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Old 05-15-2013, 07:05 PM   #1835
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I have a simple solution for all you folks with the dreaded Atwood couplers. Find an old junked trailer with an original Marvel coupler, cut that bad boy off and replace your inferior Atwoods with apparently a superior product.
Disclaimer: For the benefit of the humor impaired this is an attempt to lighten things up a bit or it could be serious. You can decide that for yourself.
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #1836
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88010 Ok so far

I just returned from a 3800 mile trip, Texas to NC and back. My TV is a 2011 F150 with Ecoboost, my TT is a Safari 25FB with the Anderson hitch. After reading this thread I monitored my shark fin closely, 2-3 times a day, and could not see any sign of wear or stress. Other than some rough patches of interstate we had a very smooth trip. I am new to RVing so cannot offer much comparison or experience but I am happy with the performance of our rig and definitely like the Anderson hitch.

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Old 05-15-2013, 07:40 PM   #1837
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Originally Posted by SafariBez View Post
I just returned from a 3800 mile trip, Texas to NC and back. My TV is a 2011 F150 with Ecoboost, my TT is a Safari 25FB with the Anderson hitch. After reading this thread I monitored my shark fin closely, 2-3 times a day, and could not see any sign of wear or stress. Other than some rough patches of interstate we had a very smooth trip. I am new to RVing so cannot offer much comparison or experience but I am happy with the performance of our rig and definitely like the Anderson hitch.

SafariBez
I've got close to 10k miles on mine, with an 88010 coupler as well. No problems or unusual wear. Even if I decide to replace the coupler, I'll keep the Andersen.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:04 PM   #1838
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Howie,

Don't you think the requirement to replace the coupler on a trailer just to use a certain brand of hitch would be enough to sour most people's "grapes"?
No off hand I can not site another WD hitch that has required this type of action.

Now that I have given you that I ask. Would the fact that I and many others had to swap out their tires and wheels on their Airstreams because of cheap Marathons, suffer frequent leaks on the newer models because of shoddy construction, only have a 40lbs carrying capisity on some models, because of underrated tires and axles, have clearcoat issues, or suffer frames failure because of cost cutting in design cause all of us to have sour grapes towards Airstream. Yes there are some that are soured and they have stated their case as they leave.

As for the majority the Airstream product line as a hole still remains superior to the competition. The issues to date with the Andersen in no way compare to the Airstream issues and if addressed with minimal cost provide a superior hitching system when compared to the current crop.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:55 PM   #1839
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The issues to date with the Andersen in no way compare to the Airstream issues and if addressed with minimal cost provide a superior hitching system when compared to the current crop.
Many here, myself included, would not agree with you on that statement.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:03 PM   #1840
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My observation of the hitch from pros/cons from this thread.

1. Weight distribution - adequate
2. Sway control - excellent
3. Porpoising - excellent
4. Usability (hitching/weight/grease) - excellent
5. Cost - excellent
6. Compatibility - Fair. May be a longer term issue.

To me the extra $200 to replace the coupler fixes Compatibility and still leaves Cost at excellent, or at least Very Good.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:35 PM   #1841
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Michael, having used the Andersen before I took it off due to the coupler incompatibility problem, I agree with your statements on sway control and agree with SteveH that it may be okay with small, lightweight trailers.

Three concerns remain:

1) When I removed the Andersen brackets that I had bolted on, the holes I had drilled for the mounting bracket set screws were elongated, oval shaped, indicating too much tension for the frame steel to hold them. Maybe welding would hold better.

2) When weight distribution is applied to the urethane bushings, there is very little compression left in the bushings (my trailer has about 900-1000# tongue weight). There is almost no flexibility left to accommodate roadway rises/falls or driveway entrance dips. It seems the hitching system must lift the back of the truck and the front of the trailer up to go through them. That puts a lot of stress on the truck receiver and the trailer A-frame as well as the Andersen mounting hardware. More flexibility is needed than what the urethane bushings presently have.

3) If the coupler latching system fails for any reason (and there are a lot of old, worn couplers being used), the forces applied by the Andersen pull chains pushes the coupler upward tending to uncouple it. Knowing what we know about the Atwood 88000 series incompatibility for example, I believe a safety mechanism to ensure no coupler will come undone should be provided.

doug k
As long as you are listing the pros you got from these threads and ignoring the cons I posted earlier, I'll submit them again. And there is another:

4) It has never been demonstrated that the Andersen can distribute sufficient weight in many applications. This is a safety factor when a larger trailer is hooked to a lighter tow vehicle due to loss of traction at the steering axle.

doug k
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:54 AM   #1842
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Perhaps if one would be as attentive to matching the TV to the coach there would not be the steering axle issues.
Big coach = Big TV.
Matching the TV to the trailer is as important as anything when it comes to towing. IMHO
Of course driver experience and attention and towing at a reasonable speed, also play into the situation.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:27 AM   #1843
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Really? Get a bigger tow vehicle, then cut the coupler off my new Airstream so that I can continue to use this hitch, that is fraught with engineering inadequacies? And is not even in the same league as the Propride I replaced it with?

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Old 05-16-2013, 10:01 AM   #1844
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Really? Get a bigger tow vehicle, then cut the coupler off my new Airstream so that I can continue to use this hitch, that is fraught with engineering inadequacies? And is not even in the same league as the Propride I replaced it with?

doug k
So, you prefer the Propride to the Andersen? Good choice.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:11 AM   #1845
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I've been following ALL of the comments with the intention of purchasing the Andersen WDH system. I have not yet read any opinions specifically to my unique hitching problem. I tow a 24' 1966 Trade Wind with one of two tow vehicles with the same extreme distance from their axles to the hitch ball plus my hitch shank has to be longer than the norm. I currently use 1000# spring bars to come close to distributing the weight and minimizing the porpoising that sometimes happens. Also probably my biggest reason is that my arthritis makes it difficult to lift those 1000# bars. I did contact Andersen for their input to if their system could handle the stress from the long distance to the ball from my TV's axles plus additional inched so that I can access both car's fuel filler tube which are located behind the rear license plates which would be in front of the ball. . I sent photos to clarify my concern. I received an immediate reply that they 'haven't had a similar setup yet' too mine but that they could fabricate a long enough shank for me. Since then the coupler 'question' has emerged. That I could correct but I yet have to be convinced that the amount of tightness that I would need to apply to the bushings would not be extreme.

Neil
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:18 AM   #1846
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Your situation is well beyond the capabilities of the Andersen. In my opinion.

Pickup trucks are a totally different application. Too bad, as you would really enjoy the light weight and lack of "porpoising" with the Andersen.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:22 AM   #1847
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Fresh Air

I believe Andersen has a return policy. If that is the case I would call them again and ask if they would be interested in a little experiment. Sell you a hitch with the expressed intent to have it on your old marshmallow sprung cars with the understanding that it works out you would post such here and quite the nay sayers.

Even if they wanted to charge for the shank extension as none returnable I would go for such an experiment to get a much improved ride. If the rear has coil springs you might want to install air bags to bring the rear up. While I expect the Andersen will be able to return the front axle height it will not be able to lift the rear by itself. Stiffen up the fulcrum a bit.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:44 AM   #1848
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Fresh Air

I believe Andersen has a return policy. If that is the case I would call them again and ask if they would be interested in a little experiment. Sell you a hitch with the expressed intent to have it on your old marshmallow sprung cars with the understanding that it works out you would post such here and quite the nay sayers.

Even if they wanted to charge for the shank extension as none returnable I would go for such an experiment to get a much improved ride. If the rear has coil springs you might want to install air bags to bring the rear up. While I expect the Andersen will be able to return the front axle height it will not be able to lift the rear by itself. Stiffen up the fulcrum a bit.
Got the air shocks. They help with loads in the trunks but the difference with WDH is difficult to see. With my 1000# spring bars I have the ball tilted to the max. Oddly the wheel base of both cars is the same but with a short trial drive (25 miles) on hilly and winding country roads the Olds tows 'flatter'. The Buick is susceptible to popoising though not severe. Thanks for the suggestion. I will follow up after I check out my Marvel coupler.
Neil
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