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Old 04-23-2012, 01:36 PM   #29
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
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My Review of the Andersen Hitch

Andersen is offering a new approach to weight distributing hitches. The system is considerably simpler in design and operation while accomplishing equal or better results.

There are 2 basic concepts. The first is to use tension on high density urethane springs to transfer weight to the front of the tow vehicle, weight distribution. The second is to use a brake pad material with extreme load on it as the sway control.

By applying an adjustable tension on a set of urethane springs you can quickly adjust for different trailers and or trailer loads. Once you have set the tension for a given trailer the hitching and unhitching is the insertion or removal of a single pin. Hitching just drop the trailer on the ball, lock the ball, raise the hitch via your electric jack, place the sway control plate on the ball shaft, and insert the pin. Lower the jack and you are on the road. Unhitching is just a simple in the reverse.

Now at this point most will question how does this control sway? If you remember I mentioned brake pad material as the sway control. Take a look at the pictures and you will see a triangular plate below the ball that is connected via chains to the urethane springs. The ball and its tapered shaft are set in a machined aluminum socket. Between them is a layer of brake pad material. The load of the trailer on this material creates extreme friction that restrains the ball shaft from moving. As the tow vehicle turns the chains keep the triangular plate and the ball that is pinned to it from turning. Something has to move and that movement is between the ball shaft and the machined socket. With the load of the trailer on the ball extreme friction is created and thus the movement is allow but highly restrained. It is this restraint that allows the system to turn but also keeps the trailer from swaying. Since the ball and trailer coupling are affixed to one another and the only movement is within the tapered shaft below the ball there is no movement at the ball.

This lack of movement at the ball presents one of the advantages of this system. No grease on the ball thus no grease on your pants. The second advantage is No Noise. This system is completely silent.

Now as for the advantages of the urethane springs I have mentioned that once set, and this also is the simplest of operations, for a given trailer you are done. The springs have an extremely longer return factor that metal bars. This completely eliminates purposing that is common with all spring bar systems. It has always been critical that spring bars be set so they are dead centered on the saddles while driving straight down the road lest they become additive to sway rather than subtractive. Equal tension on the urethane is not that critical.

A factors to consider while setting up the hitch. The factory mentions to place the chain holders perpendicular to the frame. This is wrong and problems have been noted if this is done. Place the spring holding clamps against the trailer frame so they are canted backwards at the top with both bolts resting hard on the frame. This placement and the installation of the set screws will insure no after installation movement can take place.

After my first weekend towing I have got to say this system has to be head and shoulders over any spring bars system as far a design and operation. My only disappointments with the hitch and the instructions are the fact that the chain hardware is Chinese, the fact the manufacture does not recognize the need to add weight to the front axle when setting the system up and the placement of the chain holding plates with respect to the frame. The second 2 were easily corrected while installing.

One comment on the actual use would be paying attention to the hanging triangular plate while jacking up the trailer to hitch up. If you look at the picture of the plate just hanging against the jack post. In this position the plate will CUT into the jack post while lifting the trailer and stall the jack. The last picture shows where I place the plate while the trailer is disconnected. This eliminates the problem.

This weekend I encountered 20 mph cross winds, trucks passing and being passed at 70 mph and heavy rain. Most of the time I had no idea the trailer was back there something i could not have said with my Reese.
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2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #30
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Pittsfield , Maine
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940 lb hitch weight, 600 lb bars with a Reese dual cam hitch. Soft ride, no sway, perfect setup for me. Rear springs on truck replaced with lower capacity set to eliminate harsh ride from dually.


2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:17 PM   #31
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1997 34' Limited
1970 27' Overlander
South of Atlanta , Georgia
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I low my ProPride. If I ever need to replace it,I will get another ProPride without reservation.
Craig and Carol
1997 34' Excella 1000
1970 27' Overlander, International
2009 Ford F150 5.4L
ProPride hitch with 1400# bars

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Old 04-24-2012, 10:49 AM   #32
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
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A follow up that I did not mention in the above post.

I have never driven my trailer before without at least one drawer coming open during the trip. There were no drawers open and no evidence of bounce going or coming during this trip.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 04-24-2012, 11:14 AM   #33
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1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I use an old style Reese Dual cam Straightline with 550/600 lb bars. I use 6chain links under tention. We get a soft ride(ocean wave) up front and also in the trailer. We leave things on the galley counter and on the table and they never move in a 200 or so mile trip. Our long wheelbase 1 ton works perfect for us.
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #34
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1978 31' Sovereign
Tampa , Florida
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I just picked up a Blue Ox, but I haven't even had a chance to install it yet, so I have nothing to offer, other than there's a Blue Ox owner on the board.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:23 PM   #35
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2009 27' FB International
_ , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 133
Tow vehicle is a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab 4x4 Diesel. Trailer is a 2009 27 FB Ocean Breeze that weighs about 7,000 lbs the way I have it loaded (I full time).

I have a Reese Dual Cam with 800lb bars. The dealer that set up the hitch used 1200 lb bars and did a crappy job setting up the hitch. After two sheered bolts where the cams attach to the trailer and a popped interior rivet from my first 6 hour tow I changed out to 800lb bars and set the hitch up myself. (At least the original dealer paid a local Reese dealer to fix the sheered bolts).

In the past year I have towed about 5k miles with my setup and there was a noticeable difference between the 1200 lb bars and the 800 lb bars. It didn't bounce as much on the highway and my cushions do not get thrown to the floor while towing with the 800 lb bars. I would have gone with the 600 lb bars but they stopped making them when I ordered from etrailer.

My suggestion if you're going to get a hitch is get a dealer that understands Airstreams or just read up on here and do it yourself. Just because it is an Airstream dealer doesn't mean it understands Airstreams as the one that set up my hitch is one of the oldest Airstream dealers in the country.

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