Andersen Weight Distributing Hitches - Page 7 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2013, 06:41 PM   #85
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The urethane regardless of size may all offer the same resistance, unless you find rubber or other substitute.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:01 PM   #86
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The urethane regardless of size may all offer the same resistance, unless you find rubber or other substitute.
No, these are springs - despite the novel material they follow well-established rules:
  • for the same dimensions, softer material means a softer spring (in urethane, this is expressed as a durometer number)
  • for the same material hardness and length, a smaller cross-sectional area (bigger hole or smaller outside diameter) means a softer spring
  • for the same material hardness and cross-section (hole diameter and outside diameter), a longer length means a softer spring

I don't have a formula for this, but I found tables of this data online from various spring suppliers; I just need a bit more detail to confirm that a potential alternate spring is available.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:40 PM   #87
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So a softer spring would allow less w/d capacity while maintaining the same sway control? Is this your goal?
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Old 07-29-2013, 11:36 PM   #88
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So a softer spring would allow less w/d capacity while maintaining the same sway control?
Excellent question.

In common WD designs that emphasize a sway control feature, the frictional force to resist sway can be tied to the WD action; this leaves the user to compromise between the two, perhaps applying more WD action than desired to get enough sway control. For instance, two of the four friction locations in the Equal-i-zer system are at the brackets where the bar ends slide; the more force is applied to bend the bars, the more sway-controlling friction is available.

In the Andersen No-Sway, in contrast, the friction is dependent primarily on the vertical load (hitch weight) on the ball/cone component, and has little dependence on the WD action. The chains just need to be tight enough to avoid going slack in turns; you get strong sway control friction (whether you want it or not ), with whatever you want for WD action. Even 1/16" of spring compression produces more than 100 pounds of chain tension per side - corresponding to a minimal amount of WD action - which can drag that ball/cone/plate around against a couple hundred pound-feet of sway control torque if there's that much friction. On the other extreme, if you want to apply as much WD action as the system can produce, the sway control friction may not be much higher.

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Is this your goal?
Not really. The system can be adjusted to as little WD action as desired; however, it will change a lot with pitching (nose up/down angle changes, due to roads or load changes).The idea of softer springs is to reduce this sensitivity, allowing someone who wants a modest amount of WD action to get without excessive sensitivity to adjusting nut position or pitching.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:13 AM   #89
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I had though about changing the "springs" for softer ones too. My use is mainly for sway control.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #90
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Andersen says that the anti-sway friction is a product of the tongue weight on the ball, as it presses the tapered ball shank further down into its equally-tapered, friction-material-lined housing. However, I must concede that the WD forces on that ball and shank (forward on the ball, rearward on the bottom of the shank) may provide some further friction as it attempts to cock the shank sideways against the lined housing.

I just traveled another 3000 miles with my Andersen, and it seemed to perform reasonably well. My main goals were improved ride and reduced squat on the Highlander's rear springs, and I have achieved both. No complaints.

I wonder, could steel springs be substituted for the urethane? Not that I want to try.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #91
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... I must concede that the WD forces on that ball and shank (forward on the ball, rearward on the bottom of the shank) may provide some further friction as it attempts to cock the shank sideways against the lined housing.
This effect was mentioned earlier, as well. If it were a straight shaft, with some other straightforward means supporting the vertical load (such as a pair of bearing surfaces like a fifth-wheel), then I would agree that this cocking effect would be significant. In Andersen's design, the taper is quite close to parallel, so the contact force resulting from wedging the cone into the cup will be much greater than the load applied vertically to the ball - I suspect that this will render the cocking effect relatively unimportant.

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I wonder, could steel springs be substituted for the urethane? Not that I want to try.
Yes, and I wouldn't want it, either.
To match the capacity of the urethane springs, the steel springs would need to be very stiff. Daniel mentioned that these were "die springs" - that's a category of springs, usually steel coils but sometimes urethane, which are very stiff for their size. When you push a stamping die (or punch) down with a press something has to push it back up... that's a die spring. If you look at these springs on a supplier's website, they are very dense (in steel they have thick wire, even flat bar as wire to pack in more metal).
The other reason to use urethane is that, like the rubber in a rubber-sprung trailer suspension, it is self-damping to a significant extent... unlike steel. This should help reduce pitch (nose up/down) oscillations. It would be a shame to have the opportunity to use a damped spring (unlike a conventional bar-type WD system) and not take advantage of it.


It is details like the multiplication of tongue weight for sway controlling friction by wedging and the incorporation of damping in the WD springing which make me appreciate the ingenuity of the design... although they don't change my major reservations (regarding effects such as the forward thrust against the ball).
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Old 07-31-2013, 05:35 AM   #92
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The urethane regardless of size may all offer the same resistance, unless you find rubber or other substitute.
Polyurethane die spring can be ordered in differnt Durometer ratings (hardness), lengths and diameters. These differnces change the allowable deflection (difference between compressed and uncompressed) for each. In the case of the Andersen hitch, it wouldnt make a difference what one was chosen due to you would just have to turn the nut behind the washer more or less to achive the desired weight transfer. I think if you went to a spring of softer durometer, you could end up with trailer or tow bounce and posibly over compress the spring through ditches.

As for the trailer clasp taking a load due to the WD springs...where does the load of a conventional trailer go under braking?..Yes, the latch side! The only difference is the Andersen has constant pressure on the latch side from the urethane springs. The force on the latch from the die spring can be figured out from the spring manufacture chart for the die springs total deflection used( difference between compressed and uncompressed) and Andersen recomends a certain maximum amount.

Can someone get the part number and manufacture for the spring used? They must have it somewhere for replacement..
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:52 AM   #93
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As for the trailer clasp taking a load due to the WD springs...where does the load of a conventional trailer go under braking?..Yes, the latch side! The only difference is the Andersen has constant pressure on the latch side from the urethane springs.
No, the difference is that the force under braking, especially with working brakes, will be very little on that latch. The force on that latch to raise a vehicle however many inches, plus bumps, plus a dip in the road, could be 10x the force of braking, and I highly doubt any manufacturer would ok it.

Hell, I'm feeling frisky, I'll send one an email.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:05 AM   #94
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No, the difference is that the force under braking, especially with working brakes, will be very little on that latch. The force on that latch to raise a vehicle however many inches, plus bumps, plus a dip in the road, could be 10x the force of braking, and I highly doubt any manufacturer would ok it.

Hell, I'm feeling frisky, I'll send one an email.
If we allways account for peoples trailers having brakes and if the trailer brakes are adjusted to perfection and if the timing in sync of brake activation with the tug are perfect. A trailers brakes do not stop its total weight weight alone under emergency braking..other wise we would only put brakes on our cars rear tires. Like I said, all latchs take trailer load ocastionaly and are design to.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:14 AM   #95
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If we allways account for peoples trailers having brakes and if the trailer brakes are adjusted to perfection and if the timing in sync of brake activation with the tug are perfect. A trailers brakes do not stop its total weight weight alone under emergency braking..other wise we would only put brakes on our cars rear tires. Like I said, all latchs take trailer load ocastionaly and are design to.
If I apply full manual brakes on either trailer, it will put my head through the windshield. I tried it once on the scamp just to know, and it hit so hard, I was worried I might have damaged the frame under the bunk (it didn't). Believe me, it will stop itself.

Back to the example of the car with the tires removed. Hopefully, it will never get that bad on the road, but take a vehicle with weak suspension, crank it up to level it, and then drive it in a steep dip.

I saw where a guy in a 1/2 ton tacoed his frame with a wd hitch, and foot high bumps. Extreme example, but that was also a pickup. Any wd hitch would have done it in the situation he was in, but my point is, the forces in a case like that with this wd hitch would be insanely high on the coupler.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:04 AM   #96
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If I apply full manual brakes on either trailer, it will put my head through the windshield. I tried it once on the scamp just to know, and it hit so hard, I was worried I might have damaged the frame under the bunk (it didn't). Believe me, it will stop itself.

Back to the example of the car with the tires removed. Hopefully, it will never get that bad on the road, but take a vehicle with weak suspension, crank it up to level it, and then drive it in a steep dip.

I saw where a guy in a 1/2 ton tacoed his frame with a wd hitch, and foot high bumps. Extreme example, but that was also a pickup. Any wd hitch would have done it in the situation he was in, but my point is, the forces in a case like that with this wd hitch would be insanely high on the coupler.
I know it will stop itself..but my point is the tug will always be able to decelerate faster than the trailer under emergency braking, thus transfering load to the ball socket.

In the example of the car with the tires removed, I think andersen has thought of this and that is why they recomend only compressing the spring so far to allow for up to certain max angle between the tug and trailer. No matter what WH hitch system used, there will be high load in some direction put on the whole system.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:17 AM   #97
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I know it will stop itself..but my point is the tug will always be able to decelerate faster than the trailer under emergency braking, thus transfering load to the ball socket.

In the example of the car with the tires removed, I think andersen has thought of this and that is why they recomend only compressing the spring so far to allow for up to certain max angle between the tug and trailer. No matter what WH hitch system used, there will be high load in some direction put on the whole system.
My trailers will lock up the tires, how much more deceleration do you want?

Yes, any wd hitch will put a high load on, which is why I'm not a big fan of them to begin with, but all the others are putting it on top of the ball and coupler, right where it was designed to. As long as it isn't maxing out the tongue weight for the coupler, it's doing exactly what the coupler was built to do.

I sent an email to bulldog/Fulton/draw-tire company, we'll see what they say.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:31 AM   #98
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As long as it isn't maxing out the tongue weight for the coupler, it's doing exactly what the coupler was built to do.
The ball assy for the Anderson is designed by them... and is doing exactly what it is designed to do...
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