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Old 03-06-2014, 09:30 AM   #1
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Carefree , Arizona
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Damaged Atwood Sharkfin using Anderson WD

I have been using an Anderson WD hitch on my 2010 25FB and F150 for a year. Overall it has performed well.

Unfortunately, my Atwood coupler's sharkfin has become damaged. I believe it is one of the 88xxx versions that Anderson now says are not compatible. As you can see from the photo, the leading edge of the fin has been sheared off. Approx 1/8" remains. I assume that the upward pressure has caused the issue.

I know it needs to be resolved. Question for those knowledgeable on the forum, how dangerous is it as it is right now? Can the sharfin be ground off and a new fin welded?

If the coupler has to be replaced, what brands are recommended? I love the concept of the QuickBite but they appear to have gone out of business as their website is gone and phone disconnected. Is there anything similar to it out there?

I am also considering giving up on the Anderson and getting a Equalizer 90-00-1000 which is rated at 1000 pound tongue weight and 10,000 overall weight. Any feedback and thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
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I would not tow with it using any hitch system if the fin is damaged. It will have to be replaced. I would question any repair of the original coupler. I don't believe any parts are available for repair, although possibly a new one could be used as a donor parts source. There are other couplers on the market that could be used with the Anderson, or any other hitch. Coupler cost is relatively low, $50 to $125, and the replacement cost to remove and re weld is generally in the $150 to $200 range.
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Old 03-06-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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Hi, I have towed my 25' Safari for nine years using an Equal-I-zer hitch. [one that you mentioned] With no problems at all. The Andersen puts an unusual amount of pressure on your coupler. And with the Andersen, the coupler has too much play in the latch mechanism. If you were able to drill the latch pin area so all of the holes are the same size and install a lock or pin that fits that hole tight, there would be little or no movement at the shark fin, and it probably wouldn't fail. With your lock in the pin hole, use a small flat blade screw driver, and push the latch away from the shark fin. [I did this] You will see on a new / undamaged coupler, that you can almost push it completely off of the fin. This makes it easy to fail.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:27 AM   #4
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Thanks Robert. Anderson too has suggested drilling the hole which makes sense. I am going to do this to try to salvage a trip we planned this weekend. Following that, I'll likely switch over to an Equalizer setup. I was wondering if you could tell me exactly where to drill the hole? A picture would be great but not sure if you have one handy or not. Any info here would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wiredforless View Post
Thanks Robert. Anderson too has suggested drilling the hole which makes sense. I am going to do this to try to salvage a trip we planned this weekend. Following that, I'll likely switch over to an Equalizer setup. I was wondering if you could tell me exactly where to drill the hole? A picture would be great but not sure if you have one handy or not. Any info here would be greatly appreciated!
Hi, in your picture, the hole where your lock is. The holes are two different sizes. You need one size that will fit a lock shaft or pin fairly tight.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:20 PM   #6
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Got it...thanks!
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:05 AM   #7
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Regarding a replacement coupler for the a-frame, I have wondered if the bulldog collar lok would work well for use with the andersen. Heavy duty, and the closing mechanism comes in to wrap around the ball from the side. We have them on a couple of our small horse trailers. I like the design.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:29 AM   #8
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Quickbite couplers are still available from lots of sources. Lippert Components bought the patent a few years ago.

Adding one is my next project.

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:11 AM   #9
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I am also considering giving up on the Anderson and getting a Equalizer 90-00-1000 which is rated at 1000 pound tongue weight and 10,000 overall weight. Any feedback and thoughts would be appreciated!
We found our Andersen troublesome and unable to transfer the tongue weight of our trailer. The situation you have now is dangerous. Anderson should have enclosed a warning their hitch is not compatible with standard Airstream couplers for this reason.

The Equal-I-Zer will work well, simple to install and use, and is safe. We've used one. But you still need to fix your damaged coupler.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:18 AM   #10
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I knew I did not like the Anderson hitch design. Since the Anderson pulls forward it puts all the stress on the locking mechanism and not the front nose of the hitch?

Perry
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:30 AM   #11
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I replaced my Andersen with a Equal-i-zer because (1) I couldn't get proper weight transfer and (2) the same hitch compatibility issue. Very happy with the Equal-i-zer.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:41 AM   #12
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I started last year with an Andersen hitch, a Quick-Bite coupler and an EZ-connector electric plugs. All have worked very well together on our 1987 25' sovereign. I found my Quick-Bite on Amazon at half the price. My second choice would have been the Bull Dog hitch. There seem to be several people that must cruse this forum looking for anybody asking about the Andersen hitch so they can add their negative comments. There many more of us that are using the Andersen hitch and are sharing what we have learned about it. This includes its many good points and also its short comings.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:07 AM   #13
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I replaced my coupler with a Quickbite when I got an Anderson. Not because I worried about the Anderson but because the coupler was 45 years old. I love the combination and it did cost a lot to do it. I also believe several people have reported they used the Anderson recommended fix successfully.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:26 AM   #14
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I have an Andersen, and it works very well on the trailer I use it on, a 17' Casita. And judging from what I've seen on this forum and others, I wouldn't recommend using an Andersen with any trailer having a tongue weight over about 500 pounds.

They just don't have the geometry to distribute the tongue weight beyond that without stuff failing.
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