How To Choose The Right 5th Wheel

Written by hitchweb Team
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 — 14 Comments

With all the 5th wheel hitches out there, it's difficult to know how 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 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 hitch brands are Reese, B&W Turnover Ball, Pullrite Towing Systems, Valley Towing, and Curt Manufacturing.

Fifth Wheel Hitch Brands

 

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

Comments


Hitchweb Team
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Hello Kate, Before we can assist you with your question we need to know some more information. Are you able to confirm what the gross towing weight of the trailer is? Also, are you able to confirm what type of fifth wheel was installed on that vehicle before? Thank you
kate
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Hi, I recently just purchased a 26ft Starcraft Shimera 5th wheel. I need to mount it to my 08 dodge 1500 mega cab with 6.5ft bed. what would you recommend that i use? All the different hitches available are confusing me on which one i need to safely pull this trailer. I also have holes in my bed of my truck that i hope to reuse for this(previous owner have 5th wheel hitch) so i don't have to re drill new holes. Thanks!
Hitchweb Team
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Hello Adam, In order to determine the correct fifth wheel, we need to know a few more things: 1) Do you have anything in the bed of your truck? 2) What is the Gross Weight Rating of your trailer? 3) Do you want the rails to install in the bed of your truck, or under? 4) Do you have a specific brand in mind? Once we hear back from you we can provide a full set up, but for now, here is a link to view all fifth wheel hitches for long box pickup trucks: https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-1-1/For-Long-Box-Pickups
Adam
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Hitchweb team Based on the Chevy specs, I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado HD 2500 Duramax 6.6L Long Bed. The Axle ratio is 3.3, the GCWR is 24,500. My question would be what is the best option for me? I plan to install on my own. Thank you
Hitchweb Team
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Hello BillyBoy The height of the bed off the ground isn't a big concern, but since you have a short box, a slider system is recommended. Please visit this URL to view our short box fifth wheel hitches, or call our team for assistance: https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-1-2/For-Short-Box-Pickups
Billyboy
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Hi I don't have a trailer yet, but I want to get the hitch first. I have a f-250 SD. Do I need to be concerned on the height of the bed off the ground. I need s slider what would you recommend. It's about a 6'10" bed
Hitchweb Team
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hello Mr. Ward Before we can provide a correct fifth wheel, can you confirm what size bed you have on that vehicle? If you have a flat deck, your options are: Part #GNRK1500 B&W Turnover Ball Gooseneck Flat Deck, link below https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-B-1-B/Under-Bed-Gooseneck-Hitches Or part #BFW0001 Binkley Mini Fifth Wheel, link below https://www.hitchweb.com/product/88/BFW0001/Binkley-Mini-Fifth-Wheel If you do not have a flat deck, please contact our team with your bed size so we can provide you with more options. For short box options see https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-1-2/For-Short-Box-Pickups For long box options see https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-1-1/For-Long-Box-Pickups
George Ward
Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Hello, my name is George Ward. I own G E Ward Contracting Ltd. I recent just purchased a 2016 Ford F 350 Dually Lariat Ultimate with the 6,7L turbo diesel. I am just about to purchase another 3 axle, dump trailer for my topsoil deliveries. I would like to purchase a 30K hitch for my truck. Can anyone suggest whether or not I should install a 5th wheel hitch or goose neck hitch. I appreciate all feedback. Thank You for your time. George Ward G.E.Ward Contracting Ltd georgewardcontracting@hotmail.com
Hitchweb Team
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Hello Rick, We can recommend the Curt 16K E5 5th Wheel that includes the rails part #16116. This is a 16,000 lbs. hitch that mounts in the bed of your truck. The rails are "above bed" rails, not below. https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-1-2/For-Short-Box-Pickups As you did not specify the size of your Ford Super Duty, we have included a link to the custom bracket kit for a Ford F150 / F250 SD part #16441 https://www.hitchweb.com/category/HD-A-2-2B/Fully-Custom-Install-Kits This is everything you would need to complete your set up.
Rick
Monday, November 2, 2015
2010 ford Superduty diesel,4 door, short bed, 4x4, 6.4 liter.Want to pull12960 lb. 5th.Nothing in bed,clean.Will be close to 15300lbs. when done. Want to know your recommendation on the whole thing! 5th wheel,plates ,brackets, etc thanks
Hitchweb Team
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Unfortunately we do not have a 5th Wheel for a 5 Foot Bed.

Hitchweb Team
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hello Paul,

Before we can help you, we need some more information:
1) Do you already have a 5th Wheel
2) Do you have rails? If so, are they factory or aftermarket? If they are aftermarket, what brand / bolt pattern are they?
3) What capacity are you looking for?

Thank you

Paul
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I have a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with 6ft.,4inch box .

Anonymous
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I have a 2015 eco diesel with a 5 foot box. is it going to be a problem getting my fifth wheel installed in the smaller box. my loaded trailer will be approx. 6500 lbs

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