Are Gooseneck 5th Wheel Adapters Safe?

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Truck towing a 5th wheel trailer down a road with mountains and a sunset in the background.

When you have an improperly-paired hitch and trailer combination, the 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter makes things easier. But what types are there, and are they safe? 

We’ll look at the 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters, their types and uses, and answer safety questions. 

What Is a 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter? 

A gooseneck is a type of trailer hitch that attaches to a towing ball mounted in the bed of a truck instead of a 5th wheel hitch. 

Gooseneck hitches have more stability for towing heavy loads because they connect to the truck’s frame. This means you’ll have a more even weight distribution for heavy trailers. 

So what do you do when your truck has a gooseneck hitch, but your trailer has a 5th wheel kingpin? One option is to use a 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter. Some attach to the ball in the truck with an elongated metal adapter on the trailer kingpin to connect it. 

Another style of adapter is a raised ball adapter that lifts the gooseneck ball to the proper height for connection.

An unhitched fifth wheel parked at a campsite next to a towing truck

5th Wheel Hitch

A 5th wheel hitch is a typical trailer hitch consisting of the kingpin and a large, raised plate in the truck’s bed. The 5th wheel tongue connects to the hitch plate. They look similar to what you see on a semi-truck but at a smaller scale.

Gooseneck Hitch

A gooseneck hitch is much smaller than a 5th wheel one. This type consists only of a ball hitch in the center of the truck bed, mounted to the frame. This looks just like a ball mount you’d see on a bumper. The connection sits on the trailer tongue to connect to the hitch.

Want To Know More? Here are the unexpected differences between 5th wheel and gooseneck hitches

5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter 

You can use two different 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters. You can get an elongated metal adapter attached to the kingpin to reach the gooseneck ball properly. Or you can choose a truck-bed-mounted frame that raises the gooseneck ball to the 5th wheel hitch height with an adapter. 

Is It Safe to Use a 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter? 

Adapters that connect a 5th wheel to a gooseneck hitch are generally considered safe to use, but they’re not ideal for long-term use. 

A 5th wheel hitch moves and glides with the trailer to create less stress on the truck and trailer. However, a gooseneck adapter is rigid. Long-term use can cause strain on the trailer or the vehicle. But these adapters are safe in a pinch and for short-term use. 

This video shows the damage that can be caused when a 5th wheel to gooseneck hitch adapter is used for too long.

Keep in mind that using one of these adapters may void your trailer’s warranty because of the damage it can do to the frame. If you’re planning on using a gooseneck hitch long-term, consider swapping out your pin box for a gooseneck one instead. 

How Does Weight Factor into the Safety of Your Gooseneck Adapter? 

Gooseneck hitches handle heavier trailers with more stability than a standard 5th wheel hitch. But if you use an adapter with a heavy trailer, consider the stress this might place on the trailer and the truck. 

Generally, using an adapter will result in a rougher ride, which could cause damage over time. This effect amplifies with a heavier trailer. When in doubt, always consult a professional. 

Should I Convert My 5th Wheel to a Gooseneck? 

If you plan to use a gooseneck hitch long-term, the wisest option would be to replace your 5th wheel pin box with a gooseneck pin box. 

You can find many kinds of hitches, adapters, and combinations. If you feel unsure, consult with a professional for recommendations specific to your situation.

Pro Tip: Here are the 5 best 5th wheel hitches on the market in 2021.

Fifth wheel hitched to a truck at a campsite in the desert.

How to Choose a 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter

When choosing a 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter, you must consider a few things. 

First, you must ensure that your 5th wheel will ride level. Some adapters adjust, while others have a fixed height. 

If you’re on a budget, a fixed-height adapter is cheaper. Just be sure you have the measurements correct and get an adapter to keep your trailer level. 

For convenience purposes, look for a 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter with a remote-release option. This will help prevent you from having to jump in the bed of the truck to disconnect the hitch.

Additionally, read up on your state’s laws regarding gooseneck hitches. 

Would You Try a 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter? 

Is a 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter appropriate for your situation? If it’s just for short-term use, it’s perfectly fine. 

But if you plan on long-term towing, do your research and cover all your bases. You don’t want to do undue damage to your expensive vehicles. You can make the best choice for your truck and trailer now that you know. 

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