new owner /need advice Equalizer or Andersen Hitch - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-13-2014, 10:41 PM   #1
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new owner /need advice Equalizer or Andersen Hitch

I have ordered an Escape 15 and am planning to tow with a 2013 Subaru Outback. What is the difference in towing with the Equalizer Hitch or Andersen Hitch ? I'd really appreciate any feedback in the use of these hitches. Thanks ! Craigend.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:18 PM   #2
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Well, the Andersen costs considerably more...
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:24 PM   #3
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Just spent some time on internet looking at Andersen install video and then another with a guy hooking up a regular WD hitch. I didn't know that I should hook the ball on, jack up the tow vehicle and then pry the chains up on my WD hitch. Definitely a formula to it, and it pays to go by the book. Like many (not all) things, the Andersen looks like another example of you get what you pay for. Will use it in the future.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:12 AM   #4
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When I had my 2005 Outback, the only receiver hitches available were 1 1/4", the only load distributing hitches i've seen need a 2" receiver. This is the reason I'm building a custom 2" receiver hitch for my Volvo XC70.

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Old 05-14-2014, 12:19 AM   #5
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I believe the Anderson is also lighter in weight that a conventional WDH with bars (they are heavy). This could be a plus if using a Subaru where you may be close to max capacity for the tow vehcile.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:24 AM   #6
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JohnMR. Not sure why you would have to "build" your own hitch. See https://www.etrailer.com/vm/Volvo/XC70/hitch
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:31 AM   #7
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gbaglo, You may notice the only hitches etrailer.com has available for the Volvo also only have 1 1/4 " receivers. That's where I bought the hitches for my 2005 Outback (I didn't care about load distributing) and my 2006 Nissan Xterra.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:36 AM   #8
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Sorry. Didn't delve into it that deeply.
I am surprised that there wouldn't be a 2" hitch for it, given a 3,300 lb. tow capacity ( according to what I found, not knowing year and model ).
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:59 AM   #9
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I think Subaru advises against using weight distribution hitches. Check your manual.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:02 AM   #10
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There maybe a tongue weight limit of 200# for the Subie, another issue. Towing with a Subaru has been discussed many times over on Fiberglass RV, both the positives and negatives. If I recall, a Scamp 13 was the only unit that could meet the parameters. Compare Escape's specifications to Scamps, you may have to rethink the Subaru.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I am surprised that there wouldn't be a 2" hitch for it, given a 3,300 lb. tow capacity ( according to what I found, not knowing year and model ).
Since the limit for Class 2 is 3500 pounds, and the normal (there is no defined standard) practice for Class 2 hitches is to use a 1.25" receiver, I would expect any factory-authorized hitch for a vehicle with 3,300 pound load capacity to have a 1.25" receiver. There is little benefit to the larger receiver for towing (although it is common to prefer larger in bike racks), and the vehicle manufacturer would not want to encourage towing excessively heavy trailers, or use of WD systems if not recommended.

Aftermarket hitches are commonly larger (in box opening size and rated capacity) than required to fully use the vehicle's rated towing capacity; all Toyota Siennas have no more than 3500 pound capacity, and all Toyota OEM hitches for them are 1.25" (including mine), but most aftermarket hitches for this model are 2".
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #12
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BTW. OP is talking about building a hitch for his Volvo, not a Subaru.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #13
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Try again Glenn, I have ordered an Escape 15 and am planning to tow with a 2013 Subaru Outback.
Sometimes my bifocals see different things from multiple posts, but not this time.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMR View Post
... I'm building a custom 2" receiver hitch for my Volvo XC70.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Not sure why you would have to "build" your own hitch. See https://www.etrailer.com/vm/Volvo/XC70/hitch
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnMR View Post
You may notice the only hitches etrailer.com has available for the Volvo also only have 1 1/4 " receivers.
Actually, eTrailer lists 2" hitches for the XC70 from both Curt and Cequent (Hidden Hitch / Draw-Tite / Reese; also sold by U-Haul)... but this may vary by year. John, what year is the XC70 - maybe a pre-2007 version?

Although eTrailer lists the 2" receivers for the current generation XC70 as "Class III", they are not: a hitch with a maximum rating of 3500 pounds is Class II (or Class 2) by definition of the SAE J684 standard. They are also "Not rated for use with weight-distribution systems"; I hope John's custom setup uses a different structure, and that it is properly designed (which does not mean crudely welding a random bar to an unsuitable spot, as I have seen from the "professionals" and "experts" at certain hitch shops).
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:49 AM   #15
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The OP (Craigend) is talking about weight-distribution (WD) systems for towing an Escape 15' with a Subaru Outback; JohnMR is talking about towing an Escape 17A with a Volvo XC70. The connection is the need for a 2" receiver box in a hitch receiver to be used with a WD system... and by extension the advisability of using WD at all with the OP's trailer or either tug.

So, Craigend... the best choice will depend on what you want out of the equipment. Why are you considering WD at all with an Escape 15'?

Personally, I'm still curious about the XC70 hitch situation...
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:11 AM   #16
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Yup. I see that now.
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:16 AM   #17
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I am interested in the experiences of those who have switched from WDH setup to Andersen hitches. Currently we use a WDH with our 17b, which we tow with a Toyota Sienna. We pick up our 21 in Sept, and will probably tow with a Highlander. The current build sheet lists an Andersen Hitch.

The WDH works just fine, and is relatively easy to hitch and unhitch. Just jack up the hitch a bit, attach the bars making sure the right number of links are free, and then you are set to go. Lindy and I can stand on either side of the trailer, and each of us attaches a bar.

But, as I understand it, every time you hitch and unhitch the Andersen, you have to tighten the chains so that the proper number of threads show. And, if I recall correctly, there was one poster who mentioned that he had to make minor adjustments based on the tongue weight. For those of you who have made the switch to Andersen, did you find that it complicated your hitching / unhitching procedure at all? Do you often have to make tweaks to the adjustment?

Thanks much.
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Old 05-14-2014, 03:33 PM   #18
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First, the Andersen IS a WDH, just a different kind. I have owned one of the most popular, Equal-I-zer and the Anderson. You might read my review here
https://sites.google.com/site/ouresc...andersen-hitch

I think for my vehicle the Equal-I-zer is better at weight distribution. If you have little need for WD but need sway control the Andersen is easier set up, less weight, and less messy. Having done about 8,000 miles with each I have decided to sell my Andersen and will be bringing it to Osoyoos.
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Old 05-14-2014, 04:51 PM   #19
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Richard had a 15b that he "towed all over the Pacific Northwest" with a Subaru Forester.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f3...00-a-2764.html

I know it gets iffy looking to or giving forum advice when one is at the limits of "rated" anything. The tongue weight capability is really light on the Forester, but maybe it was loaded just right...?
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #20
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The conventional WD hitches with the bars and chains are a time tested design that seems to do its job quite well. Hook ups are relatively fast and painless once you apply proper technique. Weight of the system is fairly high.

The Anderson system is relatively new and seems to currently be quite a popular choice. Many people seem quite happy with it. However, it does have a higher degree of engineering complexity relative to the conventional bar/chain WD devices, and could potentially be subject to more longer term issues than the simpler designs.

My personal choice and recommendation would be to stick with simple and go the conventional bar/chain WD route.
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