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Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for Smoother Trailer Towing

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Editors Choice

B&W Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3500

B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

There were many contenders for the title of best fifth wheel hitch, however due to its versatility the RVK3500 has snatched the title. It has a great blend of features, including some less often seen, and with one of the better prices on our list it is great value for money.

However, the biggest selling point for us was the ease and speed in which it could turn from a lockjaw 5th wheel hitch into a gooseneck. Granted, you might need to make a separate purchase for the gooseneck accessory, but with the money you save, that should not be much of an issue. 

There is a 4-way pivoting head which makes it easy to connect, and combined with the polyurethane bushings, made for a smoother towing experience and one of the quieter rides we found.

Bottom Line: While the RVK3500 is not the cheapest, it is excellent value for money providing some of the most versatile features that we found.

Best 5th Wheel Hitch: Trailer Towing 101

Unless you have a motorhome, you will need to hitch and tow your camper or trailer to your vehicle. 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 have put together a list of the 9 best 5th wheel hitches, identifying where and when you should use each.

Best Fifth Wheel Hitches

  • What you should consider when buying
  • Reviews of the top hitches on the market
  • Our unbiased recommendation on the #1 fifth wheel trailer hitch
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How to Choose the Right Hitch to Haul Your Trailer

Types of 5th Wheel Camper Hitch

Lockjaw

The lockjaw hitch is what most people who use these products will identify as a 5th wheel hitch

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

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 option presents several advantages over the gooseneck ball type in a couple of important ways.

Firstly, a lockjaw fifth wheel camper hitch is almost always more secure than the gooseneck type, assuming the trailer king pin and hitch locking mechanism are well-constructed. While gooseneck models do have 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 heavy duty with both the base and coupler often individually weighing twice as much as a gooseneck version. This means you will likely require the assistance of another person to install the lockjaw 5th wheel onto your truck bed.

On top of that, lockjaw 5th wheels may require additional assembly as compared to gooseneck hitches. 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 attached to most vehicles already and is composed of a large metal ball. However, for a 5th wheel hitch, the gooseneck option often has a slightly different approach to the standard ball hitch sitting on the rear bumper of your truck.

For example, a fifth wheel gooseneck ball hitch usually allows for some limited adjustment, though not to the degree of other hitch types. Whereas some hitches move around a bit to account for less than ideal positions or trailers, gooseneck models generally require 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 easier to install on your truck than the other types of hitch for a couple of reasons.

First, the gooseneck option is almost always many times lighter than the other types of 5th wheel hitches which can easily exceed 100 lbs and push closer to 200 lbs. However, gooseneck 5th wheels will 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 hitch meets or exceeds the capabilities of many other models of different types.

Hybrid

A hybrid 5th wheel is not too different from a lockjaw version in its standard form. More often than not, a hybrid 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 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 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. 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 Sliding Hitches

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

In contrast, a sliding fifth wheel hitch can move, 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 that have a length of 6.5 feet and below.

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

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

Features to Look for in a Fifth Wheel Tow 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 or RV. The trailers that benefit from a 5th wheel usually carry enough weight that a 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 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 fifth wheel hitch uses two ratings: the Gross Trailer Weight Rating (or GTWR) and the Vertical Trailer Weight (or VTW).

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

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

The Vertical Tow Weight (VTW) is how much weight the trailer’s coupler places on the hitch and 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 hitch can accept from the trailer’s connecting point at the kingpin. 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, most people will generally assume it refers to how the fifth wheel itself attaches to your vehicle. However, some manufacturers may use the term mounting to refer to how the 5th wheel and hitch connect together.

Here we will be using the first definition, and there are many ways that a fifth wheel might attach onto the tow vehicle. The most common method is with the use of mounting base rails, though even with this there are a couple of different approaches.

The most common are universal mounting rails, which technically will 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 you may then require additional drilling onto the bed of your truck to use them. The usual solution to this is getting custom mounting rails made for your truck’s factory-drilled mounting points, but not every model of truck has custom mounting rails available.

Aside from using mounting rails, another method available is via truck pucks, a mounting system positioned underneath the bed of your truck. Many trucks include, or can include, a puck mounting system as part of a trim prep package, making them ready for a wide variety of accessories. If your vehicle doesn’t already come with this type of mounting system then it is easy to install, making sure you install compatible pucks.

Installation/Assembly

These two qualities focus more 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 as some mounts make 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 mounting of the truck, assuming you understand the basics of installing a 5th wheel trailer 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.

For the assembly itself it is easier to figure out whether or not you need a professional. Most 5th wheel trailer hitches are not that difficult to assemble, even the more complex lockjaw hitches often come 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. If you are going to be using it on your own then the best 5th wheel hitch for you may be a gooseneck type as you will rarely need help assembling it or moving it into place. However, this type of 5th wheel hitch will require drilling into your truck bed.

Best Fifth Wheel Hitch Review

B&W Companion RVK3500

Best Hybrid

B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

As the winner of our roundup, the RVK3500 stole this title due to its smooth transition from a lockjaw design to a gooseneck design and back. This is the only hybrid hitch that we reviewed and can be set up to work with any kind of hitch that you, or indeed anyone else, might have.

Whilst fifth wheel hitches are generally considered a product meant for a single situation, the RVK3500 is perfect for a truck that will be towing different types of RVs and trailers for both personal 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 the coupler can be switched out, the RVK3500 also offers a wide range of different assembly positions too. It’s wide stance and 4-way pivoting system makes for a sturdy setup, as well as contributing to a superior performance during the tow.

While it is somewhat expensive, it is easily one of the cheaper options for a lockjaw 5th wheel of this calibre that we reviewed.

  • PROs

    • Can tow a load up to 20,000 lb GTWR / 5,000 lb VTW
    • Has a fully pivoting hitch head
    • Has 1” wrap-around jaws
    • Provides for a quiet towing experience
    • Has a CAM-action latching handle
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is more expensive 
    • Is heavier

Bottom-Line: At this price, and with these features, it’s hard to overlook the RVK3500 for some of its more expensive competitors. The fact that you can use this hitch in multiple arrangements only seals the deal in our eyes.

CURT Manufacturing 16120 Black A16

Best Budget Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch

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

Even though Curt hitches can stand toe to toe with the best on the market, they also make some of the best cheap hitches out there too. Even better, this company does not skimp on some of the less usual features with their more inexpensive models either.

For example, one of the nicer qualities about Curt hitches is their coupling indicator which lets you know whether it has properly locked on, as well as when the handle is in the standby position. The cast yoke with poly-torsion also provides a 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 16,000 GTWR and 4,000 VTW.

  • PROs

    • Wide self-aligning, articulating torsion head
    • Cast yoke with poly-torsion
    • Has a self-resetting, lockable handle
    • Coupling indicator
    • Has a 13” to 17” vertical adjustment
  • CONs

    • Lower tow load weight
    • Not the quietest 

Bottom-Line: If you do not have a large, heavy trailer and still want a high-quality lockjaw 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

Best for Ease of Use

B and W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel for Ford Puck

The RVK3300 offers all of the great standard features you expect from the company but without any of the features of the higher end models. It also provides one of the easiest assemblies and installations for a lockjaw hitch– assuming you drive a Ford.

The RVK3300 hitch comes in at a solid 20,000 GTWR and 5,000 VTW which is more than enough capacity for towing most arrangements. On top of that, the polyurethane bushings help make this one of the quieter hitches we found.

That said, the RVK3300 does not offer anything extra as compared to the other hitches we have reviewed from that company.

  • PROs

    • 20,000 lb GTWR / 5,000 lb VTW
    • High-quality with excellent performance
    • CAM-action latching handle
    • Fully pivoting head
    • Has 1” wrap-around jaws
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • Is more expensive
    • Is fairly hefty

Bottom-Line: The 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

Best Ford Fifth Wheel Towing Hitch

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

Several hitches on this list are made solely for Ford trucks and Curt provides another product that puts most of them to shame. In fairness, the main benefit of the 16039 Q25 is the fact that it has one of the largest towing capacities we reviewed at 24,000 GTWR and 6,000 VTW.

Also, as is expected for Curt models, the Q25 includes a 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 this hitch that much easier to connect to your trailer.

  • PROs

    • Has a tow weight at 24,000 lb GTWR / 6,000 lb VTW
    • Is quieter 
    • Coupling indicator
    • Has a superior handle
    • Spherical axial bearing
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • More expensive 
    • Is heavier 

Bottom-Line: If you own a Ford truck, there are few models 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

Largest Weight Capacity

B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3600 Fifth Wheel Hitch

The RVK3600 pulls out all the stops and exceeds most of its competition. With a tow capacity of 25,000 GTWR and 6,250 VTW, it is undeniably the strongest option 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 ensure that you can still connect your trailer with ease.

Granted, this is one of the most expensive models in this 5th wheel hitch review, but it also provides a wider range of adjustment than most other lockjaw hitches do.

  • PROs

    • Capable of pulling heavy loads up to 25,000 pounds GTWR / 6,250 pounds VTW
    • Fully articulating hitch head
    • Is a quieter smooth ride
    • CAM-action handle
    • Has numerous adjustment positions
    • Does not require mounting rails
  • CONs

    • More expensive 
    • Is heavier 

Bottom-Line: If you have an extremely heavy duty trailer, the towing capacity of the RVK3600 should put your mind at ease. When you include the convenience of easy connection and the smooth, quiet ride, the high cost is fully justifiable.

Pro Series 20K

Easiest to Connect

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

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

On top of that, the 20K also provides one of the widest compatibility ranges that we have come across too. With so many models made for particular makes of truck, this versatility offers a no-worry purchase.

The 20,000 GTWR and 5,000 VTW are on par with products costing twice as much, and the fully floating head still provides plenty of convenience.

  • PROs

    • Is less expensive
    • Tow load capacity of 20,000 lb GTWR / 5,000 lb VTW
    • Full floating hitch head
    • 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 list, but it provides everything you need for towing most trailer types. Aside from the wide range of compatibility of this hitch, you can also add a sidewinder kit if needed.

Andersen 3220 Ultimate

Largest Weight Capacity Gooseneck Hitch

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

If you already have a hitch that fits a gooseneck but still require 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 models that we have come across that hasn’t sacrificed on quality.

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 24,000 GTWR with respectable 4,500 VTW, stronger than many hitches that are many times more expensive. This style allows for an easy installation process, assuming you already have mounting rails.

  • PROs

    • High quality product offering a superior towing experience
    • Tow weight capacity of 24,000 lb GTWR / 4,500 lb VTW
    • Has a patented latching cable
    • Suitable for a short truck bed
    • Is easy to assemble/install
    • Only weighs 35 lbs
  • CONs

    • Mounting rails not included
    • 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.

Andersen 3200 Ultimate Fifth Wheel Connection

Best Gooseneck Fifth Wheel Ball Hitch

Andersen Hitches Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection 3200 Rail Mount Version Easy Hookup Greaseless No Chucking Kingpin Coupler with Ball-Funnel 20K lbs GTWR 4,500lbs Tongue Remote Latch

Andersen makes another appearance on our list, this time with a less expensive option that still provides most of the same benefits that the 3220 Ultimate does.

While it may not be quite as strong as its more expensive brother, the Andersen 3200 5th wheel ball hitch still provides a good towing capacity of 20,000 GTWR and 4,500 VTW. On top of that, you also still get the patented latching cable, ensuring that your connection is more stable than most.

  • PROs

    • Is less expensive 
    • Tow weight at 20,000 lb GTWR / 4,500 lb VTW
    • Easy to assemble/install
    • Patented latching cable
    • Suitable for short truck beds
    • Only weighs 40 lbs
  • CONs

    • Mounting rails not included
    • Does not articulate

Bottom-Line: The Andersen 3200 is the least expensive option on our list yet still compares favorably with lockjaw hitches in most specs. Its towing capacity is well above that of inexpensive lockjaw hitches.

Reese 30047 16K

Most Adjustable 5th Wheel Tow Hitch

Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel

Our last offering comes from the company Reese 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 head ties for the largest range on our list. The Reese 30047 also offers a double jaw locking system and one-piece legs, so you do not have to worry about stability.

The only potential issue is the towing capacity is a bit low at 16,000 GTWR and 4,000 VTW.

  • PROs

    • Less expensive 
    • 6” side-to-side pivot
    • 14 ½” to 18” vertical adjustment
    • Two-jaw locking system
    • Has one-piece legs
    • Locking jaw handle
  • CONs

    • 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. Its tow capacity is a bit lower than most but is on par with other inexpensive hitch options on this list.

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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