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Old 01-21-2013, 06:36 PM   #1261
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Rich, I trust your friend and also trust Andersen. It will be interesting to know how this works out.

Perhaps you, as a Andersen customer, could give them a call on his behalf to see what's cookin' here.

doug k
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Rich, if you can PM me his name I would be happy to also give Andersen a call on his behalf. Not sure it would help but it could not hurt.
Thanks for the responses. My friend, Bob appreciated it as well. I sent that post from my iphone while I was at the Happy Traveler in Palm Springs. I have since returned. Today I talked to Bob. He said he tried yet another call to someone at Andersen in marketing. Said it was the guy he originally talked to. They admitted "dropping the ball" and promised to send the brackets out immediately. If they actually do it this time, he should get them in the next couple days. This has been promised before, however.

I will post here if he does get them. I suspect my post and your responses may have encouraged some action. But, we shall see.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #1262
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:23 PM   #1263
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Finally used my andersen! First impressions

So many delays! (you can skip to the next heading if you don't want to read about my tales of woe)

After many delays, including my drilling into my a-frame to use the set screws, but destroying my umbilical cord instead. This followed by a search for as exact a replacement as I could find. Then getting sent the wrong length cord, then finally getting the correct replacement cord. Buying hardware, and Vulkem (from Andy at Inland RV, who I got to meet, as well. Nice guy!).

The next delay was that the original cord did not match the color/contact arrangement of the new cord, even tho they were the same brand, length, and part number! At any rate, a couple days before I was to leave, I was able to install, seal and correctly connect it and got all my lights, battery charge, and electric brakes working!

The final "hitch" (pun intended) was getting the coupler to lock onto the Andersen ball. It just would not seat correctly so that the latch would engage. Jumping on it, moving the TV fore and aft...nothing seemed to work. Then just as I was about to put the tongue jack back down and remove it for inspection, it decided to settle and lock.

Arrival and unhitching
When I arrived in Palm Springs, unhitching was a piece of cake. The drop on the shank system matched my Jeep sooo much better than the one that came with my Reese dual cam system from the dealer. And, as it is so much lighter and less bulky I left it in the receiver the entire time I was in PS (added a lock, of course). The rest of the system...chains, collar, brackets, neoprene bushing...all remained attached to the AS coupler/tongue. What an improvement over removing all the Reese hardware, which I used to store in the back of my Wrangler, taking up way too much storage space.

Then rehitching
When I returned home rehitching was even easier. I used a cheap Swift Hitch camera and zeroed in on the coupler in no time. But this time I cleaned off all the residual grease that had transferred to the Andersen ball before I lowered the coupler, and everything settled in easily. I suspect it was the old/cold grease that was the problem before. A couple turns of the bushing nut and I was good to go.

The tow
On the trip from home, the brackets slipped, tilting backwards a little, with the set screws as a pivot point. I had left blue masking tape on so I could see how much they moved. It was just a few degrees, as I had mounted the top bracket bolts against the frame as tightly as I could. Coming back they seemed to stay at approximately the same angle. Going out I had about 5 threads showing, coming back I started with 3 but soon added back a couple as I seemed to be porpoising more than usual.

The ride
Coming back from Palm Springs there was significant wind on the highway and freeway. I could feel it, but never felt out of control. The trailer rides much leveler (eyeballing it) than did my old system. However, I wouldn't say that it felt better than the Reese did...but it was definitely as good. Just getting rid of the extra weight/bulk and getting the AS to ride more level makes it worthwhile to me. Add to that the ease of hitching and unhitching (after the initial installation issues were resolved) and using this system is a no-brainer for me.

Conclusion: works for me!
I can't say whether this is a universal replacement for other systems in every case. I have a relatively light load...Sport 16 at about 2900 (dry) and a much heavier relative TV weight (4000+). But for me just getting rid of the extra hardware and weight makes if a great buy!
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #1264
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I thought I would post an update while on the road.

1200 miles to Fl. and a great ride.

Now for the even better part. Left St. George on a very windy day and drove just short of 300 miles with 25 to 30 MPH winds . I have to say I had to look back a few times to be sure the trailer was still there. The wind had almost no effect, except for a small push effect when breaking out to open areas to the side.

You have to drive it to believe.

Not to open a new can of worm for some but I have noticed and had comments from one other user that the paw may not be holding the coupling on the ball as securely as one would want. Under some conditions, when backing up, the ball seams to push the paw in such a way as to lift the coupling handle upwards. One Andersen rep. Has suggested drilling out the handle enough to accept a close fitting pin to hold the handle in the down position. Not sure this is the ultimate answer. During my last unhitched this displacement was enough that the ball fell out of the coupling as I took the load off with the jack.

Would be interested to hear from other user on their experiences with the coupling
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #1265
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Howie, my coupler has a hole already as part of the manufacturing process. To the best of my knowledge it is the original coupler that came with the trailer. In fact every boat or utility trailer that I can recall having has had one. As part of my normal hitch/unhitch process I use a lock thru the hole to keep the coupler locked down and to deter thieves.
This is the lock that I use: The small shaft one is for the coupler and the larger one is for the draw bar.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:13 AM   #1266
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Regarding the coupling coming "loose" it sounds like maybe the "ball latch" ( which I think is what Howie is referring to as the 'paw' ) may be worn and/or needing to adjusted a bit tighter ( if it can be adjusted ).
I'm with Michael on the idea of keeping a lock or at least a hitch pin thru there when traveling....it's one more visual check to ensure I got it latched.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:14 AM   #1267
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Yes, I never tow any trailer without, at a minimum, a pin in the coupler latch.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:15 AM   #1268
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Yes there is a hole in the latch but the clearance in the hole of the latch and the coupling tab is enough to allow movement. That movement is enough to warrant additional consideration.

As noted an Andersen rep suggested reaming the combination and using a close fit pin.

On the older Atwood couplings the latch was free to lift and without a pin this would be a real problem. On the newer coupling you have to move the latch forward before raising it. In my case, and I will have to look closely in the future, it appears the latch may have passed that safety and lifted beyond that safety. The ball dropped out of the coupling while I was reducing the load on it.

The coupling is only a year old and I always use a pin through the latch.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:19 AM   #1269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Yes there is a hole in the latch but the clearance in the hole of the latch and the coupling tab is enough to allow movement. That movement is enough to warrant additional consideration.

As noted an Andersen rep suggested reaming the combination and using a close fit pin.

On the older Atwood couplings the latch was free to lift and without a pin this would be a real problem. On the newer coupling you have to move the latch forward before raising it. In my case, and I will have to look closely in the future, it appears the latch may have passed that safety and lifted beyond that safety. The ball dropped out of the coupling while I was reducing the load on it.
Maybe it's time for an entire new coupling to be welded onto the trailer frame ? I've heard of them getting worn enough over a number of years/miles of use to where they are "wobbled out" ( technical terms ) enough to the point of needing replacement. I sure like the bulldog side latch couplers on a two of our horse trailers.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:45 AM   #1270
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Got my Andersen Hitch installed yesterday and made a small circle of about 10 miles just to see how it handles. I would have to echo all the positive things already said on this thread about how it rides and handles. Now to get on the road for a longer trial!
I would have to say the installation is pretty straight forward by following the instructions sent with the hitch. To try something different, I read the instructions before installing the hitch. Probably the most difficult part was installing the set screws till they hit the frame and then tightening them 3 more turns. It was difficult to get that 10 foot long cheater bar to fit between the trailer, propane tanks, and frame!!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #1271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Yes there is a hole in the latch but the clearance in the hole of the latch and the coupling tab is enough to allow movement. That movement is enough to warrant additional consideration.

As noted an Andersen rep suggested reaming the combination and using a close fit pin.

On the older Atwood couplings the latch was free to lift and without a pin this would be a real problem. On the newer coupling you have to move the latch forward before raising it. In my case, and I will have to look closely in the future, it appears the latch may have passed that safety and lifted beyond that safety. The ball dropped out of the coupling while I was reducing the load on it.

The coupling is only a year old and I always use a pin through the latch.

As you know HowieE, I also have a new Atwood coupler that I had put on after I found cracks int he inner cup of the original one on my '74 Argosy. Although the old one was loose and sloppy, I did tow some with the Andersen prior to replacement. I had no problems of the type you have just experienced.

With the new coupler I have not had any issues either, of the type you mentioned. So I don't know what to say, other than to keep an eye on it. Neither my old worn coupler or my new one has shown anything like what you have seen. Believe me, my old coupler was very well worn and sloppy, but held the ball firmly even so. Even the cracks I found in the inner cup would not have caused what you found to happen. BTW, my hitch ball weight is 710#, if that is of any useful value to you.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:25 PM   #1272
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Howie;

Was the pawl latched when you raised the tongue? I'm wondering if when you hitched up, the pawl got jammed up inside and really never latched onto the ball.
I know you are very experienced at towing. But I always check the position of the pawl after latching it.
And always use a locking device on the pawl release mechanism.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #1273
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I have got to assume the pawl was attached as I take the load off the ball while adjusting the chains. It appears the pawl is being moved while backing into a site.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:59 PM   #1274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
I have got to assume the pawl was attached as I take the load off the ball while adjusting the chains. It appears the pawl is being moved while backing into a site.
Howie, when I finally used mine I had a hard time getting the coupler to seat onto the ball so that I could lock the latch down (meaning the pawl inside was probably not fully closed around the bottom of the ball). It finally did after I sprayed alot of WD40 into the coupler. I suspect too much old grease was interfering with the tight fit. Before using it again to rehitch and return home, I cleaned off all the grease that had transferred to the ball. This time it seated fully with no problem. I did notice, however, that even with little tension on the 2 chains, the shank is sitting at an angle leaning toward the tow vehicle, rather than straight up and down. I wonder if this makes the Anderson a bit more hard to seat the ball than otherwise would be the case. If so I can see why they tell us we do not need to apply grease. I hope you figure out what your problem is. I'm sure we will all benefit from your findings.
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