Gooseneck Hitch vs 5th Wheel Hitch

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Last Updated on May 18, 2022

Two very popular hitches, also two easy to get confused between hitches. We are talking about the 5th wheel and gooseneck hitch. Picking a certain one, on what basis, is your query right?

Well, looks like you’ve entered the right guide. Because today we plan to sit down and give down the major difference between gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch. 

So, Keep On Reading…

Gooseneck Hitch vs 5th Wheel Hitch: Key Differences

The attaching mechanism is the most obvious difference between the 5th wheel hitch and gooseneck hitch. A kingpin is involved in the 5th wheel hitch connection. While with the gooseneck hitch, there’s a ball part that does the job.

What Exactly Both of These Are – Definition Based Difference

It’s only fair to draw a differing line between gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch by little highlighting on their introduction.

Starting with what is a gooseneck hitch. It’s a gear that attaches with the gooseneck trailer. A truck bed hitch, to be more specific. And it does so through a hitch ball segment. 

The main body would stay mounted right beneath the truck bed. And there are brackets for it to bolt with the frame of the truck. 

The 5th wheel trailer kingpin connects with another truck bed hitch called the 5th wheel hitch. To secure the kingpin, it uses either a locking bar or jaws made of metal. 

For any sort of movement needs, there’s a pivoting head plate on the hitch. And that also ensures a smooth trailer towing. 

The Difference in The Connecting Mechanism

One major gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch difference has to be the connection mechanism of each. For the 5th wheel hitch, there’s a kingpin that works as the main attaching mechanism along with a coin box to connect with the 5th wheel trailer. 

There should be a 5th wheel head and you are supposed to insert the kingpin into it. This also goes for any semi-truck hitch.

On the other hand, with the gooseneck trailer hitch, you’ll find a long and vertical coupler mechanism for connection. It simply latches with the hitch ball. If you have seen a bumper pull coupler, then this is the same. Here also the coupler shall come down right on the ball.

The Difference in Other Installation Matters

The next gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch variation we’ll focus on is again installation, but a few other matters apart than how these connect.

For installing the gooseneck hitch, you’ll have to get the spare tire out and then drill it with the bed itself. So that the total length of towing can be reduced a little in comparison to a bumper pull. And this eventually makes the maneuver a lot simpler.

If we have a little look at the types of gooseneck hitches installations

  1. The fold-down installation will require hole drilling in the bed that later can be fooled for having the complete capacity of a truck in use.
  2. Then there’s the under-bed installation that often needs a professional for it. This method encourages custom fitting the hitch with rails fixed on a truck back. This setup allows more usage of the truck bed when not towing.
  3. And finally, with the above bed installation, you’ll see this mostly in pickups already attached. Here you use the same rail as the 5th wheel hitch and it’s a more self-installation type.

There are not many types of 5th wheel hitches installation methods, on the other hand. You just use the kingpin for fixing the truck bed. There’s a locking bar with it that leaps the pin in place. And the head plate pivots allow for towing movements. Most RVs and campers would have this style.

Differing in Advantages and Disadvantages

We wanted to include a mini gooseneck vs 5th wheel pros and cons section so that you get a better view.

Now one of the most common gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch dissimilarities has to be its price point. The gooseneck one is affordable in comparison to 5th wheel hitches. 

Also, these are less invasive. You will feel that freeing the gooseneck hitch up is also simpler. And that’s because the components are pretty light in weight as well as tiny.

While the thing about 5th wheel hitches that keeps it still no less than gooseneck is its quiet operation ability. 

Not to mention how the whole experience is much smoother. And there’s also a great amount of stability with it. You can even pick from a huge range of weight capacities that would best fit according to your truck variety.

Let’s Have a Look at the Pros & Cons of Gooseneck Hitch

  • After installation less invasiveness.
  • Easy operating ball.
  • Lightweight.
  • The coupling mechanism is pretty simple.
  • Best for Commercial and agriculture use.
  • Possible to convert in 5th wheel.
  • Tall trailers will have poor stability with it.
  • The noise factor is also there, pretty loud actually.

Let’s Have a Look at the Pros & Cons of the 5th Wheel Hitch

  • Towing is very smooth and at the same time pretty stable.
  • Smoother, more stable towing compared to the gooseneck.
  • You can pick from a range of weight capacity options.
  • You can convert it to the gooseneck.
  • A fabulous choice for recreating as well as RVs.
  • Short bed trucks can work with sliding options.
  • The assembly is heavy and so it’s not easiest to move.
  • The price point is not expensive.
  • Truck bed base rails are permanent.

The Better One to Try?

So now you know the difference between gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch, and it’s also possible you already know which one would be better for your needs. However, this segment is for the folks who still are not able to make a sump up of the whole thing. Here’s what we feel.

If you are willing to prioritize a smoother ride, something that could be further enhanced later through the air ride pin box up-gradation, then a 5th wheel hitch is your go-to. It’s just going to work better along with giving you extra road shock dampening benefits with the two vehicles.

But then again, anyone could also wish to spend a little less on the hitch. And then the gooseneck hitch will work better. Also, the fact that you can turn the gooseneck one into a 5th wheel hitch with an adapter plate. So, it’s almost a win-win.

Just keep in mind, adapters are sometimes hard for the fifth wheel frame. And that’s one key reason, why you should try your best to pick the right hitch for the right trailer.

And that was our take on this whole gooseneck hitch vs 5th wheel hitch comparison situation. Hope it helped you in some way. See You in Our Next Piece Soon!

gooseneck vs 5th wheel hitch difference

About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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