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If you need to hitch a camper to your trailer or van and are not sure of how to make sure your vehicle is fully equipped to perform the function, this article is just what you need.
We will look at the various kinds of fifth wheel hitches, their characteristics, and their benefits.
Moreover, the article will also review the best fifth wheel hitches from the market. Use this article as your buying guide in order to make the best long-term choice.
Comparison Chart of the Best 5th Wheel Hitches
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Characteristics of Our Favorite Hitches
For rugged and carefree towing and carrying, fifth wheel hitches are a necessity. They are heavy-duty options that ensure smooth and easy towing. These surely make the most appropriate option when it comes to either heavy or light towing.
They are packed with beneficial features such as the kingpin that balances weight equally and their strong, sturdy build which ensures durability. Here are some important and distinctive features of a fifth wheel hitch that makes it the best.
The kingpin is by far the most prominent and best feature of fifth wheel hitches. The difference between these and traditional ball hitches is that a ball hitch concentrates unequal pressure at one single point. The kingpin instead uses plates that connect the towing vehicle and the tower, ensuring stability. This also reduces the need for extra equipment, like weight distributors.
Designed to Ensure Ease of Movement
Another great feature of the fifth wheel hitch is that it comes with a design to allow ease of movement. This means that you will not have to struggle with a heavy-duty tower and the towing vehicle. With an equal distribution of the weight, it also adds up to more freedom of mobility.
Strong and Sturdy Build
These come in a variety of options such as with single and dual jaws. Moreover, they are also built of strong and heavy-duty materials. In addition to this, they are also equipped with an efficient, horseshoe-shaped design that uses plates to connect and balance the towed vehicle. This adds overall sturdiness and security to your experience.
Review of the Best 5th Wheel Hitches
Now you know the basic benefits of having a fifth wheel hitch. Yet, to make a smart purchase and ensure you are investing in the right product out of such a wide range of diversity in the market, here are some detailed reviews. These include the top fifth wheel hitches from the market, divided into categories for your ease.
This fifth wheel hitch by B&W is our best overall hitch. It features a rail-free design like all the other extraordinary models by B&W. The rail-free design, along with the under-bed mounting system are its most distinctive features. This also means that you can utilize the bed of your truck for other purposes by removing or detaching the hitch conveniently.
Secondly, the model is a dual jaw type. The dual jaw design makes it extremely sturdy and powerful. Its jaws are made with cast iron. Other parts are made with strong and sturdy steel. This reliable design will ensure a long product life, as well as a secure and stable experience.
Moreover, it also comes with a carbon powder coating, which makes it resistant to corrosion. This means that you can take this absolutely anywhere in any weather and environmental conditions.
This is a very versatile hitch, as it also features a full motion pivot. This ensures stability, ease of maneuvering, and easy mobility. Other than this, it features three adjustable potions, a one-inch thick jaw, and an adjustable head.
To sum it up, this B&W model is the perfect choice for all purposes. It is durable, sturdy, allows stable performance with an adjustable head, and has an easy release design. It is also resistant to corrosion. The only thing that may be of inconvenience is the high price tag. However, if you invest in a high-quality hitch once, it will last you a long time.
B&W never disappoints when it comes to manufacturing and delivering the most reliable and well-performing fifth wheel hitches. Similarly, this is again another outperforming model.
The model features an easy-to-move head that allows easy side-to-side and back-to-front movement. It is a double-jawed hitch, which makes it extremely heavy-duty and powerful, making it ideally suitable for heavier items.
It does not include mounting trails, which makes it easier to assemble and install. And let's not forget the lightweight design that makes it even easier to install and carry. The double jaw design also ensures that no sound is produced while it is functioning and it works smoothly and seamlessly without interruptions.
The strong double jaw construction also allows the hitch to be much safer.
If you own a Ford truck, then undoubtedly, this is the one for you. It is compatible with all the latest models Ford models and will work efficiently with it.
If you have a good budget and are willing to invest a good amount in a fifth wheel hitch of this high quality, then go for it. It comes with exceptional features and functionalities and even has a lightweight build. Other than the price, we could not find anything wrong with this superb fifth wheel model by B&W.
Best for the Money:
Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch
Perhaps the biggest reason behind all the positive feedback for this Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch is its exceptional price tag. It comes with all the essential features to do the job just right, but at an affordable and relatively cheaper price tag. So, if you are on a budget and want a decent performing fifth wheel hitch, this is the one for you.
It features a four-way pivoting construction that makes maneuvering and mobility a piece of cake. Moreover, it is also extremely sturdy and stable with its strong build and head support.
The budget-friendly, high-quality product also comes with a capacity to pull about 20,000 pounds of weight, which is comparable to its higher-priced competitors. Moreover, it is also extremely easy to install. It comes with a detailed user manual, helpful for installation and it also weighs just 88 pounds! The lightweight construction and the four-way pivoting design ensure comfort and convenience.
With its lightweight build, it is also easy to uninstall with its easily removable pins. For further convenience, it comes with adjustable heights ranging from 13 to 17 inches. This ensures that it meets the needs of different customers, making it a versatile product.
This product is worry-free when it comes to a tight or limited budget. You no longer have to worry about finding the most efficient and well-performing hitch at a good price. It features all the essentials and gets the job done efficiently with its 20,000-pound capacity.
Best for Short Beds:
Andersen Hitches 3220
Have a truck with a short bed and can't find the right size hitch? Then this one is for you!
The Anderson 3220 Hitch is specifically designed to meet the needs of owners of smaller-sized trucks. However, this does not mean it is restricted to being used only with short beds. It is still as compatible with longer or standard-sized beds too.
It features a lightweight design that only weighs about 35 pounds. This makes it extremely easy to install and uninstall and is easy to assemble.
Moreover, it is a ball hitch construction. Its ball hitch is adjustable, which gives you more room to use, according to your need. It is also grease-free, which makes the product low maintenance and safe to use.
Simple to connect and disconnect, grease-free, lightweight, and one-person installation are features that make this Anderson hitch a good option. So, whether you have a small bed or even a larger one, this will work great.
If you have a small truck or a tight budget, yet are looking for a decent hitch, this is the right choice. It may not be as good as the higher end ones and may lack some features like pivoting head and double jaws, it still does the job perfectly fine.
Best from Reese:
Pro Series 15K Fifth Wheel Hitch
Going as far back as 1952, Reese has been one of the few leading manufacturers of hitches. They have maintained a reputation for their high-quality, dependable, and durable hitches. Similarly, this model by Reese is just as brilliant in performance and experience. They have a widely diverse product range that entertains a variety of needs of different customers. However, this particular model by Reese is our favorite for its outperforming design and functionality.
This features a wide stance, which ensures stability. It has a gross weight of about 15,000 pounds with a 3,750-pound tongue capacity. Moreover, it also has a four-way pivoting construction that further ensures its safety and smoothness in operation.
Buying a hitch from Reese has many advantages, one of which includes affordability. Even this product, equipped with higher-end features, comes at a rather affordable price tag. So, don't compromise on the quality of hitch you buy, and get one from Reese!
For added security and safety of use, this also features auto-latch, four-way pivoting head for balance and adjustable heights ranging from 13 to 17 inches.
Overall, for the price tag, this Reese model is the answer to most of your problems. Yes, with that weight, installation may be a tough one and will require some help. Besides that, the model is a brilliant masterpiece that features all the extraordinary features at a good price.
Best from CURT:
CURT Q20 5th Wheel Hitch, 20,000 lbs.
U.S.A.-based hitch manufacturer, CURT, is another market leader, setting high benchmarks with its exceptional heavy-duty hitches. If you are looking for a dependable and reliable brand, then look no further and get one from CURT.
The model features a capacity of up to 2,000 pounds! So, if you need a fifth wheel hitch for heavy towing, this may be appropriate for you. Other features include a spherical axial bearing. This feature allows exceptionally smooth movement from side to side. So, if you need to tow something in a rugged, hilly area, this will be a good option.
The best part about this strong and stable product is its dual jaw construction. It ensures a powerful grasp over the towed vehicle. It will also ensure security and safety, especially if you are towing in an uneven or unsafe area.
For a beginner or the one without much knowledge about hitches, this is again, the best choice. This is due to light indicators that tell you when it is ready to tow, uncouple, and couple.
This is an exceptional option from CURT that will last you a long time with a positive, stable, and secure towing experience. Take it absolutely anywhere worry-free with its strong, dual jaw construction and safe and secure features. Other than the heavy weight, this product is exceptional.
Best from B&W:
B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400
B&W and its high-quality products have made up the majority of this list. This indicates how dependable and remarkable products from B&W are. While its diversified product range will meet the requirements of most customers and we have selected the best model from their collection that outperforms every competitor on the market.
The B&W RVK3400 weighs about 150 pounds and has a capacity of up to 20,000 pounds. The most important feature is its dual jaw construction and its design that makes it suitable for smaller bed trucks as well.
It connects to trucks through a sliding hitch, which makes coupling and uncoupling easy. This feature also gives an extended clearance of 12 inches for sliding and moving back and forth. It also allows it to be used with smaller beds.
This is based on a no-rail system and only works with a turnover ball. It also features a pivoting head that moves smoothly in all directions. The dual jaw construction will allow a secure hold of the towed vehicle, ensuring safety.
Other than the high price tag that comes with this B&W product, this model is a great fifth wheel hitch. However, its 15-pound construction may require you to have extra help with installation.
Best from Husky:
Husky 31368 Gooseneck Hitch
Husky is a manufacturer of a whole range of electrical products, as well wide-ranging product line of hitches that cater to all customer needs. From their wide span of fifth wheel hitches and goosenecks, we had a tough time selecting a single best model. The Husky 31368 is an exceptional gooseneck hitch that can solve all your problems.
It weighs just about ten pounds, which means that it will be extremely easy to install and uninstall. It will be a piece of cake, even for just one person.
Furthermore, it is also very affordable, considering its high-quality functionality. It is an above-the-bed hitch that comes with an above average capacity of up to 25,000 pounds. So, if you are looking for a gooseneck, reliable, and well-manufactured item for heavy-duty towing, this might be the answer.
Its black, finished body also contains a powder coating that ensures protection from corrosion. This can be your best travel buddy in harsh weather conditions. Moreover, it also features a built-in safety chain attachment.
What further ensures its dependability is the manufacturer's warranty that comes with it, of up to five years.
Overall, this model from Husky will be easy on your pocket and will also provide you with a convenient and comfortable experience. However, customers have complained a lot about its assembly and the unfoldable hitch ball.
Why Would You Want a New 5th Wheel Hitch?
Considering the sum of money fifth wheel hitches require, many people wonder if they really do need to invest in one. Of course, there are several other alternatives in the market, such as a ball hitch. However, they are just not as efficient and good for long-term use. Here are some reasons that might interest you
Security and Safety
One of the biggest advantages of having a fifth wheel hitch is that it comes with a secure and safe design. It comes with the bed saver option, which ensures the vehicle being towed is secure, no matter what. In case of accidental falls or disconnection, the vehicle will remain safe.
It's Compatible With Any Trailer
If you use it with more than just one kind of trailer, then fifth wheel hitches are the best option for you. They are fully compatible with any kind of trailer and do not restrict your use at all. They are more of a heavy-duty hitch that goes well with heavy trailers. However, even for lighter trailers, these still make a good choice.
You can use the hitch for other purposes other than towing vans and trailers.
Lesser Weight Restrictions
Unlike other alternatives in the market, fifth wheel hitches do not restrict you based upon weight.
Types of 5th Wheel Hitches
To meet the varying needs of customers in the market, there are more than just one kind of fifth wheel hitches. Their core functions and benefits are the same. However, some minor differences in use are made to ensure a more apt and specific functionality. Here are some most commonly found types.
Slide Bar Jaw
This system is usually found in lower-cost hitches. These types of fifth wheel hitches are compatible with a maximum of 20,000 pounds of weight, which can be restrictive in some cases.
Double jaw fifth wheel hitches are extremely powerful and give you the benefit of not being restrictive on the basis of weight. They have a muscular design. It has two “jaws” to clasp the trailer strongly. These are also very safe and secure.
Single jaw fifth wheel hitches are less powerful than double jaw, yet they are still powerful enough for most uses. It uses a kingpin to tow a vehicle straightforward. It is appropriate for vehicles and vans that weigh up to 24,000 pounds.
2-Way Pivot Head
These types of hitches move back and forth by revolving on a two-way pivot. This is a good choice for easy movement and maneuvering, especially in more uneven places.
To sum it up, we can say that the final choice will depend on your personal preferences. These can be the usage, the capacity you want, the brand you want to rely on and also the budget. A powerful, double jawed hitch is always a good choice since it offers good capacity and has a stronghold. However, for smaller beds and lighter usage, you can choose something like a gooseneck hitch.
People Also Ask
If you are a beginner, you may have loads of unanswered questions regarding fifth wheel hitches. Therefore, we have answered a list of frequently asked questions. These will help you in making a better, more informed decision.
What is a 5th Wheel Hitch?
Fifth wheel hitches are large equipment installed in the bed of a truck. These have a design that uses plates to tow trailers and vans. The hitch attaches to the truck through metal rails beneath the hitch. These rails connect to the frame of the truck. They have heavy-duty hitches used to tow heavy-duty trailers, vans, trucks, etc.
How Does a 5th Wheel Hitch Work?
Fifth wheel hitches are an alternative to ball hitches in order to carry much heavier equipment. The attachment point of the hitch is placed in the bed of the truck, as it has a flat plate, horseshoe-like design that distributes weight equally. It connects to the trailer through the kingpin. The kingpin is a downward facing pin. The flat plate of the trailer and plate of the hitch are connected and constantly slide smoothly over one another as the truck is in motion.
Are 5th Wheel Hitches Interchangeable?
Most of these are interchangeable, however, this will vary from one model to another. If you buy a universal hitch kit, it will be interchangeable. A customized or personalized fifth wheel hitch cannot be interchangeable.
Are All Fifth Wheel Rails the Same?
Manufacturers make different kinds of fifth wheel rails. The most important difference that may occur from different manufacturers can be the dimensions. All rails do not have the same dimensions. However, you can easily find fifth wheel rails that have similar dimensions and that follow the standards of the industry.
Does a Fifth Wheel Hitch Increase Towing Capacity?
The vehicle you have will have a pre-set towing capacity. This towing capacity will be the final determinant of the weight you can tow with your vehicle, even if you add a fifth wheel hitch to it. Therefore, you should consider the capacity of your vehicle.