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Old 09-09-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
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Squeaky Andersen hitch

After second day of towing our Andersen WDH started squeaking a lot during turns and over bumps - basic up and down movements. On the first day it was quiet and we didn't notice any noise. Has anyone experienced this? is this normal? Thanks, John and Brenda
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:00 PM   #2
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Mine squeaks a bit too after a whole bunch of times using it. Was going to look closer, but never have yet. I don't notice anything driving straight down the road.

BTW, just fired an email off to Andersen. There service was top-notch when I needed a replacement socket due to the one sent being milled a little wrong. They had not seen my issue before, but quickly sent out the new one.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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One time I thought my hitch was squeaking too. I heard it at 5k heading to our camp site with the window down. I unhitched and re hitched only to find it was my twin LP tanks rubbing at the T bar!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Mine squeaks a bit too after a whole bunch of times using it. Was going to look closer, but never have yet. I don't notice anything driving straight down the road.

BTW, just fired an email off to Andersen. There service was top-notch when I needed a replacement socket due to the one sent being milled a little wrong. They had not seen my issue before, but quickly sent out the new one.
Jim, let us know what they say about it. Thanks!
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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Squeaking is two metal parts rubbing together, so I would look for wear from rubbing anywhere that happens. A likely spot might be where the chains come out of the tubular guides on the frame brackets. Another one is the screw-pin shackles that connect the chain to the plate, at the shackle/plate bearing point.

That's just my guess, based on the design of the system.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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I wonder if it's the friction material between the ball and the holder. Speaking of which, after 4,000 miles of towing, the ball looks like maybe it's working its way down into the friction material, maybe 1/8" or so. I'm curious to see if that continues and if it means replacing the friction liner at some point. I guess any kind of friction material can't last forever and still do its job.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:15 PM   #7
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Does anyone know if this was resolved?

Sally M said her hitch sounded like a couple of freight cars. But I think John was gouing to get a. Bit of info from Andersen. I thought one of the advantages was no need for grease on the ball. So hopefully that wasn't the fix
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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hitch noise

I occasionally do hear a little squeak type of noise, nothing compared to my previous WDH's. The ball appears to have a worn spot where the hitch moves vertically on the ball but I don't want to go back to using grease or tightening the chains any more. I guess I'll live with it as I didn't notice it originally but the chains were tighter and the ball was smoother.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:19 PM   #9
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I'm not sure if this is totally relevant, but that doesn't usually deter me....we have now towed our Escape 9300 miles with the Andersen, and I'm beginning to see a wear spot develop just aft of the flat spot on top of the ball...right at the aft edge of the flat spot. I'm getting the impression that this may be the only contact point while we're towing, meaning this is probably wearing a similar spot into the hitch rather than distributing the wear. I took a file to the area to smooth it out and try to create a broader contact patch. I think I'll mark it up with a Sharpie before hooking up again to see what sort of wear pattern I can discern, but I'm not sure what to do next. It does have me thinking about adding a little lube to the ball.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:21 PM   #10
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I never did get an answer from Andersen. Someone on the forum used a little lithium grease on the ball and that worked for me. A very small amount did the trick. I had to repeat this after a few tows.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:44 PM   #11
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At least if it squeaks, you know it's still there! Kinda like your body when it aches....
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
...we have now towed our Escape 9300 miles with the Andersen, and I'm beginning to see a wear spot develop just aft of the flat spot on top of the ball...right at the aft edge of the flat spot. I'm getting the impression that this may be the only contact point while we're towing, meaning this is probably wearing a similar spot into the hitch rather than distributing the wear.
Probably. An Andersen No-Sway set to transfer any significant amount of load has hundreds of pounds (in some cases perhaps 2,000 lb) of tension on the chains, and thus the same amount pushing the coupler forward against the back of the ball. Although a coupler compliant with the usual standards (VESA-5 and SAE J684) can withstand a force equal to the entire weight of the trailer in this direction without breaking, high force is not normally applied in this direction continually while towing; most couplers are not shaped for this.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #13
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Might have to trade the Escape in on an Andersen trailer. :
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:28 PM   #14
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Andersen Manufacturing has offered a broad range of towing-related equipment, usually at least bit out of the mainstream. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the next one were a coupler optimized to go with their WD system.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
Sally M said her hitch sounded like a couple of freight cars. But I think John was gouing to get a. Bit of info from Andersen. I thought one of the advantages was no need for grease on the ball. So hopefully that wasn't the fix
I had a groaning or squeaking noise also that started after several days of towing. I traded emails with Anderson trying to resolve the issue and ended up using a small amount of lithium grease on the ball based on their recommendation. Instantly solved the problem for me.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:22 AM   #16
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I thought one of the advantages was no need for grease on the ball.
The expectation that no ball grease would be needed results from the fact that the ball rotates with the trailer, so turning doesn't cause relative motion; however, the coupler still moves on the ball with rocking motions.

The Andersen No-Sway design pushes hard on the back of the ball. That probably doesn't cause too much squeaking with side-to-side rocking, but front-to-back rocking will scrape the back of the coupler hard against the ball (causing wear as described above), so it seems reasonable to expect grease to be needed.

The Andersen 'No-Sway' Weight Distribution Hitch web page says:
Quote:
Grease-free system –ball and coupler move as one
The "move as one" part is obviously not correct (since it ignores motion in two of the three rotational axes), and apparently the grease-free claim is not appropriate.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:26 AM   #17
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Brian, I appreciate the thought you've put into this.

I've questioned the whole "no grease" idea since Tammy's dad first hooked the Escape to our car with that same advice. Clearly the hitch has to move around on the ball as it rocks back and forth and when going over dips and humps in the road. I'm going to opt for a little grease. It would be nice to find something almost dry like beeswax or paraffin that would't attract dirt. Maybe Andersen could work on that as well.
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post
Brian, I appreciate the thought you've put into this.

I've questioned the whole "no grease" idea since Tammy's dad first hooked the Escape to our car with that same advice. Clearly the hitch has to move around on the ball as it rocks back and forth and when going over dips and humps in the road. I'm going to opt for a little grease. It would be nice to find something almost dry like beeswax or paraffin that would't attract dirt. Maybe Andersen could work on that as well.
Hi: Parker... I heard/read some where that a dryer sheet over the ball is like a non greasy way to lube it. Can't say it works as we have no ball to try it on. We have a nylon plate over the hitch pin. Alf
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:14 AM   #19
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We've used the dryer sheet tip on our non-Andersen hitch for three seasons and it works well: no stuff to get on your pants, knees, etc., and no squeaking. Just got an Andersen so, based on this discussion, I think we'll keep doing that.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:38 AM   #20
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Hi: Parker... I heard/read some where that a dryer sheet over the ball is like a non greasy way to lube it. Can't say it works as we have no ball to try it on. We have a nylon plate over the hitch pin. Alf
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I'd forgotten about that. I'm heading over to storage to pick up our Escape this morning and will take a dryer sheet along. I've also heard of wax paper. And......I just remembered a stick of Penzoil Door-Ease that has been in my tool box for over 40 years.
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