Anderson WD hitch help, please! - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-18-2019, 02:02 PM   #1
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Anderson WD hitch help, please!

We just purchased a new-to-us 2015 Escape 21. It has the Anderson hitch, a bit different set up than we are used to. How tight should the WD chains be? They both have very little play in them when hooked up. Any advice appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:11 PM   #2
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Here you go
https://help.andersenhitches.com/ins...ribution-hitch
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:13 PM   #3
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No play. This video does a good job of explaining things.



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Old 03-18-2019, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thank you!

Thank you! The chains are tight but we may need to adjust the bracket on the trailer a bit to get a few more threads on. We didn’t receive the socket from the previous owner, so will contact Anderson for a replacement to help with hookong up.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treblemaker View Post
The chains are tight but we may need to adjust the bracket on the trailer a bit to get a few more threads on.
Okay, but does that mean that you downloaded the instructions and followed them? They're "tight", but are they tightened to the right amount?

Unfortunately, Anderen's adjustment instructions are terrible, basically just telling you to level the tow vehicle and trailer. It's completely wrong to level the trailer with the WD (that's what the height adjustment on the shank is for) and leveling the tow vehicle is probably wrong as well: the correct adjustment of any WD system returns the load on the front axle nearly to the non-towing condition, usually as indicated by the ride height at the front axle of the tug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treblemaker View Post
We didn’t receive the socket from the previous owner, so will contact Anderson for a replacement to help with hookong up.
If you don't want to wait, you can just buy a deep socket of the right size ( 1-1/4", for 1/2" drive because you'll want to use a big ratchet). You should also be able to use a ratcheting box-end wrench, if that is more convenient for you (although if you have a ratchet anyway and travel with it, the socket is cheaper).
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:42 PM   #6
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Depending on the tow vehicle the number of threads showing varies. The chains on our 21, behind the Toyota Highlander show 5 1/2 threads when there’s about 50 lbs torque on the nuts. Setting dead level with all the weight on the ball( jack stand retracted all the way). Without the trailer hooked up, and tow vehicle on level concrete, measure the maximum height to the curved part of front fender. Hook up the trailer and the tongue weight will sag the rear end and increase the measurement of the front fender. Tighten the nuts and the front end height will go down and the tow vehicle will get level again. See if you’re pretty close to your original fender height ( like within a half an inch) Try that setting and see how it feels. It will change with trailer load and load distribution. A tongue weight scale (Sherline) will allow you to measure tongue weight. And balance your load front to back. So it’s best to adjust when you have a ready to go camping load on. Hope this helps. There are no dumb questions.
Looking forward to hear about your travels with this great trailer.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #7
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I should have added as Brian said, that the adjustment of the tower where the two bolts go through wull allow you to get close when the weight is put on the ball. I thought you might be indicating that you knew this was possible when you mentioned “adjusting the bracket”. But reconsidering perhaps you meant the mounting brackets on the A frame?

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Old 03-18-2019, 03:59 PM   #8
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... I thought you might be indicating that you knew this was possible when you mentioned “adjusting the bracket”. But reconsidering perhaps you meant the mounting brackets on the A frame?
That's what I assumed, because the comment was about "the bracket on the trailer".
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #9
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Super tips, thank you all!

I am passing all this along to my better half, who is in charge of towing (having pulled other campers, boats, and farm equipment.) I know since it is a new style of set up he will be grateful. We had set the ball on the truck at 21”, height when connected just over 19”. We had the original installation directions but they are not great. The video helped a ton. We just want to make sure all is correct and safe! We are moving up from a Casita. Towing it home to central Missouri now with numerous stops to check everything.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
...Without the trailer hooked up, and tow vehicle on level concrete, measure the maximum height to the curved part of front fender. Hook up the trailer and the tongue weight will sag the rear end and increase the measurement of the front fender. Tighten the nuts and the front end height will go down and the tow vehicle will get level again. See if you’re pretty close to your original fender height ( like within a half an inch)...

That's the way to adjust any WD.

With the front of the tug right, the tug might still not be level, and that's okay. The trailer might not be level, but that would mean that the ball height on the shank needs adjusting, not the chain tension.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:05 PM   #11
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One more...

The rig is nearly perfectly level, maybe a tiny bit high at the front of the Escape, so close it is hard to tell.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Treblemaker View Post
The rig is nearly perfectly level, maybe a tiny bit high at the front of the Escape, so close it is hard to tell.
The trailer level part is good, but we still have no idea if the WD system is adjusted properly. Is the front of the tow vehicle the same height as it is without the the trailer, or higher? Some people over-apply WD systems to level the tug, which is bad for the trailer, for the tug's structure, for the WD system, and for the stability of the whole rig. Most Andersen users probably don't over-apply the system, because that takes a huge amount of chain tension, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't happened here.

Under-applying a WD system is fine, as long as the tug's rear suspension is okay with the load. The Andersen WD's sway control feature works well as long as the chains are not slack - it doesn't need any more tension than that to do its sway control job.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:29 PM   #13
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The tug front fender sits 1/8" higher without the trailer. Pretty close. I think we will take it into a local dealer and have them check everything, torque as needed just for peace of mind. Also going to get one of those tongue weight scales!! We are towing with a Nissan Frontier with tow package, 6100 towing less 198 for add-ons (bed liner, soft tonneau cover) and payload of 1398. Don't plan to put much except two adults, a dog, and a small cooler in the cab. Lightweight lawn chairs, small tool box, small bin of misc water hoses, etc in the back. Planning on upgrading to a larger truck in a couple of years, mostly towing in Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. Total payload without tongue weight will be around 500 lbs. Also, we travel light when loading-never filled our Casita even for 6 week trips, and plan to stay with that lifestyle. Again, all advice is very much appreciated. This forum is awesome.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:15 PM   #14
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You can order the Sherline with either 2,000 lb or 1,000 lb. gauge. The 1,000 lb will be easier to read and more accurate. Normally comes with the 2,000 lb. so you'll have to specify. I'd order direct from Sherline.
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Old 03-18-2019, 08:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Treblemaker View Post
The tug front fender sits 1/8" higher without the trailer. Pretty close.
Very close, but the WD system is actually slightly over-applied, pulling the front down a bit too much. If you adjust, go for less chain tension, not more.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:43 PM   #16
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We will definitely adjust, we want it to be perfect. It is so great to have folks who can help us troubleshoot. We will need to move the brackets on the trailer forward a bit I believe-the chains were pretty tight with very little slack.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:44 PM   #17
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Found the 1000! Thank you!
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:01 PM   #18
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The initial installation of the Andersen brackets on the trailer frame rails can vary. This will cause the number of visible threads to vary,as a result. Some will say they use as many as five, six, or more threads showing. Others are perfectly fine with two or three.

The thread count is used for consistency, but is not a means of determining your best set up.
Follow the other suggestions you have been getting. A final thought, if it hasn’t been said already. You jack the trailer up a fair bit before attaching or disconnecting the chains. This reduces the cranking effort and sound. Then get your preferred thread count and lower the main jack, and you’re done.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:14 PM   #19
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I'm a little late to the party, but here's what I do. Hope it makes sense.

I rarely ever use the large Anderson socket. I set the threads, 3 for us, prior to connecting the trailer to the tow vehicle using my fingers. With the triangle plate disconnected from the bottom of the Anderson, I drop the trailer tongue on the ball, close the ball retaining mechanism, lift the trailer tongue and ball with my tongue jack until I can install the triangle plate, insert the retaining pin below the triangle, and lower for towing. To disconnect I again raise the tongue using my tongue jack until the chains go slack, pull the pin below the triangle, drop the triangle, lower the tongue until I can unlatch the retaining mechanism, and raise the tongue until it comes disconnected from the ball. It sounds a little long, but it really goes fast, and I get the same setting every time. Of course, you already have to know what your thread count should be.
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