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Old 09-29-2014, 05:53 PM   #1
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Andersen Hitch

We just bought a used Airstream Safari that came with an Andersen Hitch. Does anyone have any experience with this hitch and how well do they work? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:10 PM   #2
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They work outstanding with the correct trailer/TV combinations. Stand by for desenting opinions from a couple of folks.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:26 PM   #3
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Melinkat,

Do a search, there is plenty of information already in this forum about Anderson hitches. Use your favorite search engine ( not the forums one) and use the search terms anderson hitch and airforums .

Here's 403 pages worth for you to start with

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ead-92131.html

And here
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...on-101220.html
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:28 PM   #4
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Here's lots of folks with desenting opinions

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ead-92131.html

including us, who used it on our Ram 1500/25' Airstream and found it could not distribute near enough weight and plagued with problems, including incompatibility with Airstream hitch couplers which it may break the coupler mechanism allowing the trailer to detach from the truck. We replaced it.

If you have a very light trailer, it may distribute enough weight and provide sway control, but you may still need to replace the trailer coupler.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:53 PM   #5
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Works for Me

Coming up on 23,000+ miles of towing our '74 Argosy 26' with the Andersen Hitch. Using an '08 Tundra.
Have had no problems with the unit.
I do however have air bags on my TV.
Usually tow at 60mph.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #6
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Anderson WD Hitch 2 Year Report

I have towed with the Anderson WD hitch from July 2012 to June 2014 when I reluctantly changed to a Blue Ox Weight Distributing Hitch. Here's the story.

The Anderson has been fitted to three trailers across those 2 years, all silver Avions. The first and second were 1979 and 1983 Avion 30Ps (tongue weight about 600 pounds) and the third is a 1983 Avion 34V (tongue weight over 900 pounds).

All three trailers were towed with a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 HD 4WD with Cummins 5.9L diesel engine.

The towing experience with the 30' Avions was simply exceptional. I could not have asked for more. The lash-up was perfectly tight (I love that there is no bump at all with the Anderson WD), and the weight distribution was exactly perfect. I would set the truck and trailer on very level ground and dial-in the weight distribution so that the front and rear wheel wells of the truck were exactly level, just as there were without the trailer attached. The truck would usually "sit" about 1/2" lower with the trailer attached.

I also loved how easy the Anderson is to set up and break down, and how well it turns while backing up. The whole hitch is beautifully designed and just a wonderful ownership experience (setup, hitching, unhitching, weight distribution and sway control, all wonderful). And... the trailers towed like they were on rails! Absolutely straight and true.

Then I bought and restored the Avion 34V and transferred the Anderson to that coach. I was not able to get the weight distribution right on that coach with its higher tongue weight. Driving the 34' with the Anderson hitch from Texas to Northern California was a white-knuckle experience. The truck was squirly, very light front end, and every semi that passed me on windy roads created a harrowing experience. Construction zones were a very special kind of hell. During that trip, I spoke to Anderson's technical support several times to try to find out what to do to get it set up for this new trailer, finally speaking with the president of Anderson, who told me that if the tongue weight was too high, it could not control the trailer. He wouldn't commit to what tongue weight was too high, but it was clear by then that the tongue weight of the tri-axle 34' most certainly was beyond its ability to control.

So I researched alternatives and ended up with the Blue Ox WD hitch. It's a lovely hitch but it was installed with 1500 lb arms. Too much leverage for the 34'. I changed those out for the 1000 lb arms and viola! Perfect weight distribution and quite good sway control. It also backs up without removing the WD arms, which is a big plus. On the down side, the Blue Ox weighs as much as an ox. God that thing is heavy! I miss my Anderson with its lightweight chains and stinger.

My conclusion is that the Anderson is a perfect solution for single and double axle Airstream and Avion trailers, but it may not be able to handle triple axle trailers like 34' Airstreams and Avions. The Blue Ox is fine, but I really do miss my Anderson.

I am happy to answer any questions about my experience.

Also, if anyone wants a good lightly used Anderson WD hitch they can PM me.
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Old 10-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellinkat View Post
We just bought a used Airstream Safari that came with an Andersen Hitch. Does anyone have any experience with this hitch and how well do they work? Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
I have one that works very well with a 17' Casita, but wouldn't dream of using one with a large Airstream.

You didn't mention what size your trailer is, and it's not in your info.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:17 PM   #8
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You have heard from the main descenders.

As noted above the Andersen is the best hitch on the market with some limitations.

Lightly sprung TVs have limitations on tongue weight. However my 34 fter behind a Ford Excursion is a dream.

The Andersen may over time cause an Atwood coupler, type used often on Airstreams, to fail. Several have replaced that coupler with a Quick Bite.

If weight distribution is the principle requirement because of TV springs sets the Andersen may not be the first choice. However if sway control is your principle requirement than go for it.

Read the above noted thread and compare the number of satisfied user to those with questions and note the TV/ trailer combinations of each.

Cost per performance it stands alone.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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And now, you have heard from the main cheerleaders.

If you have a late model trailer, and it has an Atwood coupler, be prepared to replace the coupler in the near future. Also be prepared to tow with less than adequate weight distribution if your trailer has a tongue weight above about 500 pounds.

Like HowieE says, read the above mentioned threads.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:38 PM   #10
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I tow a 30 foot International with an F150 Ecoboost, and the Anderson hitch. I have used it about 18,000 miles, and over the continental divide several times. It performs beautifully. I keep an eye on the Atwood coupler shark fin issue, applying new paint every so often so I can detect any damage or stress. Put me on the cheerleader side.
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:07 PM   #11
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Count me among the cheerleaders for the Andersen hitch. I have had mine for about 2 years and have towed about 20,000 miles, including a trip up the Alaska Highway and back. I am towing a 25' Safari with an F250 Ford pickup. I still have the original Atwood coupler on my trailer. I bought and carry with me a replacement coupler in the event I should need it. I also carry repair parts for the Atwood coupler in case I need those. I did two small beads of preventive welding to strengthen the coupler. I like the smooth ride for the AS, the ease of hitching and unhitching, and the light weight of the Andersen hitch itself. It obviously does not meet some people's expectations or requirements, but I like the way it works for me.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:04 PM   #12
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Yes I am one of those dastardly Anderson CHEERLEADERS even tho I am currently using a Blue Ox Swaypro. With the right TV/trailer combination there is none finer for the money spent.

Interesting how H/PP fanboys spend so much time on the Anderson threads bashing a rival product. It always makes me wonder what motivates them.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:16 PM   #13
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For our combination it works great and seems to be easier on the Airstream, in the first 4000 miles with a Drawtite and 750 lb bars we broke at least 6 interior pop rivets. In at least 15000 miles with the Andersen just broke the first 2 this summer. Around 4000 miles of this use have been on Alaska roads and the rest is the Alaska Highway and points south. We have towed in winter with snow and no problems at all. We did change the factory coupler after about 3000 miles of use and feel now that we did not need to, I had reamed the holes in the latch to use a larger pin that fit tight. We will be headed south again the end of Feb. 2015 with the Andersen pulling the Airstream.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:30 PM   #14
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Both my 20' Airstream and 20' Argosy have hitch weights very close to 700#. I have done the scales measurements to see if enough weight is transferred to the front of my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee with the Andersen hitch. Yes, there is...and my front and rear axle ratings are within specs. The trailers handle exceptionally well and tow like they are one unit, Jeep and Airstream together.

Somewhere in the 12,000+ miles of towing in the past two seasons. Completely satisfied with the hitch. Andersen provided new updated parts for free when I visited the factory in Idaho Falls ID last July. The hitch is very lightweight and easy to handle and hook up. The coupler issue was solved to my satisfaction with simply enlarging the hole in the lever and stationary pin to 3/8 inch and putting a 3/8 bolt through it while traveling so there is no possible movement of the lever, thus no wear to the fin. The hole does need to be enlarged so there is room to put a pin or bolt with a tight fit, so there is no movement between the two parts. I replaced the coupler on the Argosy with a new one of the original stile prior to identification that there was an issue with the coupler vs. hitch. The original coupler had wear and cracks in it after 38 years of service and needed replacement to begin with.

There are a lot of good hitches on the market. I happen to like the Andersen best at this point, in comparison to my other two hitches, a trunion square bar Reese and a round bar Draw Tight (now being made by Reese).

Sway has never been an issue with my Airstream towing. I do find the Andersen to be even more solid a tow though, in comparison with my other hitches.

As I become older (or just plain old) I find the lightweight Andersen with it's ease of hookup to be an added advantage. No heavy bars to store, no greasy ends to deal with, and the hitch head itself is lightweight and easy to install and remove in comparison to the other hitch heads I own.

Thats my experience at any rate.
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