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Old 01-31-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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Exclamation Andersen Issues

For all you folks out there who have the new Andersen Hitch you might want to take a look at these posts from the Airstream forum.....

The Andersen WD Hitch User Thread - Page 92 - Airstream Forums

I have been interested in the Andersen for awhile and have been following many forums to see how they work out for people who own them.
This forum is a good one as it seemed to lack to many armchair engineers and was more user review related.

Looks like there may be an issue with the pawl in the hitch and I just want to make any other owners aware and what to be on the lookout for.
I will be keeping a close eye to see what the outcome is.

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Old 01-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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I thought we could use a picture of the hitch.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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What type of couplers does FR use? I have an XLR 23fbv
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:31 PM   #4
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hitch couplers like anything else man-made require regular inspection, maintenance and/or adjustments. I do not know the cause of these failures but do caution anyone that wants to pilot 6 tons down the road to inspect the rig, especially its connections, to the road and each other every time you hook up.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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I read that entire thread last fall when briefly considering an Anderson. Many people had voiced their concern that the Anderson would put undue stress or wear on the coupler paul. Given that many Airstream trailers are older, I think it is hard to say any failures are in fact related. One poster pointed out in that thread that couplers are one of the most often repaired parts of an Airstream.
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Old 04-04-2013, 04:04 PM   #6
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I am getting a Huskey W/D Hitch with my new Coachman Freedom Express. I ordered the Anderson. I will be picking up the TT tomorrow and pulling it around 60 miles with the Huskey. I am going to the scales and get weights. Once I put the Anderson on I will get the new weights. I will post them here.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:27 PM   #7
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As an engineer, I am skeptical about the Anderson hitch. I don't like the way it relies on friction between ball shank and shank. I also question the method of using the polyurethane "shock" absorbers. I also question their statement "the best anti-sway AND anti-bounce with the only true Motion-Dampeningô system around." Anyway, that's just me so just ignore this and move along. I do like our new Strait-Line dual cam setup.

I have to wonder if the problem with the Airstream is that the hitch is not set up correctly and he may not have the correct shank for rise/drop. It looks to me that correctly geometry is critical to the Anderson hitch. If you look at the hitch on the Airstream, the coupler appears to be lower relative to the frame than the ones we are all used to seeing. I have to wonder if vertical movement of the TV is forcing the ball upwards while the weight of the tongue is downwards thus causing stress on the coupler's latch. And if there is too much friction in the ball shank/shank connection that would possibly limit the movement of the triangle shaped piece that the chains attach to thus putting excess force on the chains.

I kinda tend to think there is possiby something wrong with the Airstream owners hitch setup.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:44 PM   #8
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I can tell you this much. I have no experience with any W/D hitch. The biggest thing I ever towed was a 16 ft boat with a 50 E-Tec. So I have no fixed beliefs. Like I said I will tow the new TT about 60 miles with the Husky W/D hitch and when I get the Ansersen I will make the same tow and give my opinion for whatever it's worth.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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I read the entire Airstream/Andersen thread and it appeared that while many of the Airstreams were old and their hitches the most often repaired part, the owners were still sold on the Andersen hitch. I have had the Reese and now have the Andersen and I will not consider going back. There is a lot of difference in the two hitches.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myredracer View Post
As an engineer, I am skeptical about the Anderson hitch. I don't like the way it relies on friction between ball shank and shank. I also question the method of using the polyurethane "shock" absorbers. I also question their statement "the best anti-sway AND anti-bounce with the only true Motion-Dampening™ system around." Anyway, that's just me so just ignore this and move along. I do like our new Strait-Line dual cam setup.

I have to wonder if the problem with the Airstream is that the hitch is not set up correctly and he may not have the correct shank for rise/drop. It looks to me that correctly geometry is critical to the Anderson hitch. If you look at the hitch on the Airstream, the coupler appears to be lower relative to the frame than the ones we are all used to seeing. I have to wonder if vertical movement of the TV is forcing the ball upwards while the weight of the tongue is downwards thus causing stress on the coupler's latch. And if there is too much friction in the ball shank/shank connection that would possibly limit the movement of the triangle shaped piece that the chains attach to thus putting excess force on the chains.

I kinda tend to think there is possiby something wrong with the Airstream owners hitch setup.

I have been a machinist for 20 years. I like to see metal. Not that means it not a good product. But it just looks light and breakable. None of the metal looks thick. Not to say it wouldn't work.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:32 PM   #11
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On the Airstream forun it seems like the people having problems have one very specific coupler. I know of at least 3 different styles of coupler that Airstream has used. Many of the Airstream folks have been having different couplers welded on just so they can continue using the Andersen. I chose Andersen and I admit I have very few miles on the Andersen so far, but I expect it to work very well and do what it is supposed to do.

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Old 04-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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It just looks light what it weigh 40 pounds.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:16 PM   #13
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Don't know about Andersen hitches but, couplers wear, I have a utility trailer with a 1.7/8 coupler and I now have to use a 2 inch ball it has that much wear.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDC View Post
Don't know about Andersen hitches but, couplers wear, I have a utility trailer with a 1.7/8 coupler and I now have to use a 2 inch ball it has that much wear.
DDC think it's from years of use.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlgail4309 View Post
It just looks light what it weigh 40 pounds.
It is a little less than 60 pounds.

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Old 04-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #16
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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From one of the posts on the other forum;
"With the chains trying to pull the trailer forward on the ball, the ball is forced against the rear of the coupler, forcing the latch wedge up."

So, in other words, the camper is being towed by the chains, and not by the ball? And there is a lot of force applied on the locking latch, instead of the front of the coupler?
I don't think any locking latch is designed to have that much force applied all the time, especially when turning.
Just something to consider.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakken View Post
From one of the posts on the other forum;
"With the chains trying to pull the trailer forward on the ball, the ball is forced against the rear of the coupler, forcing the latch wedge up."

So, in other words, the camper is being towed by the chains, and not by the ball? And there is a lot of force applied on the locking latch, instead of the front of the coupler?
I don't think any locking latch is designed to have that much force applied all the time, especially when turning.
Just something to consider.
The pressure against the latch pawl was something that I had not considered with the Anderson hitch until I read that. That puts tremendous pressure against the pawl on at the back of the hitch, but I am not sure anymore then hard braking without the trailer brakes engaged. As long as the latch is securely latched in position, I would't think there should be a problem, but it would still be something to be aware of.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
The pressure against the latch pawl was something that I had not considered with the Anderson hitch until I read that. That puts tremendous pressure against the pawl on at the back of the hitch, but I am not sure anymore then hard braking without the trailer brakes engaged.
Hopefully, the trailer brakes are working, so that should be a one-off event. I think the issue is that the pressure on the latch mechanism is always there. So with the forces exerted while turning, and the millions of up-and-down cycles it would experience, I can see it being a wear/fatigue factor.
But I am like you, I was concentrating more on the lack of leverage in the system compared to a bar-type WDH, and never thought of where the forces ended up with the Anderson.
But users seem generally happy with the Anderson, so what do I know!
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I think the issue is that the pressure on the latch mechanism is always there. So with the forces exerted while turning, and the millions of up-and-down cycles it would experience, I can see it being a wear/fatigue factor.
The way I understand the Anderson system, is that the ball and trailer tongue turn as a unit, so that the pressure against the ball would not change during a turn.
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