Escape 21 coming to Livermore, CA - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 01-28-2015, 03:12 AM   #11
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Welcome to another 21 owner. Would love to your thoughts on the Hensley after a few miles.....I went with Andersen.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
I remember the Hensley Cub Hitch weight being closer to 75 than 150 lbs; and hoisting the boxes in my garage seems compatible with about 75 lbs., but I couldn't find an exact number on their website.
Hensley is big on superlatives, but not so much on providing objective information - I didn't find a weight spec either, but maybe it's there on their website and I just missed it. The website is one reason I would not want to deal with Hensley - they seem more like a cult than a business... all the information is in blog posts instead of straightforward product descriptions.

I pulled the 150 pound value from a post specifically about the Cub in another forum, and it seemed reasonable to me because even a common WD hitch is near that, and the Hensley linkage head is massive. That value may be wrong, though.

The weight which is relevant is all of the components: the stinger assembly that stays on the tug, the head with the linkage bars, the hardware to attach the head to the trailer, the weight-distribution spring bars, the jacks which connect the spring bars to the trailer frame, and the hardware to mount the jacks.

If anyone knows what a Hensley Arrow weighs, we can subtract 20 pounds from that for the lighter head (due to a thinner base plate) and another 30 pounds or so due to lighter WD spring bars. I don't think there's much chance an Arrow weighs only 125 pounds complete, but I've never lifted one.

Referring to the ProPride, which reportedly has a lighter head than a Hensley Arrow, but an adjustable stinger which might weight more, from ClubTouareg:
Quote:
What makes me hesitate is that this thing is heavy (200lb).
and right after that:
Quote:
... the HENSLEY ARROW is about 200#...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
The effective hinge point is well ahead of the tugs bumper, giving stability near that of a fifth wheel.
Sorry, I probably wasn't clear...
The hinge point to which I was referring is where the pitch motion (nose up/down) is accommodated, which determines effectively where the weight is carried. That's way back where the ball that goes in the trailer's coupler socket is located, a foot back from where it would be with a plain ball mount. This affects the need for a WD system.

The effective pivot point for yaw motion (turning left/right... or swaying) changes with steering angle, but it is indeed far forward of the coupler socket, which is the entire point of the Hensley design (and similar four-bar linkage hitches). This provides the stability improvement.
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Old 01-28-2015, 01:17 PM   #13
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The Hensley hitches seem massive! Given the light weight and proven good handling characteristics of all of the Escape trailers, I see no reason or benefit in using this type of hitch on any suitably sized tow vehicle-Escape trailer combination.

The Jeep GC purchased by the OP will likely be suitable for towing the proposed Escape 21' with no special hitch, or at the most a conventional WDH. The OP may want to try to return their Hensley hitch for a refund and put that money into more options on their 21' or to fund a holiday trip.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
The Hensley hitches seem massive! Given the light weight and proven good handling characteristics of all of the Escape trailers, I see no reason or benefit in using this type of hitch on any suitably sized tow vehicle-Escape trailer combination.
They are massive, they are complex, they are a specialty item, and as a result of all of these they are expensive. Since they do really provide an advantage, they are worthwhile to some users in some situations; the forward projection of the instantaneous effective yaw pivot point does improve stability. I agree that normal tug-Escape combinations are not an obvious application, but I can understand people making that choice (although it wouldn't be mine).

I appreciate Art and Kathy sharing their plans, and I look forward to hearing about real-world results. The ideal for everyone else, of course, would be to tow with the Hensley, with a more conventional WD, and with a plain hitch... and compare the results. I know I'm not going to all that work and expense...
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Old 01-28-2015, 05:14 PM   #15
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Lake Chabot is not an ideal place to camp!

Congrats! Have a great time on the maiden voyage!

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Old 01-28-2015, 11:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Hensley is big on superlatives, but not so much on providing objective information - I didn't find a weight spec either, but maybe it's there on their website and I just missed it. The website is one reason I would not want to deal with Hensley - they seem more like a cult than a business... all the information is in blog posts instead of straightforward product descriptions.

I pulled the 150 pound value from a post specifically about the Cub in another forum, and it seemed reasonable to me because even a common WD hitch is near that, and the Hensley linkage head is massive. That value may be wrong, though.

The weight which is relevant is all of the components: the stinger assembly that stays on the tug, the head with the linkage bars, the hardware to attach the head to the trailer, the weight-distribution spring bars, the jacks which connect the spring bars to the trailer frame, and the hardware to mount the jacks.

If anyone knows what a Hensley Arrow weighs, we can subtract 20 pounds from that for the lighter head (due to a thinner base plate) and another 30 pounds or so due to lighter WD spring bars. I don't think there's much chance an Arrow weighs only 125 pounds complete, but I've never lifted one.

Referring to the ProPride, which reportedly has a lighter head than a Hensley Arrow, but an adjustable stinger which might weight more, from ClubTouareg:

and right after that:




Sorry, I probably wasn't clear...
The hinge point to which I was referring is where the pitch motion (nose up/down) is accommodated, which determines effectively where the weight is carried. That's way back where the ball that goes in the trailer's coupler socket is located, a foot back from where it would be with a plain ball mount. This affects the need for a WD system.

The effective pivot point for yaw motion (turning left/right... or swaying) changes with steering angle, but it is indeed far forward of the coupler socket, which is the entire point of the Hensley design (and similar four-bar linkage hitches). This provides the stability improvement.
You got my curiosity up on the weight question, so I got my digital bathroom scale and weighed each crate:
The hitch itself 87.3 lbs [this is what I was thinking of when I said 75 lbs. I was low.]
Bars and clamps 52.3 lbs. [This is mostly to immobilize the ball horizontally but allow
vertical motions, as you mentioned.]
Weight Dist bars 51.5 lbs.
Total 191.1 lbs.

The total is high because of packing material, extra parts to allow clamping to box-member frames or bolting to open frames (I don't remember which ETI uses?), and hopefully a spare set of cotter pins and other easily lost parts. So it looks like your initial estimate of 150 lbs is roughly correct, and probably low.

I don't know what a standard hitch weighs, I'll guess 30 lbs, then the difference with a Hensley Hitch is 87-30 = 57 lbs, and then we add the immobilizing bars of about 50 lbs, so the Hensley weighs about 100 - 120 lbs or so more than standard hitches. Here I'm guessing that the weight distribution bars weigh about the same for any hitch?

I think that we can live with an extra 100 lbs on the tongue, I'll just have to load the trailer to keep the tongue weight in the right range, as well as watch the rear axle weight closely to keep within the limit.

We plan to get a Sherline Tongue Weight scale, like Reace showed us, probably the 1000 lb. range, since the Class IV hitch on the Grand Cherokee is rated for 600 lbs weight, which is also the maximum for stability (15% of about 4,000 lbs loaded for camping). However, if someone can explain how easy and safe it is to measure the weight of one side of a 21' Escape at a time using some jack and the 2000 lb version of the Sherline... I don't think that we need really need high precision on the tongue weight, just need to stay above 10% GVW on the tongue.

We may never know whether we gained extra safety from eliminating sway with the Hensley. Perhaps we'll convoy with a similar trailer someday, and be able to observe a difference. Last summer, we did observe significant sway on a Scamp (13 or 16'?) that we were following for about an hour.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:36 PM   #17
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That's a heavy hitch. Most folks I know wouldn't want an extra 100 pounds they didn't really need on the 21's tongue. The huge storage area under the front bed is great to have, but one has to be aware of not overloading that area due to its proximity to the hitch.

Your example of the Scamp begs the question: were they using a WDH? With our 17B w/Pro Series and now the 21 w/Andersen and over 8,000 miles traveled since 9/13 we've never experienced any sway.
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:38 PM   #18
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I got my Sherline from etrailer. It came with a 2,000 lb. gauge which is harder to read ( my tongue weight is only about 320# ). Also the gauge is most accurate in the middle of the range.
I've replaced the 2000# with 1000# gauge.
Last time I was at ETI they had the Sherline scale at what I consider to be a very reasonable price ( a deal ).

I have Pro Series WDH and it weighs enough. I wouldn't tolerate the weight of the Hensley for long, if at all.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
You got my curiosity up on the weight question, so I got my digital bathroom scale and weighed each crate:
The hitch itself 87.3 lbs [this is what I was thinking of when I said 75 lbs. I was low.]
Bars and clamps 52.3 lbs. [This is mostly to immobilize the ball horizontally but allow
vertical motions, as you mentioned.]
Weight Dist bars 51.5 lbs.
Total 191.1 lbs.

The total is high because of packing material, extra parts to allow clamping to box-member frames or bolting to open frames (I don't remember which ETI uses?), and hopefully a spare set of cotter pins and other easily lost parts. So it looks like your initial estimate of 150 lbs is roughly correct, and probably low.
Thanks for the numbers. I found a detailed ad from someone selling an Arrow, who had similar data (a higher total, but it wasn't the Cub version).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
Here I'm guessing that the weight distribution bars weigh about the same for any hitch?
Yes, all bending-bar WD systems (which means everything except the Andersen) are pretty similar, so bars of the same capacity will weigh about the same. Lower-capacity bars are lighter - one of the reasons for not getting higher bar capacity than required, which for most Escapes and most WD products simply means buying the lightest available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Art M. View Post
However, if someone can explain how easy and safe it is to measure the weight of one side of a 21' Escape at a time using some jack and the 2000 lb version of the Sherline...
Most of us use trucks scales. Some of those scales - typically the government-run ones at the side of the highway provided for checking commercial vehicles - are flush with the ground and it is possible to drive over them one side at a time. That's how I found the left/right difference with my current (non-Escape) trailer, and confirmed that making that more even fixes a side-to-side rolling (not swaying) behaviour.
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Old 01-29-2015, 08:23 AM   #20
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Art,
Did you even consider the Andersen Hitch, it weighs 50% less than yours and should provide the same benefits of no sway and w/d. Plus it's a lot less expensive. Andersen Manufacturing Inc.
I've used traditional w/d set ups and I'm on my second Andersen set up, sold the first with my first Escape.
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