Hensley Arrow Install Today - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-30-2009, 10:29 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
I installed a Hensley hitch on our Bigfoot 21RB today. I haven't tried it out yet but I'm sure that the light tongue weight that I was once concerned about is no more. The orange boat anchor safely puts our tongue weight into the 10-12% range even with the rear fresh water tank full. So far I'm impressed with the Hensley build quality.
__________________

__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
David and Nancy's Avatar
 
Name: David
Trailer: Bigfoot 25 ft (25B25RQ)
Colorado
Posts: 288
Steve,

BTW, congrats on your "new" Bigfoot. I hope you like it compared to your 17.5. I am very interested in hearing how your new hitch performs. I have always traveled with near-empty water tanks for safety reasons. This isn't always convenient if I am traveling to a remote boondock site with no water. I end up carrying water in jugs in the back of the truck, then pouring it in when I get to camp. I just have a standard Reese WDH. Do I understand that the Hensley Arrow actually adds tongue weight? I know you have a Ford 250 with, presumably, stiffer suspension than my F-150. I wonder if this would help my towing enough to justify the expense.
__________________

__________________
David and Nancy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
Thanks Dave! We haven't really been out with the new trailer yet except for the trip back from picking it up. We hope to do some traveling in about a month and will report back afterwards about the Hensley.

I was wondering when someone was going to catch me on the Hensley adding tongue weight claim. My comment was more an attempt at humor than anything else. I really don't know if it technically adds more tongue weight but since it's connected to the trailer and it's certainly heavy I thought it wasn't much of a stretch in truth.
__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2009, 07:00 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Lizbeth's Avatar
 
Name: Liz
Trailer: 1979 13 ft Boler, 1987 & 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel
California
Posts: 2,027
Registry
Well Steve get that thing out on the road and give us a report!
__________________
1979 Boler B1300 | 1987 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | 1988 Bigfoot 5th Wheel | We officially have a collection!
Lizbeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
I still haven't taken the trailer out yet but the tongue to overall trailer weight ratio is now about 14%, up from about 9%. I discovered that the propane tanks were almost empty so those were filled before weighing the tongue again. The HA stinger was also included in the calculation. I feel fairly comfortable now traveling with a full fresh water tank. Agree, disagree?
__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2009, 07:04 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
Steve, I think that one of the few times it's really smart to buy the Hensley is specifically for the Bigfoot 21. The axles were just placed too far forward on the frame for the distribution of the weight of the trailer as-designed. I think the Hensley's design is excellent, will help overcome the design flaws of the trailer, and in your case the added tongue weight is exactly what you need. (They're just too expensive to recommend them for most trailers when a Reese Dual Cam and appropriate loading accomplishes the same task.) I still wouldn't drag more water around than necessary. Water weighs 8lbs/gallon... and with a 40 gallon fresh water tank... well YOU do the math!

But if you do, I'd bet you won't have stability issues now.

Please take it for a trial run and let us know how it behaves!

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2009, 10:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
Thanks for the comments Roger but I think you may have the Bigfoot 21RB and 21FB confused. The later is the one that was recalled by Bigfoot for the issues you describe. Although the my tongue weight was a little shy of the customary percentage everyone seems to use, I had absolutely no problems with instability or sway. I towed the trailer home about 2000 miles with only a weight distribution hitch and everything seemed OK. Perhaps my F250 played a large role in that stability. I purchased the Hensley more out curiosity and something to play with than to solve a problem. I'm really anxious to see how the it feels towing but I'll have to wait a few more weeks for our next outing.
__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2009, 10:12 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Roger H's Avatar
 
Name: Roger
Trailer: Y2K6 Born Free 32RQ on the Kodiak chassis, 1995 Coachmen 19' B-van and 1996 Precision 21' Sailboat
Iowa
Posts: 5,000
I think you're right, Steve... I was thinking about the 21 front bedroom and it's really insufficient tongue weight. Sorry I got this off track. I'd expect that with your F250 and the Hensley, they ought to feel like they're running on tracks down the road.

Roger
__________________
Roger H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2009, 10:50 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2006 (25B21RB) 21 ft Bigfoot / Dodge 2500 Diesel
Posts: 109
I agree with Steve, the 21RB does not have a sway problem.

Short, but interesting test:

I pulled my trailer 20 miles with my Equalizer WDH and propane tanks removed; because I was going to have a welder do some work on my mounting plates. I also took that opportunity to sanitize my fresh water tank, so I had 20 gallons of water in my fresh water tank, which is located in the rear of the trailer. I was looking at worst case for me with this trailer, the Tongue weight reduced by 200 plus pounds and 20 gallons of water in back of trailer with no sway control. I kept my speeds below 55 and experienced no problems. I certainly do not recommend this and most likely one would experience problems in adverse conditions with this setup.

The test gave me confidence that I was not masking a sway problem with my Equalizer and that my normal setup was good, which is having the 230lbs (tanks & batteries) back on the tongue, only 5 gallons of water in the fresh water tank for traveling and a properly setup Equalizer WDH. I have experienced no problems under the worst of conditions while traveling with my 21RB and Equalizer WDH.

Do you have any pictures Steve of your Hensley install?

Dean
__________________
Dean & Mary is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2009, 04:40 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
Sorry for the late reply. Here's a pic of another Hensley install on a Bigfoot. Mine is exactly the same. I'll post some pictures of mine after our 4th of July outing.

http://s698.photobucket.com/albums/vv341/b...rrowHitch-2.jpg
__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2009, 09:23 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft Rear Bed
Posts: 335
As promised (minus the pictures), here are my initial impressions of the Hensley as opposed to our previous setup, a Husky weight distribution hitch with no sway control. It was a very short trip so I'm sure more of its features will pop up later.

First and foremost, hooking up to the Hensley can be frustrating. The first time I tried it, a dry run at home, everything went smoothly. I wondered why some thought it was so difficult. Then, when preparing to leave for our trip, we discovered what some have found so frustrating. Even though the stinger may be aligned with the hitch head it doesn't always fully engage for the latch mechanism to work. The stinger and the hitch head also have to be on the same plane and rotated at the same angle. The later misalignment can be deceiving if the trailer and TV are on a different slope. There are ways to overcome all of this and that is where the practice that everyone talks about comes into play. Our return hitch-up was worse because not only was the ground sloping differently from front to back between the TV and trailer but it was sloping differently from left to right. Yes, it's all covered in the Hensley setup directions but I wasn't prepared to face all of the variances the first time out.

Once connected, the Hensley tows just fine. I never felt a hint of sway and the trailer tracked perfectly behind our TV. Backing up was not a problem either. As mentioned earlier, this was a very short trip and we didn't have the opportunity to experience any of its distinctive characteristics besides the hitching process. I have to say at this point that the Hensley didn't feel any different than towing with what we had before. Perhaps it felt a little smoother in turns but not that significant. I'll have to wait and see how it performs on a longer trip.

One more perspective from my wife, she thinks the Hensley looks ugly compared to what we had before.
__________________
Steve Dunkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: chalmers
Trailer: Bigfoot 25B21RB
Ontario
Posts: 1
Hensley Hitch

Well this weekend was our first outing since installing the new Hensley. We have a Bigfoot 25B21RB and experienced some pretty bad sway last fall after purchasing the trailer. I had considered some mods to try to improve the situation but ultimately decided on the Hensley. The videos and the literature seemed more like a cult and I admit to being sceptical but have to admit it is every bit as good as they claim. We traveled with full water tank and I was able to travel at any speed. I like to hold the speed limit on 4 lane highways so not holding up traffic. there is NO SWAY despite high winds and truck traffic today. So I am releived and relaxed.
Cheers,
Chalmers
__________________

__________________
bigfoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ProPride/Hensley Demonstration Video Steve Dunkel General Chat 0 05-05-2010 10:35 AM
Derailed by Hensley Arrow Steve Dunkel General Chat 20 04-26-2009 09:19 AM
Cherry wall paneling for my Fleetwood Pace Arrow. Alan R Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 1 03-02-2009 07:02 PM
Hensley Arrow Cub WDH Pete Dumbleton Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 3 12-11-2008 02:55 PM
Hensley Arrow Hitch System Chris Daniel Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 4 08-17-2006 12:14 PM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.