Andersen Weight Distributing Hitches - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-01-2013, 08:53 PM   #113
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Name: Jay
Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
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Andersen WDH: Non-compatible Atwood Coupler

I am looking to add a weight distribution hitch (WHD) to my 2005 Bigfoot 17.5G. I am considering the Anderson WDH. Other posters in this thread noted that there is one coupler that is not compatible with the Andersen WDH. I called Andersen today to be certain it was not the Atwood coupler on my Bigfoot. I am happy to learn that the Bigfoot coupler is NOT the non-compatible coupler. In fact, the Bigfoot coupler (Atwood MPD 81911) is the recommended replacement for the non-compatible Atwood Series 88xxx coupler. Here is the notice from Andersen.

"OFFICIAL ANNOUCEMENT: With thousands of units on the road over the last 2 years, we have had tremendous success and customer satisfaction with the Andersen “No Sway” Weight Distribution Hitch.

A few months ago we heard a few reports of an issue that was specific to the Atwood 88000 series coupler. Although there were only about 10-12 reported cases, it was enough to concern us, and we performed some in-house testing of the coupler.

The issue: A few customers reported the potential of the Atwood 88000 series coupler to come unlatched over time due to wear.

NOTE: The Atwood 88000 series (stamped on the coupler as "Atwood model 88xxx" - xxx being any digits) is the ONLY coupler design in the RV market we have found that has this potential issue. All other Atwood couplers work fine. The similarly designed Marvel coupler also works just fine with the Andersen WD Hitch.

What we have found so far:
We have been performing in-house testing of the Atwood 88000 series coupler, as well as consulting with engineers and RV Technicians. At this point we have not experienced the unit unlatching, but we can see there is the potential for the possibility of this happening over time with the Atwood 88000 series so we are taking the issue very seriously. From the reports given we were told that it is something that happens over time, not immediately.

What can happen:
Because of the particular design of the Atwood 88000 series coupler, there is a lot of extra movement inside the coupler as compared to other couplers on the market. When combined with the reverse pressure that our Weight Distribution system places on it, over time, the slack in the internal mechanism of the some of these couplers slowly works its way backwards trying to unlatch from the top 'fin' - and eventually it can wear the fin down enough that it does not fully latch any more.

The solution:
At this point our official position is that the Atwood 88000 series coupler is incompatible with our Weight Distribution Hitch, so the ONLY current solution we endorse is to replace the coupler. A good quality and sturdy replacement is the Atwood MPD 81911 coupler (seen below). However any coupler other than the Atwood 88000 series will work just fine. We have checked with several welding shops who told us that it would take about 1 hour of shop time to change out the coupler, averaging about $60–$100 in shop fees.


Atwood MPD 81911 Trailer Coupler, A-Frame Tongue (10,000 lbs tongue)


Other solutions:
Although we have heard of a few Airstream owners who have had some success with modifying the latch mechanism and greasing the paw and ball, Andersen Mfg. does not officially endorse any solution other than replacing the coupler itself.

In the interest of convenience Andersen Mfg. has the Atwood MPD 81911 coupler available for $49 retail, which includes shipping to most states in the continental USA.
"
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:03 PM   #114
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Wow. I'm more confused then ever now.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:43 PM   #115
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Not to be concerned about, the andersen hitch will work with about 95% of hitches in use, it the couple found on Airstreams that may cause an issue, just check yours and you are set to go.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Not to be concerned about, the andersen hitch will work with about 95% of hitches in use...
... for a couple of years (the time the Andersen No-Sway has been available), anyway. My coupler is 34 years old and it's fine. Would it be if used with this WD system? We don't know.

I certainly don't advocate stopping all progress because any change might have unexpected consequences, but when a design presents a clear problem, it makes sense to seriously evaluate the associated risk. Perhaps with light WD application it's not a concern at all.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:15 PM   #117
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Trailer: 2005 Bigfoot 25B17.5G. Pulled by a 2006 Toyota Tundra Double Cab
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Hitching up to an Andersen

I will be tugging a new-to-me Bigfoot RV on its maiden voyage in mid-August. If the Bigfoot sways, bucks, or brays as it crosses the back roads of eastern Oregon and Idaho, I will be hitching it up to an Andersen. I've surfed the blogs on sundry websites for weeks and Andersen sounds like the right match for this fiberglass RV.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:40 PM   #118
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Thanks cpaharley2008, sometimes I rant a bit, but this picture is a perfect example of being able to buy a hitch for something that maybe you shouldn't be using as a tow vehicle;



And yet you "can" buy one... "can" and "should" are not the same thing...
================================================== =========

One of the most capable tow vehicles for a lightweight is the VW Golf as seen here in a road test. One would say the Mini in the pic above is as capable, but probably more so.

Practical Caravan - Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI review - YouTube

As it has been said many times before..... It is not the size of the tug that matters, it is how well it handles the load.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:25 PM   #119
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You tambien! The Anderson is in my future!
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:57 PM   #120
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I haven't had any emails back from coupler manufacturers…
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #121
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I always order all my towing needs from etrailer but I just looked on their web site and I do not see a Andersen listed. Does anybody have a good place to buy from? Etrailer has such great service and delivery. Is the price $449 everywhere?
Ken
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:20 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
Does anybody have a good place to buy from?
Andersen dealer finder
I don't have a specific recommendation, especially for a buyer not in Canada. Anyone buying a trailer from Escape might consider getting the Andersen hitch from them as well, as they are willing to bring it in. Anyone in Alberta could get one from Woody's RV, but I have no idea if their price is competitive... it's just the dealer who I noticed was showing this product at this spring's RV shows.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:25 PM   #123
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Andersen Minimum Advertised Price Policy

Andersen has a MAP (minimum advertised price) policy. I doubt you will find it advertised for less than $449. However, you can negotiate a lower price by dealing with brick and mortar RV parts stores and possibly some online stores. Very few brick and mortars stock the Andersen. But most brick and mortar stores would be happy to order the Andersen. Contact a few RV supply stores to get some competitive pricing. All Les Swab stores in western US can order the Andersen but will likely not be competitively priced.

Also, you can purchase a new Andersen weight distribution hitch (WDH) on EBAY. First go to the Anderson web site to determine which model number is correct for your trailer and tow rig. Then search for the correct Andersen model on the EBAY Pick an EBAY listing from a reputable dealer that offers $449 OR BEST OFFER. Make an offer less than $449. I do not know what the best offer prices are selling at. Maybe as low as $325 to $ $350 with free shipping????
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:19 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Ken in Pa View Post
I always order all my towing needs from etrailer but I just looked on their web site and I do not see a Andersen listed. Does anybody have a good place to buy from? Etrailer has such great service and delivery. Is the price $449 everywhere?
Ken

Ken, this is where I ordered mine from. They are out of PA also. with free shipping.

Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch | No Sway | Hitches Online
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