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Old 06-19-2011, 08:44 PM   #1
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Gooseneck vs 5th wheel slider

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and to owning a 5th wheel but not new to travel trailers. Since I have upgraded from a travel trailer I have a towing question that I would like some advice on from you experienced 5th wheel owners. I have a 36 foot Big Country 5th wheel that I pull with an F350 long bed dually on a gooseneck hitch. I was told that there would not be any problems with sway like I was used to in a travel trailer, but there would be more bounce up and down on the hitch that I would not be used to. We just got back from our first very long trip and although the trailer pulled straight and true the whole time I discovered that there was an incredible amount of bounce with the trailer that actually made it uncomfortable at times. It was so apparent that my wife asked me if this was normal. Part of it was the road during construction but most of it I can't really explain away. So my question is would the possible problem be that the trailer having all of its weight on a gooseneck cause it to bounce more since the weight is not dispersed? Would changing to a standard 5th wheel hitch help since it might disperse more of the weight? Is there potentially another problem or is this very normal and I am just overly paranoid and just not used to the different towing style? I did have about 35 gallons of fresh water on board but I can't imagine that would cause it to bounce. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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Adding a Goose Neck adapter to a 5er king pin is a big topic of discussion on the forums. The increased lever arm with the GN adapter will put additional stress on the pin box area of the 5er. Most manufacturers will specifically void the warranty on the trailer structure if you use a GN adapter.

35 gallons of water equals 292#. Is the fresh water tank forward or behind the axles. if behind, it will lessen the pin weight which maybe part of the problem. The bouncing could be related to a particular road surface. Does it change on different roads?

If you go to a 5th wheel hitch you can use one of several air ride or parallel link pin boxes that will less the chucking effect.

Use the search engine her and type in goose neck adapters.

Welcome to iRV2.

Ken
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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Just like with a travel trailer, fore and aft load changes can make a big difference. $9 at a CAT scale is money well spent to make sure she's balanced right, IMO.

While I don't have experience with the GN adapter, that was also one of my first thoughts. It pretty fundamentally changes the mechanics of the weight transfer between the trailer and the hitch. Every park seems to have at least one trailer with an adapter, so there should be folks to ask.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
Adding a Goose Neck adapter to a 5er king pin is a big topic of discussion on the forums. The increased lever arm with the GN adapter will put additional stress on the pin box area of the 5er. Most manufacturers will specifically void the warranty on the trailer structure if you use a GN adapter.


Ken
Good advice, check with the frame manufacturer. I had a Montana with a Lippert frame...a GN was a no no.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:28 PM   #5
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To Ken and cat320,

You guys are right. I called the manufacture today and they said a GN was a definite no no. I am upset at my dealer since they reccommended the GN in the first place. I hate that I went on a long trip using it but glad that I found out now before it was too late. Thank you very much for all the good advice. I'm in the process of getting it removed and switched out.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
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To Ken and cat320,

. I am upset at my dealer since they recommended the GN in the first place. .
Now why is it not a surprise that a dealer outright lied to a customer....tell me that this did not happen

I am a mechanical engineer and the mechanics says that a GN adapter is asking for trouble. I know you do not want to hear this, but I would go back to a 5er hitch.

Ken
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:09 PM   #7
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OK, another newb here. Could someone please outline for me why the GN is a no-no? I can sort of understand the additional leverage action on the pin of the 5th wheel, which maybe is the reason why its a no-no?

Though this is the first 5er I have towed, it came equipped with a GN (used mind you), and I don't think I have even seen a 5er around this area that DOESN'T have a GN, tbh.

thanks,
mike
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:51 AM   #8
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Below is a picture of a gooseneck trailer.

[

Notice the large triangular gussets supporting the goose neck. Notice how the vertical part of the goose hitch is attached. This is not present when you use a gooseneck adaptor. The adaptor simple bolts to the fifth wheel at the top of the vertical goose connector. This attachment is very weak compared to how the vertical part of the goose is attached above. Your fifth wheel will also not have the large triangular gussets.
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Old 06-21-2011, 01:37 PM   #9
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Well I am definitely going to the standard 5ver hitch. I will be doing that in the next couple of days. Forutnatley I have a B&W GN hitch so I can buy the 5ver companion hitch to install in the bed of my truck. Thanks again for all the info. Turns out you guys are right on with the info about 5th wheels and GN.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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The goose neck is favored by farmers and others with a need to go off road with some rough terrain. If you look a fifth wheel has very limited side to side travel. The goose neck is designed for more tiltability on rough ground. When I had a fifth I would not have wanted a GN adapter. I once saw a truck hanging off the edge of a cliff being held by the fifth wheel hitch and trailer. I believe a GN would have broke.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:15 PM   #11
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I put the B&W Companion in my Duramax shortbed this spring, it's not a slider so I'm living on the edge of disaster, but it works for 99% of the places I go. Taking the hitch in and out isn't as easy as turning over the ball, but if you pull GN's for work and the FW on the weekends like me, it's perfect. The weight is distributed across more bed area than directly to the frame in one point like the GN ball and there some fore/aft adjustment to the pivot point. However, you mentioned excessive bounce, could there be an issue with your rear shocks not able to control the added weight?
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:49 PM   #12
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The difference is the length of the level arm at the point the force is applied relative to frame where the pin box is attached.

Measure the height from the 5er pin up to the frame on the trailer.

torque = distance x force.

The GN adapter adds 9" to 12" to the distance. The force is the horizontal force that is used to move the trailer. This force is the same whether you have a GN or a 5er.

So by moving the same trailer, you have the same force, but you are applying more torque to the pin box area which means more stress. is it designed for the additional stresses. Probably not. Some folks get by with the GN adapter on smaller trailers, but I have seen to larger high end trailer with the pin box ripped out and both had GN adapters.

If you really have to have a GN adapter, have the manufacturer provide you with a no BS warranty on his letter head guaranteeing that the GN adapter will in not way damage the trailer frame. The the warranty will only be good as long as the manufacturer is in business. have him put up a bond against damage for 5 or 10 years....he will laugh at you because he will never guarantee it like that.

Ken
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:06 PM   #13
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Well I changed out my hitch to a B&W companion 5er hitch and got rid of the gooseneck. I have to say that really made a difference in the ride and the way it pulled (not to mention my piece of mind as well). The bouncing has reduced considerably. I will definitely never recommend a gooseneck hitch to anyone after this experience.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
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The goose neck is favored by farmers and others with a need to go off road with some rough terrain. If you look a fifth wheel has very limited side to side travel. The goose neck is designed for more tiltability on rough ground. When I had a fifth I would not have wanted a GN adapter. I once saw a truck hanging off the edge of a cliff being held by the fifth wheel hitch and trailer. I believe a GN would have broke.
You are right when it comes to farm equipment and regular gooseneck trailers. But typically they have more clearance between the gooseneck and the bed rails of the truck. While a GN adaptor may provide more side-to-side tilt than a standard fiver hitch, if there is only 6 inches of clearance, that extra side tilt becomes meaningless and/or damaging.
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