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  #46  
Old 10-26-2017, 12:35 PM
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From looking at the original pictures it looks like the hitch failure happened on the tubing towards the rear of the truck bed and using the goose ball as the pivot point when the rear tubing failed the the front frame pulled up. If this is the case then the stress occurred while pulling forward rather than pushing in reverse.
If he had been pushing backwards I would think the hitch fail would be in the tubing towards the front of the bed and as the weight pivoted on the ball the frame in the rear frame would have come up.
However, me too no engineer, so I may be way off base on this theory.
I hope we hear the final "what the heck happened" explanation on this one as I have the steel AUH rail mount version and the Rota-Flex which I will be putting the lockout kit on as soon as it arrives. FWIW I have about 5k miles on the AUH without any obvious issues. I just took a look last night and all looks straight and square.
 
  #47  
Old 10-26-2017, 07:35 PM
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I asked Andersen if they were aware of this collapsed hitch. I assumed they were, and they gave a nice response. They have also increased the strength of the hitch.



We were recently made aware of this customer’s unusual circumstance and are currently working with them. We have been looking into all of the particulars with this one so we can figure out exactly what may have caused it.

On a side note, any bending problems like this with the Ultimate Connection are extremely rare - in fact, out of all of the units we have shipped since early 2011, we have only seen this happen to 2 other units total (which equates to approximately 0.00007%). In each of these cases the trailer did NOT detach from the ball –so safety was not compromised, and damage to the truck or trailer was either non-existent or minimal. For each one we were able to get a replacement unit to the customer promptly so they could continue their trips.

We did bring each of the bent units into our engineering dept. to look them over carefully. We were happy that we did to find any defect in the part itself. Since it is not really possible to determine if the problem was caused by installation error, or other extenuating circumstances, we just went ahead and made the decision to increase the strength of the Ultimate Connection (part 3220 and 3221) by 30% to alleviate the issue in the future.


Here at Andersen Hitches we continue to stand behind our product and we will always put the customer first. Along with a lifetime warranty on the Ultimate Connection itself, we also have a $5,000,000 supplemental warranty covering the frame and other damage that might occur. We do this because we have absolute trust in our products and want anyone who owns or purchases an Andersen Ultimate Connection to be assured of their purchase. I know of no other manufacturer in our industry that does anything like that.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have further questions or comments. Thank you.
 
  #48  
Old 10-26-2017, 09:41 PM
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That was an extremely professional response from Andersen.
 
  #49  
Old 10-27-2017, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by First Dually View Post
That was an extremely professional response from Andersen.
Agreed and I find it very respectful that they mentioned the other failures. This is a bit uncommon in the modern day market to receive a response like this.
 
  #50  
Old 10-27-2017, 08:03 AM
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I want to know what they did "to increase the strength of the Ultimate Connection (part 3220 and 3221) by 30% to alleviate the issue in the future". Without that the statement is just cya and feel good medicine from the marketing dept.

I bought the AUH 3220 just over a year ago and returned it, I want something more substantial.
 
  #51  
Old 10-27-2017, 08:05 AM
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Probably made it so that the corners have more support. I probably would have done the same as you if I had bought one of those models and gotten the B&W like I had planned on before finding the steel/rail mounted AUH, which works and is supported great.
 
  #52  
Old 10-27-2017, 08:40 AM
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Is the ball on the steel version made out of steel? On the aluminum one the ball is aluminum and in the few times that I hitched and unhitched it was already showing dents and deep scratches.
 
  #53  
Old 10-27-2017, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jsm180 View Post
Is the ball on the steel version made out of steel? On the aluminum one the ball is aluminum and in the few times that I hitched and unhitched it was already showing dents and deep scratches.
It is aluminum and I actually addressed with Andersen the shaving of the ball after the second time I used the hitch. I was having the very fine shavings coming off the ball when I had the steel cone coupler version.

Andersen sent me the new poly (red colored) cone that does not cause shavings to come off the ball at no charge to me. The new cone is like a really hard bushing materiel you would see used for swaybars, almost like a delrin or something, but seems harder.

Andersen offered to replace the ball at no charge as well, but I didn't feel it was necessary but told them I appreciated the offer.

I have used the new cone/coupler many times since installing it and am very happy with the results. I have not seen any dents or deep scratches at all during my use of the AUH steel version.

They have always been very responsive with me. When we first installed the hitch and coupler we happened to be 1000 miles from home buying a 5th wheel trailer from a private party sight unseen. We installed the hitch (rails were mounted in the truck already) and coupler at a truck stop. The allen wrench set I brought did not have the depth required to install the 2 allen bolts toward the rear of the coupler. I got them installed, but stripped them out pretty good in the process.

When we got home, I contacted Andersen via email and told them that I would like to purchase 2 allen bolts because of my own mistakes. They sent me a set of 4 at no charge to me with no questions asked.
 
  #54  
Old 10-27-2017, 09:02 AM
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It is the same ball in all models. I have seen a picture of a ball with gouges and would replace it if that happened. I am on the second ball simply because I got the slightly taller one with the funnel upgrade. I have no damage to either. Prior to the funnel, the locking mechanisms always worked easily. After the funnel, with less precise hookups by letting the funnel direct the ball, I found the locking sometimes took more effort. By trial and error, I determined not to drop the fiver with the ball forward in the funnel and no problems when the ball was behind the socket.
Edit: When I switched this May from the steel to the aluminum version, I noted the instructions said to torque the top bolt to 50 ft/lbs, but had seen comments in the forums about 60 being recommended. I also noted that Andersen said to torque again AFTER the fiver was on the ball so I did that and was really surprised by how loose the bolt was after hitching the fiver. I spoke with another AUH user who was unaware of the second tightening requirement, he did it and said it was solid now after showing signs of movement previously.
I have the ball at the lowest setting and the socket can't fit under the adapter, so I move the ball to the middle, torque the bolt, raise the nose and lower the ball to the bottom position.
I also had the problem after installing the red funnel of my allen drivers being too short. I found longer ones at NAPA and had to ask the guy at the counter to find them for me.
 

Last edited by SkiSmuggs; 10-27-2017 at 09:11 AM. Reason: More info
  #55  
Old 10-27-2017, 08:46 PM
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Let's be serious here guys do you think I'm worried about my 20K Reese hitch collapsing because some part of the hitch may have been damaged because of all the stuff piled around the hitch over the last 17 years, the only thing that has been damaged is the handle because I had to much fireword back there. If I want to remove it it comes apart in 3 pieces that are easily handled, I never think about my hitch failing.

I would have a B&W but I can't have a hitch with a foreword moving handle because of my tool boxes. I took the B&W tour years back and they tested their hitch by giving them to delivery driver's from the HitchHiker plant for some real world testing.

Denny
 
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  #56  
Old 10-28-2017, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by rvpuller View Post
Let's be serious here guys do you think I'm worried about my 20K Reese hitch collapsing because some part of the hitch may have been damaged because of all the stuff piled around the hitch over the last 17 years, the only thing that has been damaged is the handle because I had to much fireword back there. If I want to remove it it comes apart in 3 pieces that are easily handled, I never think about my hitch failing.

I would have a B&W but I can't have a hitch with a foreword moving handle because of my tool boxes. I took the B&W tour years back and they tested their hitch by giving them to delivery driver's from the HitchHiker plant for some real world testing.

Denny
I don't think this thread has anything to do with your suspicion, or lack there of on how your hitch performs and has been performing for nearly 2 decades. We are all in agreement that the traditional hitch style was and may still be the best way to pull a 5th wheel across the country.

That does not mean that new products and ideas should not be tried out and implemented if they appear to be viable. Technology gets better and smaller, and that is where we are at with the AUH. I have stated more than a couple of times that the B&W is a great hitch (as others have) and was my first choice. That is until I found the AUH steel/5th wheel rail version.

Is it as reliable as your hitch, I think so. Is your hitch more reliable than the hitch in the picture on page 1 that is anchored by the gooseneck ball, my money is on yes. To each their own and I have 100% confidence in the STEEL/5th wheel rail mount style.

If my hitch ever shows signs of failing, I will pick up a B&W and chalk the AUH up to I tried it and didn't care for it.

Have fun and be safe out there, anything can and will fail eventually.
 
  #57  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:14 PM
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Seen this type of failure before

Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
Just a FYI, the below pictures were posted on the Grand Design Facebook page. It is still playing out on what caused the failure. A 2015 Momentum 380TH (42' long toy hauler with an empty weight of 15,500 lbs and 2950 lb pin weight) was being pulled by a Ford Dually. Speculation is that the Roto-Flex pinbox could have contributed to the failure. It happened at low speed, and neiher the truck or 5th wheel had any damage. By the way, the Andersen hitch isn't the only one to fail in like manner. I've seen a family member do the same to a Pullrite slider setup that again had the breakaway pull out during a sharp turn.
JMAC


Attachment 247975

Attachment 247976
I've seen this failure before. The breakaway cable was attached in a way that it allowed it to catch on something during a sharp turn, pulling it out and setting the trailer brakes. The driver thought it was just rough terrain causing the resistance to turning and instead of stopping, put the truck into 4WD low. As the truck tried to complete the turn, the Andersen hitch failed from the immovable trailer held by it's brakes.
 
  #58  
Old 12-19-2018, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by firestation12 View Post
I've seen this failure before. The breakaway cable was attached in a way that it allowed it to catch on something during a sharp turn, pulling it out and setting the trailer brakes. The driver thought it was just rough terrain causing the resistance to turning and instead of stopping, put the truck into 4WD low. As the truck tried to complete the turn, the Andersen hitch failed from the immovable trailer held by it's brakes.
We've seen the picture before because it is from a year or two ago and comes out during almost any discussion of the AUH. I'm not sure we have the facts pertinent to this failure, but we do know that Andersen has some caution about the Roto-Flex. With thousands of miles on my AUH Generation 2 and no signs of any issues, I am not going to let this one incident change my mind that this is the best solution for me.
Edit: I just realized this is an old thread that I have responded to before which is another reason I have seen these pictures before. LOL
 
  #59  
Old 12-20-2018, 10:54 PM
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I won't take the chance, I like the 4 corner pucks on the B&W Companion and the 1" jaws wrapped around the king pin. Heavy? yes, solid built and who wrestles their 5W hitch out? That's asking to be hurt, that's what they make lifts for, electric or even an engine lift.
 
  #60  
Old 12-21-2018, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Edd505 View Post
I won't take the chance, I like the 4 corner pucks on the B&W Companion and the 1" jaws wrapped around the king pin. Heavy? yes, solid built and who wrestles their 5W hitch out? That's asking to be hurt, that's what they make lifts for, electric or even an engine lift.
My B&W companion (BWRVK3300) easily separates into two 75# parts - no engine lift needed.
 

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