(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
The Andersen weight distribution hitch is our best overall WDH. Read on to learn why.
To learn more about choosing among the best travel trailer hitches, as well as access the other reviews, please visit the main weight distribution hitch page.
The Andersen 'No-Sway' Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) revolutionized how weight distributing hitches work.
They did away with the traditional spring bar style weight distribution mechanism.
It was replaced with a much simpler to use chain mechanism, seen below.
This results in a much lighter, silent, and easier to use setup that deserves a hard look.
The above 'Pros' highlight just some of the advantages of the Andersen WDH.
All in all, this is simply a better design.
Choose The Right Andersen WDH Part Number
There are several part numbers available for Andersen 'No-Sway' Weight Distribution Hitches.
Because of this, before you can make a purchase, find out which kit is right for your trailer and tow vehicle.
Keep reading below to learn more about this great hitch.
When it comes time to buy, see the section on choosing the right part number.
Testimonial By Kelly
UPDATE: I am pretty hard on my stuff.
With my Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch, as of July 2019, I have already flubbed the following:
- Bent the triangle plate (stunned I didn't get a photo)
- I almost destroyed one of the urethane springs (the red part)
How did I accomplish these feats?
Triangle plate: I raised my electric jack, not noticing that the plate got caught on the metal leg of the jack.
The result was the triangle plate was bent and had to be replaced. That's one strong jack. Don't make this mistake.
The spring: One day I had to fully unassembled the hitch.
I re-assembled the hitch incorrectly, placing the giant washer on the wrong side of the urethane spring.
When I got to my destination, I noticed the spring was swollen. The nut had pushed through part of the spring.
Getting it out was 'fun'. But once out, it sprung back into shape! Oops. Mind where you place the big washer, duh!
No Spring Bars To Deal With!
If you've had to deal with heavy, awkward, loud, dirty weight distribution bars (like Camp Addict Kelly LOATHINGLY did until August of 2018), then you will understand the simplicity and convenience of the bar-free Andersen weight distribution hitch.
Below is a video by Andersen showing the benefits of the Andersen No-Sway Weight Distribution Hitch over traditional designs that use a spring bar.
Please note that this video was produced when this hitch first became available and a few things have changed since then.
- The rack is available in either a 4 inch or an 8-inch drop/rise, and
- It is compatible with frame sizes from 3 inches to 8 inches.
Andersen Benefits Over Traditional WDH Designs
How Traditional WDH's Work
A traditional weight distribution hitch uses spring bars to provide the force that transfers weight from the rear axle of the tow vehicle to the front axle.
This bar is connected to the hitch head assembly, as well as to the trailer frame.
These two connection points make noise (creak, groan) whenever movement of the hitch assembly happens (most pronounced in turns).
Most traditional WDH manufacturers recommend lubricating certain parts of their hitches to help reduce this noise.
Reduce. Not eliminate.
However, the major cause of this noise is the friction between the parts that DO the sway control.
You should NOT lubricate that part.
The friction IS the sway control mechanism, so you cannot grease these points or you will lose sway control.
Follow your manufacturer's instructions on WHERE to lube, so you don't lube the wrong part.
So you just have to deal with the noise. Fortunately, this is not an issue with the Andersen hitch.
No Spring Bar Weight Ratings To Figure Out
Because the Andersen WDH doesn't use spring bars (which come in different weight ratings) it is MUCH easier to figure out what kit you need for your trailer and tow vehicle setup.
An Andersen weight distribution hitch kit with a given hitch ball and shank size will work for trailers up to a certain weight.
This means you don't have to mess around figuring out what size spring bars you need as there are none.
Another win for Andersen!
How An Andersen WDH Works
The Andersen 'No-Sway' Weight Distribution Hitch uses a different mechanism to transfer the weight distribution forces.
Its unique chain and spring design results in no noise while providing both weight distribution and sway control.
Take a quick look at this video by Andersen that further explains the difference between their hitch and a conventional WDH:
Andersen WDH versus Conventional WDH
The Anderson hitch design not only results in quiet operation, but it also reduces the porpoising that many traditional WDH's suffer from (as shown in the above video).
Did we mention it's lightweight?
Heck yes, it is!
This weight distribution hitch comes in under 60 pounds, which is incredibly light for this type of hitch.
By reducing the clunky, heavy, cumbersome weight distribution bars most competitors use, Andersen takes the hassle out of connecting and disconnecting a WDH while eliminating the associated weight of the bars.
With this system, you don't have to store bulky, greasy, heavy bars that traditional systems use.
Two Ways To Hitch And Unhitch
The Andersen weight distributing hitch manual explains one method to hitch and unhitch your trailer to your tow vehicle.
The key to the 'Andersen way' of doing this is to use the included socket to tighten or loosen the 1 1/4" nut that provides chain tension.
This requires you to 'work' against the chain tension, which isn't that big of a deal, but there is an easier way!
The below videos show how you can raise your jack and then use your fingers to loosen and tighten the 1 1/4" nut as needed.
No socket necessary!
However, this does require more use of your tongue jack (called a jockey wheel in the below videos because they are from Down Under), which is one of the negatives we point out with a traditional weight distributing hitch that uses spring arms.
This is a real pain if you have a manual tongue jack.
However, if you have an electric trailer tongue jack, it is as simple as pressing a button.
The point is, with the Andersen WDH you have choices in how you hitch and unhitch.
You don't have to use the tongue jack excessively if you don't want.
The choice is yours (one that you don't have with a spring arm style hitch).
Easy Way To Hitch Up With Your Andersen WDH
Easy Way To Unhitch With Your Andersen WDH
Don't Believe The Internet!
If you look hard enough online to find 'issues' with the Andersen WDH, you will find claims of this:
The 'inability to provide enough weight distribution with certain tow vehicles'.
Many of this negative 'press' comes from people who have never laid eyes on an Andersen hitch, never mind ever used one.
Or, it evolves from people who improperly installed their Andersen hitch.
Always install (or have installed) any weight distribution hitch per the manufacturer's instructions.
Don't use the instructions 'Bubba' on some forum gives out.
And if you run into any issues, or have any questions, please contact Andersen.
They know what they are doing, have awesome customer support, and they don't bite. Unlike Bubba in the forum.
The Andersen system is a weight distribution hitch WITH sway control.
For the sway control component, the hitch uses a cone assembly (made of brake liner type material) that the ball assembly sits in.
As the trailer turns (due to sway, etc) the ball will attempt to rotate in the brake liner.
This causes a great deal of friction, which limits the turning motion.
The tongue weight of the trailer pushes the ball into the friction material, aiding in the anti-sway setup.
Here is a video from Andersen that further explains the anti-sway friction material and how it works with the ball itself:
Andersen Anti-Sway Friction Cone Explained
A few more high points of the Andersen weight distribution hitch include:
No Lubrication Necessary
One of the several advantages of the Andersen WDH system is that it doesn't require any lubrication.
Therefore, you don't have to worry about messing with grease or accidentally rubbing up against a greased part.
DO NOT GREASE THE BALL OR COUPLER!
Grease will decrease the anti-sway abilities of the Andersen 'No-Sway' WDH.
Since the ball and coupler move together, there is no friction and no need for grease.
Andersen also has great customer support.
Andersen Customer Service Email
If you have any questions regarding the use of Andersen Weight Distribution Hitches, contact Andersen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Not only can you pick up the phone (or send an email) to get answers to your questions, but Andersen tries their best to answer frequent questions on both their website and their YouTube channel.
For example, here is an easy to understand video that shows you what to do when your hitch was disconnected at an angle and it's time to reconnect:
Fixing Triangle Misalignment With Andersen WDH
Compatibility Issue With Certain Atwood Couplers
The Atwood 88007, 88010, 88555 and 88600 couplers (the very front end of your trailer - what attaches to the hitch ball) are currently incompatible with the Anderson ‘No-Sway’ Weight Distribution Hitch.
All other Atwood couplers work fine.
(Affected models are most commonly used on Airstream travel trailers, so if you don't have an Airstream, you should be in the clear. But do double-check!)
Because of the unique design of these Atwood couplers, when they are combined with the Anderson weight distribution system there is a potential issue.
Some couplers can become unlatched over time (due to wear on the internal latch system).
Anderson is currently working with Atwood to come up with a permanent solution. See Anderson's official statement here.
Below is an example of where the Atwood coupler part number can be found (click to view larger image):
Taking Measurements to Find the Right Andersen Kit For Your Trailer
Andersen weight distribution hitches come in several different part numbers.
They fit different sized trailer frames, different coupler ball sizes, different tow vehicle receiver sizes, and different height variations between the trailer and the tow vehicle (drop/rise).
It may seem complicated, but it isn't.
It's a simple, 3-step process to figure out which Andersen WDH kit (part number) you need to know:
1. What size hitch ball does your trailer use? There are two choices - 2" and 2 5/16". One of these two numbers should be stamped on your trailer's coupler (the part that attaches to your tow vehicle's hitch). See the picture below for an example.
2. How much drop or rise is there from the bottom of your trailer coupler (when your trailer is leveled and parked on level ground) and the top of your tow vehicle's receiver? Anderen's standard drop/rise height (the size of the 'rack' that comes with the WDH kits) is either 4" or 8".
3. What is the height of your trailer frame at the front of the trailer? This determines the size of the bracket you need. You have to make sure you purchase the correct bracket size so there is no 'play' between the bracket and your trailer frame. Standard frame sizes include 3", 4", 4 3/8", 5", 6", 7" and 8" frames.
Andersen makes the above 3-step process fairly painless by publishing a Fitment Guide (PDF) that you can use and has the below video that walks you through the steps.
Andersen WDH Fitment Guide
The Andersen WDH Fitment Guide (PDF) walks you through this easy, 3-step process and even gives you diagrams showing you what to measure!
Andersen Hitch Bracket Hack!
The Andersen WDH Fitment Guide (PDF) says:
If you need a 3",4",5",6" bracket, BUT the measurement to the top of your trailer frame (when trailer is level, parked on level ground) is less than 18 inches, you need to contact them to get a custom bracket.
Not so fast! The 'custom' bracket is available via Amazon (Andersen part number 3369 raised 3/4/5/6 bracket).
Use it as a replacement for the bracket that comes in the correct kit that otherwise fits your needs.
Which Andersen WDH Part Number Do You Need?
There is one more item to take into consideration - the size of the receiver opening your tow vehicle has.
Most vehicles will have a 2" opening, and this is the size that Andersen WDH comes standard to fit.
However, some heavy-duty trucks will have a 2 1/2" receiver opening, and some even have a 3" opening.
See 'What Size Hitch Receiver' directly below.
What Size Hitch Receiver?
The Andersen hitch 'plugs' into your tow vehicle at the trailer hitch receiver (pictured below).
The 'rack' (what Andersen calls the part that directly attaches to your tow vehicle) that comes with an Andersen WDH system is designed to fit the standard-sized 2" receiver openings.
However, your vehicle might have a larger receiver opening.
Make sure you order the correct fitting part.
Andersen hitches come standard with a 'rack' to fit a 2" receiver opening.
This will fit most standard hitches (Class III and Class IV hitches).
You may have a Class V hitch, which might have a 2 1/2" or a 3" receiver opening.
The Andersen kit numbers 3394 and 3398 (see below for information on all available Andersen kits) fit a 2 1/2" receiver (and have a 2 5/16" ball), so this is one option if your tow vehicle has a 2 1/2" receiver.
The other option is to buy the kit you need and buy another 'rack' that is sized to fit your receiver.
Andersen offers 'racks' that you can buy separately.
This allows you to use any of their weight distribution kits without having to use a receiver adapter.
Using an adapter is generally a bad idea as it lowers the weight you can tow with your setup.
You NEED a 'rack' that fits your receiver!
See the below section that discusses available Andersen kits to find the part numbers for the racks designed for 2 1/2" or 3" receiver openings.
Putting It All Together - Choosing Your Andersen WDH Kit Part Number
Now that you know the ball size, receiver size, the drop/rise, and the height of your trailer's frame, you are ready to pick which Andersen WDH kit part number you need.
The last step is to figure out the weight of your trailer - both the gross trailer weight (GTW) and the tongue weight (TW).
The gross trailer weight (also known as gross vehicle weight rating, or GVWR) can be found on a placard on your trailer (see below pictures for examples).
The tongue weight can be found by weighing your trailer.
Once you know the gross trailer weight and tongue weight, you can choose the right Andersen weight distribution hitch kit for your setup.
Use the two charts below to find your ball size, drop/rise, frame size and the correct weight rating that match up to what you have calculated.
Click on the corresponding part number to see pricing information.
There are two tables below - one that shows part numbers for kits that fit 2" receivers, and one for kits (there are only two) that fit 2.5" receivers.
If you purchase one of the kits that fit a 2" receiver but have a larger receiver, you can purchase separately a rack to fit either a 2.5" or 3" receiver opening.
(Andersen doesn't offer an off-the-shelf kit that comes without a rack so that you can purchase one for a larger receiver separately - i.e., you have to purchase a 2" receiver version and buy an additional rack.)
The following Andersen WDH kits fit a 2" receiver (click on part number to view price on Amazon or Camping World):
10,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
10,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
10,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
10,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
14,000 GTWR, 1,400 TW
* (In pounds) GTWR = Gross Trailer Weight Rating. TW = Tongue Weight
The following Andersen WDH kits fit a 2.5" receiver (click on part number to view price on Amazon):
16,000 GTWR, 1,600 TW
16,000 GTWR, 1,600 TW
* GTWR = Gross Trailer Weight Rating. TW = Tongue Weight
Need To Fit A Larger Hitch Receiver?
Need a rack to fit a 2.5" or 3" receiver opening?
If one of the above available kits (2.5" receiver only) doesn't fit your needs, you can purchase one of the below racks and use with any of the other Andersen WDH kits by using the new rack in place of what comes with the kit.
The below racks are available in either 4" or 8" drop/rise. (Click on part number to view price on Amazon)
Installing Your Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch
The initial setup of an Andersen WDH is pretty simple, especially when compared with a traditional WDH setup.
There are no washers in the hitch head to mess with. Also, you don't have to adjust the bracket height to get things dialed in.
All in all, the setup with an Andersen is a pretty simple process, as shown in this video:
Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch Installation
Optional Frame Bracket Attachment Methods
One of the problems that bolt-on frame brackets can have is they could 'walk' from their initial installation position.
Therefore, we suggest solidly mounting the bracket to the frame by bolting them.
Andersen suggests to help with securely holding the frame brackets to the frame you use one of two methods:
1) Drill a hole into the frame (per the installation instructions PDF) to allow the set screw to 'screw' into the frame itself, or
2) Add a 2-inch weld to the lower backside of the outer bracket (again, per the installation instructions) to 'lock' the bracket to the frame.
Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch Features and Specs:
- Made in the USA
- Kits with 2" balls: Up to 10,000-pound trailer and 1,400-pound tongue weight
- Kits with 2 5/16" balls: Up to 16,000 pounds and 1,600-pound tongue weight
- Andersen racks come with either a 4" drop/rise or an 8" drop/rise. Custom sizes are available directly from Andersen if you need more drop/rise
- Hitch ball included! Two sizes: 2" or 2 5/16"
- Can use the trailer hitch ball without the weight distribution hitch, so if you have a lighter trailer you need to tow, you don't need to purchase additional towing hardware
- Lightweight - entire hitch assembly weighs under 60 pounds
- No noise - the Andersen chain system is virtually silent (and requires no grease), unlike the traditional weight distribution spring bar used by competitors
- Andersen's Motion-Dampening™ system uses urethane springs to greatly reduce the tendency of weight distribution hitch equipped trailers to porpoise (bounce) as they go over dips and bumps.
- Anti-sway technology uses the tongue weight of the trailer to 'clamp down' on the ball, which is in a friction cone. This stops dangerous trailer sway from happening.
- Easy, one-pin disconnection of the WDH mechanism from the tow vehicle. No heavy, ungainly bars to deal with and figure out where to store.
- Grease free weight distribution hitch. The Anderson hitch doesn't require lubrication (in fact, grease can cause it to not operate correctly - so DON'T use grease!). This eliminates greasy parts you have to deal with, which means no more accidentally getting grease on your clothes.
- Lifetime warranty
Authors: Kelly Beasley & Marshall Wendler
He-llllo. I'm the co-founder of Camp Addict, which my biz partner and I launched in 2017. I frigging love the RVing lifestyle but in December of 2020, I converted to part-time RV life. Heck, I lived in my travel trailer for over 5.5 years, STRICTLY boondocking for pretty much all of it. Boondocking is a GREAT way to live, but it's not easy. Anyway, I'm passionate about animals, can't stand campgrounds, I hardly ever cook, and I love a good dance party. Currently, I can be found plotting and scheming whether or not to start collecting farm animals (or plotting my next RV trip!) at my beautiful new 'ranch' named 'Hotel Kellyfornia', in Southern Arizona.
Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing from April 2014 - December 2020 (now RVing about 50% of the time), Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle. Marshall spends the majority of his RVing life boondocking. He is the part of Camp Addict that knows 'all the things'. He's good at sharing his technical knowledge so you can benefit.
I had a Hensley Arrow on my first rig- a 25′ 6000# rig. It was a very secure hitch to tow with. Towed rig 15000 miles in 5 months all over the USA. A bit challenging to hook up occasionally, but always rock solid and stable. Its just “different”. Adds almost 100# of tongue weight to the trailer. Was quiet. Needs regular greasing. Expensive. But it was truly amazing. Sold it with that trailer.
On my current rig (22′ and 5500#} I’m using a Blue Ox SwayPro and I like it a lot. Good sway control, good WD, easy to use, no problems after many long and challenging trips.
Hey Captain Gort,
Thank you for your input on your experience with the Hensley! It’s very helpful to others, so we appreciate it.
I used an Andersen WD hitch for 2 years on 2 different new travel trailers. At first, I was enthusiastic.
But that changed over time. I ended up selling it and migrated to a recognized “traditional” bar-type WD hitch which I’m quite pleased with. I’m a Mechanical Engineer. I found that the Anderson WD hitch provided very little weight distribution compared to the “traditional” type. It chewed up the ball. I was forced to grease it. The hitch made noise, too.
The friction material in the ball assy failed. It was tough on the trailer’s coupler, making it very hard to uncouple. I suspect this was caused by the high tension chain forces working on the coupler in ways that were not anticipated by their designers. And the A-frame chain brackets had to be thru bolted or they would move. Andersen had great service- promptly sending replacements several times. My trailers were not huge- 4000-5500#. I finally gave up, sold the Andersen unit, installed the replacement bar-type….and all of my problems vanished. And I’ve towed all over the USA since….
Thanks for your comment about the Andersen hitch, Captain Gort!
Fortunately, Kelly hasn’t had these issues towing her trailer (about the same weight range as the one you referenced). We’ve confirmed the weight distribution is working correctly by weighing the trailer and her tow vehicle with and without the weight distribution “engaged.” We have seen some wear on the ball, but nothing alarming. And this is after a handful of years of towing it while living full-time in the trailer. Regarding the friction material coming out of the assembly, yeah, that was an issue. They’ve updated the design to stop that, so Kelly’s hasn’t had this issue.
Kelly finds the Andersen to be much easier to hitch and unhitch due to not having to deal with heavy spring bars which were hard on her back. There are definitely other options out there, so the Andersen isn’t the only solution that works. It just works really well for Kelly.
Thanks again for the comment!
In the table of all the Andersen model numbers, the link to model 3350 goes to 3324.
Thanks for the heads-up, Dustin! That model doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon anymore, so I changed it to a Camping World link.
Have to move with cargo trailer from Montreal to Vancouver and any tips that I can pick up are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
That’s going to be quite the drive!
The biggest thing that you can do to make a safe towing trip is to load the trailer properly. You want to end up with about 10-15% of the overall weight of the trailer (including what’s inside of it) as tongue weight (the weight that is being ‘applied’ to the tow vehicle). You do this by arranging the heaviest items so that they sit closest to the trailer’s axles.
Without actually weighing the actual loaded trailer and tow vehicle, you won’t know the actual tongue weight, so you will just have to use some common sense while loading the trailer.
I’m guessing that unless you own the cargo trailer, whomever you rent/borrow it from won’t be supplying a weight distribution hitch. And depending on the vehicle you are using to tow the trailer, as well as the overall weight of the loaded trailer, one might not be necessary. So concentrate on getting the trailer loading done correctly and you should be well on your way to a safe towing journey.
I hope your move goes smoothly!
Currently have a Hensley Arrow hitch and zero sway. This was because Equalizer hitch did not prevent sway and we nearly lost 30 ft rig and truck. Yes we are over weight, hitch weighs 190 lbs. Does this Andersen hitch totally control sway? I haven ‘t seen in real video demonstration on road or actual user saying 100% sway control. Hensley does. Cost is not the issue with your life, but sway is.
When you say you are overweight, do you mean the trailer, the truck, or both?
Yes, the Andersen does control sway if everything is setup correctly. This means that the trailer is property loaded (weight is distributed properly fore to aft so that the tongue weight is the correct percentage of overall trailer weight and axles not overloaded) and the tow vehicle is also properly loaded (proper fore/aft distribution of the weight and no axles overloaded).
There is no 100% guaranteed safety device that will overcome improper loading. This is why it’s vital to weigh your trailer and tow vehicle setup to make sure that things are setup correctly. I’m guessing a very small percentage of trailer owners have ever done this, and an equal percentage probably don’t care that their trailers are overloaded. They just want to load up and go.
I agree that cost should not be an issue with your life. However, in the world that we live in, people often go for the cheaper solution as they figure that things will be just fine. This is true, until things aren’t ‘just fine’.
Thanks for the comment! Glad to hear you like your Hensley. That’s the only hitch I’ve been using for coming up on 7 years and it hasn’t let me down yet.
Has Kelly weighed each axle of her TV to see how much percentage of the TW is being distributed to the front axle when using the Andersen WDH? I have read on other sites the Andersen hitch does a great job preventing sway, but much less with weight distribution than others due to the design.
I thought that Kelly’s setup had been weighed on a commercial scale since we installed the Andersen weight distribution hitch, but Kelly informed me that it has not.
We used the ‘measure the height of the front wheel well’ method when we installed it. This ensures that the truck remains fairly level when her travel trailer is attached and the weight distribution hitch engaged. This is also the method that Andersen says to use in their installation manual.
As long as the truck remains fairly level, then the load on the front axle will remain pretty close to what it is when there is no trailer attached.
I’m confident that the Andersen hitch is doing its weight distributing job.
Yes, using a commercial scale to weigh a travel trailer is the most accurate method.
This is something that both Kelly and I need to do again since the weights of our rigs have changed since we’ve installed lithium batteries (taken a lot of weight off the tongues of each of our rigs). So we will do that as soon as we come across a commercial scale (few and far between where we are currently located in Colorado).
Thanks for the great question!
Don’t be fooled. The “Friction” cone and “spring” bushings in the Anderson No-Sway wear out quickly and have to be replaced.
Do you have experience with the Andersen WDH? Kelly has been using one for 2 years now as a full-time RVer, so plenty of towing miles, and has had zero problem with the spring bushings.
As far as the friction cone goes, there is an issue where they squeeze out of the top, but Andersen has since changed the design to prevent this and will replace any older styles under warranty. Just contact them and see what they will do for you.
I’m very interested in these Andersen WDH’s but the front of the A frame on my Jayco X17 is taken up by the propane tanks, battery & spare tire where the brackets would mount to the frame. Do they make an option for longer chains to the 50” range? That would be the next available space on my frame to be able to mount the brackets.
My other thought is, do I even need a WDH. Fully loaded the X17 would weight 3900 lbs. and my TV is an F150 Sport with a tow rating of over 10k lbs. Might not even be necessary but I get nervous.
Yes, you should have a weight distribution hitch for this setup for the reasons stated here.
Andersen does offer a chain extension that might do the trick for your situation. But what I’d suggest you do is contact them via one of the following means to discuss your particular situation and see what they’d suggest doing as they are the experts on ‘abnormal’ installations.
phone: (208) 523-6460
Best of luck and here’s to many happy miles of towing your Jayco!
I purchased one of the Andersen weight distributing hitches for my 3 horse horse trailer. I’m wondering about the variations in adjustment between the empty trailer at 3500 lb, with one horse at 5,000 lb, two horses at 6500 lb, and three horses at 8,000 pounds. Unlike a house trailer, every time I take this out it may be a different weight and tongue weight. So far I’ve used the jack to hook and unhook and just kind of guessed at what was tight enough on the chains.
I will say it was easy to install and seems to work pretty well but there’s got to be a more scientific way of adjusting it for varying weights, I would think.
Interesting use case, with the varying weights each time out.
I guess the best way to do it would be to weigh your truck and trailer setup empty, and then with one, two, and three horses. Then keep track of how many threads you screw the nut in for each weight. Setup the hitch each time based on the load.
That sounds like a pain in the butt, though it is the best way.
Or you can do what Andersen says in Section 6 (Checking and Adjusting the Tension) of their installation manual: “Trying to get the Tow Vehicle perfectly level is NOT necessary — you just don’t want to be too extreme in either direction (too much towards the tow vehicle’s front axle or too much towards the rear axle). After hundreds of installations we have found that it is quite effective to basically “sight level” the tow vehicle and get it as close to level as you can by tightening/loosening the Tension Nuts.”
Basically what it sounds like you are doing. If it’s good enough for them…
I’ve weighed my truck and trailer setup to confirm proper weight distribution setup, but it’s easier with a house on wheels that’s basically at a single weight. Not so easy for your situation.
I have been using a chain style WDH for 10 years. Chains work, but I am ready to upgrade. I must say the Andersen WDH changes how the users look at WDHs. I love how this style does not have spring bars. I have looked at a system that reduces bounce at the hitch, and I have learned some of the bouncing is from the spring bars. I think removing spring bars is a big advantage. One more issue is friction noise. Other systems ‘solve’ the noise issue by having customers spend more money on pads, that wear out, to dampen friction noise cause by spring bars. Out of 5 or 6 WDHs that I have researched, the Andersen is the best choice.
Seems like you’ve definitely done your research! The pros of the Andersen you hit are are big selling points in our opinion. And the ability to do away with the spring bars is worth its weight in gold.
Kelly is very happy with her Andersen Hitch and we feel that it’s a great choice for just about everyone.
See a lot of negative remarks about ineffectiveness with tongue weights over 500 lbs. I have a jayco 28bhbe tongue wt. around 1000 lbs camper weight around 9000 lbs. Tow vehicle is 2013 ram 2500 diesel. Any info on this problem.
Where are you seeing these remarks? And who are they from?
People that actually use the Andersen WDH under these conditions, or people who just make random comments online?
We address this ‘issue’ above in the review.
Have you contacted Andersen directly to discuss this with them? If not, you might want to, since they are the best source of information when it comes to their products.
Thanks for the question and Camp On!
Can you get this on Ontario Canada? What is the price o think I would need the 3450?
The Andersen Weight Distribution is available on Amazon.ca. Simply click on the Andersen part number that you need to purchase (there is no 3450 – possibly you mean 3350?). This should open up the appropriate page on the Amazon Canada website and show you the price.
If it doesn’t, once you are on the Amazon Canada site, simply search for the appropriate Andersen part number (for example, you would type ‘Andersen 3350’ into the Amazon.ca search bar).
Thanks for reading Camp Addict and we think that you’ll be very happy with your Andersen Hitch!
When unhitching can you pull the pin from the triangle plate release the coupler trailer then raise the trailer?
You have to release the chain tension before the triangle plate can be released.
You do this either by unscrewing the nuts at the end of the chain (this is the method explained in the Andersen WDH manual) or you jack up the trailer per the video in this section.
Bought mine from local dealer cheaper than amazon
Add me to the list of no response from this company. Your review is very helpful and convincing, but I’ve sent multiple e-mails and a phone call to get special assistance with this hitch purchase (my trailer height is low and requires a special order low-profile bracket). I finally got a response via social media and was sent a link to their website. Thanks. What gives? It doesn’t instill much confidence in an expensive purchase for safety gear. I’m not giving up, just growing annoyed.
Sorry to hear about your lack of response from Andersen. We just reached out to them to see if they want to comment on this issue. Specifically what is the best way to get ahold of their customer support in a way that you’ll actually get a response (though one would think you are going about it the correct way).
Stay tuned as we will continue to pursue this until we hear back from Andersen.
Thanks. That’s very nice of you Marshall! I’m not sure what’s the root cause for the poor and unresponsiveness for me. I’m still waiting for a response from them.
I finally heard from them and was told that unfortunately our setup will have clearance issues. Any thoughts? Our 21′ travel trailer frame is 10.75″ off the ground. Their measuring system said that anything under 18″ would require low-profile brackets, but I guess that’s TOO low profile. Bummer. I’m hoping I won’t run into the same issue with any w.d.h. because I’m not excited about forgoing one for the 2 month long trip this summer.
How did they finally end up contacting? Responding via email?
10.75 inches? Yikes! That’s kinda low. Definitely see why they don’t recommend you using the low-profile brackets as those will still hang down and you’ll end up with very little clearance. That’s the problem with weight distribution hitch setups – they have brackets, or other hangy bits, that are below the frame. And if you don’t have much clearance to start with… well, you know the rest.
What trailer is it? And what are you towing it with? And what’s the tongue weight? (So. Many. Questions.)
They sent a second reply via Facebook Messenger.
We have a 20′ (17′ cabin) lightweight (fiberglass/ aluminum frame) travel trailer, towed with a 2006 Honda Pilot. We’ve towed it more locally and you can hardly tell it’s back there, but we’ll be traveling MUCH further this summer and want to ensure we have as smooth an experience as possible. I won’t know what the tongue (and total, more accurate weight) until things thaw here in northern MI. Our big road trip isn’t until June. I’ve read of others with the same vehicle/similar trailer setups have used w.d. hitches with improved handling. I’m just not sure I can use any based on their assessment- given theirs has less hang bits. I’m definitely bummed I can’t use theirs based on your review.
I understand our camper has a lower ground clearance, but of all the w.d.hitches I see, the Anderson hitch appears to have the lowest clearance and doesn’t appear to my inexperienced eye that we would necessarily encounter NEW clearance issues based on where I can see the chain bracket aligning. I’ve linked to two images of our camper. The measurements are accurate, but the drawing may not be to scale or correctly aligned. goo.gl/stkAqu Maybe I’ll have to revisit all of this in the spring.
Thanks for the images! So are you saying that you think the low profile Andersen brackets would not hang any lower than say the tongue jack ‘foot’ (when the jack is totally raised)? Or is there something else that hangs down as low as you’d think the Andersen WDH bracket would?
If you don’t think there will be any additional clearance issues, fire back a response to Andersen and point that out. But I’m guessing they have their policies, but I don’t know that for certain.
Are you noticing the rear end of your Pilot squatting currently (without a weight distribution hitch)? Or does the Pilot owner’s manual state that a WDH is required for a certain weight trailer? I’m just wondering, other than you are planning on going a decent distance, why you are now looking at adding a WDH.
Yes Marshall, you guessed the presumption I’m making, but given a recent snow storm, I’m going to have to put a pin in this until spring thaw in order to better assess our specific situation more easily. Your site and personal assistance is spectacular, thank you.
Our travel trailer is new to us this past fall. Without delving deeply, Honda actually states to NOT use a WDH w/ the Pilot, but there’s plenty of positive/improved personal experiences with them detailed on the piloteers.org site which speaks to the opposite (and explains their warning “away”). We only have about four hours of total towing experience with this trailer, which included highway and hills. It handled very well as-is, but given the Pilot’s just-adequate towing capabilities (3500-4500lb capacity), I’m interested in anything I can do to enhance our experience given the great distances we plan to drive. I suppose there’s the chance we won’t need a WDH once we have the opportunity for test driving, but all my research thus far says there’s benefit.
When we have our Vespa on the back of the Pilot (on a perpendicular and “hovering” rack) and loaded in the back with gear ~400 lbs, it definitely drops in the rear. I won’t have a more accurate tongue weight until were further along with renovations. We also haven’t installed our new powered jack, so I’m not sure where the foot will land once that is installed.
Your site is invaluable. There’s so much more to all of this than any new camper/ RV owner might guess, I wonder just how many people are “winging it” out there. Our research and planning has become a nearly full time job for me. Thanks again!
I talked to Andersen this past week. According to our contact there, customer service is going thru a bit of a change right now. They are reorganizing it so that support requests don’t slip thru the cracks. It also looks like they have a new dedicated customer support email address (not yet advertised on their site) that people can use. So if you have anymore questions for them, I’d give this a try first:
Thanks again for your feedback and best of luck once things thaw out in your neck of the woods.
Spectacular, Marshall! Thank you.
Look at the recurve hitch, the bars are on top and it uses the pivoting anti-sway system. Although, I am leaning towards the Andersen system.
Sent an e-mail to the company asking questions and sent pictures to make sure I am getting the right thing. NO RESPONSE. Called and left a message. NO RESPONSE.
Called several times more, always get voice mail.
I honestly don’t think they want business.
Sorry to hear that, Rick. We’ve contacted Andersen on multiple occasions via phone (during business hours) and have always received great customer service from them.
This past week we talked to Andersen about the reports of no response to their customer service. They are currently making moves to fix this so that support requests don’t slip thru the cracks moving forward. You can contact them at the following email address:
i own a 2016 ram 2500 hd w/diesel the rear end has the air suspension on it will your anderson wd hitch fit this type of setup thank u for your help and consideration
It definitely should work for your setup. I’ve got a good friend who has the same truck with the Andersen. He just doesn’t have the rear air suspension. You will need to disable the air suspension when doing the initial setup so that the weight distribution is setup properly. Other then that, it’s no different then setting up any other truck.
Good luck and Camp On!
Mostly on rv forums. A couple of sites like yours. I did call Andersen and they suggested if this was a problem to either weld the brackets on or drill a hole and use a set screw. I am leaning toward this hitch, just don’t want to make a $500 mistake.
Glad to hear you contacted Andersen.
As we mentioned in the feature section that I linked to in my original answer, it’s important to install per the instructions. I have a sneaky suspicion that any issues that crop up are because people installed it ‘good enough’.
I’m curious what other sites like ours you found this information on. I’m not aware of any sites that do as comprehensive of a job that Camp Addict does, so I’d love to know if there are any.
Thanks again for your comment!