Fifth-wheel trailers, which are popular among outdoor lovers, let you take the entire family on nice comfortable camping. Trailers make you feel like you are home because of their comfort. People are hesitant since the hitch cannot be in the way of their pickup truck’s bed. As a result, detachable fifth-wheel hitches are a regular component in the industry.
We will cover the best 5th wheel hitches on the market in 2023. We’ll go through the many different models of 5th wheel hitches and the pros of each one. You’ll also see how modern engineering approaches have been applied to various bed and cab lengths.
Table of Contents
What Is the Difference Between a 5th Wheel And a Gooseneck?
The first thing that we need to understand is the difference between a fifth-wheel hitch and a gooseneck. Although it is an incorrect description, the phrase “gooseneck” refers to a fifth-wheel RV. Semi-truck hitches are standard on nearly all travel trailers that come with the fifth wheel.
Ball hitches, also called gooseneck hitch, may be found in a truck’s bed or flatbed. A receiver built within the trailer links to the mount. This sort of connection is commonly seen on flatbed trailers and farm trailers.
A vertical cylinder, known as a kingpin, is located at the end of a fifth-wheel RV. The kingpin is inserted into a hitch located in the bed of your truck. Tractor-trailers use this link because it is located above the back axle to improve towing strength.
For those who want to know more about RVs be sure to read How To Sell A Camper Fast (Step-By-Step).
When To Remove 5th Wheel Hitch Out of a Truck Bed?
Technically, all 5th wheel hitches can be removed. However, the rails that hold the hitch within the truck bed must occasionally remain for safety reasons. We will explain this later. The good news is that modern 5th wheel hitches are entering the market. These 5th wheel hitches can be very easily removed. They also don’t leave any leftover pieces in the vehicle bed.
Many 5th wheel hitch types require installation that is particular to their model. Choose a fifth-wheel hitch only after you’ve made a plan about how you’ll utilize the truck. Using your vehicle without a hitch isn’t always an option. The hitch style determines the amount of space that is left within the truck bed.
A Fifth Wheel Hitch is Not a Gooseneck Hitch
Keep in mind that in this article we’re discussing 5th wheel trailer hitches. A gooseneck hitch is identical to a 5th wheel hitch in terms of installation. However, a gooseneck hitch uses a call and coupler to attach to the trailer. A 5th wheel hitch connects the vehicle and trailer with a hinged plate.
The Best 5th Wheel Hitches For 2023
We used various factors to select the best removable 5th wheel hitches. Our objective was to find products that are made with the highest quality materials and that can be installed by the majority of people. The weight capacity of the hitch had to be sufficient to tow any 5th wheel travel trailer.
1. RVK 3500 Fifth Wheel Hitch (B&W Companion)
- Price Point: $957
- Customer Review: 5 stars
- Weight Capacity: 20,000 lbs
- Weight of the Hitch: 131 lbs
- Frame Material: Steel
- Warranty: Lifetime
The Trailer Life Magazine (known as Choice Gold Award) was given to B&W’s companion 5th wheel hitch from 2015 to 2019. The 3000 model has been modified to have a fully articulating hitch. It breaks down into two separate parts for simple removal, and the coupler weighs only 75 lbs.
Professionals claim that this hitch has a broad stance when it comes to strength and stability. The polyurethane bushings reduce vibrations, which gives you a quiet experience during the ride. The one-inch thick jaws grip the kingpin securely to avoid a sloppy start or stop.
The cam action latch usually will not stick when you’re ready to detach. You may buy a graphite lube plate instead of lubricating grease if you want to keep it clean. B&W also offers a companion hitch slide to aid in turning.
2. Andersen Hitches 3220 Gooseneck
- Price Point: $870
- Customer Review: 4.5 stars
- Weight Capacity: 20,000 lbs
- Weight of the Hitch:35 lbs
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Warranty: Lifetime
When you read the reviews of Andersen Hitches, you’ll see that their ultimate hitch is a famous lightweight 5th wheel hitch that comes with many functions. Even though it is a gooseneck extender, it includes everything you need to attach your 5th wheel trailer to it. The adapter block from this brand comes with a remote latch cable, and it is one of the crucial components.
The hitch itself is secured to the gooseneck ball mount on your truck. Another ball mount connects to the adapter block at the top of the hitch. The kingpin of your 5th wheel fits and locks appropriately on the other side of the rectangular-shaped block.
The remote cable and block remain permanently connected to your trailer. You don’t have to crawl into your truck’s bed to hook or unhook it from the hitch since the release handle controls the lock on the ball mount. See the video above to see how easy it is to use.
Because it only weighs around 35 lbs, removing this hitch from your truck is straightforward. It takes approximately 1-3 minutes to install/remove. Using a gooseneck hitch will eliminate the bucking and chucking that are associated with standard fifth-wheel hitches.
3. PullRite Superglide
- Price Point: $1,714
- Customer Review: 4 stars
- Weight Capacity: 12,000 lbs
- Weight of the Hitch: 316 lbs
- Frame Material: Steel
- Warranty: 5 years
The PullRite 3100 model was built exclusively for short-bed trucks by Pulliam Enterprises. The most common problems that people have with short beds are now over. Most 5th wheel trailer models will collide with the truck’s cab, destroying both if you make a sharp bend.
The side-to-side movement on this fifth-wheel slider hitch is possible. Drivers can do 90-degree spins without colliding with their fifth-wheel coach. The hitch is here to keep the RV centered during the ride, which reduces vibration and sway.
How Truck Bed Liners Affect Your 5th Wheel Hitch
If your truck’s bed comes with a carpet or a plastic bed liner, removing the parts where your hitch attaches is a smart idea. They can ensure a genuinely stable connection to the truck or gradually loosen the bolts if you tighten your 5th wheel hitch’s base on top of them. Removing those portions allows your hitch to make direct touch with the actual bed surface, ensuring a precise hold.
On the other hand, spray-on bed liners are a different story. The spray-in substance is essentially a scratch-resistant covering for your current bed. Your hitch connection will not be harmed.
Why Its Important Not to Remove Your 5th Wheel Hitch Rails
Bed rails may come in the first installation on the hitch. It is not a good idea to remove the 5th wheel hitch rails. One of the critical connectors for your 5th wheel trailer hitch is these rails, which are torqued into place. They may lose structural integrity if they are removed and reattached several times.
Hitch rails are available in two distinct styles. They are either installed to your truck’s manufacturer brand or universal. Although brand-specific components fit better than universal ones, they are more costly to replace. Rails are flush, or nearly so, with the floor of your bed, so they don’t get in the way while you’re not using the hitch.
Things To Know About 5th Wheel Hitch Installations
So you’ve decided on what fifth wheel hitch style you want. Now think about how you want the hitch to be installed. 5th-wheel hitches are usually installed by camper lots, trailer firms, and RV dealerships. The simplest option is to connect your 5th wheel hitch with one of these companies. Consider doing the installation yourself if you are proficient with a wrench.
There are a few things to consider before installing the hitch yourself:
- Can your vehicle securely handle the total weight you intend to load?
- Read your owner’s handbook since it will most likely provide the “Gross Vehicle Weight Rating” (GVWR) for trailers and towable. You may even discover more about how your trailer’s 5th wheel hitch was installed. Keep in mind that it is important to understand the GVWR of your fifth wheel. Hitches are directly coupled to the vehicle frame, and a heavyweight can cause structural damage.
- Things to do If you want a bed rail kit.
- Various bed rail kits make installing a fifth-wheel hitch easier. Get a hitch manufactured specifically for your truck model for the greatest fit. There are universal kits available, however, they might be more challenging to install. You might need to drill a hole or weld brackets into the vehicle frame for example.
- Sometimes you need to remove the vehicle bed liner.
- Because the hitch 5th wheel is held in place by the rails, you want the most solid connection possible. The safest choice is to remove the bed liner if it leaves excessive space between the truck chassis and the rails.
- A spray-on bed liner will not affect your hitching system. The truck bed liner is already “a part of” the truck bed. A spray-on bed liner does not need to be removed in order to install a 5th wheel hitch.
If you are unsure about installing a fifth-wheel hitch, professional installation is recommended. Yes, it is more expensive, but the additional money provides peace of mind if installed correctly.
Additional Questions About My 5th Wheel Hitch?
Your hitch’s operation, security, cleanliness, and other issues may concern you, and we haven’t addressed them. Every wise camper keeps their instruction manual in the folder provided by the dealer in his RV. Most of your questions will be answered in that handbook, on the manufacturer’s FAQ page, or by calling their 800 number.
Height adjustment is a common issue that arises. Because 5th wheel RVs and trucks are not the same, the hitch may need to be raised or lowered to allow the RV to ride higher or lower. The RV dealer that installed the hitch should have walked you through the process thoroughly to be confident with it.
If you don’t mind having an empty truck bed, the hitch design of your 5th wheel trailer doesn’t matter. Pricing may be the deciding factor in your decision. However, invest in an under-bed rail system if you want a completely empty truck bed. Only these rails provide full access to the truck bed. They’re also safer than removing and reinstalling rails regularly. And less expensive.
Because replacing the complete hitch system is the only safe option if your hitch sustains severe damage, rusts, or weakens. If you choose your fifth wheel hitch carefully, you and your family should have years of camping pleasure ahead of you. I hope that you enjoyed reading this article and that we helped you decide on your 5th wheel trailer.