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Old 04-22-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
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Plain old hitch or fancy-pants Andersen?

We're going down to pick up our Eagle HT next Monday and the dealer will be installing the hitch. They have two that they keep stocked - one is a Reese 16K and the other a Pull-Rite 16K Super Fifth. Our truck is a long-bed (no sliding hitch) and has no puck system so either hitch would be rail-mounted.

Being an old gadge I'm not exactly looking forward to loading and unloading a heavy hunk of steel so I've been looking hard at the Andersen ball-mount. Honestly I know all you folks are happy with your Andersens and your Reese's and your Pull-Rites, and I'm sure I would be equally happy with any of the above, but for those of you who know...

1. Is the weight differential between the Andersen and the two others all that significant? What I mean is, as I said I'm an old gadge but I can throw 60 or 70 pounds around fairly easily (I don't like to but I can) so if a Pull-Rite is around that weight it's not a huge problem. But my friend has a B and W Companion that weighs about 200 lbs. (he says) and he has a hoist in the garage he uses to get the hitch in and out of his truck. I don't want to deal with that.

2. Are there hitching advantages to the ball set-up? Where I park my trailer is not exactly level but it's no trouble with the travel trailer we have now. Not sure if a fifth will be more critical to hitch on level ground.

3. I realize it's possible to avoid the rail system with one of those under-bed reverse ball gooseneck set-ups but they're pretty expensive. Worth it to get the truck bed back? I do occasionally haul a few things.

I'd appreciate any feedback and advice from you folks.

Tom
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #2
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Andersen Hitch

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Originally Posted by KillerIsMe View Post
We're going down to pick up our Eagle HT next Monday and the dealer will be installing the hitch. They have two that they keep stocked - one is a Reese 16K and the other a Pull-Rite 16K Super Fifth. Our truck is a long-bed (no sliding hitch) and has no puck system so either hitch would be rail-mounted.

Being an old gadge I'm not exactly looking forward to loading and unloading a heavy hunk of steel so I've been looking hard at the Andersen ball-mount. Honestly I know all you folks are happy with your Andersens and your Reese's and your Pull-Rites, and I'm sure I would be equally happy with any of the above, but for those of you who know...

1. Is the weight differential between the Andersen and the two others all that significant? What I mean is, as I said I'm an old gadge but I can throw 60 or 70 pounds around fairly easily (I don't like to but I can) so if a Pull-Rite is around that weight it's not a huge problem. But my friend has a B and W Companion that weighs about 200 lbs. (he says) and he has a hoist in the garage he uses to get the hitch in and out of his truck. I don't want to deal with that.

2. Are there hitching advantages to the ball set-up? Where I park my trailer is not exactly level but it's no trouble with the travel trailer we have now. Not sure if a fifth will be more critical to hitch on level ground.

3. I realize it's possible to avoid the rail system with one of those under-bed reverse ball gooseneck set-ups but they're pretty expensive. Worth it to get the truck bed back? I do occasionally haul a few things.

I'd appreciate any feedback and advice from you folks.

Tom
Tom - I know where you're coming from first hand. So we're at CW discussing the 5'r options and how to tow it. The standard 5th wheel hitch has bed rails and a clunky, heavy hitch in the back that locks on with metal jaws. (At least now they use grease-less plates). Then out of thin air the DW tells me her friend uses an Andersen. So I do my research and just about kick myself for not thinking of it first! The difference is night and day.

Standard 5th wheel hitch:
* Uses puck/rail system in bed.
* Typically HEAVY, so they're sturdy but a PITA to install and remove.
* Ties up space in the bed when not in use.

Andersen hitch:
* Uses gooseneck hitch ball to attach to truck bed.
* No rails needed, so you've got a clean usable bed when not in use.
* LIGHT - We're talking 40# of Aluminum. The DW can take it in/out!

I had a B&W turnover ball hitch installed and ordered my Anderson off Amazon for around $1,200 total investment. I can have the hitch installed and the 5'r hooked up inside 15 minutes with minimal effort. The tow is nice and smooth - no complaints. I figured if I'm going to pay about the same or more money to haul something around, why make it hard on myself? Do yourself a favor and go with Andersen.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:51 AM   #3
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I can offer my experience for part of your #3:

I've had the 5th wheel hitch rails in my long-bed truck for over a decade. They've never prevented me from using the truck bed when moving odd stuff and furniture. I've got a couple of 1/4" plywood sheets that I've put on top of the rails just a couple of times when I needed a 'flatter' truck bed.

The bed rails help in some situations:
- I secure our generator in the 'right rear corner' of the bed with a strap that is secured on one end to one of the rails.
- I use bungee cords connected to the side walls and rails to keep plastic totes from sliding around.
- When hauling lightweight furniture etc., I've used ropes and the rails to keep it from sailing out of the truck bed.

Without the rails, I'm sure I would have found another means to secure things. But, overall, they haven't been the problem they might be for others.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:48 AM   #4
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I don't have a fifth wheel but do have an Andersen hitch for my 195RB.

The reason I vote for Andersen is customer service. I have called in with minor questions and always got prompt and complete answers from extremely friendly and knowledgeable people.

I can't say what other firms do customer service wise. But Andersen gets an A+ from me.

On the weight end, I could handle the old style bar and chain system with the lifting bar and all the grunting and straining to get them on and off. But why struggle? Also, every pound has got to go up every hill and braked to a stop. I prefer to keep that weight down or use it for other things.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:26 PM   #5
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Thanks friends. I'm leaning more to the Andersen set-up and I believe I will go that way. Oldman makes a good point about the rails coming in handy sometimes and I don't think they would bother me so much. Andersen has a ball mount that attaches to rails but if I can get the B & W underbed flip-ball that Packerbacker recommended for about the same money I'll likely go that way.

I don't know if anyone has seen it but PullRite sells a ball mount that's the opposite of the Andersen. The pyramid in the bed has the receiver and the ball is clamped to the trailer pin. It's called ISR series SuperLite and it looks interesting.

Roger, I dealt with Andersen customer service about a year ago. We have the levelers and one had a tiny crack across the top (I didn't see it - my wife (Eagle Eyes) did) and I wrote them an email just to write them an email. They responded the same day and sent us out a new set of levelers. I didn't complain or ask for anything - they just did it.

Anyway, thanks for the replies. It's always helpful to come here for advice.

Tom
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:26 PM   #6
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I won't argue about Andersens customer service as they provided a new hitch for each of my 2 failures ( bent ) and the 3rd one I never used. Bought a BW 18k & the Curt X5 rail for my gooseneck turnover ball . I don't think this BW will fail but who knows. It's heavy but breaks into 2 pieces but I actually pull the hitch & X5 as one unit with my tractors front end loader
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Old 04-22-2019, 09:16 PM   #7
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This is where I store my hitch, I love it. No issues so far and I have three buddies that have had theirs for four years and towing toyhaulers.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:36 AM   #8
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I use the Andersen Ultimate hitch with a B&W under the bed ball and like it a lot. It takes my 12 year grandson about 5 minutes to remove the hitch and I've got my truck bed back. It's like 37 lbs.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
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Neither.

FYI, Andersen is not approved for use by Lippert, who makes the frames for Jayco. I have it in writing from Lippert that they would not be able to help on any frame damage warranty claims should an Andersen Ultimate or any other "goose neck adapter" be in use. Andersen has their own warranty coverage should you be stuck with a denial from Lippert, but be forewarned. Not suggesting that I've seen frame damage from Andersen use, just stating the facts.

So, if you are really looking to avoid dealing with a large heavy hunk of steel in your bed, and like to have full use of the bed when not towing (like all of us), I suggest you look at the Reese Goose Box. It replaces the pin box and uses a gooseball. It is the only goose neck type hitch that Lippert approves of.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:40 AM   #10
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Neither.

FYI, Andersen is not approved for use by Lippert, who makes the frames for Jayco. I have it in writing from Lippert that they would not be able to help on any frame damage warranty claims should an Andersen Ultimate or any other "goose neck adapter" be in use. Andersen has their own warranty coverage should you be stuck with a denial from Lippert, but be forewarned. Not suggesting that I've seen frame damage from Andersen use, just stating the facts.

So, if you are really looking to avoid dealing with a large heavy hunk of steel in your bed, and like to have full use of the bed when not towing (like all of us), I suggest you look at the Reese Goose Box. It replaces the pin box and uses a gooseball. It is the only goose neck type hitch that Lippert approves of.

Thanks LM. I saw that on Big Truck Big RV. I haven't read anywhere about the Andersen causing anyone any frame damage but I understand they warranty it if it happens. I would imagine fighting with Andersen or fighting with Lippert over a warranty issue would likely result in a similar amount of pain and loss of blood.

As an aside - I used to go to the Keswick every year around Christmas to see Los Lobos when we lived in South Jersey. I always had trouble getting in and out of Glenside because I just don't know my way around there. My friend had this sure-fire way of getting back to Jersey: just follow a car with NJ plates! Real simple. One night I left the Keswick in a driving snowstorm and followed a Jersey car for about 45 minutes until he finally pulled over and got out and walked back to my car. Asked me if I was following him. I had to sheepishly explain that I had no idea how to get back home and was hoping he knew where he was going. He laughed. Turns out he wasn't going to Jersey - he was going to his girlfriend's apartment...in Manayunk. He was nice enough though to lead me out to the Schuylkill. It wasn't until a couple years later when I started working at Fox Chase Cancer Center that I fully understood where Glenside actually was.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:04 PM   #11
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Thanks LM. I saw that on Big Truck Big RV. I haven't read anywhere about the Andersen causing anyone any frame damage but I understand they warranty it if it happens. I would imagine fighting with Andersen or fighting with Lippert over a warranty issue would likely result in a similar amount of pain and loss of blood.
I haven't heard of issues using the Andersen, either, but I knew of the tendency for the Jaycos to crack at the front slide and didn't want deal with a third party should that ever happen. I wanted "one throat to choke."

In the end, I have strong suspicion that the Reese Goose Box may be helping me avoid the crack, as it is airbag and shock equipped (another strong reason to use it vs the Andersen). I think the cushioning effect not only is making my ride nicer, it is lessening shocks to the camper's front cross beam.

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As an aside - I used to go to the Keswick every year around Christmas to see Los Lobos when we lived in South Jersey. I always had trouble getting in and out of Glenside because I just don't know my way around there. My friend had this sure-fire way of getting back to Jersey: just follow a car with NJ plates! Real simple. One night I left the Keswick in a driving snowstorm and followed a Jersey car for about 45 minutes until he finally pulled over and got out and walked back to my car. Asked me if I was following him. I had to sheepishly explain that I had no idea how to get back home and was hoping he knew where he was going. He laughed. Turns out he wasn't going to Jersey - he was going to his girlfriend's apartment...in Manayunk. He was nice enough though to lead me out to the Schuylkill. It wasn't until a couple years later when I started working at Fox Chase Cancer Center that I fully understood where Glenside actually was.
You're lucky you didn't follow him all the way to Manayunk. That place in the snow is Expert Level with all the radical hills.

I've lived in Glenside for over ten years and still don't know my way around. But that might not be Glenside's fault.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #12
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I like my 16k Reese/ DrawTite. Had a 15k on my old truck. I use mine so much,I never remove it but it comes apart in 2 light pieces. Simple and low maintenance.

Nothing to go bad.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:50 PM   #13
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You're lucky you didn't follow him all the way to Manayunk. That place in the snow is Expert Level with all the radical hills.

I've lived in Glenside for over ten years and still don't know my way around. But that might not be Glenside's fault.

Well yeah I DID follow him all the way to Manayunk! But I grew up and cut my driving teeth in Altoona, "the Mountain City", so winter driving and hills are not a big deal. Fortunately - because I could very easily have ended up sliding down into the Schuykill.

Just one more Keswick story: I was with my wife one night at the Keswick and she's South Philly Italian heritage, so she knows it all . She told me to take Glenside Ave to Old York and follow it to Olney Ave. That's not a great neighborhood! I did not know that! Now we were deep into the narrow streets and gunfire when she says "I don't know where we're at". So we wound down a few alleys and dead end streets until we finally (thank God) saw Roosevelt Blvd. It was across a vacant lot, up an embankment, and around the guardrail, but it was there! Again I was lucky to have 4WD and 4-wheeling experience because that's not the place to be turning around and asking for directions. Good thing I had a change of underwear . Anyway, good times. Man I miss Jersey.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:47 AM   #14
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Well yeah I DID follow him all the way to Manayunk! But I grew up and cut my driving teeth in Altoona, "the Mountain City", so winter driving and hills are not a big deal. Fortunately - because I could very easily have ended up sliding down into the Schuykill.

Just one more Keswick story: I was with my wife one night at the Keswick and she's South Philly Italian heritage, so she knows it all . She told me to take Glenside Ave to Old York and follow it to Olney Ave. That's not a great neighborhood! I did not know that! Now we were deep into the narrow streets and gunfire when she says "I don't know where we're at". So we wound down a few alleys and dead end streets until we finally (thank God) saw Roosevelt Blvd. It was across a vacant lot, up an embankment, and around the guardrail, but it was there! Again I was lucky to have 4WD and 4-wheeling experience because that's not the place to be turning around and asking for directions. Good thing I had a change of underwear . Anyway, good times. Man I miss Jersey.
My business is in Horsham, a couple miles from rt611. 611 is the same as Broad Street when you get down to the city limits.

Sometimes clients or vendors flying in to Philly airport get directed by nav to take the shortest distance route to us, which is via 611.

Most arrive wide eyed, given the "interesting" North Philly neighborhoods that 611 goes through.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:51 AM   #15
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Welp, I decided to go with a PullRite 2400 ISR Series SuperLite (say that 10 times real fast). It's just an upside-down version of the Andersen. I'm going to mount it to PullRite SuperRails which are removable, leaving a clean bed.

On the side, just talked to the dealer. We're supposed to pick up the trailer on Monday but they were going over it and the microwave is broke. It turns on, and it cooks, but it doesn't turn off. Does anyone think that would be a problem?
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:23 PM   #16
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Andersen

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Tom - I know where you're coming from first hand. So we're at CW discussing the 5'r options and how to tow it. The standard 5th wheel hitch has bed rails and a clunky, heavy hitch in the back that locks on with metal jaws. (At least now they use grease-less plates). Then out of thin air the DW tells me her friend uses an Andersen. So I do my research and just about kick myself for not thinking of it first! The difference is night and day.

Standard 5th wheel hitch:
* Uses puck/rail system in bed.
* Typically HEAVY, so they're sturdy but a PITA to install and remove.
* Ties up space in the bed when not in use.

Andersen hitch:
* Uses gooseneck hitch ball to attach to truck bed.
* No rails needed, so you've got a clean usable bed when not in use.
* LIGHT - We're talking 40# of Aluminum. The DW can take it in/out!

I had a B&W turnover ball hitch installed and ordered my Anderson off Amazon for around $1,200 total investment. I can have the hitch installed and the 5'r hooked up inside 15 minutes with minimal effort. The tow is nice and smooth - no complaints. I figured if I'm going to pay about the same or more money to haul something around, why make it hard on myself? Do yourself a favor and go with Andersen.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:15 PM   #17
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Love my Andersen - very easy to remove and hang on the wall of my garage for storage. No rails in the bed. Only downside is that if you needed someone else to tow your camper for any reason, you'd have to remove the piece attached to the kingpin....but that's rare and hasn't been an issue for my dealer when I take the camper in for service.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:01 PM   #18
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Heres what comes in the box.

Should you decide on the Andersen Ultimate, this is how it comes.



I just opened mine a few days ago. Have not connected to the toy hauler yet.

I need to update my signature line.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:06 PM   #19
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We have been using the Pull-Rite "upside down" for the last two 5er's that we have traveled with. 50 lbs, yep rails in the bed but they were all ready there. Beats any other hitch we have used in 50 + years! Your call, truck has springs and shocks, why add more complications?
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