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Old 01-04-2013, 11:54 PM   #1219
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I'm trying to learn more about the Andersen hitch here. Anyone have issues with the ball clamp on the trailer after time. Looking at the design, even though the TT side of the hitch does not pivot on the ball at all, the ball clamp would be pulled tight to the ball by the chains pulling the trailer towards the ball to accomplish the weight distribution to ride level. Seems to me bouncing may add pressure on the ball clamp or may even be quite brutal on the clamp under certain conditions. obviously the clamps are made to withstand the weight of the trailer because braking does the same thing but I was wondering if the constant pressure and bouncing has somehow worn the clamp or broken it?
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:06 AM   #1220
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Early in the development of this thread there were a few of us with the same questions/concerns. Don't remember the post, who called, or what page the response is on, but someone called Andersen and discussed this same concern with them, and they said it was not a problem, and they were not concerned at all.

I have not heard of anyone on this forum, or other forums, that has reported any problems with a coupler due to the angle of pressure applied by the Andersen. But, the hitch is relatively new (to my understanding has been on the market for about a year), and no one has the amount of time using, and experience with the hitch that we have with the more conventional bar type weight distribution hitches.

All of the users of the hitch to date have reported positively about it's performance.

Welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for all information about Airstream travel trailers.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #1221
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SteveH is right this was covered, and someone posted a picture of the ware marks on his ball from the slight movement and they were where the ball contacted the coupler NOT the clamp so the Andersen hitch isn't any worse then any other hitch on the clamp.

Also someone posted that he removed the grease from his coupler BEFORE installing his Andersen and found that his coupler was already cracked and needed to be replaced. This proves all hitches have the potential to damage the coupler and the coupler should be checked occasionally for damage and ware. They were not really designed to last more then 15 years or 50000 miles since that is not typical trailer use and lifespan.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:04 AM   #1222
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A "load equalizing" and sway control test program would not be that difficult to do.

But the time and costs involved would certainly not be cheap.

A simple, but effective test program would include the following.

A fixed test track, with twists and turns.

Using the same size trailer.

Using the same tow vehicle.

Installing G-force sensors in the trailer that have their readings recorded.

Using the same towing speeds for each of the different hitches.

Using different towing speeds to learn what is the "best" speed.

All installations made according to each manufacturer.

A graphic display would then become very helpful in deciding which was better as well as at what speeds.

Then the program could further be enhanced by using different length trailers along with different types of tow vehicles.

Someday, just maybe?????????

I seriously doubt that it would ever take place, since the RV industry does not have any unbiased testing facilities.

Andy
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:24 AM   #1223
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Thank you for making a short summarizing what was in the thread. It is very long and taking to much time to read every page. I'm tempted to try the Andersen hitch, but i found a equalizer 4 point for $300 on craigslist. But then again, I might like the quietness of the Andersen for $100 or so more. I see a lot of the same people supporting andersen when I search the web for reviews and the others just give a basic answer. No one ever talks about their experience hooking it up or any extra adventures, but then again, It is a new deal and will take time for all that to come out.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:34 AM   #1224
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leachz View Post
Thank you for making a short summarizing what was in the thread. It is very long and taking to much time to read every page. I'm tempted to try the Andersen hitch, but i found a equalizer 4 point for $300 on craigslist. But then again, I might like the quietness of the Andersen for $100 or so more. I see a lot of the same people supporting andersen when I search the web for reviews and the others just give a basic answer. No one ever talks about their experience hooking it up or any extra adventures, but then again, It is a new deal and will take time for all that to come out.

Thanks again!
The very first consideration for "any" load equalizing hitch purchase, is it correct for your tow vehicle and trailer.

The very "LAST" consideration is it's cost.

Cost is usually inversley proportional to safety, when it comes to load equalizing hitches.

Buying a used load equalizing hitch is not a good idea, since you would have zero knowledge as to what stresses it may have been subjected to, which can alter the effect of the hitch.

Andy
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:43 AM   #1225
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Originally Posted by Wazbro View Post
(snip)
Also someone posted that he removed the grease from his coupler BEFORE installing his Andersen and found that his coupler was already cracked and needed to be replaced. This proves all hitches have the potential to damage the coupler and the coupler should be checked occasionally for damage and ware. They were not really designed to last more then 15 years or 50000 miles since that is not typical trailer use and lifespan.
That would be me, my '74 Argosy had cracks in the interior ball socket and I replaced it with a new coupler. The trailer probably has over 150,000 miles on it and the damage was done prior to my Andersen purchase.

As a result of what I found, I urge everyone to degrease and inspect their coupler, especially if the rig is old and has lots of miles on it, no matter what hitch you use.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #1226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
A "load equalizing" and sway control test program would not be that difficult to do.

But the time and costs involved would certainly not be cheap.

A simple, but effective test program would include the following.

A fixed test track, with twists and turns.

Using the same size trailer.

Using the same tow vehicle.

Installing G-force sensors in the trailer that have their readings recorded.

Using the same towing speeds for each of the different hitches.

Using different towing speeds to learn what is the "best" speed.

All installations made according to each manufacturer.

A graphic display would then become very helpful in deciding which was better as well as at what speeds.

Then the program could further be enhanced by using different length trailers along with different types of tow vehicles.

Someday, just maybe?????????

I seriously doubt that it would ever take place, since the RV industry does not have any unbiased testing facilities.

Andy
Andy Thomson of Can Am RVs in London Ontario has done hundreds of tests on a closed course and on the hiways. His experience goes back to the seventies when his father started the business. I bet between the 2 of you, you know more about trailers and towing than anybody.

His latest article in RV Lifestyle is about hitch receivers, different designs and load ratings, and how to build one, or reinforce one for best strength, safety, and weight equalizing performance.

He did chime in briefly on a test of the Andersen but I don't think he gave it a fair trial. He treated it like any other weight equalizing hitch, which it is not. The Andersen will not work when you put a heavy trailer with a passenger car, a Can Am specialty.

I hope he does further tests with a more suitable rig. I would like to hear his thoughts, and yours as well. If the 2 of you got together and compared notes who knows what your giant brains would come up with .

Can Am closed course test. Jaguar, Chrysler 300 and Ford minivan stability and maneuverability test, towing a 34 foot Airstream.

45 MPH = 72 KPH

JAGUAR towing Airstream 300C Towing Airstream Freestar - YouTube
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #1227
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drop question

I am planning to order my Andersen hitch shortly, and I have question on the drop for the guys that have them. I know from following this thread there is kind of dead spot on the height adjustment that have required some owners to rework the shank and some to special order.

I figure that I will need the Andersen ball at the same height, at least to start with, as my current hitch. With my current set up the top of the hitch ball is 1" below the top surface of the shank. Is this setting possible with the standard 4" drop shank they supply?
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:58 PM   #1228
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Originally Posted by crisen View Post
I figure that I will need the Andersen ball at the same height, at least to start with, as my current hitch. With my current set up the top of the hitch ball is 1" below the top surface of the shank. Is this setting possible with the standard 4" drop shank they supply?
Yes, that is the one you want, but you might want to double check that with Andersen because I don't know the height of the 2 5/16" ball above the hitch head.

On my little trailer it's a 2" ball.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:51 PM   #1229
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Rick,

I'll quite sure the 4" drop bar is the correct. I have had both the 4" and 6" drop bars and the longer one is surely made for an extremely lifted truck. Otherwise it will hang down like a plow or stick up to interfere with your tailgate.

It looks to me like these drop bars are not necessarily drilled at the same height, my two were different and the one I is drilled differently than the one in the company photos. Order the 4" drop bar, and if wrong ask Andersen to exchange it for one that will fit. They seem to be accommodating.

With your heavy duty truck I wouldn't expect the truck to drop much from tongue weight. Be sure to follow adjustment instructions; that is, tighten the chains before you raise the trailer tongue jack and let the weight down on the chains. It is very difficult to tighten the chains properly with the trailer weight resting on them.

You're going to like the smooth ride of the hitch on bouncy roads, and the sway resistance it provides. And the light weight, and the ease of adjustment, and the cost, and the quiet operation, and the . . .

We're told in this thread it will not transfer enough weight for every application, let us know how it works for you.

doug k
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:12 AM   #1230
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Originally Posted by crisen View Post
I am planning to order my Andersen hitch shortly, and I have question on the drop for the guys that have them. I know from following this thread there is kind of dead spot on the height adjustment that have required some owners to rework the shank and some to special order.

I figure that I will need the Andersen ball at the same height, at least to start with, as my current hitch. With my current set up the top of the hitch ball is 1" below the top surface of the shank. Is this setting possible with the standard 4" drop shank they supply?
I had Dave Andersen make a special shank because there was a 4" dead spot right were my F150 2X4 and the Airstream needed the ball height to be. The top of the hitch ball needed to be at 19 3/4" to 20 1/4". The highest it would go on the down side was 18 1/2" and the lowest it would go on the up side was 22 1/2". Andersen made a new shank, powder coated and shiped it for $75. That is a very reasonable price and I know that it is done right.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:02 AM   #1231
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Thanks for input on this drop question, guess I better call Andersen to discuss my needs.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:57 PM   #1232
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Several of us Anderson users here have also run into interference opening the tailgate on out trucks with the trailer hitched. After installation this came up for me and I needed to get Anderson to make a longer insert ( 3" longer) for me. It cost me extra so if you plan ahead and tell them up front it might be a little less painful in your purchase. I also tow with a Dodge 3500 so same issue will likely apply with you. The tailgate will hit the electric tongue lift so it needs to be pushed out a little.

I've only taken mine for a short test ride after installation. Next month we plan to head south for awhile so I'll see how I like it then. I plan to take my old bar WD hitch with me just in case. I really don't anticipate any problems but since I have it I will take it along.

Good luck with yours
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