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Old 01-13-2014, 12:53 PM   #99
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:11 PM   #100
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Ganaraska, I think you're missing something comparing the flexibility of weight distribution bars to Andersen's urethane bushing.

The weight distribution bars do flex when going over uneven roadways or into steep driveways. The Andersen depends on the remaining flexibility in the urethane bushings after it's (weak) attempt at weight distribution to take this vertical movement. Take a look at a squished Andersen urethane bushing and decide for yourself how much flexibility is remaining.

The notion that heavy duty trucks don't need weight distribution is another story. If true then don't use thousand pound w.d. bars, use 400# bars. You will have poor weight distribution like the Andersen, but a nice flexible weight distribution hitch.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #101
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That makes sense. Your Airstreams are light compared to a truck versus my tractor to my Trailblazer. If it can redistribute as much weight as you need it to, it is clearly the easiest WD system to use.
I wonder if they'll make one with a longer distance ball to chain plate for people who want more redistribution. Heck, they could just extend the tapered insert 2 or 3 inches, tweak the chain plate, and violla...
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Old 01-13-2014, 02:12 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by TWerner View Post
That makes sense. Your Airstreams are light compared to a truck versus my tractor to my Trailblazer. If it can redistribute as much weight as you need it to, it is clearly the easiest WD system to use.
I wonder if they'll make one with a longer distance ball to chain plate for people who want more redistribution. Heck, they could just extend the tapered insert 2 or 3 inches, tweak the chain plate, and violla...
Our ProPride is at least as easy to use than the Andersen we had, just align it, back in and latch it, set the weight distribution, hook up the cables/chains and go. Our Equal-I-Zer was also as easy.

As for longer distance to get more leverage, there was already a problem with the friction material being squished out of our Andersen hitch from the pull on the lower side of the hitch, as well as elongated bracket mounting bolt holes in our trailer A-frame. There was also significant wear on one side of the hitch ball.
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:10 PM   #103
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The Equal-I-Zer is also on my list, but it clearly isn't as easy to hook up as the Andersen. I'd probably just get the E2. I'm just going into town to pick up an implement for my tractor or taking the tractor to the dealer. You guys who drive for hours clearly will have more experience with these hitches than I will. I'll drive the tractor up to the correct location, chain it, hook the trailer to my Chevy, and go. The Andersen seems like it won't slow me down much doing that. The E2 seems like it will take more time, but costs less.

I haven't heard of ProLine, is it in the same price range as the Andersen and the Equal-I-Zer?
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:36 AM   #104
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Got it, thanks.

I'm only an Airstream owner's sibling, but contributors here have shared more about their experiences with the Andersen than on any other forum, so I inquired here. I can see both pros and cons to the design. More pros than cons right now given my intended use.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:38 AM   #105
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The Equal-I-Zer is also on my list, but it clearly isn't as easy to hook up as the Andersen.
I own both hitches and found the opposite to be true. The Anderson hitch bushing nuts needed to be torqued every time to it was attached, then un-torqued to remove it. It has these two large nuts (they provide a large socket) that squish the rubber bushings to create down force. Simply jacking the trailer up/down with tow vehicle attached was insufficient to loosen/tighten the chains enough, thus additional torquing was needed. I admit that I was trying hard to get the hitch to properly balance my tow vehicle, which it barely did at its maximum setting. Also, maybe a quirk of my hitch, the triangular plate never wanted to just fall off, even when the chains were totally loose. I had to beat on it to remove it.

I think the equalizer hitch is easier to hook up because, once adjusted, the down force is the same every time. Hookup is brainless. Jack the trailer up, slide the two square bars in their slots and place the clips. I spend more time holding the electric jack raise/lower switch than anything.

I'm not bashing the Anderson hitch. It just didn't work well for my application.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:29 PM   #106
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I want to apologize here. I'm stuck trying to compare apples to oranges in asking you guys questions, so the opinions you're all providing me with and the explanations may not translate to many others on this site. Only to those who are considering the Andersen and have both an Airstream and a material carrying type of trailer. What kscherzi said makes sense if your trailer weight is pretty consistent.

My flat trailer will weigh 2800 lbs empty. How much it weighs halfway through trips behind my poor Trailblazer will vary from 2800 to around 5000 lbs, and how much tongue weight I have will depend on how far forward the rental yard drops an implement or on how much material I'm picking up.

Being able to measure the front bumper height and just crank another turn or two on the Anderson bushings to get back some front wheel weight, seems perfect. It's never going to be as exact as you guys can do on a CAT scale, but it's a lot safer than nothing.

I was initially concerned about whether the Andersen would be sufficient to let a larger vehicle tow the actual tractor short distances. In those situations, which will only happen a couple of times a year, the trailer GVW will be around 7600 lbs . I can paint a line on the bed showing where the front wheels go to get 800 lbs on tongue weight, but I'll still have to re-adjust any WD hitch each time I use it. The crank & measure adjustment seems better for me. Hope I'm not missing something thinking that way. It's why I wanted to learn a bit more about the Andersen before committing several hundred dollars to a WD hitch.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:34 PM   #107
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The built-in camera of the Tundra did it for me, plunged in and got it as my 1st truck from an SUV user. An Andersen hitch w/ a Quickbite coupler and now a truck w/ a back-up camera make's it the smoothest Airstream ride, I will report on that later. I know though that the Andersen is the only hitch w/ an anti-bounce feature and I can say that it's, true. Hope that this old issue of weight distribution pertinent & needed for the bar-type hitches do not confuse users or perspective Andersen users. An Andersen is unlike anything out there and weight distribution is not mentioned on setting it up. Just do the fender measurements and you're good to go. The older bar type MUST hone in on their scale numbers and worry about WD because of ride roughness, wear & tear issues.The anti bounce feature of the Andersen is unique and must be emulated somehow w/out infringing on patents. Not that the Andersen doesn't transfer weight nor enough weight nor this or that because the Andersen is above all that, nothing to compare it with. The future of trailer hitches is here, it'll get better, the bar-type is too rigid, too expensive, too dirty, too expensive. Hate to bring up an old worn out topic but it keeps popping up?
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #108
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I see what you mean, Mike.

Maybe my first trip should be to the Food Lion for some of that Kool-Aid

Still, even realizing it's a new product that could be tweaked or improved over the next few years, if my understanding of how I could adjust it after my trailer is loaded at a rental yard is correct, I suspect it is a decent choice for me right now.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:20 PM   #109
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Just an update

We just returned fro a 3,400 mile trip with my Andersen that started on 1 in. of ice, at 25 degrees. While the ice was only a short distance to the open road we then had wet roads to deal with. Again I can state that I have to look in the mirrors frequently to make sure the trailer is back there. Without sway, noise, or porpoising you just have to check once and a while.

Now as for the height of the receiver box and the Andersen's ability to transfer weight.

The height of the box will have little or no effect what so ever an the torque generated by the hitch and the transfer of weight. Yes if that deminsion was changed by feet, and not just a few inches there would be an effect.

There have been comments that the length of the bars effect the torque on the receiver as apposed to the height of the Andersen ball chain relationship. Yes the bars can generate a greater force on the hitch and thus a greater force on the receiver that can not be compared directly to the ball/chain distance of the Andersen.

If they want to compare the systems then credit has to be given to all of the components of each system. All WD hitches attempt to transfer weight by applying a torque force on the receiver. The thing that is new with the Andersen is how it generates the force. The urethane bushings, while they do not act in the same manor as conventional bars, still produce a rotational torque at the receiver and thus move weight forward.

Now to say that 28 in. bars produce more force than the 6 in. separation the Andersen has between the ball and the chain plate is an apples to oranges comparison. A more accurate comparison would be the the comparison between that 6 in. moment arm of the Andersen system and the 4 in. moment arm the trunnions of a Reese system provide. It is that final point of application that governs the systems ability to transfer weight not just how the force was produced.

Now that said one could produce a bar made of an I beam and transfer infinitely more weight than any system relying on urethane bushings. And yes the ride would be like that of a brick. That is the argument presented against the Andersen hitch and yes there are cases, generally lightly sprung rear axle tow vehicles, where that is a valid argument. Years ago Reese demonstrated that they could transfer enough weigh so as the rear tires could be removed from a front wheel drive vehicle. Neat experiment but not what most of us are dealing with.

That need is not the general case with today's majority of tow vehicles. If you are in fact towing with such a vehicle look elsewhere for your hitch system. But if you are towing with a truck and want a superior towing experience you have to stop an Andersen owner and ask some questions.

Please note I am not towing one of the smaller trailers that others have mentioned could not be towed with an Andersen.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:07 PM   #110
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...snip...

If they want to compare the systems then credit has to be given to all of the components of each system. All WD hitches attempt to transfer weight by applying a torque force on the receiver. The thing that is new with the Andersen is how it generates the force. The urethane bushings, while they do not act in the same manor as conventional bars, still produce a rotational torque at the receiver and thus move weight forward.

...snip...
HowieE - I think your point is that how different systems work can be an apples/oranges comparison. I can agree with that. And, at the end of the day, regardless of how they do it, a WD system should move sufficient weight to the front axle (depending on manufacturer recommendations, that can be 50% to 100% ).

Apologies if I've missed this, but at the scales, how much weight is lifted off your front axle when you connect your trailer; and when you apply Andersen's WD, how much is restored?

Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:34 PM   #111
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Now to say that 28 in. bars produce more force than the 6 in. separation the Andersen has between the ball and the chain plate is an apples to oranges comparison. A more accurate comparison would be the the comparison between that 6 in. moment arm of the Andersen system and the 4 in. moment arm the trunnions of a Reese system provide. It is that final point of application that governs the systems ability to transfer weight not just how the force was produced.
No, that is not a more accurate comparison -- it is an incorrect comparison which violates laws of physics.

The moment-arm fulcrum for both hitches is the hitch ball. The correct comparison is:
1) the product of the effective WD bar length (approximately 30") multiplied by the total WD lift chain tension (perhaps 2000#), versus
2) the product of the vertical distance from Andersen chain plate to ball center (reported to be 6.25") multiplied by the total Andersen chain tension (perhaps 2000#).
The first example torque would be 60,000 lb-inch versus the second torque of 12,500 lb-inch.

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Old 02-04-2014, 08:30 PM   #112
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Thanks for all the answers and insight guys. Our 24' Tradewind is 4000lbs fully loaded and my Highlander SUV is 4500 lbs. Our tongue weight fully loaded is about 380-400 lbs (light compared to what most of you haul). The big thing, for me, favoring the Andersen over the other style of WD systems is the weight (60 lbs vs 80-90 for other systems) puts me very close to my 500 max tongue. Based on feedback from owners, I have no doubt the Andersen sway control works great. I just wanted more reassurance it will alleviate some of my 400lb tongue weight.
We have a 1987 25 footer that tips the scales at 6000 pounds. Jackson Center told me to multiply that by .15 to get the tongue weight of 900 pounds. I tow with a heavy 3/4 ton F250. The Andersen hitch does a fine job of leveling out the truck when done according to the hitch instructions. I am very happy with this hitch system for weight distribution and sway control.
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