Need to tow your trailer around, but aren’t sure you have the best 5th wheel hitch for the job? Well, you’re in luck because this article will act as a buying guide that’ll provide you will all types of information about these products.
This information will cover topics such as what are essential factors, what types of 5th wheel hitches are available, reviews of products we consider the best, and any other pressing questions you may have about these products.
It’s all to make this buying experience as simple as possible. As an RVer myself, I know how stressful it can be searching for high-quality RV part. And this stressful experience is something I want to help remove from your time RVing.
After all, isn’t your time RVing supposed to be about having fun and not worrying about trivial, but essential things like what type of 5th wheel hitch is the best for your RV? Therefore, I’m going to guide you through this process and get you back to enjoy RV living as quickly as possible!
So please, read on and let me make this your 5th wheel hitch search as pain-free as possible. I promise you that you won’t regret it.
Table of Contents
- 15 Best 5th Wheel Hitch Reviews 2019
- 1. Andersen Hitches 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection
- 2. B&W Hitches Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK 3500
- 3. CURT 16120 A16 5th Wheel Hitch
- 4. B&W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel Hitch
- 5. CURT 16245 Q24 5th Wheel Hitch
- 6. Andersen Hitches 3200 Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection
- 7. CURT 16039 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch
- 8. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch
- 9. B&W RVK3600 Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 10. Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 11. CURT Manufacturing 16265 Q25 Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 12. Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 13. Pulliam Superglide Fifth Wheel Hitch
- 14. Reese Elite 30142 5th Wheel Hitch
- 15. CURT 16115 E16 5th Wheel Hitch
- What to Look for When Buying a Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
15 Best 5th Wheel Hitch Reviews 2019
In the product review section, I’ll discuss the best available 5th wheel hitches on the market to give you a rough idea of what’s out there. These reviews will prepare you for the more detail information you’ll encounter in the remaining sections.
1. Andersen Hitches 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection
Our first 5th wheel hitch, Andersen Hitches 3220 Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection, comes from a manufacturer, Andersen Hitches, that will appear numerous times on this list. Due to this, you can expect a high-quality product that any trailer owner would be happy owning.
The thing I find most appealing about this hitch from Andersen is the fact it’s lightweight compared to other models. A lightweight hitch makes the entire process of installation, attaching, and removing a much less difficult one.
Other than being lightweight, this particular hitch is incredibly easy to install, and several customer reviews report it took less than five minutes! There were some complaints about an inconvenience with the installation of having to use a torque wrench for the latching mechanism.
However, I wouldn’t be too worried about this issue, especially, since it only takes five minutes overall. I can deal with a little inconvenience as long as the over process is easy and the product ends up being incredibly productive.
And this product seems to be capable of providing high-quality results. Several customer reviews comment about how much swivel this model was able to offer in comparison to others, which makes it uniquely suited for rough terrains such as country backroads.
Therefore, if you plan on towing your travel across unpaved or back roads, you can’t do much better than this 5th wheel hitch. The extra swivel will help you navigate these rougher terrains without issue and get you where you’re going.
2. B&W Hitches Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK 3500
B&W Hitches Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK 3500 has a variety of qualities that someone looking for a 5th wheel hitch would have a hard time passing up or overlooking. But the inclusion of these qualities shouldn’t be a surprise considering the company that makes this product.
However, the thing that stood out about this model for me was the 4-way pivoting system. This system allows for the hitch to have four ranges of motion: front, back, and side to side. In other words, it will account for the swaying a 2-way pivoting system would neglect.
In this way, it’s a lot like the first product we reviewed. And as someone who tends to take their 5th wheel out on some dangerous roads, it’s something I sincerely appreciate.
Honestly, the 4-way pivoting system is just the tip of the high-quality iceberg this model represents. It also made from incredibly durable material that has been known to last years without any signs of wearing down.
I can see why B&W Hitches can set the price this high as it seems you never have to buy another one. Plus, it’s easy to install and has a wide stance that gives it extra stability/strength.
Overall, there isn’t much to complain about with this particular hitch, but I did find some things that gave me some pause. The first thing was that this model weighs 200 pounds, which means the installation won’t be a one-person job.
3. CURT 16120 A16 5th Wheel Hitch
Our first product from CURT, but certainly not our last, the CURT 16120 A16 5th Wheel Hitch is one of the most affordable options on this list. As you’ll learn later on in further detail, a lower price usually means one thing a lower load capacity.
In this case, it’s no different as the load capacity for this model is 16,000 pounds, which isn’t too shabby. But for my particular 20,000-pound trailer, it’s a little underequipped for my circumstances.
However, if you have a smaller 5th wheel trailer (16,000 pounds or under), this hitch could be a godsend for you. See, it has numerous features that make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone with these type of circumstances.
For instance, it comes equipped with high-strength, interlocking jaws that’ll make sure the hitch has a low noise operation. As we all know, some hitches can get quite loud back there, so, anything that’ll keep it a quiet and migraine free ride is an A+ feature in my eyes.
It also has a lockable handle, which makes attaching the hitch a much more straightforward and less involved process. Plus, this lockable handle will make sure the hitch stays secure and keeps your trailer in place.
Honestly, if you have a smaller 5th wheel trailer, there’s nothing about this product that should stop you from putting it into your Amazon cart immediately. I mean, CURT is incredible USA manufacturer that makes sure their customer gets a high-quality product every time.
4. B&W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel Hitch
This is another product from B&W Hitches and just like the last one this model doesn’t fail to the high-quality expectations I have for this company. Honestly, there are a lot of features on this 5th wheel hitch that I find incredibly appealing.
The main one is its double jaw construction, which reduces the noise of the towing process and ensures your hitch will stay tightly secure. I’m on board with any feature that both minimizes the noise and can make sure the hitch stays in place.
This double jaw construction also reduces the movement of the trailer itself, which further cultivates a safe environment for both you and the other drivers around you. It’s just a fantastic quality that moves this particular model up the ladder for me.
You also throw in the fact that it has a cam action handle, which makes unhitching this model a piece of cake. And I didn’t even get to the best part, moving this hitch is borderline effortless as it’s extraordinarily lightweight.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that the installation process is simple and comfortable given the weight of this 5th wheel hitch masterpiece. If you can’t already tell, I adore this particular model, and I’d put into my Amazon cart immediately.
Plus, it has the perfect load capacity for my particular 5th wheel trailer at 20,000 pounds, which is the exact figure my rig weighs. I mean, there’s nothing about this product that I see as a flaw that could stop me from buying it.
5. CURT 16245 Q24 5th Wheel Hitch
What a surprise, another 5th wheel hitch from CURT on this list. This particular one, the CURT 16245 Q24 5th Wheel Hitch, has one of the most significant load capacity of any product mentioned in this entire article. So, if you have a bigger 5th wheel trailer, you might have found the right hitch for you.
I mean, it has a load of features that would be attractive to any RV owner looking for a hitch to tow their trailer around. For example, it’s equipped with a 360-degree tilt, which allows the hitch head and coupling point to tilt in any direction.
As a result, this hitch offers a much smoother and quiet ride that conveys how user-friendly this particular model is for the person who buys it. Likewise, it uses a double jaw construction that fully wraps around the hitch’s kingpin, which gets rid of that awful chucking sound towed trailer sometimes make.
Aside from the double jaw construction and 360-degree tilt, there are two more things about this model that come off as a positive. The first is that it’s actually within my budget and given the massive load capacity I think it’s fair to say this model is a realistic buy for me.
The second thing is that this 5th wheel hitch has a self-aligning head, which offers a wide opening that makes coupling a rather straightforward process: all in all, another high-quality product from CURT that anyone looking for a 5th wheel hitch should consider.
6. Andersen Hitches 3200 Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection
The Andersen Hitches 3200 Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection doesn’t do anything to ruin what we already know; this company is top-notch. And this particular model states this fact through some rather impressive and practical features.
The first feature I’d like to point out is the lightweight, durable material that this hitch is made out of as it only weighs 40 pounds. As you know by now, a hitch that’s lightweight is something I value deeply, and this hitch doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
Another quality where it doesn’t disappoint is the fact that its installation is a simple one person job that doesn’t consist of too many complications. It doesn’t require a significant amount of time either; it’s a rather straightforward process that even I could do effectively. And trust me; if I can manage to install this product without any stress so can you.
It also has the fantastic quality of being rather simple to connect and disconnect, which can be a frustrating issue with other hitch models. Honestly, anything that makes this whole process easier is a huge plus in my eyes. I don’t need any complications with things where the consequences can be incredibly dangerous.
If it wasn’t for one significant issue, I think I’d move this to the top of my list, especially, considering it does have the perfect load capacity for my 5th wheel trailer. But this one massive problem gives me some significant pause.
7. CURT 16039 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch
The CURT 16039 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch isn’t too much different from the other CURT hitches. I mean, it has all the features I love about those such as the 360-degree tilt and double jaw construction, but the subtle differences this model has makes it stand out.
For example, it has a quarter-turn anchoring system that makes removal and installation a quick process that nobody should have an issue doing. I mean, several customer reviews were praising the easy install.
Outside of this quarter-turn anchoring system, you won’t find features on the actual hitch that are uniquely this model’s. But it does come in three different size options; 16k, 20k, and 25k. This makes this hitch one of the most user-friendly options on this list.
And since you know it’ll be quality given the manufacturer you’re buying it from has an ironclad reputation, all you have is match the size options to the weight of your trailer. Then, it’s merely about putting it inside your Amazon cart.
It also comes with the lifetime warranty all A-series CURT products come with that I didn’t mention in the other reviews. As a customer, I find warranties like this one comforting because it gives me a feeling that the manufacturer has complete faith in their product.
After all, if they were selling a fraudulent product, offering lifetime warranty would end up making them lose money. And from the numerous product reviews praising the customer service, I can confidently say they intend to honor the warranty if something goes wrong.
8. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch
The CURT 5th Wheel Hitch 16516 E16 is a little bit different from the other CURT models we’ve seen so far. See, this hitch is a sliding unit, which means it’s ideal for trailer owners with short truck beds (under eight feet).
But these sliding units usually use hollow rails, which reduces the strength on the hitch. However, this model is a true rolling unit meaning it’ll keep the weight evenly distributed for a more extended period and won’t cause the hitch to bend under pressure.
Therefore, this product is the best 5th wheel manual sliding hitch, but it’s still a sliding unit, so it has some severe limitations as you’ll see later on in this article. Honestly, you should only consider a sliding 5th wheel hitch if you have a short truck bed that’s under eight feet.
Otherwise, these models fail to stack up to the other types of 5th wheel hitches. But if you’re in this predicament, you aren’t going to see better features than the ones we have with this model.
For instance, it has an automatic locking mechanism, which will help make sure your hitch is always secure and ready to go. Honestly, when using a 5th wheel hitch, keeping it safely secure should always be your number one priority.
It also helps that this model is affordable and won’t clean you out. In the end, CURT did their best to create the perfect sliding 5th wheel hitch and did a remarkable job doing so. But there were two more issues I found in my research that made me a little uneasy.
9. B&W RVK3600 Fifth Wheel Hitch
This 5th wheel hitch, the B&W Hitches Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3600, probably is the most technologically advanced model we have on this entire list. I mean, it has everything I could ever want in a hitch I’m looking to purchase.
For example, it has the all too essential 4-way pivoting system that makes it able to conquer any road you any come across regardless of its condition. And given the product reviews, I’m reasonably confident this 4-way pivoting system functions better than ones we reviewed previously.
Likewise, it has a double jaw construction that will ensure the ride is smooth and quiet. Again, It’s become apparent that this product is made significantly better in every way because it was outwardly praised in this regard as well.
I mean, there were absolutely no complaints about this hitch’s performance, which is a rarity in any marketplace. It also helps that this model has a reputation for being extremely durable, which is always a nice plus to have in a product such as a 5th wheel hitch.
After all, nobody wants to spend another small fortune on a replacement and with this model that isn’t something you’ll need to worry about at all. Plus, it has the most load capacity of any product we’ve reviewed at 25,000 pounds.
Of course, this higher load capacity comes with one apparent downfall; a higher price. But given the high-quality performance, this hitch provides its users; I could see the justification in buying this model.
10. Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch
There’s nothing all that special about the Pro Series 20k Fifth Wheel Hitch, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t supposed to be on this list. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This run of the mill option might not do anything spectacular, but it does its job effectively, and that’s all we really want out these hitches anyway.
As a result, there are a bunch of customer reviews that sing this model’s praise and most of these positive reactions revolve around one thing; this hitch’s ability to provide incredible results without causing any hassles.
Now, I know I said that this particular model doesn’t have any unique features, however, it does have some standard ones that I love. As I’ve mentioned in the other reviews, anytime a hitch has a 4-way pivoting system it immediately moves up my contenders’ list.
Honestly, this type of pivoting system is just too practical for any person looking for a 5th wheel hitch to overlook. It also has a 20,000- pound load capacity, which fits right with the requirements I need for towing my 5th wheel trailer.
But the best part’s Pro Series is offering this 5th wheel hitch that’s proven to produce results at a price that isn’t expensive. In all honesty, it’s downright affordable, which makes this particular model one of the best bargains on this entire list.
Aside from being a bargain buy, it’s also incredibly user-friendly with its lightweight material that allows for a quick installation. All these factors put together, and you have a 5th wheel hitch that’s hard to pass up for any trailer owner.
11. CURT Manufacturing 16265 Q25 Fifth Wheel Hitch
Our second to last CURT product, the CURT Manufacturing 16265 Q25 Fifth Wheel Hitch, conveys the same feeling the product right before it did. There’s nothing too unique about it, but it does its job well enough that people feel the need to show it praise.
And that’s precisely what happened, given all the positive reviews this model has concerning its performance. Plus, it does offer one thing a lot of the other hitches on this list don’t: a load capacity up to 25,000 pounds.
Therefore, if you have a bigger rig and you’re looking for a hitch that’s simple and efficient, you shouldn’t bother looking anywhere else because this product will get the job done. It even has a double jaw construction that you don’t typically see on hitches with a load capacity of 25,000 pounds or higher.
As a result, this double jaw construction will help keep the noise down and restore the road to the peaceful place you always envisioned it could be during your RV trips. It also has a ten-year warranty that comes with all CURT Q-Series product.
This ten-year warranty conveys that CURT has faith in its product and given their reputation/customer reviews, I think it’s safe to take them at their word. I mean, it even has the 360-degree tilt that’ll further ensure the ride remains smooth.
With all this in mind, I can confidently say that CURT has delivered another high-quality product that we must take notice of given the effectiveness claimed by its customers. After all, none of the complaints actually concerned its actual performance.
12. Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch
The Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch is quite a nifty product for a hitch will only a 16,000-pound load capacity. It has a variety of features that I would consider essential if I were looking for a hitch with this level of load capacity.
For instance, its wide stance will increase the stability of the hitch itself, which will make sure there’s less of a risk of something happens. A little feature like this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it goes a long way into making sure everything works to their capabilities.
And it has a 4-way pivoting system, which I’ve have discussed previously in other reviews about why that feature is an essential piece. It’s also both effortless to install and remove. And as someone who isn’t the best at doing mechanical things, I can’t stress essential it is that these two processes be as simple as possible.
Anything that can lessen the mechanical work would be a huge plus and the product would immediately soar towards the top of my consideration list. Besides these qualities, two other ones are worth noting about this model.
The first one is that it’s backed with a five-year limited warranty, which proves Reese has its customer’s best interest at heart. I can feel comfortable about buying from them because it seems they genuinely care about providing their customers with the best experience possible.
13. Pulliam Superglide Fifth Wheel Hitch
As an automatic sliding fifth wheel hitch, the Pulliam Superglide Fifth Wheel Hitch is the only one of its kind on this list. And honestly, these type of hitches are kind of rare in general, which is why it’s one of the more expensive models on our list.
However, if you’re a fifth wheel trailer owner and are hitching with a truck that has a short bed, you won’t get a better option than this model right here. This hitch is easily the best 5th wheel slider hitch on the market.
It has an 18,000-pound load capacity, which is higher than what you’d typically see on a sliding 5th wheel hitch. It gives the user a little more room to work with regarding what exactly they want to tow.
But the best part about this automatic sliding 5th wheel hitch is it removes all the hassles the manual ones provide. See, with the manual models, you’d have to get out, adjust your trailer, lock it into place, driver around the sharp turn and then reset it.
Sounds like the something that could get on your nerves, no? Well, this hitch’s automatic capabilities removes this hassle and does the readjusting for you. And in the process makes sure the ride is as smooth/quiet as possible.
Besides fixing the issues that plague the manual models, this hitch has also been tested to prove it can survive even the worst circumstances unscathed. It’s easily the most durable product and the best fifth wheel hitch for a short bed truck mentioned in this entire article.
14. Reese Elite 30142 5th Wheel Hitch
The Reese Elite 30142 fifth Wheel Hitch is one hitch that’ll never disappoint the person who’s lucky enough to purchase it. See, this model might be one of the most user-friendly products on the entire 5th wheel hitch market.
For instance, it comes equipped with a wide funnel area the makes installing this thing so easy that I think a caveman could do it. And this easy installation process is just the start; numerous features make this product a top-notch option.
One of these features would be is that it’s made from a highly durable steel material, which has been coated with powder to help withstand cohesion. There’s nothing better than when a product can last well past the amount of time you expect.
Given this durable steel material, I doubt I’d have to buy another hitch in the next few years. This product definitely fits the bill of being called a long-term investment and it’s confirmed by the massive amount of reviews stating how shocked they were by its longevity.
And while the 18,000-pound load capacity isn’t the greatest, but it’s nothing to sneeze at; in fact, I’m guessing many of your reading have a trailer that’s either 18,000 or fewer pounds. If you’re one of these people, you could do a whole lot worse than this hitch.
But for some reason, this company too has issues packaging their products as multiple customers complained about the condition the hitch was when they receive it. Now, all these people said the hitch performed to its fullest capabilities, but it’s not a good look sending your customers dent products.
15. CURT 16115 E16 5th Wheel Hitch
Not even remotely surprising, but our last product comes from the manufacturer that has dominated this list, CURT. And just like all the other products from this company, this 5th wheel hitch is a high-quality product ready to tow your trailer toward its next destination safely.
As our lowest priced option on this list, you’d most likely expect a regression concerning quality; however, this hitch doesn’t follow this expected trend and instead offers efficient/effective performance any 5th wheel trailer owner could benefit from having in their lives.
This hitch is incredibly easy to operate with its single handle, which makes it so the person using it will never have a tough time. A simple feature like this one can pay dividends for a mechanically challenged person like myself.
The 16,000-pound load capacity isn’t too shabby either, especially, given the cost of this model. With this in mind, I’d reckon this hitch might be the best bang for your buck product on this entire list considering the price and the high-quality reviews it received.
It also helps that the material it’s constructed with is highly-durable and built to provide resistance against any damaging-causing elements. Therefore, you can expect this hitch to be in your life for a long time if you end buying it.
What to Look for When Buying a Fifth Wheel Hitch
It’s true that the process of buying a 5th wheel can seem massively complicated. But if you consider the following essential factors, the overall experience becomes much easier to deal with as a consumer.
And the things we’ll discuss within this section should help limit your search considerable to a point where the process doesn’t seem overbearing.
One of the most vital factors that’ll massively impact your search is weight capacity. What do I mean by weight capacity? Well, it concerns how much weight your hitch’s able to carry without becoming a safety risk.
The key here is to ensure you get a 5th wheel hitch that can handle the load of your trailer. Now, this factor might seem like common sense; however, you’d be surprised by how many people bypass an element like this and just buy the first 5th wheel hitch they see.
And sometimes, these hitches won’t have the capability to handle the size of your trailer. If this happens, the hitch can break and cause some serious issues when you’re driving down the road. Honestly, it can put everyone around in danger.
Therefore, you need to make sure the hitch you’re buying has a load capability either the same weight as your trailer or higher. And yes, you can safely buy a hitch with higher load capacity. There aren’t any issues that’ll present themselves by having a hitch that’s over prepared for its job.
Plus, you might end up buying a bigger trailer in the future, so, having a 5th wheel hitch with a larger weight capacity could save you money down the line. In other words, it’ll save you money down the line rather than having to buy a new one in the future.
There are numerous mounting styles a 5th wheel hitch can come with, and you’ll have to decide which one fits your preferences the best. The typical mounting style is the rail system, and you’ll find a lot of high-quality models that use this type of set up.
However, some 5th wheel hitches are ideal for other mounting setups. For instance, you’ll find some that are perfect for under the bed system or above the bed system. It’s all about figuring out the type of mounting style that fits your situation the best and getting the hitch, which meets those needs the best.
Now, if you decide you want a hitch that fits an under the bed system, there are a few things you’ll need to know. First, you’ll need to attach the mounting hardware to the frame that’ll have access to the holes that are drilled through the bed.
Likewise, it’s essential you understand that when you’re towing with this system, the hitch will naturally be attached to the brackets under the bed. I know, it’s common sense, but I’m trying to cover all the ground here as a precaution that nothing will go wrong in this process.
It’s also important you understand that you should take the hitch out when you’re not using it. It’s a must to ensure the bed is free of obstacles during non-hitching trips. This will make sure everything goes smoothly even when you’re not towing a massive trailer behind you.
As mentioned previously, it’s also possible to mount a hitch in an above the bed system. In this type of hitching, a bracket is installed inside the bed. The hitch connects to that installed bracket, and the bracket will be left inside bed even during non-hitching times.
Furthermore, some 5th wheel hitches will use specialized brackets as a way to make the installation easier. In the end, the key is finding the mounting setup/style you feel most comfortable with and getting the best 5th wheel hitch can fits into those requirements.
And remember, make sure you get a 5th wheel hitch that’ll lock tightly. If you don’t, your hitch come become the victim of some nasty breakages, which will lead to some dangerous situations we’d all like to avoid.
In the 5th wheel hitch world, you have a couple of options regarding the type of pivoting system. As you probably expect, the pivoting system will deal with how much the flexibility the hitch will have on your trips.
Your choice of pivoting system usually comes down to two options, 2-way pivoting and 4-way pivoting. The 2-way pivoting system, as we’ll further discuss later, allows the hitch to move forward and back.
Now, this 2-way ability does offer you some flexibility, but it’s leaving out the all too important ability to sway. And while this swaying ability might not be such a problem on long highway-centric drives, it could be a massive problem on those pesky backroads.
Those pesky backroads are where the need for the 4-way pivoting system came from as it adds in the feature of moving from side to side. Therefore, the swaying is no longer a problem, and you can navigate those back roads easily.
But the 4-way pivoting models are a lot more expensive and can cause a massive dent in your wallet. So it’s essential you weigh the options and evaluate whether you need the 4-way pivoting system or you can survive with less technologically advanced 2-way.
The jaw configuration you end up picking will likely come down to one thing; your trailer’s weight capacity. See, if your trailer weighs over 25,000 pounds, it’s ideal for you to pick a hitch with a single jaw design.
These hitches are designed to be more secure than others and offer excellent performance that’ll ensure your trailer arrives safely at its intended destination. But as you’ll see later on in this article, the single jaw isn’t the only option available.
You can also get double jaw hitches that are much more convenient for trailer under the 25,000-pound benchmark. These hitches use a double jaw mechanism to wrap around the kingpin, which reduces the noise and movement of your trailer during the trip.
As someone who will do anything to reduce excess noise, I could see how useful something like a double jaw 5th wheel could be for an RVer. In the end, the jaw design is another element you must decide what appeals more to your specific situation.
As I’ve mentioned several times previously, the best 5th wheel hitches are going to cost you a truckload of money. When searching for your hitch, the first thing you’re going to notice is that the heavier the weight rating, the more expensive the hitch.
Therefore, you must weigh what kind of features and quality you want in your 5th wheel hitch careful. After all, even the lowest quality model is still going to cost you a rather large sum of money.
Due to this, you must outline a strict budget and set of requirements the 5th wheel hitch must have, so, you know precisely the what you’re searching for in this type of product. Plus, if you’re on tight budget, make sure you don’t start your search looking for hitches with a larger weight capacity than your trailer.
In doing so, you’re only going to end up spending more and falling in love with features you don’t necessarily need. Leave that stuff to people who have outrageous amounts of extra money to spend. You should instead start your search with hitches at your trailer’s exact weight capacity or close to it.
Our last essential factor is one of the most, if not the most, important thing you must consider before purchasing: the hitch’s quality. The easiest way to determine a hitches quality is by reading other people’s experiences.
And the easiest way to access these experiences is by reading the Amazon product reviews. I know, this sounds mind-numbingly boring and I’m not going to like sometimes the reviews complain about the most mundane stuff.
However, you grasp incredible insights from these reviews, and you can reasonably start to cultivate whether or not each model is a high-quality product. Honestly, there are no better resources available to you, and they’re not something you should take lightly.
Other Important Factors to Consider
This section will provide you with some general knowledge that’ll help you further understand 5th wheel hitches and how to use them. It will go over things like what a 5th wheel is, the different types, how they work, the difficulty of installation and why you might need one.
All of this is an effort to ensure you get the best 5th wheel hitch possible for your particular set of circumstances. If you don’t, there are some dangerous consequences that none of us want to deal with; which is why we’ll do our best to provide all the necessary information, so, you can make a reasonable decision about this essential purchase.
What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?
All this talk about 5th wheel hitches and I haven’t adequately answered the most straightforward question about them; what do they do? And obviously, this is a pretty big factor to consider given you should make sure you actually need to shell out the excessive amount of money a high-quality one will cost.
So without further ado, a 5th wheel hitch is designed to carry much heavier loads than a regular ball hitch such as a 5th wheel trailer. See, the attachment point is in the bed of the truck rather than the rear bumper. This placement allows the truck to carry a more massive load like the before mentioned 5th wheel trailer.
These 5th wheel hitches have one job, ensuring both your truck and your trailer arrive at their destination safely. Any good hitch will offer you a stress-free experience where you’ll never doubt its ability to do their one job.
It’s also a significant investment, so, if you’re looking to shell out money for 5th wheel hitch is essential you find a high-quality one; even the low-quality models cost quite a bit of money and will empty most of your bank account.
And as you’ll see later in this section, there are numerous types of hitches you can choose from; some will be incredibly expensive, and some will be only a little bit expensive. But one thing they all have in common is the job they’re tasked with doing.
All in all, a 5th wheel hitch will cost you a massive amount of money for being able to give a stress-free experience of towing your trailer. And honestly, the peace of mind it provides is worth every penny!
How 5th Wheel Hitches Work?
The 5th wheel hitch is placed in the bed of your truck rather than your bumper or rear frame. This placement makes the added weight press down between the cab and the rear axle instead of the rear bumper as with ball-hitches.
It also essential to note these hitches doesn’t have a ball mount. These devices instead rely on something called a kingpin (a downward-facing pin) and a plate that rests on top the fifth wheel hitch plate to connect onto your trailer.
This “kingpin” locks into place, so it’s secure, but it’s still able to move around as your vehicle encounters turns. The flat plate of your trailer and the flat plate of the 5th wheel hitch are continuously touching.
When your vehicle’s in motion, these two plates will slide against one another, which means lubrication between them is vital. Without providing sufficient lubrication, these two components can become worn down and cause a slew of problems that you don’t want to deal with as a 5th wheel trailer owner.
All this sounds kind overwhelming right? Well, trust me; once you get the hang of it, these products aren’t complicated to use. Honestly, they become a lifesaver, and you’ll never have to worry about any issues regarding towing your 5th wheel trailer around ever again.
Instead, you’ll just connect it to your high-quality 5th wheel hitch and be on your way. Nothing’s better than having a stress-free vacation/trip, and the right 5th wheel hitch can bring you this experience.
But you’ll need to consider the factors mentioned in the section above, which help find the best 5th wheel for the job. If you don’t consider these factors, the stress-free environment your trailer was supposed to represent will soon become a nightmare.
Thankfully, the next topic we cover will help narrow down your searching parameters and make the 5th hitch you’re looking for become more apparent.
Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
As with most products these days, there are numerous types available for customers to purchase. And this amount of choice makes picking the best one rather complicated; 5th wheel hitches aren’t any different.
In this particular marketplace, there are several popular types. The six main ones are as follows: 2-way pivot head, 4-way pivot head, gooseneck hitch, sliding hitch, single jaw, and double jaw.
Each of these has a situation that it’ll work better in than the others, which we’ll go over briefly below:
2-Way Pivot Head
A 2-way pivot head 5th wheel hitch will offer you two ranges of movement, forward and back. Therefore, a 2-way pivot head won’t sway side to side, which can be quite problematic with certain terrains.
If you plan on towing your trailer over back roads and potholes, I’d recommend staying away from this type. The lack of sway gives the hitch a concerning amount of resistance in these type of areas.
But this issue doesn’t mean this type of hitch can’t be useful on these roads. It’s just there more prone to have some problems dealing with rougher terrain. However, if your trip mainly consists of paved highways, these hitches can represent a bargain for you.
Sadly, my trips consist of traveling around on country roads, so, these hitches aren’t the best buy for me.
4-Way Pivot Head
Unlike the 2-way Pivot Head, the 4-way pivot head 5th wheel hitch does account for swaying back and forth with having four ranges of movement: forward, aft, and side to side. Honestly, these hitches might be my favorite types mentioned in this article.
If you get one of these, you shouldn’t have any issues driving over any terrain. These hitches have a unique ability to deal with all the rocking and swaying as the four ranges of movement give them total flexibility.
With this in mind, I’d probably opt for this type of hitch as it with be able to deal with all potholes and uneven pavement I regularly encounter during my trips. Even if was traveling on paved highways 24/7, I’d still consider getting this type of hitch.
After all, you never know when you might need to take a detour because of a traffic jam or construction. And with this type of hitch, you’d have no qualms about it. Instead, you could feel comfortable knowing the flexibility of your hitch will easily deal with the bumping, broken down roads.
The gooseneck hitch is ideal for trailers that hang over the back of your truck bed. See, these type of rigs will need more support to handle the extra pin weight, which is where the gooseneck 5th wheel hitch comes into save the day.
In fact, gooseneck hitches are built specifically for these type of trailers and will make sure you the right amount of pivot. They’ll also ensure the weight gets evenly distributed that way your RV and truck stay safe during your trip.
All in all, a gooseneck hitch is the best 5th wheel hitch for gooseneck trailers. If you don’t haul gooseneck trailer, you should opt for a different kind of hitch from the section. For instance, a 4-way pivot head or a sliding hitch could be the best available.
However, there are some instances where a gooseneck hitch could be useful on a non-gooseneck trailer as they tend to have a higher load rating. It’s all about finding the right hitch for your particular needs, and if you feel like a gooseneck hitch is the one for you, there are some very high-quality ones on the market.
If you’re wondering how these types of hitches are positioned in your truck bed, this article here gives you an incredible layout of how exactly you can do it.
If you have a short truck bed that’s less than eight feet, then you’ll need what is called a sliding hitch. These hitches will make sure your trailer doesn’t crash into your cab when you’re making a sharp turn.
Most sliding hitches require manual sliding, which can be a real hassle. These manual models mean that you have to get out, adjust your trailer, lock it into place, driver around the sharp turn and then reset it.
Sounds awful, right? Well, it’s not the best mode of hitching, but some of these sliding hitches do come with an automatic sliding feature. However, there are a lot more expensive than the manual models I described previously.
If you have a short truck bed, you’ll have to decide whether or not the manual models are worth the extra hassle. If they’re not, you’ll need to bite the bullet and pay the outrageous amount the automatic models will cost.
The double jaw 5th wheel trailer hitch uses two jaws to close around the kingpin. They do this by typically interlocking together, but this isn’t always the case. These hitches tend to be much more secure and snug than a sliding option.
And these products also have a bonus of reducing the amount of noise created by the kingpin. It also lessens the movement of the trailer behind your truck; therefore, creating a much safer environment for you the driver.
However, the double jaw hitch does have one negative about it that must be noted. Due to using two jaws instead of one, it means that each jaw is less stronger than both them combined, which can be problematic in certain situations.
If you’re looking to haul a trailer over 25,000 pounds, I’d recommend looking into getting a single jaw hitch. These hitches are designed to be stronger than your typical hitch and can handle the excess weight much better.
It also has the advantage of you not having to worry about it breaking down in transit like you would with a double jaw. In other words, the single jaw is a more secure option than its double jawed counterpart.
See, with a single jaw 5th hitch, the jaw wraps around the kingpin, which provides the maximum amount of jaw to pin contact. This vast amount of contact will reduce the noise and clunking by the hitch.
Therefore, if you’re looking to tow a heavy trailer that weighs above 25,000 pounds, this hitch type is easily your best bet. It will make you feel secure and reduce the chances you get a migraine because it lessens the noise created by the hitch itself.
And that’s all the popular 5th wheel hitches on the market. I know, it’s overwhelming, but once you realize the right type for your circumstances, the buying experience becomes much less stressful, and the options dwindle to a reasonable number.
The Difficulty of Installation and Ease of Use
The easiest way to determine whether or not a hitch’s a simple install is by deciding if your trailer and truck are a match. In other words, try to find a hitch that can be installed rather seamlessly without a lot of outside help.
You can also determine whether or not the hitch is easy to install by ensuring you have all the necessary accessories and parts for the install. There’s nothing worse than shelling out a ton of money then realizing you have to invest additional parts as well.
Likewise, you should also make sure the hitch is easy and convenient for you to use. Therefore, the hitch itself should be able to connect and reconnect in conjunction with the specific requirements you have outlined.
In other words, don’t buy a 5th wheel hitch that doesn’t check off every requirement you consider necessary. It just doesn’t make logical sense to buy something that you know will eventually disappoint you.
For instance, if you have a short truck bed and find getting out your truck after every sharp turn unappealing, don’t get the manual sliding hitch. Instead, spend a little more money and get an automatic one or some other option, which will save a vast amount of frustration.
Why do You Need a 5th Wheel Hitch?
Well, the honest answer is some RV owners don’t need a 5th wheel hitches. But for you 5th wheel trailer owners, I’m sorry to say you’ll have a hard time pulling your trailer around without one. In fact, you’d probably need a superhero like Hulk to do it.
But since you’re reading this article, I’m betting you’ve realized this sad fact of 5th wheel trailer living, and now you’re in the market for an appropriate hitch to tow it around. And you need a product that can safely do this job without causing you too much hassle. Enter the 5th wheel hitch.
With the best 5th wheel hitch, you should have no problem getting your heavy trailer from one place to another. Instead, it’ll be a stress-free journey that’ll be free of worry about whether or not your trailer will be safe pulled for an extended distance.
Honestly, once you have a high-quality hitch, there’s a more probably chance your RVing will encompass the dreamlike environment you envisioned when you first bought it. Of course, there’s no guaranteeing this because life is so very fickle, but it makes it so you have one less problem that’ll cause you anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Any good FAQ section will do one thing: answer all your remaining questions about the topic at hand. And the one below will be no different as we hope the answers in this section will remove any hesitations or doubts you have rattling around inside your head.
What are good RV 5th wheel hitch brands?
In the product review section, you’ve already encountered a bunch of brands that are widely considered fantastic 5th wheel hitch manufacturers. But I thought it’d be a good idea to give you a little background on some of them.
This background knowledge will help you familiarize yourself with these brands and make it seem like you aren’t just buying from a faceless corporation.
The leading manufacturer of USA-made hitches, CURT, has been providing high-quality to customers for decades by employing “the latest technology with everything from cutting edge design software to advanced robotic welding to unique finishing processes. With these tools and our dedicated team of associates, we are able to lead in first-to-market designs and offer an unmatched order-fill rate.”
Andersen Hitches has been in the hitch manufacturing market for over fifty years. And the reason for this longevity centers around their ability to provide high-quality products. They do this by adhering to a rather simple but effective slogan, “Andersen Manufacturing: “when only the best will do.””
B&W Hitches have been around the hitch manufacturing marketplace for a long time. This company prides itself on being one of the last American made hitch manufacturers in the world or as they say, “AMERICAN MADE. BUILT TO LAST.”
If you’re lucky even to purchase a 5th wheel hitch from any of these three companies, you should feel incredibly confident that’ll do its job efficiently and without hassle. And honestly, that’s all we’re looking for in a product like a 5th wheel hitch.
It’s also worth mentioning that the other brands mentioned in the product review section are considered high-quality as well. I just thought it was essential we recognize these three specifically because each one comes up multiple times on our recommended products list.
Are 5th wheel hitches removable?
It will depend on the model and the manufacturer you buy the 5th wheel hitch from and the features that it comes with; however, most 5th wheel hitches are removable with only the mounting brackets and bars left in place.
Although some hitches aren’t removable, but these particular ones are usually reserved for use on large commercial trucks rather than in the box of a truck like yours. These are the heavy duty models with extraordinarily high weight capacities; nothing liked you’d see in their truck beds.
Now, the 5th wheel hitches you’ll like encounter are typically removable by pulling on the clevis pins or some other similar mechanism. But, as previously mentioned, there will be some parts that aren’t entirely removed.
The rails will generally be left in place as will the previously mentioned brackets. The piece that can be removed is the hitch itself. And you’re probably reading this wondering how in the world am I going to lift this colossal hitch all by myself?
Luckily, most of these hitches are removable in multiple pieces, so, the lifting load is distributed enough that the lifting of the hitch isn’t incredibly strenuous. But I’d still recommend having someone help with this job as it should be a two-person operation.
After all, you don’t want to throw your back out before the RVing trip. If you do, it will just ruin whatever plans you have going on during your trip. So please, don’t be afraid to ask someone around for help. These products are made from heavy materials and shouldn’t be thought of something you can lift safely be yourself.
Are 5th wheel hitch rails universal?
When it comes to towing, there aren’t many accessories more valuable than your 5th wheel hitch rails. Without them, the hitch itself becomes utterly useless as it won’t be able to attach your truck in a secure matter.
And without the hitch being able to attach securely, there’s virtually no way you can have a successful towing experience. From this, we can gather that having the right kind of rails is a significant part of this whole process. But it also makes us wonder whether or not all rails are the same and if we were using the right ones?
Well, it will depend on the model of rails you use, but typically, most 5th wheel rails are made to the same industry standard dimensions. These rails will generally be called universal 5th wheel rails, so you can quickly determine, which rails are adaptable to a multitude of manufacturers.
In other words, these universal 5th wheel hitch rails will be usable in any truck bed that’s ready to accept a 5th wheel hitch. Therefore, rails dimensions aren’t something you to usually worry about when searching for a 5th wheel hitch.
However, it’s essential we note that while the rails might be universal, the sliders and hitches with the under rails might be unique. Therefore, if you’re in the market for either these, be sure you end up buying the right product.
See, most hitches will fit into most rails, but if you buy a rail that doesn’t work in conjunction with your hitch, it could cause some massive problems. In fact, if you’re even 1/16 off with the position of the rails, it could be enough to make the hitch unable to install. Due to this, you must refrain from installing the rails without the hitch so you can avoid what would be a significant error.
Are all 5th wheel hitches the same?
A rather fundamental question, but as you’ve seen from the information above, there are numerous different types and models of 5th wheel hitches. From sliding 5th wheel hitches to 4-way pivot head 5th wheel hitches, there is a myriad of options available for you to sift through.
As a result, it’s pretty evident that all 5th wheel hitches are not the same. In fact, they vary quite a bit in the way they do the job they’re intended to do. But there are two things they all have in common; their purpose and excessive price tag.
See, each model/type of 5th wheel hitch exists solely for one reason to make sure you arrive where you’re going without any issues or incidents. In other words, it’s their job to ensure your towing experience is as simple and easy as possible.
And the other thing all 5th wheel hitches have in common is the dent they’ll put in your bank account, which will go over in further detail in the next FAQ. But trust me; this type of product isn’t something you can buy out of the blue.
In the end, these 5th wheel hitches might all have the same purpose and put a dent in your bank account, but the designs vary significantly depending on its manufacturer and/or type. I mean, if all 5th wheel hitches were the same, I doubt you’d feel the need to read this fantastic guide!
How much does 5th wheel hitch cost?
As you’ve seen from the product review section, 5th wheel hitches have an incredibly vast price range. The price is usually depended on one thing; the weight capacity the hitch itself can handle.
For instance, the cheapest option in our product review section also has the least amount of weight handling capabilities. This connection between these two factors isn’t a coincidence and is the primary reason why a 5th wheel hitch cost what it does.
After the weight capacity, the price also takes into account the additional features and type of hitch you’re looking to buy. I mean, an example of this would be a manual sliding hitch will cost significantly less than an automatic one because of the level of convenience the automatic one offers the customer.
But all in all, you’re probably looking at a range from about $300 for the lowest rudimentary models to $1500 for the best of the best. Honestly, any 5th wheel hitch you end up getting is going to cost you a nice chunk of change.
Therefore, if I had the money, I’d invest in the highest-quality option that’ll work for my circumstances that way I could ensure I wouldn’t have any issues regarding effectiveness. Let’s be honest; hitches aren’t something you should mess around with or not take seriously.
I mean, it’s not only your safety you have to take account for with these hitches but the drivers around you. So please, spend whatever you need to ensure your new 5th wheel hitch offers a peak amount of stability and safety.
How install 5th wheel hitch?
Before installing a 5th wheel hitch, you must make sure your towing vehicle can handle the extra weight. This issue might sound like a common sense kind of problem, but you’d be surprised by how many people overlook this precaution.
You can do this by looking at the owner’s manual. If you can’t find the answer there, you should contact your tow vehicle’s manufacturer as they’ll inform you whether or not it can handle the extra weight.
Once you identify your towing vehicle’s load capacity, you should be aware of exactly how the 5th wheel should be installed. When it’s properly installed, it’ll be set so that the trailer’s weight is between the cab and the rear axle.
The installation instructions that come with your purchase of a 5th wheel hitch will provide you with the precise location for peak towing capabilities. But this doesn’t mean you can simply attach the hitch to your tow vehicle and be on your way.
You’ll need to install a rail kit as well, which is the foundation for the hitch. This rail kit is connected to the brackets that are attached to your towing vehicle. Another point you should consider is that the rails should never be installed over a plastic bed liner.
If you do install them over a plastic bed liner, it’ll initially be tightly secure, but the plastic will eventually wear down after multiple uses. This wearing down will result in a loose hitch, which can cause all sorts of different issues. If you have any reservations about installing a 5th wheel hitch yourself, you could always call a professional.
There’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, If I was installing a 5th wheel hitch, calling a professional is definitely the way I’d end up choosing.
How to use 5th wheel hitch?
Now, that we’ve gone over how to install a 5th wheel hitch, it’s time we discuss the process of actually using it. Attaching a 5th wheel hitch sounds like an easy and straightforward process. But it’s not as simple as backing your truck up until you hear the handle snap back.
If you did try hooking it up like this, you’d end up with many severe issues. I mean, I wish it was this easy, but I’m afraid it’s a little more complicated and requires a bit more effort on your part. The first thing you might try doing is investing in a tailgate replacement for your truck.
See, the regular tailgate is a little bit tall, and the first time you forget to open your tailgate (you will) the 5th wheel pin of your trailer will ruin it. Instead, opt for a tailgate that’s cut down to account for this inevitable human error and allow you to hitch up with the gate closed.
And when you get your cut down tailgate, you start the hitching process by pulling the release handle out to cock the hitch into an open position before you back into it. Then, start backing in slowly and lightly tap it until the hitch snaps closed.
After this, you must get out of your truck and walk under the front of your trailer to visually confirm that the jaws or bar snapped all the way closed. Next, you’ll need to lock down the safety lock on your hitch.
If you don’t, these could allow the hitch to open unless the safety lock is securely in place. And once you got the safety lock all secure, you’re ready to take your trailer and trunk on their scheduled adventure.
But please, make sure you always check things twice before pulling out of your driveway. Nobody wants a runaway rig on the highway, and although it’s improbable, without doing the steps mentioned above, this could end up happening.
How does a 5th wheel trailer attach to a 5th wheel hitch?
Understanding the process of attaching a 5th wheel trailer to a 5th wheel hitch isn’t incredibly complicated. In fact, it’s rather simple, and it comes down to a thing called the kingpin, which is the main component connecting the two.
In other words, the 5th wheel hitch uses the “kingpin” to attach your truck with your trailer. This downward facing pin rests on top of the 5th wheel hitch and locks into position. The locking into position keeps it secure, but it’s still able to move around as your vehicle navigates turns.
Once the kingpin is locked into position, you’re ready to take the world and being your next towing adventure. It’s also essential we note that the flat plate of your trailer and the flat plate of your hitch are going to be in constant contact with each other.
Therefore, they’ll slide against each other as the vehicle starts to move, which will begin wearing both plates. So it’s essential that every once in a while you provide these areas with lubrication that way the wear and tear won’t become a serious issue.
Not too complicated, right? And now that you understand the process, the checklist in the next FAQ should give you all you need to know about how to use a 5th wheel hitch safely. Honestly, you’re well on your way to becoming a 5th wheel hitch expert.
What is the 5th wheel hitching checklist?
To ensure everything goes well on your trip, follow the checklist below. It will make sure there aren’t any moments where you find yourself cursing at yourself because of a bonehead mistake in the preparation process.
And it will keep any dangerous situations from presenting themselves when you’re using your 5th wheel hitch. Trust me; if you take the hitching process lightly, there can be some severe consequences that nobody would want to face.
- Lower the trailer to set the king pin to the correct height.
- Lower your truck’s tailgate .
- Open your hitch’s locking bar.
- Back your truck under the trailer and connect with the 5th wheel hitch’s king pin.
- Secure your 5th wheel hitch’s locking bar .
- Put your tow vehicle in drive and make sure the hitch connection is secure.
- Attach the breakaway switch cable and umbilical cord.
- Check both your trailer’s lights and brakes.
- Lift the your tow vehicle’s tailgate.
- Raise your 5th wheel trailer’s landing gear
- Remove the wheel chocks.
Even though it seems obvious, we must note that the unhitching process is the exact opposite of this; in other words, start at 11 and move your way up the list.
But please, take your time and do both carefully. If you don’t, you’ll eventually end up making a mistake that could prove to be costly and ultimately dangerous. It might sound corny, but it’s always a good idea to put safety above all else.
With all this new 5th wheel hitch knowledge, I’m quite confident in your abilities to find the best 5th wheel hitch for your needs. But once you do get your 5th wheel hitch, please remember to be careful.
These products have a lot riding on them: literal. Therefore, you must make sure the 5th wheel hitch you get is a high-quality one that’s up for the task at hand. With this in mind, it’s essential you take all the factors that were laid out in this article and think about how they’re relevant to your situation.
In the end, all this guide’s trying to do is help you find the best fifth wheel hitch that’ll make sure your trailer and truck arrive at their target point without any issues. Luckily for you, any of the products mentioned in this article will do precisely that and more!