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Old 05-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #31
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
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Yes you're right, I would just be a ball hitch without the bottom plate and chains.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:43 PM   #32
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Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
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I just towed 1350 miles with the Andersen and my Dodge ram with air bags. I reduced the air pressure to 5 psi to allow the ram to have a softer ride. With the Andersen, my cutting board which I leave on my stove and the sink cover remained in it's place. The Escape towed true and straight thru 35 mph winds last night and today. My gas took a hit to 11 mpg.

Brian, the Andersen anti sway can work without the chains, but will work better with chains.
The ball and trailer are locked together and when the trailer is turned the ball turns with it, unlike a conventional hitch set up. There is no ball/hitch lubrication used in the Andersen because of this. Since the ball is encased in a cylinder surrounded with brake material, it does not turn easily between the tongue weight and the brake material. I had no sway at all on the trip even with wind gusts.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:28 AM   #33
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Jim,
Great info thanks. Sounds like the unit was easy to switch between your vehicles and tows both with good results. Always nice when things work as advertised/expected.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The ball and trailer are locked together and when the trailer is turned the ball turns with it, unlike a conventional hitch set up. There is no ball/hitch lubrication used in the Andersen because of this.
Used as intended, the chains force the ball to rotate with the trailer, so the coupler does not need to rotate on a vertical axis on the ball. The coupler still moves on the ball as it rolls and pitches, so it is rotating in two of the three axes, but I suppose it wouldn't be a problem to skip the lubrication.

In the first video on Andersen's No-Sway product page, one person is clearly shown rotating the plate to turn the ball/cone, because that is how it is turned in the hitch operation... not by the trailer coupler.

The same coupler is used with the Andersen as with any other hitch system, and the coupler freely rotates on the ball. Without the chains what would lock the ball and coupler together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Since the ball is encased in a cylinder surrounded with brake material, it does not turn easily between the tongue weight and the brake material
The shaft of the ball is this cylinder (which is actually a cone, tapered 1/4" over the 4" height) which rotates in the hitch head; the rotation is resisted by friction. Without the chains, there will be this substantial friction to keep the ball from rotating in the hitch head, and minimal friction to make the ball rotate with the coupler, so the ball will be solid in the head (turns with the tug, not the trailer) just like any plain adjustable-height ball mount.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #35
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Brian,
My ball does not turn by hand with the bottom plate, you need to bang on the plate to line up the hole, it is very tight. So are you saying to use the hitch without the chains and the friction would be greater?
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:07 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
My ball does not turn by hand with the bottom plate, you need to bang on the plate to line up the hole, it is very tight.
It should be tight, because the weight of the trailer on the ball forces it down into the friction material and "wedges" it there - even after lifting the trailer off, it is probably stuck to some extent just as a drawer pushed in unevenly can get jammed in a cabinet (if drawer slides are not used).

The plate is keyed to the ball's shaft, so the ball/shaft and plate turn together.

Under normal tongue weight, the No-Sway is deliberately designed to have a very substantial amount of friction to resist trailer sway motion. The torque required to turn it with an Escape attached should be very roughly as much as needed to fully tighten a wheel nut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
So are you saying to use the hitch without the chains and the friction would be greater?
No, the amount of friction depends only on the tongue weight. Without chains, the friction would be no greater than with the chains... but there would be nothing to turn the plate (and ball/shaft), so all those parts would stay locked in place in the hitch head. With the WD chains in use, the chains pull very hard and move the plate (and thus the ball/shaft) to match the trailer.


I asked Andersen this question (via their support web page), after providing some context from our discussion:
Quote:
If used without the chains, does a No-Sway system provide any sway control, or is it simply an adjustable-height ball mount with ball, like a normal EZ Hitch?
This is the relevant part of the response, which they promptly provided (in less than one business day):
Quote:
... Without the triangle plate attached this would just be a heavy duty ball mount –which is fine if you don't need sway control. As you figured out, the plate needs to move the ball against the friction material to gain sway control – and it can't do that without the chains in place so it can turn. You may want to forward that information to the forum or person who posted the original comment.

Please feel free to contact us again.

--Andrew
Customer Service
Andersen Hitches …Made in America!
Off: 208.523.6460 | Fax: 208.523.6562
customerservice@andersenhitches.com
Andersen Manufacturing Inc.
I'm sorry if I've dragged this subject out. I'm not trying to make an issue out of nothing, I just want to be sure that no one spends $300 more than necessary (the difference between No-Sway and plain EZ Hitch) because they mistakenly believe they are getting more functionality during non-WD use. Even worse, I wouldn't want anyone towing with the No-Sway hardware and not using the WD chains thinking that they have sway control when they do not.
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