Hooking up with an Andersen Hitch - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #1
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Hooking up with an Andersen Hitch

When we got our orientation on Thursday, Dennis said that life was easier if we could remember the angle between the tow vehicle and the trailer when we unhooked. The notion is that one wants to keep the rear edge of the triangular plate (the ones where the chains attach) perpendicular to the centerline of the trailer.

When we unhitched on Thursday afternoon, there was a slight angle between the TV and the trailer, and I am having a hard time replicating that. I thought that should be able to pull the ball of the hitch up, and then rotate so that the plate would be perpendicular to the trailer. But the ball doesn't want to pull up -- it seems pretty securely seated in the brake lining material, and doesn't want to rotate (a good thing for sway control).

Have others had this problem? And if so, what did they do about it?
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
I thought that should be able to pull the ball of the hitch up, and then rotate so that the plate would be perpendicular to the trailer. But the ball doesn't want to pull up -- it seems pretty securely seated in the brake lining material, and doesn't want to rotate (a good thing for sway control).
Andersen does not want you to do that - they specifically caution against unseating the ball/cone from its socket.

If you are not lined up the way you were when you unhitched, one No-Sway chain will be too slack and the other one will not reach the triangular plate. Anderson says to hook up the chain which is slack, then pull forward slightly, turning away from that chain to tighten it - that brings the plate around so the other chain can reach. For instance, if the right chain can be hooked up with slack, hook it up and then pull forward and to the left - then the left chain will reach.

Andersen's WD Hitch Support page offers a video for this. Frankly, I haven't watched it recently, but I expect it will show what I described, based on previous correspondence with Andersen. I don't have a lot of patience for watching long (and slow-to-download) videos of things that take less than a minute to read.

The Anderson installation manual (which is also the user's manual) only says to make the rear edge of the triangular plate perpendicular, not really how to hook up if it is not; in the installation manual, they are thinking about the first hookup, not really about later.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:42 PM   #3
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Leon, you only need to be close. What I do is to latch the ball to the hitch, and then crank up a lot, lifting both the trailer hitch and the rear of the tow. If you go high enough, you will have a fair bit of slack in the chains, and most likely enough to get the chain plate on.

Only once or twice have I been unable to get close enough, and on one occasion I know I used a chunk of firewood to encourage the plate to turn the amount I needed.
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Old 09-29-2014, 01:45 PM   #4
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I thought the Andersen Hitch was supposed to be easier than a standard WDH.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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I thought the Andersen Hitch was supposed to be easier than a standard WDH.
Takes me 60 seconds tops in addition to just a regular mount, not sure about others. I haven't heard anyone saying it was easier, as in faster. Again, nothing to compare to for me.
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:14 PM   #6
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I find that if I back the tow vehicle up to the Escape at approximately the same angle as when I unhooked, I can pull the yoke around as part of the normal ratcheting process. It helps to use the tongue jack to lift things up and get more slack in the chains as Jim said. If you're at such an angle that you can't even get the pin through the yoke, I think I'd re-position the tow.

I don't know if this easier than a conventional WDH or not. Just different, and more fun to talk about.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I thought the Andersen Hitch was supposed to be easier than a standard WDH.
Not dealing with heavy greasy-on-one-end spring bars while sitting on my butt in the rain IS definitely easier.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:25 PM   #8
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My spring bars aren't greasy ( should they be? ). And, I don't sit to install them. I do have to kneel to attach the safety chains, but, I'd have to do that anyway.
Andersen costs 50 per cent more, and I've not had anybody explain satisfactorily why I should spend the money.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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Glen,
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:35 PM   #10
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I always install the chain plate, then align it to the trailer when i tighten the chain bolts. As Jim said, you can get more slack if needed by raising the tongue once you're hitched.
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