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Old 10-18-2020, 12:45 PM   #1
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Feeling A Little Sway

I have a 2017 Salem Hemisphere 23rbhl. (Empty weight: about 4900 lbs) This question is more about my weight distribution hitch set up.. than this particular camper.. so those who use a Andersen WDH.. your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
I have owned several campers and different WDHs. I set my Andersen hitch up exactly as instructed.. and made a few adjustments.. but I am still feeling some sway when vehicles (of any size) pass me on the interstate. Don't get me wrong... it isn't anything drastic.. and I am not afraid to tow the camper. It just isn't as comfortable as I would like.
Here's my observations on 2 things that I could do to affect my situation.
1. My camper tows about 1/2 to 1 inch higher in the front.. I can lower the hitch down by 1 and 1/2 inches.. that would put me about inch off level (low) in the front.
2. There is a little play/looseness where the WDH goes into the reciever tube. I can fix this with a hitch clamp.
Anyway.. do u use an Andersen WDH? What do you think? Any ideas? Maybe I'm being too critical and should just live with the slight sway. What do you think?
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:57 PM   #2
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I don't have an Andersen WDH, but I would start with lowering the front to at least level, preferably an inch low. So, drop the 1 1/2 inches you say you can do. If I recall from my TT days, slightly nose down is preferred.



I don't know what you mean by "a little play", but my Blue Ox that I used with my TT (I have a 5er now) was "a little loose", but once weight was put on it, it wouldn't wiggle any more. I don't think that is the cause of your sway.


When you say "slight sway", it's hard to know what one person thinks is slight. Are you talking about movement when a truck passes you, and sucks you in slightly, and then pushes you out slightly? Does the truck and trailer move as one in those instances, or is the trailer truly "swaying"?


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Old 10-18-2020, 01:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck9997 View Post
I have a 2017 Salem Hemisphere 23rbhl. (Empty weight: about 4900 lbs) This question is more about my weight distribution hitch set up.. than this particular camper.. so those who use a Andersen WDH.. your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
I have owned several campers and different WDHs. I set my Andersen hitch up exactly as instructed.. and made a few adjustments.. but I am still feeling some sway when vehicles (of any size) pass me on the interstate. Don't get me wrong... it isn't anything drastic.. and I am not afraid to tow the camper. It just isn't as comfortable as I would like.
Here's my observations on 2 things that I could do to affect my situation.
1. My camper tows about 1/2 to 1 inch higher in the front.. I can lower the hitch down by 1 and 1/2 inches.. that would put me about inch off level (low) in the front.
2. There is a little play/looseness where the WDH goes into the reciever tube. I can fix this with a hitch clamp.
Anyway.. do u use an Andersen WDH? What do you think? Any ideas? Maybe I'm being too critical and should just live with the slight sway. What do you think?

the answer to your question is #1 camper should be at best level to nose down . looseness in the receiver shouldn't matter . 90% of the time i am not effected by passing trucks but some seem to be set up different and will cause that slight sucking but TV and TH move as one when this happens . you should be nose down and TW heavy . never any problems with my Andersen in over 40,000 miles now .
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Mike.. it may not be true "sway". May be more the movement of air.. but it happens regardless of the size of the passing vehicle. I just never noticed it before with other campers and other hitches. I'll lower the front and see if that helps.

Maybe I'm expecting too much.. but Andersen really brags on the anti sway system... and I see people posting about ABSOLUTELY NO SWAY. I just don't feel as good about the hitch as others.
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Originally Posted by walaby View Post
I don't have an Andersen WDH, but I would start with lowering the front to at least level, preferably an inch low. So, drop the 1 1/2 inches you say you can do. If I recall from my TT days, slightly nose down is preferred.



I don't know what you mean by "a little play", but my Blue Ox that I used with my TT (I have a 5er now) was "a little loose", but once weight was put on it, it wouldn't wiggle any more. I don't think that is the cause of your sway.


When you say "slight sway", it's hard to know what one person thinks is slight. Are you talking about movement when a truck passes you, and sucks you in slightly, and then pushes you out slightly? Does the truck and trailer move as one in those instances, or is the trailer truly "swaying"?


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Old 10-18-2020, 01:22 PM   #5
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I agree.. and will adjust to lower the front. Hope it helps. However.. on one of Andersen's own installation videos they say "if you are a little high in the front... that's ok".

Like you.. I have always heard you should be level or slightly nose down.
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
the answer to your question is #1 camper should be at best level to nose down . looseness in the receiver shouldn't matter . 90% of the time i am not effected by passing trucks but some seem to be set up different and will cause that slight sucking but TV and TH move as one when this happens . you should be nose down and TW heavy . never any problems with my Andersen in over 40,000 miles now .
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Old 10-18-2020, 01:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chuck9997 View Post
Thanks Mike.. it may not be true "sway". May be more the movement of air.. but it happens regardless of the size of the passing vehicle. I just never noticed it before with other campers and other hitches. I'll lower the front and see if that helps.

Maybe I'm expecting too much.. but Andersen really brags on the anti sway system... and I see people posting about ABSOLUTELY NO SWAY. I just don't feel as good about the hitch as others.
That is correct Absolutely no sway . in 40,000 miles never felt sway . so if you are feeling it then it's inn your set up and how you have your unit loaded
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:37 PM   #7
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I also use a Andersen WDH with a trailer. The anti sway function is quite amazing so if you are getting sway I would try some further adjustments.


1. Move Ball to next lower position - I would agree that it is better to have the nose down slightly rather than being a little high. So lower the hitch ball by the 1 1/2 inches.



2. Adequately tighten the adjustment nuts for the chains. After you adjust the ball height how are you setting your chain tension? As a starting point, note the number of threads that are showing on each chain. Tighten each nut until there is significant tension on both chains with the trailer weight on the ball. The main issue here is that you want the ball to stay stationary in relationship to the trailer coupler.



3. If this does not resolve the sway, consider moving some gear you are carrying to the front to increase tongue weight. If your water tank is more toward the front fill or partially fill your tank. You may be light on the tongue.



4. Hopefully this will remove all sway. If not, perhaps find a way to determine your hitch weight.



If none of this resolves the problem there may be a design problem with your trailer or possibly an alignment issue. I was actually returning today in a 30 mph wind hitting my truck and trailer out of the front quarter. There was not a drop of sway even with semi trucks going by.



Hope this helps.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutdriver View Post
I also use a Andersen WDH with a trailer. The anti sway function is quite amazing so if you are getting sway I would try some further adjustments.


1. Move Ball to next lower position - I would agree that it is better to have the nose down slightly rather than being a little high. So lower the hitch ball by the 1 1/2 inches.



2. Adequately tighten the adjustment nuts for the chains. After you adjust the ball height how are you setting your chain tension? As a starting point, note the number of threads that are showing on each chain. Tighten each nut until there is significant tension on both chains with the trailer weight on the ball. The main issue here is that you want the ball to stay stationary in relationship to the trailer coupler.



3. If this does not resolve the sway, consider moving some gear you are carrying to the front to increase tongue weight. If your water tank is more toward the front fill or partially fill your tank. You may be light on the tongue.
[/B]


4. Hopefully this will remove all sway. If not, perhaps find a way to determine your hitch weight.



If none of this resolves the problem there may be a design problem with your trailer or possibly an alignment issue. I was actually returning today in a 30 mph wind hitting my truck and trailer out of the front quarter. There was not a drop of sway even with semi trucks going by.



Hope this helps.
Number three is the first thing I would do...and moving any weight aft of the trailer axle(s) more forward.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:25 PM   #9
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Thanks... also.. for this weekend camping trip I purchased an extra long handled ratchet so I could tighten the chains more. I lowered the camper onto the ball.. just enough to engage the coupler. Raised about an inch and a half. Hand tightened the chains.. then with the new ratcher I was able to do four full socket rotations on the chains. (*before could only do 3 rotations with the short ratchet). Lowered full weight of the camper onto the ball.. inserted coupler pin and drove away. When I arrived at the Campground and started to unhitch.. I noticed the coupler pin was bent! That worries me.. I have read that some couplers have been damaged by using the Andersen hitch. Do you think 4 full rotations was too much?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nutdriver View Post
I also use a Andersen WDH with a trailer. The anti sway function is quite amazing so if you are getting sway I would try some further adjustments.


1. Move Ball to next lower position - I would agree that it is better to have the nose down slightly rather than being a little high. So lower the hitch ball by the 1 1/2 inches.



2. Adequately tighten the adjustment nuts for the chains. After you adjust the ball height how are you setting your chain tension? As a starting point, note the number of threads that are showing on each chain. Tighten each nut until there is significant tension on both chains with the trailer weight on the ball. The main issue here is that you want the ball to stay stationary in relationship to the trailer coupler.



3. If this does not resolve the sway, consider moving some gear you are carrying to the front to increase tongue weight. If your water tank is more toward the front fill or partially fill your tank. You may be light on the tongue.



4. Hopefully this will remove all sway. If not, perhaps find a way to determine your hitch weight.



If none of this resolves the problem there may be a design problem with your trailer or possibly an alignment issue. I was actually returning today in a 30 mph wind hitting my truck and trailer out of the front quarter. There was not a drop of sway even with semi trucks going by.



Hope this helps.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by chuck9997 View Post
Thanks... also.. for this weekend camping trip I purchased an extra long handled ratchet so I could tighten the chains more. I lowered the camper onto the ball.. just enough to engage the coupler. Raised about an inch and a half. Hand tightened the chains.. then with the new ratcher I was able to do four full socket rotations on the chains. (*before could only do 3 rotations with the short ratchet). Lowered full weight of the camper onto the ball.. inserted coupler pin and drove away. When I arrived at the Campground and started to unhitch.. I noticed the coupler pin was bent! That worries me.. I have read that some couplers have been damaged by using the Andersen hitch. Do you think 4 full rotations was too much?

Sorry to hear about your coupler pin. My first thought is that your coupler may not have been fully engaged with the ball ie. the coupler was sitting on top of the ball instead of around the base of the ball. I did that once myself but caught it before I left. I now watch the ball come up into the coupler to make sure it is fully in position.

Without seeing your setup it is hard to gauge but four full turns sounds like it may be too much. On my setup I do not lift the trailer tongue to tighten the nuts. With the weight on the ball, I finger tight and then perhaps give the nut a couple turns.

I would also consider giving Andersen tech support a call. They are excellent and my recognize the bent pin symptom.
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Old 10-18-2020, 04:27 PM   #11
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Thanks .. I checked the coupler.. it seems to be fine. Before hitching up again I will couple then lift to see if the camper will pull the truck up a few inches (without coupler pin) to see if the coupler is indeed working properly. I'll keep trying a few things.. and back off the 4 turns. The additional turns didn't seem to affect the (slight) sway issue, anyway. I'm hoping dropping the hitch another space (1 and 1/2 inches) in the shank will help.

I am going to try Andersen support again. I always hear good things about support... but I have emailed and called multiple times.. so far.. no return contact.
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Originally Posted by nutdriver View Post
Sorry to hear about your coupler pin. My first thought is that your coupler may not have been fully engaged with the ball ie. the coupler was sitting on top of the ball instead of around the base of the ball. I did that once myself but caught it before I left. I now watch the ball come up into the coupler to make sure it is fully in position.

Without seeing your setup it is hard to gauge but four full turns sounds like it may be too much. On my setup I do not lift the trailer tongue to tighten the nuts. With the weight on the ball, I finger tight and then perhaps give the nut a couple turns.

I would also consider giving Andersen tech support a call. They are excellent and my recognize the bent pin symptom.
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Old 10-19-2020, 07:06 PM   #12
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It's just that mean old wine got you in it's sway. - Rolling Stones

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Old 10-19-2020, 08:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MR.M View Post
the answer to your question is #1 camper should be at best level to nose down . looseness in the receiver shouldn't matter . 90% of the time i am not effected by passing trucks but some seem to be set up different and will cause that slight sucking but TV and TH move as one when this happens . you should be nose down and TW heavy . never any problems with my Andersen in over 40,000 miles now .

Same here, 90% 0f the time no issues. For some reason I feel more air displacement from the small(er) box vans, especially cab-over types.

For those new to towing, when a large vehicle overtakes you it's pushing out a huge "bow wave" of compressed air very similar to what a large ship does as it passes through the water. This "wave" first contacts the rear of your trailer making you steer to the right. As it passes it then hits the front of the trailer and rear of tow vehicle which then causes steering to the left, and then back as this wave hits the front of the tow vehicle. It's causing more of a wiggle rather than sway and it's important that no huge steering moves are made. Best to just add power and steer normally.

"Sway" is when a truck, bus, or large RV overtakes, you "wiggle" and when they pass you keep "wiggling" NOW you have "sway".

Most sway control measures can't do much for large vehicles overtaking, they merely dampen the continuing motion much like shock absorbers dampen spring oscillation when you hit bumps.
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