Gooseneck trailers have been used primarily in agricultural and commercial markets for the past 40+ years. They typically handle larger weight fluctuations and are considered Class V hitches that can handle up to 30,000 pounds (about 13,000 kilograms). Unlike regular hitches that extend from the back of the towing vehicle, gooseneck hitches and the closely related fifth-wheel hitches are anchored through the bed of a pickup truck.
Though gooseneck and fifth-wheel hitches are quite similar, goosenecks are generally less expensive than fifth-wheels even though they tend to have higher customer ratings. A gooseneck slides over a ball hitch in the bed of a pickup truck while a fifth-wheel trailer attaches to a pickup truck using a hinged plate hitch (the same type of hitch used by semi-trucks). Gooseneck trailers allow for a tighter turn without cab interference and are more commonly used for and better suited to livestock, utility, hauling ATVs, and heavy equipment trailers, as well as other types of commercial uses.
There are some considerations you need to think about before purchasing a gooseneck trailer. First, make sure your pickup is up to the challenge. Manufacturers can usually provide information on their vehicles' recommended towing capacities, but remember to give yourself a little leeway in case you need to add extra cargo at the last minute or accidently calculate the weight of your load too low.
Gooseneck trailers also require a special hitching system that’s installed in the bed of a pickup truck. A good option to consider is having a professional install it. That way, you can be sure that everything is drilled and secured properly and no critical components such as fuel lines or brake lines are harmed in the installation process. This can be particularly important for goosenecks, as they’re not as easy to connect as a fifth-wheel and you must get the hitch ball directly under the coupler. Goosenecks also require wiring extensions long enough to reach from the connector under the bumper to the connector on the trailer.
If you still have questions, make sure to talk through all of your concerns with an experienced technician before buying.
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