Wonder where to get the best 5th wheel hitch to hook up a car to an RV? The following list of products reveals the differences between various types and modifications of hitches, as well as crucial points for picking an appropriate construction of a high-quality item. The buyer guide is included to provide information about the units’ correct installation and maintenance.
The fifth wheel hitch reviews below help buy a product that is able to handle heavy loads and carry the campers of all sizes easily and securely for both drivers and vehicles. The product descriptions are also based on their physical characteristics to allow choosing the product with the optimal weight and dimensions considering the trailer’s specs and frequency of use.
5th Wheel Hitch Reviews
When looking for the best 5th wheel hitch, consider the RVK3500 as it’s rated for 20,000 pounds of towing capacity and it has a heavy-duty construction (it’s made of no stamped metal but of welded steel). It comes with a stem that drops into the receiver and the latch that slides back. It takes several minutes to hook up a trailer. Pull the pin and remove the ball. Once the hitch just dropped in, tighten bolts. Since it’s a fixed-mount system, it’s necessary to unbolt it to move and then bolt it back up.
If it’s necessary to lower the front of the trailer, it takes just 10 minutes to undo the bolts, reposition the pivot arms lower, replace, and re-torque bolts. The product features 1-inch jaws and they provide 360-degree contact with the kingpin, unlike some low-cost models. It’s possible to remove it and still have the full bed for use without pulling a trailer.
Note that It is difficult for one person to remove or install the hitch as it’s over 130 pounds (80 pounds is the mounting base and 50 pounds is the removable hitch) as it should be raised or lowered absolutely vertically. However, the handles on the side facilitate the process.
- It fits in the trailer without an issue.
- No slop in the hitch on the ride even if running 75 miles an hour.
- It’s a quiet unit without creaking and clunking.
- No advanced anti-theft locking mechanism is designed for the hitch. It is just one security bolt. The only opportunity for protection is taking the ball out and putting it in a cab.
If requiring the best fifth wheel hitch, try the CURT 16521 as it comes with the dual jaws instead of the slide bar that’s why it’s easier to hook up an RV and a safer, quieter ride is provided. The hitch head rotates 3600 to ensure smooth operation without chucking. The unit is able to tow a trailer for several hours without a break – the slider works perfectly and the hitch unlocks easily.
The roller is easy to operate and slides to a position hassle-free. The unit drops into the gooseneck hole and locks in with the handle under the wheel without any issues. Its height is adjustable from 17.5 to 21.5 inches that make the unit a rather versatile product. Its handle has 3 colorful marks – red, yellow, and green to indicate that the unit is unlocked, not fully locked, and locked respectively.
- No clearance problems during slow-speed turns.
- It has a round-tube shape that allows driving freely along the uneven roads and rods (no need to worry about binding). It also activates slider properly when a truck and trailer don’t move in a straight line.
- It’s difficult to insert and remove the rail pins to put out the hitch of the truck because the rear pins are under the hitch frame.
- It takes some efforts to install the side plates that the bed rails fasten to.
This removable 5th wheel hitch is developed for trailers and pickups with beds shorter than 6 inches. Note that this model doesn’t fit a truck with a flareside bed. The unit features wraparound self-latching jaw ensures security and a jaw-to-kingpin fitting provides reliable connections and excludes heavy rattling.
There are four height positions possible, each one is about 1.25 inches apart. For example, if the hitch is set to make the top of the hitch is about 16 inches above the bed of the truck, it’s possible to make it 1.25 inches lower or 2.5 inches higher. Hitch height adjustment bolts are hand-tight, but they include a free wrench to tighten them, and they also include a molded 7-pin cord to plug it into the existing wiring on trucks.
It fits right into place at once and tows a trailer without a sound if adding a vinyl plate. This model stays tilted at an angle to escape its tilting before hooking to the kingpin. The unit is very heavy (137 pounds). When removing it from the truck bed, it’s necessary to put the receiver out of the base to make it possible to lift parts alone.
- This model is possible to remove and use it for farm duty.
- The unit looks neat since it has no visible rails.
- It would be great to get more grease fittings for the pivot points to lube the unit easier.
This model is among the most reliable removable fifth wheel hitches as it provides a completely secure and tighter clamshell-type lock-up. Smooth ride with noticeably less chucking and an easy unlocking when unhitching is also the advantage.
The Pro Series 20K is made of heavy steel that features quality welding. It comes with legs and grease fitting on the main bolt, however, rails aren’t included. Its height is regulated in the range of 13–17 inches to match the trailer size.
The unit is easy to install as it’s integrated with not a versatile kit but with the vehicle-specific 5th-wheel brackets (they’re not in the package). It’s recommended to use the bottom mounting hole for better articulation and travel clearance otherwise, when the head tilts to side contacts the base and binds have set to the second hole from the bottom.
- High load capacity for towing any kind of trailers without an issue.
- It is lighter than many other similar items.
- The disconnect handle is a bit difficult to operate.
This lightweight fifth wheel hitch is made of aluminum and covered with a silver powder coat. It is easy to mount. It’s just needed to have a gooseneck ball mounted under the truck bed. This hitch goes right on the gooseneck ball. A pin at the bottom that pulls it against the ball in the bed prevents the unit from spinning.
The product comes with a solid kit that includes a rectangular block that attaches to the kingpin, two large bolts that go through the block and lock to the kingpin, four Allen set screws that tension the kingpin, two large pins to adjust height and attachment to the truck goose ball. Besides, it contains one aluminum ball for the top of the hitch.
The hitch pulls smoothly and completely quiet. It saves the tightness for dozens of miles due to the bolts that are at specified torque for the trip back and they don’t require any tightening. This model fits those who look for the best fifth wheel hitch for short bed truck and it allows dispensing heavy and expensive dedicated assemblies.
- It’s a lightweight product, so everyone can unbolt it and lift it out alone in minutes.
- The bed height clearance is easy to adjust with one pin.
- The unit doesn’t require grease on the ball.
- A sharp edge on the part of the kingpin might damage a silver finish of aluminum.
The 5th wheel hookup features 20,000 pounds weight capacity, being a reliable construction with the heavy-duty synthetic pivot bearings. It’s made of anticorrosive steel and has a high-quality painted finish. The pins go with chains that keep them from losing. Its double jaw allows seeing that it’s closed and the lever is pulled in, the pin is locked (no need to guess). This model comes with three vertical adjustments from 16.75 to 18.75 inches above the truck bed.
This product is developed for Ford Super Duty Trucks and it requires installing a ball gooseneck down the bed first. Then take the ball hitch and pull the companion hitch up there, slide it into the slots of the ball hitch and lock it down. The connection is easy and one person can handle it. The unit comes with a lever that allows attaching and detaching it in one move. Just take the pin out (it keeps the lever fixed), close the lever, and drop the pin in the dedicated hole to lock the lever.
- The head tilts up and down, left and right that allows not being very accurate on backing into it.
- It locks securely and without rattles.
- This model is compatible only with a B&W gooseneck hitch and it doesn’t work with other brands.
If asking, “what is the best 5th wheel hitch?” think of the Reese 30120 Pro Series since it’s able to carry heavy loads and to be vertically adjusted from 13 to 17 inches that’s quite enough to match the unit to the trailers of different height.
All the part are well constructed: the rail adapter and the gooseneck ball are fit to their places without any adjustments. The unit comes with the floating head (side to side pivots). The hitch is held to the rails by pins, but the rails are bolted to the truck frame.
This assembly is easy to remove and install again with the aid of just one pin and one clip. The hitch connection point is sturdy and no free play in it are observed while riding. A double-jaw construction provides less kingpin’s depreciation and enhances its lifespan.
- It comes with the installing hardware and rails in the package.
- The lever has a cushioned grip for more convenient operation.
- The legs have a broad footprint to provide good stability.
- The rails are designed only for the standard truck beds.
- The lever’s tab is lockable, but it’s necessary to buy a padlock separately.
How to Hook up the Fifth Wheel Hitch?
Proper 5th wheel mount ensures smooth and secure towing. The hitch’s construction and type, as well as the truck (it can be short-bed of full-sized), determine the details of installation. The hitch might come with a rail system or require mounting it under the bed of the truck. In any case, some rules are common for all designs.
First, it’s crucial to maintain distance between the trailer and the companion vehicle that, in its turn, depends on the trailer’s width. For example, if it features 8 feet, the distance between the cab and the center of the hitch should be 52 inches.
Then, it’s necessary to adjust the height. To that end, measure the distance from the ground to the truck bed and from the ground to the kingpin. The difference between them is the right height setting – it’s called clearance and should be 5 or 6 inches on average. So, how to install a 5th wheel hitch? Look through some easy steps to install the hitch on the bed of the truck:
- The ball on the ultimate connection should be as close as possible to the tailgate. Make sure that the gooseneck ball is enshrined in the bed of the truck.
- Remove the pin from the lower square tube and place the hitch over the gooseneck ball.
- Unscrew the bolts.
- Adjust the top bolt on the hitch and set the height (the hole should be below the ball).
- Put the pin through the hole and secure it with a clip.
- Tighten the bolts up to 60 foot-pounds with (torque wrench might come in handy).
- Mount the cable handle to the pin box if the hitch comes with this latching mechanism.
- Back the truck up to place the ball is underneath the funnel and lower the trailer onto the ball.
- Push the cable handle in all the way and turn it to lock it in place.
The easiest installation is possible when the hitch and the truck are of the same brand. Besides, consider the kit that should contain all the necessary tools.
Tips for Choosing a 5th Wheel Hitch
It’s important to pick a product made that’s fully compatible with a trailer for the best fit. To make the right choice, it’s necessary to consider the weight of the trailers and compare it with the hitch’s capacity (the most powerful units reach 20,000 pounds). Then, pay attention to a hitch coupler since some of them require welding and the others have bolts.
The truck’s towing system is also meaningful. What to do if somebody has the towing system for a gooseneck trailer that is already installed but wants to buy a hitch that doesn’t feature a 100% match to it? Just get a gooseneck adapter to escape any modifying.
If having a long-bed truck, the majority of modern hitches are suitable for them but a short-bed modification needs only slider models or a special 5th wheel setup that some hitch can provide.
Note that some hitches come with the versatile rails and they match to any type of truck frame. Other models are fitted with the custom rails that might require drilling. Don’t forget to pay attention to a pivot head style meaning the opportunity to move up and down only or in several directions.
The hitches’ jaws are also different. Slide-jaw models are the most affordable, but they make the trailer’s motion noticeable while riding. The single-jaw and double-jaw hitches are more secure and quieter.
Some selection criteria are based on such objective factors as high-quality parts that are made of steel and resistant to corrosion, nice finish, neat design, and reliable fittings.
What Is the Optimal Weight of a 5th Wheel Hitch?
Some trailers’ owners ask, “How much does a 5th wheel hitch weigh?” There are both heavy and lightweight top-quality models on the market. One can see 130-pound assemblies as well as 30-pound models with the same durability, security, and lifespan.
If traveling alone, it’s better to find out a lightweight hitch. If driving with a partner, family or a group of people, the number of pounds is not crucial since two people can handle even the heaviest assemblies.
Note that the weight of the hitch isn’t directly related to the trailer and truck’s weight and dimensions. It a question of convenience rather than compatibility.
Last update on 2020-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API