Originally Posted by ttavasc
Good thing we did I think as my Andersen No-Sway started acting up shortly after we got out of the monsoon-style rains that we were running in the first couple of hours. The tapered shaft that turns with the trailer to provide the anti-sway bound up making it really hard to make sharper turns like getting off/on the freeway and in/out of fuel pumps. It was quite dry and dusty the whole week until just before we left. I suspect that there is a sand/dust/water mix that worked it's way down into the friction material while driving through the downpours that is causing it to seize. So long as I re-adjusted the chains just before getting back on the freeway it didn't seem to affect the anti-sway. But it sure made one hell of a noise turning in/out of gas stations. I'll be calling Andersen this week to see what needs to be done to repair it.
Talked with Andersen support Monday and found out that dirt and moisture seeping into the friction cone does occur from time to time, however, it usually just makes the hitch somewhat noisy and removing the tapered shaft and cleaning the friction cone often fixes it. Complete binding like I experienced is apparently very rare. I had about 5000 miles on it when the problem started.
They shipped me a new friction cone - lifetime warranty so no charge. It arrived yesterday so I disassembled the hitch in preparation for installing it. I need to clean it with a soft-medium wire brush before re-installing. Here's some pictures of the unit after I disassembled it. You can see the dried water/dirt stain around the base of the ball where the water pooled as we were driving through the rain storm. You can also see thin chunks of the friction material still stuck to the tapered shaft after removal. There also appears to be some small aluminum filings embedded in the outside of the friction cone though it may be hard to see in the pictures.
The new friction cone is white and a little bit different material that is supposed to be more resistant to this kind of thing. It's pretty simple to remove the tapered shaft and either clean or replace the friction cone. I will now carry a pair of snap ring pliers in the trailer so if the need arises I can do a quick cleaning......