Towing Gooseneck Trailers
August 10, 2006
When you mention trailer hitch most people think of the ball style and although common for some types of hauling the gooseneck trailer hitch is much stronger and much more maneuverable. Gooseneck trailers are very common in trailers used to haul livestock.
In fact it's a common occurrence on for horse trailers. This style of hitch is found in the truck bed above the rear axle. The trailer is then secured to the hitch. Here's some things you should know about this style of hitch.
1. Goosenecks are one of the strongest hitches on the market with the capability of handling up to 30,000 pounds. 2. They are much more maneuverable allowing the driver to make sharper turns than with a ball hitch. This is because of the hitches location. 3. You will have to drill a hole in the middle of your truck bed for proper installation. 4. The ball of the hitch has to rise above the truck bed so that you can fasten your trailer properly. 5. A gooseneck is relatively easy to remove when not in use and some styles also fold flat in the bed. 6. Make sure your truck is capable of handling the trailer weight.
A gooseneck hitch is not a fifth wheel although it is commonly mistaken as such. Although similar to a fifth wheel they are actually second in towing capacity. The gooseneck is actually more difficult to install than a fifth wheel and their functionality is quite limited.
A gooseneck cannot be installed in all trucks. The truck you choose must meet the weight requirements for the trailer you will be towing.
There are pros and cons to both gooseneck trailers and 5th Wheels. A gooseneck has a tube that hangs down from under the bunk which hooks to a heavy duty 2 5/16¡± ball mounted in the truck's bed. It takes up very little room but if you want to be able to use the entire deck you can buy a fold down ball set.
The disadvantage to t the gooseneck is the hook up can be a bit of a pain. You need to position the ball directly under the hitch which isn't that easy. And you also have to crawl into the box to hook up the safety chains which can be quite an annoyance.
A 5th wheel besides being the strongest hitch system is probably the easiest to hook up and use. The 5th wheel hangs under the bunk and there's a larges steel plate with a 2 inch pin that almost aligns itself. All you have to do is back up and get close and it will literally connect itself. You don't have to crawl around hooking up safety chains infact there aren't any. A 5th wheel is really a one man band. Two can actually be a crowd.
The disadvantage is that it costs a fair bit and it's a bit of a truck bed hog taking up almost half of your bed. There is a removable type but it is heavy and awkward.
No matter what type of hitch you are using hooking up your trailer and riding off into the sunset is somewhat of a myth. There are many regulations that you need to understand and comply with before you begin towing whether you are using a gooseneck hitch, a 5th wheel hitch or regular ball hitch.
Gooseneck trailers are a great pick for livestock and if you want to enjoy some recreational time consider 5th wheel trailers - both smart choices.
Brent has been a car salesman for more than 30 years and has recommended and helped his clients to finding the right automobiles and trailers for their needs. Go to http://www.trail-r.com for more information on topics such as boat trailer parts.
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