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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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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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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
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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Old 01-31-2013, 05:55 PM   #1301
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My Bambi II has a Marvel coupler that I am assuming was original from the factory. It locks up tight and has no play as described by folks with Attwood couplers. That said I still like the set up and security of lock up of the Quickbite and may just swap it out anyway. Next step is to find a welder that will not rape on the price to do the work. I can do some light welding with my little Harbor Freight wire set up but don't feel very comfortable doing a job like this.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:14 PM   #1302
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
My Bambi II has a Marvel coupler that I am assuming was original from the factory. It locks up tight and has no play as described by folks with Attwood couplers. That said I still like the set up and security of lock up of the Quickbite and may just swap it out anyway. Next step is to find a welder that will not rape on the price to do the work. I can do some light welding with my little Harbor Freight wire set up but don't feel very comfortable doing a job like this.

I had my Atwood replaced (removal of old, weld new on) for $140 in Missoula MT last summer. Less than a 2 hour job.

I didn't have the problem with the old worn out coupler, or with the new one. 7 to 8 thousand miles towing last summer.
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