Pulling a trailer is like getting married. You are joining two distinct items through a simple system that can be fragile if the hitch is not right. With the wrong hitch couples end up in divorce and trailers separate from their tow vehicles and end up damaged. Often beyond repair for both.
One main difference is that the Propride hitch is made for heavier loads, while the Equalizer hitch is made for lighter trailers and smaller cars. Then the most important difference will be the price. The Propride option is very expensive in comparison to its competition.
To learn more about the differences and problems with each hitch, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you want to know about so you can make the best hitch decision possible.
Let’s deal with the biggest difference first. The Equalizer costs around $1000 approx., while the Propride costs around $3000 roughly. It is a big difference when you are on a limited budget.
But the elimination of sway when you are towing a longer and heavier trailer may be worth the extra $2000. The equalizer may eliminate sway for lighter trailers but it is supposed to have problems with heavier ones.
The Propride eliminates the sway in those larger heavier trailers some owners like to tow. This option may be overkill if you go lighter and to a smaller tow vehicle.
Another difference would be that it may be more difficult to back up with the Equalizer than it is with the Propride. As most of you know, backing up is risky as it is hard to see what is behind you. If the hitch makes that task more difficult, then second thoughts about using it are in order.
Also, the Propride may be a bit on the difficult side to install and it does come with some application restrictions. With the Equalizer, you may find it harder to make tight turns as the trailer is more independent than when the Propride option is used.
It is said that there are 3 common problems that come with this hitch. You may have experienced these issues yourself.
1. Sway- The maker of this hitch advertises it as a sway control hitch that eliminates this problem. Many owners have backed up this claim with their own experiences. One went as far as to say that he could drive with 2 fingers on the wheel when a tractor-trailer passed him.
However, sway is not just caused by wind or passing vehicles. Some owners have experienced sway while using this hitch. The source of their problem was bad tires, badly distributed weight in your trailer and tow vehicle, as well as bad alignments, and more.
The hitch is not going to stop sway under those conditions.
2. Weight distribution- tongue weight is still in play here d if you put too much weight on this hitch, you can have tow problems. We haven’t checked the tongue weight for this brand of hitch yet but it is safe to conclude there is a limit to how much weight you can put on it.
Too much weight will contribute to the failure of the hitch. This also involves how you distribute the weight in your trailer and tow vehicle. You have to be careful to not overload your trailer or the tongue to let this hitch work properly.
3. Damage to your vehicle- this is not the direct fault of this hitch. Instead, it is the fault of how much weight you put on your tow vehicle, tongue, and trailer. Too much weight can help the Propride damage your vehicle.
When you are towing lighter than the maximum weight limits, you should not see this problem. But when you pack wrong, over time you may start to see some damage done by the hitch.
Not a common problem but sometimes the tapered bearings can wear out and disappear on you. You have to check the bearing caps, and lift them off to check the bear underneath to see if they are failing.
The reason this situation takes place is that water can get inside and when it does rust starts to form. You should keep this area covered when you can. It is not always possible to keep it covered all the time. But when you are camping or have the trailer in storage it should be covered to protect it.
Unfortunately, at the moment there is no way to grease the bearing and owners are calling for zerks to be added to this part on the hitch to help stop this issue from occurring.
It was said by one owner that the Hensley Arrow is on par with the Propride. That means it is designed to eliminate sway for larger and heavier trailers. It also means that it is going to be costly. According to the Hensley website, their hitches start at $2400 approx.
The equalizer is supposed to provide 4-point sway control while the Hensley just says continuous sway control. Then the Equalizer uses friction control to stop side to side sway while the Hensley does not.
The company says that will friction control stops side to side sway it also hinders the tow vehicle in turning and regaining control of the trailer once swaying begins.
Both hitches come with high tow ratings although most owners of Equalizer have said it is better with lighter vehicles and not so good for heavier ones. The designs of both hitches are similar but the Equalizer seems to be simpler in design and easier to attach to your trailer.
The equalizer will start at under $1000. Any extras will boost that price. Both websites have a store where you can buy directly from them or you can go through a dealer.
The story of these two hitches is an interesting one. Hensley hitch seems to have not made any design changes in over 30 years of manufacturing It is the same style of hitch today as it was in the 1990s.
The Propride hitch is actually a design modification created by Jim Hensley for his company, Hensley Manufacturing. However, when the company did not accept the design change, Mr. Hensley joined his former vice-president at Propride.
That company accepted the design change which became Propride 3. The only change Hensley has made to its hitch is to add a dual jack system for weight distribution.
The changes Propride has made over the years are: adding an adjustable hitch bar, one-piece yoke, no hitch drilling, making a better hitch bar wedge & hitch box angle, thicker hitch box, and more.
By far, the Propride hitch is better than the Henley model. The Hensley hitch does work and does what it is supposed to do. But if the hitch fails, it has been said that so does the customer service and support.
We checked the Propride website since it has a link titled maintenance in the top menu. However, that link just sent us to different products the company has for sale.
One of the products that are on sale at that store is a maintenance kit. The kit includes a lube gun, hitch covers, 2 weight distribution jack covers, 3-in-one oil, a can of lubricant, and a can of black spray paint.
We have not found any good instructions on how or when to maintain this hitch. There was a similar complaint made by an owner of the Equalizer. The bearings need lubing from time to time, but the owner said he was not given any instructions on how to maintain the hitch or lube the bearing.
Keep in mind that the bearing cap has no zerk to attach the lube gun to for an owner to lube the bearing inside the cap. This is a situation where you may have to ask the company directly for the instructions to maintain this hitch. Or at least a dealer or mechanic experienced in lubing and maintaining this hitch.
This is also on sale at the Propride website store. It comes with a hitch cover and a hitch lock plate. They are on sale as a set but the hitch covers are on back order. This means that the company will not ship the parts separately but will wait till they get more hitch covers before filling any orders.
The kit also comes with a 2” ball coupler that is supposed to be used for parking lot and storage situations. Also included in this deal are two weight distribution jack covers.
You can get all of these parts for the low price of $349, direct from the store. We are not sure how much the kit costs at any of Propride’s dealers. The purpose of the lot bar is for you to be able to tow your trailer a short distance without having to dismantle the hitch.
This is not for highway use. By itself, you can expect to pay around $300 for it at other retailers.
There are 4 different models, the 600, 800, 1000, and the 1400. So far we have been able to determine that each one weighs 195 pounds exactly. According to the Propride web page selling this hitch, that is 75 to 100 pounds more than competitors’ conventional hitches.
Each model has its own tongue weight limits. The 600 stops at 600 pounds, the 800 at 800 pounds, and on it goes. The tongue weight is the model number.
The tow weight seems to be up to 20,000 pounds for the Propride 3 model. That gives you a lot of room when shopping for a trailer. But make sure to match the tongue weight or you may end up experiencing several problems when you are on the road.
Also, do not overload your tow vehicle or trailer with extra weight. Stick to all towing capacities including this hitch as you do not want to have an accident during your holiday.
You know the score so we won’t dwell on that issue any further. The key is to make sure you know what to pack and where to pack it so you have a safe journey.
The quick answer would be no it does not. What these weight distributing hitches do is distribute the weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle. They do not reduce nor add to your tongue weight.
That restriction remains the same no matter which hitch you use. The tension on the spring bars merely lifts the tongue so you can tow level. ‘There is a second higher capacity for the hitch for when weight distribution is used’.
You need to meet, not exceed, this second figure when attaching a weight-distribution hitch to your trailer. If you are not sure what that figure is, talk to a mechanic with experience in weight distribution hitches.
That figure will be different for different-sized trailers. When it comes to changing from a conventional hitch to a weight distribution one, you should get experienced advice to make sure all goes well.l
Don’t assume that everything will be the same or that you can add more weight to your trailer.
When it comes to these types of hitches, your decision to buy will boil down to a few important factors. One will be the price of the branded hitch, another will be the size of your trailer, and the third will be the tongue weight.
Make sure to analyze all the facts surrounding these hitches and read some owners' views on the different discussion forums. Those will help you in your decision-making process.
Plus, it will help you get the right model for your next towing time. Right now, Propride seems to be the best option.