No matter if it’s your casual trailer or a popup camper, if you want to tow something then you need a hitch. When the weight of what you want to tow increase, the choice of hitch become ever more important. If you want to know more about hitch that can handle heavy loads, this article will be useful. Today, you will learn about the differences between 2 popular heavy – duty hitches: Gooseneck vs 5th wheel. These hitches are the best when it comes to towing stuff that normal class 3 or 4 hitches can’t handle.
Hitches are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes for many purposes. In the case of gooseneck and 5th wheel hitch, they are designed to be used with pickup truck bed. Their ability to tow cumbersome goods while maintaining the vehicle stability is excellent. They also allow you make tighter turn compared to normal hitches. This is due to the fact that they are connected to the truck bed instead of the vehicle back like other hitches. And since the weight of whatever you are towing will make turning slightly complicated, these hitches will come in handy.
That should cover the basic information about gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches. Now let’s go deeper into their details and usages. Through the below information, you will know how they can be a positive influence in distributing weight and braking mechanism.
Table of Content
Features and specifications of gooseneck vs 5th wheel hitch
The usual construction of a gooseneck hitch consists of metal plate mounted directly on or under your vehicle box. It utilizes couplers and a ball form the connection between the truck and the trailer. There are 3 gooseneck hitch styles: Below bed, fold down and above the bed. Generally, these gooseneck hitches are often used to pull toy hauler and horse trailer. There is also safety chain so if the hitch fails, your trailer won’t be entirely detached from the truck. However, it’s forbidden in most states to reside in the trailer being towed by a gooseneck hitch
Nowadays, the below bed style is in high demand since it can be custom fitted. When there is no need for towing, you can flip or detach the ball. Fold down hitch is pretty much the same besides that you can fold the ball to the side below the truck bed. You may also need to cut a hole in the truck bed for installation. For the above bed hitch, it connects to the truck bed rail in the same manner as 5th wheel hitch. So you can quickly and effortless remove and install the hitch whenever you want.
5th wheel hitch
A 5th wheel hitch is made by installing 2 steel rails to your vehicle bed. After that, a customizable hitch will be installed. In the hitch, there are jaws surround a kingpin that point downward, away from the plate. It functions just like a semi truck and its associated trailer. People can actually remain in trailers pulling by this hitch so it popular for camping trailer and RV. Still, you should expect some forms of obstruction while installing a 5th wheel hitch. The truck box space may be substantially reduced if you install the hitch in
What kind of hitch should I use?
Before you come to decide which one you should buy between a gooseneck and 5th wheel hitch, check your vehicle pulling ability. You can figure this out by examining the truck manuals In order to safely and effectively use either of the hitches, your truck needs to be a ¾ ton, 1 ton or larger. The reason behind this requirement is fairly simple. Trailers that can accept gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch couplers have an average weight of 10,000 lbs. This makes them beyond the towing capacity of ½ ton truck and smaller.
When you are sure that your truck has sufficient towing capacity, the next thing to check is the trailer attaching assortment. Inspect to see it got gooseneck couplers, tongue mounted couplers or kingpin arm and box. The trailer weight is also important. As mentioned above, if your trailer weight exceeds 10,000 lbs then you can use a gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch. Information about the trailer weight can be found in its VIN plate, short for Vehicle Identification Number. The GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is the loaded weight of the trailer. If that number is above 10,000 lbs weight limit, you can now consider using either of the hitches
After finished checking the weight, ask yourself if you want to carry passengers in the trailer while it’s being towed by the hitch. If the answer is no then go ahead and decide on a gooseneck hitch. But if you trailer is an RV or camper trailer, the 5th wheel hitch would be the better choice since it allows people to stay in the trailer on the move. The 5th wheel hitch also let you tow large and bulky trailer much easier than usual. The price of a 5th wheel hitch is more expensive than most gooseneck hitch so think it well.
Finally, the last consideration would be the truck box storage space. The installation of a 5th wheel hitch will inevitably take up considerable room in the truck box. If you want to also carry stuff in the truck box while towing the trailer, it would be better to get the gooseneck hitch. The gooseneck hitch often not takes up a lot of space in the truck box when installed. You can put the remaining room to use any way you want. The hitch also reduces the trailer sway and offers a stable ride so your truck box content won’t be thrown around.
And that would cover all the necessary stuff about gooseneck vs 5th wheel hitch. They all got their pros and cons. In certain conditions, one of them can meet your expectations better than the other. So in the end, it’s all about your preferences and styles. By checking out the above information and combine it with your situation, you can get yourself a suitable hitch for your truck and trailer.
Image Credit: Amazon.com