Towing tips

Discussion in 'Towables' started by nomadmom, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. nomadmom

    nomadmom New Member

    My husband and I have surfed the internet looking at each make and model of 5th wheel and TT we might be interested in. We are carefully winnowing down the list of possibilities. Two main factors we used to illiminate models was #1 Floor plan #2 R-factor. When there was a tie, we used Weight factor to determine. Now I have a question concerning TT vs. 5th Wheel.

    My husband said he believes we are most likely going to start with a TT because that seems to be the most feasible. He thinks 5th Wheels are too heavy and hard to tow. Now we are going to start using a borrowed 5er to get some experience and the feel of things. I know experience and time will only tell. But TT are lighter in weight than 5ers. Question: Which ultimately is the easiest to use, tow and hitch. I heard TT's sway especially in windy weather. We plan on using it mainly on the west coast with Santa Ana's at times. Of course, with strong Santa Ana's whipping up we would probably cancel any travel plans.

    I also checked out a special hitch that is supposed to cut down on fishtailing called the Hensley Arrow. That would be for a TT. Does anyone have any prior experience or knowledge with the Hensley Arrow Hitch?

    Also, what is the difference of having the weight completely in back of your tow vehicle verses having some of it on top of your rear axle?
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips

    To put it simple, there is no comparison. The Fifth Wheel tows better. With the hitch over the axle, no sway, handles better - period. They will weigh more, but easier to tow.

    The Hensley is good, but very expensive. You can be hitched up for a lot less money and have sway controlled.
     
  3. nomadmom

    nomadmom New Member

    Re: Towing tips

    Thank you for the feed back Grandview :)
     
  4. campers4u

    campers4u New Member

    Re: Towing tips

    whats your tow vehicle ? 5ers will tow better but take a bigger truck to do it.
     
  5. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    RE: Towing tips


    Hello Nomadmom,

    I was the vice president of Hensley Mfg. for 10 years so I know a little bit about the product. I am currently manufacturing the next generation of that product designed by Jim Hensley. He no longer had anything to do with the company that was named after him.

    The Arrow and my new hitch, the 3P, DO eliminate trailer sway. A pivot point projection hitch makes towing a travel trailer as stable as a fifth wheel due to the effective pivot point of each being near the same location. One advantage a tt does have in wind is a lower center of gravity and less wind resistance for towing it down the road.

    The difference between having the weight completely in back versus over your rear axle is that a tt can be equipped with a weight distribution hitch to distribute some of that load to the front axle of the tow vehicle. With a fifth wheel the pin weight is over the rear axle.

    Anyway, if you do have any questions please let me know. I was directly involved in over 10,000 of these hitches being sold and have a new design that is a little less expensive.
     
  6. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips

    Mr. Woodruff, will you contact the good folks at RVUSA and help support this fine forum they provide us? You have some good information here, but we really need your support or they might stop letting us hang around here and talk about it.

    That sure would be a profitable gesture on your part. I'm sure of it! (Seein' as how you got your name out here for all of us to see for free.)

    Thank you for your support.
     
  7. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    Re: Towing tips

    I sure will. I am a supporting member of a number of other forums as well as paying the cost of running my own so I have no problem doing that. Thanks.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Towing tips

    hey atleast he was honest ;) :laugh:
     
  9. H2H1

    H2H1 Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips

    Let's just wait and see if he will follow thru and see if he is as honest as he seem.
     
  10. TexasClodhopper

    TexasClodhopper Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips



    That is great, Sean! You can ask Kenneth at GTS, we support those that support us.

    (And his picture looks so much better than mine! :laugh: )
     
  11. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips

    The 5th wheel is much easier to tow and hook up than a TT. The proper hitch, like the Hensley or the PullRite can minimize this advantage. A fifth wheel is also higher (more wind resistance but more headroom). Travel trailers generally have less storage. The TT floor plan is all on one level, while the fifth wheel has a steep set of stairs. The TT can be pulled by any vehicle which is rated to tow that much; the fifth wheel can only be towed by a pickup truck or specialized towing vehicle. The overall length of a fifth wheel/tow vehicle combination is less than that of the equivalent TT and tow vehicle. The fifth wheel eliminates much of the cargo room in the tow vehicle.

    Those who use their trailer for long periods of time tend to prefer the fifth wheel. If you use it occasionally, and are willing to get the right hitch, pick whichever one you like best.
     
  12. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    Re: Towing tips

    I already submitted my information with the manufacturer/supplier form. If it would have had a way to pay I would have done that too.

    Tough crowd... ;)
     
  13. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Towing tips

    here i go agian ,, he tried so we need to cut him some slack ,, for now ;) :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  14. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    Re: Towing tips


    Thanks 730!

    You guys will see that I'll earn my keep. I understand the skepticism. I'll really only respond when I have something of value to contribute. If my 10+ years in the industry can help I'm glad to contribute. I also owned a SunnyBrook dealership for a few years in the early part of this century (sounds like a long time ago, huh?) :)
     
  15. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips

    Hey Sean Woodruff, welcome to the forum. Thanks for not getting riled. We get a little touchy about people looking for free advertisement. However, we do welcome honest manufacturers and dealers. Good advice is hard to come by.

    Nomadmom, Sean has good advice about using a good hitch if you buy a TT. If you don't get the right hitch setup a TT is much harder to tow than a 5th wheel. Personally I like the ease of hitching and towing with a 5er, but I do year round RVing.

    The TT has the advantage of having family friendly floor plans , lighter in weight and work great for weekenders. Also, you can get a heavy duty 3/4 ton Chevy Suburban or Ford Excursion and put your large family in it and tow the TT.

    Whatever you decide on it will be fun if you use it a lot. RVing is great.
     
  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Re: Towing tips

    I agree with DL what ever u buy ,, and like then go for it

    Sean i own and run an rv repair shop both on and off sight ,, and i know how it goes when u step into a new realm ;) :laugh:
    OOps bty welcome to the forum ;) :) :)
     
  17. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    Re: Towing tips

    Thanks, DL and 730.

    I'm pretty difficult to rile... :laugh:

    I appreciate the welcomes!
     
  18. nomadmom

    nomadmom New Member

    RE: Towing tips

    "I am currently manufacturing the next generation of that product designed by Jim Hensley. He no longer had anything to do with the company that was named after him."

    I'm just curious, why is that, Sean?

    Also, I wouldn't be opposed to investing in a product that I thought would make our traveling safer and more comfortable. I was concerned about the wind resistance with the 5er being so high. I still am not sure about the length of a TT. We will weigh both the 5th and the TT equally in merit and base our decision on what best "fits" our family. Thanks for the input.
    I think with the availability of those hitches we should have more options before us.

    Heather
     
  19. Sean Woodruff

    Sean Woodruff New Member

    RE: Towing tips

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for asking...

    Jim had a falling out with the owner of the company about three years ago and went to work on a new design. While the towing performance is hard to improve upon he did improve upon some of the problem areas of the Arrow.

    My part of the story is that on July 2nd I walked into work and was canned without any notice. I had run the company for the owner for 10 years and he decided to start paying his son-in-law the same salary as I was earning for a lot less work. I had a discussion with the owner on the Wednesday before the 2nd about not getting a raise for 5 straight years and the owner looked me right in the face and blew smoke up a place that smoke doesn't belong. A very good conversation about how we can grow and blah, blah, blah... The following Monday was the 2nd and I was terminated.

    With 4 kids to feed, the oldest starting college in 2 years, I was rather stunned for a couple of months. Once I came out of the pissed off stage I took account of my skills and ability and contacted Jim. I licensed his next design and went to work on building my company. I had already built one company so doing it again isn't all that difficult. With a lot less dead weight around the office, and an upgraded product that incorporates a lot of customer feedback from the old design, I have the premier product for the customer at a less expensive price tag. Still expensive, but not AS expensive.

    In hindsight, the owner of my former company did me the greatest favor anyone has ever done for me. NOT a smart business decision on his part BUT a GREAT favor for me.

    That's the Reader's Digest version.

    :)
     
  20. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    Re: Towing tips



    Good luck with your new company, we will wait and see what your new product does for towing and what it costs.

    Don't get mad, but I will always feel the 5th wheel tows better. I have towed literally thousands of trailers over the last 33 years. When you get the weight on top of the frame, there is no comparison. In my opinion, the only drawback to a Fifth Wheel is the fact you have to have a Pick Up.

    To be fair, I have not used the Hensley.
     

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