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Understanding Why RV Campers Use 5TH Wheel Hitches Over Gooseneck Hitches

Question:

I have been towing TT for 30 years, but have never towed a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. I am completely uninformed about this sort of towing, so came here for help. I did some searching but have not found a discussion of the pro and con of each style of hitch. When my wife and I were looking for a new trailer last fall we were very interested in the layout of some of the shorter 5th wheel rigs. I just could not get over the issue of a hitch taking up my pick-up bed. As I read in another post, my truck is my daily driver to and from Home Depot. Taking a hitch in and out of the truck looks like a real hassle. A gooseneck ball would mostly eliminate that issue. That seems to be really unusual for RVs, though. My question is “Why would people, and the RV industry in general, favor a 5th wheel over a gooseneck?” For background, my last two trailers were about 28 feet hitch to bumper and about 10,000 lb gross weight. Most of our camping is short trips to national forests, so we wind up in tight quarters and on uneven ground. There are some 5th wheel rigs in the 32-ft range that are really appealing. I hope this is not too basic of a question!

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Expert Reply:

The main reason that RV's use 5th wheel hitches is they provide a smoother ride than gooseneck hitches. Since RV's generally carry fragile components like TV's and dishware as well as having decorative trim and glass lighting fixtures they need the smoother and more stable ride.

Gooseneck hitches are primarily used in the agriculture and commercial industry as they do not have to worry about carrying such fragile components outside of its packaging.

You do have the ability to use a Reese Goose Box 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Air Ride Coupler Adapter # RP94716 in place of your 5th wheel pin box. This particular adapter is rated for up to 16,000lbs of trailer weight and 3,200lbs of tongue weight. The pin box adds air ride and is currently the only adapter that Lippert will not void the chassis warranty for use when gooseneck towing. It bolts in place of a 1621 pin box that has mounting holes spread 2" vertically and 7-7/8" from the front to back mounting holes. If you need help identifying the pin box you have I can help find it with the numbers off the Lippert frame tag that is located on the arm for the pin box.

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Gregory M

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