Andersen Hitch Refurbishment - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-01-2014, 06:14 PM   #1
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Andersen Hitch Refurbishment

After 12,000 miles of towing with the Andersen hitch, it has started to show signs of wear. FIrst, the ball worked its way down into the friction material about 1/4", and then 1200 miles into our last trip the friction material started working its way out of the holder, maybe as much as 3/8". I could see evidence of wear inside the friction material as well. Also, I was beginning to suspect that the elastomer springs were taking a set and losing some of their spring as a result. I called Andersen, explained the situation, and they immediately sent me replacement parts under warranty.

Here are some photos of the hitch and a comparison of a new "spring" (3.00 inches long) and an old one (2.90 inches long). I'll follow this post with a description of changing the friction material. In case anyone is wondering, I still like the hitch!
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File Type: jpg P1030517.jpg (172.8 KB, 27 views)
File Type: jpg P1030560.jpg (273.4 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg P1030562.jpg (53.9 KB, 23 views)
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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Okay, following instructions from Andersen, I inverted the hitch, and with a mighty tap from my grandfather's sledge hammer, it came apart easily. In some cases, I guess it's necessary to unbolt the aluminum body, bolt it in inverted, and then whack it. In my case, I could just put the whole thing in inverted. I've also been a little concerned about wear generated by the line formed between the flat section on top of the ball and the where the ball shape starts. I've rounded this edge with a fine file, resulting in a little better wear distribution. Oh, and Andersen now recommends lithium grease on the ball.

Some may use this as evidence to stick with conventional weight distribution hitches, but for about 10 minutes work, this one is as good as new and ready for at least another 12,000 miles. Now that I've seen it apart, I'm sure it could have gone a lot further before replacing anything.

I can't seem to get attachments added to this one. Sorry!
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #3
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One more try.
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File Type: jpg P1030518.jpg (188.9 KB, 269 views)
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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I don't have half the miles on it that your do, but am noticing some wear on the friction material too, more than I would expect. Good to hear that Andersen is holding up to their lifetime warranty. I know when I requested a replacement socket, as the one I was sent was mis-milled, and was not deep enough, they quickly sent me a replacement.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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I stopped at Andersen on my way to Osoyoos in June to replace the incorrect brackets sent to me by a 3rd party seller, they quickly removed and replaced the correct brackets within 15 minutes out in the parking lot. It is a big place and they make more than just this hitch.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:02 PM   #6
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On your removal... Do you have an early one without the snap ring?? Ours has a large snap ring on the bottom which would require me to get a tool to help with removal.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #7
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Anyone know the brand of the standard wdh that ETI installs?
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techfan View Post
On your removal... Do you have an early one without the snap ring?? Ours has a large snap ring on the bottom which would require me to get a tool to help with removal.
Right. Ours is an earlier one (only the second that ETI installed). It does not have the snap ring, so I neglected to say that most will need a pair of snap ring pliers (or a suitable shade tree method) to remove the snap ring first.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I don't have half the miles on it that your do, but am noticing some wear on the friction material too, more than I would expect. Good to hear that Andersen is holding up to their lifetime warranty.
I was originally concerned that I might be wearing through the material, but it had lots of life left in it. And I was quite pleased with Andersen. They responded entirely based on what I described over the phone and promptly got the new liner and springs to me under warranty. If only Dometic....no, I'll stop there.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Right. Ours is an earlier one (only the second that ETI installed). It does not have the snap ring, so I neglected to say that most will need a pair of snap ring pliers (or a suitable shade tree method) to remove the snap ring first.
I also believe the additional wear and shifting of material is reduced with the introduction of the snap ring. This is particularly true if one lifts on the ball to apply the tension to the chains. This process will lift the ball out of the friction material.
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