Written By Heather Fishel
Published Oct. 14, 2021

A fifth wheel trailer holds a whole lot of fun, but there’s a bit of a catch. In order to take your fifth wheel to awesome outdoor destinations, you’ve got to tow it – and you’ve got to properly hook it up to your vehicle in order to do that. For safe, secure towing, you’re going to need a fifth wheel hitch, a device that’ll support the weight of your trailer, meet your trailer’s height, and work reliably whenever you’re ready to hit the road. And you can’t just any old trailer hitch to tow your fifth wheel. You’ve got to get a hitch made for this specific kind of camper, one that offers the right U-shaped coupling mechanism. How can you find a quality hitch? Well, we’ve done the work for you, and you can check out some of the best fifth wheel hitches right here.

Best Fifth Wheel Hitch Reviews & Recommendations

The B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch is one well-built, high-quality product, and it’s one that performs in a trustworthy manner every time you hook up your fifth wheel. This hitch is engineered for smooth towing and easy hookups, with a fully articulating head that allows you to pivot front to back and side to side. Installing and removing your trailer is easy, and the hitch supports 20,000 pounds of gross trailer weight and is rated for 5,000 pounds of vertical tongue weight. You’ll be able to make three vertical adjustments from 16.25 to 18.25 inches, with three coupler positions available. Plus, it’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

With this fifth wheel hitch, you’ll find it easy to maneuver, enjoy sturdy towing, and have great reliability. The installation instructions are easy, and noise is minimal while you move. But do keep in mind that it’s very heavy – its high-quality materials really weigh it down.

Specs
  • Fully articulating head
  • Front to back, side to side pivoting
  • Cam action latching handle for easy release
  • Polyurethane bushings
  • Offers three vertical adjustments
  • Rated for 20,000 pounds gross trailer weight and 5,000 pounds vertical tongue weight
PROS

Smooth and quiet on the road

Fully articulating design makes movements easy

Adjustability works for multiple trailer heights

CONS

Very heavy hitch

With the Curt 16115 E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch, you won’t spend a ton – but you will get some seriously impressive value for your investment. This hitch offers plenty of versatility and compatibility, all for a price that won’t break the bank. Install this hitch onto your vehicle, and you’ll get just the right amount of movement thanks to the dual-pivoting head that offers 10 degrees of lateral movement for smooth towing. At the coupling point, an anti-rattle skid plate helps reduce vibrations and noise. And to increase your fifth wheel’s security while you’re towing, the coupler features an automatic lock. Plus, no matter what kind of base rails you’re using, this fifth wheel hitch will work with them thanks to its industry-standard legs.

Although this hitch is meant to be compatible with all rails, you might experience a bit of difficulty getting the legs into your rails. It may take some force or a few modifications to get perfect. And despite its design features meant to reduce noise, you may still experience some road sounds.

Specs
  • Dual-pivoting head with 10 degrees of lateral movement
  • Automatic lock
  • Anti-rattle skid plate
  • Rated for 16,000 pounds gross trailer weight and 4,000 pounds vertical load
  • Includes standard legs compatible with any fifth wheel base rails
PROS

Dual-pivoting head and four height adjustment positions offer easy compatibility

Automatic locking mechanism enhances coupling security

Can be operated single-handedly

CONS

May not fit easily into all rails

May require force or modification for certain rails

Can still lead to road noise

Whether you’re hoping to make towing along winding roads easier or simply want a top-tier hitch, the Pulliam Enterprises Superglide Fifth Wheel Hitch is a great option. This hitch will help you handle curves, turns, and changes to your direction almost effortlessly thanks to its fully automatic slide function. Your fifth wheel will have up to 14 inches of slide, meaning there’s no need to throw levers before and after turns like you would with a manual hitch. Rated for 20,000 pounds, this hitch stands 18.5 inches to the top of the hitch plate. And for added security when you’re towing, it features a locking jaw that automatically closes around the king pin.

To take advantage of the “super glide” and the sliding cam on this fifth wheel hitch, you will need a capture plate — so keep that in mind when buying. Installation can be a little tricky in some cases, particularly when it comes to the large bolts used for the mounting brackets. You’ll need a lot of torque to get those tight.

Specs
  • Hitch sits 18.5 inches to top of hitch plate
  • Offers 14 inches of slide
  • Automatic locking jaw
  • Rated for 20,000 pounds gross trailer weight
PROS

Made with heavy, high-quality components

Fully automatic slide makes turns easier

Automatic locking jaw adds security

CONS

Will need a capture plate for the sliding cam to work

Installation can be tricky

Will need a lot of force for the mounting bracket bolts

Best for Light Fifth Wheels

Not all fifth wheels require ultra-heavy-duty hitches — and if your fifth wheel weighs 18,000 pounds or less, the Reese Elite Fifth Wheel Hitch is a fantastic option. This hitch will work with plenty of trucks too, as long as your bed is 6 feet or longer. It’s meant to make towing both safer and more stable, with a wider footprint to enhance stability and fifth wheel balance. With a pin weight capacity of 4,500 pounds and the ability to adjust 14 to 18 inches vertically and 4 inches side-to-side, you’ll have all the flexibility of movement you need. The stamped, rounded head offers four-way pivoting, and there’s a lockable extended length handle to reduce slop. Plus, this hitch arrives pre-assembled so you’ll save time and effort in the installation process.

Just keep in mind that this hitch won’t work with truck beds under 6 feet long or with flare sides and side steps. And while it’s quite sturdy, you may want to add a vinyl plate to keep towing smooth on every road.

Specs
  • Works with truck beds 6 feet or longer
  • Arrives pre-assembled
  • Four-way head pivot
  • 14- to 18-inch vertical adjustment
  • 4-inch side-to-side adjustment
  • Rated for 18,000 pounds gross trailer weight and 4,500 pounds pin weight
PROS

Pre-assembled design makes installation far easier

Moves vertically and side to side for smooth towing

Wider hitch footprint increases stability

CONS

Won’t work with all truck bed lengths

May not work with some truck makes and models

May want to add accessories for a smoother ride

Best for Short Truck Beds

The Curt 16516 E16 Fifth Wheel Slider Hitch has plenty of perks. Not only does it handle turning, sliding, and curves with ease, but it’s also built for smaller, shorter trucks. It can be tricky to find the right fifth wheel hitch if your bed runs on the shorter side, but this one is specifically made for beds under six feet long. Rated for fifth wheels weighing 16,000 pounds or less, the hitch features a dual-pivoting head with 10 degrees of lateral movement for smooth towing. The coupler has an automatic locking feature so coupling is extra secure, and there’s also an anti-rattle skid plate present to reduce noise and vibrations. And when it comes to towing, you’ll love how this slider hitch with roller allows you an extra 12 inches of turning clearance with your truck’s shorter bed. Plus, the fact that it mounts on any industry-standard fifth wheel hitch rails is an added bonus.

The only potential downside to this hitch is its instruction manual for installation. The manual doesn’t show every step needed — and you’ll have to figure out which screws go where on your own. Getting everything installed in the correct place can be a challenge.

Specs
  • Dual-pivoting head with 10 degrees of lateral movement
  • Automatic locking coupler
  • Includes anti-rattle skid plate
  • Allows 12 inches of extra turning clearance on short-bed trucks
  • Mounts on all industry-standard rails
  • Rated for 16,000 pounds gross trailer weight and 4,000 pounds vertical load
PROS

Offers 12 extra inches of clearance for turns

Made for shorter truck beds

Can be used easily and securely with just a single handle

CONS

Instruction manual lacks information

Figuring out parts and pieces is confusing

If you’re hoping to limit wear and tear on your hitch as much as possible, you’ll want to opt for a durable product like the Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch. This hitch is made to withstand plenty of use and movement – and it can handle quite a lot of weight. Rated for 20,000 pounds with a 5,000-pound pin weight limit, it’s great for fifth wheels of many sizes. The full floating head makes hooking and unhooking a bit easier, and the adjustable height gives you anywhere from 13 to 17 inches of height. Built with tough materials and quality construction, this fifth wheel hitch also makes towing tight and efficient with lubricated and clamped side joints. And the dual jaw system completely surrounds the king pin to significantly reduce wear over time.

While this hitch will fit both universal four-bolt rail kits and 10-bolt rail kits, you do have to buy the rails separately. Additionally, there is some assembly required, and the included instructions aren’t super clever. You may need to figure out some parts of assembly on your own.

Specs
  • Full floating head
  • Adjusts in height from 13 to 17 inches
  • Dual jaw system surrounds king pin completely
  • pounds
PROS

More secure and tightly connected thanks to dual locking jaw system

King pin is well-protected against wear and tear from the road

Operates smoothly and quietly thanks to its construction

CONS

Rail kit must be purchased separately

Assembly required

Assembly and installation instructions are unclear and limited

How We Selected The Products 

In order to highlight the best fifth wheel hitches, we scoured the selection online to find highly-rated hitches made by reputable companies. Though there were quite a few products to choose from, we narrowed them down by comparing their ease of use — both in hooking or unhooking and towing on the road — as well as their construction, durability, and features offered. We took a look at sliding and fixed hitches, products for trucks and campers of various sizes, and users’ experiences using these hitches in real-life settings to get a sense of which offered the best performance.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Wondering how you can find the best fifth wheel hitch for your trailer and your towing vehicle? Well, we’ve got your guide. Keep reading to discover how to choose a quality hitch and what you need to keep in mind as you shop and compare different products.

What to Consider When Buying Fifth Wheel Hitches

Types of Fifth Wheel Hitches

There are two main types of fifth wheel hitches that every trailer owner needs to familiarise themselves with when shopping for this product.

Fixed Wheel Hitch Model

The performance of this model is mostly dependent on the overall quality of the hitch purchased. They are available in two kinds; those with the single jaw and the others with a dual jaw system. The only jaw mechanism tends to be more affordable than the models that make use of the dual jaw system. This model, however, has one main problem; its limited turning radius.

Sliding Wheel Hitch Model

The second main group is the more flexible option available, as its capable of turning more than 90 degrees, making it easy to manoeuvre. Just like its earlier counterpart, this model also comes in two types; the manual and automatic slider. As their names suggest, their operations are done manually or with use of some automation.

Fifth Wheel Hitch Key Features

Price

The price of a fifth wheel hitch is a critical factor. Try to correlate the actual cost of your preferred model to the features it possesses. Does the hitch in question offer all of the features you’re looking for at a price within your budget? Is it well-built to make your investment last for years? Questions like these will help you determine if the hitch wheel is worth investing in.

Ease of Installation

You don’t want to buy a fifth wheel hitch and discover that it’s too difficult to hook or unhook when you’re getting ready to hit the road. Instead, you want to make sure you choose a hitch that’s easy to install. Take a look at the installation description on the product page, and look at real users’ comments about what it was like to install. If you really want to keep things simple, you can opt for a pre-assembled hitch to ensure your installation process is shorter and easier.

Weight Capacity

The weight capacity of a fifth wheel hitch is a necessary consideration, as the hitch you select must be able to carry your trailer. Your hitch might break while in use if it has a small weight capacity, and this can result in serious traffic accidents. If you have a large trailer, you might want to opt for a hitch with a 20,000 lbs capacity.

Pivoting System

Choosing a hitch that has a pivoting feature makes it possible for you to enjoy a higher level of flexibility while on the road. The usual system employed by many wheel hitches is the 2-pivot system, which enables your trailer to move forward.

Sliding Hitch

The sliding hitch of fifth wheel hitches is a critical feature when you’re in need of a hitch for a short bed truck. Sliding hitches help reduce the chances of you experiencing trailer bumping of your vehicle.

Fifth Wheel Hitch Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and fifth wheel hitches. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Your hitch’s weight capacity is important, but so too is the weight limit of your tow vehicle. If you exceed either, you could wind up driving under extremely unsafe conditions. 
  • If you have a short truck bed, make sure you search for hitches that’ll work with your bed length. Shorter beds often mean you need a sliding hitch or one that offers more side-to-side clearance.
  •  Does your towing vehicle have steps or extra design details on its sides? This can affect how a hitch fits, so make sure to keep all unusual details, measurements, or shapes in mind while you shop.
  • If your truck’s gas pipe sticks out straight from underneath your rear bumper, you may have trouble installing a hitch. Your gas pipe may bump into the trailer and cause problems unless it’s rerouted.

FAQs

Q: Is a fifth wheel hitch permanent once installed?

Technically, all fifth wheel hitches are removable. But there’s a bit of a catch — you’ll have to install rails in order to use one of these hitches, and those rails are permanent additions to your vehicle. So, while the hitch itself can always be taken off, the rails cannot.

Q: What’s the difference between a fifth wheel hitch and a gooseneck hitch?

A fifth wheel hitch uses jaws and a pivoting plate to hook up the king pin of a fifth wheel to your tow vehicle. The jaws clamp or surround that king pin to hang onto the trailer. A gooseneck hitch, on the other hand, uses a ball and a vertical coupler to attach a trailer to your tow vehicle. While the coupler is on the hitch for a fifth wheel tow setup, the coupler is on the trailer when you’re using a gooseneck hitch.

Q: Can I install a 5th wheel hitch myself?

Yes, it is possible to install your fifth wheel hitch by yourself. There are many installation kits made available to suit the model of the hitch, as well as your tow vehicle.

Final Thoughts

Our Best Overall pick is the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500, a two-piece hitch that is suitable for people who see themselves towing more than just a fifth wheel trailer. It is adaptable, adjustable and affordable, and has been designed for easy installation and disengagement.

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