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Old 07-11-2012, 08:00 PM   #225
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Update on the Andersen hitch:

I have had the Andersen Hitch for a bit now, but have not been able to use it after I found stress cracks in my 38 year old Atwood coupler on my very well used 20' Argosy.

I ordered and received a new OEM stile Atwood coupler and towed the Argosy 125 miles with the new Andersen hitch to the shop in Missoula where I had the coupler removed and replaced. (see story in the coupler thread)

The Andersen is a very very nice hitch. The 125 miles to Missoula for me is over highway 12, along the Lochsa River, a windy and twisty road to Lolo pass, with a 50 mph speed limit in Idaho, then down to Missoula from the pass. 70 mph speed limit in MT. Coming into Missoula, two large semi trucks/trailers passed me at 70, while I was doing 63. No sensations at all. They just passed me. End of story.

The rig, Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with full Air suspension and the 20' Argosy with a hitch weight of 680# tows as if I were driving the Jeep only. That is there is no sensation whatsoever that the trailer is there. It does not push the Jeep, no oversteer or understeer, no sway, nothing. I never had any objections to the Argosy towing in the past with my Draw Tight or Reese WD hitches, but with the Andersen it is just better, I feel.

The hookup is very easy. One can use the large socket (supplied with the hitch) and a 1/2" drive to do the hookup, or, if the ground TV and trailer are right, use the hitch jack to do all the work, without turning the hitch chain nuts at all from when you disconnected it last time. I don't yet have a lot of hitch/unhitch experience, and the Air Suspension on the Jeep sometimes has a mind of it's own, so I have used both the tongue jack system and the loosen and re tighten the chain nuts system. I am getting used to it still, you have to understand.

From the coupler weld shop, I drove another 70 miles to where I am camped right now, a beautiful Forest Service campground on Lake Alva (Verizon cell net access here). Again, everything is just like driving the Jeep alone. No noise, no sway (but I have never had any sway issues with my old hitches) just one solid unit. I unhitched here at the campsite and it was just super easy. Jack the rig up with the electric jack until the tension chains were loose, pull the pin, drop the triangle plate, lower the jack to take the weight off the ball, pull the coupler lever forward and up (forward is a new feature of the new coupler) and raise the trailer off the ball with the jack. Pull the Jeep forward. Done. Very light weight parts to handle.

I took some photos of the grease that I had put on the ball to determine the pressure points. I may post them later. Visually, there is pressure on the REAR of the ball by the coupler, and on the TOP of the ball. No pressure on the front of the ball. The chains do the pulling on the Andersen system, not the ball. The ball does not rotate in the coupler, it rotates in the hitch head socket against the friction material which does the sway control. Andersen does not recommend lube on the ball, but I wanted to see the pressure points so I did put some on. Non greasy parts is another advantage to this hitch.

OK, only about a total of 250 miles with it so far, but I think it is going to be a winner in my book. I have stressed over and over, that I never had any issues with my Reese or Draw Tight hitches, but this one is lighter and tows in a more solid way.

More as I find out.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #226
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Oh, BTW, I have not, but will put the rigs on the scales to show how the weight is moved forward to the front wheels of the TV with the Andersen. That is another trip to Lewiston Idaho, where I can access the scales at my leisure. I am using the "measure the fenders" system now that I have found out how the Air Suspension system works and how it may be shut off, along with my scale experience with my Draw Tight hitch a couple of months ago to set the Andersen up.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #227
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I'm a little surprised that Andersen insists no grease is needed. If for no other reason than to prevent rust.

But, what I haven't seen mentioned is that in fact the ball does move in 2 of the "3 axes of flight" in the coupler. If not, in the pitch axis, you would not be able to go up or down anything other than flat road without the front or rear axle of the tow vehicle being lifted off the ground. Or in the roll axis, the tow vehicle would not have any independence from the trailer and jacking up the left side of the trailer to change a tire would also lift the left side of tow vehicle.

I think everyone is focused on the fact that the ball rotates with the trailer in the yaw axis (by chains), which does normally see the most movement, but not all.

I'm rooting for the Andersen...
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:16 PM   #228
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newroswell: I completely agree with you, there is movement of the ball within the coupler, and for that reason I plan to put a slight amount of grease on the ball and wipe it off with a paper towel as I remove the ball from the coupler. I use Reese "on the ball" lube which is a white grease, I assume it is a high pressure lube.

I was siting here thinking of the positives and negatives of the Andersen, and I really can not come up with any negatives of any consequence so far.

The Vintage Rally in Gunnison CO this month will give me a lot of miles and hitching and unhitching to make my evaluation better. I expect about 2500 miles of towing.

One thing I hope everyone is aware of: My Argosy is only a 20', 4000# trailer and the Jeep is a 5200# tow vehicle. So, the combination is one which would generally be stable in any event. But Howee E is towing a much larger AS (I think 31 or 34') with the same hitch and he also seems satisfied at this point.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:52 AM   #229
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I thought I would post three photos of the Andersen hitch setup I have. The first and second are the hitch from both sides. I have not repainted the coupler or area where the old snap up brackets were located. The safety chains always make a messy looking scene, but there is not much that can be done with them.

The third photo shows the hitch ball after disconnect. I had lightly greased it with white grease and towed 70 miles. This was with the brand new coupler. If you look carefully at the black patterns on the ball, you can see that the weight of the trailer rests on the top and left and right sides of the ball. The black back side area is where the coupler pushes against the rear side of the ball as the chains do the pulling from the bottom. The front of the ball, which you cannot see, had no marks on it at all. The chains on the Andersen do the actual pulling. In case of any failure of the chains, mis hook up or things like that, the hitch goes back to a weight cary mode, and pull would be from the front of the coupler, as we normally think happens.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #230
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I like the simplicity of this design except there is no apparent flexibility (unlike weight distribution bars) when the front of the tow vehicle is lifted in relation to the remainder of the t.v./trailer, such as entering a very steep driveway approach. Or simply the "ups and downs" of roadways.

There would seem to be a bending force somewhere on the trailer tongue. We have been warned of this with too-rigid weight distribution bars

Engineers or mechanical minds?

doug k
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #231
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All of the flexibility is taken up in the urethane bushings.

As you go over the crest of a small hill the load is reduced on the bushings and the tongue weight would go up for that that short period of time. Crossing the rail road tracks at Ravenel SC is about as drastic as it gets.

As you cross a dip or wash the load increases on the bushings and transfers more weight to the front axle of the TV. Turning up to Eagle Peak in Robesonia Pa is the other extreme.

Neither even is of any significance because of the short duration. Nor do the produce enough force to cause a problem. The real test will be the next crossing on a Canadian ferry in the lower Fundy Bay. I have lifted the rear axle of the TV, with a Reese, enough to lose traction while leaving one of them

As for the comments above about movement in 2 of the 3 axis. Yes there is movement there but clearly not enough to warrant conversation. That level of consideration is tantamount to worrying about the degree of flexure in the frame of you TV.

Remember one of the principle consideration in a structural design is flexure. If rigid it will brake
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:00 PM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I like the simplicity of this design except there is no apparent flexibility (unlike weight distribution bars) when the front of the tow vehicle is lifted in relation to the remainder of the t.v./trailer, such as entering a very steep driveway approach. Or simply the "ups and downs" of roadways.

There would seem to be a bending force somewhere on the trailer tongue. We have been warned of this with too-rigid weight distribution bars

Engineers or mechanical minds?

doug k
When the front of the TV is lifted vs the trailere, the coupler and the chains both experience force, and the bushings are put under more pressure. The chains have more tension, and the coupler has more "push" on the back of the ball. There is no bending moment at all applied to the trailer tongue, unlike what happens with normal WD bars which pull down on the frame more in that situation. So, in fact, there is LESS bending force on the frame, not more, on the Andersen system.

How the hitch reacts in a very steep ramp situation with the TV gong up, and the trailer level does not seem to me to be any different than the same situation with a bar WD hitch other than with the Andersen there is more tension on the chains and more push on the ball vs. more pull down on the frame with a normal WD hitch. But, be assured, there is less stress on the frame with the Andersen. The strain on the TV hitch receiver would be the same in both cases, and it would be much higher than normal level towing.

With either type of WD hitch, if I knew I was going to be in such a situation, such as a steep ferry ramp, I would take all tension off the bars or chains and let the movement be at the coupler ball, with the hitch weight on the rear of the TV for a short time. I have a friends driveway that I back into and pull out of which has that steep situation. In the past I have simply loosened the WD bars on the normal WD hitches I have had up to this point. When I visit them next with the Andersen, I plan to do the same thing, loosen the chains to remove the excess torque on the TV hitch platform and the TV itself.
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:08 PM   #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
With either type of WD hitch, if I knew I was going to be in such a situation, such as a steep ferry ramp, I would take all tension off the bars or chains and let the movement be at the coupler ball, with the hitch weight on the rear of the TV for a short time. I have a friends driveway that I back into and pull out of which has that steep situation. In the past I have simply loosened the WD bars on the normal WD hitches I have had up to this point. When I visit them next with the Andersen, I plan to do the same thing, loosen the chains to remove the excess torque on the TV hitch platform and the TV itself.
If this becomes necessary it can be done with the supplied socket wrench without raising the trailer via the jack and reset afterwards just a easily. Just remember the length of threads exposed before loosening the bushing nut.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:01 PM   #234
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Got my Andersen Hitch today. It is so light compared to my other WD. And once it's in I won't have to take the heavy hitch part out so I'm guessing it may be 10 lbs to lift the plate and chains in Place. IF

The chains are made in the USA, but the links that join the chains to the plate say China on them. Will be watching those for wear..

I know there was some concern about the threads striping out. NO WAY. those things are huge. You can see them in the picture compared to my finger. Will get it set up tomorrow, once I get last minute things done on the trailer.

Leaving Friday for Oregon so Will post on the way as how it does, as we are taking 3 days to get there.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:30 PM   #235
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Hi, Thanks to purman's second picture, I can see that it isn't just a coarse thread, but what I believe is called an ACME thread or Machine thread.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #236
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Quote:
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Hi, Thanks to purman's second picture, I can see that it isn't just a coarse thread, but what I believe is called an ACME thread or Machine thread.
That would be it. It's not course at all It's well machine. Everyone was talking about counting threads. I thought that would be a pain but after seeing how big they are it won't.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:11 PM   #237
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What is the advantage of that type of thread? Strength? Resistance to unthreading on its own? Longevity?
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:31 PM   #238
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I will be starting on a 2500 mile trip with my Andersen and Argosy 20 on Wed. That will give me more experiences with hitching and unhitching techniques. I know they are easy enough, even at this point, but more experience will tell me the best way to do things. It is a very easy hitch to use in any event.

My 250 mile return trip from Montana last week was uneventful. The trailer went where it was towed to go and made no notice of itself whatsoever. The Jeep, towing, drives like it does solo.
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