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Old 09-22-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
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Andersen WDH

I have a 2013 FC 25, 2014 F-250 Superduty crew Cab Diesel. I haves towed my AS nearly 50k in the last 21 months with a Reese Dual Cam....no issues...except...sharp back up turns. We are returning from another long trip through the Maritime provinces and saw several sob's with the Andersen and they were very happy.

I have read most of the threads on this forum, and typical, the more I read the more confused I get.

So a few questions.

Does anyone out there have the Andersen WDH with a 25' or more and. 250/2500 TV? If so, what is your experience, good and bad?

I do not want to change out the Atwood coupler, so,does that make it a no go?

As I read through the threads, it appeared Andersen was correcting some of the "faults". Have they done so and has it improved performance/quality of there hitch?

Thanks, John
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:27 PM   #2
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I have had the Andersen for three years towing our 1987 25' Sovereign. I did change out the worn out Attwood With a Quick bite coupler, made it a lot easier to hookup. The first year towed with a F150 super crew, all was good. The last two years have towed with a F250 V10 4.10 rear end and 8' bed and towing has only gotten better. Check with Andersen about which Attwood couplers are NOT recommended.
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Old 09-22-2015, 06:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverEagle6 View Post

I do not want to change out the Atwood coupler, so,does that make it a no go?

As I read through the threads, it appeared Andersen was correcting some of the "faults". Have they done so and has it improved performance/quality of there hitch?

Thanks, John
10 minutes ago I unhitched my 20' FC from my Jeep Grand Cherokee here at a nice NF campground in MT. Tongue weight is 700# for both my 20' trailers.

Although you will probably never get "official sanction" from either Andersen or Atwood, the possible problem with the Atwood coupler (which your Airstream has) can be solved by simply drilling out the coupler latch hole to 3/8" and inserting a 3/8 bolt through that hole while towing to eliminate any play in the hitch coupler. The team at Andersen looked at mine when I visited the factory last year and said it was a clever solution. (I did not invent it, another forum member did). I have towed many thousands of miles that way now, with zero wear on the potential tang wear area.

However, only you can decide if it is a good solution, no one can or should attempt to tell you.

The various modifications the factory has made since the original edition of the hitch all have been improvements making the hitch easier and better to use. I had an early one, and when visiting the factory they have replaced the old parts with new ones so I have effectively a current model.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:44 PM   #4
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I have been towing my 30' with an Andersen since February. I love the lightweight and simplicity. I am a little short of 100% restoration at my front axle, but have not noticed any impacts on stability/control, even in gusting 40 mph cross-winds (that was not in the forecast!).

I am still using my original Atwood coupler. I did the mod described above by Idroba, but noticed that the coupler still allowed about 3/8" of vertical movement of the ball within the coupler. Wondering if this was a worn out coupler, I went to a RV parts store that stocked a similar Atwood coupler, and found the same play in the new coupler. As suggested by someone else on this forum, I created a conical stack of steel washers that I set on top of the ball before hitching up. This prevents the vertical movement of the ball in the coupler, and I believe prevents the impacts that likely causes the wear/damage to the coupler latch tang. I have seen no changes in the condition of the tang since I started using the Andersen.

As further insurance, I have added a safety chain that is attached to the Andersen shackles and loops over the top of the coupler. I left enough slack in the loop for movement due to turns/dips, but the Atwood coupler latch could completely fail, and the ball could still not drop out the bottom of the coupler.
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:03 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Drilling out the pin whole to 3/8's I understand, but why the additional chain Siegmann? Can you send a photo?
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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I used one for several months and consider it a bad idea poorly developed. Troublesome. Parts wear prematurely (grease helps). The friction material squeezes out of the hitch over time. It cannot nearly distribute the tongue weight of a 25' Airstream because the mechanical leverage is not there. There is almost no flexibility when the chains are attached and drawn tight. The risk of a disconnected Airstream was the last straw for us, we got rid of it.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
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SilverEagle, the safety chain was out of an abundance of caution, because of the reports of coupler latch failures. But with my mods, and routine inspections of the latch, I'm not expecting it. I do not plan on moving my rig for several weeks, so sorry, can not offer you a near-term pic.

I have not had the troublesome experience that dkottum has had, but have only had the hitch since February.

Regarding weight distribution.... well all kinds of arguments/opinions are out there for you to review. But last I read, for your F-250, the manufacturer recommends 50% FALR (front axle load restoration). Unless your tongue weight is excessive, I think you'll get more than that with your 25' and the Andersen.
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Old 09-23-2015, 04:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I used one for several months and consider it a bad idea poorly developed. Troublesome. Parts wear prematurely (grease helps). The friction material squeezes out of the hitch over time. It cannot nearly distribute the tongue weight of a 25' Airstream because the mechanical leverage is not there. There is almost no flexibility when the chains are attached and drawn tight. The risk of a disconnected Airstream was the last straw for us, we got rid of it.
Every one is entitled to their opinion and this opinion has been here since I started towing with an Andersen. There hundreds if not thousands of us out there towing with the Andersen and loving it. As with any hitch system improvements are continually being made. To say that one hitch is better than all the rest is a bad statement as ever ones likes and dislikes are different.
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:30 AM   #9
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If you are going to Canopener you can talk to HowieE and look at his rig. He is towing a 34 using the Andersen. I believe he had a Reese before the Andersen. He has been a strong advocate for the Andersen on these forums.

At Alumalina I can connect you with someone who towed a larger trailer with an Andersen and switched to Hensley when he traded Airstreams. He is very objective in talking about the pluses and minuses of the two systems.

For several months on the forums there was a passionate and sometimes over the top thread running about the Andersen hitch. For the reader with no skin in the game it was quite amusing. Much like some of the tire and tow vehicle threads. There is some very useful information on the Andersen thread if you filter through the heated parts of the discussion.

After 4 years of towing I still have the Reese that came with my trailer. There are some things I don't like about it, and I've never been entirely comfortable the adjustment of the hitch is exactly right for my trailer and tow vehicle. However so far it has been reliable. I suspect if I someday change to another hitch system there will be things I won't like about the new hitch. After reading hundreds of forum posts, and talking to dozens of Airstream owners, I'm convinced hitches are like tow vehicles, or even Airstream interior designs. There is no perfect solution.




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Old 09-25-2015, 06:03 AM   #10
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Chuck, thanks. Probably won't make it to Canopener, but will be at Alumalina. I know there will be folks there who have the Andersen, and I'll check it out. I'm sure you remember the debacle with the Hensley at HH last year, will never go down that road again.
I have the Reese and am happy with it. My issue has to do with backing up. We are just returning from a 13,000 mile trip to Newfoundland and the Atlantic provinces. I had to back into spots that were somewhat challenging. I get concerned with the bars breaking or "popping off " their cams. I know one solution is just take the bars off, but....
I called and spoke to Andersen and one major drawback for me is the length of the receiver bar. It is just short enough to preclude opening my tailgate while hitched. They may sell a longer one, but for now my research has paused under I talk with some folks at Alumalina. Thanks again.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:37 AM   #11
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I have been towing my 34 with an Andersen for 3 years now. I changed out my daughter's SOB to an Andersen after her first trip because she was scared stiff towing with a Reese Straight Line. I had set up the Reese so I know it was set up correctly, but it still suffered from the common problems of a Reese.

As for Andersen correcting issues they are not responsible for the Atwood issue. There is a fundamental difference in how the different hitches work when it comes to transferring weight. It is that difference that is the issue not any mechanical shortcoming. All bar type systems apply a forward force to the ball socket and a rearward force to the lower section of the hitch. The Andersen system uses the ball socket as the fulcrum and thus a rearward force . That rearward force causes the paw of the Atwood coupler to be forced upwards against the shark fin and over time shears it off. A bolt through the latch will not stop this failure because of the slack in the parts will still allow the rod that connects the paw and the latch to shear off the fin over time. Several have attempted to use that as a fault of the Andersen. It is not a fault with the Andersen it is a shortcoming of the Atwood.

As for those that have historically comment on material flow of the brake materiel they have based their case on attempting something that is completely unnecessary with today's tow vehicles, excessive weight transfer to the front axle. If you give any credence at all to that argument you do not want an Andersen. If however you want a superior sway control system that offer several other advantages, all stated in my original thread, look into it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:02 AM   #12
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Just finish a 6,000 mile trip w/Andersen and can back up into any space the first time with no problems, and turning around is great and no sway problems down the road.

Can hook-up and un-hook in 10 minutes or less.

I am sure down the road someone with come up with a better setup and will always look at that then, but for now Andersen is the deal.
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Old 09-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I used one for several months and consider it a bad idea poorly developed. Troublesome. Parts wear prematurely (grease helps). The friction material squeezes out of the hitch over time. It cannot nearly distribute the tongue weight of a 25' Airstream because the mechanical leverage is not there. There is almost no flexibility when the chains are attached and drawn tight. The risk of a disconnected Airstream was the last straw for us, we got rid of it.
Hi Doug,

Most car/hitch manufacturers recommend between 50% to 100% front axle load restoration (FALR). I am just curious, how much FALR did you manage to get with Andersen?

Thanks,
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:32 PM   #14
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HowieE, so is the solution changing out the Atwood to a better coupler?
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