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Old 07-29-2013, 01:54 AM   #2227
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
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In love all over again

I was one of the early users of the Andersen hitch, and have made a number of posts to this thread. I like the hitch very much.

I recently got my first new Airstream, a 2014 FC 20'. It has a 5 inch frame so my older 4 inch frame brackets would not work and I had to order new ones. In the mean time, I picked up my new FC, and took it on two trips of over 1500 miles total using the old Reese hitch system I had used for 35 years. I selected 500# bars from my "stash" and had a good time with the new rig.

But then I got the Andersen brackets and mounted them (see post above). As soon as I took it out I realized how nice the ride was with the Andersen, in comparison to the Reese, how quiet, and how the rig handles as one unit, not two. The Reese is not bad mind you, but the Andersen is certainly superior in the way it feels, rides and sounds.

I don't think that many have had the experience of going back to a normal spring bar hitch after having used the Andersen, then back to the Andersen. BTW, last summer I towed about 7000 miles with the Andersen and my Argosy 20'. This year with the new AS, I made the change after about a month of the old system. The Andersen is superior.

Yes, I understand that there will be a time I need to change the coupler on the trailer, but I will monitor that carefully. The Argosy got a new coupler prior to the recommendation that one not use the Atwood 880xx series of couplers, so it had a new Atwood installed, and no wear has shown up in the first 7000 miles of use with it. I do keep the ball lightly greased which I think helps with any potential wear on that coupler.

Today I did the scale thing with the Andersen. I will report the numbers when I get them all sorted out.

Attached are photos of the Reese and the Andersen hitch ups with my new AS.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:12 PM   #2228
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Scale results for my rig with Andersen hitch

Scale numbers with my Andersen hitch.

The rig: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, full air suspension (no springs, no shocks) loaded as I travel, large toolbox in rear, plus 14 gal of extra water (small tank in AS). Air suspension turned to "off" while all numbers were taken, as it has a mind of it's own at times.

The AS: 2014 Flying Cloud 20, loaded as I normally travel, full propane tanks, full water tank (behind axle) empty holding tanks.

The scales: Idaho Department of transportation scales are left on when not weighing trucks, so they are available for public use. The one I used had two platforms, with electronic readout for each. The numbers were then read and recorded, no tickets are available. I got back into the drivers seat whenever I was reading the weights.

Results:

Jeep alone: Front: 2940
Rear: 2920

AS alone: Axle: 4240
Tongue: 680

Hooked up but chains unloaded
(no weight distribution) Front: 2640
Rear: 3900
Trailer axle: 4240


Hooked up, 6 threads showing
Front: 2740
Rear: 3780
Trailer axle: 4300

Hooked up, 8 threads showing
(my final decision)
Front: 2800
Rear: 3640
Trailer axle: 4360

BTW, the Jeep ratings are: Front: 3200
Rear: 3700

The hitch is capable of doing more distribution, I simply did not test it at higher levels. The bushings now show a very slight bulge when 8 threads show on the adjustment.

And, it tows beautifully, solid as if it was one unit, not two connected together.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:33 PM   #2229
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Very nice. Congrats on the new Stream, Idroba!
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:39 PM   #2230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Scale numbers with my Andersen hitch.

The rig: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, full air suspension (no springs, no shocks) loaded as I travel, large toolbox in rear, plus 14 gal of extra water (small tank in AS). Air suspension turned to "off" while all numbers were taken, as it has a mind of it's own at times.

The AS: 2014 Flying Cloud 20, loaded as I normally travel, full propane tanks, full water tank (behind axle) empty holding tanks.

The scales: Idaho Department of transportation scales are left on when not weighing trucks, so they are available for public use. The one I used had two platforms, with electronic readout for each. The numbers were then read and recorded, no tickets are available. I got back into the drivers seat whenever I was reading the weights.

Results:

Jeep alone: Front: 2940
Rear: 2920

AS alone: Axle: 4240
Tongue: 680

Hooked up but chains unloaded
(no weight distribution) Front: 2640
Rear: 3900
Trailer axle: 4240


Hooked up, 6 threads showing
Front: 2740
Rear: 3780
Trailer axle: 4300

Hooked up, 8 threads showing
(my final decision)
Front: 2800
Rear: 3640
Trailer axle: 4360

BTW, the Jeep ratings are: Front: 3200
Rear: 3700

The hitch is capable of doing more distribution, I simply did not test it at higher levels. The bushings now show a very slight bulge when 8 threads show on the adjustment.

And, it tows beautifully, solid as if it was one unit, not two connected together.
The Jeep has no shock absorbers ? And no springs at all ? That's interesting, I'll have to crawl under one to see the layout.

From your numbers, it sounds like your results as for weight distribution fit in with what everybody has been saying about how it works.
Glad to hear you are happy with the towing experience.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:09 PM   #2231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Scale numbers with my Andersen hitch.

...snip.......

And, it tows beautifully, solid as if it was one unit, not two connected together.
Nice report and your summary says it all. Thanks for contributing.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:07 PM   #2232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Scale numbers with my Andersen hitch.

The rig: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland, full air suspension (no springs, no shocks) loaded as I travel, large toolbox in rear, plus 14 gal of extra water (small tank in AS). Air suspension turned to "off" while all numbers were taken, as it has a mind of it's own at times.

The AS: 2014 Flying Cloud 20, loaded as I normally travel, full propane tanks, full water tank (behind axle) empty holding tanks.

The scales: Idaho Department of transportation scales are left on when not weighing trucks, so they are available for public use. The one I used had two platforms, with electronic readout for each. The numbers were then read and recorded, no tickets are available. I got back into the drivers seat whenever I was reading the weights.

Results:

Jeep alone: Front: 2940
Rear: 2920

AS alone: Axle: 4240
Tongue: 680

Hooked up but chains unloaded
(no weight distribution) Front: 2640
Rear: 3900
Trailer axle: 4240


Hooked up, 6 threads showing
Front: 2740
Rear: 3780
Trailer axle: 4300

Hooked up, 8 threads showing
(my final decision)
Front: 2800
Rear: 3640
Trailer axle: 4360

BTW, the Jeep ratings are: Front: 3200
Rear: 3700

The hitch is capable of doing more distribution, I simply did not test it at higher levels. The bushings now show a very slight bulge when 8 threads show on the adjustment.

And, it tows beautifully, solid as if it was one unit, not two connected together.
I like your Jeep/Airstream combo very much, however with Andersen weight distribution applied as you like it, the trailer still added 720# to the Jeep rear axle and lightened the front axle by 140#. How can that be good weight distribution, even with a relatively light trailer?

Mine towed beautifully with the Andersen too, but I realized when I came on wet roadways and gusting side winds it is definitely not one unit, and probably would have towed nearly as well without the Andersen.

Please know I am not trying to be personal here, but am trying to understand why the Andersen would be recommended with this poor weight distribution performance. How can that even be considered safe towing?

doug k
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:25 PM   #2233
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Idroba

Those are great numbers. You and the wife get back in the front seat and that front axle will be fine. I real like the amount of weight transferred to the trailer. That is a function of the shorter coupler to axle ration but clearly demonstrates the hitch is functioning.

I just came in from an afternoon of installing an Andersen on my daughter's trailer. Well I say that most of the time so far was spent on painting the tongue in preparation.

I do have a question on the real axle suspension on the Jeep. Are they individual A frames or a solid axle with a sway bar. if it is a solid axle and no sway bar I would consider looking into the after market for one to stiffen up the rear against sway. Not from thew trailer but just a general improvement to the Jeep.

Another comment.
The new Andersen manual has incorporated several of the comments that have been presented on this Forum.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #2234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Please know I am not trying to be personal here, but am trying to understand why the Andersen would be recommended with this poor weight distribution performance. How can that even be considered safe towing?

doug k
and...... with all due respect to idroba the Reese setup he was using is very poor (IMHO). The ball is at least a foot past the bumper and dollars to doughnuts there is a lot of flex* going on with that set up. Also I'm just seeing a basic WDH and no sway control. No wonder it was not working well.

Note: With a flexing receiver it is difficult to get the weight to transfer effectively.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #2235
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You are correct. He did not have any sway control with thta Reese system and yes the longer shank probably amplified the porpoising that is inherent to a spring bar system. But FLEX in the receive. If you can show me FLEX in a receiver I will show you a cracked or failed receiver.

Given that why would you question his new and improved system. It has done away with the porpoising, added effective sway control, improved hitching time, reduced noise, eliminated the need to readjust periodically due to trunnion ware, and save on his dry cleaning bill.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:09 PM   #2236
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Quote:
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(no springs, no shocks)

Hi, I understand that with some air suspension systems there are no metal springs, just air bags, but I don't believe that your Jeep has no shocks.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:38 PM   #2237
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Road Ruler

You are correct. He did not have any sway control with thta Reese system and yes the longer shank probably amplified the porpoising that is inherent to a spring bar system. But FLEX in the receive. If you can show me FLEX in a receiver I will show you a cracked or failed receiver.

Given that why would you question his new and improved system. It has done away with the porpoising, added effective sway control, improved hitching time, reduced noise, eliminated the need to readjust periodically due to trunnion ware, and save on his dry cleaning bill.
The point is that we know roughly 80% of the rigs on the roads are not connected to their full potential. Idroba's Reese is the classic example. If they were set up properly they would work soooo much better........like ours.

Ball is as close to the back bumper as possible.
The properly adjusted Reese dual cam with right sized bars, (with built in sway control) works great.
The porposing stopped when we replaced the worn out rear shocks on the vehicle.
The receiver platform was reinforced to prevent the common and dreaded flexing.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:03 PM   #2238
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The point is that we know roughly 80% of the rigs on the roads are not connected to their full potential. Idroba's Reese is the classic example. If they were set up properly they would work soooo much better........like ours.

Ball is as close to the back bumper as possible.
The properly adjusted Reese dual cam with right sized bars, (with built in sway control) works great.
The porposing stopped when we replaced the worn out rear shocks on the vehicle.
The receiver platform was reinforced to prevent the common and dreaded flexing.
Hi, now that's close.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:32 PM   #2239
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Hi, now that's close.
Yes Bob, and Can Am even got it closer on our Infiniti. Check the cut out on the bottom of the license plate......
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:18 PM   #2240
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I only presented my information to you, other than saying that my rig tows exceptionally well, and I like it, I leave the argue up to others.

I am sitting in Cabin Creek NF campground, off I 90 near St. Regis MT. Last night I was on the St. Joe river in Idaho, at another NF campground. I went over a pass between Idaho and Montana that I had never been over, the Montana side was gravel for 20+ miles. I have the ding marks in my segment protectors already. The point is I use my AS and enjoy it. Having had about 15 of them over the past 35 years, and having towed them somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, I am not a newbe to how a trailer feels behind a tow rig. How many of you have been north of the Arctic Circle with your Airstream on the Dempster Highway? I have.

Some comments on the various responses to my posts.

The Jeep total Air Suspension system has no shocks or springs. What holds up the rig looks like a strut on all 4 corners, but it has some kind of a compressed nitrogen air system which holds it, and is managed by computers. The rear suspension is a wishbone looking thing. The computer has a mind of it's own at times, but it is very comfortable and so far is a great towing rig. A bit hard to set up until you understand how to turn it off so it does not fight the WD features of the hitch. Once set up, it behaves like any other spring suspension system. I have about 17,000 miles on it, with well over half of them towing.

The hitch box on the GC is high, and my old Reese stinger bar would not go low enough, so I had to buy another bar for my temporary Reese use, and what you saw was what was available locally when I needed it. No, not an optimum length, but realize that the Jeep has a very short rear overhang to begin with. Also understand that I have a lot of tow experience (see above) and the Reese has been used for over 30 years, on trailers up to 25'. I know what the Reese feels like. I used a friction sway control for a while, but found it simply made no difference, and was just one more thing to attach and detach. I have never had a trailer sway issue, not once, ever. Mud and slime in the Yukon, yes, but not on a dry road or a gravel road.

The Andersen re distributes enough weight so I am within the axle rating of the Jeep, and it tows exceptionally well. BTW, the Jeep also has some kind of electronic sway control system, which to my knowledge has never activated.

This is an Andersen users thread, I am an Andersen user, and report what I observe and have found.

My only grumble is: For those who wish to "shine" with "IMHO" I always wonder what the H stands for? Humble? Half Baked? Honest? Just say it is your opinion, and let it go at that. We know what opinions are, like mine on the Andersen, an opinion which is based on certain experiences. Not fact, but worth considering.

Oh, Howie, no wife here, so the additional front seat weight is just my junk piled over there...LOL.
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