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Old 09-25-2012, 11:20 AM   #715
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Originally Posted by Rich of SCal View Post
Obviously this hitch system was not designed with the AS in mind. It is clear in Howie's pic that the chain angle to the triangle plate, (which is caused because our couplers are mounted low compared the ones in Andersen's illustrations) is exaggerated by the mounted straps being tilted back to keep them from sliding. No surprise to anyone I'm sure, that this seems to be the cause of the chain rub and wear. So to minimize chain rub it seems important to mount the straps either vertically or leaning forward as much as possible, and still be able to adjust tension on the adjustment nuts. I know I am not saying anything new, just thinking out loud. Do I have this correct? (And I am not trolling here. I am very interested in this hitch system, but I don't want to jump in and spend yet more money until I work out these questions/issues for myself...thanks for your patience.)
No hitch is designed with specific brands in mind, they are intended universal. (My Equal-I-Zer frame brackets also slipped.) This mounting procedure for Airstream is nothing for a good hitch shop. The brackets can be welded in any position needed to ensure a straight shot for the tension chains.

I found the 5" frame brackets by Andersen slightly larger than my slightly less-than-5" Airstream frame, so that is one reason they tilt forward when tension applied. I called Dave Andersen, the hitch maker. He suggested adding a two-inch weld as shown in the instructions, putting a shim under the bracket bolts to tighten them, or drilling and putting a 3/8" bolt through the bracket and frame, near the top of the frame.

I decided to drill mine and add the bolt at the top, and drill the frame near the bottom outer bracket to let the Andersen set screw partially into the frame. The slight oversize of the brackets allowed me to tilt them so the chain tube is in alignment with the chain. Just finished and haven't road tested, but I don't see how the brackets can move, they are mounted around and into the frame. These brackets are thicker and wider than my Eqaul-I-Zer brackets, which bent when I tightened them down.

doug k
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:22 AM   #716
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Why would any hitch company design a system for just Airstream? Sal.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:44 AM   #717
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Why would any hitch company design a system for just Airstream? Sal.
IMHO, they would't. Andersen has SEVERAL different models of this hitch. They have models for frames all the way from 8" down to 3", with both 2", 2 5/16" ball sizes, and two different drop/rise drawbars.

These are actually more different models than most hitch manufacturers build, but because of the way this hitch works, it's actually a requirement. i.e. you must provide the hitch ball with most other type hitches.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:03 PM   #718
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Lets not give ourselves a pat on the back thinking that Airstream tongues are something special, they are not. Andersen designed a bracket with some adjustment in it. I have been talking to them and they are considering possibly providing different brackets for those frames most common to the RV industry. Not unlike the need to provide different ball height frames for different TV heights.

The picture they show is mounted on a 6 in frame, you know one of those for the 14,000 lb trailers.

As for my picture I chose to mount the brackets tilted back to insure there would be no movement against the frame while traveling and thus change the set up. This is not Andersen's fault, I change everything I buy to meet my own goals. If those changes result in a problem I will go back and rethink things. I will not mount my bracket vertical or tilted forward because of the predictable problem of movement. That would require a second set screw at the top of the bracket. I will not weld stops on the frame to compensate but will rather cut the tube off the bracket drop the brackets to the 6 in. position and reweld them in a straight line to the plate. I will have to drill and tap a new set screw location also.

While I can not say that might be the direction Andersen will take I will at least have my own satisfaction of accomplishment.

If all the people that are aware the Apple 5 IPhone has a problem with maps did not buy a new phone Apple might not has sold 5,000,000 in the first weekend. This issue is just a bit above the color of the brackets don't match the color of the tongue in the greater scheme of the hitches operation. Some will wait till maps is corrected as some will wait for this to be corrected. Those that buy now will have a superior phone or hitch to the competition. Apple will react and so will Andersen.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 PM   #719
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Has anyone hit a CAT scale with their Andersen? I purchased an Andersen last April (previously had an Equalizer brand). My X is towing a 31' TT with about 1,150 lbs of TW. I was able to get the rear wheel well even- to with an 1/8 of the front, with the front being higher. I thought I was okay until I hit a CAT scale during a 3,000 mile trip this summer. My drive axle had 5,900 lbs on it (4,400 with no load). My front axle had 3,500lbs on it (I believe 3,900 unloaded). I had the bushing compressed to 2 1/4". On the way home, one of the bushings exploded. Andersen did two day mail me two replacement bushings. They also gave me a couple of suggestions on how to remove more weight of my drive axle. I have not been able to get out with the rig since then I am really hoping I can get this to work because it is much easier to hook/unhook than the equalizer. The sway control is fantastic also. However, if I can't get 300-400 lbs more off my drive axle, I am not sure if the hitch will work for me.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #720
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If you are going to use the scales lets not use the words "I believe" in the comparison. You have to hit the scales unloaded and loaded to get realistic data.

The rear weight on the TV changes trip to trip depending on what you may or may not have stuffed behind the third seat and that has to be there while using the scales.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #721
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mrad, what is your tow vehicle and trailer?

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:03 PM   #722
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Just finished reading the entire thread. There seems to be a need for more fine tuning of this hitch design. While one member has the large system, I am looking to see how this works for those of us with more modest sized gear. I will pick up my first large trailer (19' Flying Cloud) in a couple of weeks and have to decide which hitch to start with. TW is a 2007 Mercedes ML 320 CDI with factory air suspension.

I liked the greaseless concept and less heavy parts to store somewhere when not towing. Thanks for the interesting discussion.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #723
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switz, I would recommend you give the Andersen a try. I think it would work just fine for your combination. If for any reason you are not happy with the results it can be returned within 90 days. I have not come across anyone here or on other forums that have felt the need to return theirs. If you have any fit or setup questions the folks at Andersen are most helpful on the phone and will go into as much detail as you need to answer your questions.
By the way on the other forums it is pretty much the same discussion tone as here almost word for word and in some cases exactly word for word (copy and paste?).
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:18 PM   #724
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mrad, what is your tow vehicle and trailer?

doug k
Steer Axle 3820
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This was with Family, gear and full tank of gas

Tow Vehicle is a 2003 Ford Excursion V10

Travel trailer is a 2011 Palimino Sabre

Palomino RV - Manufacturer of Quaility RVs since 1968

Our trailer is not the silouhette and has 1,100 lbs tongue weight and weighs 8,200 dry
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:14 PM   #725
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---I have not come across anyone here or on other forums that have felt the need to return theirs.---
RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Towing: New Andersen WD hitch

Ron
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #726
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Thanks Ron, I have seen that thread. I did not try to wade thru all of it. Too much fuzzy arm chair math for my taste. I do wonder if the guy you pointed too in the link talked to Andersen about his issues, gave them a chance to help him out and actually ended up sending his Andersen back.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:02 PM   #727
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It looks like his problem may have been not drilling holes for the set screws. There is reference to that a few post removed from the one you posted.

It is interesting that the reactions from both sides seams to be the same on that thread also. Those that question the hitch and those that use the hitch.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #728
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---I do wonder if the guy you pointed too in the link talked to Andersen about his issues, gave them a chance to help him out and actually ended up sending his Andersen back.
Yes, according to his posts, he did return the hitch to Andersen.

You'd have to ask him about the details.

Ron
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