Andersen Hitch - No Need to Cut that Bigfoot Propane Tank Cover! - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
Andersen Hitch - No Need to Cut that Bigfoot Propane Tank Cover!

Yes, you can install a weight distribution hitch and anti-sway mechanism without cutting holes in the sides of a Bigfoot travel trailer propane tank cover.

I installed an Andersen No Sway Weight Distribution Hitch (model 3340) on my 25B17G Bigfoot travel trailer without cutting any holes in the fiberglass propane tank shroud. It was a simple install. I did not even need to remove the tank cover. Simply loosened the cover by removing the 4 screws that attach it to the frame; lift up the cover just enough to slip the WDH brackets in place; and reattach the 4 screws.

TIPS:
I could have used the original 4 self-tapping metal screws, but opted to upgrade to longer rust-proof stainless steel screws. (See photo)

I also inserted nylon spacers between the propane tank cover and the frame to reduce the stress of bending the fiberglass propane tank cover. (See photo)

I added a link to each of the the Andersen WHD chains to extend the chains to 31 inches. This allowed me to easily install the Andersen brackets to the Bigfoot frame between the battery mount and the propane tank mount without moving the Bigfoot's breakaway emergency brake controller. (See photo)

Locate the Andersen brackets close on the frame close to the battery mount If the brackets are installed too close to the propane tank (like in the photo)
the large screws on the Andersen bracket may prevent the propane tanks from sitting correctly in the propane tank bracket. If you make this mistake you will need to reinstall the Andersen brackets closer to the battery mount or move the propane tank bracket closer to the body of the travel trailer - which is what I did.
Attached Thumbnails
Andersen WDH on Bigfoot 17.jpg   Andersen WDH on Bigfoot 17 parts.jpg  

Andersen WDH on Bigfoot 17 bracket placement.jpg  
__________________

__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
One more Andersen WDH installation tip

Another tip - To reduce the possibility of damage to the fiberglass around the 4 screw holes in the fiberglass propane tank cover I used #10 stainless steel washers on the exterior of each hole before inserting the #10 screw.
__________________

__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: Brad
Trailer: Shopping
Arizona
Posts: 3
Looking at a new Bigfoot 25RB. When you reinstalled the FG cover, how much bend is there? Your install looks great, but is the cover seated as designed? Like the Anderson, and may upgrade from the Equalizer 1,000k set-up that we already own. Suggestions?
__________________
Towbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
Yes, there is a slight bow in the propane tank cover where the bolt heads of the Andersen brackets are located. It is barely noticeable due to the rounded nose shape of the cover.

It sounds like you may be concerned about stress to the propane cover caused by the bolt heads on the Andersen frame brackets. People tell me that I am overly particular about quality materials and installing things right the first time. If I thought there was any danger of stress cracking I would have cut 2 inch holes for the bolt heads rather than form the propane cover over them. However, as always, you be the judge.

When you get your Bigfoot you will notice that the propane cover is screwed directly to the frame with two self-tapping iron sheet metal screws (see photo). Although, there was no gap between the cover and the frame originally, there was some stress to the cover. If you remove the two screws and allow the fiberglass cover to "relax", a 1/2 to 3/4 inch gap will develop between the fiberglass cover and the frame.

After installation of my Andersen, at the location of the Andersen frame bracket bolt heads, there is a 1.5 inch gap between the fiberglass cover and the frame. And, at the fore and aft areas of the cover where the new stainless steel metal screws are located there is a 5/8 inch gap that I created with nylon spacers to reduce stress. So, rather than the cover being bowed inward originally 1/2 to 3/4 inch from it "relaxed" position, it is now bowed outward 1/8 to 3/4 from its "relaxed" position.

The cover does not feel or look stressed. There is still room for more flex. A local fiberglass boat repairman told me that it's possible that hot summer days may mold the fiberglass cover to its current shape, in the same manner that fiberglass roofs will sometimes warp under the weight of heavy AC units.

One more suggestion: The original sheet metal screws that Bigfoot installed in 2005 were rusted into the frame and had to be drilled out. I suggest that you replace the screws on your Bigfoot with stainless steel screws to prevent the them from rusting to the frame, and use "Never Seize" to prevent the frame from rusting to the screw.
__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2013, 11:18 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Brad
Trailer: Shopping
Arizona
Posts: 3
Thanks for the clarification, this seems to be the first "no cut" WDH. I assumed that the double thickness of my Equalizer brackets (bracket + L bracket) would prevent your method with the cover, and require a cut.
__________________
Towbert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013, 11:13 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Francois
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 971
Registry
I don't understand how those work....how does the weight get "distributed" if there is no bars?? just those horizontal chains.... I don't get it
__________________
Franswa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
There are a number of blogs on this website and other RV forums (Airforums.com, Jaycoowners.com) where travel trailer owners have theorized the physics of the Andersen. I am not an engineer and cannot explain it. I can say that when I tightened the tension on the chains during the initial set up, the tail of the Toyota Tundra and front of the Bigfoot lifted upward resulting in a level truck and trailer. Tightening the chains seems to me to be analogous to tightening the string on an archery bow. Tightening the bow string (chains) causes the archer's bow (truck and trailer) to bend upward.
__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Name: Lyle
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Hi,

Thanks for the post. Just bought the andersen hitch. On my 2005 17
CB, the ground wire lug is located between the battery and propane platforms that does not give room for the left hand bracket. Did you relocate the wiring and ground lug?
__________________
Lwharton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
I will take a photo of that area and post it later today.
__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
MC1
Senior Member
 
MC1's Avatar
 
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Nest fan, Airstream Sold
Ontario
Posts: 2,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franswa View Post
I don't understand how those work....how does the weight get "distributed" if there is no bars?? just those horizontal chains.... I don't get it
The Andrsn's do struggle with distributing weight and in many cases barely distribute enough. Because of their design they also put a lot of stress on the trailer's coupler. Some couplers are not compatible with the Andrsen and cannot be used. The rumor mill has it that there is an Andrsn II in the works that hopefully will address the many design shortcomings.
__________________
MC1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 12:55 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
Oregon
Posts: 108
See the attached photos. The photo on the left is taken from above. The second photo is taken from below.

I positioned the drivers side bracket between the propane shelf and the breakaway switch. I do not remember moving a grounding lug. However, the Anderson brackets were installed several months, and many projects ago. Is the blue wire the one that you are referring to? If a grounding lug was in the way I likely moved it by attaching it to another preexisting screw. Maybe I used one of the screws holding the breakaway switch?
Attached Thumbnails
photo (3).jpg   photo (2).jpg  

__________________
Jay Moeller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2014, 10:17 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Lyle
Trailer: Bigfoot
British Columbia
Posts: 7
Andersen Hitch Install

Thanks so much for this, Jay. Your pictures show that the brackets barely go between the propane platform and that little stud welded to the frame at the emergency brake assembly. I hope mine is where yours is. I can relocate grounds that are attached as you suggest.
__________________

__________________
Lwharton is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bigfoot, propane


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bigfoot propane tank cover mod trainjunkie Modifications, Alterations and Updates 6 09-01-2014 07:35 PM
Andersen w/d hitch cpaharley2008 Towing, Hitching, Axles and Running Gear 41 07-06-2013 03:22 PM
Propane Tank Cover suggestions please Karalyn Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 15 11-03-2010 07:21 PM
WANTED: Lil Bigfoot propane tank/ battey cover Mike Whitney Classified Archives 0 07-21-2009 11:56 AM
Old Propane Tank Cover playared Classified Archives 0 01-21-2006 09:24 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.