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Jerry and Lydia

Anderson hitch and Hydraulic leveling jacks

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After a few years we are returning as part timers to the wonderful world of RVing, orienting to travel/sightseeing and visiting friends and family.  We have several questions about a few things we are making decisions about and will much appreciate all comments and informed advice, either specific or non-specific, about equipment choices and services.  We have decided for better or worse on a Grand Design Imagine 2600RB travel trailer and seek comment/recommendation on hitch selection and leveling jack selections, as well as on emergency road service.  Our tow vehicle is a F250 V10 Ford.  We anticipate our trips to be between one week and six weeks with a range of 1,500 miles one way (plus return).  Our home is in Fairhope, AL.  We anticipate traveling 100 - 300 miles on travel days and will have FHU at each stop.  We plan for no travel involving snow/ice conditions.

We are seriously considering an Anderson equalizing and sway control hitch as well as hydraulic leveling jacks.  Any specific information or actual experience on these items would be most appreciated. 

While this may be our first forum post; we were constant lurkers when we were actively RVing and always considered the SKP comments and advice to be the best and greatly appreciated it as the most outstanding counsel.

Thank you one and all for pertinent responses,

Jerry and Lydia

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Welcome to the Escapee forums and welcome back to the RV community! We are happy to have you back with us. 

I think that you have made a good choice of trailer and see no reason what it should not serve you well. Not sure how long you were gone, but it seems that you have a good handle on what is needed. If you are adding leveling jacks after-market then you may want to get several estimates. I had a great experience with Big Foot leveling jacks. For emergency road service, we have carried Coach-Net for quite some time and had excellent service from them but are planning to change to the Escapee road service when our present coverage expires because the coverage looks to be as good and it costs significantly less. 

Your tow truck should do the job well but it will not be high mpg. I'd suspect 8-9 mpg will be about what you get. Of course a diesel would get better mpg but they also cost a lot more. I have no experience with Anderson products but have had very good service from an equalizing hitch from Reese. I am sure that we will get some responses for owners of other brands of hitch. 

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I'm a big fan of the Andersen hitch. I've used it on two trailers and it's by far the easiest to hook and unhook as well as the smoothest riding. I've never read a critical comment by a user... only from arm chair anylists that don't understand  how it works. No heavy bars to wrestle with. Very seldom have to use a wrench...just make sure you have an electric Jack then it's easy peasy. Wish I had the auto leveling but that came about after my trailer was made.

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I just bought a new WD system and did a bunch of research.  I couldn't find a single thing to support the crazy cost of Andersen unless your rig is really large/heavy.  I ended up with a generic system and have no complaints at all.  I can hook it up in under one minute.

The hydraulics are nice...until they break.  I've got a friend with a class A and auto leveling.  The auto thing is hit and miss.  On occasion even just using the pushbutton, one will stick, or won't hold and slowly leaks down.  But then you correct it, and it stops leaking for a while.  Yes, everything can break, I'd just weigh the convenience versus issues.  My friend with a 30-footer just carries his drill with the right socket for the jacks and is perfectly happy.  My rig is very small, so the jacks also do just fine.  I use a leveling ramp/chock system also.  I believe that makes for the most stable trailer.

 

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Bigfoot is ideal but the system will have a big impact on the carrying capacity of a trailer.  For this reason,  you'll find systems made with less durable aluminum cylinders. 

Carrying capacity is a juggling match. I looked at the weights of the Imagine but the carrying capacity is not shown 🤨 

Two - 4400albs axles + 594lb hitch should provide a GVWR of 9394lb but the GVWR is 7995lbs. Also, the 594lb hitch weight is 7.5% which is shy of the recommended 10-15%. 

Unless you go custom (New Horizons or Spacecraft) no trailer is overbuilt.  Reason for this is price and weight. 

There are no bad manufacturers but each manufacturer produces poorly built trailers. The higher the production the greater the percentage of poorly built trailers. 

It is up to the buyer to ensure the sale is subject to a thorough  (2-3 day) PDI so that poorly built trailers stay on the dealer lot.  Trailers that have been on a dealer lot (this is called lot rot ) for a while or have a special sale price are a signal to be extra careful.   

The

 

 

 

 

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A few months ago this forum had a big fuss about the Andersons and no one was going to use their products again.  How quickly we forget.

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:52 PM, Jerry and Lydia said:

 We have several questions about a few things we are making decisions about and will much appreciate all comments and informed advice, either specific or non-specific, about equipment choices and services.  We have decided for better or worse on a Grand Design Imagine 2600RB travel trailer and seek comment/recommendation on hitch selection and leveling jack selections, as well as on emergency road service.  Our tow vehicle is a F250 V10 Ford. We are seriously considering an Anderson equalizing and sway control hitch as well as hydraulic leveling jacks.  Any specific information or actual experience on these items would be most appreciated.  

Towing your Imagine with your 250 should be effortless and may have you looking into the mirror to be sure it's still there :) The trailer comes with stabilizer jacks of which I would use and I'd level with Lynx Levelers https://trilynx.com/collections/tri-lynx-products/products/lynx-leveler-10-pack or perhaps the Andersen Leveler https://andersenhitches.com/Products/3604--camper-leveler.aspx 

With my travel trailer I use the Lynx Levelers as well as a 4'X6' barn stall mat (3/4" thick hard rubber) cut into 9" squares to match the Lynx Levelers and use one or the other or both depending on current needs. The rubber ones are handy on paved surfaces under the tongue jack and stabilizer jacks and at minimum I'll always use them. Preferring the keep it simple approach, as well as being mindful of weight, I have no issues with this array. 

On hitch choice, I'm happy with the Equalizer set up though I almost went with the Hensley, then available assets made that choice for me. On Emergency Road Service, currently happy with AAA using their RV Plus category, this after comparing sources and their costs, as well as lurking on forums where folks agree that providers use essentially the same businesses to give you that road side assistance. It's been noted more than once that AAA will have more connections nationwide for the services that'll be needed roadside. 

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A few years ago I was amazed to see how long it took to hookup a trailer with leveling and sway control hitch! That and the fact that fifth wheel trailers pull so much better without sway that drove me to fivers. Good Luck

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Yeah, I thought it would take a lot of time also.  Once I got one, I was surprised that it's a two minute job.  It looks more complicated than it is.  (I only recently got my first WD setup.)

 

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5 hours ago, JimK said:

A few months ago this forum had a big fuss about the Andersons and no one was going to use their products again.  How quickly we forget.

Some of us have not forgotten. 

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