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Old 05-12-2016, 10:39 AM   #1
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Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 2016 Model Update

I previously owned the original 2015 Ultimate Aluminum and liked it alot. Back then I did a Youtube video with comments about my installation. I've made some changes in equipment and I now am back to the Andersen Ultimate only this one is the most recent 2016 model that had a few nice changes.

I'm one of those Andersen fans that installed the kingpin adapter backward to change the pivot point to better match my mor/Ryde pinbox. Texas weather these last few weeks has kept me off the road, so I decided to do an updated Youtube video. As with the first one, this video was unsolicited and uncompensated, I just did it for fun and in case it may answer anyone questions. Also, I admit to posting this exact same message on RV.net.

Here's the link:Andersen Ultimate 2016 Model and reverse mount explained
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Old 05-12-2016, 12:42 PM   #2
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Great video!

After watching it I am planning to experiment with my adapter positioning and the 4" B&W GN offset adapter (I have but never used). I like the idea of more side rail and tailgate clearence. Just wondering what effect this might have on front axle weight...

Not sure if you said, but is your TV a short bed?
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DJNCJ View Post
Great video!

After watching it I am planning to experiment with my adapter positioning and the 4" B&W GN offset adapter (I have but never used). I like the idea of more side rail and tailgate clearence. Just wondering what effect this might have on front axle weight...

Not sure if you said, but is your TV a short bed?
My TV is a 2015 GMC 2500HD double cab with a 6.6ft standard bed. The Crew Cab model has a 5.5ft bed and the long bed is an 8ft bed, thus mine at 6.6ft is referred to as a standard bed.

A comment on your comment. This gave me more side rail clearance but note that by moving forward the net 4", I absolutely must close the tail gate before I pull out (which is normal). The point being, if I pull out from camp at an angle and forget to close and leave the tailgate down, the corner of the tailgate is too close to the camper.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:59 AM   #4
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I ran into a snag using the 4" offset ball made by B&W. The offset ball is 1.25" taller in the bed than the standard turn over ball that came with the hitch. I cut an old hitch pin to use in the fashion you did in the video to allow the inner tube further upward travel. Now the problem: The inner tube (top) contacts the bottom of the outer tube (at the top plate) stopping travel prior to achieving proper torque.

I contacted Andersen and to accommodate my unique situation they are building me a new inner tube. The solution is an inner tube shorter by 1.25" than normal. I am unsure of the cost...I didn't ask.

I did tow a short distance using the offset configuration you showed in the video and preferred it to using the standard ball location. There is much better side rail clearance and sufficient cab clearance too.

Have you measured the added height the Curt offset ball has vs the standard? I wonder if it's shorter than the B&W...The hitch almost worked perfectly for me but the torque got to 50 when it bottoms out. Due to having a BEDRUG under the hitch Andersen told me I needed 60 lbs of torque.

On another note...I noticed your inner tube is rotated 90 degrees from what mine is. It seemed to me that if I did this it would be easier to install the locking pin so I tried it. I found in doing this (with pin on either side of the ball) the inner tube (prior to torquing) allows fore and aft movement of the tube but not if the pin is in front of the ball. Because of this I thought it better to return the inner tube to the orientation Andersen had it when shipped. Food for thought...
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:07 AM   #5
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I checked mine and you are right. I was topping out on the inner square tube like you were. Andersen sent me a shorter tube and now all is well.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:06 AM   #6
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Glad you got that sorted out!

I never did get a shorter tube. Instead I ended up with a longer truck!

Last time out I rolled across the scales at a truck stop to find my rear axle was over weight. I scaled it with the hitch on the offset ball and the standard ball to find that the offset configuration took 300 lbs off the front axle and the typical short bed configuration took away 100 lbs.

On my new 3500 Dually I have the hitch on the standard GN ball and the coupler is oriented with the ball to the rear. I will scale next opportunity and report back.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:09 AM   #7
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Last time out I rolled across the scales at a truck stop to find my rear axle was over weight. I scaled it with the hitch on the offset ball and the standard ball to find that the offset configuration took 300 lbs off the front axle and the typical short bed configuration took away 100 lbs.
Interesting. I don't see that but perhaps its because I also have airbags on the truck that I inflate when I tow. Raising the rear would shift that weight back to normal in theory for now. I'll do some CATs next time out to verify.
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Old 08-22-2016, 08:55 AM   #8
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Interesting. I don't see that but perhaps its because I also have airbags on the truck that I inflate when I tow. Raising the rear would shift that weight back to normal in theory for now. I'll do some CATs next time out to verify.
My (replaced) 2500 Ram had the factory full rear air bag suspension (no steel springs what-so-ever) and automatically achieved either of 2 selected ride heights when the weight of the trailer was applied. I could not see or feel a difference between configurations.

I threw out there the front axle weight change as an observation and not a concern. The rig handled great with no trouble. I am in no way suggesting a change. The offset ball is a great sollution to rail and gate clearence problems!

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Old 08-29-2016, 08:54 AM   #9
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If you're wondering how moving the hitch point to either side of the standard position directly over the rear axel will change the front axel loading it's easy to calculate.

Example #1: Say you have a 160" wheelbase on your truck and you move the ball 4" behind the axel. Plugging those numbers into this calculator, where L is the wheelbase and X is the offset, you'll get a reduction of 25 pounds for every 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

Example #2: Say you have a 160" wheelbase on your truck and you move the ball 4" in front the axel. Plugging those numbers into this calculator, where L is the wheelbase and X is the offset, you'll get a increase of 25 pounds for every 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

Oh, the case where you move it fore or aft 8", the load will double the 4" load no matter what wheelbase you start with.

In both cases the longer the wheelbase the less effect the change in position will have. Given a 200" wheelbase the change for either case is 20 pounds per 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

So there you have it, a 4" move fore or aft will not make a huge difference in front axel loading.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:56 AM   #10
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If you're wondering how moving the hitch point to either side of the standard position directly over the rear axel will change the front axel loading it's easy to calculate.

Example #1: Say you have a 160" wheelbase on your truck and you move the ball 4" behind the axel. Plugging those numbers into this calculator, where L is the wheelbase and X is the offset, you'll get a reduction of 25 pounds for every 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

Example #2: Say you have a 160" wheelbase on your truck and you move the ball 4" in front the axel. Plugging those numbers into this calculator, where L is the wheelbase and X is the offset, you'll get a increase of 25 pounds for every 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

Oh, the case where you move it fore or aft 8", the load will double the 4" load no matter what wheelbase you start with.

In both cases the longer the wheelbase the less effect the change in position will have. Given a 200" wheelbase the change for either case is 20 pounds per 1,000 pounds of pin weight.

So there you have it, a 4" move fore or aft will not make a huge difference in front axel loading.
Interesting calculator. There is more in play, however, than simply moving the Andersen frame fore and aft. The coupler adapter was also spun 180 degrees at the same time.

This resulted in a 200 lbs difference in front axle weight at the Cat Scale. This calculator (if I am plugging in the numbers correctly) suggests my 3200 lbs pin weight should result in an 80 lbs difference not 200.

Either way it wasn't much and I could not feel the difference in handling.

Thanks for sharing the calculator!
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:33 AM   #11
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Interesting calculator. There is more in play, however, than simply moving the Andersen frame fore and aft. The coupler adapter was also spun 180 degrees at the same time.

This resulted in a 200 lbs difference in front axle weight at the Cat Scale. This calculator (if I am plugging in the numbers correctly) suggests my 3200 lbs pin weight should result in an 80 lbs difference not 200.

Either way it wasn't much and I could not feel the difference in handling.

Thanks for sharing the calculator!
That's interesting as I wouldn't think anything else would come into play given the same passengers, or lack of, and the same payload including fuel.

I based my calculations on the center of the ball verses the axel. The only thing I can think of is the way the frame distributes the load over the bed. Could it be that the frame load center is moving more than the ball? The only way to find that out is to call Anderson and find out exactly where the load center is on the frame compared to the ball.

What would be fun is to use the individual wheel scales without moving the truck, other than enough to couple up, try all of the positions. Maybe the guys that do weights at the RV rallies might want to take some time and work with you to do that.

Still the bottom line is that the difference in front axel weight is not very much. Heck, changing the bumper to something like a ARB with a winch or adding a deer bumper would add more weight than moving the ball.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:59 AM   #12
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I do have a question about the hitch. What has been the 5th wheel Manufactures position on Andersen? Since it doesn't change the loading on the hitch like other gooseneck adapters do are they OK with it or are they taking the position they won't cover the frame under warranty?
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #13
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I do have a question about the hitch. What has been the 5th wheel Manufactures position on Andersen? Since it doesn't change the loading on the hitch like other gooseneck adapters do are they OK with it or are they taking the position they won't cover the frame under warranty?
There was a lot of discussion about that 2 years ago when Andersen first released. I remember seeing an email from Forest River customer service saying its ok. Also about that time Andersen issued their $2 million dollar gaurantee. This year they also made the Andersen Aluminum lifetime warranty.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:15 AM   #14
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I do have a question about the hitch. What has been the 5th wheel Manufactures position on Andersen? Since it doesn't change the loading on the hitch like other gooseneck adapters do are they OK with it or are they taking the position they won't cover the frame under warranty?
Good question!

Here is Andersen's response:

http://www.andersenhitches.com/uploa...ate%202015.pdf

I bought my trailer used (no manufacturers warranty) so I'm on my own anyway and did not contact Forest River or Lippert.
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