Jump to content

How To: Anderson Weight Distributing Hitch CENTER FRAME location


Recommended Posts

I would like to thank John Shkor "sailerashore" for this method. He talks about it in great detail with pictures of his installation starting on Page 3 of the Anderson FAQ: ... http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/andersen-wd-hitch-faq/page/3/

 

I won't go into every single detail of the actual work, but will post my pics and add comments where I feel they would be helpful.

 

A word of warning, if you want to install this hitch yourself you need to be very comfortable working and grinding metal, and have the proper tools to do this right.

 

The original instructions call for the rear arms to be mounted on the angled A-arms of the Ollie frame. Other than ease of access for adjustments, there is not much good to say about that location. If you are doing this in your garage you are going to have to either cut access points in the fiberglass  doghouse (propane cover) using a cutoff wheel, or remove it entirely. The rear attach point is a big plate with two large bolts that go through to nuts underneath the bathroom vanity. We do not want to venture here....

 

IMG_2517.thumb.jpg.88219fbe222f269d19c812cb6af8ff8d.jpg

 

Putting the Anderson parts under the middle tube is very easy with excellent access. The loads on the brackets are pretty much straight so there will not be any twisting or loosening due to very high off-center loads.

 

MATERIALS LIST:

 

4 feet Chain 3/8 G70 Zinc plated 8800 pound working load (truckers chain) @ $3.50 per foot

 

2 Quick Link 3/8 inch plated, 2200 pound working load @ $2.68 each (used one, kept a spare)

 

2 Quick Link 1/2 inch plated, 3300 pound working load @ $2.08 ea

 

4 Bolts 5/8-11 x 5 inches Grade 8 (1 inch longer than the provided soft bolts) @ $3.01 ea

 

4 Nuts 5/8-11 Grade 8 self locking @ $1.16 ea

 

4 Washers Grade 8 ("Thru-hard") @ $0.96 ea

 

I bought all this stuff at the Spokane Fastenal store. Any commercial bolt supply company will have it. You won't find bolts this big at the box stores!

 

THE INSTALLATION:

 

My tow vehicle is a stock 2013 Land Cruiser 200. I needed the 4 inch kit and I decided that I would have to cut off the very top of the steel bracket for tailgate clearance.

 

Cutting the bracket, it is mild steel and cuts easily but you need either a vise or a metal cutting band saw. These are big thick pieces of steel we are working with.

 

IMG_2504.thumb.jpg.4fa4bcec649d37bb2b39b86f9ad02b5e.jpg

 

The piece removed and the bracket smoothed using a bench top belt sander.

 

IMG_2507.thumb.jpg.fc8008e906157fa2cba4f6c7352760c5.jpg

 

Painted with gloss black brake caliper paint - my favorite for this kind of touchup because it requires no primer and it is tough and pretty.

 

IMG_2508.thumb.jpg.5be79718ee7327d1be5bd94619fbffcb.jpg

 

So much for the easy part, the chain cutting is tough! You can't touch this hard chain with a bolt cutter. The store uses a huge hydraulic machine to slice through the links. I used a bench top grinder to cut most of the way through a link, then I used a bolt cutter to break the rest. It took about fifteen minutes per link, with dunking in water - the steel gets hot!

 

Rear bracket location: these parts need to be positioned so that there is some fore and aft adjustment and also some room for the inner plates to be mounted in front, as reinforcements. I selected the very middle of the open area below and in front of the propane bottles. I installed them with the hardware loose so I could bash them into position if needed using a dead blow mallet.

 

Here is the chain and hardware:

 

IMG_2522.thumb.jpg.d86ff194700f367186081905928f909f.jpg

 

I originally bought 8 washers but ended up using them only under the nuts.

 

Here is the chain mocked up to see how much I would have to cut off. The reason for the extra long length is in case I screwed up, and also to give me a spare chain of the correct length.

 

IMG_2524.thumb.jpg.48baced65d6dd62faab099d770b1752b.jpg

 

Here are the two pieces cut to the correct length - 12 links. IMPORTANT NOTE: chain comes in different configurations and the chain you buy might require a different number of links, so figure it out by mock-up before cutting. Note the grinding marks on the links, and the vice grips needed to hold them.

 

IMG_2528.thumb.jpg.dc65de6d1095782a142a17e094315ef1.jpg

 

More to come, I do not want to lose this work.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

REAR BRACKET INSTALLATION:

 

The front (Anderson calls them "inner" I think)  plates are sandwiched together in front of the rear chain brackets. There is interference at the bottom at the weld as shown. The brackets can't be rotated back close to the main brackets without alteration.

 

IMG_2529.thumb.jpg.dca190c7a85dd009d0e11170fafb3d66.jpg

 

Grind a big radius on the bottom of each bracket as shown, to clear the welds on the other pieces. These are hardened steel parts and cannot easily be sawed.

 

IMG_2531.thumb.jpg.7c710c6706a06037c184330573971f77.jpg

 

Here is the final installation.

 

IMG_2534.thumb.jpg.50cbe996e36b109b838d3a753afe5261.jpg

 

The rear brackets have to be rotated forward at the bottom to eliminate any clearances between bolts and frame that would let them slip under the very high chain tension. I used a big dead blow mallet, with the hardware snugged down a little. When I had everything positioned where I wanted it, I hooked up the chains, put them under some tension and torqued the four nuts to 90 ft lbs.

 

IMG_2535.thumb.jpg.623c4375087d02e5ecb4a3775aee2640.jpg

 

It is very important that the bolts are at 90 degrees to the frame member and not cocked (angled). View looking down - note the great access:

 

IMG_2537.thumb.jpg.92fa978a24d64716e84552a7b722136b.jpg

 

IMG_2538.thumb.jpg.35f4b1b288a46f20d562383a0de24bd9.jpg

 

There is potential for the right chain to chafe or bind against the jack tube. Mine cleared OK, but I added a small Quick Link (sailorashore used two) to bring the chains together at that spot for extra clearance.

 

IMG_2539.thumb.jpg.2295e543d05da6736478a1e3b69fd5b4.jpg

 

The smaller Quick Link is used because the 1/2 inch ones won't go through the holes. There is minimal side load on it since the chain angle is almost 180 degrees.

 

IMG_2541.thumb.jpg.3aa48f9eb7127aa503c03800921a3576.jpg

 

IMG_2542.thumb.jpg.f111ee57c482510d5b2fb88db75a9844.jpg

 

IMG_2543.thumb.jpg.d8dd2a928245edb712239de6f6f8c370.jpg

 

After towing 45 miles I re-torqued the four rear nuts  -I noted no movement but they did take a little extra tightening.

 

IMG_2674.thumb.jpg.548f4d14110e14d9ec8fcd32f7d1d0db.jpg

 

Rather than count turns which is not very precise, I chose to measure the length of the threads extended past the nut. For my heavy tongue load (710 pounds, of which 130 was water and gas) I needed 7/8". I plan to add the figure for a lighter tongue load later.... It is easy to set the nuts using a small pocket tape measure.

 

IMG_2675.thumb.jpg.9e6327fb9b31f724a652cb88c1d540bc.jpg

 

I added extra 1/4 inch nylon ties to keep the light wire harness up tight and out of the way. Clearance is not an issue.

 

I then added witness (slippage) marks so I could tell at a glance if they have moved.

 

IMG_2676.thumb.jpg.f6415686d183004869978f0504ef4dd1.jpg

 

More to come... the front part.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

THE FRONT HITCH:

 

Note the wire harness secured out of the way near the centerline of the hitch, so it can't bind or get damaged. I added another big nylon tie to secure the part near the coupler bolts.

 

IMG_2544.thumb.jpg.036c79e5c7e5230c0fc6c5f0b2721b58.jpg

 

Oops - my tailgate latch contacts the coupler, though it clears the receiver bracket easily when the trailer is not attached.

 

IMG_2545.thumb.jpg.57bacc7dd3c1d57551ac6caf7d24b135.jpg

 

IMG_2546.thumb.jpg.0fe51bec738f3a51454b62ad1f1b8fbb.jpg

 

More witness marks - the instructions call for those bolts to be torqued to 150 ft lbs with no load on them. That did not seem right to me.... I did that, and the aluminum mount visibly shifted up and back in the bracket after towing.  These bolts need to be tightened with a FULL CHAIN LOAD on the hitch. I greased the ball. Anderson says no grease is needed, but that is bogus. Although the ball and coupler rotate in sync, the parts still move up and down under tremendous load and they need a good synthetic lubricant.

 

IMG_2672.thumb.jpg.6527e01d1c2c810166c06f3547b4be29.jpg

 

The shackles chafe the powder coating on the A Arm so I added a stainless flat washer under the top part only. These shackles need to be tightened, then loosened slightly or you will have trouble getting them disconnected later. Once there is tension on the chains, they are not going to loosen!

 

IMG_2678.thumb.jpg.7a483c9dcbcce0b6f940ced75f88ecc9.jpg

 

Hook up: My truck was perfectly aligned with the trailer, so I wanted to see if I could connect the entire system without taking off the A Arm as Anderson recommends. The adjuster nuts were backed off to half engagement with the threaded rods. The truck was positioned close to ideal, in line with the coupler:

 

IMG_2634.thumb.jpg.2453027880b4e3fdc85ec97b9edf5ef0.jpg

 

Entire assembly was lifted up and slid into the truck receiver, and the retaining pin and lock installed, I pulled the truck forward a smidgen, lowered the coupler and we are connected:

 

IMG_2636.thumb.jpg.f6b3dc49ac018b33131b05b53a5e7810.jpg

 

All that is left is to tighten the big adjuster nuts as per instructions, lower the tongue and check the trailer and truck for correct leveling. Adjust as needed to get the load shifted away from the tongue.

 

More to come:

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

IMG_2535-1.thumb.jpg.fa94fc8257b999eeee33d235171b4c52.jpg

IMG_2636-1.thumb.jpg.752d9ec78ba42e542512049a2f587c46.jpg

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is Mouse connected as a dead weight to my 200, no Anderson hitch. The trailer is dead level, using big washers stacked under the extended shank ball. The truck is really butt low (2.5 inches) and it was not a good situation. It proposed badly over dips and you could tell the rear suspension was not in control. This was with a lighter tongue weight of 625 pounds (one can full of gas, the others empty).

 

IMG_2488.thumb.jpg.8d3c9d30becfb286bc9846e0a8926f72.jpg

 

After driving and tweaking the Anderson hitch, this is the final setup after a 45 mile drive over various road surfaces and up to 70 mph.

 

IMG_2667.thumb.jpg.4943fb6ce88a24e614f61d27b9db62a7.jpg

 

I noticed a little steering vagueness and wandering at first, but the wind was fierce and gusty on the highway. I tightened the nuts down a little, a couple of times until the truck settled down and felt "as one" with the trailer. It is an amazing feeling - very stable and comforting.

 

The second pic is with a heavy tongue: gas and water similar in weight to a bigger generator. (130 pounds plus the weight of the cans and the storage platform). I will not normally carry that much weight there.

 

The truck was unhappy without the WD hitch. . The truck is rated to tow 8500 pounds and 850 pounds hitch weight. I am happy with the way it tows now. The trailer is a little high in front, and the truck is a little low. If I were to drop the ball height one hole it would be worse (they are 1.5 inch increments).

 

I plan to put bigger LT tires on the truck soon. That will raise the ride height, and I can lower the ball accordingly to get a better level for the trailer, and my tailgate latch will not hit. I hope. I have another thread devoted to the Land Cruiser 200 as a tow vehicle. Any other pics and tech info devoted to the 200 will be posted there. I hope to keep this thread dedicated to just the Anderson Center Frame topic.

 

I think that this is a great alternative to the official installation. Please discuss.

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

Looking at your photo with the torque specs, your brace looks like it is mounted straight 90°, if so this will skip and loosen, it should be angled so that the top and bottom contact the bolts, with the lower section forward. If it's just the way I'm looking at your photo, then please disregard.

 

Edit- rereading the thread you state it is important that they ARE 90°, why is this? For the amount of pressure placed on the system when active and especially in a critical situation, you've induced what looks like a natural point of failure when needed the most, where do you get the torque specs from? Without something physical to keep the brace from slipping (bolt through, welded block as mentioned etc..) slippage would seem eventual.

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

Link to post
Share on other sites
John, Looking at your photo with the torque specs, your brace looks like it is mounted straight 90°, if so this will skip and loosen, it should be angled so that the top and bottom contact the bolts, with the lower section forward. If it’s just the way I’m looking at your photo, then please disregard. Edit- rereading the thread you state it is important that they ARE 90°, why is this? For the amount of pressure placed on the system when active and especially in a critical situation, you’ve induced what looks like a natural point of failure when needed the most, where do you get the torque specs from? Without something physical to keep the brace from slipping (bolt through, welded block as mentioned etc..) slippage would seem eventual.

 

Randy, the 9/16 inch BOLTS must be at 90 degrees across the frame, and parallel to each other. The reason the bolts need to be at 90 degrees is that, if angled, there would be some extra slop or clearance that could result in loosening. Plus it would just look bad ;)

 

The chain brackets themselves are angled forward fully, using the chain tension to pull them into place.

 

Pictures can be misleading due to the angle and also the fisheye effect of the lens. Plus the front braces would not rotate fully back for 100% contact with the chain brackets, I never did figure out a reason for that. As long as they hit hard at the bottom of the chain brackets it should not matter. That is where movement would occur.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John--

 

As always, I am impressed with the thoroughness of your work and clarity of your descriptions and photos. I look forward to reading your posts. I have no technical comment to make on this one, for I am not very mechanically inclined or experienced. My comment here is just on the Anderson Hitch itself.

 

When placing my first order for my Ollie, I ordered the Anderson, assuming that it was just about necessary to avoid sway and instability when towing the Oliver. Then I met an Ollie and its owners, who graciously invited me to inspect their trailer. These owners of an Elite II, who I won’t identify here (they may want to do so themselves), told me that they did not think the Anderson was necessary because the Ollie tracked so well. So, we deleted the Anderson from our order.

 

We pulled our Elite II from Hohenwald to SE Arizona with our 2012 Tundra (5.7 Liter engine with 4-wheel drive and tow package). We hit heavy cross winds in Kansas and back in Arizona. Our Ollie swayed just a little in the heaviest gusts but immediately righted itself. I know that you wrote that your particular vehicle seemed to cry out for the Anderson, and I am glad it and your modifications worked well for you.

 

However, if I had been looking to purchase an Oliver and read your post before buying one, I would have certainly been intimidated—perhaps assuming that all of this work might be necessary to pull my new trailer. I just want to let anyone in that position know that certain tow vehicles do not seem to need the Anderson and, of course, the impressive modifications you have made to it and your Ollie.

 

Nonetheless, folks with tow vehicles for which an Anderson seems needed and who have the mechanical know-how and necessary tools should greatly appreciate the information you provide here. Thanks.

 

--Jeff

Stan-and-Ollie-in-Silverton-1.thumb.jpg.1ebd3b3f4dfd48bb2a01bb8baa4784a1.jpg

Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


AZCACOKSMONVNMORTNTXUTmed.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
We pulled our Elite II from Hohenwald to SE Arizona with our 2012 Tundra (5.7 Liter engine with 4-wheel drive and tow package).  –Jeff

 

Jeff, a lot of the people have the Andersen not for the sway control as much as for the weight distribution, my Sierra 1500 had a max 500lb hitch weight without weight distribution, 1000lbs with, so I needed it and it had GMCs max tow package.

  • Thanks 1

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff, long wheelbase trucks may not need a WD setup, most half tons do, simply because they have soft suspension and tires. A heavy duty pickup definitely does not need one. In spite of your good experience with your long wheelbase (145 inch) Tundra, it is likely that your towing experience and safety would be improved with the addition of the Anderson.

 

My 200 has a short 112 inch wheelbase and a relatively long rear overhang (center of axle to hitch ball) and also a soft cushy, long travel suspension. All this contributes to the need for a WD hitch. I didn't want to beef up the rear suspension, or the unladen ride and offroad articulation would suffer. I need to keep the truck comfy for exploring the back country, without Mouse in back. I do think I will add Timbren rubber bump stops in the future, for when I am forced to remove the hitch chains due to really uneven terrain (such as a washout or severe rise). Dragging a trailer with WD connected in these situations is not advised, for many reasons. The Timbrens should help here, without compromising the ride.

 

My thread is not intended to deride the standard installation. It works fine for most owners. I just want to promote what I think is a more refined setup for Olivers with their unusual frame configuration.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

Back to your discussion, while the Oliver frame is unusual, the original configuration matches what the usual way a trailer frame is connected, does it not?

 

So is your intent that the Oliver frame allows for a different configuration, so you are taking advantage of that allowance?

 

I didn't notice, forgot, did you mention that you included Andersen in the details of your configuration and what was their impression?

 

I'm curious if part of their engineering is that the "V" offers more stability or less stresses, being a photographer I imagine a closed tripod, being less effective (obviously not an engineer)

 

I don't know how most hook/unhook, I raise the nose slightly to relieve pressure then loosen the rear bolts then remove the chains from the plate, moving the hardware further under the body seems more inconvenient, while being more visually pleasing.

 

Oh, you mention that you place that one carabineer in the chains to keep them from rubbing the jack, does that not now become your fulcrum point in the system? When in operation and cornering, one side tightens, against the rubber stop, and the other loosens, if you connect the chains together you limit the travel of each?

Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

Link to post
Share on other sites
John, Back to your discussion, while the Oliver frame is unusual, the original configuration matches what the usual way a trailer frame is connected, does it not? So is your intent that the Oliver frame allows for a different configuration, so you are taking advantage of that allowance?

 

Yes to the latter, the location on the big main frame tube allows for a stronger and more direct anchor point. Sailorashore talks about this at length, he sounds as if he knows his stuff. I hope he will chime in here. The main tube is the same height as the others but 50% wider. It is very stout and one piece (no welds).

 

Part of the problem with an _owner_ installed hitch is that access to the outer A arms of the frame sucks, big time, pardon my language. The fiberglass doghouse is in the way. You can remove it entirely, a huge job that involves going inside under the vanity, with possibly a second person in there, helping. You have to remove the generator tray, if you have one, cut the wire to the jack, remove the jack, disconnect all the switch wires for the jack, disconnect any hose or wire support clamps, pull the bottles, and remove the rear doghouse mount. Then reassemble everything later. That is a lot of _unnecessary_ work.

 

An alternative is to get out your cutoff wheel and grinder and cut away sections of the fiberglass to expose the frame. Without damaging either part. No thank you....

 

Even if you cut access sections, you will still need to remove the jack so you can lift up the cover a few inches in front, for a little working room, to install the upper bolts.

 

If you didn't trim the cover, then your bolt heads and grub screws are not accessible for later servicing. Not good.

 

Speaking of grub screws, they are a very poor solution, especially with a soft aluminum frame. A solid anchor block, welded to the frame in front of the chain anchors would be best.

 

I didn’t notice, forgot, did you mention that you included Andersen in the details of your configuration and what was their impression? I’m curious if part of their engineering is that the “V” offers more stability or less stresses, being a photographer I imagine a closed tripod, being less effective (obviously not an engineer)

 

I have not connected with Anderson, I know what they will say. They have lawyers to protect them from liability due to significant alterations of their product.

 

The V shape is convenient but not needed in my (non-engineer) opinion. The sway control is done by the brake lining at the ball, not by the geometry of the chains. While there may be some extra sway dampening effect from a wide angle, as the bushings flex, I can't see it being significant. The main job for the poly bushings is jounce control and weight distrubution. The do that at any angle.

 

The big plus for mounting on the outside of the frame is convenience for the operator. You do have to reach under, or lie down, to get to the nuts on the center frame. That may be a big factor for folks with poor mobility.

 

With the supplied brackets mounted on the center member, alignment is nearly perfect and all the stresses go straight forward, no twisting.

 

I don’t know how most hook/unhook, I raise the nose slightly to relieve pressure then loosen the rear bolts then remove the chains from the plate, moving the hardware further under the body seems more inconvenient, while being more visually pleasing. Oh, you mention that you place that one carabineer in the chains to keep them from rubbing the jack, does that not now become your fulcrum point in the system? When in operation and cornering, one side tightens, against the rubber stop, and the other loosens, if you connect the chains together you limit the travel of each?

 

I can't say how much harder it is to hook up, since I have never used an Anderson hitch. It is harder to install the chains into the rear brackets, certainly. If you routinely take them off for theft protection, then that would be a bother. If you leave them connected all the time, less so. It isn't hard or in the least uncomfortable getting to them if you lie on a scrap of cardboard....

 

The chains are connected together near the jack, there is minimal load on the link since the angle is only a few degrees at most. It does not affect the ability of the two chains to move independently. The amount of motion is pretty small.

 

I will know more after putting some miles on this setup. For now iit seems to be great, withminimal drawbacks.

 

As mentioned before, if the factory embraces this variation, they could weld precisely positioned aluminum bars (slip braces) to the main tube during manufacture, so an owner could install the Anderson setup later with very minimal hassles. Anderson offers chain extensions, if Oliver used those to mock up the location, then the pre-made extensions would bolt right up, no grinding links! They are too short if you must also bolt up a steel brace, as I did. Plus at $40 a pair, they are darned expensive, compared to buying bulk chain at the local bolt store....

 

https://andersenhitches.com/Products/3366--wd-chain-extensions-with-threaded-links.aspx

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

John Davies: First, thank you for the rework of the center shaft installation method and post. The clarity of your explanation and production values of your photographs are outstanding and give the method what it deserves. It will certainly help any other owners giving this a try. Bravo Zulu.

 

Responding to some of the comments you garnered, I did run my post on the center shaft installation in draft by Mr. Ryan Andersen to see if I had anything wrong or of concern to Andersen Mfg. He was complimentary with respect to the installation and offered only one thing in clarification. He noted that at the time they recommended (in the video I linked and quoted) compressing the bushing 1/4", they were using a bushing that was 3" long. The standard bushing is now only 2" long, so that guidance is no longer valid. I deleted reference to 1/4" compression from my final post.

 

I believe you are correct that the anti-sway function of the Andersen hitch comes from the brake lining cone under the hitch ball. The friction it creates bleeds out sway energy and turns it into heat and in some cases some awful noise. It is not a function of the chain geometry. The belief that a "wide stance" for the chain brackets is necessary for the anti-sway function to work is something of an urban myth. As long as the triangle plate is turning along with the trailer frame, full anti-sway benefit is being achieved. Indeed, if one gets deep into the Andersen installation manual, center shaft mounting is an option they list.

 

The Andersen installation manual encourages mounting the chain brackets so that the pull of the chains is as closely aligned with the axis of the tensioning bolts as is possible. Mounting on the center box shaft allows this to be achieved and at the same time aligning the chain tension forces with the shaft. No "sideways" component tugging on a frame element.

 

My initial motivation in getting the Andersen hitch was to reduce the likelihood of getting into a sway situation. With a little bit of experience and a greater understanding of the Oliver reputation for good manners while being towed, I have come to believe the greater benefit is the weight distribution function. Certainly for us. Our GMC Yukon is softly sprung and the Ollie tongue weight drops the back end a bit more than 3". The Ollie tows, but the feel in the back end doesn't inspire confidence. Tensioning the chains to shift 150 lbs of tongue weight onto the front wheels gets about 300 lbs off of the hitch. (About 150 lbs simultaneously goes onto the trailer wheels.) Getting that weight off the hitch lets the rear suspension function within its design parameters without any wallow. In addition the additional weight on the front wheels helps keep them "planted" rather than unweighting when going over bumps, so there is no diminution of steering control. At least that is the theory, and in our case, I think it holds. The critical factor is getting the chains adequately tensioned, and I hope to have more on that later.

 

I unhitch like I think everybody else does, raising the tongue with the jack to unload the chains. The center shaft mounting method doesn't change this handy method.

 

Finally, as I said in my first post, I know the factory installation of the Andersen hitch is giving good service to a lot of Ollie owners, and this discussion isn't intended to suggest otherwise. It is intended to explore an alternative that will appeal to some.

 

Best regards,

John Shkor

Sailors Ashore

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
John, have you decided against the over/under conversion? Just asking since you cut off your shank.

My spring over axle project needs to wait since I acquired the 200 two weeks ago. I know I will be putting 33 inch LT tires (on smaller 17 inch wheels) on tbe Cruiser, but probably no lift, for a while at least. Once that is setup, I will think about changing the suspension on the Ollie. Any way, I would need to order a custom Anderson ball mount, with a longer extension for my receiver. If the trailer sat 4 inches higher at the coupler there would be no way I could open the tailgate all the way with the standard one.

 

I've never even had Mouse on gravel yet.... ;(

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

I wish a civil engineer was available to comment on this alternate location.  It seems the pulling force from an angled chain would be more effective than straight back when controlling sway.

 

Also one comment on the setup (beautiful instructions by the way and thank you)....you emergency break-away cable should NOT be attached to the same clip as the safety cables.  If something happens with the cable connection then the break-away cable for the emergency brake would no longer be connected to the TV.  This should be an independent connection to the TV to still activate the emergency brake when the distance between the trailer and TV increases in a mishap.

 

Thanks!

 

Greg

 

Retired Navy Chief

ARS: AB7R

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jitters:

 

Like John Davies I am a believer in the center-line mounting for the Andersen chain brackets.  There are a number or reasons.  The center beam is extremely strong and the line of chain pull is parallel to the long axis of the beam.  No sideways element of tension, and no tension force being carried through aluminum welds, as is the case with the factory mounting system.  Finally, you get to “double up” the mounting brackets, ensuring they will not move over time, as has happened to some with the factory mounting system.

 

Is the center mount necessary?  Probably not.  I am not aware of any frame damage or failure from the factory mounting system.  On the other hand you need a whole lot of tension, more than most people are comfortable with, if you want to shift 200-300 lbs of weight off the hitch and 1/2 of that onto the front wheels of your tow vehicle.   I use the higher range of tension, and like the peace of mind knowing I am not going to break anything.

 

I worked out the original center-line mount, but John Davies instructions and pictures are better than mine.

 

While it is intuitive that the “wider stance” of the chains is better for controlling sway, it isn’t really true.  Sway control in the Andersen system results from friction in the ball shaft cone bleeding energy out of the sway as the trailer tries to move side-to-side.  The key thing is that the trailer, the whale tail, and the ball shaft all have to rotate together around the vertical axis of the ball shaft, against the friction resistance of the cone insert.    As long as the chains are properly tensioned they will.  The spread of the chains where they are attached to the trailer frame doesn’t make any difference.

 

Hope this helps as you sort out your preferences.  Best regards.

 

John Shkor, SailorsAshore

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words. I just want to comment that my initial posts contained an error that I have not been able to edit out, due to a Forum software change.

 

The propane cover, AKA “doghouse”, does NOT have to be removed to install the Andersen brackets in either the centerline or the small angled beams. Sorry for the mistake, I did try go take it out....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both Johns!  Great explanation on how the hitch works and now realize the location of the brackets do not impact the sway control.

 

I do already have an Equalizer hitch from my last RV (ORV 280RKSB).  I am thinking of possibly using that instead since I already have it and they work well.

 

Greg

 

 

Greg


USN Retired


ARS AB7R


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...