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5th Wheel vs. Gooseneck: What’s the Difference?

You need a new hitch. Your current hitch, perhaps what your SUV or truck came from the manufacturer with, just isn’t cutting it! You don’t shop for a purchase like this very often, though. In fact, you may have never bought a hitch before in your entire life! There’s no shame in needing a little help in order to know which option is right for you and your towing needs. Your two main choices are either a fifth wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch. What is the difference? And more importantly, which one is right for you?

“A hitch is a hitch… there’s not really a difference.” Have you ever said this? It’s a common misunderstanding, but it’s a misunderstanding nonetheless. There are 5th wheel hitches, adjustable hitches,  gooseneck trailer hitches, receiver hitches, air pin boxes, and so many more. Before you make a purchase, it is important to know which one is right for you. This depends on your vehicle you are doing the towing with, as well as what you are actually towing. Livestock trailers, boat trailers, and large motor homes all have different hitch requirements. A little bit of time spent researching your options will save you a lot of confusion and stress in the long run. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

#1 The main difference between the two is that a fifth wheel hitch uses jaws and a kingpin to connect to your trailer. A 5th wheel hitch is installed in the bed of your truck and connects to your trailer using a kingpin, which is a pin that faces downward. The gooseneck has a ball and coupler.

#2 A second difference is that a fifth wheel hitch, while offering more stability and improved recreational towing, is more invasive to install and takes up more space in the bed of your truck when compared to a gooseneck.

#3 The gooseneck’s small design is minimally invasive and cheaper to purchase and install. This makes it the correct choice for you, right? Not necessarily. In fact, it typically isn’t the go-to hitch for towing RVs. Gooseneck couplers are more often used for commercial towing or livestock trailers. 

#4 There is one more important thing to keep in mind. Even though 5th wheel trailers are called 5th wheels, you are able to haul them using a gooseneck hitch with an adapter if you so choose.

Now that you’re a little more knowledgeable, it is time to make a purchase. When you take your time and do your due diligence, you will be much better off in the end. You’ll get the right hitch, for the right price, when you shop online. Air Safe Hitches makes it easy to shop for your needed hitch, no matter which type that may be! When you have a new hitch that allows you to pull your trailer without tugging and jarring you in the truck’s cabin, your future self will thank you!

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