So, you’ve got a brand-new, beautiful Ram 2500 parked in your driveway, capable of towing whatever your heart desires. You might think the next step is to go out there and grab a trailer then hit the open road, but we’re here to say slow down cowboy—you need a proper trailer hitch. That means deciding between a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch, but which one is right for your situation? Let the crew at Great West Chrysler break down the differences between the two, and which one is best for your towing needs.
What is a Fifth-Wheel or Gooseneck Towing Hitch?
A gooseneck towing hitch is a ball mount that is welded (or rail mounted) into the bed of your truck, whereas a fifth-wheel towing hitch is comprised of a hitch plate, and a downward-facing pin called a king pin and pin receiver (with no ball mount). They are, visually, as different as can be, while still being towing hitches. But they are very similar in the sense that: they are both used in pickups, and they are both attached to the frame of the truck. While receiver hitches can attach quickly to the frame of a vehicle by the bumper, they can’t handle the same size of load as a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch. No matter what you’re towing, or which hitch you choose, you’ll need to be driving a 2500 or up, as a light-duty truck like the Ram 1500 just won’t have enough power for the large weight you’ll find yourself towing with one of these hitches.
Which Tow Hitch Is Right For You?
One factor in deciding between a fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitch is cost. Fifth-wheel trailers tend to be more expensive than a gooseneck, while changing your truck’s payload slightly. A gooseneck hitch is usually less expensive and less intrusive. Gooseneck hitches can be hidden, or adjusted in such a way that they take up less space when not in use—freeing up more of your truck’s bed for when you are hauling cargo.
It’s very important for you to be aware of the weight of what you’re towing, before deciding on a trailer hitch. Despite their greater cost, fifth-wheel hitches generally can’t handle as heavy a trailer as a gooseneck. That doesn’t always mean the gooseneck is the best option, since some trailers are only compatible with certain trailer hitches. And while there are adapters available, we generally don’t recommend them as they aren’t quite as sturdy (and can even void the warranty of your hitch). Of course, any time you are towing it’s of the utmost importance that you’re aware of the towing limits for both your truck and your hitch. This means that before you buy a hitch, you need to know your truck’s capability as well as what you’ll be towing.
These are just a few of the factors that will determine whether you should get a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch for your truck. For any further questions or clarity, to check out our selection of towing hitches, or to learn how to connect your trailer to your hitch, come visit us at Edmonton’s Great West Chrysler, the premier destination for Chrysler, Jeep, or Dodge vehicles and, most importantly, Ram trucks.