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Old 07-15-2003, 03:51 PM   #1
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My daughter's horse trainer has a very slick hitch in her F-350 for her gooseneck horse trailer. She reaches under the rear wheel well to pull a lever that pops the hitch ball up into the bed. When not in use, the ball is hidden below the floor and the bed is flush. Is this the same kind of hitch setup one can use with a 5th wheel travel trailer? At some point I'll need the capability to accept both types of trailer.

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Old 07-15-2003, 04:06 PM   #2
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Several places offer an adapter for the king pin on the fifth wheel so that you can tow the fiver with the goose neck ball in the truck
UNFORTUNATELY, they usually cause sever damage to the structure of the fifth wheel---where the pin box is attaches to the frame.
Most fifth wheels are NOT stressed to handle the added torque produced by the length of the adapter. I tried it and with in 3K miles the pin box welds were being torn right out of the frame.
There are also a couple companys--Turn over Ball for one that make a dual set up; it has the goose neck ball in the bed of the truck and then a fifth wheel hitch that attaches to the ball. That type will not harm the fifth wheel.

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Old 07-15-2003, 05:51 PM   #3
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The B&W Turnoverball gooseneck with Companion 5th Wheel RV hitch may be seen here.

There's an even more basic (and cheaper) alternative if you don't have to have the clean bed offered by the B&W. Reese makes a gooseneck adapter plate that utilizes its 5th wheel hitch bed rails.

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Old 07-15-2003, 07:26 PM   #4
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I was just browsing the Draw-Tite (same company as Reese) website looking for pics of the system Rusty mentioned. In their infinite wisdom, they make their webiste so that you can't copy links to a specific page (stupid considering all the word of keyboard advertising we give them). In any case, if you look at their 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches, you can see what they offer. They have a new gooseneck hitch where the ball folds down into the bed. Unfortunatly, it looks like you have to cut a pretty big hold in the truck bed to install it. Interesting in any case.

see it at http://www.draw-tite.com/

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Old 07-17-2003, 04:21 PM   #5
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Just to clear up a slight misconception, the B&W companion hitch doesn't attach to the gooseneck ball, you remove the ball from the "receiver" for lack of a better term -- the square tube sticking down from bed that the ball is iether sticking out of or stored (turned over, thus "Turnover Ball) in. The Companion hitch has a square piece sticking down which is inserted into the receiver and then sinched down. It isn't compatible with any other brands gooseneck ball, but it is a very nice 5th wheel hitch and a very good gooseneck hitch. When you aren't using either there's nothing in the bed you could stub a toe on.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:38 PM   #6
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can someone explain why the Gooseneck hitch is supposed to be so much better? If it were so much better than the Kingpin/locking jaw hitch I would think more tractor trailers would be using gooseneck type hitches.

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Old 07-18-2003, 05:25 AM   #7
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Here is the link directly to the drawtite fifthwheel rail mount goose neck

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Old 07-18-2003, 05:39 AM   #8
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Many folks were using goose neck hitches long before the 5th wheel RV came along. Ag trailers and horse trailers and equipment trailers. The gooseneck type of trailer was built to haul huge amounts of payload on a pickup truck for short distances. All you did was add more axels or move the axels forward.
Then came the RV's with the 5th wheel hitch based on the trucking industry. These are hitches designed for towing a more balanced load for long hauls.
What bothers me are folks using gooseneck adapters on a 5th wheel king pin.
Have you ever looked at a gooseneck trailer? Really studied the gusseting around the frame? Looked at the extra center and side frame rails? Looked at a 5th wheel frame? Lot less metal there. I have seen 5th wheels being towed with a gooseneck adapter in the pickup bed with cracks in the exterior fiberglass from the frame flexing. These frames are NOT designed to be towed with the vertical stresses that a gooseneck adapter puts on them.
Just my personal observations.

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Old 07-19-2003, 07:07 PM   #9
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It really depends how the trailer is made. I have used one for over 40,000 miles some of those miles off road in the mountains of Montana without any cracks bends ect. Venture welding the manufacturer of my 5er frame says no problem. Others have crappy frames. I have seen Gulf Streams break on a standard 5er hith and would never use a goosenneck adapter on a Gulfstream. I like all the extra room in my bed that it gives me. Have seen a lot of gooseneck adapters this past year and no one i have talked to has had any issues. I suppose there is the odd one that has though.

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Old 07-19-2003, 07:23 PM   #10
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Vaughn and the others are spot on. The increased length of the gooseneck adapter imposes a much longer lever arm and, therefore, greater bending moments on the 5th wheel pin box and frame than they were ever designed for. If an engineer is designing a 5th wheel, it's not logical to me that he would be expected to design for the much higher loading imposed by the gooseneck hitch arrangement.

Ya pays yore money and ya takes yore choice, but I'd never use a gooseneck adapter on a 5ver or recommend that anyone else do it. Not good engineering practice, and too many failure reports.

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Old 07-20-2003, 01:42 PM   #11
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Rusty, I have never seen anyone on this site that had one fail. It is always a friend of a friend of a coworker who has had one break. I have sold better than 3 dozen in the last 2 years and NEVER has one hurt a trailer. I would like to see a broken one for myself but no one can provide photos or names. What gives??????

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Old 07-20-2003, 02:59 PM   #12
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mjstef, I have to side with Rusty as a fellow mechanical engineer. Just look at the difference in the way a 5th wheel trailer and a goose neck trailer are built. A 5er is built to take the load of a 5er hitch, not a GN. you can easily run some cases for the torque or moment transfered to a frame using a 5er and a GN hitch and the loads are much higher with the GN adapter. A while back Rusty had posted some basic static diagrams and it was pretty plain.

And yes, I have seen a 5er that was messed up due to a GN adapter. It was ripping the welds out of the min bow area and it was plain that it was due an abnormal torque that was twisting the whole box to the front of the trailer. The owner had towed the trailer 2 or 3 years with a conventional 5er hitch and added the GN adapter with his new truck because he did not want that mes in hid bed. His second trip out, the trailer was at a repair shop in Branson with all of the F/G torn off the front waiting for the factory to get back to them with a repair recomendation.

Some of the smaller anad lighter 5ers might me able to get by with tha GN adapter, but I'd check with the trailer manufacturer and see if they did indeed engineer the traile rfor the extra stresses.

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Old 07-20-2003, 06:12 PM   #13
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Well I'll step up and say that I had one. (In the past tence) I installed it on my Montana when I picked it up at the dealer. The ride home was very uncomfortable, I attributed this to an empty trailer that may ride better loaded. Got home and loaded it. Camped one (1) trip and called the manufacturer of the adapter. I had movement and jerking, push-pull against the truck from the trailer. I own 4 other gooseneck trailers 1 of them weighs more than my 5'er does so I know it was not the weight giving me the bad ride. I say (and thoroughly believe) that the movement being felt was the flexing of the pinbox. The adapter was rock solid as was the connection to the kingpin. I them went and bought a Reese 16K and the trailer rides great.

I fell that in time I would have had severe damage to the trailer using the adapter.

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Old 07-21-2003, 04:18 AM   #14
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Matt,

I count three (3) individuals on this thread alone who have seen failures firsthand (Chet & Ken) or experienced them personally (Vaughn). This is also the case in many previous threads on this forum as well as with participants in other RV and truck forums I frequent - eyewitnessed failures or firsthand failures. Given the engineering reasons quoted earlier, I wouldn't expect anything less.

Before using a gooseneck adapter, I would urge any prospective customer to check with their 5th wheel manufacturer to determine if the 5th wheel frame was designed for such adapters and if the 5th wheel/frame manufacturer permits the use of a gooseneck adapter.

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