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Old 07-02-2013, 07:40 AM   #169
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Doug, you say Andersen says that the coupler can come uncoupled from the ball. Can you sight one case where this has happened with the posters Marvel coupler or with any other coupler? Also how can you tell a poster that they are getting little or no weight distribution when they say they do? Still waiting for you to post actual issues that you experienced with the Andersen WD System.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:40 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Andersen talks about the Atwood coupler not the Marvel coupler. They are totally different animals.
I won't get into the weight distribution discussion.
This combination works for me. The handling is solid.
I would not recommend the Andersen on a trailer larger than mine. And would be skeptical as to how effective it is without the airbag system. Since the compression of the bushings have their limits.
IMHO
TG, here's my Atwood coupler and the Andersen. They look to be the same animal.

I also had 4,000 miles on the hitch and thought things were good. I wanted it to work and was overlooking reality. I was not getting enough weight distribution and recalled instances where the steering felt light on slippery roads, and pulled off the road for the day.

There also was concern about flexibility in vertical motion, such as driveway approaches. When I tightened the chains, there was virtually nothing left. Unlike the spring bars of a conventional hitch which flex, I noted the rigidity of the hitch caused the back of the truck and the front of the trailer to lift when going over these steep approaches. That's a lot of twisting on the truck receiver and trailer A-frame. It was apparent when I removed the hitch and found the bracket mounting holes elongated. The front lower side banana wrap on my trailer was torn loose from its mounting rivet; I cannot affirm this is from the hitch but it happened while it was used.

There was also heavy wear on the Andersen ball from the heavy forces on it, similar to what you describe. That doesn't look right. The friction material in the hitch began to squeeze out the top. That doesn't look right. These imply to me there is too much horizontal pressure being applied, even though weight distribution was not (could not be) fully applied.

The incompatibility of the hitch with late model Airstream couplers was the last straw for me. I became convinced Andersen had not fully evaluated and engineered the hitch. I agree it may be useful on very light trailers. The fact that they are selling it to be used on trailers as heavy as mine, even twice as heavy, seems irresponsible.

They are apparently satisfied letting users buy it and work out their own solutions to its shortcomings. Their are heroic innovations by users in the other Andersen thread to get this thing to work, including yours and mine, and it still cannot fully accomplish its basic weight distribution function.

doug k

On edit, am not able to upload the photo.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:43 AM   #171
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Doug;
The Atwood coupler has the infamous "shark fin". Which is supposed to keep the pawl mechanism in place when locked. Apparently they are shear off in some cases.
The Marvel coupler has no such mechanism. The pawl
lift bar is smooth. No notch. The lock mechanism is set farther back on the coupler. It does not have and never had the "shark fin".
When the ball is in the coupler socket and the lock mechanism is set. The pawl comes up against the bottom of the ball. The pawl rides in a channel and cannot ride up beyond the point of where it nestles with the ball.
I have increased the tension on the bushings to where the measurement I mentioned above is 2 1/2". This resulted in too stiff a ride. So I backed it off to the 3" dimension.
I believe that it is possible to put too much tension on any weight distribution system. The old add showing an A$ hitched to an Oldsmobile Toranado proves that. With enough tension on any WD hitch, you can literally lift the rear axle high enough to lose traction. This could and probably does cause handling problems different from the front axle being too light.
As with any mechanical device. There are limitations. Anyone using a WD system should have an understanding of the system. And how to adjust it for their particular needs.
If I felt I was putting myself, my family or other drivers in danger. I would not use this device.
I will continue to monitor the system closely and look for anything that changes.
Perhaps it is the fact that this particular Marvel coupler is rated a 20,000 pounds that makes the difference. I have another trailer with a Marvel coupler rated at 30,000 pounds and it is identical to the one on the Argosy. As far as the latch mechanism is concerned.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #172
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Andersen and the Atwood (Marvel) coupler

Let me state that this will be my last post on this tread. After finding the incompatibility with the Andersen and the Atwood 88010 (which is the same as Marvel) costing me a new coupler, then not being able to put the correct amount of pressure on the front axle of my 2012 Nissan Armada without putting so much pressure on the bushings that it ruined the chains and sleeve material and being stuck in NY waiting for new parts from Andersen, I bought a Blue Ox to drive home. When I got home, low and behold the replacement parts where here from Andersen.

Well, to make a long story short, I have a slightly used Andersen, with new chains and sleeve material for sale . . . cheap. Contact me.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:05 AM   #173
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Andersen and the Atwood (Marvel) coupler

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Doug, you say Andersen says that the coupler can come uncoupled from the ball. Can you sight one case where this has happened with the posters Marvel coupler or with any other coupler? Also how can you tell a poster that they are getting little or no weight distribution when they say they do? Still waiting for you to post actual issues that you experienced with the Andersen WD System.
I can. It happened to me. I noticed that the front of the shark fin was to completely sheared of when I was about to leave the Florida State Rally for home. When I got home, I began to raise the jack to take the tension of the chairs and the TT popped of the ball. The only think that was holding the TT on the ball was the tongue weight. Cost me a new coupler.
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:07 AM   #174
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Larry, I have heard good things about the Blue Ox. Good luck, hopes it works perfectly and you never have any issues with it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #175
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:10 PM   #176
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:42 PM   #177
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TGTwinkie; Are you sure that you were not looking at a old DR Pepper bottle? That was their old logo. 10 2 6.
Just kidding.
I have been following the the thread on the Andersen, which I have. I have not had any troubles so far but there is that doubt. I also called Andersen and sent them pictures of my hitch and set-up. They assured me that everything was OK, but to watch it. I was also told that they (Andersen) was in contact with Atwood for a possible modification but nothing had been finalized. I still have my EQ as a backup.
I'm surprised that the "FEDS" haven't formed a agency to monitor RV'S.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #178
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TGTwinkie; Are you sure that you were not looking at a old DR Pepper bottle? That was their old logo. 10 2 6.
Just kidding.
I have been following the the thread on the Andersen, which I have. I have not had any troubles so far but there is that doubt. I also called Andersen and sent them pictures of my hitch and set-up. They assured me that everything was OK, but to watch it. I was also told that they (Andersen) was in contact with Atwood for a possible modification but nothing had been finalized. I still have my EQ as a backup.
I'm surprised that the "FEDS" haven't formed a agency to monitor RV'S.
That would be great if Atwood and Anderson could come up with a fix to the coupler issue that doesn't include replacement. I'm keep in an eye on mine. So far okay, and wear on the ball indicates a good grip remains under the ball.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:53 PM   #179
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Andersen hitch experience

I posted earlier on the massive thread concerning Andersen hitches. Since this is an Andersen users thread, I will share my experiences. My AS is an 06 25FB, TV is 08 Ford 3/4 ton diesel. The coupler is the infamous 88007 Atwood. When I installed the hitch, I carefully followed the instructions. I only used the set screws along with the bolts to hold the brackets in place. However I used a cheater bar to accomplish the 3 additional turns called for after the set screw made contact with the frame. In positioning the brackets I was very careful to pull the chains as tight as possible to determine their location on the trailer frame. I found what I thought to be the proper tension on the chains to be achieved by having 5 threads exposed on one side and 6 threads exposed on the other side.
My first use was a trip of approximately 1000 miles to Big Bend NP. When I got home I thought there was some wear on the "sharks fin". To add strength to the fin, I welded a bead down each side so it was held not just from the back, but by being welded down each side to the top of the coupler. The latch flares enough on each side so that when it is closed the weld does not interfere with it and the holes for the pin line up in the normal position.
After reading the posts on the previous thread, I purchased an Atwood 81911 and a 88061 repair kit for the 88007. Before we left for Alaska, I decided to start with the original coupler as modified, and take the repair kit and new 81911 along as insurance. I also adopted TG Twinkies "belt AND suspenders" approach and put a safety chain over the hitch. I also followed idroba's suggestion by using a small amount of grease on the ball. I also used it on the latch and sharks fin. I drove from my home in Texas up through MT into Canada and up the Alaska Highway. We went to Homer, Seward, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. We returned via the Cassiar Highway through BC and into Washington, Oregon and Idaho back to Texas, in excess of 10,000 miles.
The brackets on the frame have not moved at all and the only wear has been a small amount on the ball and on the chain. I failed to apply grease to the chain in a timely manner or some of that wear could have been mitigated. I am a happy Andersen user.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:39 PM   #180
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Airtandem;

Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice. I do remember the old bottles.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by afneill View Post
I posted earlier on the massive thread concerning Andersen hitches. Since this is an Andersen users thread, I will share my experiences. My AS is an 06 25FB, TV is 08 Ford 3/4 ton diesel. The coupler is the infamous 88007 Atwood. When I installed the hitch, I carefully followed the instructions. I only used the set screws along with the bolts to hold the brackets in place. However I used a cheater bar to accomplish the 3 additional turns called for after the set screw made contact with the frame. In positioning the brackets I was very careful to pull the chains as tight as possible to determine their location on the trailer frame. I found what I thought to be the proper tension on the chains to be achieved by having 5 threads exposed on one side and 6 threads exposed on the other side.
My first use was a trip of approximately 1000 miles to Big Bend NP. When I got home I thought there was some wear on the "sharks fin". To add strength to the fin, I welded a bead down each side so it was held not just from the back, but by being welded down each side to the top of the coupler. The latch flares enough on each side so that when it is closed the weld does not interfere with it and the holes for the pin line up in the normal position.
After reading the posts on the previous thread, I purchased an Atwood 81911 and a 88061 repair kit for the 88007. Before we left for Alaska, I decided to start with the original coupler as modified, and take the repair kit and new 81911 along as insurance. I also adopted TG Twinkies "belt AND suspenders" approach and put a safety chain over the hitch. I also followed idroba's suggestion by using a small amount of grease on the ball. I also used it on the latch and sharks fin. I drove from my home in Texas up through MT into Canada and up the Alaska Highway. We went to Homer, Seward, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. We returned via the Cassiar Highway through BC and into Washington, Oregon and Idaho back to Texas, in excess of 10,000 miles.
The brackets on the frame have not moved at all and the only wear has been a small amount on the ball and on the chain. I failed to apply grease to the chain in a timely manner or some of that wear could have been mitigated. I am a happy Andersen user.
Thanks for the update. How was your experience with sway and pourpoising? How has the anti-sway friction material hold up over 10,000 miles, is it being pushed out?
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