Andersen 3380 'No-Sway' WDH & Parkliner? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2014, 04:34 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
P.S.

I just looked at the Anderson 3380 and...YIKES- whatever type hitch you decide you need, do not buy this one!

According to this link, that puppy is spec'd for trailers up to 14,000 pounds and 1400 pounds of tongue weight. That is way, wa-a-a-a-y too big/much for a Parkliner. An oversized W/D can cause more problems than it "solves".

If you decide you must have W/D, please select one in the proper weight range...here's one guide to selecting the right W/D hitch.
Un-yikes yourself a bit, Francesca. The Andersen weighs just 70 lbs and is so adjustable, it will work with an itty bitty 13'er. It uses chains instead of bars for weight distribution. For a light trailer with little tongue weight, one just does not tighten the chains much. So it doesn't put much stress on things. And actually there are comments on rv.net which lead me to conclude that the Andersen really won't take all the sag out when you get much beyond 800-900 lbs tongue weight, so the mfr rating may be overstated somewhat.

I have an Andersen and used it last summer with my trailer (350 to 400 lb tongue weight, depending). I don't feel I need it for sway control, because my rig is very stable (despite 106" wheelbase on tug). But it smoothed out the ride, took away much of the jiggle, for my DW's sake. It is a good choice for the small trailer owner IMO.

But I do agree that the Blazer/Parkliner combo should be fine without weight distribution/sway control hitches, provided that the owner maintains a decent amount of tongue weight on the hitch. For a 2000 lb trailer, that would mean around 200 lbs or more.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:48 PM   #16
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Part of my problem is a very bad experience the one time I did tow. The u-haul trailer threw 2 wheels of my bronco over the guard rail during rush hour. I thought the guy at u-haul knew what he was doing and he didn't.

I was going about 45 mph in a 55 when the trailer started fishtailing. Wrong hitch for the Bronco. The trailer swung my car back and forth from one lane to the other and finally off the road into the ditch.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:00 PM   #17
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Are you sure about the cause of the fishtail, Huck?

I ask because especially at such a low speed, the only thing that could be "wrong" about a hitch might be that it's too high, resulting in lightening tongue weight.

Most such events are caused by too much of load total behind the axle and not enough on the tongue. Here's a Youtube video demonstrating the very dramatic difference caused by improper loading:

Caravan Stability Studies - YouTube
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:31 PM   #18
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Are you sure about the cause of the fishtail, Huck?

I ask because especially at such a low speed, the only thing that could be "wrong" about a hitch might be that it's too high, resulting in lightening tongue weight.

Most such events are caused by too much of load total behind the axle and not enough on the tongue. Here's a Youtube video demonstrating the very dramatic difference caused by improper loading:
It was a combination. The ball should have been under the bumper and he installed a hitch that had the ball above the bumper, so the trailer was at an incline. Plus, he never gave me any instructions on how to load the trailer and I loaded too much weight toward the back of the trailer. (I spent my college summers working for a moving company, so I knew how to get a lot of furniture into a small space.) Now I realize I had way too much weight at the back of the trailer.

The result was I had poor traction and once it started fishtailing, I just went along for the ride. First I tried just easing off the gas. Still fishtailing. Then I tried tapping the brakes, but that made it worse. Finally I gave it some gas to see if I could pull out of it, but I just didn't have enough traction.

If any of you have driven the Dulles toll road at rush hour, you can realize how lucky I was just to end up straddling the guard rail and not taking out 5 or 10 cars
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:54 PM   #19
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Were you using a hitch ball installed right on the bumper, or one installed into a receiver tube? I ask because ballmounts that slide into a receiver-type hitch come in various drops/rises. Certainly one would expect U-haul to insert the appropriate one for the trailer you were renting-? I'm also surprised that you didn't get loading instructions...it's been a long time since I rented a U-Haul but if memory serves they not only gave me a booklet with loading instructions, there were stickers on the trailer itself per same.

I presume U-Haul got an earful- glad you weren't hurt!

Tough way to learn about loading, but at least you're gettin' started with Parkliner towing with a firm idea of how important it is.
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:08 PM   #20
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Were you using a hitch ball installed right on the bumper, or one installed into a receiver tube?
hitch ball installed right on the bumper. This was about 25 years ago and I was dealing with a small u-haul shop. I know there was a max weight on the trailer, but I don't remember any other guidelines.

Quote:
Tough way to learn about loading, but at least you're gettin' started with Parkliner towing with a firm idea of how important it is.
That's why I'm probably being a little overly cautious.
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:51 PM   #21
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I had a scary sway experience too, back in the late '80s. Just a little 4x8 utility trailer, but I had a heavy steel part sticking out the back end. Just goes to show that the trailer size doesn't matter so much as the loading.

With your experience, not only was it loaded rear-heavy to start, the incline probably made stuff want to crowd farther backward with every bounce and vibration, possibly making it worse.

I don't think Parkliner would produce a trailer with insufficent tongue weight, but you could always take a bathroom scale with you and check the weight for yourself.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:08 PM   #22
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Back in the 60's My dad was towing a 16' lightweight Shasta with his 61 Ford Galaxy on a paved highway that was under construction. There was about a 6" drop off at the pavement edge as no shoulder gravel had been added yet. He was distracted for a sec and the rig drifted toward the shoulder and the passenger side trailer tire slipped off the pavement as my dad yanked on the wheel to get it back into the lane. It did bring the trailer wheel back on hard surface but the action caused a violent sway. Luckily it all straightened out and all was fine. He used an Equalizer WDH.

For the pass 10 years of towing the 23', 1st the Nissan Mini Van and now the G35 sedan we have never had the hint of sway, even after an aggressive emergency maneuver.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:10 PM   #23
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Huck a couple of things to know to avoid such a situation again are:

1) ask the trailer manufacture what the height to the top of the ball should be before you buy a hitch draw bar. Without the trailer present no hitch installer is not going to know how much of a drop you need on the hitch to get the trailer level or slightly down on the tongue.

2) A great way to cause more sway is to use the tugs brakes. The good news is that brake controllers have a switch you can pull that will activate only the trailers brakes helping the trailer to coming back into line without you touching the tugs brakes.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:23 PM   #24
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I'd roll with just a regular hitch, the trailer will be unloaded when you pick it up. Then if you need one then get one. Having a regular hitch won't be a waste either way. (Good for bashing shin and cut down on tailgating people ) I have and use a Anderson hitch... my T.V. is a Wrangled Unlimited I get blown all over the road by large SUVs when towing, due to me not going 90 + mph. With my XJ I've towed a steel flatbed trailer with a second XJ on it without a WD hitch or swaybar without a problem. That load was probably way over 4 tons.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:56 AM   #25
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Huck, as you have read the information you are getting is all over the map. Some of the info is very good, and some is very bad. The tough part for you now is figuring out how to safely optimize your rigs connection.
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:16 PM   #26
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Huck, as you have read the information you are getting is all over the map. Some of the info is very good, and some is very bad. The tough part for you now is figuring out how to safely optimize your rigs connection.
don't know why but have a hunch such vagueness as to good and bad is not doing much to help the OP decide what is safe.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:05 PM   #27
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Good advice vs bad advice, how to tell which is which:
1. flip a coin
2. play eeny-meeny-miney-moe
3. pull flower petals (like "she loves me not...")
4. post the bits of advice on a board, then throw a dart
5. have the wife tell you, she's always right

LOL
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:50 PM   #28
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I tend to like the pulling of flower petals approach myself!
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