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Old 08-29-2016, 11:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
We too have the Andersen Ultimate Hitch paired with the B&W Turnover Ball in the bed of the pickup. Works wonderfully! I like that it's lightweight, simple to use, is quiet while in use and requires no grease.
We've been pulling 5.0TA with a 2007 Nissan Frontier SE 2wd 6' bed and have had no problems, but have always been a bit nervous about 1,367lbs payload, so we will be ordering an F150 Supercab 2wd 6.5' bed with the 2.7 Ecoboost max/payload, 2120lbs. It appears that we will be unable to find one configured as we want, so we will order a 2017.

We plan to go from the basic Reese 15K Pro hitch, that we've had in the Frontier, to the setup that Nathan is using. We planned to order the F150 with the spray-in bed-liner, but wonder if we should wait until after the hole has been cut in the bed and the B&W Turnover Ball installed before getting the bed-liner applied. etrailer shows the install kit for the B&W into the F150 includes some tape-on material to separate the steel installation braces from the aluminum bed. Will this be enough protection to prevent a reaction between the metals? I assume that the B&W kit will call for a specific location for the ball. Will the Andersen Ultimate offset give us the correct spacing with the 6.5' bed? How about the height? Reace says the kingpin base should be close to 47" of the ground.

Thanks for your advice on these or any other possible issues with projected setup.

David
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:29 AM   #22
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David, I did the whole for my B&W Turnover Ball before getting the bed sprayed with Line-X so that it could get some of the spray on the side of the hole, as well as cover any other marks should they have occurred (I did get one minor scratch in the paint). I also pre-drilled the holes for the chain attachments. I taped some cardboard underneath for when they sprayed. The location of the hole is VERY specific. I measure twice, then twice more to confirm, and drilled the hole. After mounting the brackets underneath, then the mount for the ball, there was very little wiggle room at all. I would bet if you were off even 1/8" you would be having the trim one side of the hole in order for it to fit. Fortunately, all went well with my install. A bit of a grunt getting at some of the mounting bolts for torquing though.

The mounting plate for the B&W hitch had some paint flake off, which is not great, so I will have to repaint it at some time.

Mounting the Andersen to it is about a 3 minute exercises. Flip the ball up, pin the hitch in place, and torque 3 bolts. Easy peasy.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:30 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D&R_MA View Post
We've been pulling 5.0TA with a 2007 Nissan Frontier SE 2wd 6' bed and have had no problems, but have always been a bit nervous about 1,367lbs payload, so we will be ordering an F150 Supercab 2wd 6.5' bed with the 2.7 Ecoboost max/payload, 2120lbs. It appears that we will be unable to find one configured as we want, so we will order a 2017.

We plan to go from the basic Reese 15K Pro hitch, that we've had in the Frontier, to the setup that Nathan is using. We planned to order the F150 with the spray-in bed-liner, but wonder if we should wait until after the hole has been cut in the bed and the B&W Turnover Ball installed before getting the bed-liner applied. etrailer shows the install kit for the B&W into the F150 includes some tape-on material to separate the steel installation braces from the aluminum bed. Will this be enough protection to prevent a reaction between the metals? I assume that the B&W kit will call for a specific location for the ball. Will the Andersen Ultimate offset give us the correct spacing with the 6.5' bed? How about the height? Reace says the kingpin base should be close to 47" of the ground.

Thanks for your advice on these or any other possible issues with projected setup.

David
The guys that installed our B&W on our Titan were also a Line-X dealer and they said whenever they cut holes in the bed, they coated the rim with brush on Line-X. It looks like they actually did that on ours. We bought our truck used with 123,000 miles on it and it already had the spay in liner. Made no difference.

They also said they used B&W's measurements supplied for the Titan and mounted it to those measurements. I have no way of knowing if its right or wrong, but it tows nicely!
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:16 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
The rail mount Andersen has, I think, a 9" offset. Does it get offset to the front or rear? Does the box that mounts on the trailer point to the front or rear. (Sorry I don't have the terminology correct).
The ball of the truck-mounted frame of the Andersen Ultimate is offset from the centre of the mounting points in the bed (ball or rails). That offset is 5" or 5.5" depending on the version ("gooseneck" or rail-mounted) of the hitch; it can be turned forward (which one would not do for an Escape unless they had a well over three feet (and preferably over four feet) of cab-to-axle clearance.

The trailer side of the Andersen Ultimate is a coupler (for the system's 2-5/16" ball) which clamps onto the trailer's pin. The coupler is offset 4" from the pin (centre to centre), but this is not the same as shifting the hitch. It is like a pin box extension, although a very short one. It could also be turned to the rear, but again this would only make clearance worse for most Escape owners, instead of better.

A recent discussion of this was in Pull 5.0 TA with a 2005/06 Tundra?, complete with diagrams (starting around post #23 for the offset details). This is buried in the middle of a thread specific to the first-generation Tundra, which is typical, and that does make it hard to find these discussions.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
Does anyone know if there are any issues with the aluminum bed on the new F-150?
I think it's worth some thought ,but in the end I wouldn't be very concerned about the bed material.

With the rail-mounted system, as with any rail-mounted hitch, the load is carried primarily to the brackets from the rails to the frame, under the bed floor. The bed material isn't really important, and any material chosen by a truck manufacturer for a pickup bed should handle this suitably. This question usually comes up in relation to the Toyota Tacoma - which has a composite bed - but the logic is the same for Ford's aluminum bed (in the F-150, and soon to be in the F-SuperDuty).

With Andersen's "gooseneck" alternative, the ball in the bed floor (whatever brand or style you use) is only an anchor, both vertically and horizontally. All of the pin weight of the trailer (a few hundred pounds) is carried by the frame of the Andersen Ultimate sitting on the bed floor, although the anchor keeps it from sliding around (so keep that tight!). When you accelerate, the horizontal force is much greater that it would be just for that pin weight, because you're pulling the whole trailer. Since the Andersen ball is well above the bed floor, the frame pushes down much harder on one side than the other (think leverage). Substantial loads are expected on a bed floor - pickup beds are for carrying cargo.

The aspect which is potentially problematic is the vulnerability of the bed to puncturing by a sharp corner, as GM has pointed out in a recent advertising campaign. The floor of an aluminum-bodied F-150 bed is certainly inferior in this respect to a typical steel bed floor. This is one reason that the Andersen Ultimate "gooseneck" version frame absolutely must not be allowed to tilt onto one corner at all. We're back to keeping the anchoring hardware to the bed-mounted ball tight.

With either mounting system of the Andersen Ultimate, as with any bed-mounted hitch, holes need to be drilled in the bed floor. That leads to issues of corrosion protection (which aluminum-bodied F-150 owners have addressed), and cracking or tearing... with any material.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:28 PM   #26
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Jim,

I believe your F150 has the 6.5' bed. Do you have the Andersen mounted with the ball forward? It seems like this orientation would put the kingpin slightly ahead of the axle, which I think is considered ideal.

Thanks,

David
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by D&R_MA View Post
Jim,

I believe your F150 has the 6.5' bed. Do you have the Andersen mounted with the ball forward? It seems like this orientation would put the kingpin slightly ahead of the axle, which I think is considered ideal.

Thanks,

David
Correct, I have the 6.5' bed.

I have the hitch mounted so the ball is to the rear. I did this so that I could do a full 90° turn with my 8'-0" wide temp trailer. I was a bit sceptical at first, but it has proven to not be an issue at all. Plus, the dry pin weight of this trailer is 460 kg (1012 lb), much higher than the Escape, and heavier overall.

I will have to see how everything fits and works when I get the Escape. It would be nice to have the overall length shorter, but at least I know I need not worry either way.
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:08 AM   #28
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Thanks Brian, Jim, & Nathan

Thanks guys for your thoughtful input.

I ordered the F150 yesterday and now have two months to ponder the hitch. I've pretty much decided to go with the B&W Turnover Gooseneck Ball, but am vacillating between the Andersen Gooseneck and the B&W Companion. I certainly like the weight of the Anderson, but also like the solid connection of a fifth-wheel. I'll keep nosing around the Forum and probably change my mind many times. I could always decide to go the cheaper route and use the Reese 15K Pro that we already own.

David
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:42 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by D&R_MA View Post
I've pretty much decided to go with the B&W Turnover Gooseneck Ball, but am vacillating between the Andersen Gooseneck and the B&W Companion. I certainly like the weight of the Anderson, but also like the solid connection of a fifth-wheel.
If by "solid", you mean "strong", I wouldn't worry about the Andersen Ultimate. Like all of the other hitch options, it is designed for a trailer at least three times as heavy as any Escape.

If "solid" means without free play, then the Andersen Ultimate coupler shouldn't be a concern, and the "gooseneck" anchor should have zero play. The four rail mounting points might have a bit of slop, but this is the same as any rail-mounted fifth-wheel, and I've never heard of that being an issue... but this doesn't matter anyway if using the Turnover Ball as an anchor. The only remaining place for play is that the Andersen Ultimate ball is adjustable in height and held by one pin, so it might wiggle a bit - owners of this system might have relevant comments.

If "solid" refers to freedom to rotate around the coupling point (which is what the hitch exists to allow), then the Andersen Ultimate allows unrestricted movement over a wide angle in every axis, but the fifth-wheel hitches all have some more limited movement in pitch (nose up/down tilt) and roll (leaning side-to-side). The Companion (and Patriot) move relatively freely in pitch until they hit the limit (which I assume they never hit in normal operation); I don't remember offhand how restricted the roll is. Most fifth-wheels constrain the roll movement with rubber so that it is hard to move by hand at all; that would be a significant difference from the Andersen's ball.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:16 PM   #30
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Just to back up what Brian said, the Anderson hitch is rock solid. I would say with no moving parts, it is likely more solid than any conventional hitch.

After using it for a year now, I am positive I made the right choice. Just yesterday I pulled it out, about a 1 minute exercise with turning the ball, in order to load some rocks for landscaping, and tomorrow will spend maybe two minutes reinstalling it to take off for the weekend.

It is real nice to be able to just lift the hitch right over the side of the box, easy peasy.
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