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Old 02-20-2013, 02:40 PM   #1373
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There is NO movement between the coupler and ball when turning, as there is in a conventional ball and coupler.
The plate to which the chains are attached turns the ball as the coupler/trailer turn a corner. Therefor, there is no need to lubricate the ball.
The slight up and down movement created on rough roads should not create significant wear on the ball or coupler unless the ball and/or coupler are worn out from use in the convention mode where the coupler rotates on the ball when turning. If the coupler is that worn, it should be replaced, no matter what.
As for the 7-8 thread exposure when adjusting the tension. This should only be used if you have your brackets spaced at the 27"to 29" dimensions shown in the Andersen instructions.
In order to install the frame brackets where they will fit the best. Because of propane tank location especially. You may be required to lengthen or shorten the chains accordingly. This is stated in the Andersen installation and set up instructions.
In my case. When I measured the distance from the ball to the front of the trailer on each side of the "A" frame. I found there to be about 3/4" difference from one side to the other. The coupler had been welded on crooked. From the factory. Not that it matters, since the ball is round. It might shift to tow center by an eighth of an inch to one side. When I installed the frame brackets, I made sure they were set the same distance from the front of the trailer. Therefor one chain requires that the nut be turned in further for proper tension.
In light of this and the fact that in my case, longer chains were required. Only by one link. I came to the conclusion. That measuring the compression of the urethane bushing is a more accurate way of evenly tensioning the chains.
I don't attempt to tighten the chains while they are under tension. If I think more tension is required, I raise the trailer tongue while still coupled to the ball and make the adjustment. Then lower the tongue.
I don't remove the chains from the square tube when hitching or unhitched. I remove the shackles from the plate. It makes it easier to remove and install the plate without the extra weight of the chains.
This setup procedure has worked well for me. I have had no problems with the Marvel coupler up to this point. The latch pawl does not move, once coupled and latched.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:06 PM   #1374
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Angry Andersen Problem

Well, I read all the info on the Andersen Hitch and was impressed. I ordered one and had it installed like the directions stated, even did the spot weld on the brackets. Had problems on my first trip with the lock assembly and the claw shank pushing up. Apparently, the rearward forced was so great that the shank sheared off the front of the bracket that holds the claw down. Called Andersen and they said it was okay. However I ordered a new claw assembly and planned to install it during the Florida State Rally, which I did. Dave Schumann looked at the assembly and questioned it stability not have the claw locked down under the ball.

Installed the new assembly, but since the lock portion on the top was sheared off, it didn't matter. When I got home and lowered the jack to release some tension on the chains, the trailer popped off the ball even with the lever still locked.

Called Andersen and sent them a picture and they said they are working on the problem. Well, that's great but my coupler is ruined. I will have to buy a new Attwood coupler and pay someone to install it, grind off the brackets and go back to my Blue Ox.

However, there may be another option . . . purchase a Quickbite and have it installed. According to Andersen, it will work. However, the Attwood is $90 and the Quickbite is $180 plus installation.

I'll give Andersen some time to come up with a fix. I hope it is soon since I plan to stream in early May.

See attached picture
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #1375
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Peace of Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
dmand001, I just don't see the problem you describe, nor subscribe to these solutions to a problem we don't have. Are you sure you're just not dealing with a worn-out coupler?

Also, I do believe there is intended to be some vertical motion at the ball when going down the road, must be. The urethane bushings are there to dampen this motion.

Rich, although Andersen says grease is not needed, I do spray the chain tubes with a shot of lube, and wipe a bit on the ball before each use. I suspect too much lube could come down onto the friction surfaces, but I don't know if it could go into them.

doug k
This is not intended for you nor others with no problems and have peace of mind. My intention is to find a solution to the problem that some of us in this forum have expressed. Have you not read of some of the issues? Of course you’re ignorant of the issues we have as your set-up is perfect. Ours are not so perfect yet but will get there soon enough. Perhaps a worn out coupler, though one poster had almost a new coupler with wear issues, perhaps this or that, we’ll see soon enough as long as there’s free, sincere information sharing in this forum. Others have concerns and in the end will find their peace of mind like you have, hopefully.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #1376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridalarry View Post
Well, I read all the info on the Andersen Hitch and was impressed. I ordered one and had it installed like the directions stated, even did the spot weld on the brackets. Had problems on my first trip with the lock assembly and the claw shank pushing up. Apparently, the rearward forced was so great that the shank sheared off the front of the bracket that holds the claw down. Called Andersen and they said it was okay. However I ordered a new claw assembly and planned to install it during the Florida State Rally, which I did. Dave Schumann looked at the assembly and questioned it stability not have the claw locked down under the ball.

Installed the new assembly, but since the lock portion on the top was sheared off, it didn't matter. When I got home and lowered the jack to release some tension on the chains, the trailer popped off the ball even with the lever still locked.

Called Andersen and sent them a picture and they said they are working on the problem. Well, that's great but my coupler is ruined. I will have to buy a new Attwood coupler and pay someone to install it, grind off the brackets and go back to my Blue Ox.

However, there may be another option . . . purchase a Quickbite and have it installed. According to Andersen, it will work. However, the Attwood is $90 and the Quickbite is $180 plus installation.

I'll give Andersen some time to come up with a fix. I hope it is soon since I plan to stream in early May.

See attached picture
By stacking flat stainless steel washers, about 1-1/4" in diameter above the ball before hitching prevents the ball from popping loose at least. Stack as much as possible to remove that gap bet' the ball and coupler but still being able to hitch properly. Try it, ran that idea w/ a Steve w/ Andersen and liked it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:56 PM   #1377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridalarry View Post
Well, I read all the info on the Andersen Hitch and was impressed. I ordered one and had it installed like the directions stated, even did the spot weld on the brackets. Had problems on my first trip with the lock assembly and the claw shank pushing up. Apparently, the rearward forced was so great that the shank sheared off the front of the bracket that holds the claw down. Called Andersen and they said it was okay. However I ordered a new claw assembly and planned to install it during the Florida State Rally, which I did. Dave Schumann looked at the assembly and questioned it stability not have the claw locked down under the ball.

Installed the new assembly, but since the lock portion on the top was sheared off, it didn't matter. When I got home and lowered the jack to release some tension on the chains, the trailer popped off the ball even with the lever still locked.

Called Andersen and sent them a picture and they said they are working on the problem. Well, that's great but my coupler is ruined. I will have to buy a new Attwood coupler and pay someone to install it, grind off the brackets and go back to my Blue Ox.

However, there may be another option . . . purchase a Quickbite and have it installed. According to Andersen, it will work. However, the Attwood is $90 and the Quickbite is $180 plus installation.

I'll give Andersen some time to come up with a fix. I hope it is soon since I plan to stream in early May.

See attached picture
If I were in your shoes I'd go with the Quickbite. It works with the Anderson and looks a lot easier to hoop up to the tow vehicle.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #1378
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I'm liking that idea more and more, but will give it some time....Andersen hopefully will come up with solutions as it's not only airstreamers involved here.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:40 PM   #1379
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floridalarry, The description you gave of your problem with the Andersen hitch exactly coincides with the problem I am having with mine. The difference is that I have used mine little enough (800 miles) that is has not yet sheared off the catch for the latch. If I continue to use it as set up, that will be the ultimate conclusion. As for it being caused by a worn out coupler, the coupler on my trailer has less than 5000 miles and likely less than 3000 miles, based on all observable criteria. I have not talked to Andersen but will in the next day or two. While changing to a Quickbite coupler may be an option, I don't recall seeing that as a requirement on the Andersen website or advertisements. I am considering a bead on each side of the catch to the end of the catch, not just part way on the side as it came from the factory. My question is whether that would solve the problem or transfer the force to another component on the coupler, such as the latch itself. It may be that the only reason the latch itself is not breaking is because the catch is shearing off first. I am still in a quandary as to what the ultimate, long term solution should be.
Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and input.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #1380
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floridalarry, I can see where that may be possible after studying my hitch. Should it happen, I can't see how the ball could come out of the coupler with the chains tensioned, but with the broken latch the ball may fall out when chain tension is released.

The problem seems to be inside the coupler, where the coupler and the latching mechanism do not form a nice inner sphere to hold the ball. Instead the latching mechanism protrudes into the inner sphere of the coupler, allowing the ball to constantly push against it.

The Andersen puts considerable force on the back of the coupler, and so would hard braking, especially if the brake controller was adjusted lightly or if the brakes became disconnected.

My impression is the Atwood coupler is a clunky design, should form a nice round pocket for the ball, but it doesn't.

The Quickbite coupler does indeed appear to be a superior design, not only to preclude these issues, but ease of hookup as well. Does anyone have an issue with the Quickbite? Do we have some estimates to install one?

doug k
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:57 PM   #1381
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I am keeping a close eye on this thread. As I have stated. I haven't had the problem of the latch pawl moving up. But that doesn't mean that I'm not concerned about it happening on my rig. As a matter of fact. I installed a safety chain to prevent the coupler from lifting off of the ball should the pawl mechanism fail. The safety chain was installed after reading the problems others are having.
I'm not here to defend Andersen or to knock Atwood. I am here because I don't want to have a catastrophic failure on the road.
I am still trying to figure out. How the pawl climbs above the largest diameter of the ball when hitched. When hitched up and locked. I look under the coupler to make sure I can see the bottom of the pawl. And to make sure it is even with the bottom edge of the socket inside the coupler. From everything I can see, the concave portion of the pawl is matched to the convex portion of the ball. There is no room inside the coupler where the pawl can move back in order to ride up on the ball. But, just because I can't see it doesn't mean it can't or won't happen.
I have two trailers; a utility trailer with a Franklin coupler and the Argosy with a Marvel coupler. To me, they look identical. Neither has the notch in the pawl lift bar. And neither has the "fin" (as some have called it) with the tip that is to prevent the lift bar from moving up.
I don't use the Andersen on the utility trailer, only the Argosy. On both trailers I have always had to stand on the bumper of the TV to get the ball to drop out. I still have to do that on the Argosy after the Andersen installation. When the ball releases the pawl is below the bottom edge of the coupler socket maybe 1/4" to 3/8", which allows the ball to drop out of the socket. I don't have an Atwood coupler to compare. I would like to know if there is a difference internally between the Marvel and the Atwood.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:55 PM   #1382
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Here are some pics of the pawl in different positions. With the hitch latched and unlatched. You can see that in the latched position, the pawl is even with the bottom of the coupler. In the unlatched position the pawl is below the coupler. there is also a shot of the safety chain between the hitch plate, over the tongue.




http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/...itch/photo.jpg
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #1383
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Could the solution to the coupler problem be as simple as applying some grease to the pawl? There's obviously some small movement within the coupler housing whilst underway, and maybe that's causing the ball to push the pawl upwards. Add some grease and the ball shouldn't be able to get any grip on the one moveable part.

Just a thought.....
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #1384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrUKToad View Post
Could the solution to the coupler problem be as simple as applying some grease to the pawl? There's obviously some small movement within the coupler housing whilst underway, and maybe that's causing the ball to push the pawl upwards. Add some grease and the ball shouldn't be able to get any grip on the one moveable part.

Just a thought.....
I have the Andersen, a new Atwood coupler, and always use a small amount of white grease on the ball due to the slight pitch and yaw movement, even when hooked up properly. I have not had any issues at all with mine, probably 7000 miles on it to date. I have no idea if what you say is right, but it does fit my experience as of now.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:47 PM   #1385
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Hi, I don't have an Andersen hitch, but I do have an Attwood coupler. After investigating this, coupler versus hitch dilemma, I think that I may have found a solution. I used what I call mechanic's micrometers. [wrenches and drill bits] I found that my lock has about a 9/32" shaft, the hole in the latch lever is about 11/32", and the hole in the fin is about 23/64". When closed, my 11/32" drill bit holds the latch solidly in place. With my little lock in place, I can take my pocket screwdriver and almost move the lever enough to disconnect it from the fin.

Well, see my pictures.

I think the answer is to drill the latch and fin holes out to 3/8" and find a lock with a 3/8" shaft.

(1.) Latch with lock installed and pocket screwdriver prying the arm from the fin. Almost at a release point.

(2.) Latched with a 11/32" drill bit in the latch and fin holes.

(3.) Prying on the arm, with pocket screwdriver, with 11/32" drill bit in the holes. The arm will not move like in the first picture.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:15 AM   #1386
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I think you are on to something. Could it really be that simple? I will look at the Marvel coupler tomorrow and compare the holes.
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