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Old 07-16-2021, 10:45 AM   #1
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Andersen and Demco

Anyone using the Andersen hitch with the Demco coupler? I was told that the coupler has too much play in it (same problem with the Atwood coupler that apparently is also a no go with Andersen) but I thought that was the reason for the Demco recall and the new ones should have this problem corrected. Is there still too much play for the Andersen system? Anyone using this setup with good results? I'm currently using the Equalizer hitch and while the performance has been good, I want to get away from the grease and weight (bad back).
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Old 08-03-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
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Andersen tech support told me today that they do not recommend using their hitch with the new Demco on current Airstream models. I was hoping to transfer from by old SOB, but alas no go.
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:10 PM   #3
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Agree with Lumenyaare re incompatibility with Demco. Earlier today - exchanged email with Andersen WDH confirming incompatibility with Demco. I have a new BC20X. Now seeking another WDH.
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Old 08-14-2021, 11:10 PM   #4
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It is interesting, i had ordered one this week from my local Airstream Dealer and then saw this thread. So i emailed both the dealer and Andersen Direct. The Airstream dealer said he talked to the Andersen Rep and he stated it was compatible with Demco.


About an hour later Andersen responded and their answer leads me to believe that the Andersen Hitch can actually be dangerous



Here is Andersen's reply:
Because of the particular design of the Demco coupler, there is a lot of extra movement inside the coupler as compared to other couplers on the market. When combined with the reverse pressure that our Weight Distribution system places on it, over time, the slack in the internal mechanism of the some of these couplers slowly works its way backwards trying to unlatch from the top 'fin' - and eventually it can wear the fin down enough that it does not fully latch any more.

Walker | Customer Service Manager


I appreciate the manufacturers honesty


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Old 08-15-2021, 08:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlyphisher View Post
Anyone using the Andersen hitch with the Demco coupler? I was told that the coupler has too much play in it (same problem with the Atwood coupler that apparently is also a no go with Andersen) but I thought that was the reason for the Demco recall and the new ones should have this problem corrected. Is there still too much play for the Andersen system? Anyone using this setup with good results? I'm currently using the Equalizer hitch and while the performance has been good, I want to get away from the grease and weight (bad back).

Last year, a prolific poster (who has seemed to disappear overnight) wrote up his experiences with making the Anderson hitch work. I didn't follow along closely enough to remember the details, but it had to do something with using a homemade shim to take up some slack.

You can find the long story in this thread. In my recollection, it seemed to take a lot of ingenuity to make it work.
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Old 08-17-2021, 08:36 PM   #6
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I’ve spoken to both Andersen and demco regarding this issue. So far I got this response from Andersen:


Because of the particular design of the Demco coupler, there is a lot of extra movement inside the coupler as compared to other couplers on the market. When combined with the reverse pressure that our Weight Distribution system places on it, over time, the slack in the internal mechanism of the some of these couplers slowly works its way backwards trying to unlatch from the top 'fin' - and eventually it can wear the fin down enough that it does not fully latch any more.

And demco responded with the following: (the first picture he references is the image attached at a 45 degree angle. The second image he references is the hitch with a 90 degree cutaway)

By what I see below I’m not entirely sure they are talking about a Demco Coupler when they reference a few specific things.

They mention a “Fin” ? I don’t know what is in our coupler that they would be calling a fin
Backwards movement – they also mention backwards movement. While our coupler does have some vertical play by design. The mechanism does not and can’t move backwards only vertically.

The backwards pressure will increase wear at the contact point of the Ball Clamp and the hitch ball eventually wear in a grove and some backwards slop. In the first picture below the gold piece is the “ball clamp” . The orange oval would represent the general contact point of the hitch ball and clamp. That being said the wear point on the ball clamp would not decrease the amount of force required to remove the ball from the coupler. Since the clamp is angled, the bottom edge ( green line below) is what needs to be crushed to remove the ball. The bottom edge of the clamp is never in contact with the hitch ball unless there is a frequent negative tongue weight situation.




The picture below is a straight on side view. The red arrow would generally indicate the backwards force and contact/wear point on the clamp face. The green circles connected by the green line is the narrowest part of the coupler while latched. For the ball to come out while the coupler is latched it has to crush the clamp and the front lip of the coupler. As you can see if you put constant force through the red line the Ball will wear its shape into the clamp. Is it possible to wear it down far enough to effect he pull out strength? Absolutely. However that would be a very significant amount of wear that would be easily visible though a visual pre-trip inspection. The ball clamp is also easily replaced via the removal of 1- bolt.

In a note of transparency, Demco has not physically tested the long term effects of the Anderson hitch, from the current visual information Demco has we are speculating it does not create an issue for the coupler that regular user maintenance wouldn’t take care of. There may be some specific aspects/geometry of the hitch that Demco is not aware of. I would say that you need to question Anderson more in depth to confirm if they are referencing the correct design aspects with the right coupler that causes them to not recommend it. I would also ask them if they have firsthand tested the Anderson/Demco combination or what specific information they have that warrants them to not recommend the combo.

Please let me know if you have any other questions
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Old 08-18-2021, 07:15 PM   #7
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Follow up to my last post. I spoke to Andersen today and they have had meetings about this issue internally regarding use with the Demco hitch. I asked if this was a safety issue (the trailer jumping off of the hitch) and the answer was no. The issue would be wearing the coupler mechanism out where it becomes hard to unlatch, but not a situation where the combo is unsafe to use.

My solution will probably be to carry a hitch repair kit (for 2 5/16 it’s DM6008) and the tools needed to fix on the road, and inspect the hitch before use for wear/slop in the mechanism.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:06 PM   #8
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Or... buy a decent WDH.
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:53 PM   #9
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Or... buy a decent WDH.
Wow, what would you use?
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:55 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hn387 View Post
Wow, what would you use?

Blue Ox
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Old 08-19-2021, 01:38 PM   #11
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Blue Ox
Great, go start a new post called “ blue ox and demco “ then.
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Old 04-05-2022, 12:50 PM   #12
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I emailed Andersen yesterday and recieved this response today (4-5-2022):

"This was accurate for the more vintage style Airstream trailers as they used Atwood couplers. However, Airstream is now using Demco couplers and it is indeed compatible with the newer style trailers. "

Anyone have more info? I would like to think that Andersen support KNOWS what is what, but I am always open to other people's input!

Mike
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Old 04-06-2022, 09:17 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by scuba561 View Post
I emailed Andersen yesterday and recieved this response today (4-5-2022):

"This was accurate for the more vintage style Airstream trailers as they used Atwood couplers. However, Airstream is now using Demco couplers and it is indeed compatible with the newer style trailers. "

Anyone have more info? I would like to think that Andersen support KNOWS what is what, but I am always open to other people's input!

Mike
Mike,
I think Andersons initial response is was simply due to them confusing Coupler models. They also don't ( maybe cant ?) know the intricate details of all the different couplers in market and it would be better to state it was incompatible than risk a problem. The WDH design they use puts a constant rearward force into the coupler. This force is not something a coupler typically see's as a constant, but only when braking. When you add that force as a constant it could cause issues like they previously stated for some designs. The Demco has a 1" solid block of steel backed by a welded steel plate. My opinion is that the upwards force into the ball socket is still likely the highest wear point rather than on the ball clamp face. IMO Anderson WDH is not going to create any abnormal wear on the Demco coupler when compared to other WDH models. If it still creates cause for concern, like a previous poster mentioned a 6008 Rebuild kit and 5/32 Allen wrench could be easily kept in the rig for quick onsite repair.
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Old 05-02-2022, 02:38 PM   #14
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I have a 2022 Flying Cloud 28 and a 2020 RAM 2500 diesel. I have used the Anderson WDH for almost 5000 towing miles so far without incident. I do carry a rebuild kit for the Demco and check it every time we hitch and unhitch. The unit works fine and I haven’t found any significant wear on any of the components. The ride is good and based on CAT scale readings it is providing weight distribution.
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Old 05-24-2022, 07:28 PM   #15
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We're currently set up with an Andersen WDH on a 2022 FC 25 FBT and 2022 F350 diesel TV.

We experienced some very concerning issues on our first trip with the Andersen WDH. We just did ~2000 miles and the Demco coupler unlatched 3 times due to the Andersen WDH. This only happened when the chains were tightened and on rough roads. When the WDH was working and the coupler remained latched, the WDH hitch made a very noticeable difference in trailer control and stability. Unfortunately the unlatching is a serious safety hazard / deal breaker.

The question is, can I put a pin through the Demco to lock it latched? There appears to be a hole that may work for this purpose.
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:53 PM   #16
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I explored this last year. I spoke with Andersen and they said the Demco was having issues as well. At the time I had Blue Ox but was not happy with the setup mostly because clearance issues. So I ended up talking to Equalizer and they directed me to their Fastway E2 for my Bambi 20FB which not only resolved clearance issues, but an improved towing experience with less setup hassles.
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Old 05-25-2022, 07:48 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jumar View Post
We're currently set up with an Andersen WDH on a 2022 FC 25 FBT and 2022 F350 diesel TV.

We experienced some very concerning issues on our first trip with the Andersen WDH. We just did ~2000 miles and the Demco coupler unlatched 3 times due to the Andersen WDH. This only happened when the chains were tightened and on rough roads. When the WDH was working and the coupler remained latched, the WDH hitch made a very noticeable difference in trailer control and stability. Unfortunately the unlatching is a serious safety hazard / deal breaker.

The question is, can I put a pin through the Demco to lock it latched? There appears to be a hole that may work for this purpose.
Andersen hitch because of design also puts a Horizontal force in addition to some vertical force. So when the ball is in the socket of the coupler the harder the WD hitch loads up the harder is pushes the ball into the socket so to speak. When a pin is inserted into the coupler it does not allow the coupler to open. That being said it also does not increase the couplers abilities to retain the ball in the socket. With the Andersen WD hitch are you using the jack to lift the Tongue to be able to hook the chains up? If so is there any excess vertical play in the coupler/ ball connection? When the trailer is jacked up all of the load is a direct force trying to pull the ball of out the socket if the unlatching problem isn't presenting its self at this point I'm not sure what's going on. Theoretically when there is any tension on the chains there is extra force keeping the ball in the socket. So on a rough road there would need to be enough raise in the bumper of the vehicle to create slack on the chains just to get to what I'll a call a zero load point where there is no tongue weight on the vehicle, either from implied load from the WD hitch or the static weight from the AS. This doesn't yet get you to the Negative tongue load that is seen when jacking the vehicle and As up to hook up the WD chains

Can you send me some pictures of your coupler?
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Old 05-25-2022, 10:46 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Demco View Post
Andersen hitch because of design also puts a Horizontal force in addition to some vertical force. So when the ball is in the socket of the coupler the harder the WD hitch loads up the harder is pushes the ball into the socket so to speak. When a pin is inserted into the coupler it does not allow the coupler to open. That being said it also does not increase the couplers abilities to retain the ball in the socket. With the Andersen WD hitch are you using the jack to lift the Tongue to be able to hook the chains up? If so is there any excess vertical play in the coupler/ ball connection? When the trailer is jacked up all of the load is a direct force trying to pull the ball of out the socket if the unlatching problem isn't presenting its self at this point I'm not sure what's going on. Theoretically when there is any tension on the chains there is extra force keeping the ball in the socket. So on a rough road there would need to be enough raise in the bumper of the vehicle to create slack on the chains just to get to what I'll a call a zero load point where there is no tongue weight on the vehicle, either from implied load from the WD hitch or the static weight from the AS. This doesn't yet get you to the Negative tongue load that is seen when jacking the vehicle and As up to hook up the WD chains

Can you send me some pictures of your coupler?
Thanks a bunch for your response! Right now the AS is back in storage so it will be a few days before I will be able to get some coupler pictures and perform the jack lift/slop test.
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:17 AM   #19
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Thanks a bunch for your response! Right now the AS is back in storage so it will be a few days before I will be able to get some coupler pictures and perform the jack lift/slop test.
Sounds Good Jumar, I will wait to hear back from you !

If you want to call and talk through what you find just give me a call 1800-543-3626. Ask for Josh !
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Old 06-02-2022, 12:52 PM   #20
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Dealer made that a point of emphasis when I took delivery in March. A $5 pin holds the Demco coupler latch down and also serves as a guide when I hook up. Sometimes it appears that the coupler is engaged but I can't put the pin in...a mild jerk of the vehicle gets the coupler to sit and then the pin secures the latch. Only been hauling the BC16 for a short while but the Anderson and Demco seem to work fine.
To disengage the Anderson I lift the engaged hitch (lifting the rear of the TV a little) and take off the Anderson plate (now with loose chains) and then lower the hitch, release the latch and then lift the coupler from the hitch. This method allows me to leave the chains as positioned making the next hitch go quicker. I do have to lift the engaged coupler/hitch a few inches (lifting the TV rear) to re-attach the Anderson plate, drop the coupler/hitch and then we're ready to go.
Great advice to have a Demco rebuild kit at the ready. I'll be surprised if it is needed before many miles of travel.
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