Towing that heavy-duty RV trucks can be quite a difficult task to do. Your head has probably done all the calculations, the turns you’ll have to make as you tow the trucks to their destination; you’re confused on which hitch to use.

heavy-duty RV trucks Towing

You would love to use a 5th wheel hitch, but you aren’t sure if you want to. The weight of the truck you would be mounting the hitch on is making your head twirl with questions. Should you go for a gooseneck instead? The difficulties with fixing the gooseneck hitches to the truck make you have second thoughts.

Well, you have come to the right place.  We’ll be unpacking what 5th wheel hitches gooseneck hitchers, the differences between 5th wheel hitches and gooseneck hitches and which is better.

If you are ready, let’s get on with the journey.

What is Fifth Wheel Hitch?

If you have a massive RV to tow from point A to point B, you will need a hitcher that can fit into a large truck and help you pull the RV smoothly. You will also need it if you are not a technical person, a hitcher that’s easy to fix and detach when you need to. Also, you’ll need a hitcher that guarantees an even distribution of weight across the truck, making it easier to move the heavy load around.

Fifth wheel hitches are heavy-duty trailer hitches used to haul heavy materials. To use a fifth wheel hitch on your trailer, you have to mount the hitch in the bed of your pickup truck. With a fifth Wheel Hitch, you can rest assured that your car would be safe and transported in one piece. 

There have been many great reviews about fifth Wheel Hitches. Many of these reviews are based on several factors that make a Fifth Wheel Hitch better than other regular hitches such as the Sliding Hitch or the ball Hitch.

Fifth wheel Hitch belongs to the Class V hitch.

Let us look at the different classes of Hitches and their weight specifications.

TRAILER HITCHES CLASSES AND THEIR TOWING CAPACITY

TRAILER CLASS RECEIVER GTW (Ibs)
Class 1 1-1/4” Up to 2,000
Class 2 1-1/4” Up to 3,500
Class 3 2” Up to 8,000
Class 4 2” Up to 10,000
Class 5 – XD 2” 16,000 to 17,000
Class 5 – CD 2-1/2” 18,000 to 20,000

Where Is The Best Place To Mount Your Fifth Wheel Hitch?

Many people sometimes are confused about where to mount their Fifth Wheel Hitch. Some trucks have ball hitch pins where hitches can be attached to while others are designed with a fifth-wheel hitch.

If the truck you have already has a fifth wheel, then the back of the truck is the best place to install a fifth-wheel hitch.

These hitches are installed at the truck bed, centered between the wheel wells. They are mounted directly above or slightly in front of the rear axle.

For many people, however, this might be discouraging for them because it affords them little or no space to have other accessories or people in the back of the truck.

This lack of space used to be a problem. But not anymore.

In a bid to solve the problems of small space at the bed of a truck after installing a fifth wheel hitch, companies have created accessories. Some of these accessories include:

  • Air gates: Taking tailgates off because you want to haul something into the truck was a problem. But Air gates, made of a metal mesh, are used instead of the tailgates. The tongue of the trailer has space to spread out; between the ‘V’ of the air gate. More so, air gates help you save up cash on fuel consumption. The air gate allows air to travel freely through the tubing and therefore cut back on the air friction, which translates to lower fuel consumption. 
  • Tool Boxes: For those who need space at the bed of their trucks, toolboxes are here for you. These toolboxes are designed, and kept behind the hitch, in front of the tailgate. These toolboxes help you save some tools.
  • RV Chests: They are used to carry other necessary equipment such as camping materials. RV Chests are placed directly behind the cab of the ruck.

Fifth-wheel trailers, one of the most popular heavy-duty trailers, can be sometimes confused with a travel trailer. No thanks to their similarity in the way they look.

But apart from that, a travel trailer and a fifth-wheel trailer are two different trailers. The significant differences between a fifth-wheel trailer and a travel trailer include:

  • Hitch: Fifth-wheel trailers have hitches while a travel trailer attaches to the bumper of a towing vehicle. Also, travel trailers use ball and coupler hitch while fifth-wheel trailers use jaw hitch.
  • The fifth-wheel trailer has more living space and space for tools than a travel trailer.
  • A travel trailer is lighter than a fifth-wheel trailer.

Advantages of Fifth Wheel Hitch

There are several advantages of Fifth Wheel hitches that make them a choice hitch for many people who want to move heavy vehicles. Some of these merits include:

  1. More stable: With a fifth wheel hitch, there is an even distribution of weight across the trailer. The hitch prevents the rear of the truck from becoming overloaded with weight. Stability is essential when hauling heavy materials and vehicles.
  2. Maneuvering is straightforward: These hitches are mounted inside the bed of trucks, making it easy for the driver to turn and maneuver through street corners. If you are towing a long trailer, a fifth wheel hitch is a perfect choice. They have multi-axis tilting to makes moving easy.  
  3. Can haul heavy materials: With the ability to carry over 30,000 Ibs (if evenly balanced with the weight of the truck), fifth wheel hitches can withstand heavy-duty materials and RVs without the hinges popping off. Also, because they are mounted closed to the center of gravity of the truck, the weight is spread across.
  4. Safer for beginners: The relative ease with the maneuvering and the stability makes it easier for beginners to tow heavy loads.
  5. Convertible: Can be easily converted to Gooseneck hitch.
  6. They are perfect for towing RVs and camp trailers.
  7. They come in different slider options.

As easy-to-use as fifth wheel hitches are, there are still some disadvantages to them

Disadvantages of Fifth Wheel Hitches

  1. Takes up space: With a fifth wheel hitch, you get little or no space left at the bed of the truck.
  2. Removing the tailgate: Mounting these hitches are easy to fix. But you have to remove the tailgate to tow the trailer. And this could be stressful.

For many people, though, having a fifth wheel hitch doesn’t feel like the right thing for them. They would rather have something else, something that can pull more weight. That is where gooseneck hitches come in.

However, there are debates as to which one is better: the fifth wheel hitch or the gooseneck hitch? Both truck hitches are similar, i.e., they both belong to Class V hitches, but there are distinct differences.

But before we show you the sharp differences and similarities, let us look at what a gooseneck hitch is.

What Is A Gooseneck Hitch?

Gooseneck trailer hitch on Chevrolet Silverado

A Gooseneck Hitch is a heavy-duty hitch that is attached to the bed of a truck. These hitches can tow weighty vehicles and loads, around 30,000 pounds. With a Gooseneck Hitch, just like a fifth wheel hitch, the installation process is quite easy and straightforward.

Gooseneck hitches can be quite expensive, but they are useful in moving heavy loads and easy to maneuver. Horse trailers are the most common type of trailers that use gooseneck hitches.

Things To Consider When Buying A Gooseneck Hitch

  • TYPE OF TRAILER: When you want to buy a gooseneck hitch, you must do well to look out for the right kind of trailer. You can’t fix a gooseneck hitch to just any trailer. The trailer should be the type with an area in front that sticks out from the rest of the trailer.
  • WEIGHT OF TRAILER: Yes, gooseneck hitches can pull heavy loads, but the weight of the trailer should be balanced enough such that the trailer doesn’t tip towards the rear when pulling hefty loads. The weight of the trailer, when it is fully loaded, should be considered. The weight of the truck will determine if the trailer can move heavy loads or not.
  • HOW THE INSTALLATION WOULD GO: Installing a gooseneck hitch on your trailer can be either smooth or delicate, depending on the type of hitch you buy. Be careful to know the level of difficulty with the installation before buying. If the installation process is complicated, get a professional to do the installation for you. In some trucks, while installing, you’ll need to remove some parts, thereby leading to some issues with the truck. Also, you should watch out for essential components such as brake lines and fuel lines. Be careful not to destroy or dent them.

Advantages of Gooseneck Hitches

  1. It can pull heavy loads and vehicles, and the weight is evenly distributed across the trailer.
  2. It is easy to handle and maneuver. Although the load it is pulling is substantial, the hitch system it uses makes it easier to navigate through tight corners, and it is quite balanced.
  3. When not in use, gooseneck hitches don’t take up valuable spaces.

Disadvantages of Gooseneck Hitches

  1. When in use, it takes up a lot of bed space.
  2. The connection location is not adjustable. The hitches are fixed over the rear axle.

Now, certain similarities exist between fifth wheel hitches and Gooseneck Hitches. These similarities make them great6 choices for heavy-duty loads.

Did you know that you can sometimes use a fifth-wheel trailer with a gooseneck hitch?

Yes. You can convert Fifth wheel hitches to use as gooseneck hitches.

Fifth Wheel Hitches Vs Gooseneck Hitches

Given that these two hitches are used to tow heavy loads and RVs, one might be surprised why differences exist. But these differences are what either makes a person either choose a fifth wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch.

The choice of which is better is hinged mainly on preference and the load to be lifted. Still, we must highlight these differences, so you know which to go for if you’re at crossroads.

DIFFERENCE GOOSENECK HITCH FIFTH WHEEL HITCH
CONNECTION Uses ball and coupler connection. The long, vertical coupler latches onto the gooseneck hitch ball. Uses Jaw and Kingpin connection. The kingpin is affixed to the fifth wheel head.
USE Used for commercial towing and for towing agricultural produce and agricultural machinery. Used for towing RV travel trailers and campers
COST For its weight, it isn’t costly It could be expensive; price depends on the type and brand you are buying.
MOUNTING Mounting it is difficult, especially for new amateurs. The kingpin makes it easy to mount on the bed of a truck.

These differences notwithstanding, these hitches are great at doing what they do best. Regarding which is better between a fifth-wheel hitch and a Gooseneck hitch, there are no entirely accurate answers. 

If the load you want to move is agricultural produce or a massive machine that weighs around 30,000 Ibs, then a Gooseneck hitch is ideal.

But if you want to tow a camper or RV, the fifth wheel hitch makes perfect sense.

The weight of your truck must be taken into cognizance before mounting the load on the truck, irrespective of the type of hitch you are using. If the weight of the truck is minimal, using a hitch – either a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch – would not make your work easier.

Instead, it could cause irredeemable damage to your truck. So, make sure you do the calculations properly before mounting those hitches at the of those trucks.

Also, mounting these hitches aren’t as tricky. Let us run you through the simple process of installing a Fifth Wheel Hitch.

How To Install A Fifth Wheel Hitch

  1. Take off the spare tire on the truck: Needing the underbelly of the truck to e free, you’ll need to remove the spare tire, the heat shield and any other component.
  2. Position the front Base rail
  3. Mark drill locations and drill pilot holes.
  4. Make large the ball holes you drilled earlier.
  5. Bolt the under-bed brackets.
  6. Bold down the Front 5th wheel.
  7. Measure the fifth wheel legs
  8. Attach the fifth wheel legs.
  9. Position the fifth rear wheel-rail.
  10. Drill holes for the rear base rail.
  11. Bolt down the rear base roil.
  12. Install remaining bolts.
  13.  Torque all hardware.
  14. Secure the fifth wheel Hitch.

Do you have a truck with a short truck bed?

Here are 3 fifth wheel hitches for a short bed truck camper:

REESE Titan 30870 Fifth Wheel 20000 Ib Load Capacity with round Tube Slider

It has a maximum towing capacity of 20,000 Ibs. The vibration isolation mechanism is active, allowing the swift to have a smooth and swift operation. 

Pros:

  • cheaper when you compare it to automatic slide hitch.
  • It can be customized to adapt to many requirements and needs.

Cons:

  • it is quite costly
  • needs to be manually prepared. This could be difficult for first-time users and amateurs.

B&W Trailer Hitch Rvk3400 Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch

There is no need for rails and bolts when installing. It is easy to mount, using the mounting bracket. It is designed with a double jaw. Its maximum towing capacity is 20,000 Ibs

Pros

  • Fast to install.
  • Versatile and durable.
  • The operation is smooth and quiet.

Cons

  • It is relatively expensive
  • It is heavy.

Pullrite 2300 24k Isr Superglide Hitch

It has a fully automatic slide that makes turning easy. This hitch can support 24,000 Ibs, and you get a universal set of Rails to install on your truck. It weighs 287 Ibs.

Pros

  • An excellent fit for short bed trucks.
  • It fits perfectly into a comprehensive set of rails.

Cons

  • It is pretty expensive.
  • It is heavy.

These fifth wheelers have five-star reviews from engineers and people who use them. These are some of the best fifth wheel hitches for trucks with small beds out there.

There are no perfect fits; neither is there a better hitch between Fifth Wheel Hitch and Goosenecks. It all depends on what you need the truck hitches for.

Moreover, there is a variety of Class V hitches out there to choose from; it depends on you. Ensure you know what you want – fifth wheel hitches or Gooseneck hitches – and go for it.