Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch

by Greg Zimmerman

How’s it work?

A weight distribution hitch uses leverage on the hitch through tensioned chains or spring bars to “distribute” more weight to the front axle of the tow vehicle.  This reduces sag and gives the front tires of the tow vehicle more traction.

What makes Andersen different?

Anti-Sway:

Anti-sway is friction to dampen and reduce sway induced by outside forces such as wind gusts or passing trucks. Andersen hitches have built in anti-sway. Other hitches need an anti-sway bar added to the system. The hitch ball is physically attached to the lower wing plate and chains. As the trailer turns, the ball pivots with it and it’s sitting in a cone of friction material similar to a brake pad. The more weight on the hitch, the more anti-sway friction.

Chains vs. Spring Bars:

Chains are compact and light weight. Tension is applied easily by a few turns of a socket wrench to tighten the tension nuts. Spring bars are heavy and require a lot of force with a lever to engage.

The Andersen’s chains apply tension along the Casita’s frame, pulling forward on the bolted in brackets. Traditional spring bar set ups pull directly down on their frame brackets. In that location, the Casitas frame is weak and some owners have bent or cracked frames from tension bars.

Backing Up:

Unlike other hitches or sway bars, the Andersen can be left attached when you need to back up.

Do all vehicles need one?

If your tow vehicle is a full size or heavy duty truck, then it’s not really needed. However the typical Casita tow vehicle is lighter duty with a tow rating from 3500-7000 pounds and an Andersen can greatly improve the towing experience.

Andersen’s are such a great match for Casitas that the factory is offering them as an option.

How do I buy one?

There is a special combination of parts required for the hitch to fit properly on a Casita. Low profile brackets and extension chains are needed. Buying off the internet or RV store likely won’t get you the correct parts. Also the warranty is only valid when buying from an authorized dealer (like me).

I will walk you through the measuring steps to get the right hitch for your vehicle. I’m also available for tech support during set up and installation.

I sell factory direct. I can send you an invoice to pay online, place your order, and Andersen will ship the hitch to your address.

The 4″ hitch is $599.99 and the 8″ hitch is $629.99.  FREE shipping and I include the required chain extensions for free, a $47.99 value.

Contact me to order: greg@thehandycamper.com

51 comments

Rick Martin September 30, 2020 - 12:24 pm

Thanks for this WDH blog post. I purchased one directly and was given short chains. I went out and picked up extensions, but haven’t had any trips for awhile but will use your guide for help. I’ve been traveling for 4-5 years without it, hope this improves my ride/safety. Hope all is well in Italy. I had 20+ yrs in Germany US Army and did a lot of travel, some w/ a travel trailer through Italy, Spain, France, Germany.

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Steve Radabaugh May 4, 2021 - 10:10 am

Greg we are wanting to purchase a weight distribution hitch but couldn’t find a price. How much are they?

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Greg Zimmerman May 14, 2021 - 2:30 am

Prices are now on the website.

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Mark May 31, 2021 - 5:55 pm

Would like to get price on an andersen hitch for a 17 ft Casita 2020 with a stated TW of 365#

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Greg Zimmerman May 31, 2021 - 6:52 pm

I will send you an email.

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Marlene J Brenden June 3, 2021 - 4:08 pm

I just sent you an email. I would really like to order one ASAP.
Thank you!

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Shawn Cosgrove July 25, 2021 - 4:25 pm

I’m looking to purchase a Casita, I have a Ram 1500 truck, I’m not sure I’ll need one. If recommended, should I get an Anderson hitch for the Casita as an add on (and expect they do this correctly) or use another source?

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Greg Zimmerman July 25, 2021 - 8:23 pm

With a full size half-ton truck like your Ram 1500, the Andersen isn’t needed. It shines on lighter duty vehicles like small SUV where the weight squats the back. Your truck won’t even know a Casita is back there.

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Rob August 2, 2021 - 9:20 pm

Hi Greg, I towing a caravan weighing 2,800 kg with a Ford Ranger. I currently use a Hayman Reece weight distributor. Would an Andersen hitch do a better job..

Cheers Rob

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Greg Zimmerman August 2, 2021 - 9:31 pm

I would not bother changing out a spring bar system that’s already in place. The Andersen is lighter and has sway control but it won’t change the weight distribution that you already have.

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Margaret August 4, 2021 - 3:01 pm

Hi Greg, I have a 4.7 8 cylinder 2012 Ram 1500 2wd quad cab 3.55 Rear axle ratio. Do I need an Anderson? I had an equalizer hitch with my other camper. If not should I have a curt anti sway on each side? Or just the one that I got when I bought the 2020 Liberty deluxe used? Thanks for imput. If I need Anderson can you email me with cost?

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Greg Zimmerman August 4, 2021 - 7:40 pm

No, a full size truck does not need an Andersen. They are really good on light duty SUV’s that sag down from the weight. Also don’t add a second sway bar, the single one works in both directions. I never ran a sway bar or WDH when towing with my F150. I used the Andersen on the Jeep Wrangler that needed it

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J A Robb August 5, 2021 - 3:59 pm

I am towing a 2010 Casita Liberty with a 2021 Subaru Outback Onyx XT (3500 lbs towing cap.). Would the Andersen be a good investment?

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Greg Zimmerman August 5, 2021 - 9:03 pm

Sending you an email…

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Frank Higgins August 14, 2021 - 12:21 pm

First, Thank You for your service and Thank You to your wife for hers. Just bought a Vintage (2001) SD. Our first foray into Casita Life or trailers. Not having a suitable Tow Vehicle, we picked up a vintage Suburban (1500 LT). Reading through the posts above, I realize that an Anderson is overkill for my new TV. The SD is already set up with a knob for an anti-sway bar. Not having towed much of anything for years and years, I see that many people add anti-sway bars. What are your thoughts? Am I going to spend nearly as much on an anti-sway bar as an Anderson, or is there a less expensive alternative that reduces tail wagging. Perhaps you are a factory direct rep for an anti-sway bar mfg and I can buy through you. Thank you in advance. – Frank

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Greg Zimmerman August 14, 2021 - 11:08 pm

With a full size tow vehicle like a Suburban, it won’t even know there’s a Casita back there. I personally wouldn’t even buy a sway bar for it. I never ran one with my F150. As for parts, I’m still a Andersen dealer because they drop ship direct. I had to pause my other parts distributors because they only delivered to my shop and I’m still out of the country.

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Rick McCarren August 22, 2021 - 6:09 pm

Greg, do you have any experience with the Subaru Ascent? I have the tow package so I am good for #5000. I am thinking of ordering an Anderson next summer for my 2007 SD. I do get a little porpoising under certain conditions. I have a sway bar and that works great. I guess the main question would be is there benefit for my TV?

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Greg Zimmerman August 22, 2021 - 8:50 pm

My research shows that you should NOT use a weight distribution hitch on a Subaru. The Unibody frame is not designed for it. It’s even in the owner’s manual.

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Maureen Molinari August 23, 2021 - 8:52 pm

Hello,
I have a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Summit model and wondering if the Anderson Weight Distribution Hitch would improve towing in wind and going over bumps. I live in Wyoming, and would also need someone to install it for me. Any advice would be appreciated. Please email me at: (deleted for privacy)

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Greg Zimmerman August 23, 2021 - 9:05 pm

Email sent!

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Nikki February 17, 2022 - 2:09 am

Hey Greg! I have a 2004 4runner v8. I’m wondering if you’d recommend the Anderson for my tow vehicle. Thank you!

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Greg Zimmerman February 17, 2022 - 2:13 am

You’re on the border of needing one, I’ll send an email for specifics.

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Rick McCarren August 23, 2021 - 9:02 pm

Thanks for the information. I have not seen that in the manual and I have been there a couple times making sure my weight and load limits are within specs. Appreciate the response.

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Greg Zimmerman August 23, 2021 - 9:32 pm

I emailed you a screen shot from the manual. It’s specifically says to never use a WDH on a Subaru Ascent. Their unibody frame isn’t engineered for the extra stresses.

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Gene August 28, 2021 - 6:05 am

Thanks for your input on the Anderson Greg. I have a 2022 Independence on order. My tow is a 2021 Honda Ridgeline, It seems to be somewhere in the middle between the full-size truck and a smaller one. The platform is based on an SUV. I ordered a WDH but am now wondering if the Anderson would be better. I don’t get delivery until August 11, 2022, so I have time to change if I need to. Thanks.

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Greg Zimmerman August 28, 2021 - 9:12 pm

What WDH did you order? If you’re going with a WDH, the Andersen is the best match for Casitas. You can buy it as an option from Casita. However the Ridgeline is a good match as a tow vehicle for the Casita and you can tow just fine without a WDH. You could just get the sway bar for safety and hook up is easier.

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David J. Mueller September 7, 2021 - 1:05 pm

Looking at a used Toyota Venza V6 (3500 lb rating). Would this useful with a 16′ Casita 2185 dry.

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Greg Zimmerman September 7, 2021 - 6:10 pm

I don’t recommend a weight distribution hitch for the 16′ models as they already have too little tongue weight. A Curt sway bar can be added if you are having or worried about having sway.

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Amy Ruane September 26, 2021 - 10:33 pm

Thank you! This answered my question. I am purchasing a 2002 16′ Spirit and will be towing with a 2019 Volkswagen Atlas which is rated for 5000. Is a sway overkill?

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Greg Zimmerman September 26, 2021 - 11:26 pm

No, a sway bar is not overkill. They’re great for extra safety in case of a emergency avoidance maneuver.

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Mike Barber September 26, 2021 - 9:41 pm

Hi Greg, I’ve pulled my Casita for about a thousand miles with the Andersen WDH and done fine ( older Ford ranger). After my last trip I notice that the ball assembly turns freely inside the ball housing. Do I need to replace the cone that holds the ball in place?
Thanks, Mike

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Greg Zimmerman September 26, 2021 - 11:28 pm

If there’s no weight on the ball, it will rotate. One it has the weight of the trailer on it, it should then not rotate. Andersen will replace the liner in there if it is worn out. Contact their customer service.

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Bryce October 28, 2021 - 3:26 pm

Hello Greg,
I see in other posts that you mention the Anderson WDH with sway isn’t necessary when the TV is a RAM 1500. My concern is that I’ll be hauling my Suzuki DR 650 in the bed with fuel, water, generator and a few other items with me, and including myself, I’m estimating it’ll be around 800 pounds. By the way, I’ll be towing a 2022 Spirit Deluxe in April. I did order the Curt sway control, but I’m thinking that I should change to the Anderson WDH with the additional weight that will be with me while towing the Casita. What your thoughts?
Thank you. Bryce

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Greg Zimmerman October 29, 2021 - 1:51 am

I still don’t think it’s needed on a 1/2 ton truck. Your truck is more than capable of handling 400 pounds on the hitch and say 600 in the bed. If you get some squat, you can always put a little bit stiffer rear coil spring in there (depends on what year Ram you have). The extra work to hook and unhook the Andersen just isn’t worth it on truck. I ran no “helpers” when towing with my F150 and it didn’t care.

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Steven M. Reilly November 1, 2021 - 8:01 pm

Hi Greg,
We are picking up a new 17′ Casita SD in March. Our tow vehicle is a 2010 Toyota 4Runner 4wd. I’ve towed an 18 1/2 ft boat and trailer (3,900 lb) a lot fairly easily with no WD system. Any recommendations regarding the need for an Anderson WD system on the Casita? Thank you.

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Greg Zimmerman November 1, 2021 - 8:09 pm

I would say it’s not really needed. Maybe if you find with your cargo load that the truck is sagging a bunch, you can add it later. But I towed plenty with a ’08 4runner and didn’t need to address sagging. The extra few minutes saved every hitch up is probably worth it. The Andersen excels at lighter SUV’s like the highlander or smaller.

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Nikki February 17, 2022 - 2:17 am

Hey Greg! How much sag would you say is acceptable in a 4th gen 4runner? I’m getting about 2” to 2 1/2” of sag in the rear. Trying to decide between a WDH, airbags with factory springs, or stiffer springs to alleviate the squat.

Thank you!

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Greg Zimmerman February 17, 2022 - 2:21 am

Wow 2.5″ is a lot! Personally I’d rather do airbags in the rear coil springs. Then you pump it up with a bike pump until the truck is level. The Andersen will help transfer weight forward but even with the chains cranked, I don’t think you’ll get it to raise up 2.5 inches. What’s your tongue weight?

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Nikki February 17, 2022 - 2:34 am

Thanks for the quick response! 🙂 It’s probably closer to 2”, but yeah- the sag definitely feels a little much. I was thinking the same thing about the Anderson not correcting it enough. I think I’m at 300ish for tongue weight. I have a 2006 17’ Spirit Deluxe. I usually fill my 25 gallon water tank half full and load all of our gear in front of the casita axle. I’ve been weary of airbags alone as I don’t want to add more load to my rear axle, but maybe my rear axle would be fine? I might also be working with some worn out 2004 springs and replacing them would help the issue a lot as well.

Thanks again!

Bonny February 2, 2022 - 11:25 am

Hi Greg,

We recently purchased a 2017 ID, are towing with a 2021 Ridgeline. We plan to add shocks to the Casita later this month (appointment with Little Home), but also want to add an Andersen hitch. You mentioned in a previous response that the Ridgeline might only need the anti-sway? I’m ignorant enough of the whole system that I’m sure of the difference… please advise what we would need and we will order it from you pronto!

Thanks,
Bonny

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Greg Zimmerman February 2, 2022 - 5:12 pm

They both have anti-sway, the difference is the Andersen reduces how much the tow vehicle squats when you put all the weight of the trailer on the hitch. A 1/2 ton truck doesn’t need one, but a Ridgeline could benefit from it, especially if you plan to fill the truck bed with stuff. If you travel light, then you can away with just the sway bar.

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Thomas February 4, 2022 - 1:39 pm

I have a 2021 Jeep Gladiator eco diesel with Firestone air bags. Will I require an Anderson hitch?

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Greg Zimmerman February 4, 2022 - 5:45 pm

Not needed. The airbags are taking up the sag the hitch would correct. You may want a sway bar for extra safety, but that’s it.

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Sue February 21, 2022 - 6:37 am

I have a 17 ft Casita and am using an Anderson wt distribution hitch.I bought it because aI had never pulled a trailer before and I wanted to be safe.I have always pulled with my Expedition and don’t even feel the Casita behind me.When I first started using the Anderson hitch Ivwould tighten the chains to 6 rings on the bolt on both sides,that is what the factory told me to do.Now,after using it several times ,I can only tighten the chains to 4-5 rings.I don’t know why .Would anything be wrong?

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Greg Zimmerman February 21, 2022 - 6:41 pm

I wouldn’t worry about the thread count. If it’s tight it’s fine. Over time the bushing smush a bit and maybe even the chains have settled in.

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Anne-Marie Jensen March 12, 2022 - 9:52 am

Hi. Your article states you don’t need to unhook the WDH when backing. Is that correct? That has prevented me from installing mine because, who doesn’t need to back up sometimes when maneuvering on a small street or something like that?

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Greg Zimmerman March 18, 2022 - 9:01 pm

Correct, you can back up with the Andersen attached. No issues with that. The only “gotcha” is you want to be straight when you unhitch because you need to be at the same angle when you hook it back up. So if you’re turned, you’ll have to match that angle again when you hitch back up. So straight is easiest.

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Brenda March 18, 2022 - 12:04 pm

Greg, if you could help check my measurements so I order the correct hitch I would be appreciative. 1994 LD pulled by lifted Tacoma. When I picked it up and drove it home noticed sway and it may improve with some weight in the truck or the trailer but it is an uncomfortable feeling (tail wagging the dog). On level ground to bottom of the coupler is 15” and ground to inside top of receiver is 23 3/2 for 8 and 3/3 inch difference. So 8 inch drop hitch, yes?

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Greg Zimmerman March 18, 2022 - 8:35 pm

I’m sending you an email with the measuring instructions.

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Rob April 13, 2022 - 8:40 am

Hello Greg
I have a 2016 75th anniversary jeep grand cherokee 4×4 and will be towing a forest river salem cruise lite 24rlxl model. Will an anderson wdh be useful with my setup?

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Greg Zimmerman April 13, 2022 - 6:20 pm

I looked it up and your dry hitch weight is 550 pounds, which might be closer to 600 loaded up. You definitely want a weight distribution hitch, either the Andersen or spring bar set up.

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