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Old 08-31-2015, 07:32 AM   #1
arniez
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Vancouver, WA.
Posts: 37
Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch

When we purchased our travel trailer about 4 months ago, I asked the dealer what the easiest hitch would be for me since I am getting on in age. He recommended the Andersen Hitch. I wanted to give everyone, especially people thinking of buying a trailer, some insight about the hitch.

The hitch ball assembly is much lighter than the normal ball. I can actually pick it up in one hand, although you still need two hands to get it into the receptacle on the tow vehicle. The heavy bars have been replaced with heavy duty chains which act as weight distribution and sway control. Unhooking the system at the campground is a bit of a chore, but not that bad. So far so good.

The problem comes when trying to hitch up. The chains are attached to a metal triangle with a round part that fits under the hitch ball. Then a metal bar is inserted to hold it all in place. Lining up the holes to insert the metal bar is VERY difficult. If it is not aligned EXACTLY, the bar will not go in. You have to then loosen the chains to maneuver the triangle to get the holes aligned. Then retighten the chains to keep the system working properly.

In my humble opinion, the problems hooking up outweigh the other benefits. I am actually thinking of asking the dealer to replace this hitch with the old style.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:22 AM   #2
CFDfireman90
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Southern NH
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If you are looking for one easy to use, look into the Blue Ox Swaypro. After reading your post, the only thing that may add difficulty is the hitch head is on the heavy side. But as far as hooking and un-hooking, I don't think it gets any easier.
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:57 AM   #3
cospilot
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Colorado Springs
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I actually think my husky centerline hitch is very easy to hook up. nothing to align, no chains and built in anti sway.
the only problem is the hitch itself is pretty heavy. but you might be able to just install a lock on it and leave it hooked to the truck. install a rubber ball cover to keep water out and grease off your pants.
each bar is not that heavy and it comes with a tool that is a piece of cake to pop the bars onto their saddles.
if you raise the hitch I can do it by hand and then retract the tongue jack.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:53 PM   #4
theeyres
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Green Valley, AZ
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I, too, have the Andersen and have found the exact opposite of your issues. I've owned pull trailers for 30 years and have used almost every type of hitch and think the Andersen is by far the easiest. At 76 I just couldn't handle the bars on other hitches. Most of the time I don't even need the wrench to hook or unhook the Andersen. I do have a power lift, just lift the trailer and truck up a ways, and it all goes together in an instant. I have found that if you unhook on a given angle, then you have to back the truck up on the same angle when you rehook. That lines up the hitch and trailer so the pin slides in effortlessly. Then the chains are almost always loose and I just snug up the bolds by hand. What could be easier?
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:05 AM   #5
arniez
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Location: Vancouver, WA.
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Thanks all for the suggestions. Theeyres, I wish my experiences with the hitch were as good as yours, they simply aren't. I have done it exactly as you suggest but don't have the same luck. I will try again on our next trip in October.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:35 AM   #6
jeerme
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Nebraska
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The Andersen is pretty simple, next time out try this. When hooking up make sure your nuts are loosened to the last thread on the bolt. That should give you enough slack in the chains to hook the triangle plate up to your ball hitch (even if your not complete straight). Once the triangle is attached put all the weight of the trailer on the trailer jack by jacking up the trailer. That will make tightening the nuts on the bolts very easy, if the nuts get hard to tighten go up some more on the trailer jack. Once your tight with however many threads showing from your intial set up lower the trailer and your off. Unhooking is the same but in reverse. When unhooking put all the weight back on the trailer by jacking up the trailer jack up, then loosen your nuts from the bolts. Then lower your trailer enough to unhook the triangle plate and tongue latch. IF that doesn't make sense find some You Tube video's maybe that will help.

I've ran this hitch for 3 years.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:09 AM   #7
rickyict
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wichita
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I have been using that same hitch for 3 years now and hookup is usually pretty easy. When we purchased the trailer our dealer showed us a different way to hook it up. I leave the triangle plate attached to the ball mount all the time. Here are the basics the way I was told. Put the ball mount and sway plate in the hitch. Raise the trailer and hook up to the tow vehicle. After the trailer is locked down on the ball, raise the trailer up to the point that the tow vehicle is actually being pulled up from its normal unloaded level. At this point loosen the nuts on the chains to where there is no threads showing. You should have plenty of slack to hook the clasps to the triangle trim plate. With the trailer still in the raised position, tighten the nuts in even increments until 4 full threads are showing on the bars. Then lower the trailer down completely and finish hooking up the remainder safety chains and electrical connections. Think of this as the letter A when the trailer is raised when hooking up the sway chains. As you lower the vehicle the (smash the A from the top) sway chains actually pull on the trim plate (triangle) and cause it to try and pivot the ball hitch forward and this tension is what transfers the weight to the front of the tow vehicle. This is my explanation in a nutshell. I never have to take the triangle plate off the mount unless I want to tow something else that doesn't use the full set up. This does make the ball mount assembly a little heavier and bulky to handle, but I think the systems works pretty good. That is how my dealer showed us. I hope that it a correct way and they weren't telling us wrong.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
arniez
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Vancouver, WA.
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I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. From them I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong. I am now pretty comfortable with the hitch and have not had the problems I first experienced.

Nice to have a bunch of people who are knowledgeable and take the time to help.
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