Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Fifth-Wheels: Andersen Ultimate Issues
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 > Andersen Ultimate Issues

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Searching_Ut

Utah

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Posted: 09/30/16 03:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm coming up on the one year marks with the Andersen Ultimate steel version approximately 5k miles with the Bighorn, a around 800 miles with a Presidential suites. I've given up on the hitch as it's causing damage to both my truck, and my 2016 Bighorn 3270RS. So far the truck bed is pretty much just cosmetic from what I can tell, spray in bed liner flattened/indented. Judging by the bed flex though I feel time won't be good especially if we head to Alaska which is one of our plans.

The bighorn has a Lippert 1621HD pin box, the bottom plate of which isn't up to supporting all of the pin weight on the ends of the two set screws which carry all the load with the Andersen hitch adapter. See photos for issues. Dealer won't deal with the issue, and after approximately 3 weeks Andersen isn't saying anything yet either so being as how I have a long roadtrip planned for the near future, I ended up buying a B&W hitch, which is installed in the truck already, and Reese fifth airborne pin box which should arrive and be installed Monday.

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Due to pin box length, ball adapter is installed with ball installed aft of pin. Collapse of pin box base plate was slow and progressive over the miles.


2015 Ram 3500 Laramie CTD, 4X4, AISIN, B&W Companion Puck Mount
2016 Heartland Bighorn 3270RS, 1kw solar with Trimetric and dual SC2030, 600 watt and 2k inverters.

MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 09/30/16 04:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the honest report with pics! I think the Andersen would be best if used with rails, but still may have pin box issues.

Using the bed for support on newer trucks is IMO, not the best idea, no matter what hitch.

I think the puck system is the best overall, for standard hitches, and likely an Andersen style puck mount in the near future.

Hope the new B&W works for you, with no issues.

Jerry





Colo Native

Colorado

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Posted: 09/30/16 04:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

good to know I was wondering about them


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Justaguy

Fort Worth

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Posted: 09/30/16 04:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow!!! Thanks for the update!

Me Again

Sunbird(Wa)/snowbird(Az)

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Posted: 09/30/16 05:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And for the last couple years a couple of us have been criticized for pointing out Andersen short comings. OK for lighter trailers, not up the the task for heavier trailers.

Thanks for the honest feedback. Chris


2015 RAM 3500 CC SB SRW Our Rig New 2017 Bighorn 3575el. Commuter trailer 2019 Laredo 225MK. Retired and enjoying it!


alboy

Kelowna B.C.

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Posted: 09/30/16 05:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That lippert pin box is a joke, i have never seen anything like that with very little support.There is no way the Andersen could work with that set up.

jerem0621

Tennessee

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Posted: 09/30/16 05:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Enjoy the B&W hitch and the new pin box!

My dad is purchasing an Andersen rail mount for his new fiver but his campers GVWR is around 9,500-10,000 lbs....about ideal for the Andersen.

Thanks!

Jeremiah


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Searching_Ut

Utah

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Posted: 09/30/16 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Regarding the lippert pin box being a "Joke", no argument from me. Actually, the whole lippert frame isn't any better. Minimally designed to put it mildly. That said, I believe the 1621 and 1621 HD are the most widely used pin boxes out there right now on the rigs around 16k

Regarding the bed mounted hitch, obviously I agree hence the decision to go with the puck mount B&W. It's a much more solid hitch, and by the end of Oct I should have 3k or so miles towing with it so I can asses better.

Other issues with the Andersen, first trip to dealer with the trailer for warranty work, when I went to pick it up, couldn't lock the hitch adapter pin. Little ding in the lip of the adapter had to be sanded out to get the pin to slide easily. Didn't think much of it. Second trip to dealer, same thing, only worse and the dealer replaced hitch adapter for me. Suspected culprit is the ball setup they had on their forklift. They adapted a different setup for the Andersen for the future.

I also have occasionally had a loud POP, that happened if braking hard, accelerating hard, or most commonly when the 5er was pulled or backed up in soft soil/gravel where it sank in a bit. Finally got someone to drive the truck while I rode on the running boards to see what was going on. Seems the hitch base would slip just a hair under certain conditions, less than a quarter inch but it would jump all at once and be loud when it did it. Probably related to the spray in bed liner and a rubber mat or something would probably take care of that. For the record, the hitch adapter was torqued with weight on the ball. It's a pain to do as well, because with the hitch adapter set with the ball behind the pin, this means you have to jackknife the truck so you can crawl in there to get on the upper bolt with the torque wrench. Kind of a pain in the tush.

Anyway, I had high hopes for the Andersen initially, and talked the dealer into getting me one when I bought the trailer. I really like the concept. When I actually got it instead of reading about it I was a little concerned initially, but at the same time excited by the ease of installation and removal. Being someone that uses the truck for "truck duties" from time to time, and having several ruptured discs in my back light is good. Hopefully they'll come up with a better design in the future that works within the somewhat poorly designed trailer frames that rule the day.

WTP-GC

FL

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Posted: 09/30/16 06:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That pinbbox is just freaky. That is likely the culprit for all the other issues you mentioned. The fact that it essentially self-destructed would have me extremely upset with the manufacturer. I know that it would appear that the 2 set screws hold all the weigh, but the lateral forces against the kingpin are pretty significant as well. There's a lot of people towing with the Andersen, yet this is the first reported issue along these lines I'm aware of. Not trying to be critical, just saying that the pinbox is obviously majorly deficient.

Though it doesn't matter to you any longer, you could use a crows foot adapter to tighten the bolt after setting the trailer on it ;-)


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Searching_Ut

Utah

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Posted: 09/30/16 07:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WTP-GC wrote:

That pinbbox is just freaky. That is likely the culprit for all the other issues you mentioned. The fact that it essentially self-destructed would have me extremely upset with the manufacturer. I know that it would appear that the 2 set screws hold all the weigh, but the lateral forces against the kingpin are pretty significant as well. There's a lot of people towing with the Andersen, yet this is the first reported issue along these lines I'm aware of. Not trying to be critical, just saying that the pinbox is obviously majorly deficient.

Though it doesn't matter to you any longer, you could use a crows foot adapter to tighten the bolt after setting the trailer on it ;-)


I'm not so sure about others not having issues. The maintenance section at my dealers said they don't even like to deal with the Andersen hitches because of all the problems they have with them. In addition, I walked around the storage lot where I used to store my 5er and looked at several of the other rigs that had Andersen adapters on them (They are actually fairly common in this area). I saw a toyhauler with a mor ryde on it that the Andersen adapter was deforming in the same manner as mine deformed. The mor-ryde not being welded on the sides allowed you to see the bending much more easily than on a standard pin box That said this pin box wasn't deformed quite as bad yet. On the other hand, I've talked with several other Andersen owners, and other than base shifting type issues and a couple complaints regarding the set screw gouges on the pin box, I haven't heard any complaints.

Regarding the pin box design, it's pretty standard for how pin boxes are made. This particular box has a 3/16 inch thick plate of mild steel welded onto a frame bottom of approximately 12 inches wide by 10 inches long. Focus 3k or so static load onto less than a square inch of that plate and then repeatedly hit it with shock loads and eventually it will deform. Spread the same impact over the bulk of the plate surface and it would probably hold up to the 18k trailer it's rated for.

I'll ignore the crows foot comment, as you haven't seen my tool box. It's way to heavy, and I can't find anything in it anyway. My truck tool box has hydraulic crimpers, multimeters, an oscilloscope, battery capacity tester, inspection camera, wrenches, sockets, jacks, chains for the truck and trailer, tow straps, hardware etc. etc. etc. I need to downsize, or buy a bigger truck already. Adding more....

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