Adapters for Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer with a Gooseneck Hitch

If you would like to tow a fifth-wheel trailer but you have gooseneck trailer hitch in your truck, you can choose from among several kinds of adapters that may help you. Some of these adapters attach to your gooseneck ball or use the ball hole of your gooseneck hitch, allowing you to hook up your fifth-wheel trailer without having to modify it. Other adapters mount to the trailer, allowing you to attach it directly to the gooseneck ball in your truck. Which option you choose depends on your particular circumstances.Read more about the reverse situation here: Adapting a Gooseneck Trailer to a 5th-Wheel Hitch .
Truck with gooseneck ball backed up to trailer
You can choose from among these four types of adapters:

1. 5th-wheel adapter that replaces the trailer pin box

  • Most secure option
  • Doesn't cause additional stress in either the trailer frame or hitch
  • Creates more of a permanent solution
  • Leaves your truck bed open for other uses
  • Made to fit specific pin boxes
These adapter types are made to fit specific pin boxes, so you'll have to check the plate or sticker on yours to determine which make and model you have (ex: Lippert 1621). Because this adapter replaces the king pin on your trailer, you won't need to measure for height.
Reese Goose Box 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Air Ride Coupler Adapter

2. Another excellent option is a 5th-wheel adapter that installs in the ball hole of the gooseneck hitch

  • Doesn't require modification of trailer
  • Provides a good solution for frequent switching between trailer types
  • Great solution if you have to tow multiple trailer types with the same vehicle
  • Fifth-wheel hitch is easily removed when you need to haul cargo in the truck bed
These adapter types are made to fit specific pin boxes, so you'll have to check the plate or sticker on yours to determine which make and model you have (ex: Lippert 1621). Because this adapter replaces the king pin on your trailer, you won't need to measure for height.
Gooseneck Hole in Truck Bed
Hi-Rise Gooseneck-to-5th-Wheel Trailer Hitch Adapter by Bulldog, Draw-Tite and Reese

3. Adapters that Attach to a Gooseneck Ball in the Truck Bed

  • Attaches to underbed gooseneck ball in the truck bed
  • Hitch height is adjustable
  • One of the lightest hitch options available
These adapters mount to the gooseneck ball in your truck bed. The higher attachment point between the trailer and the hitch relieves stress on the trailer's frame and pin box.
Demco Recon Gooseneck-to-5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Adapter

4. Adapters that Attach to the Fifth-Wheel Trailer King Plate

  • The pin box and king pin DO NOT have to be removed
  • Adapters can be heavy - an extra set of hands will help with installation
  • Not all trailers can use this type of adapter - confirm with the trailer manufacturer
  • Some manufacturers recommend that their adapters not be used with pin boxes over a certain length (always check for maximum recommended pin box length)
  • Works well as a temporary solution
  • Can cause stress in the trailer frame and hitch
This type of fifth-wheel-to-gooseneck adapter is a tube that mounts around the fifth-wheel trailer king pin at one end and attaches to the gooseneck ball in the back of the truck at the other.
Convert-A-Ball Cushioned 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Adapter

Offset Adapters for Increased Clearance

An adapter with an offset can give you a little extra clearance between the fifth-wheel-trailer overhang and the back of the truck cab. It can also create more clearance between the trailer and the back of the truck. Although the offset adapters will provide additional clearance, a sliding fifth wheel hitch or a fixed fifth wheel hitch and a sidewinder pin box will be required to safely execute a 90-degree turn on short bed trucks.
Offset 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter
Offset 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter

Cushioned Adapters by Convert-A-Ball

A cushioned adapter features polyurethane cushioning that absorbs the movement and jarring of the trailer, reducing bouncing and vibrations to give you a safer, smoother, and quieter ride.
Cushioned 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter by Convert-a-Ball

Determining the Correct Height for Your Adapter

Adapters that fit around the king pin and attach to the king pin plate have to be the correct height so that you can tow the trailer level. Getting an adapter of the correct height is important for safe towing. Some adapters are height adjustable and others have a fixed height. The shortest available adapter is the Ranch Hitch adapter at 11-3/4". The tallest is the cushioned gooseneck adapter at 16". There is an easy way to determine what height you need for your truck-and-trailer combination.Measuring Your Truck and Trailer
  • Back your truck into position as if you were hooking up your fifth-wheel trailer, making sure that the truck and trailer are level
  • Measure from the king pin plate down to the top of the ball in the bed of your truck
  • The measurement you get is the height of the adapter you will need
Also, five or six inches of clearance between the overhang of the trailer and side rails of your truck is necessary for safe operation.
Measuring diagram for gooseneck to 5th-wheel adapter
Updated on: 3/2/2021

Questions and Comments about this Article

Rusty C.

I have a draw tite gooseneck hitch number 6300-4435. We just bought a 38ft fifth wheel. Do I have any adaptor options with my current gooseneck hitch? Is this a safe option with my current set up? GY58GR

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

The Gen-Y adapter is potentially a great option! We just need to cover a few things first. We need to make sure that your pin box is a 1621 or 1621HD so that it will fit properly on your 5th wheel trailer (there should be a sticker on your current pin box with the number). The next thing we need to check is the length of the bed on your truck and the shape of the nose of your trailer. If you have a tapered nose and a 6-1/2' bed then you might be okay, but if your 5th wheel has a boxed nose and you have a short bed then we will need to check to make sure your trailer won't hit your truck cab.

Reply from Rusty C.

@JonG Hi Jon, Thanks for the quick reply. My truck is a 2008 dodge ram 2500 mega cab. 6.5 foot bed. So as far as the hitch in bed (the draw tite 6300-4435) is safe for the Gen Y? That was my biggest worry.. I'll check the pin box today (the trailer is still at the house of the person I'm buying it from) Its a 2017 Heartland torque. It does have the smaller front end for more maneuverability. My biggest concern was the safety of my current hitch and whether it was compatible or not.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@RustyC I don't see any reason why the Gen-Y would have an issue with that gooseneck hitch. Is there something specific you're worried about that I can look into? Also what is the distance from the center of the gooseneck hitch ball to the back of your truck cab? We can plug that into our clearance formula to get a better idea of clearance.

Reply from Rusty C.

@JonG Hi Jon. My concerns were the height of the ball in the gooseneck, and the latching mechanism used to lock the ball in the hitch. Thought i read somewhere that it could be an issue, maybe not. The distance is roughly 36 in from cab to center of ball.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@RustyC Thank you for the info! Here is our clearance formula - you need at least 4" of clearance to ensure that you can make up to a 90 degree turn. (A + B) - C = Clearance A = Distance from center of fifth wheel hitch jaw to truck cab B = Length of offset (slider clearance or Sidewinder offset) C = Width of trailer divided by 2 (to get half) From what I could find online it looks like your 5th wheel is probably about 101" wide which means you'll be at 14" with our formula. I think we might want to look at using an adapter with an offset like part # CAB-C5GX1216 . This should give you enough added clearance to avoid hitting your cab - or at least make a tighter turn.

Lindy

I have a 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 that has a factory installed gooseneck hitch. I’m needing to haul a 5th wheel camper 4-5 times a year. All the rest of my trailers are gooseneck. The camper weighs approximately 14,000 lbs. What hitch would you recommend and why? Thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If you have a long bed use part # CAB-C5G but if you have a short bed use part # CAB-C5G X1216.

Reply from Lindy

@JonG would you suggest this over an insert to convert the gooseneck to a 5th wheel wheel needed? I was my understanding taking the trailer from a 5th wheel to a gooseneck is a major reduction in ride quality. Is this correct?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Lindy I personally like the Demco Recon # DM8550045 because it gives you a nice clean fit, but what I was thinking about for your situation is that since you normally tow gooseneck trailers it would be easier to just have an adapter on the pin box so you can hook up to your camper like you do with all of your other trailers. As far as ride quality goes I've heard arguments for both sides. Some people claim that 5th wheel is more comfy while others claim that gooseneck is more comfy so I chalk it up to personal preference.

Cary B.

Hello, I have an F650 Ford dually truck that has a very heavy duty 4" receiver setup. It's too tall for a 5th wheel I think. I'm wondering if a hitch could be made that hooked into the 4" receiver and had a 5th wheel attachment on top, far away enough from the truck not to hit it? I know there are 5th wheel dollies out there but this 650 is so big that I think a 5th wheel hitch would work. Any thoughts? Thanks

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I haven't heard of a 5th wheel setup that would connect via a 4" receiver. If your F-650 sits too tall (which I think you're correct about) then I think the 5th wheel dolly is the only way to go. If you check out the linked article you can see how to measure for height compatibility with your 5th wheel.

Buck N.

I have a 5 wheel hook up need to be able to hook up to gooseneck

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Are you looking to tow a gooseneck trailer with the same truck that currently tows your 5th wheel or are you needing to tow a gooseneck trailer with your current truck?

Tracy L.

We have a 2006 chevy 2500 duramax with a flatbed and a recessed gooseneck ball. What would be the best adapter for our 5th wheel camper?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

I'd go with the Demco Recon # DM8550046 which is designed for use with a recessed gooseneck ball.

Reply from Tracy L.

@JonG Does this have to be bolted to the flatbed and is it able to be offset? I forgot to mention that our truck is a 6.5 ft bed.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@TracyL This basically has a sleeve that fits over the hitch ball and then torques down on the hitch ball to keep the hitch in place. When you remove the Recon your truck will be the exact same as it is now. Since you have a short bed that could present a problem though. Some of the newer 5th wheels that have the tapered nose will allow you to turn pretty adequately but if it's an older 5th wheel then you'll probably be making contact with your truck cab when taking tight turns. For a short bed you might be able to use something like the Convert-A-Ball # CAB-C5GX1216 but I have my doubts because this is something that is normally used for a standard-height gooseneck hitch. You might need to do some adjusting here and there to see if you can get it to match up. This can be adjusted 12" - 16" tall so you can add that in the equation at the bottom of this FAQ when it comes to correct height.

Reply from Tracy L.

@JonG Thank you. We actually have the convert-a-ball hitch. Just wondering if there was something better.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@TracyL Since you have a short bed that would be your best option. Thanks for the comment!

Leroy S.

I am trying to convert a gooseneck camper to fit my 07 1ton Chevy truck. My truck all ready has a hidden 5 th wheel ball . I also have chrome tubes on my truck bedsides maybe 3 to 4 inches above the bedsides.can you tell me what I need?.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

So you currently have a gooseneck box on your camper and a gooseneck hitch ball setup on your Chevy and you're wanting to convert it all to 5th wheel towing?

Walt S.

Hello, I'm trying to find a 5th wheel mount and rails for my 2000 F450 super duty. My 5th wheel hitch is a 20K Curt model 16125 Please let me know if you have something available. Thank you,

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Do you have a F-450 pickup or cab and chassis? If you have something like a flatbed truck then you could potentially use the Gooseneck Hitch # BWGNRK1500 and the Companion # BWRVK3050 or even an adapter like part # DM6140 if it's able to sit flat and your Curt 20K isn't too tall.

Reply from Walt S.

@JonG Thank you for getting back to me. Yes it is a Ford F450 flatbed but I'm not looking to go with a goose neck type hitch. I already have a Curt 5th wheel hitch (16125) I'm just trying to buy through rails and mount so I can install it on my 2000 F450 Heavy duty flat bed dually truck. Would you possibly have the rails & frame mounts? Thank you,

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@WaltS Unfortunately there aren't any base rail kits that will fit your setup. You would need to go with the Gooseneck hitch and adapter that I mentioned above.



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