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Old 10-10-2020, 07:09 PM   #1
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Performance Testing The Andersen Hitch

I removed the Blue Ox hitch I had been using since we bought the trailer and installed and Andersen Hitch.

Setup:

I drilled out the hole in the shark fin coulpler lock retainer to match the hole size in the lever and used a lock with a rod of the same size. This way the forward tension can't push the fork notch and sheer the retainer tab. Then I added shims to between the fork ramp so the ball fits tight when latched. This limits movement and prevents wear on the coupler fork. Okay, so it is a bit of a hassle to make it work with the Atwood 88xxx series coupler used on Airstreams up until they were discontinued in late 2019.

Install:

Other than the modifications, installation was easy and adjustment is downright simple compared to all I have touched except the Propride and Hensley designs.

Use:

Reattaching is a breeze also very simple and nice. Fine adjustments are super simple, just tighten the bolts half a turn at a time and see how it feels, and required torque is modest to light. Repeat if more is needed. This is without jacking the trailer up. If you jack the trailer up, required torque is minimal.

The shank and ball design has the overhang 3 inches shorter than with my Blue Ox. My tailgate will no longer fully open

Performance:

Started the trip with zero tension. With my 25' trailer with full water tanks weighing in at 7,250 lb 1,120 lbs on the tongue and 2500 Ram loaded to 9,200 lb. Pickups and Large SUV's passing me could be felt. I had to adjust steering to stay on course. Semi's required significant adjustment. Porpoising was annoying but not terrible. Trailer had a bit of excess back and forth on sudden lane change, especially at 70+ mph, damping factor was about .3-.5. Added tension to restore 50% FALR and pickups, SUV's and Vans no longer impacted me, but Semi's did. Porpoising was gone and the truck rode significantly better than with the Blue Ox over rough road surfaces. The ride was significantly more gentle and comfortable. Damping was now over .5. Went to 100% FALR and Semi's could now pass with no effect. I did not require any steering adjustment. Bumps and poor/warn road surfaces were still so much more gentle than with the Blue Ox. Didn't even curse the like I used to. Backing, turning and traversing uneven surfaces was uneventful with no noise and no indication there was any excess tension or strain. The Blue Ox would make some noise in extremes.

At the scale I tightened the tension well over what was required and was able to move over 970 lb off the rear axle with some usable adjustment left.

Conclusion: All in all the performance exceeded that of the Blue Ox, it performed the required tasks as well and better than the Blue Ox and it was much more comfortable in the truck. Technically it is much, much easier on the trailer but a bit harder on the coupler.

Comments are welcome.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:34 AM   #2
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Just subscribing for now.

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Old 10-11-2020, 06:54 AM   #3
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I like my Andersen on a F250 and 2013 FC 30 RBQ and it’s a very easy initial install and easier install thereafter. ����
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:32 AM   #4
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I’d love to hear more as you get more experience with it. I was leaning towards the Anderson setup initially, and I was persuaded by the sales person to buy the Blue Ox. The rationale was that the Anderson system was more of a sway control system, and less of a WDH. It sounds like your experience is different.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:39 AM   #5
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"Added tension to restore 50% FALR ..."
________________________________

"FALR" is ???

How is FALR measured?
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:17 AM   #6
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Pictures, scale tickets, what method was used to determine sway damping ratio? calculation, simulation, or real time measurements? Which model? Which simulator? What instruments?
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Old 10-11-2020, 10:30 AM   #7
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Here we go again...the "Clash of the Titians."

Disclaimer... I won't go near the hitch having little to do with its design or performance.

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Old 10-11-2020, 10:34 AM   #8
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I think the appearance throws most people as it is not obvious how it generates lifting torque. In truth though it has no trouble generating the 900 lb of rotational force at the chain attachment point to manage the advertised 1400 lb max tongue weight.

In the 1500 miles I towed there was some minor ball scuffing as expected. No gouging scraping or pitting. The neoprene bushing did slightly protrude as it must and did split where sheer was concentrated.

We drove home through the outer reaches of the tropical storm crosswinds for over 200 miles. There were gusts to 45 mph. I noted no trailer movement the whole time, but I saw many on the road with us that did have significant issues with the wind.

EDIT:

FALR is Front Axle Load Return and is easiest measured on the commercial scales. I used CAT at the TA truck stops along our route. only $15 for multiple weightings the same day.

Sway damping is easy to estimate using a steering impulse and noting the number of oscillations the trailer makes before returning to normal. The damping factor is the inverse of the number of oscillations.
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Old 10-11-2020, 12:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Here we go again...the "Clash of the Titians."

Disclaimer... I won't go near the hitch having little to do with its design or performance.

Bob
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He welcomed comments.
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Old 10-11-2020, 02:01 PM   #10
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Interesting.

I had dismissed the Andersen WD hitch because 1, no one else said they were using it and 2, it looked different and not big and hefty.

Yours is the first actual test Iíve run across. .

Thanks for report.
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Old 10-11-2020, 02:57 PM   #11
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Following this.

I don’t think with my setup (F250 with 1971 23 ft Safari) will need much WD but I will definitely desire sway control. Hoping this hitch setup might work.

Ted
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Old 10-11-2020, 02:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
-- snip -- Yours is the first actual test Iíve run across -- snip --
Search on Anderson hitch. There is a fair amount of testing through the years. Even a European study done on the sway control capability of cone friction dampening. The following link shows a thread with some earlier information.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f46...-92131-75.html
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Old 10-11-2020, 03:45 PM   #13
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Search on Anderson hitch.
. . .
Also here FEI: https://www.google.com/search?q=ande...=airforums.com

Plenty of threads/posts on this.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:49 PM   #14
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In the previous threads several made references to comparing the Andersen to other hitches they tried, but most were just passing mentions. I did re-read the many comments and complaints about not being able to generate sufficient torque to return weight to the front axle. The reason for mixed result is the varied degree of installation quality.

The range of adjustment on any hitch is limited by geometry, installation quality and design. Unlike vertical tension hitches, placement of the frame bracket is critical for the horizontal tension design in order to achieve sufficient tension. The chain must be tight with tension and the nut fully backed out with no weight on the jack in order to have enough adjustment for heavy trailers. To achieve this, one must have the jack lifting the vehicle chassis a couple three inches when installing the brackets and the chains must have no slack.

If there is too much slack in the chain after the brackets are secured and you can't achieve enough weight distribution, you can loosen them and move them back or shorten the chain by a link or even by half links by inserting bolts and nuts in between the links.

There is no physical reason this design can't manage the full range of desired redistribution up to the design limit of 1,400 lb tongue weight when installed correctly to take advantage of the available adjustment range.
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:32 PM   #15
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Is it ground hog day again already?
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:53 PM   #16
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I wouldnít buy Anything from this jerk. To many other good products out there!
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:54 PM   #17
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I have a friend trying to find a hitch that has good sway control and easy adjustable WD. The Blue Ox he tried (which is my old one) did not work on sway well. That’s why I replaced it. His older hitch just wasn’t easily adjustable.

I emailed him about Anderson Hitches because they are light (he hates lifting heavy hitch assemblies due to a few back surgeries). He likes my ProPride, but doesn’t want to spend 3,000 on a hitch. His SOB only cost him about 20,000.

Looks like a possibility for him.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:21 PM   #18
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I wouldnít buy Anything from this jerk. To many other good products out there!
How long should we punish not just him but his employees and associates for one lapse of judgement?

I suppose it's fine if we also hold all the groups and associations and members accountable and demanding they be defunded for defacing federal property over the past many months. We probably should also hold all the state and local institutions accountable who defend them and look the other way. Perhaps we should call for a boycott of all states and locales who are enabling damage to federal property, plenty of great places out there to visit that don't encourage such nonsense.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:05 PM   #19
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Looks Slick

When they first came out, I couldn't figure out how the WD part worked...I didn't get one because:

1) I already had a the Equalizer Hitch (which also uses friction).
2) My impression was that they did not have enough capacity for my trailer (TW verified ~1180#). And I had a concern about the frame attachments walking forward - its success depended upon friction with the frame. Seems not to be a problem with the set screw grabbing the frame.

Clearly there is enough experience and the capacity is there...so maybe when I need a new WD hitch.
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Old 10-11-2020, 09:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BayouBiker View Post
How long should we punish not just him but his employees and associates for one lapse of judgement?

I suppose it's fine if we also hold all the groups and associations and members accountable and demanding they be defunded for defacing federal property over the past many months. We probably should also hold all the state and local institutions accountable who defend them and look the other way. Perhaps we should call for a boycott of all states and locales who are enabling damage to federal property, plenty of great places out there to visit that don't encourage such nonsense.


Entirely up to the individual, not just a lapse in judgement but having his children go to the parking lot to remove his license plates shows his character. personally I will never own an andersen product and I will do my best to make sure folks are informed about the character or this family. From there, let your conscience...etc.
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