane, before every trip. I just could not find any good info on hitch weight. There are way too many people that just don't care if they go over the hitch weight.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:23 PM   #5
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I do not use a weight distribution anti sway hitch. The new trucks come with anti sway and if you have a ultra light you do not need one if you tow within limits. It is just another way to get more money out of the uninformed. They are a waste of time and money for small ultra light trailers. Just another thing to mess with. If your trailer starts to fish tail just tap the trailer breaks and slow down. There I just saved you $500.00. Your welcome.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:51 PM   #6
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The tongue weight is dry. That is what I was thinking, I didn't really trust those people that told me I could go over the hitch weight.

Luckily the TT is only 6300 dry, so I can put weight in the back to reduce the tongue weight (I Know not to reduce it too much). I will probably need to go with the equal-i-zer hitch because of the weight of the Hensley Arrow.

I am a pilot, so I am going to do the weight calculations on the trailer, like I would the airplane, before every trip. I just could not find any good info on hitch weight. There are way too many people that just don't care if they go over the hitch weight.
Wise decision, you don't want to be white knuckling it down the interstate while your heading out on your first camping trip. Seen more than one camper upside down in the median because they were towing too much trailer for the tow vehicle.

If you upgrade your tow vehicle and you go to the Hensley, you won't want to go back. I have towed with a Hensley since our Airstream days, now that we're towing the brick on wheels I have come to appreciate the Hensley. We have driven I90 across the great plains in 60 MPH crosswinds, when you look in the mirrors you see the trailer getting buffeted around, but you feel nothing in the seat of your pants.

Just take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt. Do your research and make the decission that you are comfortable with.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:47 PM   #7
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Hi hddecker, I mean no disrespect but why on earth would you tow a travel trailer in 60 mph crosswinds? I for one would NEVER put myself or my loved ones in that kind of danger, not to mention everyone else on the road. It would not matter if you had a anti sway bar or not. 60 mph cross winds are very powerful and I hope the readers on this forum have better sense than to drive a travel trailer in such dangerous conditions.
Just take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt. Good advice!!!!
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:20 PM   #8
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Hi hddecker, I mean no disrespect but why on earth would you tow a travel trailer in 60 mph crosswinds? I for one would NEVER put myself or my loved ones in that kind of danger, not to mention everyone else on the road. It would not matter if you had a anti sway bar or not. 60 mph cross winds are very powerful and I hope the readers on this forum have better sense than to drive a travel trailer in such dangerous conditions.
Just take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt. Good advice!!!!
When you don't know what the crosswinds are while you're on the road and the trailer is not telegraphing anything you drive. I should have said gusting to sixty MPH, I only found out what the wind speed was when we stopped for fuel.
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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There is nothing unsafe about towing in a high wind environment...AS LONG AS YOU ARE PROPERLY SETUP FOR IT!!!

There are some places we travel that has high winds...sometimes steady, sometimes gusting. You must do your due diligence and properly equip yourself and drive with confidence.

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Old 05-01-2016, 01:50 PM   #10
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Hi calewjohnson. If you took a second to READ my post I said towing a travel trailer! You have a 5th wheel which is attached to the bed of your truck. There is a BIG differance between a 5th wheel and a travel trailer. A travel trailer is attached to the rear of a truck via a hitch ball. So I hope this explanation of the 2 different kinds helped you out. All the self confidence in the world will not do any good when a 60 mph wind knocks your travel trailer over.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:24 PM   #11
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Hi calewjohnson. If you took a second to READ my post I said towing a travel trailer! You have a 5th wheel which is attached to the bed of your truck. There is a BIG differance between a 5th wheel and a travel trailer. A travel trailer is attached to the rear of a truck via a hitch ball. So I hope this explanation of the 2 different kinds helped you out. All the self confidence in the world will not do any good when a 60 mph wind knocks your travel trailer over.
Ummm...no kidding?? This is actually my third RV. First two were bumper pull. Used a Reese WD setup with friction sway on a Fleetwood TH...not a fan of the friction sway BTW. Second was an 11k bunkhouse with an Equalizer setup. Towed like a dream. Both have been over Tioga Pass, both have been through NM winds, so yes, I do know what I am talking about.

BTW, still have our bumper pull TH and use it for state campgrounds and ntional parks, it is only 27 ft long.

Driving in high winds is much like driving in heavy rain, slow down and pay attention. An ill adjusted WD and sway setup, along with an improperly loaded trailer will get you into trouble very quickly.

WRT to Hensley, I personally would not have one....too expensive and a lot of people go that route in search of a bandaid for a bad tow vehicle-trailer combo. I have helped a friend install his Hensley and drive his setup, it handled much like my Equalizer for a fraction of the cost...

Have fun and safe travels.

Cale
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
Hi calewjohnson. If you took a second to READ my post I said towing a travel trailer! You have a 5th wheel which is attached to the bed of your truck. There is a BIG differance between a 5th wheel and a travel trailer. A travel trailer is attached to the rear of a truck via a hitch ball. So I hope this explanation of the 2 different kinds helped you out. All the self confidence in the world will not do any good when a 60 mph wind knocks your travel trailer over.

Have you ever seen a Hensley hitch and do you actually understand how they work?
A Hensley is nothing like towing with a "hitch ball". You also don't have any idea how my rig is set up, nor my driving style. Things like weather changing road conditions and other drivers, happen when your traveling, that's why we prepare our rigs and our selves.

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Old 05-01-2016, 10:02 PM   #13
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Enough. All good. That's the great thing about this site. Agree to disagree. Don't make me sent Pirate and Aaron over to your houses! LOL.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:25 PM   #14
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Enough. All good. That's the great thing about this site. Agree to disagree. Don't make me sent Pirate and Aaron over to your houses! LOL.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:27 PM   #15
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Pirate is welcome anytime...I have some odd and end projects to get done.

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Old 05-01-2016, 11:31 PM   #16
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Funny guys!
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
I do not use a weight distribution anti sway hitch. The new trucks come with anti sway and if you have a ultra light you do not need one if you tow within limits. It is just another way to get more money out of the uninformed. They are a waste of time and money for small ultra light trailers. Just another thing to mess with. If your trailer starts to fish tail just tap the trailer breaks and slow down. There I just saved you $500.00. Your welcome.
I have to disagree here, but hey this is what Forums and Internet are for. Just so i can argue with more people.

Although it true that for light weight trailer typicaly under 5000lbs WD hitch are not an absolute requirements it is still a nice to have as they improve the ride experience by leveling the trailer improving overall stability. I would recommend one in most situatuation unless you are towing a 5K trailer with a 3500 dually.

Over 5K you WANT a WD hitch to distribute the weight to the front axle of the TV and ensure you front wheels stay on the ground. Heavy RV can litteraly get the front wheels off the ground on bad road if WD is not used.

But hey you can also keep that 500 box for your funerals...
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:36 PM   #18
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Any weight distribution anti sway hitch

I tow a 6,000 pound ultra light travel trailer. It is being towed by a Chevy 1500 with a full tow package. GMC says this truck can tow up to 9,400 pounds. That is 3,400 pounds UNDER what it says it can tow. Why would anyone buy a $500.00- 1,200.00 WDH for this rig? Like I said before all you guys piled up on me and started to call me names. I think a WDH is just another way to get money out of the uninformed and another thing to break and mess with when towing a ultra light TT within the trucks capabilities. If you tow in dangerous high wind conditions a WDH will do you no good!! As my friend used to say " If you are going to be dumb you better be tough." If you guys want to waste your money on these hitches so be it. I chose not to!! I will no longer post any more comments on this subject.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
I tow a 6,000 pound ultra light travel trailer. It is being towed by a Chevy 1500 with a full tow package. GMC says this truck can tow up to 9,400 pounds. That is 3,400 pounds UNDER what it says it can tow. Why would anyone buy a $500.00- 1,200.00 WDH for this rig? Like I said before all you guys piled up on me and started to call me names. I think a WDH is just another way to get money out of the uninformed and another thing to break and mess with when towing a ultra light TT within the trucks capabilities. If you tow in dangerous high wind conditions a WDH will do you no good!! As my friend used to say " If you are going to be dumb you better be tough." If you guys want to waste your money on these hitches so be it. I chose not to!! I will no longer post any more comments on this subject.
LOL, I thought I was the forum kook

FTR, no one called you a name, and your tone in this thread as well as another one you copy and pasted a response in, was less than friendly.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masterblaster View Post
I tow a 6,000 pound ultra light travel trailer. It is being towed by a Chevy 1500 with a full tow package. GMC says this truck can tow up to 9,400 pounds. That is 3,400 pounds UNDER what it says it can tow. Why would anyone buy a $500.00- 1,200.00 WDH for this rig? Like I said before all you guys piled up on me and started to call me names. I think a WDH is just another way to get money out of the uninformed and another thing to break and mess with when towing a ultra light TT within the trucks capabilities. If you tow in dangerous high wind conditions a WDH will do you no good!! As my friend used to say " If you are going to be dumb you better be tough." If you guys want to waste your money on these hitches so be it. I chose not to!! I will no longer post any more comments on this subject.

Then I will make sure to stay away from your part of Florida...

Not every trailer needs a WDH, some do. They also make WDH with the sway control built in as part of the system. I have seen plenty of trailers in the ditch with every hitch and lack of hitch known even including the fancy pants electronic sway control. You have to pay attention to more than just the gross towing capacity of your truck. In many cases you are going to run out of payload before you run out of towing capacity. Also a WDH allows you to run a heavier tongue weight than without on the same capacity hitch.

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