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I see a lot discussion about the cons of the Anderson hitch as related to wear on the ball. Has anyone installed a different WD system with good results?

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As far as I know the Andersen is the only WDH that fits the Oliver.


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Hmmm.  Why would that be?  The length of the tongue?


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Basically it is because of the way the Oliver sits on the frame and the way the front "cowling" comes down over the frame.  In order to use most other (if not all other) weight distribution hitches one would need to cut away portions of this "cowling".

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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So not impossible, then; you just have to do a bit of surgery.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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The biggest issue I see with the Anderson Hitch is the noise generated when making turns.  I have replaced the cone three times which makes four cones counting the original.

 

 

 

The last replacement of the Anderson WDH cone was early in July 2017 before we left on vacation, we just returned after almost two months on the road.  The cone that is in there now started making noises the first time it rained; which we lived with for almost two months.  Now it needs replacement again, I have been calling Anderson and they would send me a replacement cone.  This time I sent Sage a PM to see what he could do about the noise issue.  I have been pulling travel trailers and using WDH for 50 years and this if the first WDH that has generated this type of noise.  I like the Anderson hitch except for the noise.

 

 


Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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This discussion is a timely one for me. Before we bought and brought our 2017 Ollie home from Hohenwald (Hull#222), I had the pleasure of viewing two different Elite IIs--one of which was towed with an Anderson and the other without. We decided to go without the Anderson after speaking to the owners who did not have one and who considered the Anderson unnecessary.

 

We have towed our Ollie for about 8K miles now and have experienced no alarming sway, even in some strong winds. We pull with a 2012 Toyota Tundra, 5.7 liter, 4x4. However, one contributor to this forum suggested that it would pull even better with the Anderson, and I just met a fellow who told me the story of his trailer (not an Oliver) getting caught in a sudden crosswind that overturned his his trailer, turned his tow vehicle around 180 degrees, almost killing him and his family. He told me that he would have avoided the accident if he had been using his sway-control hitch, a Reese, and would never tow without one.

 

So, I have started to think that a sway-control hitch might be a good idea even though I have read on this forum of folks having some problems with the Anderson. Hitching and unhitching seemed enough of a hassle without adding the sway-control apparatus, and now it seems, from reading the comments above, that an Anderson is the only option available.

 

I'd like to hear from any Oliver owners who have towed many miles without the Anderson hitch why they think it is not needed--or from those (if they exist) who have found another form of sway-control that works with the Oliver II.  Thanks.

 

--Jeff


Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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I’d like to hear from any Oliver owners who have towed many miles without the Anderson hitch why they think it is not needed–or from those (if they exist) who have found another form of sway-control that works with the Oliver II. Thanks. –Jeff

 

With a HD truck you do not need any kind of WD hitch, period. With just about any light duty pickup or SUV you need one since the suspension and payload is too soft to handle the tongue weight and the dynamic loads.

 

I pulled Mouse 3300 miles with a simple ball hitch, behind my Ram 3500. My new TV is a 2013 Land Cruiser and there is no way it can handle the trailer without WD.

 

It all depends on what you are pulling it with, and which model trailer. I think my 200 would pull an Elite I just fine without WD, with the addition of airbags and adjustable shocks.

 

Finally, you don't need sway control with an Oliver.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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.

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Just throwing a thought out there, but if the sway control feature of the Anderson isn't really needed, I wonder if people would have better luck with the friction sleeve if they just greased it, negating the sway control and only using the hitch for weight distribution.  I assume that's possible, if I understand properly how their hitch works.


Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Count me as a fan of the Andersen hitch. Even though the Oliver Elite II has a good reputation for well mannered towing, I have a bit more peace of mind knowing I have the benefit of its anti-sway function. Having now towed a few thousand miles I have come to believe its greatest value to us, however, is in weight distribution. We tow with a softly sprung GMC Yukon. Getting 300 lbs or so off the hitch enables the back end of the Yukon to feel more solid, and that share of the weight shifted forward keeps the front wheels from going light when towing over the bumps.

 

I was initially concerned about wear on the ball, but have come to accept the wear as inescapable, to be expected given the loading imposed by the tension chains, and not really a problem. I think that once the wear pattern is established the bulldog coupler and hitch ball have become somewhat "mated" and the rate of wear slows down. In any event I believe the hitch ball is covered by Andersen's lifetime warranty. (Sage--Please correct me if I am wrong on this.)

 

Hitching and unhitching has become easy and quick with practice. In addition, having the chain brackets mounted on the center box shaft, I get the benefit of having them within easy reach for adjustment. This helps in making hitching and unhitching go quick.

 

John Shkor

SailorsAshore

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In previous discussions regarding weight distribution/anti-sway hitches we have beaten the issue to death.  I believe that most agree that the Oliver does NOT sway during normal and possibly even some emergency situations.  I also think that most of us agree that for vehicles that do not REQUIRE weight distribution, these types of hitches are simply NOT necessary.  However, many vehicles (like the Ford F-150) DO require the use of a weight distribution hitch.

 

I have used several different brands of these types of hitches - all have had good and bad points and all have had times where the process of connecting/dis-connecting has been a "problem".  I have found that the Andersen is certainly no worse than any of the others in this regard and it is, perhaps, even easier.

 

My argument regarding these hitches is not only regarding the FACT that they are required for some (actually read that most since I believe that most of us do not tow with vehicles rated in the "HD" range), but, I believe that they add a measure of additional safety.  This safety is obtained in at least two ways.  First, with the weight of the combined unit (tow vehicle and Oliver) more evenly spread over the axles and therefore the things that actually touch the road, one has better use of the suspension and brakes thus making the ride and performance of the tow vehicle more stable, reliable, consistent and safe in virtually all situations.  Secondly, in the event of a situation where the combined unit (this includes the tow vehicle, Oliver and driver) was placed anywhere near its maximum the fact that there is additional connection between the tow vehicle and the Oliver should help.  Certainly I hope to never be in this situation.  But, I also hope to never need my house insurance (nor my life insurance).  The decision to buy "insurance" (or not) is a personal one (even though I hate it when some people whine about not having insurance after the fact).

 

I too have had some "problems" with the Andersen making noise while turning.  Beginning today Andersen is shipping a new design which (hopefully) will get rid of this noise once and for all.  They have increased the taper of the ball shaft inside the housing and changed the "whale-tail" where it attaches to the bottom of the ball shaft.  This change now allows the whale-tail to "float" or pivot up and down  on the end of the ball shaft see (picture below - note that the old design had a complete circular "collar" where the two "tabs" are now located for attachment to the ball shaft ).  I've been told that for any current owner of the "old style" unit, Andersen will do an exchange of the tail and ball/housing unit for $100.

 

Finally, I can say nothing but good things about the way Andersen conducts its business.  Certainly they are in the class of Oliver in this regard.  They have bent over backwards to try making sure that I am a happy customer and have done all that I've asked for and more in this regard.

 

Bill

 

en31t3olugwn7z24xxvdt7tm4z1v819d.jpg.f737c23271cf28443f329aa61a407f99.jpg

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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It is harder to install a conventional weight distribution hitch on an Oliver.   But if someone just wanted anti-sway, I wonder how hard it would be to simply install a friction type telescoping sway control unit?  It might still need some "surgery" on the fiberglass around the tongue area, but it is a well proven design that is fully adjustable.

 

It seems like it would be nice to be able to separate weight distribution from sway control.  With the Anderson there is no way to adjust the sway control, just the weight distribution.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Any more details on this new improved more-better version? I expect that it is easier to connect. Are those plain steel bushings or are there urethane inserts?

 

I suspect one reason for the extreme cost of a brand new Anderson hitch is that they have to figure in the cost of a LOT of warranty parts exchanges. That isn't bad, it is just an observation. I am glad that they are standing behind the product.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"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.

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John - there are no inserts on the whale-tail.  The whole whale-tail is powder coated steel.  I too feel that this new design will be easier to attach/detach as compared to the old design in that one will not have to "fit" the entire "collar" around the base of the hitch.  Also, this design should make it easier to disconnect because you will not have to raise both the Oliver AND the tow vehicle in order to get slack in the chains since the whale-tail pivots.

 

What other "details" are you seeking?  The "new" more tapered hitch ball and housing basically looks exactly the same as the old one except that the base of the hitch ball shaft is smaller due to the higher degree of taper inside the housing.  I did find it interesting that the come material is red on the new one.  This was the color used on my first one 17 months ago before Andersen changed to white which was on the last two that I tried.

 

Does this help you?

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill, thanks, I guess I will wait for the field reports to start coming in.

 

I wonder why they went with a steeper taper? Maybe it's easier to remove the insert when it starts to squeal? As overland suggested, maybe I will just pop mine out and slather it with ant-seize lubricant when that happens. LOL.... That would be messy.

 

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.

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I was told that the purpose of the new design was to get rid of the noise.  I'm not sure just how the taper of the housing does this but I'm guessing that it might have to do with the angle of the cone in the housing while it is under the pressure of redistributing weight.  And with the whale-tail being able to pivot, the direction of the force on that cone will tend to stay a bit more stable.

 

With regards to a lube job - I've been told that Andersen already uses lube (light weight) when they insert the cone into the housing prior to inserting the hitch ball shaft.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks to all who offered their experiences, knowledge, and perspectives on the Anderson.

 

I revisited the Anderson website and watched two videos, one of them on installing the system. I then wrote down several questions and called the number Anderson provided. I was connected to a friendly and helpful fellow named Tiger, who patiently addressed all my questions and--more or less--talked me out of buying their product.

 

The upshot was that I may experience a BIT more stability than I do now towing with my Tundra, but the cost might not be worth it. I have towed more than six thousand miles and have experienced little sway in strong winds or when being passed by 18 wheelers. I have made one emergency stop when I Ollie ran over an elk, and the trailer did not come close to jackknifing. (Yes, I mean “ran over” and not “hit” an elk. It is a rather long and complicated story, which I may tell elsewhere in the forums. The elk was hit by an oncoming vehicle and pushed under my Ollie.)

 

Here is one thing that may be of interest to those who already own or are considering purchasing the Anderson system. I asked about how easy it was to hitch and unhitch once it was installed. (The video on their website just shows how to install it.) Tiger said that many owners did not know that one could simply raise the trailer tongue to loosen the chains to remove the triangle plate (whale’s tail). It is not necessary to use the provided socket to loosen and tighten the chains.

 

I probably will not invest soon in the system. However, I CAN now help confirm one statement about Anderson: Their customer support is impressive. Not only did Tiger patiently and clearly answer all my questions, but after asking me about my tow vehicle and my experience towing my Oliver, suggested that I may not benefit much from the expense of purchasing the system and the trouble of installing it.

 

Nonetheless, I do feel OK about taking up the company’s time with my enquiry. I have previously purchased an Anderson product: Two sets of their levelers:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Andersen-Hitches-3604-Authentic-Slipping/dp/B01MQNGOWD/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1504214275&sr=8-3&keywords=anderson+leveler

 

I am very happy with how easy they make leveling my Ollie: I just roll onto them, as my wife eyes the level placed on the rear bumper, until the trailer is level. I use two sets when Ollie is at home, resting all four tires on the levelers to better distribute the weight and try to avoid the “flat spots” that can be generated when tires sit too long on a flat surface.

 

 

IMG_5854.thumb.jpg.b05c25d66922c71afdeba66a1de967f4.jpg

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Spike - What does your owner's manual have to say about towing with the Tundra (i.e. at what point is a weight distribution hitch required)?

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill,

 

Our 2016 Tundra 5.7L with tow package requires WDH when towing a trailer more than 5000lbs and sway device is required when towing a trailer more than 2000lbs.

 

Our Ollie weighs in at local scales under 5000lbs total weight with under 500lbs tongue weight with empty water tanks ready to camp. We probably transport more camping gear, compared to some folks, in the Tundra's rear cab storage area (seats folded up) reducing gear normally transported in the camper.

 

We use an electronic sway control device mounted on the Ollie without using a WDH.

 

 


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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I am towing with a 2017 Ford 250.  I have a back problem and I tow with a normal hitch (rated 8000).  In 2017 Ford updated their towing guide for the 250 Series and removed any reference requiring WDH's.  Limit on dead weight on hitch ball - 2016:600lbs  -2017:1,200lbs.  My Anderson is napping in my garage.

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Bill--

 

To try to answer your question about the towing capacity of my tow vehicle, I searched online and found this towing information from a Toyota website that is specific to my 2012 Tundra CrewMax 4x4, 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and integrated tow package:

 

"The tow Package on all V8 models helps increase towing capacity up to 10,400 pounds. A one-piece towing receiver is integrated into the frame prior to bed installation. The structure runs nearly two feet down the length of the frame and attaches to each side around the rear spring shackles' cross-member with 12 bolts. Tow Package rear springs help  level full-load rear suspension height and maintain a full range of suspension travel. Trailer Sway Control uses the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) to help counteract handling forces applied to the truck in an effort to minimize the impact of trailer sway."

 

When towing my Ollie, I have used and appreciated the "TOW/HAUL shift mode, selectable by a dedicated switch. The TOW/HAUL mode applies specific logic for adjusting the throttle sensitivity and transmission shift control, favoring and holding lower gears when accelerating or decelerating to help enhance control and safety."

 

This is perhaps more than you asked for, but it helped me to review the capabilities of my tow vehicle. Thanks for asking.

 

--Jeff (Spike)

 

 

IMG_5938.thumb.jpg.5845c3adc386685705a84946ee80a908.jpg

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Jeff - My only point in asking the question was to allow people to think about and/or know what the capacities/capabilities of their particular tow vehicle are as recommended by the manufacturer.  With my F-150 I can tow a bit over 12,000 pounds and have a hitch weight of up to 500 pounds without the use of a weight distribution hitch.

 

Many of our Olivers are under (well under in the case of the total weight) both these numbers, but, they are close to that hitch weight.  I do not think that any of the trucks (non HD) currently on the market are really all that different as far as these numbers are concerned.  In my case, even though I am under the limits imposed by the manufacturer, I chose to not press those limits (that are already probably very conservative) and believe that I receive the benefits I have listed earlier.  Virtually anything that I can do to make towing a bit safer for me, my family, and for others on the road is worth strong consideration in my book.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks for the clarification, Bill. I appreciate your input and am still considering adding the Anderson, for I totally agree with your view that "Virtually anything that I can do to make towing a bit safer for me, my family, and for others on the road is worth strong consideration."

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Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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We use an electronic sway control device mounted on the Ollie without using a WDH.

 

Bill, can you share more information about what brand and model of sway control device you use when towing with your Tundra? Thanks,

 

--Jeff


Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Bill, can you share more information about what brand and model of sway control device you use when towing with your Tundra? Thanks, –Jeff

 

Jeff,

 

PM sent.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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