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Offroad towing with anderson hitch


Coastal Aggie
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For those of yall that use the Anderson hitch I'm curious how you handle taking your trailer offroad for remote boondocking. I know most people with traditional leveling hitches will unhook the bars and let them dangle if they expect to run into some severe articulation but with the Anderson using chains i cant seem to find any information about what the most popular method is. Loosening the chains from the nut seems like it would be rather annoying having to reset it each time but unhooking the triangle plate while its seems that it would be quicker looks like it wouldn't have anything securely holding the ball in place and you'd have to figure out a way to secure the plate and chains from dragging. I do have access to a full metalworking shop while im working so i was thinking maybe machine a placeholder ring that will secure the ball in place without having the triangle plate attached?

I originally wasnt going to even use the Anderson and didnt order it from the factory but im going to be letting my parents play with it for a while until i return home from work and they needed a WDH for my dads tacoma. 

2018 F150 FX4 5.0v8 

2022 Oliver Elite Hull #1285

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If I understand at least one of the "issues" that you are trying to deal with - the ball is held in place via a snap ring on the bottom of the ball which prevents it from being "lifted" out of the top of the Andersen housing.

As for the "whale tail" and the chains - I've either removed them (from both the ball and from the frame of the Ollie) or wrapped the chains over the tongue or attached the whale tail to an "S" hook that I've suspended under the frame up near the hitch.  Which of these three I use depends on all the factors associated with the "off road" situation.  

Having said this - in seven years I've only removed the tail and chains once.  But, I really do not do a bunch of true off roading while hitched.  Normally I'll simply find a place that is a bit more "comfortable" to park the Ollie and then go out looking for trouble.

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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I have found that it is not difficult to loosen the nuts to put slack in the chains when needed.  I have done so without even using a ratchet handle on the socket to adjust the nuts.  OTT supplies a large socket and I am usually able to tighten or loosen the nuts with with only my hand around the socket.  Just use the front tongue jack to raise the trailer tongue while still attached to the tow vehicle until the chains start to slacken.  Then loosen the nuts and lower the tongue back down and the chains should now remain slack.  Be sure to count the threads showing before loosening the nuts which makes it easy to tighten them back to where they need to be when the time comes.  Reverse the process to tighten them again.  Jack up the tongue again (while still hooked to the ball) and tighten the nuts until the proper number of threads are showing.  Then reverse the tongue jack to lower the tongue back down and you are good to go.

 I have found it only takes a few minutes to  loosen or tighten both nuts if you raise the tongue to take pressure off the chains. 

OTT demonstrated this technique when I picked up our LE II.  Raising the tongue while still attached to the tow vehicle also allows you to routinely hitch and unhitch the trailer (i.e., attach/detach the whale tail) without ever having to adjust the nuts.

If the road is so terribly rough that loosening the chains will not provide for sufficient articulation, you are probably pushing the ability of the bulldog hitch to articulate sufficiently, even with the Anderson disconnected. 

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Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

Oregon

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7 hours ago, topgun2 said:

the ball is held in place via a snap ring on the bottom of the ball which prevents it from being "lifted" out of the top of the Andersen housing.

Ok thanks i wasnt able to see that on the pictures when i ordered it.  Im trying to organize everything while im away for work in guam right now. unfortunately i wasnt able to get the build date to line up with while i was still stateside so i had my Oliver delivered to my parents a week ago and am letting them play with it for a couple months till i get back. trying to get everything figured out through pictures and the time difference makes things more complicated than they should be.

 

4 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

If the road is so terribly rough that loosening the chains will not provide for sufficient articulation, you are probably pushing the ability of the bulldog hitch to articulate sufficiently, even with the Anderson disconnected. 

thats why i originally didn't bother ordering the Anderson from the factory but since i had to get one for my parents to be able to tow it i might as well use it.

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2018 F150 FX4 5.0v8 

2022 Oliver Elite Hull #1285

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