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Old 08-01-2021, 11:01 AM   #1
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Gooseneck vs 5th Wheel?

I have been towing TT for 30 years, but have never towed a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. I am completely uninformed about this sort of towing, so came to this community for help.

I did some searching but have not found a discussion of the pro and con of each style of hitch.

When my wife and I were looking for a new trailer last fall we were very interested in the layout of some of the shorter 5th wheel rigs. I just could not get over the issue of a hitch taking up my pick-up bed. As I read in another post, my truck is my daily driver to and from Home Depot. Taking a hitch in and out of the truck looks like a real hassle.

A gooseneck ball would mostly eliminate that issue. That seems to be really unusual for RVs, though. My question is “Why would people, and the RV industry in general, favor a 5th wheel over a gooseneck?”

For background, my last two trailers were about 28 feet hitch to bumper and about 10,000 lb gross weight. Most of our camping is short trips to national forests, so we wind up in tight quarters and on uneven ground. There are some 5th wheel rigs in the 32-ft range that are really appealing.

I hope this is not too basic of a question!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:49 AM   #2
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I can't say for sure as I've only used a 5th hitch so not totally familiar with the GN type. My observation is that it's much easier to see the 5th hitch and pin box connecting. I could just sit up a bit and look over my left shoulder and see exactly what was happening. Or use my rear view mirror.

When you back into a 5th hitch you can only go so far and it's hitched. With a GN you have to be pretty close like a WDH and coupler.

I had a LB truck and really never missed the space taken up with a 5th hitch. I had and still have a 5th wheel version Highway Products tool box. I can put a ton of stuff in it and could still have the space behind the 5th hitch for certain things.

I could see the point that when not camping the hitch could be in the way. For me though it just stayed in the bed during the camping season.

YMMV
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:16 PM   #3
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Besides the fact you're never going to see the the trailer fall onto the bed rails from a poor hitching procedure or parts problems.
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:25 PM   #4
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B&W Companion Hitch with turn over Ball
Pull hitch head out, pull hitch frame base out, turn ball over....clean truck bed

Standard 5th wheel hitch with rails
Disconnect hitch rail pins.....lift hitch up using 5th wheel landing gear legs high enough to clear truck bed...drive truck out. Leave hitch hanging from 5th wheel king pin
**This is what I do and have been doing since the my first 5th wheel many years ago
Pull the 4 pins.....run landing gear UP...drive out
Takes maybe 5 minutes and NO Heavy Lifting

5th wheel vs Gooseneck
5th wheel frame structure uses 2 horizontal frame members with smaller cross members and pin box structure

Gooseneck frame structure uses 2 LARGE beams that connect at a center point and Large Bracing from those beams to Vertical frame structure

2 Different Load points/stresses....2 different methods
Use the right tool for the job
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:30 PM   #5
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I too was interested in ways to connect a 5th wheel.

1. And what I think is the best. Is that big heavy clumsy standard 5th wheel hitch. I had a 5th wheel for 6.5 years. I used a standard 5th wheel hitch. It sits high enough you can see it in a crew cab and that makes it pretty easy to hook up. But again, it was big, heavy and clumsy to move in or out of the truck. Also difficult to store.

2. Anderson Ultimate Hitch - this hitch takes up much of your bed but only weighs 40lbs or so. It is aluminum. The coupler is nylon I think. You can see it in a crew cab too. Not sure how much I trust this method.

3. Reese Goose box - you need to replace the 5th wheel pin box with the Reese Goose box. Also you need a bed camera to hook it is as you can not see the ball in a crew cab truck.

After researching all this I will now look at travel trailers.
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Old 08-01-2021, 03:49 PM   #6
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The 5th wheel hitch is has been around for over 100 years and has become a "standard". This does not make something better or worse, but to move away from a "standard", especially an industry standard would have to be a major change.

Gooseneck is the standard in race trailers, horse trailers, heavy equipment trailers, ect. One of the reasons in the past was a gooseneck allowed more articulation that a 5th wheel could. 5th wheels were typically used on relatively "flat" surfaces where things like horse trailers were used off road.

I went though this a coupe of years ago. I had a gooseneck trailer and was set up to haul gooseneck. I bought a new 5th wheel toy hauler. I use my truck a lot and did not want to haul the hitch in and out. I looked at traditional hitches, quick removal hitches, hitches that hooked the the goose ball, Anderson style hitches.

I ended up going with the Reese Goosebox hitch. It is approved by Lippert, the most common frame maker. It is a complete pin box replacement to keep all angels and stress the same along with including airbags. I do like this hitch, but I do have to check the air pressure every time we hook up. This is much easier now that my new truck has an onboard air system. If I was to do it again I would strongly consider the GenY hitch just for this reason.

Do not confused these products with the "adapters" that hook onto the original 5th wheel pin box and create increased leverage. These are the systems people recommend to stay away from.

As for hitching, it is no different than hitching a TT before cameras. A little practice and it is easy. If that does not work for you there are a couple of mechanical devices to help with that.

I do not see myself moving away from a goose setup until I move to a larger trailer. For what I would like to do, that likely means putting the commercial hitch back on my truck, but that is a different story.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:39 PM   #7
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Andersen ultimate or reese goosebox would be my suggestion.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:53 PM   #8
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Reese goosebox, backing up straight and center know when to stop and lower the trailer no problem it's a learned skill, no camera needed. I mostly am a weekender so shorter trips, longest about 1400 miles, nice hitch, smooth.
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:09 PM   #9
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I was interested in the Reese Goosebox for my new Alliance 5th wheel and checked with the manufacturer. They told me the only LCI approved solution is the "LCI Gooseneck Connect" for the LCI Spacesaver Chassis used on my camper.

However, while rather inexpensive, this pinbox looks kind of primitive to me compared with the Reese Goosebox (no dampers). After all, I left the pinbox alone and got the Pullrite Superslide hitch. Big, heavy thing but works well.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:01 PM   #10
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Anderson hitch is 40 lbs. Hooked up to gooseneck which reverses. Easy in and out only way to go. Check them out.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:36 PM   #11
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Leaving the hitch dangling from the trailer sounds like a sensible solution. It takes care of finding a place to store the hitch, too.

I will keep an eye out for people doing this. I have not seen it before, but was not really looking for it.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:46 PM   #12
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I use goosenecks all the time at work. I used those for 10 years before we got our toyhauler and i got an andersen. I got reasonably good at picking my spot in the rearview mirror and nailing it first try without a camera. I got the andersen and i noticed some sway because the andersen hitch cant be mounted in front of the rear axle. It didnt really bother me but i wanted to see if a 5th wheel was better so i sold the andersen and got a bw companion. The companion is awesome. I dont regret that decision one bit.

While i got pretty good at the gooseneck, the 5th wheel is almost like a luxury compared to the gooseneck. You dont have to be dead on and it pretty much does it for you. Open the jaws, back in until it hits, drop the retainer pin in the handle and go. No fooling around with safety chains or in and out of the truck to make sure your spot on. We just use forklifts now at work to seat our gooseneck hitches at work. Waaaaaay easier.
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Old 08-01-2021, 10:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nwcid View Post
The 5th wheel hitch is has been around for over 100 years and has become a "standard". This does not make something better or worse, but to move away from a "standard", especially an industry standard would have to be a major change.

Gooseneck is the standard in race trailers, horse trailers, heavy equipment trailers, ect. One of the reasons in the past was a gooseneck allowed more articulation that a 5th wheel could. 5th wheels were typically used on relatively "flat" surfaces where things like horse trailers were used off road.

I went though this a coupe of years ago. I had a gooseneck trailer and was set up to haul gooseneck. I bought a new 5th wheel toy hauler. I use my truck a lot and did not want to haul the hitch in and out. I looked at traditional hitches, quick removal hitches, hitches that hooked the the goose ball, Anderson style hitches.



I ended up going with the Reese Goosebox hitch. It is approved by Lippert, the most common frame maker. It is a complete pin box replacement to keep all angels and stress the same along with including airbags. I do like this hitch, but I do have to check the air pressure every time we hook up. This is much easier now that my new truck has an onboard air system. If I was to do it again I would strongly consider the GenY hitch just for this reason.

Do not confused these products with the "adapters" that hook onto the original 5th wheel pin box and create increased leverage. These are the systems people recommend to stay away from.

As for hitching, it is no different than hitching a TT before cameras. A little practice and it is easy. If that does not work for you there are a couple of mechanical devices to help with that.

I do not see myself moving away from a goose setup until I move to a larger trailer. For what I would like to do, that likely means putting the commercial hitch back on my truck, but that is a different story.
The twisting force on the fiver frame is the same regardless of what kind of adapter you use or Goosebox. If you want an in bed ball to put the same twisting force on the fiver frame as a fifth wheel hitch you would have to raise the bed ball to the height of a fifth wheel hitch.
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4ord View Post
The twisting force on the fiver frame is the same regardless of what kind of adapter you use or Goosebox. If you want an in bed ball to put the same twisting force on the fiver frame as a fifth wheel hitch you would have to raise the bed ball to the height of a fifth wheel hitch.
That seems to be a common discussion on the internet. I am not an engineer. I would love to see an actual diagram of the force, I looked for one.

It is approved by the frame manufacture.

There are a lot of happy users.

I have only seen one reported failure of a goosebox and that was likely a user caused problem. There are a lot of them in use. I have seen a lot of reported failure from the adapters. There has to be something different.
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