How To Choose The Right 5th Wheel

Written by hitchweb Team
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 — No Comments Yet

With all the 5th wheel hitches out there, it's difficult to choose the right 5th wheel hitch. Much of it has to do with the design, brand, and cost. Lets look at the main features that distinguish one 5th wheel hitch from another.

Capacity is the most important feature. You need to know how much your loaded 5th wheel trailer weighs in order to get you looking at the right selection of hitches.

Mounting Style. All 5th wheel hitches use a rail system but some of them mount under the bed of the box. Some hitches can be application sensitive using custom brackets to the make the installation cleaner, but the most common mounting style is the universal style.

Single Pivot vs. Double Pivot. The 5th wheel head takes much of the impact of bumps & road irregulations when you're not driving your 5th wheel trailer down the road. To absorb the imact of this movement, all 5th wheel hitches have a degree of front to back pivot movement, some also have side to side movement.

Slider vs Crossbed. When buying a 5th wheel hitches for long box trucks you don't have to worry about this point. Two different rail configurations work with the size of your pickup truck box to reduce the the possibility of damaging your truck cab or box. A slider is a rail designed to install 5th wheel hitches for short box trucks (beds 6.5ft or shorter) which allows the hitch to slide back from its mounting position. When the trailer is turning it has enough clearance between itself and the back window of the pickup truck cab. The image below shows how this works:

Fifthwheel Slider Image

 

5th wheel hitch brands:  The top 5th wheel makers are Cequent Towing (Reese), B&W Turnover Ball, Pullrite Towing Systems, Valley Towing, and Curt Manufacturing.

 

Now that you have learned how to differentiate between the different styles and types, go ahead and choose the 5th wheel hitch that's right for you.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need help choosing a 5th wheel please call 800-300-4067.

Posted in Towing 101

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