How to Choose the Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for You

Before dragging a fifth wheel trailer at the back of your truck, you need to ensure that there are no items and utilities on the bed. This is because you will need the space in the middle of the bed for your fifth wheel hitch. Plus, you will want to ensure that the trailer is mounted at all times because removing one can be quite tedious.

Using the fifth wheel requires that your truck is dedicated to hauling it, and clutter can make doing this difficult. Once you have dealt with this, you can then dive into the selection process of finding the best fifth wheel hitch. However, keep the few considerations below in mind, and choosing a hitch by yourself will be even easier!

Look at the Pivoting System

While driving with a fifth wheel hitch gives you peace of mind, it doesn’t guarantee that your trailer will not be rocked as you pass a bumpy road. To prevent irregular trailer movements, it’s critical that the hitch you install features a pivot system. The pivoting system used by a hitch indicates its flexibility as you drive.

Hitches with two-pivot systems will allow your trailer to move forward. In practical use, you will be able to drag the trailer on any straight and hilly roads. However, two-pivot hitches do not offer swiveling action; so, you need to be careful whenever you’re driving on bumpy trails.

Four-pivot system hitches provide you with maximum flexibility, no matter the trail you are on. These systems allow the trailer to move sideward, giving you confidence as you drive over uneven terrain. The four-pivot system is especially beneficial when driving over mountainous terrains for that weekend camping getaway.

Consider Hitch Mounting Style

It is also critical that you consider the hitch mounting style. This essential factor ensures that you achieve a solid and seamless connection between the trailer and your truck. Most modern fifth wheel hitches utilize rail systems as a mounting platform.

You may still find some models that are designed to be installed below the truck’s bed. In addition, some of the customized mounting systems come with their own custom brackets. While the latter provides a clean installation and setup, they will require some amount of work put in before installation.

For now, you can comfortably choose fifth wheel hitches with universal rails that can be installed to any trailer. These hitches are the standard for making tough connections. Furthermore, they are not difficult to assemble, making them the most user-friendly options available.

Consider Hitch Towing Capacity

Fifth wheel hitches are rated based on their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), also known as Gross Trailer Weight (GTW). The rating is simply the trailer’s overall weight that a hitch can comfortably carry.

Tongue weight is the measurement that is about 10 percent for the gross trailer weight. In case the tongue weight is overly small, your trailer is likely to sway.

If a particular hitch indicates that it has a 24k capacity, it means that it is capable of carrying a trailer of up to 24,000 pounds. As you would expect, the higher the weight rating, the more expensive a hitch will be.

Inspect Coupler Locking Method

Your hitch’s most critical component is the coupler and how it locks together with your trailer’s kingpin. There are several methods of locking the coupler to the king pin, as well as many locking mechanism styles. Always ensure that the jaws of the coupler are secure around the kingpin to prevent the jaws from opening while towing.

If your trailer is more than 25,000 pounds, choose a hitch that features a single jaw design. A double jaw mechanism wraps around the kingpin, lessening movement and noise while driving. On the other hand, a double jaw hitch might not be the best choice when hauling extremely heavy trailers.

Final Word

The best fifth wheel hitch will ensure that the time you spend on the road is safe and smooth. This mechanical component is a vital amenity that you should consider before towing a large trailer with a heavy load.

Jim Thompson