5th Wheel Hitch Vs Gooseneck: Which is Better?

5th Wheel Hitch Vs Gooseneck: Which is Better?

Last Updated on October 19, 2020 by Tanmay Sarkar

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The selection between a gooseneck hitch and a 5th wheel hitch is often confusing. The solution is knowing them in detail, about their advantages and disadvantages and for what they will be the best.

This will make a better buying decision after which you do not have to worry.

In this article, you will know what are different types of hitches such as gooseneck and 5th wheel hitch, advantages and disadvantages of both, best gooseneck fifth wheel hitch, FAQs, and others.

What is a hitch?

A hitch is a mechanical part that attaches the trailer to a towing vehicle. There are different types of hitches available in the market. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of hitch also has different effects on the weight of the towing vehicle and towing experience, hard or easy.

You need to know what exactly these different hitches are and what are their specific advantages and disadvantages.

What is a gooseneck hitch?

Picture of CURT 60720 Double Lock Gooseneck Hitch with Flip-and-Store Ball Photo Credit Amazon
Picture of CURT 60720 Double Lock Gooseneck Hitch with Flip-and-Store Ball Photo Credit Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

A gooseneck hitch is a truck bed hitch that connects to a gooseneck trailer using a hitch ball, the main body is bolted onto the truck frame by using brackets. The main body of the gooseneck hitch is generally mounted under the truck bed and a gooseneck like a ball mount can be seen that’s why its unique name.

Gooseneck hitches can pull up to 30,000lbs and are generally used to tow horse trailers, livestock trailers, and flatbed equipment, haulers. The ball of the gooseneck hitch is the part that engages with the trailer.

Advantages of gooseneck hitch

  1. Gooseneck hitch can tow a heavier trailer, the reason is the attachment point which sits over the towing vehicle’s rear axle. In this way majority of the trailer, weight is above the towing vehicle axle. The rear axle is the part of the vehicle that turns the rear wheels.
  2. The weight distribution feature can tow more weight and it also minimizes the risk of swaying or fishtailing. This increases the stability of the vehicle and the trailer.
  3. Gooseneck hitch has a tighter turn radius, this allows you to take sharper turns without losing the control. This is especially good when you are driving off-road.

Disadvantages of gooseneck hitch

  1. Gooseneck hitches are of a bigger size.
  2. Their weight is also more than other hitches.
  3. Installation of gooseneck hitches is complex and you will need at least a pick-up truck to install it. There is a special hitching system that includes a gooseneck trailer ball.

Gooseneck hitch pros & cons

Pros
  • It can be converted into 5th wheel hitch
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to operate the ball
  • Take less space on the truck bed
  • Used for commercial and agriculture trailers
  • Simple coupling mechanism
Cons
  • Hole saw drilling in the truck bed
  • It is less stable for taller trailers
  • Noisy compared to 5th wheel

Further Reading: RV & TRAILER TOWING | TRAILER HITCH GUIDE

What is a 5th wheel hitch?

Picture of B and W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck Photo Credit Amazon
Picture of B and W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck Photo Credit Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

A 5th wheel hitch is also mounted in the bed of the towing vehicle and has a downward-facing pin called a kingpin instead of a ball mount. The kingpin is attached to a U-shaped king pin receiver on the bed of the towing vehicle.

A 5th wheel hitch can tow up to 25,000 lbs with a maximum of 30,000 lbs. The 5th wheel hitch is good for recreational use and the gooseneck hitch is generally used for industrial trailers.

A 5th wheel hitch also fits over the towing vehicle rear axle and can easily bear large weight. They offer good weight distribution, stability, and large towing capacity.

5th wheel hitch is also heavy and big in size and it requires at least a pickup truck to be installed. Unlike a traditional hitch, this type of hitch is installed above the rear axle which makes it easy for the driver to take sharp turns easily.

5th wheel hitch pros & cons

Pros
  • Good for RVs
  • Smooth and more stable towing when compared to gooseneck hitch
  • Many weight capacity options available
  • Can be converted to gooseneck hitch
  • Sliding options for short bed trucks
Cons
  • Expensive than gooseneck hitch
  • Permanent truck bed base rails
  • Difficult to move after installing

What is the difference between a 5th wheel and a gooseneck?

These are the differences between the 5th wheel and gooseneck hitch:

  1. Gooseneck hitch has a ball and coupler connection and the 5th wheel has a jaw and kingpin connection.
  2. The gooseneck takes less space but the 5th wheel is bulky with the option to remove.
  3. A gooseneck hitch is less expensive than the 5th wheel hitch.
  4. A gooseneck is generally used for commercial and farming towing purposes whereas the 5th wheel is used for recreational towing.

Gooseneck Vs 5th wheel off-road

A 5th wheel is better on off-road than a gooseneck because it provides better stability on off roads. 5th wheels hitches are also quieter than the gooseneck.

5th wheel hitch is used mostly in fifth wheels and RVs whereas the gooseneck is better for commercial and agricultural towing because it can tow more weight than a 5th wheel hitch.

How to convert a 5th wheel to gooseneck

You can convert the 5th wheel to a gooseneck hitch by using either of the two products. A 5th wheel adapter plate or a 5th wheel gooseneck hitch.

First, you have to look at which hitch your truck already has.

1. 5th wheel gooseneck hitch

You can easily convert the 5th wheel to a gooseneck hitch with a 5th wheel gooseneck hitch. Your truck would already have a 5th wheel rails on which you have to drop the hitch into the rails and secure it with pins. In this type of hitch, you will get a gooseneck ball.

Video: Installation of the Convert-a-ball 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Adapter

2. 5th wheel adapter plate

If your truck already has a gooseneck hitch then use a 5th adapter plate to convert the 5th wheel to a gooseneck hitch.

Fifth wheel to gooseneck adapter pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy to install on already exiting platform
  • Industry-standard rails on adapter plates
  • You can tow both types of trailers
  • Standard ball on gooseneck adapter hitch
Cons
  • It reduces weight-bearing capacity around 20,000 to 25,000 lbs
  • There is limited gooseneck hitch compatibility

Best 5th Wheel Hitch (Gooseneck)

1. Convert-a-ball 12″ to 16″ Adjustable Height

Picture of Convert-a-Ball 12 to 16 Adjustable Height Photo Credit- Amazon
Picture of Convert-a-Ball 12 to 16 Adjustable Height Photo Credit- Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

Specification

BrandConvert-A-Ball
Weight51 pounds
Product Dimensions19 x 12.2 x 19 inches
Model NumberC5G
Towing capacity20,000 lbs
Maximum Tongue Weight4,000 lbs
Type of connectionBolt is over the kingpin lube plate

2. Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection

Picture of Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection Photo Credit Amazon
Picture of Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection Photo Credit Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

Specification

BrandAnderson Hitches
Weight54.3 pounds
Product Dimensions35.5 x 32 x 13 inches
Towing capacity24,000 lbs
Maximum Tongue Weight4,500 lbs
Type of connection5th wheel replacement

3. Eaz-Lift Gooseneck Adapter 48500

Picture of Eaz-Lift Gooseneck Adapter 48500 Photo Credit Amazon
Picture of Eaz-Lift Gooseneck Adapter 48500 Photo Credit Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

Specification

BrandEAZ LIFT
Model48500
Weight12 pounds
Product Dimensions15.1 x 14.6 x 11.5 inches
Towing capacity30,000 lbs
Maximum Tongue Weight4,500 lbs
Type of connectionBolts over kingpin lube plate

4. Reese 94622 Goose Box Gooseneck Coupler

Picture of Reese 94622 Goose Box Gooseneck Coupler Photo Credit Amazon
Picture of Reese 94622 Goose Box Gooseneck Coupler Photo Credit Amazon
Buy it now at amazon button

Specification

BrandReese
Model94623
Weight149 pounds
Product Dimensions40 x 18 x 14 inches
Towing capacity20,000 lbs
Maximum Tongue Weight4,000 lbs
Type of connectionTrailer pin box replacement

Frequently Asked Questions/ FAQ

Q1. Which is better gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch?

A1. A gooseneck hitch is better or 5th wheel hitch it depends upon the use. If you are going for a recreational towing then the 5th wheel is better and if you are using it for farming and commercial towing then a gooseneck hitch is better. A fifth wheel hitch provides a smoother and stable ride which is good for recreational towing and a gooseneck hitch is good for minimally invasive design. Gooseneck hitches are noisier than the fifth wheel and preferred by RV owners. So, before deciding to buy a hitch it is better to consider which type of trailer you will be towing recreational or commercial.

Q2. Can you tow a fifth wheel with a gooseneck hitch?

A2. Yes, you can tow a fifth wheel with a gooseneck hitch. It is possible as long as it is sufficient to weigh capacity and a correct adapter installed. You can install the 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter into the gooseneck hitch with a 5th wheel rail which can accept a 5th wheel hitch. You will require more components to do this task. As it will eliminate the need for permanent 5th wheel rails which can be an obstruction while you load cargo in the truck bed.

Q3. Why are campers 5th wheel and not gooseneck?

A3. The campers are provided with 5th wheel but not with gooseneck because of the following reasons: 1. The fifth wheel hitch provides a smoother ride than a gooseneck hitch. 2. The fifth wheel hitch provides a more stable ride than a gooseneck hitch. 3. Fifth wheel hitch is quitter than the gooseneck hitch.

Q4. Can you tow more with a gooseneck?

A4. Yes, you can tow more with a gooseneck hitch as it is used for farming and commercial towing.

Q5. What size truck Do I need to pull a 5th wheel?

A5. You need at least a half a ton truck such as Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 to pull a 5th wheel trailer. You must look at the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR not to exceed the weight of the truck and trailer tongue weight combined by at least 10 percent. It will save the towing vehicle from overworking.

Q6. What is a gooseneck adapter?

A6. It is a mechanical device that allows you to attach a gooseneck hitch to a 5th wheel trailer. It is usually made up of shank and a set of 5th wheel rails. This shank drops into the gooseneck hitch like a gooseneck ball. In this type of mechanism, the adapter provides a mounting platform for the 5th wheel other than the ball.

Q7. Is gooseneck hitch the same as a fifth wheel?

A7. No, a gooseneck hitch is not the same as a fifth wheel hitch as in the gooseneck hitch there is a ball that connects to the trailer. In a 5th wheel hitch, there is a set of jaws and pivot plate that connects to a kingpin of the fifth-wheel trailer. In a gooseneck hitch, the coupler or receiver mechanism is on the trailer side, and in a 5th wheel hitch, the coupler is on the vehicle side.

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Tanmay Sarkar

Tanmay Sarkar is the person behind writerzmag.com. An RV enthusiast, lover & admirer. Whatever I learn about RVs and RVing, I share it on this blog. Learning is a lifelong experience and it should be shared with people who have the same hobby and love as you... This blog is and shall be for the people who love and want to know about RVing... Email- writerzmagazine@gmail.com