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Best 5th Wheel Hitch: Towing Your Trailer Smoothly

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B&W Companion Hitch RVK3500

Overall Winner Best 5th Wheel Hitch

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This is probably one of the few products on the market with a glut of good options, and we found good reasons to choose any of the products. However, the B&W RVK3500 offers a great blend of features, including some that are uncommon, with one of the better prices on our list.

The big selling point for us with the B&W RVK3500 is its ability to quickly and easily turn from a lockjaw 5th wheel hitch to a gooseneck. Granted, you might need to purchase that accessory separately, but with the money you save, that should not be much of an issue.

On top of that, this 5th wheel hitch also includes a fully pivoting head so that it is easy to connect and a smoother towing experience. The polyurethane bushings combined with the head also combine for one of the quieter rides we found.

Bottom Line: While the price is always a big consideration, the 5th wheel hitch places it at a premium with a difference of three to four times the cost from the cheapest to the most expensive. While the B&W RVK3500 is not the cheapest, it is the least expensive option that also provides some of the most versatile features we found.

Best 5th Wheel Hitch: Towing Your Trailer Smoothly

Unless you have a motorhome, you inevitably need to tow your camper or trailer. While some of the smaller RVs can be towed from a rear-mounted gooseneck trailer hitch, larger RVs require something a bit stronger and more secure.

That is why we put together a list of the 9 best 5th wheel hitches, identifying where and when you should use each.

Best Fifth Wheel Hitch

  • What you should consider when buying.
  • Reviews of the top hitches on the market
  • Our unbiased recommendation on the #1 Fifth Wheel Hitch
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How to Choose the Right Hitch to Haul Your Trailer

Types of 5th Wheel Hitch

Lockjaw

The lockjaw hitch is the type of 5th wheel hitch most people who use these products will identify as a 5th wheel. Rather than use a metal ball to hitch the trailer to your tow vehicle, they work in the reverse fashion.

The 5th wheel trailer will have a protruding pin, called the kingpin that will slide into place in the lockjaw 5th wheel. The eponymous dual jaw of the lockjaw 5th wheel then clamp around the hitch, holding it in place.

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Depending on the lockjaw hitch in question, you may or may not need a king pin adapter to connect the trailer to the 5th wheel. The lockjaw 5th wheel presents several advantages over the gooseneck ball type in a couple of important ways.

Firstly, the lockjaw 5th wheel is almost always more secure than the gooseneck type, assuming the trailer king pin and the hitches locking mechanism are well-constructed. While gooseneck 5th wheels do present their own type of locking mechanism, there is little doubt that it is not quite as secure as reliable locking jaws.

On the other hand, lockjaw 5th wheels are extremely heavy with both the base and coupler often individually weighing twice as much as the gooseneck 5th wheel. This means you will likely require the assistance of another person just to install the lockjaw 5th wheel onto your truck bed.

On top of that, lockjaw 5th wheels may require additional assembly that gooseneck 5th wheels do not. However, this assembly usually corresponds to more advanced mechanics that allow lockjaw 5th wheels to adjust significantly more than their static gooseneck counterparts.

Gooseneck

This is the standard type of hitch attached to most vehicles already and is composed of a large metal ball. However, for the 5th wheel hitch, the gooseneck often takes a slightly different approach than those sitting around the rear bumper of your truck.

For example, a gooseneck ball hitch usually allows for some limited adjustment, though not to the degree of other types. Whereas some hitches move around a bit to account for less than ideal positions or trailers, the gooseneck hitch generally requires you to reassemble it.

Thankfully, this is not a difficult task as gooseneck 5th wheels are some of the easiest models to assemble in the first place. Not only that, but they are also easy to install on your truck than the other types as well for a couple of reasons.

First, the gooseneck 5th wheel hitch is almost always many times lighter than the other types which can easily exceed 100 lbs and push closer to 200 lbs. However, the gooseneck 5th wheel will also almost always require mounting rails rather than installing directly onto truck pucks.

Thankfully, the distinctions between this type of 5th wheel and others do not extend to its towing capabilities as the gooseneck 5th wheel meets or exceeds the capabilities of many other models of different types.

Hybrid

A hybrid 5th wheel is not that different than a lockjaw 5th wheel in its standard form. More often than not, a hybrid 5th wheel is a lockjaw 5th wheel that simply allows you to remove the coupler and attach a gooseneck in its place.

This provides a significant amount of versatility without sacrificing any of the benefits of either type, though it does not provide quite the same benefit as a gooseneck 5th wheel. Specifically, a hybrid 5th wheel still uses a lockjaw base which itself is generally twice as heavy.

However, the hybrid 5th wheel using an attachment will not weigh well over 100 lbs like many lockjaw 5th wheels. On top of that, the hybrid 5th wheel allows you to install the model onto your truck using pucks as opposed to mounting rails.

Even better, the hybrid 5th wheel disassembles much like a lockjaw 5th wheel so that you can use your truck bed for carrying rather than hauling your rig without having to remove the entire apparatus– unlike a gooseneck 5th wheel. The main issue with a hybrid 5th wheel is that not only does it usually cost more upfront than the other two types, but you also have to spend more money on the gooseneck attachment as well.

Fixed v 5th Wheel Slider Hitch

As the name suggests, a fixed hitch is firmly attached to the bed of the truck and is the most common type of hitch you’ll see hauling trailers.

In contrast, the slider 5th wheel hitch can move (a sliding hitch moves between 10 to 15 inches) to ensure adequate turning clearance without hitting the cab of the tow vehicle. This fifth wheel sliding hitch is needed for short bed trucks with a length of 6.5 feet and below.

While a sliding hitch is great, the fixed mechanism hitch has much to offer. These can include a cheaper price tag, they are much lighter and give a smoother towing experience.

As such, unless you have a very short bed truck, we would recommend a fixed hitch over a 5th wheel hitch slider.

Features to Look for in a Fifth Wheel Hitch

Towing Capacity

The main reason to get a hitch in the first place is that you need a more stable connection point to tow your trailer. The trailers that benefit from a 5th wheel usually carry enough weight that the wrong move could damage a bumper-mounted gooseneck hitch– if not rip it right off of your truck.

This being the case, the towing capacity of your hitch is easily one of the most important specs to consider, though it is not necessarily that easy to determine. This is because any kind of 5th wheel hitch uses two ratings: the gross trailer weight rating (or GTWR) and the vertical trailer weight (or VTW).

The GTRW is the rating most people think of when they think of towing capacity, though it too can be a bit tricky. While the GTRW accounts for the base weight of the trailer in question, it also accounts for the weight of the liquids, cargo, and passengers.

Things can get trickier still when you run into the gross combined weight rating (or GCWR) for your truck which includes the weight of the towing vehicle, its passengers, and cargo. Keep in mind, your hitch might have a greater towing capacity than your towing vehicle can accommodate.

The VTW is how much weight the trailer’s coupler places on the hitch and the towing vehicle which is why it is also often called the pin weight or the tongue weight. The VTW is a bit more specialized and is the weight that the 5th wheel hitch can accept from the trailer’s connecting point at the king pin. It also plays into your towing vehicle’s gross vehicle weight (or GVWR) which is how much weight the vehicle can support rather than tow.

Mounting

Mounting can refer to a couple of things, though most people will generally assume it refers to how the hitch attaches to your vehicle. However, some manufacturers may use the term mounting to refer to how the 5th wheel and hitch connect.

We will be using the first definition, and there are many ways that a hitch might attach onto the tow vehcicle. The most common method is with the use of mounting rails, though even here there are a couple of different approaches.

The most common mounting rails are universal mounting rails which technically work for a wide range of vehicles and hitches. The downside is that universal mounting rails may not lineup with factory-drilled mounting points and could require additional drilling onto your truck bed to use. The solution to this is custom mounting rails made for your truck’s factory-drilled mounting points, but not every model of truck has custom mounting rails available.

Outside of mounting rails, the next mounting method is truck pucks which is a mounting system positioned underneath the truck bed. This type of mounting system is easy to install, assuming the hitch supports your truck’s pucks.

Many trucks include or can include a puck mounting system as part of a trim package, making them ready for a wide variety of aftermarket accessories. If a truck has a puck system as part of a trim package, you can usually install the puck system aftermarket if it is not already part of the truck as well.

Installation/Assembly

These two qualities are more focused on whether you should attempt to assemble and install your hitch yourself or leave it to a professional. To be fair, some of this determination depends on the type of mounting you have available with some mounts making it easier to install a hitch than others.

When it comes to ease of installation, a custom rail mount or puck system generally makes it easy to install your hitch to the bed of the truck, assuming you understand the basics of installing a fifth wheel hitch in the first place. On the other hand, if you intend or need to use universal rail mounts, it might be a better idea to get a professional to help you– especially if you need to drill into the truck bed of your vehicle.

Assembly, however, is a bit easier to figure out whether or not you need a professional. Most 5th wheel hitches are not that difficult to assemble with even the more complex lockjaw hitches often coming mostly pre-assembled.

Granted, for most lockjaw hitches you will still need the assistance of another person and potentially some specialized tools just to move the different pieces into place given how heavy they are. With a gooseneck 5th wheel hitch, rarely will you need help assembling it or moving it into place, though this is the type of 5th wheel hitch that requires drilling into your truck bed more than most.

The Best 5th Wheel Hitch Reviews

B&W Companion RVK3500

Best Hybrid Hitch

B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

As the winner of our roundup, the B&W RVK3500 gets most of its points by allowing for a smooth transition from a lockjaw design to a gooseneck hitch design and back. As the only hybrid hitch that we reviewed, you can set this hitch up to work with any kind of hitch you or other people might have.

While the fifth wheel hitch is generally considered a product meant for a single situation, the B&W RVK3500 is perfect for the truck that tows different types of RVs and trailers for consumer or professional purposes. Even though B&W may not be the most experienced company we reviewed, they still seem to understand the need for multiple options.

Aside from the fact that it can switch out its coupler, the B&W RVK3500 also offers a wide range of different assembly positions too. While it is somewhat expensive, it is easily one of the cheaper options for lockjaw 5th wheel hitches.

It’s wide stance, and the 4-way pivoting system makes it sturdy as well as giving it a superior performance during the tow.

  • PROs

    • Can tow a load up 20000 lb GTW/5000 lb VTW
    • Has a fully pivoting head
    • Has 1” wrap-around jaws
    • Hitch gives a quiet towing experience
    • Has a CAM-action latching handle
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive hitch
    • Is a heavier hitch
Bottom-Line: At this price and with these features, it is kind of hard to overlook the B&W RVK3500 for some of its more expensive brothers. The fact that you can use this fifth wheel hitch in multiple arrangements only seals the deal in our eyes.

CURT Manufacturing 16120 Black A16 Hitch

Best Budget Hitch

CURT 16120 A16 5th Wheel Hitch, 16,000 lbs

Curt makes hitches that can stand toe to toe with the best on the market, but they also make some of the best cheap hitches too. Even better, Curt does not skimp out on some of their uncommon features with their less expensive model either.

For example, one of the nicer qualities about Curt hitches is their coupling indicator which lets you know whether the trailer hitch is properly locked on not as well as when the handle is in the standby position. The cast yoke with poly-torsion also provides solid cushion to help keep the trailer’s hitch stable and smooth.

Of course, the lower price imposes some tow limitations as this hitch has one of the lower towing capacities on our list at 16000 GTW and 4000 VTW.

  • PROs

    • Hitch has a wide self-aligning head
    • Has a cast yoke with poly-torsion
    • Has an articulating torsion head
    • Has a self-resetting, lockable handle
    • Has a coupling indicator
    • Has a 13” to 17” vertical adjustment
  • CONs

    • Has a lower tow load weight
    • Not the quietest hitch
Bottom-Line: If you do not have a large, heavy trailer and still want a high-quality lockjaw 5th wheel hitch, the CURT 16120 is a great option. Even at this price, you get Curt’s coupling indicator and its cast yoke with poly-torsion stabilizing springs.

B&W RVK3300 Companion Hitch

B and W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck

The B&W RVK3300 offers all of the great standard features you expect from the company without any of the less common qualities that can make it more confusing. On top of that, the B&W RVK3300 also provides one of the easiest installs for a lockjaw hitch– assuming you drive a Ford.

The towing capacity of the B&W RVK3300 comes in at a solid 20000 GTW and 5000 VTW which is more than enough for most arrangements. On top of that, the polyurethane bushings help make this one of the quieter hitches that we found.

That said, the B&W RVK3300 does not offer anything more than the other B&W hitches we reviewed.

  • PROs

    • 20000 lb GTW/5000 lb VTW
    • High-quality hitch with excellent performance
    • Has a CAM-action latching handle
    • Has a fully pivoting head
    • Has 1” wrap-around jaws
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive fifth wheel hitch
    • Is a hefty fifth wheel hitch
Bottom-Line: The B&W RVK3300 is a solid hitch that provides plenty of comfort features and stability. That said, the price is a bit high compared to competing products without any special features to justify it.

CURT 16039 Q25 Black 5th Wheel Hitch

Best Ford Fifth Wheel Hitch

CURT 16039 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch, 24,000 lbs, Select Ford F-250, F-350, F-450, 8-Foot Bed Puck System

While a couple of fifth wheel hitches on our list are made for Ford trucks, Curt provides another product that puts most of them to shame. In fairness, the main benefit of the CURT 16039 Q25 is the fact that it has one of the largest towing capacities we reviewed at 24000 GTW and 6000 VTW.

Also, as is expected for Curt fifth wheel hitches, the Q25 includes the coupling indicator, so you do not have to worry about whether the trailer is properly hitched or not. On top of that, the spherical axial bearing makes connecting your trailer to this fifth wheel hitch that much easier.

  • PROs

    • Has a tow weight at 24000 lb GTW/6000 lb VTW
    • Is a quieter hitch
    • Has a coupling indicator
    • Has a superior handle
    • Has a spherical axial bearing
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive hitch
    • Is a heavier hitch
Bottom-Line: If you own a Ford truck, there are few fifth wheel hitches that can compete with the Curt Q25. Whether it is the higher tow capacity, the spherical axial bearing, or the convenient handle, you definitely get what you pay for.

B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3600 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Largest Weight Capacity Fifth Wheel Hitch

B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3600 Fifth Wheel Hitch

Our last B&W fifth wheel hitch pulls out all of the stops and makes it a point to exceed the competition. With a towing capacity of 25000 GTW and 6250 GTW, it is undeniably the strongest fifth wheel hitch on our list.

Thankfully, being able to tow a heavier load does not mean that you have to sacrifice convenience or comfort. The fully articulating head and CAM-action handle to ensure that connecting your trailer is still easy.

Granted, this is one of the most expensive fifth wheel hitches that we reviewed, but it also provides a wide range of adjustment than most of the other lockjaw hitches too.

  • PROs

    • Capable of pulling heavy loads up to 25000 lb GTW/6250 lb VTW
    • Has a fully articulating head
    • Is a quieter smooth ride
    • Has a CAM-action handle
    • Has numerous adjustment positions
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is a more expensive hitch
    • Is a heavier hitch
Bottom-Line: If you have an extremely heavy trailer, the towing capacity of the RVK3600 should put your mind at ease. When you include the convenience of an easy connection and the quiet smooth ride, the high cost is a small price to pay.

Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch

Easiest to Connect Fifth Wheel Hitch

Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch (Includes: Head, Head Support, Handle Kit & Legs) (Rail Kit Sold Separately)

The Pro Series fifth wheel hitch is Reese’s high-end lineup that offers a decent towing capacity at a lower cost compared to many of the competing lockjaw products on the market.

On top of that, the 20K also provides some of the widest compatibility range that we came across too. With so many fifth wheel hitches made for particular makes of truck, this versatility offers a no-worry purchase.

The 20000 GTW and 5000 VTW are on par with fifth wheel hitches costing twice as much, and the fully floating head still provides plenty of convenience.

  • PROs

    • Is a less expensive hitch
    • Has a tow load capacity of 20000 lb GTW/5000 lb VTW
    • Has a full floating head
    • Has a dual locking jaw
    • Has a 13” to 17” vertical adjustment
    • Is more compatible than most
  • CONs

    • Does not include the rail kit
    • Requires a bit of installation
Bottom-Line: The Pro Series 20K may not top our best of list, but it provides everything you need for towing most trailer types. Aside from the fact that you do not need to worry about your truck maker, you can also add a sidewinder kit if needed.

Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel

Most Adjustable Fifth Wheel Hitch

Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel

Our last fifth wheel hitch comes from Reese proper and is one of the least expensive lockjaw options on our list. Even better than that, the Reese 30047 offers plenty of room for adjustments, so you do not have to worry about fiddling with the connection.

The 14 ½” to 18” vertical adjustment is nice, but the 6” side-to-side pivot ties for the largest range on our list. The Reese 30047 also offers a two-jaw locking system and one-piece legs, so you do not have to worry about stability.

The only potential issue is the towing capacity which is a bit low at 16000 GTW and 4000 VTW.

  • PROs

    • Is a less expensive hitch
    • Has a 6” side-to-side pivot
    • Has a 14 ½” to 18” vertical adjustment
    • Has a two-jaw locking system
    • Has one-piece legs
    • Has a locking jaw handle
  • CONs

    • Has a lower tow weight
    • Has a bit of play
Bottom-Line: At this price, the range of adjustment is well above what you would normally expect. The fact that its towing capacity is a bit lower is on par with other inexpensive fifth wheel hitches.

Andersen Hitches 3200 Ultimate Fifth Wheel Connection

Best Gooseneck Fifth Wheel Hitch

K&M 3200 KM Dually Series LED Flood Light, Pair

Andersen makes another appearance on our list, this time with a less expensive option that still provides most of the same benefits their first product does.

While it may not be quite as strong as its more expensive brother, the Andersen 3200 still provides a good towing capacity of 20000 GTW and 4500 VTW. On top of that, you also still get the patented latching cable, ensuring that your connection is more stable than most.

  • PROs

    • Is a less expensive hitch
    • Has a tow weight at 20000 lb GTW/4500 lb VTW
    • Is easy to assemble/install
    • Has a patented latching cable
    • Suitable for a short bed truck
    • Only weighs 40 lbs
  • CONs

    • Does not include mounting rails
    • Does not articulate
Bottom-Line: The Andersen 3200 is the least expensive gooseneck hitch on our list and still compares favorably with lockjaw hitches in most specs. Its towing capacity is well above that from inexpensive lockjaw hitches.

Andersen 3220 Ultimate

Largest Weight Capacity Gooseneck Hitch

Andersen Hitches Aluminum Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection | ONE Person Install or Removal in Less Than 5 Minutes!

If you already have a hitch that fits a gooseneck but still requires a fairly large weight capacity, the Andersen 3220 is one of the best options on the market. Even better, this is also one of the more affordable 5th wheel hitches that we came across without sacrificing quality.

It does not hurt that Andersen specializes exclusively on gooseneck hitches, so you can trust that they know what works and what does not.

A great example of this is the 24000 GTW with a respectable 4500 VTW that is stronger than many of the products multiple times more expensive than it. It does not hurt that the style allows for an easy installation process, assuming you already have mounting rails.

  • PROs

    • High quality product offering a superior towing experience
    • Can pull a very heavy load with a tow weight capacity of 24000 lb GTW/4500 lb VTW
    • Has a patented latching cable
    • Suitable for a short truck bed
    • Is easy to assemble/install
    • Only weighs 35 lbs
  • CONs

    • Does not include mounting rails
    • Does not articulate
Bottom-Line: If you prefer ease and simplicity then the Andersen 3220 can accommodate some of the heavier RV trailers on the market. While its design is somewhat inherently limiting, that does not limit its functionality– even with short bed trucks.

Last update on 2020-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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