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Backing up with the Anderson WDH unhooked


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We pickup our Oliver on July 8 and would like to ask this question, would it be better off to unhook the Anderson WDH when the triangular bar is in a correct position (that is tow vehicle and trailer are inline) before backing, that is so upon re-hookup I will not have to go through the process of aligning the triangular bar for correct towing. One other note, will the triangular plate turn when the trailer is still hitched, but the chains are not attached, if this happens, unhitching before backing will be useless to do. I would like to know what you do to make this process as easy as possible, thanks for your input.

 

 

 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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Trainman:

 

I never disconnect the Anderson WDH before backing into a camp site; there is just no reason.  The triangular plate or "whale tail" can not be moved by hand after the trailer is connected to the trailer ball.  But you can move the trailer ball by hand when the trailer is NOT connected to the tow vehicle.

 

When I get ready to leave a camp site and the "whale tail" can not be connected to the trailer ball; I just raise the trailer off the ball and move the ball so that the "whale tail" can be reconnected.  Most of the time there is no problem reconnecting the "whale tail"; after hooking up the trailer a few times to the tow vehicle it's just becomes a normal routine.

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

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Trainman -

 

My feeling is that you are over thinking this thing with the Andersen.  It really is no big deal - at least 95% of the time.  However, to specifically answer you questions:

 

Yes - it is possible/probable for the whale tail to turn even without the chains being attached.  This is because the place where the chains are attached is simply the bottom of a "shaft" with the top of the "shaft being the ball to which the bulldog hitch of the camper gets attached.  Even with the ball having a bit of grease on it, the simple pressure of the camper sitting on that ball should be enough to make the entire shaft turn.

 

As has been discussed a number of times on this Forum, the "secret" to attaching /detaching the whale tail is in the act of creating "slack" in the chains.  This can be done basically in two ways.  1.  unscrew the large chain adjusting nut (located where the chains go through the bracket that holds the chains to the frame of the Oliver) Note:  if you unscrew this nut all the way it will result in the ultimate amount of slack (i.e. the chains become detached from the bracket) and, 2.  with the bulldog hitch firmly attached to the ball of the hitch, using the front jack, raise the front of the camper.  Note: when you do this, because the camper is attached to your tow vehicle, you will also be raising the back of your tow vehicle.  This results in creating a shorter distance between the whale tail and the point where the chains attach to the brackets that are attached to the frame.  This shorter distance is what causes the "slack" in the chains and thus makes it easier to both disconnect and reconnect the whale tail to the Andersen hitch assembly.

 

By far, number two  is the way to go.  In my four years of towing with the Andersen (over 30,000 miles), there has only been one time that I had to resort to detaching a chain from the frame in order to get the whale tail back into a more suitable position.  And, even this time was only due to being forced to hitch up at an extreme angle due to others parking so that I could not get to my Oliver any other way.

 

When you pick up on the 8th, ask to have this procedure demonstrated for you.  I'm sure that Phil or whoever does your delivery would be more than happy to show you.

 

Bill

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

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And to add to topgun2's post, here is a YouTube link that shows my method.  Which is to connect the longest chain if both will not reach and then pull out turning away from the connected chain.  As you will see in the video, it’s pretty easy.

 

 

Mike

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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I was not aware that the ball would move with the trailer and tow vehicle not coupled. Anderson states in there videos that the ball will not move and trying to move it even with the triangular plate on will not work, even with a hammer. My thought here is that the balls that move are older hitches that have wear on the ball bushing thus letting it move somewhat. I will just work with topgun2 #2 answer, thanks to all for the info.

 

 

 

trainman

Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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At the 1 minute and 4 second mark of the video, as the whale tail is being turned by hand, the voiceover states that production models cant be turned

 

while uncoupled and unloaded.

 

I have never seen a whale tail being turned by hand other than in this video produced by Andersen and mine certainly can’t.

 

Mike

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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I can’t turn mine by hand.

 

I’ve never had an issue hooking back up (40K+ miles). As stated before, you need to try to back to the hitch at the same angle you were when you unhitched. Connect the bulldog to the ball, then raise everything up until the truck raises a bit. Hook up the triangle plate, lower and go. All you need is that small amount of slack to get the plate aligned, even if you’re slightly off on your angle.

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

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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[postquote quote=175387][/postquote]

 

Trainman:

 

All the Anderson WDH videos are associated with the older style of the "whale tail"; I agree that you could not move the "whale tail" by hand on the older style of the "whale tail".

 

In 2018 Anderson offered a new upgraded unit due to the noise and a few other issues users was having, for a small amount.  This offer came from Sage Teichert via the Oliver Forum.  I purchased the replacement unit.  After I installed the upgraded Anderson WDH, I discovered that you could move the "whale tail" by hand when the trailer was NOT connected to the trailer ball.  I sent Sage Teichert an email about being able to move the "whale tail" by hand when the trailer was not connected to the trailer ball.  Below is the email reply from Sage Teichert with Anderson WDH about being able to move the trailer ball by hand:

 

That is not unusual, the upgrade that you got has a little different geometry inside. The housing where the ball is, is much easier to turn by hand when the trailer is unhooked. It is quite easy to bump the bottom of the ball up a little with a block of wood or raise it with the tongue jack to release some of the pressure so it can be turned by hand. When the weight is put back on the ball the friction material does it's job and starts grabbing again. 

 

So far Anderson has not upgraded their videos to reflect the new "whale tail".  Contact Sage Teichert with Anderson WDH, and check for yourself.

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Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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Maverick,

 

My Andersen hitch was purchased from Amazon in January 2018.  It came with the black cone and silver whale tale.  When Andersen offered the upgrade in late January 2018, I called and they sent me a red cone which I installed.  I haven’t experienced any noise with the red cone, but I still can’t turn it by hand.

 

Did your upgrade include the red cone and silver whale tail?

 

And they now have a newer version which was referenced to in an April service bulletin.

 

Mike

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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[postquote quote=175475][/postquote]

Mike:

 

The original Anderson WDH had a white cone and a silver "whale tail"; Anderson sent me several white cones, which still had noise issue.  Then they sent several black cones, which also had noise issue.  After Anderson said they had an upgraded WDH that could be purchased for $100.00, I ordered the upgraded unit.  Anderson sent a complete new WDH unit all but the black stinger that goes into your vehicle's trailer hitch and the chains.

 

The upgraded unit has a red cone and a silver "whale tail".  With the upgraded unit the "whale tail" does NOT have the complete circle ring that attached to the bottom of the trailer ball.  The original "whale tail" had a complete circle ring that attached to the bottom of the trailer ball.  Sorry but I don't have any pictures of the old or upgraded "whale tail".  I have not had any issues with the upgraded unit; it is quiet and functions great.  Like I said before, the original unit I could not turn the trailer ball by hand when the trailer was not attached (just as the Anderson videos indicates).  But the upgraded unit that I purchased, I could turn the ball when the trailer in not connected.  When the trailer is connected to the upgraded unit, you can not move the ball.

 

If you look back in the Oliver Forum, sometime during 2017 or early 2018 is when Anderson addressed how you could obtain a upgrade and what the cost was associated with the upgrade.  Also I believer there were pictures of the two different "whale tails".

 

 

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

 

States Visited Map

 

 

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These are pictures of the "new" versus the "old" Andersen whaletails.

 

First the "old"

 

P1010183.thumb.jpg.0c6861f162742b67b8b5d9320d2714a2.jpg

 

Now the "new"

 

P1010439.thumb.jpg.65f8175d7a4ad81e66bbaf3cab0a2ef2.jpg

 

Note that the "ball housing" is also a bit different from "old" to "new", but, the differences do not show up in a photo very well.

 

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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