The New Hensley Hitch
The New Hensley Hitch is a far cry from the “one size fits all” Hensley that launched our company. While it certainly made the ordering process simple, we discovered that our 21st century RVers expected options in everything they purchased. After all, no one orders “just a cup of coffee” anymore.
The Hensley Arrow with standard jacks–shown on a VR1 v-nosed trailer.
The Hensley Arrow with standard jacks, shown above, is still the most popular hitch in our line-up. The standard jacks adjust the weight distribution bars with the use of a ratcheting wrench (included with purchase). Note that the trailer above is a v-nose. The standard Arrow works with most v-nose trailers because our jacks sit outboard of the A-frame, not directly above the A-frame like some other brands. The Hensley Arrow will fit any trailer and you can easily transfer it to your future trailers. When we say lifetime guarantee, we mean it!
The Hensley Cub
Some of you, however, want options, which is why we introduced the Hensley Cub several years ago. the Cub is a light-weight version of the Hensley Arrow. All the main components–the linkage system, lower unit, strut bars–are exactly the same. We reduced the weight by removing portions of the upper unit, going with lighter weight-distribution bars, and using a hollow tube hitch bar. Yes, the hitch bar is critical, but a welded hollow tube is still stronger than even a solid adjustable bar*.
The Cub is not for all size trailers. We recommend the Hensley Cub for trailers under 25′ and 6,000 lbs. Keep in mind you can still opt for the full-size Hensley Arrow for these smaller trailers. In fact, if you plan on buying a larger trailer in the future, the Arrow is your best option, as it will transfer to your next trailer.
Weight Distribution Options
While the introduction of the Hensley Cub offered an option for small trailer owners, the advent of v-nosed trailers posed a new problem. Hensley’s jack system, which adjusts the weight distribution bars, interfered with a few of the body designs, mostly in that they blocked the access doors found on some v-nose trailers. We solved the problem by going to snap-up brackets, with which many trailer owners are already familiar, and hanger brackets. Even though our intention was to provide safe towing to the v-nose trailer owners, we made a pleasant discovery: many of you preferred the simplicity of the snap-up and hanger brackets and even reported that hooking up on uneven terrain was easier. So Hensley found a new market for those who like to take their trailers off the beaten path. Even you “concrete campers” enjoyed the simplicity of a snap-up or hanger system.
The snap-up brackets have have become a popular weight-distribution option. For those of you who have used this system on other sway control hitches, you know that snap-ups require little effort, though not quite the convenience of the standard jacks.
To use the snap-up bracket, you simply hook up to your Hensley hitch, attach the chain to the bracket, and use our bracket assist bar to pry up the bracket into its locked position. Reverse when unhooking. To adjust the weight-distribution, you simply move to a different link on the chain. The shorter the chain, the more weight-distribution.
Customers have reported, and we have observed it ourselves, this system is easier during hook-up. That is simply because the standard jacks are stiffer than chains. By offering more “play” in the hitch head, the Hensley lines up with the hitch bar upon insertion.
Note, however, that hooking up with the standard jacks is still easy. The only case where ease of hook up may be a consideration is when you camp on severely uneven terrain. Even, then, most owners have no problem with the standard jacks. But if you do a lot of camping in remote areas where you are forced to camp on uneven terrain, you may want to consider the snap-up or hanger brackets.
The final option in our weight-distribution system are the hanger brackets. As the name implies, this is simply a “hook” onto which you attach the chains for the weight distribution bars. Shown here on an Exxon-Mobil Rapid Response trailer, the hanger brackets offer the simplest method of hook-up.
Simple because there are no moving parts. Keep in mind, however, that the hook-up procedure involves a bit more effort. Not much, but certainly not as easy as the standard or snap-up brackets.
The procedure involves hooking up to your Hensley Arrow, then manually pulling up on the chains and weight distribution bars to the preferred link on the chain. This is made easier if you raise the tongue jack an inch or so before hooking the chain. The Exxon-Mobil Rapid Response team preferred this system because there are fewer moving parts to contend with. As their name implies, they need to hook-up and move quickly. This system allowed them to save precious seconds off their “roll time.”
The hanger brackets are for those who like the idea of a very simple mechanical system. If you’re towing a very light trailer and will use the 550 lb. spring bars, you’ll find these very simple to hook-up. The 22 Exxon-Mobil trailers we outfitted all used the 1400lb. spring bars. Though a little muscle was required, the crews reported no issues.
Which Hensley Hitch is right for you?
Most customers will remain with the standard Hensley Arrow and standard jacks. It is, by far, the simplest, most convenient, and most transferable hitch we sell. Buy it once and it will last through as many trailers as you will ever own (I recently saw serial number 4 in Florida, still going strong).
If you have a small trailer, the Cub may be your best option. If you have a v-nose, you may want to go with the snap-up or hanger brackets, though keep in mind that the standard jacks work on most v-nose trailers. Give us a call and we can help you with that decision.
* Never buy an after-market adjustable hitch bar for your Hensley Arrow or Cub. Adjustable hitch bars in a sway-elimination hitch are dangerous and will fail over time. For more details on the Hensley Hitch bar, see our page about the Hensley Hitch Bar Exchange.
For more information, call Hensley Mfg. at 1-800-410-6580. Or get our free report: How to Eliminate Trailer Sway. Simply click on the red button below.