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Andersen Hitch- Hookup Mod


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Terry - 

I think this is a great idea.  And, I think that your idea of placing a "safety wire" or "securing device" of some sort on the handles is a good idea.  The reason for this is that as you drive down the road and hit a bump, there will be some compression and slack created in the chain as the tow vehicle and trailer "bounce" at different times.  When the "bounce" creates slack in the chain it might be enough to allow the handle to come loose thus creating undesired slack until you stop for put the handle back in its tight position.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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That is really slick, thanks for posting. Here is the HF binder:

https://www.harborfreight.com/5400-lb-capacity-heavy-duty-non-ratcheting-load-binder-36022.html

General info: 

https://www.myteeproducts.com/blog/how-to-use-chain-binders/

I don’t see any reason to not use these, but I do very much believe that you should secure the handle when it is tensioned. The lever stores a lot of potential energy, depending on how tight you adjust the Andersen nuts. Putting a safety device in each one would eliminate its accidental release, for example if some large kid wandered up and messed with it. One reason I like the Andersen is that it doesn’t have steel spring bars like all other weight distributing designs. You just added two “springs” 😬. Plus an additional 15+ pounds of mass. Some owners might not want to increase the tongue weight.

Do the binders require periodic lubrication, or do they have self lubricating bushings?

Can you buy cad plated binders?

Do you plan to put something under them when disconnected so they won’t get rusty?

Can you post some closeup still images of them tensioned? It is hard to see details from your video. How close is the handle end to the chain? Would a big stainless carabiner work as a safety?

Is there a reason you placed them where you did? Why not right at the whaletail, that would eliminate two cuts. Nobody likes cutting hardened steel! Thanks.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

92F0AF53-4098-486C-ADCB-E944AE34B3AF.jpeg

"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, Safari snorkel.

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

When the "bounce" creates slack in the chain it might be enough to allow the handle to come loose thus creating undesired slack until you stop for put the handle back in its tight position.

Not only would that create a lot of sparks and noise, it might damage the end of the lever, depending on how long it took before you figured out what happened and also found a safe place to pull over. In rush hour traffic in a big city, the sparks would create some panic from other drivers. But at night it would look great! Like this train track grinder:

Sparks Fly on LORAM Rail Grinder Train as It Grinds Railroad Crossing

I found it at Home Depot also, it looks identical. These probably come out of the same factory in China.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-5-16-in-3-8-in-Red-Load-Binder-803112/203958821

And I found these locks, the first one could take a padlock:

F5956327-3016-43CE-B14C-5B5685F13973.thumb.jpeg.1c7cbce7495ca9eab6bb9730291c4370.jpeg

 

4EE25122-0BD4-49DA-8C57-64BCD3604B51.thumb.jpeg.d65f7d41b9fea7e392852153a1ae1a70.jpeg

One last comment…. your hitch is the old style, but for $100, Andersen Customer Service will send you their latest version with the very effective water seal, and a new ball assembly and whaletail, so it doesn’t wake up the campground when it gets wet overnight. Just tell them it is locking up and shrieking. 

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, Safari snorkel.

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what a great mod.  Simple appears heavy duty. I would also lock the levers to the chain for safety. I’m sure Anderson would not approve and your warranty is out the window. Still a great mod hope it works well for you. Thanks

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Grant  2022 GMC Denali 2500 HD 2019  Elite 11😎

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

SO I have traveled a few times since the Andersen Anti-sway mod. Everything is working great, I have experienced zero issues while towing. However while the mod creates plenty of slack in the chains it adds a substantial amount of weight to hold up while you are hooking the whale tail. I am adding a photo here of an additional "life hack" that I created. Using the leftover chain and pieces of the cut links I hung the weight from my utility box using the safety latches. What a dream, now the hookup is truly effortless!!

lifehack.thumb.jpg.fca135c6d3e0dbf002ce19b1ac3f4dd3.jpg

2019 Elite II Hull 435, 2022 Toyota Tundra

 

 

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24 minutes ago, wolfdds said:

What a dream, now the hookup is truly effortless!!

Well - not quite.

Get yourself one of THESE to make inserting and retracting the hitch pin through the whale tail even easier.

Bill

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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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  • 4 weeks later...

I may not be the smartest camper around, but why not back the TV a couple of inches past the hitch coupler socket, hook up the Anderson first (should have slack), and pull the TV forward to drop bulldog onto the ball and tighten the slack on the Anderson chains? No mods necessary.

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John and Jodi

San Antonio, TX

2022 Elite II - Hull #1126 being pulled by a 2022 F-150 Powerboost. 

1162530023_States20221116.png.2570e1350a7e07b1803b6e81a04e8d06.png

 

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1 hour ago, John and Jodi said:

I may not be the smartest camper around, but why not back the TV a couple of inches past the hitch coupler socket, hook up the Anderson first (should have slack), and pull the TV forward to drop bulldog onto the ball and tighten the slack on the Anderson chains? No mods necessary.

In theory that works, in regular practice it is a complete fail. You have to connect the ball and coupler and latch them first, because sometimes it is impossible to get the pivoting side lever closed enough for the collar to slide forward into the locked position. If you do it your way, and the side won't close,  you would have to remove the whale tail and chains, pull forward, reverse again, and start all over. It is a whole lot easier doing the maneuvering if you don't have the whaletail and chains hanging off the truck. 😉  If there were a regular style coupler with a rear locking mechanism, that would be more likely to work smoothly. The Bulldog is a stout part, but it has a very unusual design.

 

bd028657_34_1000.jpg.f1d54db7c33d881ec9b61c44904060ef.jpg

This type might work:

dm13203-52_13_1000.thumb.jpg.f4996c472ef73e5077e1c18647949d14.jpg

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

  • Like 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, Safari snorkel.

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9 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

In theory that works, in regular practice it is a complete fail. You have to connect the ball and coupler and latch them first, because sometimes it is impossible to get the pivoting side lever closed enough for the collar to slide forward into the locked position. If you do it your way, and the side won't close,  you would have to remove the whale tail and chains, pull forward, reverse again, and start all over.

 

I guess I was lucky, because I've hitched up my Ollie a grand total of three times (leaving the factory, leaving the factory campground, and leaving an enroute stop on the way home). The last time is when I tried my approach described above when we were at a curved pull-thru at a state park. The Anderson went on easily. I pulled forward and the ball was below the coupler but off to the right maybe an inch. Like you said, the lever did not close, so I pushed and my wife pulled and the ball dropped into the correct position. We closed the lever and were on our way, the first time.

If I needed to reposition, I have two options:

  1. Back up (a few inches) and try again. This is a delicate maneuver--no heavy feet. Don't run the back of your TV into the hitch.
  2. If relatively level, I'd even consider pulling forward (inches, not yards) while still attached to the Anderson and restarting the hookup. This lines up the TV and the trailer better. The risk is having the trailer not stop moving forward when the TV stops, and hitting the TV. For safety, I could put my chocks a foot in front of the trailer wheels or I could even plug in my 7-pin connector and have brakes, if long enough.
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John and Jodi

San Antonio, TX

2022 Elite II - Hull #1126 being pulled by a 2022 F-150 Powerboost. 

1162530023_States20221116.png.2570e1350a7e07b1803b6e81a04e8d06.png

 

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