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Old 03-22-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
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Gooseneck to Fifth Wheel adapter

I recently purchased a new truck and will be installing a gooseneck turnover ball style hitch. I also want to tow my fiver. I can either buy a fifth wheel hitch that mounts on the gooseneck ball or install a king pin to gooseneck adapter on my fiver. I am leaning toward a Ranch Hitch king pin to gooseneck adapter. Many year ago, before the adapters were available, I seriously considered designing and building an adapter for my fiver but time intervened and I went with a double pivoting fifth wheel hitch. At that time there was some concern about the gooseneck style hitch stressing the fiver frame as it's loads are different than a fiver hitch. I am looking for experience and or references on gooseneck adapters and how well they work. I don't want to make a dangerous decision or an expensive trailer damaging decision. Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:01 PM   #2
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We just purchased a new to us truck with the goose neck hitch installed. We want to tow a 17' fiver with a 25' on the wish list. We have a manual slider but have been looking at the adapter as a more economical alternative to getting the hitch removed and ours installed.
The consensus seems to be that the adapter will exert excessive leverage on the pin box causing flex and cracked frames. I have had experience with a heavy goose neck mobile shop conversion in an all steel horse trailer. That madre was miserable to tow until we gusseted the hitch post, stopping was downright scary. Our trailer is a lot lighter but I don't know.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
The consensus seems to be that the adapter will exert excessive leverage on the pin box causing flex and cracked frames.
That is really my main concern. 15 years ago when I was looking into the conversion the advice was: If the fiver had a boxed frame it was OK to convert but if the fiver had a C channel or U channel frame it was not OK. I am hoping that more data is available now as a result of the conversions now being readily available.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
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I'd suggest a call to the 5th wheel manufacturer. Ask them if they recommend the use of a gooseneck adapter. Most don't and will void the frame/structural warranty if one is used.

The simple facts are that a 5th wheel frame is NOT a gooseneck frame and doesn't have the structural strength designed into a gooseneck frame to resist the higher moments (bending forces) imposed by a gooseneck hitch arrangement.

If you're using the B&W turnoverball gooseneck hitch, do it right and use the B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch that goes with it. That's the hitch we use on our rig and are quite satisfied with it.

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Old 03-29-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Little story of experience--Wanted to tow my first fiver with and adapter, about 80% of my inquiries told me not to try it, some said they do it just fine. Well, put the B&W hitch in the truck and got a very nice gooseneck adapter. Mounted it exactly as the mfg instructed--bolted with grade 8 bolts to the kingpin plate. First time just taking it out of my yard, the tires sunk in the soft dirt and built a rut causing it to pull hard--did not notice the dirt building up in front of the wheels--just stopped and put into 4wd and continued. Immediately, a loud "POW" sound--the adapter/plate/bolts just pulled the kingpin out of where it was welded to the plate. That ended my experiment with adapters--about 5 hours later, and another pin box later, I put it back in the yard and got the Companion Hitch and have never had another problem.
Looking back, I was really dumb to try it with a 17K trailer and lucky it broke in the yard. So, yes they work, but in my opinion, it needs to be a light fiver and be aware you may break the frame if it is not gusseted sufficiently where the bedroom/tow area is attached to the main frame. And, yes, many trailer mfgs will void frame warranty if you do it.
Good luck if you go that route.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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Install the B&W turnover ball system in your truck and then get their 5th wheel companion. Now if your truck is a short bed you need to go with the Pullrite Supeglide with the super rail install and then get their gooseneck adapter for it.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:00 AM   #7
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Towed my 23' fiver everywhere on an adapter. It weighed less than 8000 lbs with all its tanks full (no slide). Had a 30' super light about the same weight that towed beautifully on the adapter. New model with 3 slides and 38 feet is towed on a 16K reese fifth wheel hitch. Just too heavy to expect that tube to hold without damaging something. I miss the extra room in the bed with my turnover ball, but knowing I'm not destroying the frame on my trailer is worth losing the room.

Companion hitch is highly rated and seems to be a very good piece of equipment.

When in doubt, always do it the right way. Saves headaches and messes later....
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Old 04-26-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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Ditto what RustyJC said. I would not even look at a trailer that had been towed with a G/N adapter.

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Old 04-26-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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FWIW, the major trailer frame manufacturer in the U.S.A., Lippert Components, Inc. - Informational Publication
Lippert Industries, flatly states, ANY modification or addition to the frame WILL void the warranty. If the RV manufacturer OK's using the adapter they also assume warranty obligations.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input I was just about to buy an adapter but reading the answers I decided to stick with the 5th wheel.
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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If you really want to see how well the adapter manufacturers think of their product, get an officer of the company to put in a plain English letter on their letter head, over his signature, a simple warranty stating that the trailer frame will not fail (say for 10 years) in the pin box or front frame area when using their hitch adapter.

From an engineers view point, the adapters are a disaster looking fro a place to happen. With some of the lighter 5ers you may well get by with the adapter.

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Old 07-17-2010, 08:44 PM   #12
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Do not put a goose neck on a 5er.Because when the pin box or frame cracks,and IT WILL.In the long run money will be saved on a fifth wheel hitch.
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray,IN View Post
FWIW, the major trailer frame manufacturer in the U.S.A., Lippert Components, Inc. - Informational Publication
Lippert Industries, flatly states, ANY modification or addition to the frame WILL void the warranty. If the RV manufacturer OK's using the adapter they also assume warranty obligations.
We are having a Big Country 5'er built and I thought I wanted a gooseneck hitch , but Heartland which builds BC's said Lippert would void the frame warranty. Even the ones you see with the bike rack attached to the lippert frame the warranty is voided.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:17 PM   #14
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I dont know if they still offer it, but you could order a KZ unit with a gooseneck hitch. That was about 4 years ago, when I was looking at new 5er's to replace my HR Alumascape 5er. I also pulled the HR with a gooseneck adaptor. I believe it was a B&W, but I did modify its mount with an X brace coming off the back of the adaptor and going to the pinbox mounting plate. It eliminated the bucking that I got from it. I know ALOT of manufactures will void the warranty is you use one though.
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