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Old 09-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #645
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The average person will not tow for enough miles for any of this stuff to be relevant. If you are a high mileage user , why not buy a top of the line hitch? We do not need any more consumer advocates in this world. The hitch as it is intended is fine, qit trying to scare people. Jim
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:43 AM   #646
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
Maybe he is tired of dealing with AS owners and you guys have put us on the blacklist. If so, thanks from the rest of us who may have wanted some advise in the future. Anderson is a large company so why would the owner want to respond continually to a few AS owners with too much time on their hands and with an know it all attitude? Do not mean to tick anyone off but if you so called engineers want to haggle this back and forth, okay. But do not expect the owner of the company to participate all the time. AS is a small percentage of their overall business. FLAME AWAY. Jim
Jim, All I am trying to do is get the thing so I have a proper ball height for my trailer (one of the FIRST things that must be done when installing a WD hitch), and when a person tells me he will call me back, no matter if they are the owner of a company, or a customer service rep., I expect them to do that.

Now, with that said, if the Andersen system is one that only certain ball heights can be set, IMHO the system is too inflexible and I predict the marketing of the hitch will soon fail.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:57 AM   #647
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I was not necessarily referring to you. Jim
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:22 PM   #648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi
The average person will not tow for enough miles for any of this stuff to be relevant. If you are a high mileage user , why not buy a top of the line hitch? We do not need any more consumer advocates in this world. The hitch as it is intended is fine, qit trying to scare people. Jim
Only 5000 miles on mine and I can see this is a problem at 15,000. Not that hard to do. Should'nt be any.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #649
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Bruce,
What is the distance from TT axle to ball center?
Thanks.
You might also want to play with the calculator linked in this post, #45 from a thread that is useful in understanding hitch rigging. Post #52 is the derived example.

As in the best threads, discussion entails incorporation of new information to improve the knowledge base. Some assumptions in older thread are superceded. NickCrowHursts calculator is still basic good reading.

.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:37 PM   #650
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WOW

I take a couple of days off to go camping and World War Three started in my absence.

I hope I can answer a few of the more sensible question before getting into the amateur engineering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
If I could sneak in a question relative to the original subject of this thread . . .

Received my Andersen and will install next few days. Am thinking of angling the frame brackets during install so the chains enter the tube more directly. Seems this would minimize the wear?

doug k
Yes Doug angling the brackets downward will reduce the ware force on the bracket tubing. If you mount your brackets tilted forward you will have to come up with a means of holding that orientation. Other than welding stops on the top and bottom of the frame you might consider making Stop Plates, and screwing them to the top and bottom of the frame with heavy self tapping body screws, against the bracket bolts to prevent movement. I talked to Andersen last week and they are aware of this issue and are addressing it. One of the factors, the number of different frame dimensions, may require more than one bracket size. Additionally any new bracket design will have to address the chain angle and it wearing.

My own thought on this would be to machine a square plug for the end of the Acme screw that would ride inside the tube and take the load while keeping the screw from turning in the tube. At the end of this plug, it's length to determined so that the first link of the chain would be welded to it and extend beyond the tube thus eliminating any point of chain contacting the tube. The square plug could be lubed within the bracket tube. The bracket plates should be longer allowing the tube to be angled downwards towards the angle plate while providing room for the socket, or better yet the self ratcheting wrench noted in an earlier post.

Let me say this on the suggestion of chauffeuring the tube. All that does is increase the wear surface, something the wear is already doing. It does not reduce the load that is causing the wear.

A comment was made that if one chain failed, highly unlikely, the second chain would still be there. Yes it would be there but it would immediately be pulled to a neutral position by its own force completely eliminating any WD factor. Lets not worry about chain failure. The working load limit on these chains is 2,000 lbs. That means the failure load is over 6,000 lbs.

I trust anyone following this tread saw and took note of the information Bruce posted from his experiments with a strain gauge. That data and the posted experiences of several USERS should set aside any calculations presented that left out several factors, trailer axles and rear springs of the TV, in determining the posted results.

Yes this hitch works and works well. I had a dam fool pull out in front of me today and I had to swerve around him. The trailer did not go into oscillation, some thing I would have expected with my old Reese.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:32 PM   #651
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Howie, terrific response, thanks!

I started installation today and am determined to mount these at an angle to mitigate the square tube wear issue. I stopped when I noticed that the angle is improved if you put the top bracket bolt in the upper set of holes, the ones meant for 6" frames rather than our 5" Airstream frames. The square tube then rests at even less angle to the chain.

So I am thinking of mounting the support brackets at this lower position, and slightly angled, then welding the chain tube bracket to the frame. This gives an almost direct path for the chain into the tube. Would the weld (along with the bolts and back bracket) hold?

doug k
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #652
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I would not weld at this point. I would consider getting another pointed set screw and drilling and tapping another set screw hole at the upper edge of the bracket. 2 pointed set screws set into 5/16 holes with that separation and reasonable torque on the bracket bolts should do the job. If there is any evidence of movement then welding may be required. Mark the frame so you can see if movement has happened

If after your installation you can still get a self ratcheting box wrench on the nuts you have solved the question of chain wear on the bracket tubes.

During your install set things up just using the bolts and then tighten the set screws just enough to mark the frame then remove the brackets and drill the frame. This will insure the angle is correct when you are done.

I will also look into this Tuesday and post a picture or 2.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:29 PM   #653
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A new Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) - Topic

Note in the photo Bruce H. just drilled holes and bolted only the tube bracket to the frame, probably washers on the opposite side.

doug k
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:07 PM   #654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum
A new Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) - Topic

Note in the photo Bruce H. just drilled holes and bolted only the tube bracket to the frame, probably washers on the opposite side.

doug k
His frame already had the holes in it from the factory. Yes he said bolts and washers on the other side. He had to extend the chain to reach these bolts.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:28 PM   #655
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The frame is a C-frame, and tapers from 5" at the coach to 3" at the coupler. Used washers on both sides to hold the sleeve bearing in place and to make sure that the unthreaded portion of the bolt was going through the shear zone. All grade 8.

Wish I had been smart enough to drill the second hole such that the tube was pointed in the chain direction! If only foresight was as good as hindsight...

The frame is an ultralight Bal Norco frame and it is specifically stated that no holes should be drilled in the frame. So, with Lance's OK, I used existing holes. They claim that they were not put there for the purpose of mounting a weight distribution hitch, but whatever else could they be used for?

Attached a couple of pics to better explain it.

Bruce
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #656
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
WOW

(snip)
My own thought on this would be to machine a square plug for the end of the Acme screw that would ride inside the tube and take the load while keeping the screw from turning in the tube. At the end of this plug, it's length to determined so that the first link of the chain would be welded to it and extend beyond the tube thus eliminating any point of chain contacting the tube. The square plug could be lubed within the bracket tube. The bracket plates should be longer allowing the tube to be angled downwards towards the angle plate while providing room for the socket, or better yet the self ratcheting wrench noted in an earlier post.
(snip)
A comment was made that if one chain failed, highly unlikely, the second chain would still be there. Yes it would be there but it would immediately be pulled to a neutral position by its own force completely eliminating any WD factor. Lets not worry about chain failure. The working load limit on these chains is 2,000 lbs. That means the failure load is over 6,000 lbs.
(snip)
Your thoughts on a new frame bracket are similar to mine. I hope Andersen does something of that nature in a re design.

I was the one who made the comment on the failure of one chain and realized later that I was wrong, and you are right, the failure of one chain will totally disable the WD characteristics of the hitch. But, to assure everyone, it would not become uncoupled or dangerous. Just no WD characteristics.

I just returned from another 800 mile trip with the Andersen. I used white lithium grease from a spray can on the frame bracket chain holders. The hitch no longer makes creaking noises and still preforms exceptionally well. I have stated several times, the Jeep and the Argosy handle the same as the Jeep solo, which I consider pretty impressive.

The white spray lube (grease) may not eliminate the chain wear, but I am sure it reduces it considerably and is my solution for now. I am hoping that Andersen comes up with a great re design of the frame brackets and I don't have to use it forever, but it certainly does help at this point.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:16 AM   #657
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HowieE, I think you are wrong about the champher idea. The inside edge of the tube is sharp and acts like a chisel or saw and champhering it will lessen wear. Nonetheless, after hooking up my trailer this wekend, I took another close look at the chain wear. Consider that the chain is wearing in two spots, bottom of link and top of link. So that tells me that improving the angle of the bracket may not solve the problem, otherwise the top spot of the link would not show wear. I now intend to "flare" these tube ends sometime this winter. The application of some grease will help too and then I will exactly measure the chain diameters and document any changes after another several thousand miles.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:19 AM   #658
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BTW, my brackets are also mounted low in the 6" holes so the angle on the chains is less.
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