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Old 09-27-2015, 03:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Not sure what you are greasing. I have used the Andersen for 3 years and there is no place on the hitch that requires or wants greasing.

The ball does not move in the coupler so no need there. If installed correctly the chains are in line with the hangers so no need there. The only other moving part is the sway control material in the ball shank so no need there.

I have considered putting paraffin wax between the chain nut and washer, on my daughter's trailer, to reduce the effort when she is tightening the chains but since I never release the chains I keep forgetting to do that on her rig.

I jack the combination up to the point that the chains have relaxed while hitching and unhitching. I made a modification to the ball shank, installed a 5/16 roll pin, to keep the shank from coming out while jacking the combination up. Thus I never need or use the wrench on the chains. Andersen has adopted that idea and now puts a C ring on the shank.
I like that idea a lot! Would a stack of washers around the base of the shank between the pin and the hitch body or something similar work just as well do you think? (for me it might be easier to find the washers that take the shank to a machinist)
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post

However if you did over tighten them it would have no effect on the sway control.

Not sure what you mean by Locks up functionality. It could result in the bushings exploding and thus such a loss.

Not what Anderson said. If bushings are fully compressed sway control is defeated, at least this is the response I got back when I complained. Locks up was meant to indicate rigid. No flex. No dampening.


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Old 09-27-2015, 04:26 PM   #17
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Would a stack of washers around the base of the shank between the pin and the hitch body
It not that simple. The roll pin or C clip, on the newer shanks, has to strike the bottom of the hitch body to keep the shank in place while leaving clearance to the angle plate allowing the plate pin to be removed and the plate dropped.

If you are buying a new system that will come with the C clip already in place. If you own an older part the roll pin is possible. However keep in mind that that is not a simple change. If a roll pin is placed in the shank notches have to be ground into the top of the angle plate to clear the roll pin and a little material has to be removed from the top of the collar on the plate.

I suffer from terminal tinkerites and thus am willing to tackle such ideas when I want to improve something. Andersen agreed with the idea and installed the c clip.
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Old 09-27-2015, 05:51 PM   #18
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Ah, thanks for the info. I bought a used Andersen a few months ago and really like it but your modification would make it excellent! Thank you.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #19
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Not what Anderson said. If bushings are fully compressed sway control is defeated, at least this is the response I got back when I complained. Locks up was meant to indicate rigid. No flex. No dampening.
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If the bushings are fully compressed I could see that it would reduce the hitch's effect on purposing, "No Flex". It is the near infinite resonate frequency of the bushings that dampens that, where as spring bars can actually increase it, but as for sway control that is a function of the resistance of the brake material.

Just exactly what was your problem with the Andersen and what is your TV. Your trailers listed in your signature should not pose a problem but a lightly sprung TV might.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:23 AM   #20
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If the bushings are fully compressed I could see that it would reduce the hitch's effect on purposing, "No Flex". It is the near infinite resonate frequency of the bushings that dampens that, where as spring bars can actually increase it, but as for sway control that is a function of the resistance of the brake material.

Just exactly what was your problem with the Andersen and what is your TV. Your trailers listed in your signature should not pose a problem but a lightly sprung TV might.
I contracted Anderson prior to purchasing the 30' Bunk to be completely assured the Anderson Anti-Sway WD would work properly with a 30' Bunk being pulled by a 2014 ML350. The confident answer was yes. I had the dealer order and install it. When I got to Boise to pick the trailer up the dealers mechanic could not even come close to having the ML balanced. He must have redone the whole setup half a dozen times. When it was as close as he could get it I headed back to Denver. The winds were blowing quite hard and it was very unstable the whole trip. I had the most severe sway condition I have ever had occur clearing an underpass with a slight curve to it. By the time I had my hand down on the brake controller the ML350 was in full warning and control mode which is why I was able to continue my journey home. It was undoubtedly the worst experience pulling a trailer of any kind in over 25 years of trailering. I got back to Denver and called Anderson speaking to the exact salesman who recommended it. He immediately back tracked and said that the bushings were over compressed defeating the anti-sway function, and while not directly admitting it mind you, would not WD that kind of tongue weight. The 1,400 pound rating is only the drop rating not even close to the WD function rating which again he would not say what that was. I am guessing it is only a few hundred pounds. If your TV will support the weight properly without putting much compression on the bushings I am sure it is might be great, otherwise it is just dangerous period. I sold it on Craig's list for half what I paid for it a week old.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:25 AM   #21
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2012FB

Thanks for your detailed response describing your experience with the Andersen.

Sorry you were given the impression that the hitch would work with your TV. However the ML350 would fall into the limitation I have mentioned in this and other treads relating to the Andersen. The suspension falls into what I consider "Softly Sprung" and thus could have problems obtains reasonable results relating to WD. The suspension has an additional factor that causes me to question if it could be used with a WD hitch. From the specs of the ML350, the presence of an Anti-Squat and alignment control. That system,if computer controlled could cause a conflict.
The upper arms are made of an aluminum alloy with high strength. It also has anti-squat and alignment control along with a stabilizer bar.

Early GM Suburbans had a rear axle brake modulator that controlled rear brake force as a function of rear axle load. When loaded the rear brake force was increased. However when a WD hitch was installed and adjusted, even given the additional weight of the trailer added to the combination, the rear brakes were in fact reduced. Those that realized this disconnected that control and GM quietly eliminated that idea

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Old 09-28-2015, 09:53 AM   #22
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From my experience the Anderson has very little weight transfer capability.
That is one of the huge reasons why most folks shy away from the product.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:02 AM   #23
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That is one of the huge reasons why most folks shy away from the product.
Curious, what is the source of your information? Every time I go camping I seem to seem more Andersons in use by not just Airstream owners but SOBs. That also goes for a noticeable increase in users of the Blue OX SwayPro system.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:11 AM   #24
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Here's my take-away from reading all 172 pages of the Andersen hitch thread. I hope those more knowledgeable will correct any flaws in my understanding.

1. The Andersen hitch is quiet and trailers ride more smoothly with it.
2. It works great for light-weight trailers (under 5,000 lbs.)
3. For heavier trailers it will work, but the TV has to be heavy duty (i.e., not softly sprung).
4. The AH doesn't transfer much weight to the front axle, but it does a fine job of sway control.
5. It can damage the coupler over time, and the coupler will likely need to be changed to one recommended by Andersen.

Here's my take on the TV question. If you're towing with a pick-up, particularly a 4X4 pick-up, those vehicles have terrible front-rear weight geometry, so weight at the back is a good thing. The rear weight may even achieve a 50:50 weight distribution, and that's also a good thing, with the front wheels still adequately loaded. So not much weight distribution by the Andersen to the front axle may work fine. But if you're pulling a high tongue weight trailer with a softly sprung vehicle, the Andersen is not a good choice.

This is my summary of over 2,000 posts. I hope I got it right.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #25
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That is one of the huge reasons why most folks shy away from the product.
Thank you for your comments. It is interesting to see that those commenting against the Andersen is limited to 4 or 5 individuals while those commenting on there satisfaction is not so limited.

If your avatar represents you TV I can easily see your reasoning. But just in case that is not the case please describe the towing combination, if you did in fact use an Andersen, that warrants your position.

I have found a product that work far better that what I had been using, several different Reese systems, and have posted those limitations that I have had with it. I believe we would all be better served if others take that position.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:44 AM   #26
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Here's my take-away from reading all 172 pages of the Andersen hitch thread. I hope those more knowledgeable will correct any flaws in my understanding.

1. The Andersen hitch is quiet and trailers ride more smoothly with it.
2. It works great for light-weight trailers (under 5,000 lbs.)
3. For heavier trailers it will work, but the TV has to be heavy duty (i.e., not softly sprung).
4. The AH doesn't transfer much weight to the front axle, but it does a fine job of sway control.
5. It can damage the coupler over time, and the coupler will likely need to be changed to one recommended by Andersen.

Here's my take on the TV question. If you're towing with a pick-up, particularly a 4X4 pick-up, those vehicles have terrible front-rear weight geometry, so weight at the back is a good thing. The rear weight may even achieve a 50:50 weight distribution, and that's also a good thing, with the front wheels still adequately loaded. So not much weight distribution by the Andersen to the front axle may work fine. But if you're pulling a high tongue weight trailer with a softly sprung vehicle, the Andersen is not a good choice.

This is my summary of over 2,000 posts. I hope I got it right.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:48 AM   #27
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Bob, pretty close. Not everyone that has actually used the Andersen system will agree. But that is ok as like most things opinions can be influenced by expectations and perceptions.
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:12 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bob662 View Post
Here's my take-away from reading all 172 pages of the Andersen hitch thread. I hope those more knowledgeable will correct any flaws in my understanding.

1. The Andersen hitch is quiet and trailers ride more smoothly with it.
2. It works great for light-weight trailers (under 5,000 lbs.)
3. For heavier trailers it will work, but the TV has to be heavy duty (i.e., not softly sprung).
4. The AH doesn't transfer much weight to the front axle, but it does a fine job of sway control.
5. It can damage the coupler over time, and the coupler will likely need to be changed to one recommended by Andersen.

Here's my take on the TV question. If you're towing with a pick-up, particularly a 4X4 pick-up, those vehicles have terrible front-rear weight geometry, so weight at the back is a good thing. The rear weight may even achieve a 50:50 weight distribution, and that's also a good thing, with the front wheels still adequately loaded. So not much weight distribution by the Andersen to the front axle may work fine. But if you're pulling a high tongue weight trailer with a softly sprung vehicle, the Andersen is not a good choice.

This is my summary of over 2,000 posts. I hope I got it right.
Bob, you take is pretty close. The Andersen hitch would be better described as an expensive friction sway control than an effective weight distribution hitch. But it would not distribute needed tongue weight with our two half-ton pickups, a 2006 Tundra 4x4 and then a 2012 Ram 1500 4x4 towing our 2012 25' Airstream.

We had a similar experience to 2012FB above shortly after getting the hitch. At night on the interstate with plenty of semi traffic, a light mist began to fall. The roadway became slippery and our steering became so light we were barely able to make it to the next rest stop without going off the road each time a semi passed.

We stayed the night there, then proceeded on the next day. Based on the glowing remarks by a few on this forum I thought it must be my installation of the hitch that was the problem. So I continued to tinker and adjust in an attempt to make it work.

The more tension I put on the chain/urethane bushing the greater the problems that came up, unusual wear of many of its components. It became obvious the product simply is not adequate for our size combination. On this forum Ron Gratz provided a mathematical example that the hitch does not have the mechanical leverage to transfer more than a small amount of weight. Andrew Thomson run a test on it and found it totally inadequate for weight distribution, but a pretty good friction sway control device. He didn't like it but I doubted him for awhile.

After much tinkering on two different trucks I finally wised up, got rid of the Andersen, bought a ProPride (Hensley design). It actually does work, totally eliminates the possibility of sway and pushing of our combo by semi's passing, is very easy to use (the hitch head stays on the Airstream) back the stinger into it, latch up and go (five minutes). There is no porpoising because the weight can easily be distributed to the front axle. And it extends the distance between truck and trailer with no negative sway leverage effect so I can lower the truck tail gate completely.

I can't speak for heavy duty trucks pulling Airstreams, or light trucks pulling tiny trailers because I haven't used it that way (I would however be concerned about the lack of vertical flexibility in the truck/trailer connection that is provided only by the partially or completely compressed urethane bushings, as opposed to the range of flexibility of conventional weight distribution bars). But for our two half-ton/25' Airstream combinations, the weight distribution capability was not enough to allow safe steering control.
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