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Old 06-28-2015, 07:48 PM   #1
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Andersen Hitch issue

We just wanted to tell all of you about a really nice experience we are having with the Anderson Hitch company. This report is almost a carbon copy of an e-mai we just sent to ETI.

We had called ETI a few weeks ago to ask what to do about the rather outrageous squawking, creaking and groaning coming from our hitch. Dennis left us a message with the suggestion that we spray it with Lithium grease, which we did, several times. It may have improved it momentarily but it rapidly became a “show stopper” upon entering or exiting campgrounds, gas stations or super market plaza parking! All eyes of those within hearing distance became immediately riveted on us as the source of this unearthly sound!

The Andersen company says that ours apparently was in a bad batch, and ordered a new part to be delivered over night to an RV place not too far from here where we are camping in Colorado, and they installed it today. In talking with the Andersen representative, this is not unheard of and they have made adjustments to the compound on the new cones. When taken apart, it was evident that there was lots of spalling of the black cone liner which appeared to result in those horrible sounds. In taking the hitch apart, the snap ring on the bottom was removed and the hitch inverted and the ball shaft piece was hammered out. The existing core liner was then carefully chiseled out of the hitch. The technician had to wire brush the center of the ball shaft to remove the adhered compound and likewise had to clean out the hitch proper of some residue. Both the ball shaft and the hitch proper were liberally sprayed with dry silicone before the installation of the new cone. Some hammering on the ball to get it low enough to re-fit the snap ring, and it seems good to go.

Andersen was in communication with the RV place and stood behind the cost of repair. How gratifying! $120/hour, and one hour for these guys to fix it. They had never done one before, so it was quite the learning process. No more squawks, grunts, groans and embarrassment so far!! We thought you would like to know that the Andersen company seems very attentive, and happily made all the arrangements for us. They even called several times to check with the dealer here in Colorado to make sure they are on board, and to see if the part arrived. They also called us several times to let us know they were keeping track. All expenses were covered by Andersen, and we wanted to let this of you who might encounter this problem know that they are really standing by their product, and it is a relatively easy fix..

Except for this little hiccup, the hitch is really wonderful. Incredibly stable on the road and really keeps things on the level and easy to tow.

We love everything about our new Houdini 2!
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:37 PM   #2
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I too had a good experience with Andersen. Since I sold my first Andersen with my 19 Escape, I ordered a new one for BlackJack. Well it seems that with growth comes shortcuts and my frame brackets were too low and scrapped the ground when exiting my driveway. Andersen no longer made custom brackets but went with a "universal bracket" which w all know sometimes does not work. I had purchased it on line from Amazon and got nowhere with the retailer. LSS, I contacted Andersen and made arrangements last year to stop at the factory in Idaho Falls, Id. Andersen then replaced the universal bracket with the correct fitting bucket and I was good to go. Great customer service and very large factory.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:31 PM   #3
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Good to hear that Andersen stands so staunchly behind its product. There will be a whole bunch of Escape owners who will breathe a sigh of relief.

One question: the cone material you mention as black. Mine is pink. Does anyone know the difference?

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Old 06-29-2015, 06:06 AM   #4
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They change the colors routinely, I have had both colors.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:15 AM   #5
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Hi: Eddys... Sounds like ETI& Andersen are perfectly paired to customer service.
Glad you have muted your entrances and love your new 19'er. Alf
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
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Eddys,

Did Andersen suggest you spray silicone in the friction cone areas?

Thanks. Dave
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:35 AM   #7
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anderson hitch

When my plastic like material bushing (mine is reddish) pushed up about 3/8", I called and they said change it when it is about 1/2". I was sent a new bushing at no charge and when it got to 1/2" I changed it. Good C clip pliers and a heavy brass hammer was useful. I always put white lithium grease on the ball to reduce wear and noise from pitching motion.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azjack View Post
When my plastic like material bushing (mine is reddish) pushed up about 3/8", I called and they said change it when it is about 1/2". I was sent a new bushing at no charge and when it got to 1/2" I changed it. Good C clip pliers and a heavy brass hammer was useful. I always put white lithium grease on the ball to reduce wear and noise from pitching motion.
Jack
Jack, not to disagree with you but to my mind, greasing the ball on an Andersen hitch defeats the braking material's function for anti-sway.

The noise that the OP mentioned was caused by defective braking material in the cone - not noise from the ball. As for pitching noise, a properly adjusted Andersen hitch reduces pitching greatly, and we haven't had noise from that.

On a conventional ball, I'd use grease too. Not on the Andersen.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:41 PM   #9
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Klaus - Several of our friends who have the Andersen Hitch had the red colored cone material. One of our friends had that upward slippage as mentioned in Jack's post and I figure that the new black compound was created to stop that tendency.
Dave - Andersen did not suggest spraying with Dry Silicone Spray but both the technician and I felt it certainly couldn't hurt.
Jack - I have been using weight distribution hitches for quite a few years and have never greased the ball for sound and/or wear. In this case it was done merely to try and cut down on the audio; I see no relevance to braking and/or anti-sway.
Hope this clarifies a bit!
- Ian
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:45 PM   #10
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I have been using weight distribution hitches for quite a few years and have never greased the ball for sound and/or wear. In this case it was done merely to try and cut down on the audio; I see no relevance to braking and/or anti-sway.
Not braking of the tow vehicle, but the braking material (what you described as the red material) in the cone. And yes, It's an anti-sway mechanism. These hitches don't work the same as conventional bar-type wdh hitches. And, greasing the ball CAN have an affect on their anti-sway properties by allowing free movement of the receiver over the ball, rather than the ball partially turning along with it.
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Old 06-29-2015, 02:49 PM   #11
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I'm sure Parker will chime in here but he was told by Anderson to put some grease on the ball because of excessive wear on the back of the ball caused by the hitch pushing on the back of the ball with so much tension. He has a lot of miles on his (guessing around 12000) and has already replaced the brake cone and bushings.

Mine has also started showing wear on the back of the ball (about 7000) miles and I have also started adding a dab of grease where the hitch contacts the back of the ball. I am a little concern about wear on the hitch over the the next years.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:13 PM   #12
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I know of at least one other case where folks were experiencing excess noise and Andersen suggested a bit of grease on the ball. We were getting a bit of creaking noise, so we to have used a dab of lithium grease on the hitch ball. It made things a bit quieter, and we haven't noticed any difference in the towing. When I put the trailer in storage last week, I noticed that there was a bit of abrasion on the chain links near the trailer end of the chains -- where they go into the black box at the bottom of the brackets. It isn't really wear, just an erosion of whatever covers the chains and a small bit of rust. So maybe some grease there would help too.

On the way to Osoyoos, we goofed and put the washer to the front of the elastomer spring, rather than between the nut and the spring. As a result, we arrived at Osoyoos, with the nut embedded half way into the elastomer. Bill, of Bill and Earline, figured out how to get the nut out of the elastomer by using a couple of big wrenches to move the elastomer down the bolt. Thanks to Bill for demonstrating the power of the inclined plane and a large lever. Escape sold me a new elastomer and delivered it to me at the rally. But in my initial panic, I had also contacted Andersen to see if they could get us a part. After the rally I got an email from their customer service dept and they shipped me a new elastomer at no charge because "The parts have a lifetime guarantee. Given that the damage occurred through our negligence, I was very impressed by Andersen's willingness to stand behind their product.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:20 PM   #13
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And, greasing the ball CAN have an affect on their anti-sway properties by allowing free movement of the receiver over the ball, rather than the ball partially turning along with it.
Grease on the ball will not affect the anti-sway effectiveness of the friction bushing. The anti-sway resistance is created from the weight of the hitch, and the the fact the metal bracket the chains connect to does not allow the ball to rotate with the trailer, only with a turning action between the trailer and tow vehicle.

The only movement seen on the ball regardless of greasing, would be a bit bit of tipping/lifting as the shocks do their thing.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:27 PM   #14
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Grease on the ball will not affect the anti-sway effectiveness of the friction bushing. The anti-sway resistance is created from the weight of the hitch, and the the fact the metal bracket the chains connect to does not allow the ball to rotate with the trailer, only with a turning action between the trailer and tow vehicle.

The only movement seen on the ball regardless of greasing, would be a bit bit of tipping/lifting as the shocks do their thing.
Ah, I see. Since the triangle plate is connected to the ball via the bottom pin, the ball will turn along with the trailer regardless.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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Ah, I see. Since the triangle plate is connected to the ball via the bottom pin, the ball will turn along with the trailer regardless.
I knew there was a simpler way to say what I did.

My mind is still in holiday mode.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:41 PM   #16
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All,

This was a very good thread. Very helpful and informative for us non-mechanical types.

Klaus
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:56 PM   #17
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andersen hitch

When I talked to Anderson about the red material, I also mentioned the wear marks on the ball and they said to use the grease.
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:56 PM   #18
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And, greasing the ball CAN have an affect on their anti-sway properties by allowing free movement of the receiver over the ball, rather than the ball partially turning along with it.
I'm not so sure about that. The triangular plate under the hitch ought to transmit torque better than friction on the ball. If mine squealed, I'd probably grease it.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:26 PM   #19
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The only issue I see in lubricating the ball is the possibility of some grease seeping down and getting on the brake material, thereby affecting it's ability to dampen sway.
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Old 06-30-2015, 09:58 AM   #20
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Anderson hitch

Trip home last Wed., 110 degrees for about 5 hours with a lot of white lithium grease on the ball and it was all still there when I had to wipe it off at home.
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