Sunline RV Forum
Sunline User Photos

Go Back   Sunline Coach Owner's Club > Technical Forums > Towing and Tow Vehicles
Click Here to Login

Join Sunline Club Forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-21-2020, 12:16 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12
SUN #11894
mssunline is an unknown quantity at this point
Hensley Hitch bar

The new trailer was being pulled with a van while I'm going to be towing with a truck. The hitch bar that comes with it is a straight hitch bar and I will need a drop. Hensley has this whole thing on their website about their swap process with apparently (although not noted anywhere on the website) requires you to buy a warranty, otherwise the replacement hitch bar is $300. I'm irritated and feel they are falsely advertising the process and the response I got was that 'it doesn't matter what their website says'.
I know hensley tells you you can't use anything but their products but I'm wondering if I could just get a drop hitch receiver like THIS so I could then use the straight bar Or if there is something someone else recommends?
__________________

__________________
mssunline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 05:44 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
MACK C-85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,121
SUN #64
MACK C-85 is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by mssunline View Post
The new trailer was being pulled with a van while I'm going to be towing with a truck. The hitch bar that comes with it is a straight hitch bar and I will need a drop. Hensley has this whole thing on their website about their swap process with apparently (although not noted anywhere on the website) requires you to buy a warranty, otherwise the replacement hitch bar is $300. I'm irritated and feel they are falsely advertising the process and the response I got was that 'it doesn't matter what their website says'.

I know hensley tells you you can't use anything but their products but I'm wondering if I could just get a drop hitch receiver like THIS so I could then use the straight bar Or if there is something someone else recommends?
From the site you posted.....

"For use while towing a car behind a motorhome only-not for use with any type of trailer."

So I would say no.

A complete 10K Equilizer system (what I pull my 276 with) is under $800, and is one of the most expensive sets on ETrailer. Don't gerry rig or skip on this part of your system. JohnB is our hitchpert and I'm sure he'll be along to get you right.
__________________

__________________

2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Club Cab 4x4 CTD
2007 Sunline Solaris T-276-SR: Misty Blue/Cherry
2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Reg Cab 4x4 OFF-ROAD
MACK C-85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 06:14 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12
SUN #11894
mssunline is an unknown quantity at this point
It's not the hitch I'm looking to replace. It's just the bar. I'm not going to replace the whole system because I need it to drop a few inches. These say they handle 10K towing but so did the other one. If it was a normal hitch system I could easily get a dropped hitch bar with a ball on it.
__________________
mssunline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 06:41 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
MACK C-85's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,121
SUN #64
MACK C-85 is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by mssunline View Post
It's not the hitch I'm looking to replace. It's just the bar. I'm not going to replace the whole system because I need it to drop a few inches. These say they handle 10K towing but so did the other one. If it was a normal hitch system I could easily get a dropped hitch bar with a ball on it.
Looking online I'm not familiar with Hensley.

On the Equalizer there is about 10" of height adjustment on the included draw bar. Both of my vehicles were fairly tall and I think I still have one set of holes to go higher.
__________________

2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Club Cab 4x4 CTD
2007 Sunline Solaris T-276-SR: Misty Blue/Cherry
2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Reg Cab 4x4 OFF-ROAD
MACK C-85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 09:25 PM   #5
Moderator
 
JohnB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,542
SUN #89
JohnB is on a distinguished road
Hi,

I'll try and help. The Camping world link is a Roadmaster brand hi-lo hitch as they call it. See here https://www.roadmasterinc.com/produc...itch/hitch.php

As I suspected, that is made for towing a car/truck etc. behind a motorhome. That application has a large pull (tow) need but the tow bar for a car etc is very light. There is very little tongue weight in this application. The 10,000# pull rating hitch is rated at 400# tongue weight which is plenty for a dingy tow bar.

The Hensley is a actual weight distribution hitch and you will be in 1,000# to 1,200# loaded tongue weight with the Henselly and that size camper. Maybe even higher depending on the camper loading.

The short answer, the Roadmaster hi-lo is not rated for what you want to do with it.

Here is an option, assuming you have to have a different shank. You already know Hensley wants $300 for a fixed shank.

A number years ago, Jim Hensley who invented the Hensley hitch and the sales manager had a falling out with the corporate folks at Hensley. They started their own company called Pro-Pride. https://www.propridehitch.com/ And Jim went to improving the concept that they would not let him do back at Hensley. And they made an adjustable shank. See here for their 2", https://store.propridehitch.com/prop...ble-hitch-bar/

They also make a 2 1/2" shank if your truck is setup that way.

BUT, I would call them and make sure that their WD shank will fit the actual Hensley. They would know as Jim made both. This option does not help on the cost, but at least you are spending this on an adjustable setup versus a fixed one.

Another option, not sure how you came up with knowing you have to have a new shank. The Hensley sets up different then a traditional WD hitch and has a few options that are different that "maybe" your existing shank may work with some hitch adjustments.

I would need to know these figures in order to see if this has a chance at working.

1. Make, year and model of truck so I know what this is going on and the suspension in the truck.

2. Look at the receiver sticker on the back of the truck and tell me the weight distribution rating for tongue weight.

3. Is this a 2" truck pin box? or are you using a 2 1/2" to 2" adapter?

4. Load the truck with the needed camping gear and on a flat surface, measure from the ground up to the top inside of the truck pin box with the truck loaded with gear. No camper attached at this point.

5. Have the camper on a flat surface. Level the tongue jack so the camper is parallel to the ground. If you are on a level spot, then just level the camper. This is the towing stance we want to be in, camper level. Once leveled up, with the Hensley in the ball coupler, use a floor jack or wood block and level up the Hensley shank to the ground. The hitch will be all wiggly in all directions so be carefull. Then measure from the ground to the top of the Hensley bar. Need that number.

6. Need to know the offset difference of the Hensley shank you have now? Top of shank that is inside the hitch to the top of the shank that goes in the truck.

7. What rating WD bars do you have?

Please take pics of all this so I can see what you have rather then doing this all from numbers. Hensley made 2 different WD bar adjusters, one with chains and a snap up brackets and the other with adjustable screw jack to tension the WD bars. Need to see which you have.

I know this is a lot of figure it out, just trying to help and I can't tell you if this has a chance of working with out the dimensions. If this is not the way you want to go, then will try and help what I can on other options.

Hope this helps

John
__________________
Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

Google Custom Search For Sunline Owners Club
JohnB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 10:01 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12
SUN #11894
mssunline is an unknown quantity at this point
I have some answers but I'll answer the rest tomorrow and try and get some pictures
Quote:
1. Make, year and model of truck so I know what this is going on and the suspension in the truck.
It's a 1997 GMC Sierra K2500

Quote:
2. Look at the receiver sticker on the back of the truck and tell me the weight distribution rating for tongue weight.
It is rated for 1000# tongue weight 10K trailer weight with WD

Quote:
3. Is this a 2" truck pin box? or are you using a 2 1/2" to 2" adapter?
Standard 2" hitch receiver

Quote:
4. Load the truck with the needed camping gear and on a flat surface, measure from the ground up to the top inside of the truck pin box with the truck loaded with gear. No camper attached at this point.
There really isn't going to be any of that. I wont be bringing anything more that I load into my little honda fit to travel with with is pretty much just an easy up and a bag of clothes.

Quote:
5. Have the camper on a flat surface. Level the tongue jack so the camper is parallel to the ground. If you are on a level spot, then just level the camper. This is the towing stance we want to be in, camper level. Once leveled up, with the Hensley in the ball coupler, use a floor jack or wood block and level up the Hensley shank to the ground. The hitch will be all wiggly in all directions so be carefull. Then measure from the ground to the top of the Hensley bar. Need that number.
The height to the top of the Hensley bar is 17",

Quote:
6. Need to know the offset difference of the Hensley shank you have now? Top of shank that is inside the hitch to the top of the shank that goes in the truck.
The height of the current hitch on the truck is 23" We came up with needing a 6" drop, I currently have a straight bar.

Quote:
7. What rating WD bars do you have?
It has adjustable screw jacks to tighten the tension. It's on a 2007 276sr
__________________
mssunline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2020, 10:41 PM   #7
Moderator
 
JohnB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ohio
Posts: 10,542
SUN #89
JohnB is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by mssunline View Post
I have some answers but I'll answer the rest tomorrow and try and get some pictures

There really isn't going to be any of that. I wont be bringing anything more that I load into my little honda fit to travel with with is pretty much just an easy up and a bag of clothes.


The height to the top of the Hensley bar is 17",


The height of the current hitch on the truck is 23" We came up with needing a 6" drop, I currently have a straight bar.


It has adjustable screw jacks to tighten the tension. It's on a 2007 276sr
Hi,

I re-read your first post and I missed this,
Quote:
The new trailer was being pulled with a van while I'm going to be towing with a truck. The hitch bar that comes with it is a straight hitch bar and I will need a drop.
It seems odd a van would have a straight shank. But it maybe. Bottom line, you said the shank you have is straight so that is what you have to start with.

You may be the first camper person using a 2500 truck with a empty truck bed, No camping chairs or firewood ever going? It is OK that the bed is empty, just needed to ask as most folks have lots of stuff in the truck bed and we have to account for the added weight. In your case, there will not be any added weight.

Number 7 asked for the weight distribution (WD) bar rating. We will need that, look tomorrow when you get to it. Good to know that you have the adjustable screw jacks to tension the WD bars, that setup makes this a lot easier.

In this info,
Quote:
The height to the top of the Hensley bar is 17",

The height of the current hitch on the truck is 23" We came up with needing a 6" drop, I currently have a straight bar.
You may not have accounted for what we nickname, "truck squat". When the WD hitch is adjusted, the back of truck will be lower than when it started on purpose. The camper empty has a brochure 750# dry (no gear) tongue weight. The Hensley is heavy and will add to the tongue weight, the battery, the LP gas in the tanks, plus some camping gear in the camper. Do you expect to take much camping gear to be stored under the front bed or the front cargo compartment?

I can see you having a 1,000# loaded tongue weight with not much gear in the front. Which is all your current receiver is rated at. This is all OK, just if the weight ends up being more, then they do make aftermarket truck receivers with higher ratings that bolt on. Curt makes a good one that we have put on other 2500HD chevys if it comes to that. Reese also makes them. Upgrading a receiver for towing a camper has been common on the older trucks as campers can have higher loaded tongue weights then average cargo trailers.

With a empty truck bed, an estimated 1,000# loaded tongue weight of the camper and the Hensley, the truck squat number could be 1" to 1 1/2" lower then unhitched height. So your 6" drop number would be 4 1/2" to 5". A full 6 would be too low. This is where an adjustable hitch shank comes in real handy, as camper weights and truck weight change over time when more things are added, you can adjust the setup for them.

Looking forward to your pics.

Hope this helps

John
__________________

__________________
Current Sunlines: 2004 T310SR, 2004 T1950, 2004 T2475, 2007 T2499, 2004 T317SR
Prior Sunlines: 2004 T2499 - Fern Blue
2005 Ford F350 Lariat, 6.8L V10 W/ 4.10 rear axle, CC, Short Bed, SRW. Reese HP trunnion bar hitch W/ HP DC

Google Custom Search For Sunline Owners Club
JohnB 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
Hensley Hitch for sale jim44646 Accessories, Parts, Etc. For Sale 0 09-20-2015 10:49 PM
Hensley Arrow Hitch Rebuild ScottK Repairs and Maintenance 15 06-26-2014 03:03 PM
Hensley Hitch Poppy & Nana Accessories, Parts, Etc. For Sale 3 04-29-2014 12:43 PM
Found a draw bar and hitch head today.. EMD_Driver Towing and Tow Vehicles 29 07-24-2009 08:26 PM
Reese hitch bar length? Hematite Sunline Travel Trailers 11 10-20-2008 09:19 PM


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sunline RV or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:54 AM.


×