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The thought of towing a boat, trailer, food truck, RV, or camper can seem daunting. Don’t let this deter you! A 5th wheel hitch offers many benefits, not the least of which is unsurpassed towability. You want to learn all you can so you can tow comfortably, efficiently, and safely.

Table of Contents

What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?

Do You Need a 5th Wheel Hitch?

Learn Your Truck’s Capabilities

The Best Hitches Come From Air Safe Hitches

What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?

When Is a 5th Wheel Hitch Needed? 1

This type of hitch provides the link between the trailer and the towing truck. What makes a 5th wheel hitch extraordinary is how stable it is, and this is due to the hitch’s location. Unlike a conventional travel trailer where the hitch is at the back end of your tow vehicle, the hitch-point on a fifth wheel trailer is positioned directly above your tow truck’s rear axle. This is a much better way to tow with control.

This makes it possible to tow a longer trailer with an overall shorter vehicle . You don’t need to let trailer length ruin your towing plans, because part of the trailer is above the bed of the truck.

“From a towability standpoint, there is nothing better than a fifth wheel,” says RV Enthusiast Technical Editor Chris Dougherty. “The result is an extremely stable platform that virtually eliminates trailer sway and dramatically reduces the effects of crosswinds and buffeting.”  

Do You Need a 5th Wheel Hitch?

When Is a 5th Wheel Hitch Needed? 3

Motortrends tells us that if you need to tow big, heavy trailers, you need a hitch capable of handling the weight. You need a 5th wheel hitch whenever you’re towing something heavier than what your pickup truck could handle on its own. It’s important to note that a 5th wheel hitch requires a pickup truck.

As a simple example, a 2021 Ford F-150 can tow a maximum of 14,000 pounds on a “conventional” hitch, one that mounts below the rear bumper. A 5th wheel hitch relocates the hitch from below the bumper to the truck bed, over the axle. This changes where the trailer’s tongue weight falls on your pickup truck, meaning it can carry a lot more weight. This is because it is able to carry more on its rear axle than it can hanging off the rear end. The same 2021 Ford F-150 can carry up to 22,800 pounds with a 5th wheel hitch.

Learn Your Truck’s Capabilities

Knowing what your vehicle can tow safely is a good place to start. For the best towing experience possible, learn the capabilities of your truck and buy a 5th wheel hitch that falls within your truck’s capabilities. We recommend the tow vehicle you select have a trailer weight rating to handle at least the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the item you plan to tow.

The Best Hitches Come From Air Safe Hitches

As we answer all of these important questions for you, let us answer one last one. How can you know you’re getting the best 5th wheel hitch on the market? You can do so by ordering your hitch from Air Safe Hitches!