Category Archives: Ramblings

This is where it all started …



Here we are picking up our first trailer from the dealership in 1986. A Coleman pop-up trailer weighing a mere 950 lb, which is why we were able to tow it with a VW GTI. We camped in this for about 10 years. We modified it internally so that we had a queen-sized bed. A great and efficient design overall, but not the best in extreme weather.

A stay on North Carolina’s Outer Banks convinced us to go for a hard-sided trailer as this trailer flapped and rattled and squeaked the whole time we were there – the wind just never let up. We didn’t realize how windy it normally gets on the Outer Banks till we walked around the campground and noticed that all their rental units were shackled to the ground.

Here it is all set up and ready to enjoy.



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Which led to this

A 21′ Thor “Aero” trailer weighing in at 2100 lb. being towed by a Nissan Pathfinder. We enjoyed this this one for a number of years but eventually got tired of having to break up the dinette every night to turn it into a bed.

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And then this…

A 27 ‘ Award trailer at 3500 lb. This one had a permanent bedroom, but poor weight distribution made this one not a good towing experience – the axles were too far forward and most of the weight was in the back. This trailer was made in Canada based on a British design. It had rubber torsion axles instead of springs, something that most trailers would benefit from as it gives a lower center of gravity. Compared to our previous trailer it was also more aerodynamic resulting in about 15 % better gas milage even though it was 1000 lb.heavier.


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And finally this…



In 2006 we bought this brand-new Airstream Safari Special edition 28′ trailer. Now we are up to 6800 lb. and teamed it with a very capable Silverado diesel truck. This is a great trailer to tow as it has a low center of gravity, rubber torsion axles and of course a very streamlined shape. Towing is further improved by a Hensley Arrow hitch . This is an amazing piece of engineering since it eliminates any external forces such as winds etc on the trailer from affecting the tow vehicle, thus completely eliminating any possibility of sway. Crosswinds or passing 18-wheelers do not affect it so that you can control the tow vehicle with one finger! No white-knuckle driving here. Pictures of our Airstream can be seen here in the picture galleries. A full Airstream data sheet can be found here (requires PDF reader).

As of Apr. 2018 we have logged 86,000 kilometers on the Airstream.


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So how does the Hensley-Arrow hitch work?

The Hensley hitch does not pivot on the hitch ball as in the usual setup, but through a trapezoidal link system. There are many explanations of the principle on the web such as this one for example. Apparently it is derived from a system used on old tractors and other farm implements.

Below is a video demonstrating the principle of the hitch. It refers to a ProPride hitch which is a Hensley competitor, but the principle is the same.

And then there is this one:


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