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Old 08-04-2018, 08:47 PM   #1
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Andersen WDH set up and creaking sound

Hi Everyone. My apologies if I'm not posting right. Still A newbie at it
Has anyone set up their travel trailer with the Andersen no sway WDH and discover it makes a loud creaking noise? I bought this system based on the fact that it is silent and easy to set up. The set up was easy I'll admit, but it isn't as silent as they say. It seems louder when going over bumps and dips, especially when driving through a campground and people staring lol. Also I'm wondering about how you reconnect back up when leaving campground. According to Andersen, you simply count the same number of threads that you had when you set it up and simply screw the tension bolts to the same number of turns. Now if your plate was perfectly straight (small chance) then each side should be close to the same number of turns roughly. But obviously you will probably never get that plate in the exact same position. I will be off say 2-3 mm on either side. According to Anderson, it doesn't have to be perfectly straight. As long as it's close. So if your plate is off a say 2-3mm on one side then that means you may be off by a couple thread counts on the tension nuts. This leaves one chain extremely tight and the other one loose if you go by counting threads. So what I do is back up to get plate close to straight. Then lower the tongue so that it barely puts weight on the ball. Then lock the tongue in place. I hand tighten both sides as much as possible by hand. Then I raise my trailer and tv a couple inches to loosen chains again to make turning the tension nuts easy. Then I just take the socket and and ratchet and crank another 3-4 turns on each chain which pulls them tight again (almost like starting over with initial set up). When I lower the tongue the trailer is nice and level with vehicle. Sorry for the long thread but I owned tent trailer for the longest time and never had to use a WD hitch. And I cannot compare it to a conventional spring bar system. I emailed Andersen about the creaking noise about a week ago and did'nt get a reply yet. Might just call them. Cheers
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:17 PM   #2
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I am a new user of the Anderson WDH as well but so far I have not had any noise from the hitch. I did find this youtube video providing some tips regarding the angle of the plate and how to handle that.





I would also recommend just calling Anderson with your question. I have done that a couple times and they were very helpful in answering my questions. is there any chance that the WD brackets that attach to the trailer frame might be moving?
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:36 AM   #3
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Thanks Don. But I have already viewed the video. I am able to get the plate pretty straight by just backing at an angle. That really isn't the issue. I just don't use the counting threads on each side anymore as it doesn't seem to be an accurate way to get the same tension on each chain. Especially when you probably won't get the plate angle exactly the same every time. So I just basically count turns on the tension nuts. Hand tighten both, lift trailer with jack and crank another 3-4 turns on each side. Then let the trailer tongue and tv back down. It's the same as trying to trying to tighten with weight on the tongue but much easier if i lift some weight off first. Either way you look at it ,same difference. This makes the tension almost equal on both chains. At least that's my theory. If you don't mind, can you tell me what your disconnect and reconnect procedure is? Cheers
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:03 PM   #4
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https://andersenhitches.com/uploads/...02013%20sm.pdf


I think you will find the suggested procedure on page 10 of the Anderson PDF linked above. There are some options to consider.

I am still working out the process as well for connecting and disconnecting the Anderson WDH so I am certainly open to other insights from Anderson hitch owners with more experience.

To the extent possible try to back up so as to keep the triangle plate square to the line of the trailer.


Always use wheel chocks before any attempts to disconnect the trailer from the hitch. This keeps the trailer from rolling unexpectedly once disconnected.

Obviously, like any WDH it is critical to be able to connect the trailer coupler to the ball, to lock the coupler, and to then lift the front of the trailer before trying to connect the chains to the triangle plate and to the brackets. Also, I never attempt to tighten the nuts when the weight of the trailer is on the ball.

One thing that I am doing differently, is that I am generally choosing to remove the chains fully from the trailer brackets and from the Triangle Plate rather than removing the Plate from the Hitch ball assembly and leaving the chains connected to the trailer. If I need to drive the truck somewhere I will sometimes just remove the ball assembly from the hitch.


I think that knowing the number of threads showing is viable but your method of counting turns is also acceptable and gives you a reference point for hooking up the next time. I think after you have done this a few times it will get easier.

I am very happy with the hitch so far. Give it some time and practice and it will get easier.
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Old 08-06-2018, 02:22 PM   #5
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What part is making the noise?

I am using a Reese WDH assembly and had noticed that the noise was getting louder. I then saw on this site someone mention White Grease Hitch Ball Lube. I now don't have any noise with my WDH. This stuff is great and just a little bit will do the work and it also keeps the rust off the parts. I use an old rag to clean all the contact areas and the ball... then just add a little grease and assemble. No more noise driving through the campgrounds.
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Old 08-06-2018, 03:54 PM   #6
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I have an Andersen hitch. If you count the number of threads that are exposed past the nut and adjust both sides the same, the plate will straighten itself out when you start going down the road. It doesn't have to be straight when you hook up and get ready to go. I loosen the nuts when I unhook, and when I hook back up I tighten the nuts so that, in my setup, I have 5 threads showing and I'm ready to go. I doubt if an extra half turn or so would make much difference in the setup. And Andersen says no grease on the ball or in the coupler since the ball doesn't turn on the hitch, the ball shank turns in the hitch so grease isn't necessary. I'm sure they could tell you why yours is making noise, mine seems quiet.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:11 PM   #7
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So, a friend of mine has that Anderson hitch and I am envious. When asking him about how he likes it- -he loves it. He stated that he never has taken the nuts off nor loosened them when hooking up or unhooking. He showed me that he uses the tongue jack to raise the hitch hooked up to the truck until the chains go slack. He then pulls the pin so that he can remove the triangle shaped plate with chains attached. He says the guy at the PDI showed him how to do that. He was also told that the ball and the lower part of the ball that has the pin is one long machined piece that is pressed into the ball mount so that the ball should never come loose. Anyway that is how he does it and it seems almost too simple.
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Old 08-06-2018, 04:53 PM   #8
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I've been using the Andersen since 2014 and so far I've never had any loud noises coming from it. I've got a pretty light trailer at 6200#s loaded (I usually travel less than that though), and I've always tightened the chains to about 7 threads showing on both sides and never had any problems. Sometimes it's a bit tricky to back up to the right angle, but I can attest that if the triangle plate isn't 100% straight, it still works at preventing sway. Of course I try and keep it straight as can be, but if it's badly mis-aligned, I'll just put tension on the chains and pull up or reverse until it's close enough, then re-tighten. I don't have experience with the conventional wdh's, but IMO, it's a pretty easy setup. I'll also say my buddies who help me back up when needed, dislike it, but I think it's because they don't really understand how it works or something. Contact Andersen, I've yet to have a bad experience with their customer service. Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaboSnow View Post
I am using a Reese WDH assembly and had noticed that the noise was getting louder. I then saw on this site someone mention White Grease Hitch Ball Lube. I now don't have any noise with my WDH. This stuff is great and just a little bit will do the work and it also keeps the rust off the parts. I use an old rag to clean all the contact areas and the ball... then just add a little grease and assemble. No more noise driving through the campgrounds.
The Andersen hitch works much different, the trailer coupler and ball rotate as one unit, the ball doesn't turn inside the coupler socket so the only movement from the ball in the coupler is caused by going over bumps.

I installed my Andersen hitch a couple of weeks ago and have made some local trips with it (About 40 miles or so total) and it is completely silent. There are very little truly moving parts with the setup that can make noise; When turning, the ball shaft rotating inside the shank housing. Should be quiet due to the friction liner inside and this should not be lubed. When going over bumps or uneven ground the ball will move inside the trailer coupler as needed, but this shouldn't make noise either. You can try greasing the ball to see if it helps, just watch out for getting grease on your clothes when you have the trailer unhitched and the ball is still on the truck.

I've heard some trailer suspension make quite the creaking noise due to dry bushings. Are you sure the noise is from the hitch?

I replaced a Fastway e2 with the Andersen, the e2 was quite creaky. My Andersen is silent.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:34 PM   #10
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This is my third season with my Andersen . In the second year it started my loud noises. I called Andersen and they sent me a small tube of lubricant to put on the liner. It worked great. No noise since. You donít put grease on the hitch ball ?
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:08 PM   #11
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DieselDrax and all -Before I purchased my Anderson hitch, I talked with Anderson tech support a couple times and once with the dealer. The local dealer told me that the oldest generation liner uses what he described as a type of brake material and that it had broken down under some circumstances. The Anderson tech support shared that the next generation was red and they did have some trouble with that usually with heavy hitch weight and lots of miles. The newest is a white plastic material and he seemed confident that would be best of the three. Time will tell.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:10 PM   #12
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First off, donít put any grease on the ball. If the grease gets warm and melts, it will go right into the friction liner.

Next, did you buy your Anderson hitch new or used? I know they had a black friction liner that made a ton of noise when wet. They were quick to come up with new liner.

Now my unit is about 7500 lbs and I have just a bit of creaking but I also havenít cleaned up the liner in a while. Also, have a friend or spouse drive your TV while you walk next to it to make sure the noise is from the hitch. I had found that the leaf spring bushings in my unit had worn thru in just 6 months. So I upgraded to HD shackles and wet bolts to pit grease in between. No more noise. Some campers call us stealth cause they never hear us coming in or backing up.
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Old 08-07-2018, 12:57 AM   #13
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Andersen No Sway Hitch system

I have used the Andersen hitch for many, many miles, dozens of hook-up and unhooks. Absolutely no problems.

When I first set up the hitch and began using it I had several questions, and found that the customer service folks are top notch, and will give you clear and concise advice.

Follow the Andersen Manual exactly as written. (I do not agree with the procedure advised during by the "PDI guy" mentioned in a previous post).

I would recommend that you make up a check list for both hookup and unhooking until it becomes second nature, and utilize the Andersen tech service. Its great, free and only a phone call away.

By the way, the triangle plate straightens out after driving a turn or two. It does help to have the plate as straight as possible when unhooking. Do not lube the hitch ball. If you make a sharp turn when backing into a site, just maneuver a bit till it is close to straight, then back straight in and park.

Enjoy your hitch.
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Old 08-07-2018, 02:14 PM   #14
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Thanks all for your input. I rechecked everything. Made sure all bolts are tight etc. I am certain it is coming from where the ball meets the trailer receiver. Upon inspection of my trailer receiver there is wear marks and bare metal up insdie mainly towards the back portion (towards the back of the trailer). This makes sense as the chains pull hard on the triangle plate which in turn pulls the ball against the back part of the trailer receiver. It is not my trailer springs on the trailer or the cone. I can actually start to hear the creaking when I lower the tongue down after tightening the chains. Even bouncing up and down on my hitch when connected causes the creaking and grinding. I heard many people say not to use grease and I understand the concept. Yes this ball rotates with the receiver so in theory there is no actual movement between the ball and trailer receiver. BUT there is plenty of movement driving over dips and bumps as the ball and receiver are the pivot point between the tv and trailer. So there is movement of some sort in there. And for me if there is any kind of movement between two metals, even the smallest, There should be a lubricant. Especially considering the amount of force the chains are pulling the ball towards the back part of the ball receiver and the weight on the ball itself. Putting some grease up in the ball receiver will not affect the anti sway in any way. The anti sway is done in the tapered cone. Andersen has called me back. He requested pictures of the ball. I also sent him the bare metal wear marks inside my ball receiver. I'm 95% certain this is causing the creaking when you consider the slight movement and pivoting up and down wise over dips and bumps. For those wondering if it was new? Yes brand new from Amazon (packaged and wrapped) and with the white cone which looks to be in good shape. I am going to clean out my trailer ball receiver and apply a little lithium grease up inside especially where the bare metal is showing. We will be camping this coming weekend and I will update. Maybe my theory is wrong but Ill let you know. Cheers
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:20 PM   #15
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Johnhowdy - Thanks for the update. Let us know what you discover as the source of the noise.
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Old 08-07-2018, 06:18 PM   #16
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I'd be interested in an update on applying the grease. I've thought about it but if I recall correctly, it explicitly states not to on my older version.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:33 AM   #17
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Howdy everyone. The rep at Andersen is adamant that it is the friction cone material making the creaking and popping sound. It is the white one that is in it now. I thought this one was supposed to be the latest material? It looked to be in pristine condition as far as I can tell but sent him pictures anyway as requested. I always take off the hitch as soon as I disconnect at campground and have never used it as a regular hitch. Leaving for the campground tomorrow and I am still going to put a dab of lithium grease up in the ball receiver on the trailer. Don't like seeing bare metal wear makes without grease. In the meantime, Andersen is sending a replacement cone. I will update the results with the grease application in the near future. Cheers
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:50 AM   #18
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Andersen WDH set up and creaking sound

FWIW, I have the red cone and itís silent.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:25 PM   #19
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From the Andersen manual (page 5):

"DO NOT GREASE THE BALL OR COUPLER! Since the ball and coupler move together, there is no friction that would create a need for grease, and any grease that works its way into the ball housing can decrease the anti-sway abilities of the Andersen WD Hitch."

Outlined in red, mostly red font, with yellow highlights and a caution sign. May be an important note. Just sayin!

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Old 08-10-2018, 02:44 PM   #20
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From the Andersen manual (page 5):

"DO NOT GREASE THE BALL OR COUPLER! Since the ball and coupler move together, there is no friction that would create a need for grease, and any grease that works its way into the ball housing can decrease the anti-sway abilities of the Andersen WD Hitch."

Outlined in red, mostly red font, with yellow highlights and a caution sign. May be an important note. Just sayin!

Vince
But there is friction inside the ball and coupler. The wearing on half of the ball and in the coupler shows it. There has to be up and down movement and rocking when when going over dips and bumps. It's unavoidable. If that point of connection is completely secured then something is going to snap. In any case I'm just putting a little lithium grease up in the receiver to protect the that worn metal which obviously is a sign of friction. The lithium doesn't melt like other greases do and sticks better. Won't even put any on ball.
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