A gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer is a trailer that has an elevated bed that extends over the bed of a pickup truck where it is connected by a coupler. Both a gooseneck and a fifth wheel trailer will have a coupler that is mounted above the axle of the tow vehicle which is typical a pickup truck but can also be a flat bed truck as well.
Gooseneck trailers and fifth wheel trailers have the advantage over pull behind trailers in that they can carry more weight (typically between 10,000 and 30,000 pounds) and that they can be longer in length. At gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer can be up to 53 feet in length whereas a pull behind trailer is typically limited to up to 34 feet in length.
This means that if you are transporting more that 10,000 pounds you should consider a gooseneck or fifth wheel type trailer.
Gooseneck or fifth car haulers, also know as auto carriers or car trailers are ideal as the can carry more than one car due to their longer length. Some can carry up to three cars.
So, if you transport cars for a living then you should definitely consider a gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer.
While they look similar, a gooseneck trailer has a different coupler than a fifth wheel trailer. The gooseneck trailer has a standard 2 5/16” ball mounted on the bed of the tow vehicle while a fifth wheel trailer has a large horseshoe shaped coupling device which is typically mounted a foot or more over the bed of the tow vehicle.
So, with a gooseneck trailer the coupler is on the trailer and with a fifth wheel trailer the coupler is on the bed of the towing vehicle.
Gooseneck trailers tend to be more maneuverable than fifth wheel trailers because the coupling can tilt in all direction. The fifth wheel coupling is more designed for level roads because its side to side tilt is limited.
A pull behind trailer can usually have between 10% to 15% of its load on the hitch while a gooseneck or fifth wheel can handle between 20% - 25%.
If you need to tow both a gooseneck and a fifth wheel trailer there are adapters available that will allow you to use both. If your truck does not have a coupler, you may be better off with the fifth wheel hitch as it will provide better handling and a smoother ride. A fifth wheel trailer can easily be adapted to tow a gooseneck trailer.
If you plan on hauling much in the bed of your truck you may want to go with a gooseneck coupler as opposed to a fifth wheel because the gooseneck hitch will take less space in your box.
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