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Old 01-27-2013, 09:14 AM   #1281
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Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
When I hook-up, I make sure that the hitch/ball look like Howie's pix #1. ?
You may have missed the point of the first picture.

The latch should be sitting down parallel to the coupling and Not Raised at the front. The fact that has been raised indicates the pawl is moving upwards to the release position in the coupling, not something you want. This is a result of the lose of material on the stop that is supposed to keep the latch from rising.

I had mentioned I would add a means of holding the latch down but am now questioning if the draw bar that connect the latch to the pawl will be strong enough to counter the force that is causing the lifting.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM   #1282
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I have ordered a new Airstream (27FB), expect delivery in a couple months. I'm considering the Andersen hitch, I'll need one when I get the new trailer. My question is which hitch model number? I contacted Andersen and they sent a fitting diagram. To correctly size the brackets I need the vertical width of the trailer frame. Not having the trailer handy and the dealer is a 5 hour drive. I contacted the dealer and got an indication that the vertical width is 5". I'm just looking for confirmation from those that actually bought this hitch that the model Anderson 3350 (4" drop/rise, 2-5/16" ball, 5"–6" frame brackets) is the proper hitch for an Airstream.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:34 PM   #1283
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I have a 2006 25' FB and it has a 5" frame. The Andersen frame bracket that fits the 5 is the same that fits a 6" frame. So the same bracket for either one. Also, if you have talked to Andersen they should be aware you are getting it for an Airstream so they will send the slightly angled bracket that works best to reduce the chain rub and wear. Good luck and enjoy.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #1284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
I have ordered a new Airstream (27FB), expect delivery in a couple months. I'm considering the Andersen hitch, I'll need one when I get the new trailer. My question is which hitch model number? I contacted Andersen and they sent a fitting diagram. To correctly size the brackets I need the vertical width of the trailer frame. Not having the trailer handy and the dealer is a 5 hour drive. I contacted the dealer and got an indication that the vertical width is 5". I'm just looking for confirmation from those that actually bought this hitch that the model Anderson 3350 (4" drop/rise, 2-5/16" ball, 5"6" frame brackets) is the proper hitch for an Airstream.
I have the same model you do, except 2009, and use the Andersen 3350 with the same specs you give. Works great!!
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #1285
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I just returned from a 4000 mile trip to Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas using the Andersen I recently purchased. I, too, have the same issues Howie details above. With the chains trying to pull the trailer forward on the ball, the ball is forced against the rear of the coupler, forcing the latch wedge up. I've considered replacing the coupler with a Quickbite or Bulldog model. I don't think there is an Atwood hitch coupler which matches up well with the forces from the Andersen WD Hitch. I've read some posts on another RV group board and some people have had issues with the Quickbite, in particular, rubbing against the trailer hitch forward of the ball due to the prongs which stick out to hold the alignment sticks. Has anyone had any experience with the Quickbite or the Bulldog couplers when used with the Andersen? Any thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:00 AM   #1286
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I just returned from a 4000 mile trip to Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas using the Andersen I recently purchased. I, too, have the same issues Howie details above. With the chains trying to pull the trailer forward on the ball, the ball is forced against the rear of the coupler, forcing the latch wedge up. I've considered replacing the coupler with a Quickbite or Bulldog model. I don't think there is an Atwood hitch coupler which matches up well with the forces from the Andersen WD Hitch. I've read some posts on another RV group board and some people have had issues with the Quickbite, in particular, rubbing against the trailer hitch forward of the ball due to the prongs which stick out to hold the alignment sticks. Has anyone had any experience with the Quickbite or the Bulldog couplers when used with the Andersen? Any thoughts?
These are exactly the problems I was concerned about in the beginning of this thread, and voiced my concerns in this post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ml#post1157788

The Andersen puts forces on the hitch coupler that I believe it was not designed to withstand. Maybe there are other couplers available that are better.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:02 AM   #1287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thompson View Post
(snip) I've read some posts on another RV group board and some people have had issues with the Quickbite, in particular, rubbing against the trailer hitch forward of the ball due to the prongs which stick out to hold the alignment sticks. Has anyone had any experience with the Quickbite or the Bulldog couplers when used with the Andersen? Any thoughts?
When I found wear damage to my original coupler on my Argosy, I looked into the Bulldog and the Quickbite couplers as a replacement for the original Atwood. The problem I found was that they both are a couple of inches longer than the Atwood which would have either required longer chains on the Andersen, or to move the chain brackets forward. The brackets could not easily go forward due to my propane tank placement and the fact that the bottom base is welded to the frame. I also was in a time situation, and did not want to figure out how to get new chains. So, I replaced my coupler with a new Atwood.

Neither the old and very sloppy coupler I had (with cracks in the internal cup) nor the new one I put on have shown the problem that seems to have come up with you and Howie E. I have towed about 7,000 + miles with the Andersen and those hitches. The rig is put away for the winter now, so I can only tell you what I had seen up until last October.

The only thing I can come up with in my mind and memory is that to properly hook up the Andersen, one needs to have a slight forward pressure on the coupler (so the ball is in the cup front) and with no upward lift pulling the coupler up from the ball. That way the tang on the rear of the ball seats itself properly, and then the forward pressure which is then subsequently applied by the chains is directed to a correctly seated rear tang.

I don't know if that helps at all, I am just "hooking up" in my mind and do recall that the ball in the coupler needs to be properly set and no lifting wants to be done until the ball is locked into it's correct place.

I know both of you are very experienced trailer towers, so I am not sure how you could ever be doing things improperly. But I know that at times I have become a bit casual on how I hooked up, so wonder if there is any possibility you have too. So, ball forward in the cup, and no lifting until the tang is locked in place. I am also assuming no coupler damage from past hookups.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:47 AM   #1288
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Mine starts out fine with the ball properly seated and the wedge in place to keep the ball from dropping out of the coupler, but within a mile, the ball has forced the wedge upwards about 1/2", similar to Howie's pictures. The wedge would probably need to move upwards another 1/2" for the ball to be able to drop out, however, I'm not one to tempt fate or invite the devil in. An ideal solution would be a clam type connection around the ball which is the same shape as the ball. The Bulldog approaches this, but there seems to be room for improvement. I haven't actually seen a Quickbite in person, but some pics I've seen on the internet suggest there is a void at the rear of the ball clasp which reduces the contact area of the coupler with the ball which "might" not be desirable.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:48 PM   #1289
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Howie, Bob,
Have either of you been in contact with Andersen to see if they have an explanation or solution for this problem. Or to ask if this has occurred or been reported from users of other brands of trailers. I would be very interested in their reaction.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:56 PM   #1290
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Here's a pic of my Atwood. You can see the area inside the red cloud is where the ball pushes. Since it is lower than the top the top of the ball, the wedge tends to ride up until the curved surface meets a similar shape on the ball.

I found this one on Ebay and it does much better, but I still feel there isn't enough seating area at the back of the coupler for the ball to be properly supported.


I have not contacted Andersen with my concerns.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:20 PM   #1291
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I just sent this to Andersen via their "Contact US" on the Website. We will see what I get in response. I will keep you posted.

I recently purchased an Andersen Hitch. After purchasing the hitch. I have read on the Airstream Forum about problems. That being the force placed on the pawl of the trailer hitch by your WD system. In at least 2 cases the pressure on the pawl was blamed on the fact that the trailer hitch could be uncoupled from the ball without unlatching the pawl.
I purchased this newly designed hitch with the confidence that it was a good design and been proven. There was no mention in any of the literature that this WD hitch would require a special or unique trailer hitch coupler such as a Bulldog coupler to work successfully. But I don't want this to become an issue. I have installed the brackets on the "A" frame but have not hitched up the trailer as of this date.
Someone needs to convince me that I don't have to worry about the trailer becoming uncoupled when the hitch latch is down and locked. And that I don't need a coupler similar to a Bulldog for this system to work safely.
Please look into this and get back to me.
Thankyou
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #1292
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For what it's worth, I found a better pic of the Quickbite. There is a portion of the ball "clasp" absent from the rear portion of the jaws, but I think there is plenty of surface for the ball to bear on so this is likely the solution I will pursue. Good news is it shouldn't move the ball position forward meaning I won't need to add to my chains!
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:27 AM   #1293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Thompson View Post
I just returned from a 4000 mile trip to Tucson, Phoenix, and Las Vegas using the Andersen I recently purchased. I, too, have the same issues Howie details above. With the chains trying to pull the trailer forward on the ball, the ball is forced against the rear of the coupler, forcing the latch wedge up. I've considered replacing the coupler with a Quickbite or Bulldog model. I don't think there is an Atwood hitch coupler which matches up well with the forces from the Andersen WD Hitch. I've read some posts on another RV group board and some people have had issues with the Quickbite, in particular, rubbing against the trailer hitch forward of the ball due to the prongs which stick out to hold the alignment sticks. Has anyone had any experience with the Quickbite or the Bulldog couplers when used with the Andersen? Any thoughts?
I had the same question about the Andersen and Quickbite combination. I talked with Dave Andersen, he told me the modifcation I could make if needed. With the quickbite installed there is plenty of room for the prongs with NO modification to the Andersen. The Quickbite does move the hitch ball about 1 1/2" forward and required making the chains longer, also I started the tension nut even with the threads not with 1 or 2 threads exposed.
After cutting the original coupler off I found that it was very worn. I belive that this trailer had already traveled many many miles because of the fifteen International Rally stickers on a wall inside when we bought it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:28 PM   #1294
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I had been watching the coupler on my 1990 since I bought it. It has a few hair line cracks but they are not much worse now than when I bought it 3 years ago. I hooked up yesterday and the latch held when I closed it and picked up the truck. It does raise the latch when I tighten the chains so it is probably a matter of time before sometime gives way. Might as well replace it now.
I ordered the Quickbite this morning and will install it when it gets here.
Thanks Bob, HowieE & MSMCV51 for posting your information. I'll let you know how it goes.
Joe
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:35 PM   #1295
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I also ordered the Quickbite this morning. I really like my Andersen hitch and I haven't been all that thrilled with the Atwood coupler on my trailer, so I don't mind upgrading the coupler to a Quickbite.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:19 PM   #1296
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Real Concerns

Checked my vintage Atwood coupler and no cracks nor wear on that wedge locking mechanism and all good. I'm concerned though on the rearward pressure
that the Andersen applies to that locking wedge mechanism & wearing it out. It's good now but I could see it wearing out in the future and being pushed
upward dropping the ball. Luv the Andersen thus what to do especially going on a long trip soon? That Quickbite coupler may just be the answer. Atwood
has a wrap-around yoke style latch lock but rated at 8000lbs capacity, maybe someone will have an answer.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:32 PM   #1297
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I am trying to decide whether to order the Anderson hitch after having read this thread. I just looked and the current hitch is welded on and I don't really want to start grinding on a new trailer to install the quick bite. I like the Anderson design, and the quickbite design, but I am having 2nd thoughts...
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:42 PM   #1298
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I have written to Andersen (see note above), with NO ANSWER yet! I may have to call them to get an answer.
Has anyone here contacted them about this concern?
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:57 PM   #1299
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First off let me clear one thing up. This is not a wear or cracking problem of the Atwood claw. The problem is the leading edge of shark tail piece that stands up on the top of the coupling bracks off and allows the claw to be forced upwards.

I talked to Andersen a few days ago and are looking into it.

While I can't disassemble my coupling while on the road I am considering drilling a hole through the coupling just above the resting position of the claw and running a pin through to take the load. If there is room to do this Andersen could supply a molded plastic template that could be slipped over the coupling and mark the point to drill for such a pin.

My latch lifted 1/2 in after I had moved the rig less than foot and when I reached my next camp the ball fell out of the coupling as I took the load off.

You will know if you are about to have this problem if you can lift the Atwood latch without having to move it forward before lifting it. That indicates the leading edge of the shark tail like piece has failed.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:33 PM   #1300
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First off let me clear one thing up. This is not a wear or cracking problem of the Atwood claw. The problem is the leading edge of shark tail piece that stands up on the top of the coupling bracks off and allows the claw to be forced upwards.

I talked to Andersen a few days ago and are looking into it.

While I can't disassemble my coupling while on the road I am considering drilling a hole through the coupling just above the resting position of the claw and running a pin through to take the load. If there is room to do this Andersen could supply a molded plastic template that could be slipped over the coupling and mark the point to drill for such a pin.

My latch lifted 1/2 in after I had moved the rig less than foot and when I reached my next camp the ball fell out of the coupling as I took the load off.

You will know if you are about to have this problem if you can lift the Atwood latch without having to move it forward before lifting it. That indicates the leading edge of the shark tail like piece has failed.
I have owned and used Airstream trailers since the late 70's, and I've never heard of the Atwood hitch doing this before, so it must be particular to the Atwood while being used with the Andersen hitch.

Just my opinion here, but this is unacceptable, and relates to my concerns of this WD hitch from the first I read and heard about it....it puts a load on the coupler that it was not designed to handle.

Hopefully this is resolved with another type/brand of coupler, but at this point I would not use the Andersen on a large, heavy trailer equipped with the Atwood coupler.
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