How Do You Know Which 5th Wheel Hitch You Need?by Robyn Nelson
Choosing a hitch for a 5th wheel trailer is dictated by the kind of truck that will be pulling the trailer. Towing a 5th wheel is made more comfortable with the proper hitch. Each manufacturer has its own system and style, but some basic considerations need to be addressed when choosing the kind of hitch best designed for your situation.
The sliding hitch is used when the 5th wheel will be pulled with a short bed truck. The hitch is mounted over the rear axle and is placed in the forward position when pulling. The hitch is slid back to its rearmost position when the 5th wheel is being backed. Because the bed of the truck is short, if the hitch is not slid back, when turning sharply, the nose of the 5th wheel can hit the cab of the truck. This sliding hitch eliminates this problem.
Goose Neck Adaptable Hitch
The standard 5th wheel hitch is mounted with external bars that are placed in the bed of the truck. These bars remain there all of the time. If you pull a goose neck trailer, used primarily for hauling stock, and you need the bed of your truck, you can buy a companion hitch, which will mount to your goose neck hitch ball. The companion hitch is completely removable, keeping the truck bed clean when not pulling a 5th wheel. The link to B & W Gooseneck Hitches can provide information on this hitch.
The standard 5th wheel hitch can be used if the truck is generally only used for towing the trailer. This is used for a long bed truck where there is plenty of turning radius for the trailer. If the use of the bed is not important, the standard hitch can be mounted without concern. There will be two bars, permanently mounted in the truck bed on which to attach the hitch. The hitch itself is removeable; the bars are not.
Air Ride Hitch
The air ride hitch can be used if the area in which you plan to pull your 5th wheel is extremely bumpy. This provides an air shock that smooths out the ride and causes less stress to the truck and the hitch. This tends to be a more expensive hitch, put can make towing effortless. This mounts in the same manner as the standard hitch for a long bed truck.
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