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What is a Gooseneck Adapter?

If you have a fifth-wheel trailer hitch already installed in your truck but want to tow a gooseneck trailer, you're not out of luck. You can choose from two kinds of adapters to help you. One option is to replace the inner pipe on a standard gooseneck coupler and have a fifth-wheel king pin at the base. This standard king pin will fit right into your existing fifth-wheel hitch. The other type of adapter attaches to the industry-standard fifth-wheel rails in your truck bed and has a gooseneck ball that hooks right up to your gooseneck trailer, like a standard gooseneck hitch does. The option you choose will depend on your particular situation and preference.

Is it Safe to Use an Adapter?

Yes, it is safe to use an adapter when you occasionally need to tow a gooseneck trailer with a fifth-wheel hitch, or vice versa. However, some gooseneck adapters are not designed to be a permanent solution, as they can limit the movement of the gooseneck-to-fifth-wheel contact point, which makes for a much rougher ride. Over time and with consistent usage, adapters can put additional stress and strain on both your trailer and hitch.
Option #1: Adapter that Fits on the Gooseneck Trailer
Gooseneck Trailer Adapter
Gooseneck Trailer Adapter
Gooseneck Trailer Adapter
This type of adapter replaces either the gooseneck trailer's inner tube or both inner and outer tubes, and allows the gooseneck trailer to fit an industry-standard fifth-wheel hitch. Adapters that replace the inner tube are ideal if you need to frequently switch between using a gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitch.If your trailer's gooseneck coupler height is adjustable, you can simply remove the inner tube by loosening the set screws or removing the pin(s). However, in some cases you may have to do a bit of modification to your trailer if it doesn't line up exactly with your trailer's existing holes. After that, you can then slide in the adapter, which will replace just your trailers inner tube. The inner tube will have the king pin on it, so then all you have to do is tighten the set screws or reinsert the pin(s). This type of adapter comes in two versions: a standard 4" square or standard 4" round version.
Option #2: Adapter that Attaches to Fifth Wheel Hitch Rails in the Truck
If you don't want to adapt the gooseneck trailer, another great option is to use a hitch adapter that fits in place of your existing fifth-wheel trailer hitch. These adapters install onto the above-bed fifth-wheel rails just like a fifth-wheel hitch, with a quick and simple pin-in installation. Some models even have an offset for use in short-bed trucks, which require more clearance. As long as you have industry-standard fifth-wheel rails, these adapters will work for you.If you have below-bed rails, there may also be options available for you, depending on your system. If you have the Reese Elite series gooseneck hitch or the factory under-bed system for Ford Super Duty trucks, we have adapters for those specific rail setups. These hitch adapters install the same way as their fifth-wheel counterparts, by just dropping into place and locking into position. Make sure you check out our fit guide to see which ones fit your vehicle.
Still have questions?Give our experts a call at 800-298-8924, or contact us online. We're happy to assist any way we can!
Olivia M.
About the AuthorMy journey with etrailer started in Customer Service, where I went through months of product training to make sure that I had all of the knowledge I needed to help our neighbors find a solution to any situation. I helped them with technical questions, troubleshooting, product information, and anything else they needed. Since it has always been my passion to write and express myself through words, I made the transition over to the content side of the website so I could combine my product knowledge and passion for writing.In order to make sure that I am giving you the most accurate, current information, I am constantly doing research and talking with people who are doing what I am writing about every day. I am constantly striving to find out what questions you are asking, and to give you an answer to every one of those questions, plus answers to questions you haven't even asked yet - yes, I'm that good. Plus, I am constantly getting hands-on training with our vendors and asking them all of the hard questions, that way you can have all of the information you need before making a decision.

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Written by: Olivia M.Last updated: 3/2/2020

Questions and Comments about this Article

Jason M.
I have a rbw 15k hitch that was given to me I need the rails to put on the bed can someone please help me find them
Etrailer Expert
Reply from David B.

What truck do you have. Year/make/model and bed length?

I have a 2004 Featherlite horse trailer that is a gooseneck trailer and I have a 2013 Chevy 3500 dually with a 8ft bed that has fifth wheel rails, with a fifth wheel hitch as well. Is one over the other considered better or "safer" as an adapter for use with my horse trailer? I do not have plans to install a gooseneck hitch in the truck bed due to it's age, so I'm looking for the best long-term solution without doing damage to trailer or truck. Thank you!
Etrailer Expert
Reply from David B.

Adding a king pin to a gooseneck isn't hard and I would say its just as safe as a 5th wheel. It just won't have as smooth of a ride. I'll link you to a page with some gooseneck to kingpin adapters. If you are just going to be hauling the gooseneck I'd have a look at the Andersen Ultimate. # AM3200 . Let me know what you think Kellie.

Rob V.
I have an opportunity to buy a sweet 5th wheel RV (10,500) from a friend. I have a 2021 F-250 Super Duty with a B&W Gooseneck turnover ball already installed as I frequently pull a gooseneck for work with the turnover ball allowing me to use the full truck bed when not towing. Since I work more than I get to play, towing the RV is a secondary endeavor. What 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter can I permanently attach to the 5th wheel to minimize time and effort to avoid having to swap hitch parts around all the time?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

I have placed a link to all of our fifth wheel to gooseball adapters. I would like to help you further. You mentioned "10,500" is that the GVWR for the trailer? With this information I can be more specific.

Reply from Robert V.

@LesD Hi Les Took a while to get back to you, a long story involving a broken foot, a grandson learning to drive, a hailstorm damaging the roof, etc. Anyway, things are finally coming together and it's about time to get on the road. The answer to your question is yes, the 10,500 weight is the GVW for the trailer. Sorry, my mistake. The 10,500 number below is the trailer weight. As noted in my original email, my objective is to permanently attach an adapter to the 5th wheel kingpin that will allow me to hook up and tow the 5th wheel without needing to install an in-bed 5th wheel plate. I've noticed some of the short bed trucks on the road have an offset on the gooseneck adapter. As with anything, there will be pros and cons; can you address the pros and cons of having an offset adapter, please? I've seen some trailed set up like this on the road looking online is confusing and does not give much information on the quality of the adapters shown. Rob On Tuesday, February 15, 2022, 10:30:00 AM CST, Les D wrote: Rob V., Thank you for posting the following comment: I have an opportunity to buy a sweet 5th wheel RV (10,500) from a friend. I have a 2021 F-250 Super Duty with a B&W Gooseneck turnover ball already installed as I frequently pull a gooseneck for work with the turnover ball allowing me to use the full truck bed when not towing. Since I work more than I get to play, towing the RV is a secondary endeavor. What 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter can I permanently attach to the 5th wheel to minimize time and effort to avoid having to swap hitch parts around all the time? Your comment has received new replies. To see the reply please visit: If the above link does not work please copy and paste the URL into your browser's address bar.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from David B.

Hey, if you have a standard pin-box, meaning that it has no cushions or air ride, no pivots or rotating points. Just plane Jane. I think you should look at the Convert-A-Ball Cushioned 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Adapter w/ Offset - 12" to 16" Tall # CAB-C5GX1216 . If you have any question click the "ask the experts" link on the product page to get detailed information on the unit or anything else you need.

Angela B.
It's nice to have options in choosing the right product.
Dave V.
I have the rails, 5th wheel and goose neck plate out of my 99 F-250 and would like to transfer the whole unit to my new truck, a 2020 GMC 2500 HD. The GMC has 4 holes through the bed already from the factory. What do I need to make this happen?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Since your 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 has the factory puck system installed, you can use a set of adapter rails to still use your 5th wheel hitch and gooseneck plate as long as they fit industry standard rails. There isn't a way to reuse the rails you had in your previous truck. Reese, Curt, and Demco all offer adapter rails for your 2020 Sierra's puck system, and I have linked them below for you. I would recommend the adapter you select has the correct hole spacing to accommodate your gooseneck and your 5th wheel hitch.

Question Are all tube replacements the same other than square and round
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Eh, more or less. If you're replacing both the inner and outer tube then you'll want to pay attention to the weight capacity and general design of the coupler (square or round). If you're replacing the inner tube only then you'll want to pay a little closer attention to the dimensions (as well as weight capacity) to make sure it fits.

John M.
Chris, Thank you for your reply to my question concerning the fifth-wheel hook up from the 1970's. None of the photographs in your reply show the system that I remember as the only system available at that time. Apparently, this system has dropped off the face of the earth! In this system there is nothing in the area of the bed (4-feet wide to 8-foot or 6-foot long). All of the hook-ups that you have shown require something permanently mounted in the center area of the truck bed. I have been known to use my pick-up to haul dirt, coal, gravel. mulch, and items that required a flat even surface for shoveling. Anything mounted in the "golden" 4-ft. by 6 foot (or) 8 foot was an impediment. I am going to try and send you a photograph of my hitch as soon as I can.
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

I gotcha! Well we do have setups available that allow for a completely clear bed when you aren't actually towing. If you can tell me what specific model truck you have I will be happy to make some recommendations.

John M.
It has been some time since I have towed a fifth-wheel camper trailer. In the interim history has passed me by! What happened to the fifth hitch wheel that has two rails going over the wheel housings, and the base plate suspended between them, over the bed?
Etrailer Expert
Reply from Chris R.

Are you referring to standard 5th wheel base rails like the Reese # RP30035 ? Those are still very much a thing! The above-mentioned products are simply adapters that can be used to tow a gooseneck trailer with 5th wheel rails. If this isn't what you're thinking of please let me know.



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