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Old 10-01-2012, 08:12 PM   #785
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Jonathon, based on my setup I put the top of the ball at the top of my receiver. My receiver sits at 19". That works for me. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Airstreams seem to like 18.5" ball height. Not sure how that will relate to the Anderson hitch since I don't have mine yet to play with.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:48 PM   #786
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
I don't have the installation instructions yet but when I spoke with Jason ( at Anderson)
last week I think he mentioned an optional weld along the rear of the outer bracket. He did not feel it necessary to do rear and front though. But, in that conversation I think he felt the orientation should be with the top angled to the rear with the bolts bottomed on the frame taking the stress. I'm not sure how his opinion would change with the bracket orientation changing.
That would be the way that mine was (and still is) set up, see post #463, P34 of this thread. Unfortunately that setup causes the chain wear which was something I first noted here, around that same post page. It has resulted in all of the various ideas on how to re set up the brackets. About 6 different people at Andersen factory saw my installation in early August when I first noted something wrong, causing creaking noises. They thought the noise was the friction material between the ball shaft and the socket, and replaced it. It was not the real problem, which was the chains trying to slide in the tubes with no lube at all. The reverse angle of the frame setup I have, and they say is a good solution, causes the chains to rub worse than if they came out straight.

For now, I am just leaving mine where it is and using white grease on the chains. I am waiting for Andersen to realize that they need to re think the design of the chain brackets and come up with a factory solution. I am hoping that over the winter, when I am not towing anyway, a better solution will be forthcoming from Andersen themselves.

I personally don't think that pointing the angle of the brackets downwards is the best way to solve the real problem. A re design where the chains do not slide in the square tube at all is what is needed. That could be done with an extension of the Acme thread bolt so the first link is outside the tube, but would need a new way to keep the bolt from turning. It could also be done by placing the red urathane bushing somewhere else in the chain assembly, like close to the triangular plate and having a fixed end at the frame bracket, not a moving end.

I still love the hitch and expect that Andersen will come up with a better way for the bushing and frame brackets to be positioned so there is no chain wear or noise, and still remain greaseless. My use of grease works fairly well, but negates one of the nice features of the Andersen system.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #787
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Thanks Roger, I should have read Doug K post first. Post some pictures.

jonathan
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #788
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Well, my eyes are getting crossed from all this reading. I'm thinking about following the instructions for my installation. I'm not into re-engineering. I like the hitch as it's presented and will see how it goes before trying to improve the mouse trap. The simple solution as I see it would be have the brackets mounted with the top to the rear secured tight to the frame and then
re-position the square tube at the base into better alignment with the triangle plate. I have a good welder friend and we make take a closer look at that someday but not until I get it installed and try it out for awhile.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:33 PM   #789
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
Well, my eyes are getting crossed from all this reading. I'm thinking about following the instructions for my installation. I'm not into re-engineering. I like the hitch as it's presented and will see how it goes before trying to improve the mouse trap. The simple solution as I see it would be have the brackets mounted with the top to the rear secured tight to the frame and then
re-position the square tube at the base into better alignment with the triangle plate. I have a good welder friend and we make take a closer look at that someday but not until I get it installed and try it out for awhile.
You're on the right track, stick with the instructions but set the chain tube angle toward the chains. I called Dave Andersen and this was his suggestion, then using a 3/8" bolt or 2" weld to secure the bracket near the top. Drilling into the frame (I drilled 1/2" hole") to allow the set screw into the frame part way will keep the bracket secure near the bottom. The two bracket mounting bolts then serve only to hold it all firmly against the frame.

Caution on ordering that 8" drop bar, it's 12" long. My Tundra pickup receiver is 20" off the ground, my Airstream receiver top is 19" (with 16" wheels). You want to keep the Airstream at that height (level), but the tow vehicle will drop with trailer tongue load. The short drop bars will work on most tow vehicles, except maybe highly-lifted trucks. The long drop bar may interfere with the tail gate if turned up, or be very low to the ground if turned down. If you get the wrong drop bar, Andersen will exchange it. I sent my 8" drop bar back today.

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Old 10-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #790
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I asked in an earlier post for those who have angled the brackets to report on wear after, say, 5,000 miles. Since my chains have worn about equally on the top and bottom of the link, I am a little skeptical if the more direct angle will make any improvement. I still plan to champher the inside edges and use a lube of some sort. As I ponder this, I wonder if a larger tube with a nylon sleeve inside would do the trick.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:00 PM   #791
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Isn't some chain wear to be expected in this type of hitch where metal moves on metal? My Equal-I-Zer showed wear at the friction areas and I have seen wear on Reese bars.

If we can minimize the wear by getting a good angle with the chain tubes, I would think that's good enough.

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:22 PM   #792
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Yes I originally tilted the brackets rearward to preload the bolts against the frame. While this was an effective way to reduce bracket movement it proved to be a poor choice as far as chain to bracket ware.

Having seen ware only after less than a thousand miles I am now experimenting with the brackets tilted forward to reduce the ware by aligning the chain to the bracket. The problem here is you can not hold the brackets in a position and set the WD aspects of the hitch as the bracket will slip along the frame when load is applied. I am using the top hole in the bracket and drilling out the original set screw hole to accept the lower bolt. This drops the bracket to get a better chain angle. I considered drilling new set screw holes at the top and bottom of the bracket to secure them. But seeing the ease that the brackets moved from the forward tilt when loaded I think welded stops top and bottom are required. This conclusion was also supported by the hammered ware marks the bolts left on the frame while the brackets were tilted rearward. A surprise that causes me to question the long term ability of the frame to support set screws.

I hope Andersen is watching and redesigns the brackets with a built in down angle that would allow the brackets to be tilted rearward and the bolts preloaded against the frame and more closely align the chains to the brackets.
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #793
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I had my Andersen hitch for about 2 month . I felt the system ride is much smoother than I had before the Blue Ox . But the sway countrol feel about the same . I have to hold my steeling wheel all the time doing a little adjustment . And when I back up my trailer it always turning too sharp and very close to my pick up . One day I saw a guy selling his brandnew ProPride on the airforums classicfied for $ 2100 . I decide to give it a try . It spend me 2 days to install . It was not a easy job compare to Andersen system installing . I had my first time test drive with ProPride last weekend . What a big different . I can let my hand go away on my steeling wheel for a while it still going straight feel like nothing behind me . ProPride is the best system I ever used . It is very easy to hook up and unhook . The only thing I don't like is ProPride hitch is much heavier than Andersen .
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Caution on ordering that 8" drop bar, it's 12" long. My Tundra pickup receiver is 20" off the ground, my Airstream receiver top is 19" (with 16" wheels). You want to keep the Airstream at that height (level), but the tow vehicle will drop with trailer tongue load. The short drop bars will work on most tow vehicles, except maybe highly-lifted trucks. The long drop bar may interfere with the tail gate if turned up, or be very low to the ground if turned down. If you get the wrong drop bar, Andersen will exchange it. I sent my 8" drop bar back today.
doug k
You are absolutely right on this! Today I tried out a friend's Andersen for size. It has the 4" drop/rise. My receiver measures 20" from the ground to the top inside. The 4" drop was more than enough and gave me about 2" lower than a much larger one I had with my Reese setup. The way it is positioned makes it a pretty deep drop. I am learning that you cannot just depend on descriptions like 4", 6", 8" drop, etc. They don't seem to measure from the same points between manufacturers or retailers! I am glad I didn't get the 8" or even the 6" drop now.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #795
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Thanks Doug. I will keep this in mind when mine comes and I get a chance to look things over. If the large drop seems too excessive I will proceed to change it to a shorter one.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:21 AM   #796
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I ordered the 8" drop because I plan to pull the Casita with both the FJ and my 3/4 ton GMC. The problem I had was I could not get the ball high enough for the FJ with the 8" drop in one direction, too high in the other, so had to cut it apart and have it rewelded.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #797
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getting ready for the Andersen

Today I removed the rest of my Reese hardware from the tongue. I now have 4 empty bolt holes. Unfortunately they aren't located where I could make use of them with the Andersen. Is there any harm in my leaving them open or should I plug them with something to keep the edges from rusting? They are on the sides of the frame.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #798
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If you were using the Straight Line Hitch with self tapping hardware you can just reinstall the screws to fill the holes.

If not get a q-tip and paint the edges of the holes.
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