Fifth wheel RVs are a huge investment. And while certain things like floorplans, sleeping capacities, and luxury features are extremely important, fifth wheel hitches are equally, if not more, important.
A fifth wheel hitch is quite possibly the most important accessory you will need if you will be towing one of these large RVs. Afterall, it’s the main connection point between the rig and truck. It’s what keeps your fifth wheel safely connected to your truck while you’re traveling down the road.
Whether you’re cruising cross country with the family or just heading out to your favorite campground for the weekend, it is vital to make sure you have the correct hitch.
Choosing the best fifth wheel hitch is just as important as choosing the rig itself. The last thing you want is to damage your truck, your rig, or worse.
In this article we are going to take a closer look at 5 of the best fifth wheel hitches for heavy-duty towing. In addition, we are going to discuss the different types of fifth wheel hitches and a few things to consider before making a purchase.
Let’s jump in…
This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we may earn a commission on qualifying sales at no extra cost to you.
- Best Fifth Wheel Hitches At A Glance
- What Is A Fifth Wheel Hitch?
- Types Of Fifth Wheel Hitches
- Best Fifth Wheel Hitches
- Best Overall – B&W Companion OEM Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3770
- Best Runner-Up – Curt A25 Fifth Wheel Hitch (16180)
- Best OEM Puck Mount Fifth Wheel Hitch – B&W Companion 25K Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Best Budget Friendly – Curt E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch (16616)
- Best Gooseneck Adapter – Andersen Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Adapter (3220)
- What To Consider When Choosing A Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Final Thoughts
Best Fifth Wheel Hitches At A Glance
- Best Overall – B&W Companion OEM Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Best Runner-Up – Curt A25 Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Best OEM Puck Mount Fifth Wheel Hitch – B&W Companion 25K Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Best Budget Friendly – Curt E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch
- Best Gooseneck Adapter – Andersen Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Adapter
What Is A Fifth Wheel Hitch?
A fifth wheel hitch is a U-shaped hitch that mounts to the bed of a truck and is specifically designed to tow large fifth wheel trailers. They are essentially the much smaller version of what you would find on a semi.
These hitches are available in a variety of weight ratings and mounting configurations. Further, with the right fifth wheel hitch, you can count on a more stable and quieter towing connection than a standard ball-mount hitch for a travel trailer.
Types Of Fifth Wheel Hitches
Whether you’re a seasoned RVer or a beginner looking to dive into the RV community, understanding the different types of fifth wheel hitches is essential in making sure you have a safe and smooth towing experience.
1. Fixed Fifth Wheel Hitch
The fixed fifth wheel hitch is the most common and basic type of hitch available. As the name suggests, it is permanently installed in the bed of your truck.
However, there are many options available that are mounted on a rail system. The rails are permanently installed but the hitch is removable when you’re not using it to tow your fifth wheel.
This type of fifth wheel hitch offers excellent strength and stability, making it a popular choice among veteran RV owners.
2. Sliding Fifth Wheel Hitch
For those looking for increased maneuverability, especially when towing with a short bed truck, a sliding fifth wheel hitch is an excellent choice.
This type of hitch allows the trailer to slide backward as you make sharp turns, preventing it from hitting the cab of your truck.
In addition, a sliding fifth wheel hitch provides added flexibility without compromising on stability.
3. Gooseneck Hitch
If you already have a gooseneck hitch installed in your truck, a gooseneck adapter can be a cost-effective solution for towing your fifth wheel camper.
The adapter attaches to the gooseneck hitch and allows you to tow your rig.
In most cases, a gooseneck adapter may offer added convenience when coupling the fifth wheel, but it may lack the stability of a conventional fifth wheel hitch.
4. OEM Puck System Fifth Wheel Hitch
The OEM puck style fifth wheel hitch is gaining popularity due to its super-simple installation. These hitches utilize the built-in puck system that is included in many of today’s trucks.
This system consists of mounting points, or pucks, which are located in the bed of a truck, allowing for easy installation and removal of the hitch.
The puck system fifth wheel hitches offer excellent stability, easy installation, and a clean truck bed when the hitch isn’t being used.
Best Fifth Wheel Hitches
When it comes to choosing a fifth wheel hitch, you don’t want to skimp. You want to find a hitch that is not only high-quality, but also has a weight rating sufficient for your towing needs.
Best Overall – B&W Companion OEM Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch RVK3770
B&W Hitches are some of the best fifth wheel hitches on the market which is why the Companion Slider made the top of our list.
The RVK3770 is designed to mount easily into the truck bed using the factory fifth wheel towing package, or “puck” system. In addition, this heavy-duty fifth wheel hitch has a towing capacity of 20,000 lbs. with a vertical load rating of 5,000 pounds.
The fully articulating head pivots side-to-side and front-to-back which helps prevent binding. Plus, the 1” thick, dual jaws provide a full 360-degree contact with the kingpin. This helps prevent “chucking” when starting and stopping. Plus, the polyurethane bushings where the head mounts make a smoother, quieter towing experience.
The slider mechanism on this fifth wheel hitch slides forward and backward 12 full inches and is ideal for short bed trucks. When the hitch slides back, it gives the extra clearance needed for negotiating tight turns at the campground.
While this fifth wheel hitch is designed to be removable, at close to 200 pounds, it’s not a one-person job. The head of the hitch can be removed which will lighten the load, but I would still recommend getting help to remove the base.
- Made In The USA
- Adjustable Hitch Height
- Cam-Action Locking Handle
Best Runner-Up – Curt A25 Fifth Wheel Hitch
The Curt A25 fifth wheel hitch mounts to any industry-standard fifth wheel railing system. The articulating head is mounted on a cast yoke and features poly-torsion inserts that help reduce chucking and noise when starting and stopping.
With a gross trailer weight rating of 25,000 pounds and a vertical load limit of 6,250 pounds, the Curt A25 fifth wheel hitch is a solid choice for towing larger RVs.
The ergonomic, self-resetting handle makes coupling and uncoupling your fifth wheel a breeze. In addition, the 3-position indicator lets you know when the hitch is coupled, uncoupled, or ready to tow.
Since this fifth wheel hitch mounts to a rail system, it is ideal for long bed trucks and at 127 pounds, you might get away with maneuvering it with one person.
The only major downside to this hitch is the rail mounting system is sold separately. However, if you already have a rail system mounted in your truck, you won’t have spend the money on new rails.
- One-Pin Head Removal
- High-Strength Fully Interlocking Jaws
- Cast Steel Main Body
- Mounting Rails Sold Separately
Best OEM Puck Mount Fifth Wheel Hitch – B&W Companion 25K Fifth Wheel Hitch
When B&W set out to make this fifth wheel hitch, they wanted to make it durable, easy-to-use, and safe.
The Companion 25K is one of the easiest fifth wheel hitches to install thanks to the OEM puck mounting system.
If you have a factory installed fifth wheel prep package is simple as placing the base in the four holes, giving a quarter-turn on the mounting latches, and securing the handles with a pin. For the coupler, place it on the upright arms and pin it in place.
For durability, the Companion features a UV-resistant powder coat paint that will last for years. In addition, the steel used to make this fifth wheel hitch comes straight from the mills in America’s Heartland.
B&W also stands behind their products by offering a limited lifetime warranty to give you the peace of mind you need while you’re traveling with the family.
Other notable features of this OEM fifth wheel hitch are cam-assisted coupling handle, precision machined coupler jaws for a smooth ride, and built-in side-to-side shock absorbers.
The base also features multiple mounting holes for height and distance mounting options, and if you have a short bed truck, there is a slider option available.
Lastly, the Companion 25K fifth wheel hitch has a gross tow rating of 25,000 pounds and a vertical tow rating of 6,250 pounds. Plus, this hitch is available for all models of trucks.
- Adjustable Coupler
- Polyurethane Bushings
- Easy To Install/Remove
Best Budget Friendly – Curt E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch
The Curt E16 fifth wheel hitch is a great budget-friendly option that mounts in the bed of the truck using the rail system. This hitch is ideal for smaller RVs and long bed trucks. For short bed trucks, there is a sliding hitch option.
The coupler of this fifth wheel hitch features an anti-rattle skid plate and an auto-locking feature that makes hooking and unhooking easy and more secure.
This hitch also features a dual-pivoting head for smoother, more stable towing and a self-aligning head.
The overall tow rating for this hitch is 16,000 pounds with a vertical load limit of 4,000 pounds.
Coming in at around 100 pounds, this fifth wheel hitch can easily be installed or removed by one person. Overall, the Curt E16 is a solid choice for those with lightweight fifth wheel RVs.
The main drawback I found with this hitch is base the mounting brackets are sold separately.
- Budget Friendly
- Adjustable Height
- Anti-Rattle Skid Plate
- Mounting Brackets Sold Separately
Best Gooseneck Adapter – Andersen Gooseneck Trailer Hitch Adapter
This lightweight gooseneck adapter hitch is quite different than the fifth wheel hitches listed above. Instead of using a jaw-type connection, the Andersen hitch adapts the kingpin on your fifth wheel into a gooseneck type connection.
Weighing in at around 35 pounds, this fifth wheel hitch is one of the lightest on the market making it extremely easy to handle with one person.
The Andersen gooseneck fifth wheel adapter is rated for 24,000 pounds with a vertical weight rating of 4,500 pounds.
One of my favorite features of this hitch is the patented remote latch and unlatch cable which makes setting up at the campground a breeze.
Like the B&W fifth wheel hitches covered above, the Andersen hitches are made in the USA.
There are four mounting options available for this hitch including a flatbed version, a rail-mount version, a toolbox version, and the standard version.
If you are looking for an alternative to the standard fifth wheel hitches that are heavy and take up a lot of space, then the Andersen gooseneck adapter is worth a look.
- Made In The USA
- 3 Height Level Adjustments
- Lightweight Aluminum Construction
- May Void LCI/Lippert Warranty
What To Consider When Choosing A Fifth Wheel Hitch
Before choosing a fifth wheel hitch there are a few key considerations to keep in mind.
The first thing to be aware of before installing a fifth wheel hitch is making sure the truck you plan to use can actually handle the weight of a fifth wheel.
Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your truck is capable of towing, safely. In some cases, the towing capacity for certain trucks may be higher when using a gooseneck type hitch versus a kingpin style hitch.
The same weight consideration should be followed when choosing a fifth wheel hitch as well. Trailer hitches have a maximum load capacity which indicates what it is capable of towing.
Cargo carrying capacities, or payload, should also be factored in when deciding on a fifth wheel hitch. These hitches are heavy, and the weight needs to be applied to your truck’s overall cargo carrying capacity.
Weight Of Fifth Wheel Trailer
While all fifth wheel hitches are basically designed the same, not all have the same towing capacities and weight ratings.
You will want to make sure the fifth wheel hitch you choose is capable of handling the weight of your rig. It’s also a good idea to choose a hitch with a slightly higher weight rating than that of your RV. By doing so, you give yourself enough “room” for upgrades and improvements without needing to upgrade your hitch.
You can find the GVWR and the pin, or hitch weight of your fifth wheel by looking at the VIN sticker located near the front of the rig. In addition, you can also find these numbers in the owner’s manual.
Truck Bed Length
The length of your truck bed is another very important consideration when choosing the best fifth wheel hitch for your rig.
If you have a short-bed truck, under 8’ you will want to go with a sliding hitch over a fixed hitch. Long-bed trucks provide the clearance needed to maneuver tight turns without the trailer hitting the cab of the truck.
With a short-bed truck, you have a greater chance of causing damage when making tight turns to get into a campsite.
Choosing the right fifth wheel hitch is crucial to ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable towing experience.
No matter which type of fifth wheel hitch you choose, consider your towing needs as well as the capabilities of your truck. Each type of hitch has it’s own advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you take the time needed to do your research.
Don’t skimp when it comes to a fifth wheel hitch. It’s better to have a hitch that is rated well above the weight your rig in case you ever decide to upgrade to a larger fifth wheel. That decision could save you hundreds, or thousands of dollars later down the road.
David is a U.S. Air Force veteran who currently lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with his wonderful wife of 26 years and their two furry companions, Gus and LuLu.
As an outdoor and RV enthusiast, David loves to spend his free time taking road trips and spending as much time as possible at the campground with the family in their 2018 Dutchmen Kodiak 201QB travel trailer