Anderson WDH vs. E2 WDH for bumper towing - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-02-2019, 03:31 PM   #1
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Anderson WDH vs. E2 WDH for bumper towing

I did a preliminary search and didn't find any discussion comparing the two brands of weight distribution hitches for bumper towing. I am very new at this and my questions reflect that lack of knowledge.

What attracts me to the Anderson is the lighter weight and possibly the use of the ball to tow my two light utility trailers without the weight distribution equipment installed. What attracts me to the E2 is it's availability from Escape Trailer Industries (ETI) with the proper setup. To make matters worse, there seems to be more than one E2 on the market and I don't know which E2 ETI offers.

What has been peoples experience and recommendations? Would you go the same way again knowing what you know today? I would be interested in other brands too but, this is not really a poll or survey so just offering that you have X hitch without your reason why is not helpful.
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:40 PM   #2
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I have no personal experience with the Anderson, but in doing my research, I saw that others expressed concern about premature wear of the friction cone on the Anderson.

I ended up buying the 4500/450lb e2 for my new to me 2010 escape 19. The 4500 model is much smaller and lighter than the usual 6000+ lb hitches friends of mine have. So far I am happy with it. Easy to hook up and unhook. And provides plenty of weight distribution for my 19. I originally installed all 3 spacer washers, but took one out after I hooked it all up the first time and realized that it was providing way to much lift. At 390lbs tongue weight, 2 washers seems just about right. (Based on the instructions proved by fast way)

As for sway control, itís hard to say how well it works because I have never experienced sway with the 19.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:23 PM   #3
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I see you show a Ridgeline for a tow vehicle; what trailer are you getting? TA(Tom)Fraser tows a 2014 21, which is somewhat lighter than Gen2 trailers with a Ridgeline and Andersen he bought from ETI when they were selling them. Also, if I remember correctly Bill & Earline also towed a 21 with Ridgeline, yet traded up to F150 I believe. I used an Andersen with a 21 and Yukon and had to replace it after 18 months due to excessive wear in the chain guides and the cone was starting to go. After reading what Tractors is going through am glad I saw on this Forum a member stating he got a refund in full from Andersen before the two year mark and I too was able to do the same. Went back to Pro Series and it works great. Never had anything close to sway.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:45 PM   #4
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I see you show a Ridgeline for a tow vehicle; what trailer are you getting? ... Went back to Pro Series and it works great. Never had anything close to sway.
I'm looking at getting a 21. What is the Pro Series?
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:52 PM   #5
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I'm looking at getting a 21. What is the Pro Series?
It is what ETI calls an "Equalizer Hitch" and sells for $350. E2 is $625.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
I see you show a Ridgeline for a tow vehicle; what trailer are you getting? TA(Tom)Fraser tows a 2014 21, which is somewhat lighter than Gen2 trailers with a Ridgeline and Andersen he bought from ETI when they were selling them. Also, if I remember correctly Bill & Earline also towed a 21 with Ridgeline, yet traded up to F150 I believe. I used an Andersen with a 21 and Yukon and had to replace it after 18 months due to excessive wear in the chain guides and the cone was starting to go. After reading what Tractors is going through am glad I saw on this Forum a member stating he got a refund in full from Andersen before the two year mark and I too was able to do the same. Went back to Pro Series and it works great. Never had anything close to sway.
As a retired licensed engineer, I think the current Andersen design is far better than the one I bought through ETI 5 years ago. Been through that same developmental process myself, so I'm sticking with my Andersen - I love the basic design. Some things take a while to perfect, and until enough copies are in customer hands for feedback over a few years the design will never be finalized.


They are completely replacing my 5 year old unit with the current design at no cost to me. Plus paying for the shipping! That's customer service.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:12 PM   #7
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Sounds good Charlie- if they are replacing everything you might ask for a longer shank. They now also know the o es we got were short enough not to allow a tailgate or truck bed gate to open properly.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:17 PM   #8
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Sounds good Charlie- if they are replacing everything you might ask for a longer shank. They now also know the o es we got were short enough not to allow a tailgate or truck bed gate to open properly.
Well, mine works fine with my Tacoma, so no need.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:28 PM   #9
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My $350 Pro Series works just fine.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:42 PM   #10
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As a retired licensed engineer, I think the current Andersen design is far better than the one I bought through ETI 5 years ago. Been through that same developmental process myself, so I'm sticking with my Andersen - I love the basic design. Some things take a while to perfect, and until enough copies are in customer hands for feedback over a few years the design will never be finalized.


They are completely replacing my 5 year old unit with the current design at no cost to me. Plus paying for the shipping! That's customer service.
I had one of the old ones and it stayed with the trailer when I sold it. What are the design improvements that you consider important? They aren't visually apparent to me, looking at the photos on their site.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:58 PM   #11
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We have a 2019 Escape 21 and use a E2 6000lbs with trunnion bars. Works great, no sway and easy to setup.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougG View Post
I have no personal experience with the Anderson, but in doing my research, I saw that others expressed concern about premature wear of the friction cone on the Anderson.

I ended up buying the 4500/450lb e2 for my new to me 2010 escape 19. The 4500 model is much smaller and lighter than the usual 6000+ lb hitches friends of mine have. So far I am happy with it. Easy to hook up and unhook. And provides plenty of weight distribution for my 19. I originally installed all 3 spacer washers, but took one out after I hooked it all up the first time and realized that it was providing way to much lift. At 390lbs tongue weight, 2 washers seems just about right. (Based on the instructions proved by fast way)

As for sway control, itís hard to say how well it works because I have never experienced sway with the 19.
I also ended up buying the above e2 4500lb trunnion after initially REALLY wanting the Anderson due to its light weight. I later discovered the e2 weighs 65lbs or only about 10lbs more than the Anderson. So decided to go with the e2 to make sure I had effective weight distribution at not much more weight than the Anderson.
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:01 AM   #13
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My $350 Pro Series works just fine.
It works fine for our 19 with our Tacoma as well.
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Old 08-03-2019, 01:54 AM   #14
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Andersen WDH works great for us

For 12 years we used a traditional WDH system with bars very similar to what ETI currently offers, with our previous trailers. With our current Escape we jumped to the Anderson system, and we're glad we did - tows like a dream. We posted our opinions, thus far, in this other thread:

Andersen Hitch (Post #6/#7 )

Interesting to note - Oliver Trailers now offer the Anderson WDH system as an upgrade option.

Even though the Anderson works for us now, to be honest, I think both systems work very well - and you can't go wrong with either type. We went way too many years without a WDH/sway control system - now we'll never go without one.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:39 AM   #15
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andersen vs. e2 and every other wdh

As long as I have one it's good. I moved to the E2 when I changed trailers because my knees were unhappy with me playing with the Andersen adjustment which I liked. The old equalizers were good as is the new versions by what ever name. The electric tongue jack makes the bars quick and easy.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:06 PM   #16
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We tow our 2014 Escape 21 with a Toyota Highlander using an Anderson WDH. Prior to that, we towed an Escape 17 with a Toyota Sienna using a traditional WDH with trunion bars.

They both seem to work in so far as
a) they minimized the "sag" of the combined vehicle and kept weight on the front wheels
b) we have never had an issue with trailer sway even in 50 mph crosswinds going across I-80 in Wyoming.

The trunion bar hitch was a bit easier to hitch up -- just had to attach the bars and use the big lever to pull them up. With the Anderson, I have to screw on the nuts and count threads that are showing. So I definitely have to get down on my knees to do that. Both hitches require you to raise the hitched trailer in order to make the WDH connection.

With the Anderson, I try to have the tow vehicle at approximately the same angle as when I unhitch. It doesn't have to be exact, but it is just easier to get the nuts on both sides threaded correctly.

Once, on Prince Edward Island, I took a turn down the wrong road. I had to turn around in a fairly tight spot which required some backing and turning and more backing and turning. I hadn't removed the trunion bars, and was surprised when I heard a big "clunk" as one of them dropped off. I think it is easier to back and turn with the Anderson.

The Anderson seems marginally quieter than the WDH with the trunion bars. But I still use lithium grease on the ball. I strongly recommend lithium grease because it washes out of your pants better when you get grease from the ball on them.

I haven't looked at the newest version of the Anderson yet. So the friction material seems to be wearing well.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:14 PM   #17
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I had one of the old ones and it stayed with the trailer when I sold it. What are the design improvements that you consider important? They aren't visually apparent to me, looking at the photos on their site.
The new ones have a cap around the sleeve to keep the elements out as well as the sleeve material intact. In addition in lieu of "universal now size fits all" they now offer custom sizes for your frame. Also after 5 years I'm sure the plastic compressor things on the chains maybe worn out.
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:18 PM   #18
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... Also after 5 years I'm sure the plastic compressor things on the chains maybe worn out.
Those are polyurethane springs. They shouldn't wear out in the occasional use of recreational towing if properly sized, but I suppose they could.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:21 PM   #19
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We've had two Andersen WDH's. The first lasted one year (2014) before it squealed like mad. Andersen replaced it and was sold with the trailer. The second had the same problems and was also replaced and sold with the campers.

The red elastomers (polyurethane springs) compress over time and should be replaced. Our first had noticeable distortion (compression) and I replaced both at the end of the year. The second had less miles but you could see it was being distorted.

Andersen seems to change portions of this hitch every year. Personally, I would not purchase another. We went to a Blue Ox hitch with our Bigfoot and Lance campers. This is the best WDH we've ever owned. Easy-peazy to hook up, minimal grease (only one fitting on each side and you then wipe the excess off), and did the job. We also used the Andersen Greaseless Ball with the Blue Ox for a clean towing experience, and felt the Blue Ox was worth the extra cost.

Enjoy,

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Old 08-03-2019, 09:34 PM   #20
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Yeah, they're kinda wonky. There are too many maintenance items with a trailer you have no choice about- why add another knowingly?
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