Trailing has become easier than it was some years ago. With towing vehicles integrated with hitches, dragging along your camper is now a breeze.
But, is it really? Not quite. See, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll know that a regular hitch just can’t handle quite a load of trailer. Doing so requires an equally strong piece of equipment to carry it with.
If your current setup is for pulling fifth wheel trailers through a gooseneck trailer, then you should be checking here. Otherwise, read on to find out what manufacturers have engineered for gooseneck hitches to fit on your fifth wheel rails.
Even when your towing vehicle doesn’t have rails, this method allows you to switch between gooseneck and fifth wheel as needed.
If you are uncertain which hitch to buy, we’ve scoured the market and the internet to find out the best recommendations for your next adventure with your trailer.
What Is a Gooseneck Hitch and How It Works?
Gooseneck hitches are Class V hitches that sit on the bed of your truck with a ball that links to a trailer’s gooseneck coupler. They are a tougher alternative to fifth wheel hitch since they are designed to endure heavier trailer loads over long distances.
Sitting on the truck bed than hanging on the end of the towing vehicle allows the driver to turn easily even with that extra load. It also lets movement be made over four different planes, making it ideal even for challenging terrain.
There are three main types of gooseneck hitches available in the market; under the bed, above, and fold-down. Above the bed is considered the most popular type. It mounts onto base rails, which are usually the same rails that a fifth wheel hitch attaches to. They are easy to install, just secure them with 4 pins. Uninstalling is as simple as removing the same 4 pins and won’t take so much time.
Under the bed hitches come in at second place since they are usually vehicle specific. As the name suggests, under the bed type has the rails installed under the truck. This will require installation to make a small hole to allow the coupler to pass through the truck bed. They can sure haul larger trailers but cost more and may be difficult to install.
The last option which is similar to under the bed type is the folded down option. They are almost the same design and mode of installation. The only difference is the hitch ball is mounted onto a plate, requiring the hole that needs to be drilled larger than that of under the bed. However, this benefits you by allowing you to fold it down when not in use. Hence, the name fold-down.
Why Should You Use a Gooseneck?
There are, as a matter of fact many, options to choose from when looking for a system that will let you tow your haul. But, if you need a large towing capacity trailer, you have a truck, and you want a safer and more stable ride, then you should go with a gooseneck
Gooseneck stems are simple to use, tough and can tow almost anything, from flatbeds to livestock trailers. It is very easy to use in that you can simply remove the ball if you need fast access to the back of your truck. This is a practical benefit if you are towing on a regular basis.
Features and Factors to Consider in Buying a Gooseneck Hitch
Different manufacturers compete to produce the best hitches but knowing the features you need to look for and factors to consider in a gooseneck hitch makes your decision easy.
Always be aware of your GTW (Gross Trailer Weight). This is the collective weight of the trailer as well as fluids and cargo. Your trailer manufacturer usually includes this information in your owner’s manual. Aside from GTW, you must as well consider the max king pin weight of the trailer.
The kingpin weight is the one pressing down on the hitch vertically when the trailer is loaded.
This information is important as you do not want to exceed your truck’s maximum tolerable rear axle weight rating.
Length of Truck’s Bed
Your truck bed, whether it is long or short determines the type of mounting platform you will need for your fifth wheel – legs or rollers.
Basically, a long truck is 8-ft long while a short one is 6.5-ft long. Your long bed needs fifth wheel legs which is a standard option. A short truck needs a sliding hitch. This is to allow easy maneuvering on the camp ground as well as navigating on tight turns.
Your truck may be used for other purposes other than towing. If that is the case, a custom gooseneck hitch setup is your way.
Each has its own features and designs. The most important thing is for you to be aware of them and have a better understanding of how they work. Some of the features are;
- Hitch coupler – Flat part of the hitch located on the bed of your truck and borders with the fifth wheel trailer.
- Hitch locking lever – Locks down on the bar used to discharge the receiver from the fifth wheel pin box. Note that you will still need a lock to prevent the fifth wheel from disengaging.
- Extended pin box – Ideal for towing with a short truck bed. This prevents the trailer from hitting the cab when doing sharp turns.
- Pucks – Attachments installed in the truck bed meant to be a sign of under bed hitch prep package presence.
- King Pin – Part attached to the fifth wheel trailer for good. This connects to the trailer and lets the RV to swivel when being drawn.
- Slider fifth wheel hitch – Piece that slides forward and backward in the truck bed to arrange for a smoother ride. Yet another feature that helps prevent the trailer from hitting the cab on sharp turns.
- Mounting Rails – Necessary in attaching a fifth wheel hitch to your truck bed. They are securely clipped to the truck bed with the hitch coupler attached to them.
Make sure that you have established what kind of truck you will use for hauling prior to making any purchases. See if it can pull your fifth wheel. Read all of what you may need to consider regarding vehicle compatibility from your owner’s manual.
Consider if the truck has a bed liner as you will have to cut a while to make way for a fifth wheel. If there are pucks, make sure you get a hitch that is designed to attach to them. Metal rails? Find a fifth wheel hitch designed to fit them.
The make of your truck will ultimately tell which one you need. There are hitches that are made universal and there are also those that are only specific to your vehicle’s make. It would be best if you go for the one designed specifically to fit your vehicle make, year and model.
Gooseneck Hitch for Fifth Wheel Rails Review
As mentioned, if you are looking to get a cheap but best way to haul large loads, then the gooseneck hitch is your perfect system. To help you narrow down your choices from what seems to be so many in the market, we have listed below the top 3 gooseneck hitches for fifth wheel rails.
|Product Name||Images||Current Price|
|1. CURT 16115 Black E16 5th Wheel Hitch|
|2. Curt 16055 Above-Bed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch for Fifth Wheel Rails|
|3. Pro Series 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch|
#1. CURT 16115 Black E16 5th Wheel Hitch – Easy to use rock solid hitch
Curt Group started in 1993 as a trailer ball distribution business. It didn’t take long before they began manufacturing and expanding their towing product lines. This led them to become the leading manufacturer in the US for custom-fit trailer hitches.
Curt E16 is your cost-effective choice that offers many of the same features of more expensive products. This entry-level hitch has a 16,000-pound weight capacity and an auto-locking slide bar jaw mechanism that adds up to its superior security.
This fifth-wheel hitch works well with revolving pin boxes, such as Reese Sidewinder, Reese Revolution, and 5th Airborne Sidewinder (only when used with a wedge, which is sold separately).
This product line’s versatile design lets you mount it to all industry standard rails. It fits a variety of mounting options, as well as OEM puck system legs and rollers, base rails, and gooseneck adapters.
- Auto-locking, slide-bar jaw technology that offers superior security
- 4-Position height variation for various towing applications
- Dual-pivoting head with 10° lateral movement for easy and simple hookup
- Anti-rattle skid plate creates that smooth, quiet ride
- Durable, solid steel construction with carbide black finish
- Gross towing weight: 16,000 pounds
- Vertical load limit: 4,000 pounds
- Hitch height: 13 – 17 inches
- 5-Year limited warranty
|Rear tension bar along with the slide bar minimizes rattle and noisy movement||Poor packaging; may get unlucky with a box with missing parts
|Effective height adjustment||Installation kit sold separately
|Easy to assemble
#2. Curt 16055 Above-Bed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch for Fifth Wheel Rails – Good cowboy hitch alternative
Curt Group must be so good and passionate about the products they release that they have another item from their line on this list. With their ISO / TS 16949 certification, you shouldn’t be surprised.
To give your truck the mechanism it needs to be the best towing machine, Curt came up with this fifth wheel / gooseneck plate that allows you to pull both fifth wheel and gooseneck trailers with the same pickup truck. Having the four pin-and-clip attachment points that provide a solid installation and quick removal when necessary is one of its featured convenience.
This design gives you full access and use of your truck bed for other purposes. Weighing about 40 pounds and being set up above the truck bed, this hitch is very simple to install and use.
- Fits standard 5th-wheel base rails
- Integrated safety-chain loops
- Offset hitch ball lets you have additional space between your truck’s cab and your gooseneck trailer
- Long-lasting carbide powder coat finish resists corrosion
- Gross towing weight: 25,000 pounds
- Vertical load limit: 6,250 pounds
- Ball size: 2-5/16 inches
- Offset: 3 inches
- Limited 7-year warranty
|Mountable into various industry-standard fifth-wheel rail construction||Weak construction of fifth wheel rail may compromise prime functions|
|Features integrated attachment slots for safety chains||Poor packaging with missing parts|
|Holds secure four pin-and-clips installation
#3. Pro Series 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch – Economy hitch at its best
“Built by the best, to be the best…” is Pro Series’ tag line. Indeed, they offer the best value for your money with their widest product lines in the towing industry. Their diverse selection of products includes fifth wheels, goosenecks, weight distribution systems, receiver hitches, and many more.
Pro Series 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch is your cheap priced hitch that doesn’t feel like it. It is best for people that are just starting out with fifth-wheeling but don’t like to invest a whole lot of money.
Hauling up to 15,000 pounds, it features a rounded slide bar on a 4-wat pivoting head that guarantees easy and secure trailer hook up. The fifth wheel can be easily disengaged by one person – simply detach two pins and two clips.
- Durable and reliable 5th-wheel hitch with an affordable price tag
- 4-Way-pivoting head assists with easy trailer hookup
- Protected and cushioned grip on the handle gives comfortable jaw operation
- Variable hitch height lets you adjust for the accurate match to your specific trailer’s height
- Gross towing weight: 15,000 pounds
- Vertical load limit: 3,750 pounds
- Hitch height: 13 – 17 inches
- Kingpin opening: 5-3/4 inches wide
- Skid plate thickness: ½ inches
- 10-Year limited warranty
|Easy to assemble||Slide bars may be a little noisy during drives
|Cheap and versatile
Our Top Pick
While all three measured up to be of the same characteristics, the one that stood out is Curt 16055 Above-Bed Gooseneck Trailer Hitch for Fifth Wheel Rails. Its versatility credits from its design that lets it be mounted on fifth wheel brackets and rail assembly.
The Curt 16055 is reliable, multi-purpose, and can support heavy-duty towing. It is lightweight at 8 ounces but is strong and durable with its plate measuring 24 x 14 inches. And, if that doesn’t make you smile yet, let’s add into the bag its 7-year warranty that will keep you and your gears feel covered and secured.
Gooseneck hitches with the fifth wheel trailer are incredibly cheaper. Their benefits, considering the amount of money you pay for it, are worth the extra buck. More importantly, they are easy to use. They leave you with full control of how you want to utilize all of your truck’s purpose.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Should you lubricate?
A: Surfaces of the plates of the trailer as well as the hitch are constantly in contact, if not sliding against each other. It is important, as part of maintenance to keep them well lubricated to keep their effective performance.
Q: Is rail spacing the same for all installations?
A: Rail spacing is the same. The difference lies (1) how the rail mounts and (2) hardware required that is vehicle specific.