Do you own a truck or pickup with a service body or flatbed and want to make money on the side hauling goods across the state? In that case, you’ll need a top-quality aluminum gooseneck trailer to make this dream a reality. However, many argue that a bumper pull trailer is the better option. How true is this, though?
This article highlights both the excellent and not-so-good features/characteristics of a gooseneck trailer. At the end of this piece, you should be able to make an informed decision when shopping for a gooseneck trailer.
In This Article
- 1 What’s a Gooseneck Hitch?
- 2 What is a 5th wheel hitch?
- 3 Gooseneck vs 5th wheel pros and cons
- 4 Advantages of a gooseneck hitch
- 5 Advantages of a 5th wheel hitch
- 6 Which is better fifth wheel or gooseneck?
What’s a Gooseneck Hitch?
A gooseneck hitch in one with an apparent long arched neck design at its front. The ‘gooseneck’ hitch tongue makes it easy for you to hitch in the bed of your pickup or truck with its tailgate closed.
This differs from bumper pull trailers that usually come with couplers and simple straight trailer tongues that can be hitched to the bumper of a sports utility vehicle, van, or truck.
Gooseneck hitches allow users to carry all the gear they need, leaving more than enough space in the truck or pickup for your friends, family, and even personal items.
What is a 5th wheel hitch?
A 5th wheel hitch is a truck bed hitch that couples to the kingpin of a 5th wheel trailer. Metal jaws or a locking bar secure the kingpin, and a pivoting head plate on the hitch provides the necessary movement to tow the trailer smoothly.
5th wheel hitches are available in weight capacities from 16,000 lbs. to 30,000 lbs. Their most common usage is towing RV trailers and large campers.
Gooseneck vs 5th wheel pros and cons
Gooseneck and 5th wheel hitches each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Comparatively, 5th wheel hitches generally offer smoother, quieter, more stable towing and are available in a range of weight capacities to suit a variety of trucks.
Pros of Gooseneck Hitch
1.Covers long distances hauling heavy loads.
A gooseneck trailer is what you need if you desire a transport conveyance that carries large and heavy cargo for long hauls, and with seamless balance. It’s also best for pulling a toy hauler with tool storage or living quarters. The stability gooseneck trailers offer users is practically second to none. They’re also less bumpy for motorized cargo, toys, and tools.
Gooseneck trailers are revered for their stability and excellent turning radius. This is clearly evident when backing the trailer into a tight spot or making sharp turns. Gooseneck trailers tend to turn slightly less sharply, giving you enough time to take any corrective action you desire before the trailer hits something. In addition, they are not susceptible to wind and never sway side to side, endangering other road users even when something compromises the control or stability of the vehicle towing it. The easier maneuverability and excellent pivot point cut down the time required to park the gooseneck trailer. This is another reason gooseneck trailers are preferred over their bumper-pull counterparts.
3.More towing capacity.
Gooseneck trailers are renowned for their bigger structures and higher towing capacities. In fact, the towing capacity of gooseneck trailers is perhaps the #1 factor that attracts most people. The first portion of a gooseneck trailer typically extends over the bed of a pickup. You can save floor space by placing shelves in the areas underneath the extension. A few users even set up makeshift sleeping quarters inside the area.
The higher towing capacity of the gooseneck trailer makes it possible for you to carry more—and heavier—equipment or gear. For example, if you’re going camping, you could carry an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a motorcycle to camp. If the gooseneck trailer is only for work-related purposes, you can haul more heavy-duty equipment or materials, saving you a lot of time and money. This is a game changer as gooseneck trailers have been proven to do the work of two bumper pull trailers easily. Therefore, instead of owning multiple bumper pull trailers, a gooseneck trailer can eliminate this need and help boost productivity at your workplace or business.
4.Harder to steal.
Stealing a gooseneck trailer is highly unlikely because using one requires at least a pickup. In fact, your pickup will need to be outfitted with a special adaptor that mounts to the pickup bed. Many people don’t have gooseneck attachments installed in their pickups, and those that do usually remove them when they’re not in use since they take up a lot of space. As a result, stealing your gooseneck trailer is practically impossible because no one can pull it off without the special adaptors securely in place.
Cons of Gooseneck Hitch
1.Some options could cost a lot.
We mentioned earlier that gooseneck trailers made with steel are relatively cost-effective. However, this doesn’t change the pricey tags associated with those constructed with aluminum. Even the actual hitching unit can be much costly to start with.
2.You’ll need a truck to use a gooseneck trailer.
A gooseneck trailer is practically useless if there’s no vehicle to tow it. So, if you’re scouring the market for a gooseneck trailer, it’s a no-brainer that you must own a vehicle capable of towing it to start with. If you don’t own a truck, you may have to rent one, which means more money out of your pocket.
Pros of 5th Wheel Hitch
- Smoother, more stable towing compared to gooseneck
- Variety of weight capacity options
- Sliding options for short-bed trucks
- Great for RVs, recreation
- Convertible to gooseneck
Cons of 5th Wheel Hitch
- Heavy assembly is difficult to move
- Relatively more expensive
- Permanent truck bed base rails
Advantages of a gooseneck hitch
Gooseneck hitches offer several advantages over 5th wheel hitches. First, they are far less invasive and bulky in the truck bed. Above the truck bed, a gooseneck hitch consists merely of a gooseneck ball and safety chain anchors. Many models also feature a removable or folding ball that is comparatively lightweight and easy to operate. The coupling mechanism of a gooseneck hitch is very simple and uncomplicated, offering a solid connection for heavy-duty farm trailers, flatbeds and more.
Advantages of a 5th wheel hitch
While a 5th wheel hitch may consist of more components and an overall bulkier and heavier design, this type of hitch is selected for recreational use for a reason. With a more intricate design, a 5th wheel provides generally smoother, quieter and more stable towing compared to a gooseneck hitch. This makes it ideal for RVs, campers and travel trailers. 5th wheel hitches also come in a wider variety of weight capacity options, as well as slider options. 5th wheel sliders / rollers are designed to allow short-bed trucks to tow without obstruction when turning.
Which is better fifth wheel or gooseneck?
A fifth wheel hitch is better for recreational towing, and a gooseneck hitch is better for farming and commercial towing. Fifth wheel hitches provide a smoother and more stable ride, while gooseneck hitches are preferred for their minimally invasive design. Fifth wheel hitches are more difficult to move in and out of the truck bed. They are also relatively more expensive. Gooseneck hitches, however, can be noisier.
When deciding between a fifth wheel hitch and gooseneck hitch, begin by considering which type of trailer you will be towing and what your priorities are based on the pros and cons of each hitch type.
So far, we’ve thrown light on a gooseneck hitch’s different benefits and drawbacks. Which of these are deal breakers for you, and which are you willing to overlook? Ultimately, your final choice will come down to certain factors, such as what you intend to use this truck trailer for, among others.