Do They Make Gooseneck Campers? (5th Wheel vs Gooseneck)

The short answer is no, Gooseneck campers are not manufactured because gooseneck designs are not made for the purpose of camping and traveling, and most states won’t even allow them.

There are gooseneck hitches and trailers on the market though for people who want to tow heavy cargo such as agricultural trailers. To use most gooseneck trailers, you will need a special driver’s license as it is classified as commercial, and it is illegal to tow on federal and state highways. 

Do They Make Gooseneck Campers? (Fifth Wheel vs Gooseneck)

There is some flexibility though because there are adapters that you can use to give you the option of using one type of trailer with a different type of hitch.

Before you make any decisions, let’s get into what a gooseneck and fifth wheel hitch is and how that translates to your towing needs. 

What is a Gooseneck Hitch?

Gooseneck hitches and trailers are heavyweight contenders and can pull up to 30,000 pounds. The gooseneck hitch consists of a ball and coupler to connect a fifth wheel trailer.

Gooseneck hitches can handle more payload capacity and weight than a standard bumper-pull trailer. Using a gooseneck hitch also gives you a tighter turning radius because of its ball mechanism, it also makes it easier to reverse a trailer over tricky terrain.

Having these abilities is what makes the gooseneck hitch popular for professionals who frequently have to tow heavy trailers.

However, as well as a special driving license, the truck with which you use the gooseneck hitch must have the robust payload capacity needed for the job, otherwise, it can cause a lot of damage to all equipment involved as well as put other cars on the road at risk. 

There are three types of gooseneck hitches that you can get, above the bed, below the bed, and fold down. An above the bed gooseneck hitch looks like a fifth wheel hitch and behaves like one too.

It’s easy to install and to hitch and unhitch trailers. This style of gooseneck hitch is versatile and accepts fifth wheel balls.

The most common way that gooseneck hitches are installed is below the bed of the truck. This is a popular method because it is easy to take it on and off and leaves flexibility for customization.

Finally, there is fold down which is also popular and is like the below bed design but can have the ball folded away under the truck bed but requires you to drill a big hole through the truck bed. 

When installing a gooseneck hitch, it is best for the professionals to do it because they will have all of the specific tools and the experience to make sure that the job is done right.

Despite this, because the gooseneck hitch is as straightforward as it is you can install it at home if you are confident in your abilities. 

Adapters let you use both gooseneck hitches and fifth wheel hitches without having to make major changes to the truck.

To use a gooseneck hitch to pull a fifth wheel trailer, you will need a certain type of adapter and possibly some other components, but this depends on your individual situation and needs. 

Some adapters that you can get for this purpose use the ball hole on the gooseneck hitch which lets you attach a fifth wheel trailer without having to do any further modifications.

Other adapters that you can use attach to the fifth wheel trailer that lets you connect directly to the gooseneck hitch ball and coupler.

It is important that before you go down the route of using an adapter that you make sure you know the capabilities of your truck and fifth wheel trailer because using a gooseneck hitch can be hard on a fifth wheel frame and check your warranty before you buy to ensure you will remain covered if you add an adapter. 

In most cases, using an adapter to tow a fifth wheel trailer with a gooseneck hitch is done in order to solve short-term problems as it may cause strain to both the truck and the trailer which can result in structural issues. 

What is a Fifth Wheel Hitch?

A fifth wheel hitch is installed onto the frame of a pickup truck’s bed directly and uses a kingpin on the nose cap that locks into the receiver hitch of the pickup.

To make it extra secure, it is then locked in with an internal clamping device. This hitch is used a lot more recreationally than a gooseneck hitch and is used to tow fifth wheel trailers as well as lightweight trailers such as hay wagons. 

Unlike the gooseneck hitch, the fifth wheel hitch attaches onto the truck bed with either brackets or rails.

When the fifth wheel hitch is removed, the rails stay there which can make it hard to slide cargo along the truck bed or to lay things flat and can be a prevalent deciding factor when choosing between gooseneck hitches and fifth wheel hitches.

Fortunately, fifth wheel hitches usually come with the fifth wheel trailer that you purchase and will be suited to the specific needs of each trailer. To install the hitch, you can get the help of a professional or do it yourself at home if you have all of the required equipment. 

Even though it takes up more space in the truck bed when installed, there are many advantages that come with a fifth wheel hitch, one of which is due to the secure connection between the kingpin and the fifth wheel hitch that is firmly fastened to the structural frame of the truck’s bed.

This makes for better weight displacement and a smoother towing experience for the trailer and the truck. To prevent friction issues, the plate on which the trailer rests need to be greased. 

If you have a fifth wheel hitch installed onto your truck, you are still able to use a gooseneck trailer – with the help of an adapter. You can use an adapter for a gooseneck hitch that is above the bed or an adapter that fits onto the trailer. 

Keep in mind though that not all gooseneck adapters are intended for permanent use and some can limit the movement in the contact point and can result in a bumpier ride which places stress on the hitch and the trailer. 

Many people stick with a fifth wheel hitch because they are used recreationally to tow RVs and do a good job at it.

You can also get fifth wheel hitches in different towing capacities so that you can get the perfect hitch for your needs, as well as this, you know that you have the right parts because the fifth wheel trailers are made specifically for fifth wheel hitches. 

Comparing the Gooseneck Hitch and the Fifth Wheel Hitch

Comparing the Gooseneck Hitch and the Fifth Wheel Hitch

If we put the gooseneck and the fifth wheel head to head we can look at each of their advantages and disadvantages to come up with a clear view of how they differ and what might be the better option for you. 

Let’s begin with the gooseneck and the fact that it can tow a lot more weight than the fifth wheel can. The gooseneck can haul up to 30,000 pounds whereas a fifth wheel has a maximum hauling capacity of around 24,000 pounds.

Another advantage that the gooseneck has over the fifth wheel is that it has three different types of hitch that you can choose from depending on your preferences but the fifth wheel only has one type which makes it less versatile than the gooseneck. 

Another advantage that a gooseneck has over the fifth wheel is that it takes up a lot less room and can even be rotated to leave the truck bed completely smooth depending on what type of gooseneck you get.

As mentioned earlier, the fifth wheel is more intrusive and leaves rails behind that makes storing things in the truck bed trickier.

The coupling mechanism of the gooseneck is also straightforward to use and makes for a solid choice for those who tow heavy-duty trailers on the regular. One other advantage that the gooseneck hitch has is that it is more affordable than a fifth wheel hitch. 

There are advantages with the fifth wheel hitch as well though and it is not a common hitch for no reason. Even though this hitch is compromises of more components and is overall bulkier than the gooseneck, its clever design makes for a quieter, smoother, and more stable towing experience compared to the gooseneck hitch. 

This is what makes it a better choice over the two hitches for towing campers and RVs. You can also get the fifth wheel hitch in a variety of different weight capacities and has sliding options for trucks with shorted beds.

The fifth wheel hitch doesn’t need security chains like a gooseneck hitch does to keep it secure, this is an advantage because you have peace of mind that the hitch is secure as it is and the chains can get in the way of storying things in the truck bed but it is not usually an issue.

Additionally, even though the rails from the fifth wheel hitch are permanent in the truck bed, you do not have to drill a hole all the way through the truck bed like you would have to if you were to install a traditional gooseneck hitch.

Using a fifth wheel hitch or trailer does not require you to have a special driving license like a gooseneck does which cuts out a lot of time and money that would be spent on getting one. 

The fifth wheel and the gooseneck are two of the most popular hitches and have different strengths and weaknesses to each other but the similarities that they share may have a bit part in this as well.

For instance, they both require you to physically modify your truck bed so that they can be installed into the truck’s frame. These fixtures are permanent and cannot be removed between uses which can be a positive or a negative, depending on the individual. 

To install either the fifth wheel or the gooseneck, you need a truck with a sizable truck bed that can accommodate the fixtures.

Any other vehicle cannot be substituted as the flat, large space of a truck bed is essential for the hitches to perform properly. They both also need to be placed at the exact same place on the truck bed above the rear axle which is the most stable part of the truck. 

They are both relatively easy to connect and only need you to reverse the truck underneath the trailer.

Both hitches allow for good movement with turning and reversing due to the smooth sliding of the ball hitch in the gooseneck and the fifth wheel’s swiveling capabilities. 

Conclusion

Both hitches carry out their purpose very well and are popular hitch choices for a reason.

If you use them for the appropriate tasks, they will not let you down but to make sure you go with the right choice you need to think about what you will be using it for and what you are willing to do in order to get the desired attachment such as drilling holes through your truck bed and buying adapters. 

If you are a professional and work in the agricultural section, you will likely be towing various heavy attachments regularly, this would make a gooseneck hitch the better option for you. Goosenecks can carry a lot of weight and it is easy to switch between trailers on the go. 

However, gooseneck hitches are not the fix-all and do have limitations to them such as needing adapters to attach to specialized hookups. 

fifth wheel hitches are a common hitch to go for because they are made to tow fifth wheel trailers which are common for recreation and is not as isolated as the gooseneck is with commercial users.

 The fifth wheel hitch and a fifth wheel trailer are made for each other which means that you do not have to worry about getting adapters or any other attachments for it to work to the best of its ability. 

There is no special driver’s license needed for this hitch either, making it a lot more accessible. If you do not mind the lower towing capabilities and the fact that it takes up more room in your truck bed then it is a very viable choice.

Additionally, if you are not looking to tow various heavy attachments for professional use, you will be better off going with a fifth wheel hitch. 

With either hitch you choose, it is worth doing the research and the brainstorming to determine which one would suit you best because the remnants that the hitches leave when you install them such as holes and rails will leave permanent modifications to your truck bed, so which one is worth it? 

Remember, if you cannot possibly pick between the both of them then you can get the best of both worlds by diving into the world of hitch adapters, it is a valid choice to make if you are only using it short-term and know what adapter is compatible with your hitch and trailer. 

Madeline Cooper
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