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Troubleshooting 5th Wheel Chucking with Andersen Ultimate Gooseneck Hitch

Question:

I have a 2015 Silverado HD and pulling a new 38 ft. Grand Design Reflection 5th wheel. I have an Andersen Ultimate hitch attached to a B/W gooseneck system. I have used it with and without a B/W gooseneck extender to provide more clearance and the chucking seems to be the same. Its the first 5th wheel I have owned and immediately noticed a big difference from pulling our 38 ft. travel trailer. Not much up and down bouncing, but lots of push/pull which I believe is referred to as chucking. A friend of mine with a 1500 Ford and smaller 5th wheel with a more standard style of 5th wheel hitch said something seems wrong with my setup. He has almost zero chucking and said mine is terrible.. I understand how a worn hitch etc. can cause chucking, but I do not understand how the andersen ultimate can be loose??

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Expert Reply:

The Andersen Ultimate is a nice option for being lightweight, but it is not any help with chucking as you described. It has absolutely no built in assistance for that function. You are pulling a really big trailer, so the chucking will be worse with that than a lightweight 5th wheel because there is simply more momentum so you will feel it more. There really isn't a way to help with the chucking you are experiencing with that particular hitch as air ride will definitely help some but there is no movement or shock absorption integrated into that hitch.

My recommendation is to upgrade your hitch. Because you stated that you have a B&W gooseneck hitch, which is in my opinion the best on the market, I recommend adding a sliding hitch that will be compatible and have some protection for the chucking you are experiencing. Your best option is to add the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Trailer Hitch w/ Slider - Dual Jaw - 20,000 lbs # BWRVK3400-5W. This hitch will have superior king pin contact to help prevent chucking and will also have built in isolators into the head connection to dampen that impact for a smoother ride.

Another option is to replace your pin box on your trailer with the Reese Goose Box 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Air Ride Coupler Adapter - Lippert 1621 and 0719 - 20,000 lbs # RP94720 to replace the need for a 5th wheel hitch and you can use your offset adapter with this.

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Question:

A follow up question to our earlier exchange about the severe “chucking” with my 5th wheel and Andersen Ultimate hitch. I read somewhere recently where people were talking about whether to use a Gooseneck or conventional 5th wheel hitch with a 5th wheel trailer. Their simple answer was “Use what was designed - gooseneck with a gooseneck trailer and 5th wheel hitch with a 5th wheel”. Obviously, they don’t know about the nuances of my situation, but want to know if there are any negatives to converting my king pin box to the gooseneck style king pin box you have suggested (one of the two options). Thanks again for your help!

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Expert Reply:

You are correct in the simplicity not really addressing the issue. The option of converting your pin box to the Reese Goose Box addresses a couple of the issues. You will not need to add another hitch to your truck and the Goose Box has the integrated air bag and shock to reduce jarring and chucking. This will also remove one of the moving parts to give you a better connection to your truck. The air bag is adjustable to give you the ride you desire.

It is designed to give you the same bed rail height clearance as a combination hitch and pin box so you won't need to worry about that. The only negative is the connection needs to be fairly precise as there isn't a funnel to help with positioning when you are close.

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Question:

Another couple questions about the gooseneck style king pin box replacement option: 1. Since I have a short bed pickup, I'm concerned about the clearance when making tight turns. Will the model you propose provide any additional or the same clearance as the Andersen Ultimate (between my truck cab and the front of my 5th wheel)? 2. I already have a B and W offset ball that gives me more clearance when using the Andersen Ultimate. Can I also use this offset ball with the gooseneck kingpin pin box replacement you suggested? At the end of the day I feel like neither option is really good for me. The Slider hitch is very heavy and requires 2 people to out in and out, but gives me the desired clearance for my short bed truck. The Goosneck box looks great, but concerned it doesn't give me the clearance I desire. Thanks for your help!

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Expert Reply:

The Reese Goose Box 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Air Ride Coupler Adapter # RP94720 will not provide any additional clearance. The distance from the center of the coupler portion back to the center of the rear row of bolt holes is 25-5/8 inches which will be identical to your pin box. The Andersen actually gives you a 9 inch offset to the rear to assist with your turning clearance. The B&W offset ball you referenced can be used and will give you that 4 inch additional clearance.

Your trailer has a slightly rounded front, so you can benefit from that slight taper, but you will have slightly reduced turning clearances. I think this is the best option for you but you will need to decide if the clearance restrictions are worth the improved ride.

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