In 1992, Colin Connell bought his first trailer, a 24 foot Starcraft. Colin is a native Michigander who loves all the outdoor recreation the Great Lakes State has to offer. The Starcraft was the logical next step for him and his wife to see more of what his state had to offer.
However, despite his RV dealer’s assurance that his car had plenty of power to tow the small trailer, Colin almost gave up the idea after their first trip. The trailer swayed badly in Michigan’s heavy crosswinds, semi-truck traffic, and uneven roads.
Then someone introduced him to an inventor named Jim Hensley. Jim had developed a stacking linkage system that would allow the well-known four-bar linkage to be used as a practical tool for towing a recreational vehicle. Jim figured out the basic structure of his idea, but never successfully developed a hitch that fulfilled the requirements of an RVer.
That’s where Colin came in. With decades of automotive engineering experience and a host of acquaintances willing to help with the new idea, Colin worked out an agreement with Jim to take his idea and make it a working hitch.
Thus the Hensley Arrow was born. After a year of development and extensive testing (safety, of course, was a major concern), Colin and the Hensley team launched their new product.
Trailer towing would never be the same.
For the first time, a company could claim that their product would not just control trailer sway, but eliminate it completely. Naturally, skeptics abounded. Especially within the RV industry. Finally, Colin offered any RV “expert” $25,000 if they could make a trailer sway with the Arrow installed. Colin still has his money.
The story of Colin Connell and Hensley Mfg. is one any of us can be proud of. A man encountered a problem, developed a solution, and took it to market, risking every penny he had on the venture. And it paid off. After nearly 25 years, the Hensley Arrow, along with the Hensley Cub, are still the safest trailer hitches on the market, without a single sway-induced accident among the thousands of Hensley customers.
And we’ll continue to keep our customers safe on the road for another 25 years and beyond.
Safe towing. And we’ll be seeing you under the awning.