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Old 04-18-2018, 11:56 AM   #1
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E2 vs. Andersen and more ....

Late last year, we caught that dreaded disease, 2-foot-itis and, thus, have a 21' on order, to be picked up in September. While our build sheet is fairly easy, there are two items that are giving us pause so we're reaching out for opinions.

First, the WDH. We loved the Andersen on our 19' but have been told that ETI now uses the Fastway E2 (it was hinted that it was because of poor customer service from Andersen ... ). We've watch many videos, read articles, etc., and still lean towards the Andersen but are open to the E2. Anyone have experience with both and, if so, what are some pros and cons. (One 'con', we're not excited about is the fact the E2 weighs 50+ lbs more than the Andersen.)

Second, high rise vs. regular. One thing that always bothered me on our 19' was the fact that the support bars on the WDH and the trailer receiver seemed so close to the ground (the photo shows the brackets -- the hitch receiver was about the same height). ETI tells me that a high rise will add 2.5" to the height of the trailer. We don't really use our trailer for off-road or other non-asphalt camping and our new truck sits about the same as our old so I'm wondering if the high rise would be more of a pain than an asset. Thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:05 PM   #2
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Owner of Andersen Hitches vandalizes in Arches NP
In case you missed this, the owner of Andersen Hitches vandalized the one of the most famous arches in Arches NP and then posted a photo of his family in front of his graffiti !!!!

https://idahostatejournal.com/member...53287525d.html

http://rebrn.com/re/this-guy-vandali...-week-4400070/

Hopefully he is heavily fined at the least.
A Boycott of Andersen hitches has been suggested and I will NEVER own one.
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:16 PM   #3
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Jan- there is another option from ETI: the Pro Series or "Equalizer" which they have sold for many years. We had it on our used 17B and then went to the Andersen with our 21. Had too many problems with it and went back to the Pro Series. It is simple and easy to install. I believe ETI now uses the trunnion (stright) bars vs. the round bars which does give better clearance. The Pro series is 84 lbs. vs. 60 for the Andersen.

https://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Dist...ll-description
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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Thanks Rossue, I will check into that one!! I saw it on the build sheet but, for whatever reason, just thought it was another Fastway.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:00 PM   #5
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So, the build sheet shows:
1. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion)
2. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) with Sway Control Bar (Pro-Series)
3. E2 by FastWay Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch

We definitely want the sway-control so now I should be looking at the difference between #2 and #3.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:04 PM   #6
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Jan, welcome to the 21 club.


With your new truck, you might be more interested in sway control, versus weight distribution. The 21 lends itself to running with some liquid in the waste tanks, imo. Being aware of heavy items under the bed for loading purposes is another angle that you might not be used to.

My 2.5 cents worth.


Edit: I see you are already on this. My classic has ~10" clearance on level ground to the start of the Andersen clamps. As far as I know, I don't have the lift package.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:09 PM   #7
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Another WDH option to look at is the Blue Ox if weight is a big concern. I am able to pick up both bars with one hand and I am not a big person. Switched from an Ez Lift system to the Blue OX on a 22.5' Airstream Safari due to weight & clearance issues and have been very happy with its performance.
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Old 04-18-2018, 01:59 PM   #8
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We travel quite a bit without the WDH installed too and we never have sway. There have been lots of posts here commenting on the fact that due to the design the Escape trailers are not as prone to sway as many others. We also travel with the the water tank which is behind the rear axle full and we have two bikes on the back on a 1Up bike rack. The fact that the bed and bathroom are up front no doubt compensates for that- along with the propane tanks.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
Late last year, we caught that dreaded disease, 2-foot-itis and, thus, have a 21' on order, to be picked up in September. While our build sheet is fairly easy, there are two items that are giving us pause so we're reaching out for opinions.

First, the WDH. We loved the Andersen on our 19' but have been told that ETI now uses the Fastway E2 (it was hinted that it was because of poor customer service from Andersen ... ). We've watch many videos, read articles, etc., and still lean towards the Andersen but are open to the E2. Anyone have experience with both and, if so, what are some pros and cons. (One 'con', we're not excited about is the fact the E2 weighs 50+ lbs more than the Andersen.)

Second, high rise vs. regular. One thing that always bothered me on our 19' was the fact that the support bars on the WDH and the trailer receiver seemed so close to the ground (the photo shows the brackets -- the hitch receiver was about the same height). ETI tells me that a high rise will add 2.5" to the height of the trailer. We don't really use our trailer for off-road or other non-asphalt camping and our new truck sits about the same as our old so I'm wondering if the high rise would be more of a pain than an asset. Thoughts?
For what it is worth, my wife and I just got back from the Escape showroom. We had a look at the show model of the 21 prior to finalizing our build sheet. We had originally intended to order the high lift axle, but after seeing the trailer we concluded that if a location required more clearance, our 4x4 Tacoma shouldn't be there anyway. The clearance under the standard 21 is already excellent. We deleted the high lift axle from the build sheet.

Having said that, I understand your concern about the height of the WDH. I intend to just remove the trunnion bars when setting up at any campsite where their clearance might be an issue. They will be coming off at the campsite anyway, and they are not required for the kind of maneuvering needed to set up camp. As to clearance beneath the ball itself, I will just put up with it. I am not much worried about digging a bit of dirt once in a while if the co-pilot does not manage to avoid it. The likelihood of this clearance issue being significant in any other circumstance than a particularly rough campsite is too remote to justify choosing the high axle for us.

I chose the Reese WDH and will install the dual cam anti-sway option - maybe not needed, but other than a bit of extra weight, not much downside either. It seems like a well built unit, and was easily available to us in Canada. If I had found a comparable dual cam unit that was lighter, I would have gone for it.

Good luck with your decision,

Cheers,

Allan Edie
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:55 PM   #10
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I had an Andersen with my 19 and sold it with the trailer. Bought another Andersen to use with my 21 and sold it with the trailer. Wished I had kept it and the Andersen's are getting $$$. I'd forgo the rise and get the Andersen for the 21 and your Taco, or get air bags for the truck. The t/w is about 75-50# more than your old weight.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:06 PM   #11
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I have been using the Husky Centerline TS for over a year and (of course ) think that it's the best WDH for the 21'. It is a clone of the original Equal-i-zer hitch with 4 point anti-sway with some improvements.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W919GLM/ref=emc_b_5_t

The "Equalizer hitch" sold by Escape is not an Equal-i-zer hitch but a Pro-Series. https://www.equalizerhitch.com/

https://www.reesehitches.com/categor...on_Hitches,954
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:37 PM   #12
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Bruce - Too bad we couldn't have hooked up in Vegas as it would have been nice to "revisit" your 21' (oh, and you too!!). Thanks for the height info.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:38 PM   #13
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Blue Ox ... yet another WDH to research! Thanks pointing us to this one as well.

Oh, and the Husky as well. Sounds like you both really like these two products. Now I need a BIG comparison chart ....
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:40 PM   #14
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Rossue and BCNomad ... you bring up the point that I will need to rethink my packing with the 21'. It will be a bit different than our 19' I think.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:43 PM   #15
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Thank you so much for your insight on the high rise Allan Edie, that's exactly the kind of input that is extremely helpful. While our clearance was always a worry to me, in the four years we had the trailer we only scraped the hitch receiver once and it was at a very, very slow speed. I'm thinking we'll skip the high rise.
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
So, the build sheet shows:
1. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion)
2. Equalizer Hitch (Pro-Series 600lb Trunnion) with Sway Control Bar (Pro-Series)
3. E2 by FastWay Integrated Sway Control and Weight Distribution Hitch

We definitely want the sway-control so now I should be looking at the difference between #2 and #3.
The "sway control" comes from deliberate friction in the hitch system which damps sway by absorbing energy when the tug and trailer rotate relative to each other... in all of these systems.

The most advanced friction system is in the Andersen No-Sway, which uses a conical wedge to produce friction-inducing force in proportion to hitch weight, regardless of load distribution adjustment. One side of the surfaces sliding together is brake lining material, intended for this sort of use. This system has some other issues, though.

On the other extreme, the Pro Series systems are typical classic two-bar-and-chain WDs. The "with Sway Control Bar" version adds the crudest possible friction device, working entirely separately from the WD, which you manually adjust with no idea of whether the setting is right or not.

The E2 (and other similar WD systems) depends on friction between the ends of the spring bars and the brackets that they're sliding in. That's steel-on-steel, guaranteed to wear and to make noise, both of which are usually tolerable. The force on this connection is determined by the load-distribution adjustment: that's perhaps not ideal, but at least it is consistently reproducible (the same amount every time you hitch up).
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:10 PM   #17
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Aaargh! I think I feel a headache coming on .... So many choices! (Thank you!)
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CADreamin View Post
Aaargh! I think I feel a headache coming on .... So many choices! (Thank you!)
Here comes more headache, sorry.

There are basically two types of antisway device, those that depend on frictional damping once sway begins, and those that, by using a cam mechanism which is part of the WDH hookup, apply an instant counter-acting torque any time the hitch departs from straight ahead. I liked the idea of more active application of torque rather than simple friction, and I did not want to listen to a friction design making racket during normal driving. I assume that not all friction designs make noise, but the ones that Escape sells almost certainly will because the friction comes from steel on steel at the ends of the torsion bars, and as I understand them, grease must not be applied to shut them up because that would remove the friction that provides damping. The dual cam design OTOH is less dependent on friction per se, and I intend to grease them to keep them quiet.

Both systems work. I chose the dual cam for its more powerful and active anti-sway mechanism and quiet operation, but my hitch will be heavier than some of the alternatives. You gets to choose your poison...


Cheers,

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Old 04-18-2018, 08:30 PM   #19
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Ever since moving up to tandem axles, the issue of sway has been minimized, particularly by knowing the proper tongue weight. IMHO, weight distribution is more of an issue with an Escape tandem axle, depending on your tow vehicle, not sway. The mere fact you have weight distribution in place should also help with sway if it becomes prevalent.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:37 PM   #20
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Ever since moving up to tandem axles, the issue of sway has been minimized, particularly by knowing the proper tongue weight. IMHO, weight distribution is more of an issue with an Escape tandem axle, depending on your tow vehicle, not sway. The mere fact you have weight distribution in place should also help with sway if it becomes prevalent.
Agreed. I may yet try the WDH without the cam antisway (easy to convert back and forth), and if testing behaviour on my part can't generate instability that makes me unhappy, the cam fittings may go on Ebay. Options are nice though.
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