So far this is like most of these debates:
-Lots of people like the Anderson, but few if any of them have any data to show when asked.
-Those with data to show have found that the Anderson can not return enough lost weight, unless their tow vehicle is significantly over-matched to the trailer.
WARNING: The following contains numbers, and calculations, based on sound engineering practices (trigonometry and engineering-statics). If you are not interested in such things, do not continue reading! If you simply like the way it feels, and are not interested in returning all lost weight to the front wheels, the following information is not for you!
The reasons for the Anderson's limitations are pure engineering statics.
a. A conventional WDH has essentially "rigid" bars (compared to a chain). The force is applied upward, so the normal/perpendicular distance to the pivot point (the ball) is about 2.5 feet behind the ball (the bar length). Therefore, for every 10 lbs applied upwards, a torque of ~25 ft-lbs (2.5 x 10) is applied to the hitch-head, transferring weight. And there is practically no limit to the amount of weight-transfer, which is why you have to be careful. I've heard of people transferring too much weight, and when going thru a dip a low speed, actually lose rear wheel traction! Of course, if you follow the instructions, this should never happen.
b. Conversely, the Anderson has the force applied rearward, so the normal/perpendicular distance to the pivot point (the ball) is only about 0.5 ft (less?) below the ball (at the plate). Therefore, for every 10lbs applied rearward, only ~5 ft-lbs of torque (0.5 x 10) is applied to the hitch to transfer weight. So it obviously will require significantly more force to do the same job. Fine. The chains and brackets are strong. So what!
But...there is a clear limit to weight transfer with the Anderson!
Before engaging, the chains are attached to the ball/plate area at a slight downward angle (rear to front). As you pull rearward, the coupler rises, and that angle approaches zero. The higher things rise, the less that angle, and the less efficient the system becomes. This is pure trigonometry. As the angle approaches zero, an infinite amount of force will be required to provide any further weight transfer.
Of course, if you have an over-matched truck, you may not need to transfer much weight, and this may be accomplished quickly, before the chain-angle approaches zero. This is why many with SuperDuty trucks find that they don't have a problem returning all lost weight.
But for those with 1/2-ton trucks or SUV's, the rear suspension is softer, and more upward travel is needed to return that lost weight. But the system simply can't handle that much travel, before the chain-angle approaches zero. Continuing to pull will only stretch the chain, but can never raise the hitch any further or transfer more weight.
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
2004 Surveyor SV261T (UltraLite Bunkhouse Hybrid)
2006 Mercury Mountaineer V8 AWD Premier
Equal-i-zer WDH (10k), Prodigy Brake Controller