Table of Contents Show
- What Is a 5th Wheel Hitch?
- Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
- Sliding Versus Fixed Hitches
- Tips for Selecting the Best 5th Wheel Hitch for You
- 5 Best 5th Wheel Hitches
If you’re looking to have all the comforts and luxuries of a residential home while you’re RVing, a 5th wheel is a great option. The larger the 5th wheel, the larger the truck you’ll need to haul it, but that’s not all you’ll need. Today we want to share the five best 5th wheel hitches on the market. Let’s get started!
What Is a 5th Wheel Hitch?
A 5th wheel hitch secures a 5th wheel trailer to its tow vehicle. The hitch sits in the bed of a truck.
With a properly equipped truck, you can tow up to 30,000 pounds using this style of hitch.
Using a 5th wheel hitch creates a more stable connection that reduces trailer sway while towing.
Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
There are two styles of 5th wheel hitches: kingpin and gooseneck. How you plan to use your truck when you’re not towing it is essential to which hitch will suit you best.
A kingpin hitch is one of the most commonly used 5th wheel hitch setups.
Many 5th wheels come with a kingpin hitch right from the factory.
RVers connect their truck and trailer using a pin box and a kingpin, similar to how semis connect to trailers.
The pin box and kingpin provide a quieter and more stable towing experience for the driver and any passengers.
There are several different kingpin hitch designs on the market based on truck or trailer size. You’ll want to make sure you choose the correct hitch based on your truck’s size or the trailer you’ll be towing.
A gooseneck hitch is a hitch ball connection often seen in bumper pull trailers.
Gooseneck hitches are a much cheaper hitching option and also require less bed space.
Despite a more accessible and more secure hitching connection, towing with a gooseneck provides less stability for taller trailers.
If you choose this option, don’t be surprised if you find it a little noisier than a kingpin hitch. These are often used in farm equipment and with flatbed equipment haulers.
Sliding Versus Fixed Hitches
A 5th wheel hitch provides for the best towing experience but can make navigating sharp turns or maneuvering difficult.
It isn’t uncommon for trucks, especially short beds, to hit the cab or back window on the front cap of the trailer during tight maneuvering.
Sliding hitches allow the hitch to slide back off-center of the rear axle to increase the turning radius. Fixed hitches stay in place over the axles and aren’t adjustable.
If you’re driving a long-bed truck, a sliding hitch isn’t necessary.
However, if you have a short bed truck, it’s better to have a sliding hitch and not need to use it than to need a sliding hitch and not have it.
Tips for Selecting the Best 5th Wheel Hitch for You
When trying to get the best 5th wheel hitch for you, you need to think about the specifics of your situation. Here are some key factors to consider.
Length of Your Truck Bed
Knowing your truck bed length is essential when selecting the best 5th wheel hitch. If you’re driving a short bed or some regular beds, you’ll want to invest in a sliding hitch.
A long bed truck can provide a foot and a half or more clearance than short and regular beds.
Your bed length is essential, especially when maneuvering tight angles.
The tighter the angle, the greater the chances of the trailer impacting the truck. An impact with your tow vehicle likely means severe damage to the metal frame of the cab or even a broken rear window.
We suggest a slider hitch if you’re not towing with a long-bed truck.
Weight of the Camper
While all 5th wheel hitches receive a kingpin, they’re not all capable of towing the same amount of weight.
You’ll want to verify that your hitch can pull the weight of your 5th wheel. We also suggest being generous with this number to leave room for any potential upgrades you might make later.
You don’t want to add $1,500 or more to the cost of a new 5th wheel to buy a new hitch.
5 Best 5th Wheel Hitches
When it comes to picking a 5th wheel hitch for your RV, you want the best. Let’s take a look at the best 5th wheel hitches.
1. B&W Companion
- Fully articulating head allows front to back and side to side pivoting.
- Cam action latching handle for easy release, even when parked on unlevel sites.
The B&W Companion 5th wheel hitch has a great reputation among 5th wheel RVers (and the fifth wheel hitch we use). The fully articulating head makes hitching and unhitching easier than ever before.
The B&W Companion can haul small and big rigs, up to 20,000 pounds. This hitch doesn’t require mounting rails, which means it’s easy to add on and remove based on your needs.
This dual jaw hitch provides 360 degrees of jaw-to-kingpin contact. The coupler weighs just 75 pounds.
You’ll also have three different height settings to help ensure proper bed clearance when hitched. Plus, the hitch’s wide stance provides support and stability.
2. Reese Pro Series Sliding Hitch
- 15, 000 lbs. capacity; 3, 750 lbs. pin weight capacity
- Rounded slide bar mechanism
Reese has been making trailer hitches since 1952, which means you’ll be buying from a proven company. They make a wide range of products for heavy towing, including this Pro Series Hitch. This hitch can tow trailers up to 15,000 pounds.
With an added attachment, you can convert the hitch into a sliding hitch. The base unit weighs just 30 pounds.
3. Gooseneck: Andersen Hitch
- [LIGHTWEIGHT]: Made of Aircraft-Grade Aluminum, the Ultimate Connection base weighs only 35 lbs making safe install and...
- [ADJUSTABLE]: Three height level adjustments: 16-3/4" lower position, 17-7/8" middle position and 19-1/8" upper position...
If your truck has a gooseneck ball, consider the Anderson Hitch. It weighs only 35 pounds, making installation simple. Anderson Hitches claim one person can install or remove the hitch on their own in about five minutes. Not only is this hitch incredibly light and easy to install, but it’s rated to haul up to 24,000 pounds.
Anderson engineered this gooseneck hitch with a greaseless coupler that helps quiet the typical noise of a gooseneck. They say it also makes for a smoother ride than other gooseneck hitches.
While we wouldn’t personally use this hitch since we don’t want to support a company whose owner that defaces landmarks, it is highly rated.
4. CURT 16245 5th Wheel Hitch
- QUIET RIDE. This Q-series CURT 5th wheel hitch is engineered to promote the quietest 5th wheel towing possible. It...
- COUPLING INDICATOR. Built into this 5th wheel hitch is a 3-position indicator that shows the coupling status of the...
At 136 pounds, you certainly can feel the heft of this hitch. The dual-locking jaws provide a secure grip for a tight connection.
The three-position coupling indicator helps ensure your hitch is in the correct position, whether you’re hitching, towing, or unhitching. The hitch can handle 24,000 pounds. It’s a tremendous fixed 5th wheel hitch that has a great sliding hitch partner.
5. CURT 16516 Sliding Hitch
- DUAL-PIVOT HEAD. This CURT 5th wheel hitch features a dual-pivoting head that provides 10 degrees of lateral movement to...
- AUTO-LOCK. The coupler of this 5th wheel hitch has an automatic locking feature to make the coupling process easier and...
The CURT 16516 sliding hitch is the best option if you love the CURT name and quality but require a sliding hitch. You’ll get an easy, single-handle operation and an auto-lock that makes coupling incredibly easy.
This hitch is perfect if you’re looking for a sliding hitch and don’t plan to tow more than 16,000 pounds. It easily adapts to the popular puck systems found on many trucks. It can also use the CURT gooseneck adapter.
CURT provides easy install instructions and offers excellent customer service. You will have to lift the 103-pound hitch on your own, though.
You don’t want to skimp when it comes to securing your 5th wheel while towing. We’re confident that you’ll love any of the hitches on our list. What do you look for when buying a 5th wheel hitch?
Last update on 2023-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Look into the Badger Hitch, made in Stoughton, WI. Since I lived in the area, I was able to get mine installed by the inventor of the hitch himself.
It uses a unique array of ultra-dense foam “springs” to hold up the hitch portion, and absorbs a great deal of the natural movement. It was the ONLY thing that corrected the horrible chucking my rig was doing. I pull a 34′ Winnebago towable with a Toyota Tundra, which has a very short bed. I originally had a Reese slider which just stopped working one day and slid back and forth whenever I moved an inch forward or backward.
The Badger was very affordable, too!
While is a good list and decent write up, there is so much missing.
Comparing sliding hitches to non-sliding is like apples and oranges. A better comparison would be autosliding vs manual sliding hitches. And perhaps grouping hitches to weight classes like under 20k and over 20k. These would be much more useful, finally just picking the best in class (I’ve listed four classes above and you could add in gooseneck as your fifth, would be a better way to highlight 5 hitches.)
I like most of your articles, but this one fell short for me, as besides your RV and Truck, the hitch is the most important aspect of your rig and it seems like this was more of a space filler.
Thanks again for your articles, I do find most rather helpful.
It would also be nice to see your data supporting that these are the 5 best fifth wheel hitches.
I strongly disagree with your assessment and list of top 5 FW hitches. You overlooked the air ride suspension system that fully protects the FW, it’s contents, and eliminates chucking. It is way above your list. It is the called the Hensley Trailer Saver located in Michigan. Check out their video and owner reviews on many forums.