The Best 5th Wheel Hitches for Trailer in 2020
Comparison, Buying Guide, and Reviews
An RV 5th wheel hitch comprises a platform that is located over the rear axle of the tow vehicle. Normally, the business end is the saddle which is made to accept the trailer kingpin and carries the entire weight. There are different types of the best 5th wheel hitches. Each of the fifth wheel hitches is quite distinct and unique in its own make and design.
For instance, each hitch is customized to transport various pounds spread within the trailer weight, as well as a sizable number of thousand lbs in torque or problem weight. Each hitch contains specialized mechanisms that enable it to easy-load and easy-unload the hitch in the trailer.
Top 7 Best Hitches for Fifth Wheel/Trailer - Comparison
Andersen 3220 - Aluminum Ultimate Connection 2 Gooseneck Mount
4.7 out of 5
B&W Companion Three Vertical Adjustments 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500
4.6 out of 5
CURT 16120 Black A16 5th Wheel Hitch, 16,000 lbs, Round shank style
4.5 out of 5
B&W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck, Three vertical adjustments
4.4 out of 5
CURT 16039 Q25 Black 5th Wheel Hitch for Ford Puck System, 24,000 lbs
4.3 out of 5
Andersen Hitches 3200, Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection, Weighs 40 lbs
4.3 out of 5
Pulliam Enterprises, 2900 Superglide 18K for Std Base Rail, pin pulling
4.3 out of 5
In this classic article, special attention is paid to discussing and understanding every minute, greater, and in-depth detail of 5th wheel hitches. Right from the onset, it is important to understand that there exist multiple wheel hitches that are accompanied by setups to choose from. Thus, the buyer and the intended user of any of these hitches have to analyze and evaluate the associated features, prices, maintenance steps, and installation, and merits and drawbacks of choosing any of these.
This article undertakes to discuss and shed more than enough light on the bests, in a bid to benefit an interested buyer, business or organization by giving them rich information on the specifics to consider while making a conclusive decision to purchase.
What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?
A 5th wheel hitch is a special kind of hitch majorly created to handle a heavy load such as a huge trailer. As compared to the usual ball hitch (known to many perhaps because of its widespread usage), the best fifth wheel hitch carries a bigger trailer accompanied with a heavier load.
A 5th wheel hitch is the one that gets mounted onto the bed of a truck bed forward or over the rear axle. These hitches are accustomed to being used in hauling larger campers, car haulers, and travel trailers. Observers say that the fifth wheel hitch appears unique because of its coupling device which is joined to the hitch, but not to the trailer.
This is achieved by joining the hitch to the kingpin; then the hitch shall secure it with a jaw mechanism.
An Interesting fact
Another interesting fact about 5th wheel hitches is that they are made available only for pickup trucks. The most central feature of these hitches is that they are tailored to possess a pivot capability that allows them to smoothly absorb bumps, thus enabling them to move with contours on the road.
Further, the hitches can accommodate close to 24000 lbs in capacity, though users must be on the checkout so that they do not risk strain the hitches in use.
A Key Note
Of key to note is that the 5th wheel hitches fall under a special class of hitches that are designed to transport a very heavy load, like a bigger trailer. They mostly carry a bigger load attached to bigger trailers as compared to the typical ball hitch.
He designs of the 5th wheel hitches enable the front hitch of the trailer to extend over the rear bumper. When well installed, the trailer’s weight alone presses down between the rear axle and the cab of the pickup.
Interested users much acknowledge the fact that 5th wheel hitches have the capacity to securely haul both the user’s trailer and luggage to and from any provided destination.
Here are the Top 11 Best 5th Wheel Hitch Full Review
Just as mentioned earlier in this review, there are lots of fifth wheel hitches, each bearing their unique features and operational characteristics.
Below, is a detailed review of some of the top 11 fifth wheel hitches you will find in the market.
01) B&W Hitches B and W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck
Editor Rating: 4.5/5
The B&W RVK3500 Companion, 5th Wheel Hitch, is a top highly recommendable product that operates impressively. The highly engineered hitch offers excellent comfort in operation by removing the sloppiness characteristic found in other hitches and replacing that with a smooth ride in all terrains.
Regarding installation, the product will offer you greater convenience as the process is always smooth and straightforward. Its uses the under-the-bed attachment system which makes it possible to be pooling together of the gooseneck and the very system.
Likewise, its removal procedures are very elaborate. Both processes can effectively take place without compromise in its sturdiness, towering power or reliability of the whole unit.
The wide stance of this product usually is quite admirable as it proves that the whole structure is sturdy enough. Also, its latching handle with a calming action enhances relaxed release when parking or riding in rough terrains.
Additionally, its fully articulated head makes it of more advantage to the user as it promotes side to side as well as front to back pivoting. The perfect bit about this is that it enables a smooth and stable ride free of unnecessary excess noises.
Another great feature it bears is the bushings, made of polyurethane material. The feature enhances a quiet and rattle-free towing experience. It's one of the best hitches for towing travel trailer on the market.
02) CURT 16130 Q20 High-end Fifth Wheel Hitch
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
CURT 16130 Q20 5th Wheel Hitch is another highly reputable design bearing some of the exquisite features absent in other hitches under this category. The high-end hitch comes with a particular spherical head bearing which allows all tilting and turning directions.
The compelling bit of this design is that it will always maintain your vehicle in a more stable and quiet position regardless of the nature of the riding path. The self-aligning capability of its head prevents the errors and flows whenever backing of the trailer is in progress.
An additional feature of the dual jaws system that covers the kingpin. This feature enhances the security connectivity of the hitch thus making it safe to drive on bumpy terrains with sharp turnings.
The CURT 16049 Q25 offers a constant usage in the entire working process. It comes with a single short-throw handle, very convenient in its operation and bears automation in its self-engagement capability. As such, you will never have to meddle with it in togetherness with the kingpin.
Additionally, the hitch bears a three grease fitting very accessible for stress-free lubrication like a best fifth wheel hitch. Further, this product remains beneficial with its coupling indicator that gives the exact connection status. In case of any problem, it will notify you.
03) CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller
Editor Rating: 4.3/5
CURT manufactures produces some of the five star rated hitch products very convenient in their use. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller is one of their product exhibiting great functionality owing its great features.
This model possesses a tight formation characterized by two pivoting system which offers up to 10-degrees on lateral movement. For is a smooth and comfortable towing method, lots of clients go for it.
As part of it promoting features, the hitch comes along with rubber stoppers plus anti-rattle skid plate which aids in creating the smooth and quiet ride.
It bears excellent flexibility levels from its many mounting selections including; the industry-standard base rails, a gooseneck adapter from CURT, and the legs and rollers of the puck system.
More convenience of this hitch comes with its single-handle operation method. The method assists in locking the hitch automatically thus easing and securing the coupling process. In addition to this is the versatility of the wheel hitch which is very remarkable.
Its versatility further extends to its four positions height adjustment levels which remains fully integrated to it. This capability, therefore, means that you will always have this product fit a wide range of truck beds of different heights properly. Its high-quality construction in addition to user-friendly heavy-duty design offers it an outstanding profile.
The different bit however about this hitch is with its locking style. Unlike other models, the CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch does bear the claw type. This situation somehow leads to noticeable noise production especially when accelerating or stopping. The movement of the kingpin will be causing all these.
04) Curt Manufacturing CURT 16115 E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch
Editor Rating: 4.3/5
If you intend to invest in the reliable, durable and very convenient hitch, then the CURT Manufacturing 16115 E16 5th Wheel Hitch is an ultimate option. It is a perfect operator for F250, trailers and other applications.
Besides being relatively affordable, the high-end CURT 16115 E16 5 the model, the bear’s excellent features suitable for its convenient use.
The weight ratings of this product are high enough. It brags of the weight capacity of 16,000 lb and a vertical load capacity of 4,000 lb. Other features include the single-handle operational style which makes it easier for users. The entire design is to ease the installation, operation and removal process.
As per their durability, the product comes with extensive protection involving a design by rust and corrosion resistant. Its making consists of a powder coating which helps keep it safe from hazardous damage elements such as of weather.
With its dual pivoting head, 10-degree lateral movement and the anti-rattle skid plate features, the hitch offers a comfortable and smooth ride in all terrains.
Another great feature with this hitch is the 4heigh adjustment levels which makes it more compatible with various trailers. In addition to standards, the installation, as well as the removal process for these hitches, are very simple and straightforward.
Also, the E16 5th wheel hitch comes equipped in a special package consisting of a set of fifth wheel-legs that helps in the mounting process done on the truck bed using rails and brackets.
05) PullRite 2900 SuperGlide Industrial Standard Hitch – 18K Load Capacity
Editor Rating: 4.4/5
Another great option when it comes to selecting top 5 the wheel hitches is the PullRite 2900 SuperGlide 5th Wheel Hitch. It is a one of a kind design bearing some of the most exceptional features unique in the hitches’ world.
The most spectacular description of this product is the auto slider feature recommendable for a truck of short bed.
It uses a 14-inch slide in addition to patented tubes that allows the cam to glide while backing up your vehicle or turning corners.
The PullRite 2900 SuperGlide Hitch is very useful in its towing capability. It offers up to 18,000 weight capacity – compelling enough to tow big rings.
So far, its performance on this weight capacity has been of great reputation as it is always convenient. Another interesting bit about this hitch is that it removes frequent stoppings to let you move in-out of the truck while going to pull the pin or release the leaver.
The hitch also offers excellent flexibility regarding versatility as it works compatibly with every rail type kit. On the same note, you can still utilize the brackets as well as the rails already offered that suitably fits in the industry.
The customized nature of the bracket kits offers exceptional universality in their operation and can always be removed from the truck bed to enhance the smooth, quiet ride.
Also, with the integration of the adjustable fore in this hitch, a center-of-axle installation is usually promoted for more convenience. Its dual dead of articulating nature, helps eliminate pressure and stress the truck and on the trailer as well.
06) Pro-series 30056 Fifth Wheel Hitch 15K
Editor Rating: 4.3/5
If perhaps you have read other reviews on Pro Series 5th wheel hitches then you would likely agree with me that this version rocks them all.
Engineering with high competency and comprehension of what it is for, the Pro-series 30056 Fifth Wheel Hitch 15K bears excellent features that make it highly reputable.
First, its 4way pivoting head system in addition to its 5 degrees tilt advances to a greater extent the connectivity procedure it offers during installation.
The two features are very vital to ease the hookup procedure which usually is tricky in some other models of a similar category. It comes with many user friendly features.
Secondly, the high-end 30056 model comes with a jaw mechanism involving a slide bar featuring a round shape. The automated self-latching system makes it much better in its operation. Purchasing this product comes with a lot more benefits such as a mounting kit and a unit which is very easy to install.
More of its features include a skid plate coming with a 5-degree of side-to-side pivoting ability. The elements promote ease in the hooking up procedure for smooth towing and mounting on even terrain. Furthermore, this hitch offers a vertical height adjustment which varies from 13-inches to 17-inches. Therefore it fits various trailer models.
Owing to its wide stance, single-piece legs, the hitch offers high levels of stability which is ordinarily essential for safety. Also, it provides critical clearances to allow you securely complete rounds made through low speeds. Another exciting feature of this hitch is the rubber-grip handle. It allows mounting on a slider from all sides.
07) B&W Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3500
Editor Rating: 4.8/5
The B&W Companion RVK 3500 perfectly fits this top list selection for many reasons other than one common to all hitches, for connection.
This model is supreme in its operation bearing in mind that it has some of the exquisite features current to the hitch industry.
Its central and essential stand out feature is its ability to eliminate the sloppiness and still provide a smooth and compelling ride.
The hitch allows for under-the-bed installation procedure which therefore means; it is easy and possible to pool 5th wheel hitch or a gooseneck together with the very same system.
The choice is often better as it eases the installation and removal processes of the hitch without compromise of towering power, sturdiness and reliability of the whole unit.
It comes with a some wonderful features
Furthermore, the hitch comes with a well-established mounting system comprising of a wide stance which helps add to its general stability and strength. A remarkable feature that goes with it is the action latching handle which enhances easy release especially when parking on uneven sites or terrains.
The pivoting system of this hitch is one amazingly awesome owing to its fully articulated head feature. The pivoting system allows for easy side to side and also front to back tilting which helps eliminates unnecessary noises while most importantly offering a smooth and convenient ride.
Its polyurethane made bushings plays a central role in promoting quiet towing and a rattle-free ridding experience. Despite being heavy and often needs help from a couple of people especially during installation or removal, the hitch serves correctly.
08) Andersen 3220 – Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 2 Gooseneck Mount
Editor Rating: 4.1/5
When your interest in durability, reliability, and convenience and above all affordability, then Andersen 3220 – Aluminum Ultimate is just the very best hitch, you need.
The 5-star rated hitch bears some of the top features ranking it a top choice for many users and sellers in the current market.
One of its most significant features is the lightweight. The hitch weighs about 35 pound which brands as one of the lightest weight models in this category.
As such, its installation and removal process is quite affordable to just a single individual. You can easily carry it alone while doing all the fixing. Its greaseless coupler is also another impressive feature since it effectively in enhances the adjustable nature and the heavy–duty element of the hitch.
Based on the trailer’s connection vertical levels, the hitch offers three height adjustment positions comprising, lower, middle and upper positions.
Additional Information for this item
Additionally, on the greased coupler, it assists in preventing mess or dirt from getting on your hands. In essence, it provides mores swivel from every direction. The unit is so much easy to install, only takes approximately five minutes of your time or perhaps less. Concurrently, its removal process requires just a single person’s effort.
The integration of a new ball funnel into this hitch makes it all easy for the hookup process. Its versatility levels remain incredible and unquestionable. Regarding its compatibility definition, the hitch measures well with the short, medium as well as long truck beds. Meaning, even for a gooseneck hitch brand it will be entirely compatible.
However, the back draw of this hitch is that it lacks sufficient torque wrench for the latching mechanism.
09) Reese Pro Series 30128 Hitch for 5th Wheel 15K
Editor Rating: 4.3/5
Meet one of the world’s top recognized hitch offering best fit for reliability, convenience, and durability.
The Pro Series 30128 model is a professionally designed hitch consisting of quality features starting with its improved slider, ideal for both extended cabs and short bed trucks.
The slide offers complete clearance to allow the making of tight turns without causing any sought of damage.
This model bears a towing weight capacity of up to 15,000 lb. A size well fit for both short and long bed trucks.
The Reese makers have also ensured that the model allows for height adjustments.
Meaning, trucks of varying height levels and are of within the stipulated weight capacity, can effectively and effortlessly be fitted and towed appropriately as well.
It offers some superior features
Another superior feature of this hitch model is the 4-way pivoting head system which ensures you travel safe and free from unnecessary noises and jerks. The head also allows comfortable and convenient hook up anywhere on either even or rough terrains. Since it features the bar system with a cushion grip handle and around the sided bar, the hitch handily allows automatic latching.
Typically, the height adjustment levels for this model is usually from 13 inches to 17 inches. This allowance combined with ease of installation and removal, the hitch remains a number one product to lots of clients throughout the world.
However, one disadvantage about the Pro Series 30128 hitch model is that its usability can be quite challenging to beginners/ first timers.
10) Reese Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel 18000 lb Load Capacity and 90 degree Adapter Harness (#5097410)
Editor Rating: 4.2/5
Reese manufactures some of the top quality products for 5th wheel hitches that offers nothing else but great convenience in their entire operational time.
The newly launched Elite 30142 is now a rocking hitch bearing some excellent hooking up features found in no any other model in a similar category. It often comes with a wide funnel area appropriate for easy hookup.
Some of its great features comprise of the self-latching jaw system which guarantees excellent safety. The high security comes due to its enfolding around the kingpin.
Also, having a heavy-duty formation, the hitch becomes very useful in its general hauling processes. It is ideal make for a full-size truck carrying a heavy load.
The hitch always helps reduce the burden starting with a simple installation procedure to offering you a smooth ride. It's listed in our recommendations as the perfect fifth wheel hitch.
Furthermore, this model indicates high levels of stability and strength based on its wide footprints which can mount appropriately on any ground type. Also, its use of the four-way pivoting head technology gives an ultimate security assurance in the use of this hitch. Whether traveling on a bumpy or even terrain, your ride experience will remain smooth and entirely enjoyable.
It boasts of its enhanced
The Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel hitch boasts of its enhanced durability based on the high-quality materials used in its construction as well as coating. They are usually of rust and corrosion resistance. Thus, the hitch will always remain undamaged with weather elements or other hazards.
Another point of strength of this hitch would be its lockable stretched length handle in addition to its quick-lock mounting system. The two helps eliminate sloppiness better than the use of a pin-mount system.
11) B&W Trailer Hitches 3050 5th Wheel Companion Flatbed RV Hitch
Editor Rating: 4.0/5
The B&W Trailer Hitches 3050 5th Wheel Companion Flatbed RV Hitch is professional design operating with the latest techniques in the 5th wheel hitch industry.
The models receive recognition from its coupler type. Unlike the usual one, this hitch uses a shorter Companion™ with a flatbed rate of 22,000 lbs. It dimensional description detail a 20″x20″ length and with a height of 4″ deep.
The five stars rated B&W Trailer model comes with great features including a four-way pivoting head system which is very central in ensuring a smooth a secure ride regardless of the terrain. Whether you are making a sharp corner, or only riding on bumpy terrain, you will always experience the smoothest ride offered nowhere else based on this hitch arrangement.
Regarding its installation, these models offer the most comfortable and straightforward methods. To begin with, you can easily lift the hitch, position it in the rightful place on the truck’s bed and continue with your fixing. Once, it is held firm enough on the pickup you can then bring in the trailer and have it connected. Remember, this hitch model does not require rails for mounting as it fits many other applications as well.
Additionally, the mounting procedure of this hitch utilized the turnaround ball technology which involves under-bed mounting. This allowance, therefore, means that it is possible to pull a 5th Wheel or Gooseneck with the very same system. If you are looking for a more durable and robust hitch then here is an excellent solution for you.
The construction of B&W Trailer Hitches 3050 model includes the use of top quality materials providing great impeccability to damaging hazards. It's another option to choose one of the best 5th wheel hitches.
Different Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
The 5th wheel hitch exists in different categories based on their performance levels and features. Below is a detailed listing of them.
I) 2-Way Pivot Head
A two-way pivot head refers to a standard 5th wheel hitch setup that works in two ways. From its design, it easily works smoothly and provides the user with incredible value for their hard-earned money.
A two-way pivot head is a constituted regular 5th wheel hitch that allows the truck to drive against an incline prior to the trailer, reaching a grade change. A two-way pivot head functions by only moving forward and aft.
A user who understands the working of a two-way pivot head will enjoy going up and down hills, only that the same two-way pivot head will not be able to sway from side to side.
The user should thus be keen to watch out for the necessary pumps and potholes in the road.
II) 4-Way Pivot Head
A four-way pivot head refers to a 5th wheel hitch that allows a user to pivot from side to side. It is a special type of hitch that enables the user to enjoy traveling even when the user is mounting on uneven surfaces.
III) Hitch with the universal rails
A hitch with universal rail kit refers to a machine applied mostly in heavy-duty towing industry. The term “universal” implies that it can be used with various manufacturers. When referring to the “universal rail kit” for fifth wheelers, the majority of them imply the Curt install kit 1200 or the Reese install kit 30035. Both of these powerful gadgets have the following four features:
- Involves certain applications that require upgrade kits;
- Involves components such as hardware, brackets, and rails;
- 10-bolt installation; and
- Fits gooseneck that is combined with fifth wheel hitches by Drawtite, B&W, Curt, Hidden Hitch, Reese (not Elite), and Valley.
Just drawing from the name of the hitch, it can be installed easily by any available trailer. The installation process is easy to achieve because the user is not troubled with drilling holes into the frame of the truck. Most of the universal rails ever bought in the market have a good history of being durable for the users who have utilized them.
The durability emanates from their thick US-made steel with a dusted nice powder. One customer 2ho bought and used rails, and hitch attributes that the two years he used them was just awesome. He says that he was particularly impressed with the quality exhibited by the B&W towing products.
The focus on B&W is on durability and quality; and any interested user can just visit any manufacturing plant, to learn great deals that would exceed their expectations.
The ability to know your fifth wheeler trailer hitch and how it can be mounted on the user’s truck bed is crucial to the success of user’s towing. This implies that lack of a firm attachment point, a fifth wheeler hitch is considered irrelevant to the user’s tow vehicle.
Whenever a user opts to choose a fifth wheel hitch for their pickup, they have to carefully install it with a lot of confidence using a CURT fifth wheeler bracket kit working jointly with a set of CURT fifth wheeler base trails.
Users Need Attention
Users must know that CURT fifth wheeler base rails are also universal and thus can be used together with any fifth wheeler trailer hitch and in virtually any truck bed that is capable of accepting a fifth wheeler hitch.
These two are very much compatible with all CURT and competitive fifth wheeler trailer hitches as well as fifth wheeler rollers and fifth wheeler trailers hitches. Their made-up universal design allows them to put up with Spyder gooseneck and gooseneck adapters hitches.
Users Enjoy the Time
Users would always enjoy easier and quicker time while installing CURT universal fifth wheeler base rails. This is because these machines are mounted with robust zinc-plated bolts; a move that will definitively offer a solid mounting place for a new fifth wheeler hitch.
The rail bolts of the fifth wheeler base in conjunction with other hardware can be bought separately to assist in reinstalling of used rails.
In order to protect
In order to protect the user’s fifth wheeler base rails from corroding, UV damage and scratches, the user must be guided and assisted to coat each of them in a gloss black powder coat.
This is bound to give them the requisite tough skin required for hauling that best RV, heavy-duty trailer or flatbed, and this gives them the confidence they need to tow wherever the horizon leads them.
IV) Gooseneck Hitch
Gooseneck hitches resemble the fifth wheeler hitches very much in many ways. First, they normally mount in the same location that is just or over the rear axle.
Gooseneck hitches are designed in a sense that they can carry pickup trucks as a special case. The gooseneck is awesome in the manner they are less intrusive as compared to the fifth wheeler hitches. Their design alone compels the user to have the full use of his/her bed while the user is not in the business of towing anything.
These special types of hitches are often awarded a general rating of around 30000 lbs. But since every truck has a weight capacity different from others, it is imperative to conduct a thorough check.
In terms of purpose, these special hitches are utilized in towing industrial and commercial trailers, livestock trailers, big flatbeds, car haulers, and livestock trailers.
It's so Useful Type of Hitches
A gooseneck is so useful due to their inherent capability to haul gooseneck trailers. These prompts users of goosenecks to install them to the frame by use of the existing setup-the later can be removed later.
Users of goosenecks are reminded that some of the trailers hang over the back of their truck bed; in this case, they require additional backup to handle the additional pin weight.
In Conclusion about Goosenecks
In conclusion, goosenecks are constructed to handle associated trailers and have the capacity to ensure that the user acquires the requisite amount of weight and pivot distribution to maintain the truck in shape and the RV while the driving continues.
V) Single or Double jaw model
What is a Single Jaw?
Single-jaw provides a singular grab jaw that allows the user to easily connect to the 5th wheeler hitch by use of rails. For a user who intends to haul heavyweight trailers ranging above 25000 lbs, it is recommended for them to employ single-jaw hitches because of their strength and their ability to handle the weight in a better-defined way.
Because they are a single unit, the user does not have to bother breaking it down in transit the same way a double jaw is normally done.
What is a Double Jaw?
This special type of hitch doubles the power which the single-jaw hitch has. The double one has the capacity to assist the user to solve their various needs, courtesy of the powerfully-designed mechanism. This common mechanism is the one that closes around the kingpin on double sides.
In most cases, the jaws will interlock, though not always. This gives them the advantage, especially because movement and noise are minimally reduced while driving, only that having two jaws does not necessarily connote that each one is less strong as compared to both of them combined.
Here is another called "Sliding Hitch"
For a user who has a short truck bed of fewer than eight feet, they require this special kind of hitch that would ensure that the trailer does not crash into the cab while making the right turn.
Majority of these require manual sliding; which implies that user has to try of getting out, adjusting the trailer, locking it in position, driving around the corner and then finally resetting it.
Things to Consider before Purchasing the Right Fifth Wheel Hitch
Buying an entirely useful RV hitch can sometimes be an uphill task especially if you lack proper or previous experience or involvement. But just like it is in purchasing any item, there are those factors you always consider on a product before buying it.
Below is a complete buying guide you need when shopping for an RV hitch.
01. The Weight Capacity
The weight capacity factor is very crucial when it comes to looking at buying considerations for better 5th wheel RV hitch. It forms the main driving factor. Choosing a hitch with lower weight capacity to pull a considerable RV trailer can cause more danger than you can imagine.
Different hitches bear different weight capacities. Some like the CURT 16516 E16 models can only pull weight of up to 16,000 pounds while other such as the Reese 30120 Pro Series offers higher weight capacities of up to 20,000 pounds. Others might even be offering higher. Always ensure you take into keen consideration the weight factor before you settle on a specific hitch product.
Sometimes, if other factors allow, it is always important to purchase a hitch with a higher weight capacity than the needed. One time you may wish to upgrade to a much larger truck, and therefore you will not have to go shopping again. A less weight capacity hitch can result in a fatal accident when set to pull a huge truck. The connection can never be firm due to incompatibility.
However, as much as you need to prioritize the weight capacity information of these hitches, do not forget other factors as well. You need to choose highly durable items with high weight capacities which will serve you long enough. In such a way you will be saving a lot of money.
02. Pivoting system
Working out your truck pulling activities with a hitch featuring a pivot system offers you high flexibility levels when ridding on the roads. For instance, the 2-pivot system featured in some hitches gives trailers a move forward allowance which translates to it being very efficient.
However much the 2-pivot system allows easy dragging of the trailer in all terrains, it is always worth remembering that such hitch design does not enable swiveling options. For this reason, therefore, you should still be very cautious when riding through rough trails.
The perfect way however to enhance the performance level of your hitch is by adopting the 4-pivot system hitch which is very flexible. Out of its great convenience, the pivot system allows for free sideward movement of the trailer whenever it is on the roads. Embracing this system earns you great confidence on the streets whether on flat or bumpy sections.
03. The Sliding Hitch
A sliding hitch can be a very significant feature to consider in shopping for one of the high-end
5th wheel hitch. It is one of the best characteristics that properly fits short truck beds specifically those with approximately 6 feet height or lesser.
In its design, the sliding hitch lowers risk of bumping caused by trailer to your vehicle while negotiating sharp turns. It works mechanism involves sliding both backward and forward hence providing a smoother ride when maneuvering all nature of terrains.
One back-drawing fact concerning the sliding feature is that such hitches always come along with lots of components which adds to its total weight. For this reason, therefore, you will still have them weigh much in comparison to other versions.
According to local pricing lists, this 5th wheel hitch tends to have higher pricing compared to the rest.
04. How easy to install it?
As a user, before opting to buy any 5th wheeler hitch, be advised to take the accurate measurements. For instance, choosing to have a short bed truck will compel the user to buy a sliding hitch rather than a fixed one. Having done so, the user proceeds to mark the gap between the cab and the rail positions- all these should be at least 5 feet for a long bed truck, and at least 2.8 feet for a short bed truck.
Next, measure the proximity between the hitch and the tailgate, these should range between 2.19 feet (short-bed truck) to 2.35 feet (long-bed ruck). Upon taking the measurements and correct labeling of the positions, the user is then ready to install the rails and the hitch.
Some of the hitches come with an easy-to-follow installation kit inside them, to enable the user include the rails. Due to the vast amount of different types of installations and hitches, the user may be torn into ascertaining the ideal and most preferred installation guided.
If the user opts to purchase the 5th wheeler hitch, they should follow the accompanying strict instructions.
05. Jaws Design
There exist three major types of hitch jaw devices: single jaw, double jaw, and slide bar. A slide bar jaw exists on the majority of the cheaper 5th wheeler hitches, and they do not provide a lot of kingpin noises. This makes them recommended and liked for their security and optimal functioning. In the case of a double jaw device, the person using it hears less noise from the kingpin.
The kind of exceptional comfort related to the double jaw mechanism is just amazing. The customer will realize that for them to use the double jaw device very well, it must be held more roughly to avoid slight and unnecessary movement. The final category is the single jaw which is the simplest and so far, most quiet of them all.
Here, the user holds the kingpin to the hitch jaw. The outcome of this attachment is the overall enjoyable ride, especially for customers who have experienced towing driving.
In case security is a concern, there exist the majority of trailer locks that work best with 5th wheelers in a bid to secure the user’s trailer.
06. Mounting Style
The manner in which the customer mounts the trailer speaks volumes about the final outcome and working off the trailer. The customer has the task of ensuring that the truck and the trailer match very well to facilitate easier installation.
Though there are certain 5th wheel units, any newbie user can just install without much-accumulated experience. While in the business of mounting, the customer should consider purchasing products that come with a kit. This way, they are automatically saved the trouble of purchasing various individual components.
Nearly all the fifth wheeler hitches require a rail system, but in case they are absent, the customer should try mounting them under the bed of the box. Also, some of them are application-sensitive meaning that they use custom brackets to ensure that the installation process is clean.
In the end, a user should consider using the most common mounting style which is the universal style (according to the views of many).
The costly devices may not always guarantee the high quality of the product. A user must work hand in hand to correlate their features to their associated prices, in a bid to evaluate their alternatives in a far much better way. It is a commonplace observation that price is by far the most important evaluation factor for any user on the lookout for a right trailer hitch to purchase.
Of the two devices, a user will definitely stumble on the fact that a 5th wheeler hitch is by far costlier as compared to a gooseneck hitch. Knowing this allows the user to change how much their bed can hold.
A. Ease of Use
A user has the task of choosing the kind of hitch that is most convenient to utilize. Majority of the units will provide the user with the ease of usage- especially as the user tries to connect and re-connect it in accordance with their various needs.
For a user who is trailering a camper or RV, it is crucial to determine from the onset whether they wish to fit as many occupants as possible in the truck or they simply haul people in the trailer. Majority of the states especially the United States stipulate that passengers can only ride in trailers that are connected to the 5th wheeler setup, but never with the use of a gooseneck hitch.
What’re the Benefits of Using a Fifth Wheel Hitch?
The different models of the 5th wheel hitches come along with numerous but different benefits which makes their use more convenient. Below is a comprehensive discussion of the standard benefits the hitches offer.
⇒ Offers a firm connection and attachment
Almost all 5th wheel hitches provide excellent connectivity between the truck and trailers. Those using the jigsaw attachment technology often have the kingpin connect strongly and firmly to the trailers/ trucks.
The hitches offer high standard levels that eliminate fussiness and risks involving towing of the large trailers. As such, it provides a smooth ride regardless of the rough nature of the road.
⇒ Highly durable
The 5th wheel hitches design composed of a high-quality metal material that is very resistant to harsh weather situations that can be a significant hazard. The materials can usually withstand the rough terrains that are prone to damages from wearing and tearing activities.
To enhance the durability, other hitches of this category such as the CURT 16049 Q25 fifth wheel hitch allows for easy maintenance procedures like the three grease fittings which would enable accessibility for stress-free lubrication.
⇒ Easy installation and operating process
As some would imagine, the installation procedures for 5th wheel hitch models are never of any rocket science in nature. You can only take about ten minutes, and you will have your truck or trailer ready for towing.
Once the relevant components are collected and fixed together to form the structure, the whole system is then bolted strategically on the rare end of the pickups’ carriage area. Once it is in place, you can then proceed with the connection to trucks and trailers.
Regarding their operation, these hitches are far much convenient as compared to the conventional ones. Like in the case of the single jaw 5th wheel hitch, you only need to lock the one-piece locking jaw which takes barely a second to get done.
⇒ Highly versatile as it is appropriate for numerous applications
Often machinery with numerous applications tends to draw a lot of interest among buyers and users for several reasons. Key among them is that they save your money by not buying more than just one item but instead, lets you use that every one to carry out all your intended tasks for it.
As much as the 5th wheel hitch varies regarding the available models and brands, you can still have those that do almost all you need. If you need that hitch with the capacity to tow a truck or a trailer, then the choice is always yours. When you walk into their showroom, you will meet quite a variety of them bearing different operational features.
It is essential to go that which fits your needs and can multitask if your need is so.
⇒ High compatibility rate
Most 5th wheel hitches offer excellent compatibility with most of the RV truck. Therefore, you will not have to go through strenuous hustles when shopping for that which great compatibility to your vehicle.
⇒ High weight rating
It would be better to note that every 5th wheel RV hitch comes with its weight capacity. In this case, the weight of the truck or trailer you intend to tow. If you plan to pull a smaller trailer of size about 16,000 pounds, then a better hitch can be like the CURT 16049 Q25 hitch which has a capacity of up to 25,000 pounds. It will always serve conveniently.
Otherwise, if you intend otherwise, towing a huger trailer then highly capacitated hitches like the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 would be very appropriate.
⇒ Performs in silence and rattle-free manner
The engineering bit involving the most of the 5th wheel hitches allows no room for noise generations especially when the truck passes uneven terrains. They always promote silence yet still performs effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions for the 5th Wheel Hitches
What Is The Best Brand of the Hitch?
The best brand of HV hitch is B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 For users who are lovers of long-haul road trips with an RV or trailer attached to the user’s truck, the benefit they get is the trusted strength and power of the B&W Companion 5th wheeler Hitch RVK3500. Majority of hitch users perceive the B&W Companion as the most ideal that is available in the market, industrial and also household usage.
The Main Reason
The reason inherent in this choice is because the B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch is made with the capacity to utilize a turnover ball under-bed mounting system, a factor that quickens the installation process. Its complete system is designed to allow the user to tow a free, anytime the same user is not in the business of hauling loads.
Additionally, this robust and long-lasting hitch has the capability to pull RVs and trailers carrying loads of close to 20,000 lbs. amazingly, the user will discover that this does not pose any stress to their pickup. It further comes with a well-articulated head, that is so beneficial in a way it allows for front-to-back as well as side-to-side pivoting.
For users who endeavor
For users who endeavor to find a smooth and quiet hauling operation both on the beaten track and highways, they stand to benefit a lot from this system. The reality of this emerges because of the presence of Polyurethane bushings that are customized to add to the component’s jerk and noise reduction design.
Interestingly, its Cam action latching handle is advantageous since it makes unhitching of the system appear effortless, no matter how rough surface or smooth surface the machine is parked.
B and W companion is my choice
Therefore, B&W Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3500 is recommended by many manufacturers as the quality product. This gives customers and users worth for their money. Being little heavy, customers and users who have used before testify that it is amazingly robust and strong with a sleek design to look at.
How long will a hitch last?
Users and customers purchasing the right fifth wheel hitch for RV either from the market or direct from the manufacturer should not worry much about the durability. On average, the right hitch can go for a maximum of 30 full years.
But this duration depends on certain factors, such as maintenance, daily performance of the hitch, the kind of work, the personnel manning and managing the wheel, the terrain or ruggedness often exposed to, and the model from the manufacturer.
How to maintain an RV Hitch?
The customer should learn how to detach a fifth wheel hitch from the vehicle while the customer is camping. Thereafter, the hitch can serve the purpose of transportation and use in local expeditions. The most puzzling question that normally rings in the minds of users is whether the fifth wheel hitch is safe to install and mount without any external help, but only the customer alone. The answer is plain YES.
- First, whether the customer wants to install by themselves or hire an external profession, the first consideration is to ensure that the tow vehicle has the capacity to handle the additional weight. The owner’s manual has the directive and guidance to the customer to do this task.
- After determining the weight of the pickup’s bed weight rating, the user should decide which one to choose. This could either be drive axle weight rating or rear axle weight rating.
- Next, if the client does not need the pickup’s bed while not towing, then they require a custom gooseneck that will enable them to attach to the 5th wheel trailer.
- The user can install the gooseneck under the bed by use of a hitch ball sticking up via a hole in the bed.
- The user should avoid unnecessary hurrying while attaching and towing; since these machines are complicated and require time to adjust them.
- Raise or lower the 5th wheel trailer to set the kingpin to the correct height.
- Lower the tailgate of your truck (unless you have a special tailgate)
- Open the locking bar on the hitch.
- Back your truck under the trailer and engage the kingpin of the fifth wheel.
- Secure the locking bar on the best fifth wheel hitch.
Get a rest for a few times to eat and drink then Restart again
- Test the hitch connection by merely putting the tow vehicle into drive gear.
- Connect the breakaway switch cable & umbilical cord.
- Check trailer lights & brakes.
- Raise the p/u tailgate.
- Raise the landing gear of the 5th wheel trailer.
- Remove the wheel chocks
- The user should note that the fifth wheel unhitching procedure is basically a reverse of the hitching procedure.
- The user should take quality time and do the hitching and the very unhitching right. Otherwise, you will make a mistake which could prove costly and dangerous.
- A fifth wheel trailer that is safely and securely connected via a fifth wheel hitch to a good tow vehicle drives very easy – especially compared to using a conventional ball hitch-pulled trailer. And when compared to the cost of driving a full-size motorhome, it is a no-brainer.
- Fifth wheel trailers will facilitate the user to travel cheaper – without giving up comfort and space. Another benefit to them is that they allow easier towing.
What Type Of RV Hitch Should I Use In my RV?
The type of 5th wheel hitch you need depends on 3 basic things:
- Trailer Weights
a. GTW (Gross Trailer Weight)
b. Max king pin weight
- Length of pickup truck’s bed
- Whether there is a need to use the customer’s truck’s bed for other tasks when not towing, or not.
1. Trailer Weights
- a. GTW (Gross Trailer Weight) or GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) refers to the combined weight of the trailer plus the carried propane, cargo, or fluids. The manufacturer of the 5th wheel trailer has the task of providing the customer with this GTW number. Users with experience in using the RVs have ascertained that usually, this number is listed yet it is optimistically low. The user hoping to purchase should seek to acquire the complete rig weighed at a public scale.
- b. Max king pin weight refers to the weight pressing vertically down on the hitch when the trailer is fully loaded. This number is a percentage of the GTW and should also be provided by the trailer manufacturer. The user should ensure that they do not attempt exceeding their pickup truck’s max allowable rear axle weight rating.
2. Length of pickup truck’s bed
For a user with a short bed truck (of less than 6 feet long), they require a “sliding hitch.” This resembles and equals the standard 5th wheel hitch without the capability to release the hitch manually and even slide it thereafter for tight backing and turning.
3. Need to use the customer’s truck’s bed for other tasks when not towing
In case a client wishes to use the truck’s bed hitch setup, then they should be cautious not to tamper with the components of the entire system. If that is not the case, the user can attempt disassembling the standard 5th wheel hitch, meaning that the mounting rails on most parts will be bolted to the bed.
Here are other Mounting Hitch alternatives you might consider
For those who might not have admired the 5th wheel hitch attachment or mounting procedures, there exists another alternative which might be of great convenience to you. The option involves the utilization of the gooseneck ball.
The most exciting fact about these alternatives is that almost all of these systems come with an attachment feature that fits compatibly with the gooseneck ball. Most of gooseneck mounting kits are always available both in the fresh market as well as aftermarket products.
The mounting options using the gooseneck ball are usually ideal for gooseneck trailer towing.
A. Gooseneck Hitch Attachment
The Gooseneck Hitch Attachment provides a secure and excellent connection to the 5th wheel hitch without the use of rails nor adapters. The entire mechanism utilizes a gooseneck ball mounted on to the truck’s frame.
If unutilized, the ball can be flipped to leave the truck bed open. Also, if you intend to provide the hitch with a one-point connection, you can have it connected alongside companion hitches. This method slashes all the uphill tasks that might be involved/ associated with the hitch’s installation as well as removal.
B. Gooseneck Adapters
The use of the gooseneck adapters is another excellent connective option when it comes to hitching installations. The adapter offers exceptional ease in ensuring the secure connection of fifth wheel hitch to the gooseneck ball.
One major disadvantage of this connective process is that there usually exists a full spread front cap in the recreational vehicles found in front of the hitch. Its presence makes it difficult for sharp negotiations of corner especially when your truck is a smaller one.
The different RV designs offer various mounting options and therefore if you are looking shopping for any try to assess the compatibility side of the hitch. You may need to take measurements to be sure.
Gooseneck adapters are one critical adapter with high recognition and acceptance out of its use and excellent performance. Always be keen to confirm the availability of all its components before purchasing any. That way, you will skip elements of inconvenience.
C. Goose Box
Goose box is also a great alternative as far as the concern of connecting the hitches and the 5th wheel trucks. Key advantage relating to this box is the fact that it entirely forms a substitute which promises a smooth ride.
Goose box can conveniently connect to the gooseneck ball of your truck. Though if you decide to settle for this box, then you need to be aware that you will need some hand of a few people to help you set it up. Also, lifting devices will be necessary since the goose box weights about 160 pounds and may require lifting.
Different suppliers will sell it to you at different retail prices, but they are generally not very expensive.
D. Hitch Adapter
Hitch adapter is a high-end ranch hitch with offers great superiority if forming a firm attachment with your RV’s kingpin. The adapter allows you to make height adjustments of about 12 to 16 inches. The inherent nature of these adapter allows for quick connectivity process of fifth wheel hitch of not more than thirty minutes.
If this connectivity method interests you, then ensure to go for the 8-inch offset. It offers better performance for a truck with a short bed and provides an additional clearance of the 8-inches thus enabling perfect turning radius.
Still, the 8-inches does not give ultimate assurance or guard against certain dangers especially when turning. Hence you need again to remain careful while making sharp turnarounds.
The hitch adapter is such an active component which not only offer secure connection but high durability as well.
How to Install a Fifth Wheel Hitch on Your RV?
The process of installing a fifth wheel hitch onto the truck of the user can appear simpler provided there is the presence of appropriate tools. The user is mandated with the task of ensuring that the load capacity of the trailer does not exceed the load capacity of the associated truck involved. This is achieved by allowing a 20% leeway given for trailer weight to evade stressing the suspension of the user’s truck. While the user is placing the hitch, they should remember to place toward the beginning of the back axle.
Going by the type of the hitch the user uses (for example the sliding kingpin), variations are bound to arise depending on the length of the truck bed. Users will discover that sliding kingpins are ideal for short bed trucks.
Amongst all, the 5th wheeler hitch is actually the favorite, especially for long bed trucks. The following shows a sampled discussion of the preparation of the 5th wheeler hitch for the user’s RV.
Here, the user needs to begin determining the measures for each hitch. For a longer bed, the determined measures should be 56 inches back from the cab, while for a shorter bed, the measures should be 36 inches back from the cab.
The user would wish to get closer to the center of the truck bed, so they must mark the spot because this is where they will place the hole for the bolt.
02: More Measurements
In step two, the user starts at the tailgate and continues to measure 28 5/16 inches towards the center for a longer duration of time. It is here that the user will automatically place the mark for the bolt hole since this becomes the location of the 5th wheeler rear rail.
03: Installing the Rear Rail
Going by the year of the user’s truck, the user may be prompted to drill the holes for their fifth wheel hitch. In case the holes are actually missing, then they shall be forced to drill two holes- one on both sides of the associated rail, and remember to place the bolts with the right nuts.
By relying on the use of these proper tools, the user has then to tighten them down.
04: Installing of the Hitch
The user is required to line up the associated bolts with the inserted holes and then install the bolts. Next, the user should lay the 5th wheel and the remember to install the bolts only.
05: Installing and Securing Bolts and Nuts
In case there are no holes present for the user to end the bolts, then the user will be forced to drill them. The user proceeds to install and tighten and fast the bolts together. When the 5th wheeler is in place, the user has the choice of installing the nuts in both in the rear and front just to secure the 5th wheeler in position.
06: Installing a Sidewinder Extension
The user has the option of installing an extension on the short bed trucks. They have to attach right to the kingpin to allow room for an additional 20 inches allowance from the pin box, onto the trailer of the truck’s kingpin. Also, A user has to lock the extension, but during packing, the front pin should be locked while the rear portion unlocked.
This way, the user will get the chance to hold the swivel just to provide room to the cab of the truck, and perhaps allow it to turn in concordant with a 5th wheel hitch.
07: Final Touches
Before the user resumes using the RV oven, all the fittings should be tightly positioned and enable the user to switch the electricity for testing and ensuring proper working.
The amount of money a customer spends on buying the hitch of their choice depends on various factors and circumstances, the majority of them have been already discussed in the previous sections of this article. One hitch is different from another hitch based on the user’s experience of towing or even the camping needs.
The user should consider the duration of warranty the manufacturer provides them, let us say, 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, or even 25 years. Based on the customer’s desire for the hitch to last them, and the guarantee at hand, then the customer should determine whether they should proceed with buying the hitch or not. The camping trips of the customer are very important since each customer has different camping needs from the rest.
A long-lasting towing machine is camper's hope
Happy campers would want a long-lasting, light-weight towing machine and one that can take them places of fun without becoming a burden to use while driving. The user has the option of detaching the hitch that makes them extremely treasured in situations where they wish to use their trailer for other reasons. The best hitch for travel trailer has fewer weight restrictions. This is quite advantageous to the user since they can carry more on their trailer in a longer span of time.