The Best Fifth Wheel Hitch Review In 2018
Towing a large trailer requires you to get the best fifth wheel hitch. Originally, this hitch is designed to carry fifth wheel trailers. But sooner, it evolved into something that is versatile. It can carry RVs, campers, and other trailer vehicles that you have in your backyard. It is meant for bulky rides, but even small trailers can work well with this hitch.
Of course, there is a need for you to get a hitch that can establish a secure and rugged connection. Otherwise, you are just putting yourself in danger. Furthermore, a trailer that has not been properly supported is a hazard on the road. Once you passed a rough terrain or a curving steep, you will realize that towing a trailer is difficult. If the connection between your truck is not secured, the trailer will swivel uncontrollably. Serious and fatal traffic accidents can ensue out of this scenario.
Fifth wheel hitches are extremely pivotal to the comfort, security, and smoothness of your towing experience. However, always remember that not all fifth wheel hitches are created equal. In this article, I only featured the ones that have an outstanding reputation already. Check these following hitches and see which one can satisfy your mechanical requirements.
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- Best Fifth Wheel Hitch On The 2018 Market
- #1. B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 - Editor’s Choice
- #2. CURT 16049 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch - Runner-Up
- #3. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller - Budget-Friendly Choice
- #4. Reese 30120 Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch - Editor's Pick
- #5. Andersen 3220 Fifth Wheel Hitch - Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for Short Bed Trucks
- Advantages Of Having A Fifth Wheel Hitch
- How To Choose The Best Fifth Wheel Hitch
Best Fifth Wheel Hitch On The 2018 Market
1. B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 - Editor’s Choice
2. CURT 16049 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch - Runner-Up
3. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller - Budget-Friendly Choice
4. Reese 30120 Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch - Editor's Pick
5. Andersen 3220 Fifth Wheel Hitch - Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for Short Bed Trucks
#1. B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 - Editor’s Choice
The B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 is a testament to what a hitch should be. This one has been engineered to the highest standards so that it can eliminate the risks and fussiness of towing large trailers. It can provide you a smooth time while you are dragging a load, regardless of the path that you are traversing. It is also notably durable and sturdy. It can withstand constant punishment and harsh weather conditions. It is a perfect choice for off-road applications because of its ruggedness and high-load capacity.
Specifically, the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 has a 20,000-pound gross trailer weight rating. Meanwhile, its vertical weight rating is around 5,000 pounds. These numbers show that this fifth wheel hitch can work with large RVs and trailers. Of course, its features are not just limited to that. The entire hitch has a wide stance so that it can provide stability while coupling. Moreover, the jaws perfectly wrap the kingpin, which eliminates shabby stops and starts. The hitch will work smoothly wherever you go.
- Full swivelling head
- Quick release cam-action latch handle
- High-load capacity
- Ideal for heavy-duty applications
- Quiet and rattle-free performance.
- It is extremely heavy.
#2. CURT 16049 Q25 5th Wheel Hitch - Runner-Up
Another impressive fifth wheel hitch that can topple the competition is the CURT 16049 Q25. This device features a special spherical bearing that allows the head to tilt in any given direction. Regardless of the movement of the vehicle, the trailer will remain smooth, quiet, and stable. The head has self-aligning capability, too, that prevent flaws and errors whenever you are backing the trailer. It also comes with dual jaws that cover the kingpin for enhanced connection security. The feature also lessens chucking.
The usability of the CURT 16049 Q25 as fifth wheel hitch is relentless. Its short-throw handle has an automatic self-engaged capability. You will no longer have to meddle with it together with the kingpin. Meanwhile, this hitch comes with three grease fittings that are completely accessible for easier lubrication. Furthermore, you will appreciate that this one has a coupling indicator that tells you the exact status of the connection. If there is an issue on the connection, it can be clearly indicated.
- Maximum gross trailer weight capacity of 25,000 pounds
- Vertical load capacity of 6,2500 pounds
- Features three height adjustment to adjust on different truck beds
- Comes with lube plate to eliminate greasy residues
- Resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Requires a chain host for assembly (not included in the package).
#3. CURT 16516 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller - Budget-Friendly Choice
For smaller trailers, the CURT 16516 E16 is a good option. It has a 16,000-pound gross trailer weight capacity, which is already sufficient for moderately size trailers. The dual axes of this hitch can pivot sideways for 10 degrees. It is a great capability to regulate the movement of the trailer whenever you are passing a sharp curve. The hitch also has an automatic locking feature for quicker and safer connection. You can operate it with the use of a single handle.
The CURT 16516 E16 has a specialized plate that has an anti-rattle capability. Even if the road is rough, the hitch remains quiet and smooth. You will never be disturbed by the hitch or the towed trailer while you are on the run. The assembly of this fifth wheel hitch is impressive as well, considering that it is produced by CURT. It is compatible with most standard base rails for easier mounting and installation. Furthermore, a height adjustment feature has been integrated on this hitch to ensure that it can accommodate a variety of truck beds.
- Ultra-rugged and robust design
- Stable and secure mounting system
- Comes with carbide powder coat finish for enhanced protection
- Passed different safety compliance
- Compatible with standard mounting rails.
- The lock hatch is not a common claw type
- Noticeable noises on the kingpin.
#4. Reese 30120 Pro Series 20K Fifth Wheel Hitch - Editor's Pick
The Reese 30120 Pro Series is one of the sturdiest and functional fifth wheel hitches today. It has an awesome construction, with precision-engineered parts to ensure its structural durability. It can resist rust, corrosion, and other damages that can be caused by the atmospheric elements. Of course, it is also strong enough to handle loads of up to 20,000 pounds. Meanwhile, its tongue weight is around 5,000 pounds, which is pretty impressive already.
The Reese 30120 Pro Series is a perfect choice for standard fifth wheel trailers because of its strong carrying capacity. Despite this, the hitch remains to be lightweight and ergonomic. This one has a 4-way pivoting design that improves its overall control and pressure negation. It comes with a jaw handle for additional padlock security. I have noticed that the head of this hitch has floating design. Such feature allows you to hook the hitch even the ground is unequal.
- Can be vertically adjusted from 13 inches to 17 inches
- One-piece legs have wide stance for better stability
- Jaw system covers the kingpin for wear reduction
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Rugged and durable construction.
- Slightly pricey.
#5. Andersen 3220 Fifth Wheel Hitch - Best Fifth Wheel Hitch for Short Bed Trucks
If you want something that can fit your short bed truck, the Andersen 3220 is your top choice. It is specifically designed to work with short beds, but it can also fit the long bed and standard bed trucks. Most of the hitches today are not compatible with short bed trucks. Therefore, Andersen 3220 is already a gem on the market. It is seemingly peerless when it comes to its construction and design. It is light (only weighs 35 pounds), which allows you to lift it easily during the installation process.
The ball of this hitch has an adjustable feature. It was housed on a grease-free coupler. As a result, you can work with this hitch without getting dirty or stained. Because the coupler is engaged on a ball, the swivelling of the hitch has been improved. It can articulate in any direction--a feature that separates it from other fifth wheel hitches. This particular capability also enables you to uncouple or couple the truck and trailer while you are on uneven ground and terrain.
- Strong and simple hitch construction
- Compatible with gooseneck hitches
- Lightweight fifth wheel hitch
- Ball funnel feature ensures that you can hook
- 24,000-pound gross trailer weight capacity and 4,500-pound tongue weight.
- It tends to lift up the trailer higher than other fifth wheel hitches
- Release cable is somehow flimsy.
Advantages Of Having A Fifth Wheel Hitch
Fifth wheel hitches are designed for rugged and heavy-duty towing applications. The design for this device is somehow patterned to the standard hitch that is used by 18-wheeler trucks. However, instead of using a ball hitch to catch the pressure, fifth wheel hitches are using levelled plates that are connected to same plates that are attached to the trailer. The connection is made by a kingpin.
The essence of a fifth wheel hitch is always seen when you are towing large trailers. This particular mechanical system regulates the weight distribution throughout the suspension of your vehicle. Of course, I can say that a fifth wheel hitch is the only viable option that you have when you are carrying a heavy load. Other types of hitches will never guarantee a safe towing when they are dealing with trailers that have high gross trailer weight and tongue weight.
Even for lighter trailers, a fifth wheel hitch is still the recommended hitch. Because this system can ensure that the weight of the trailer can be diffused equally throughout the vehicle and the rest of the axles, the tendency of jackknifing is lessened. Furthermore, the susceptibility of the trailer from being swayed due to harsh road terrains and weather conditions can be significantly reduced by this hitch.
How To Choose The Best Fifth Wheel Hitch
The very first thing that you have to do when selecting a fifth wheel hitch is to know the towing capacity of your truck or vehicle. This is a crucial step to ensure that you can get the appropriate hitch that can match the rating of your vehicle. You can find this information in the vehicle's manual. If it is not present, then you can just go directly to the manufacturer instead.
The next step of the choosing process is identifying the weight of the trailer that you are going to carry. It is necessary to include all the objects that you are going to load to the trailer in your calculation. To be on the safe side of things, the gross trailer weight should be equal or lesser than the vehicle's towing capacity.
Once you can complete these steps, you are able to choose a fifth wheel hitch properly. Specifically, your choice should be dependent on the trailer weight and towing capacity of your truck. You can also look for other ergonomic features if you want to. However, make sure that you treat those two factors as the holy grail of your selection process.
Also, it is not a bad move if you are going to check your state laws for other information about towing policies and regulations.
Towing Capacity of the Hitch
A fifth wheel hitch is rated based on their gross vehicle weight rating or GVWR. Commonly, it is known as the gross trailer weight (GTW), which simply indicates the overall weight of the trailer (with all of its contents) that the hitch can carry. Meanwhile, the tongue weight is a measurement that refers to the 10% of the gross trailer weight. If the tongue weight is too small, the trailer will be susceptible to swaying. All these details should be indicated on the packaging of the hitch to ensure that you will never be misguided.
If a particular fifth wheel hitch has a label of 24K, it tells you that it can carry up to 24,000 pounds of trailer. Of course, the higher the weight rating, the more expensive the hitch can become.
It is also necessary to consider the mounting style of the hitch. Such factor is essential to ensure that the connection between the trailer and the truck is solid and seamless. Most of the fifth wheel hitches today are using rail systems as a mounting platform. However, you can still find some models that can be installed below the bed. I have seen customized mounting systems that are using custom brackets. They can provide a clean setup and installation, but they require a rigid work.
For now, you can confidently settle with rail systems. They are the standard in the market today because of their simplicity and efficiency in making tough connections. They are not difficult to assemble, as well, which makes them one of the most user-friendly choices.
Single Pivot and Double Pivot Systems
Driving with a fifth wheel hitch can certainly give you a peace of mind. However, this device can't guarantee that the towed trailer won't be rocked whenever you are passing a bumpy road. To prevent the irregular movements of the trailer, it is necessary that the hitch features a pivot system. This particular innovation can negate irregular movements while you are traversing a treacherous path.
A fifth wheel hitch can possess a single pivot system (front and back) and a double pivot system (front and back; side to side). These systems utilize the inertia created by the movement of the trailer and reduce them by creating counteractions. Either of these two pivot systems is great. As long as the hitch has this feature, it should be safe to use.
You have to understand that a fifth wheel hitch should be properly installed before it can work the way you expect it to. A hitch that has been mounted correctly will not cause sagging on the truck bed. After all, the weight has been distributed equally.
Fortunately, the installation process can be done quickly if there is a custom installation kit that has been included in the package. Without this component, you might be required to drill or weld some components on the truck bed. A custom kit, on the other hand, guarantees that the rail will be compatible with the default holes on the bed.
Some people say that a custom kit is not necessary anymore. But if you are not a seasoned mechanic, this kit will come beneficial in the installation process. It is your experience and preference that counts here.
The best fifth wheel hitch can ensure that your time on the road will be smooth and safe. It is an essential amenity that you should get before you tow a large trailer with a heavy load. With this mechanical component, your truck can efficiently carry the trailer without any issues. Your vehicle can properly control and support the luggage if the connection is being made by this hitch.
Your options for a fifth wheel hitch is never limited. The market is sprawling with them today. However, that also creates the confusion, especially if you are presented with multiple brands and models. But with this guide that I made, I am hoping that you can get the right one that can accommodate your requirements.
You can freely start hunting with the options that I have listed here. All of them have excellent features that made them reputable. Choosing any of them will never be regrettable, especially if you will opt for the Reese 30120 Pro Series or the B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500.
Are there any other great fifth wheel hitches that I have failed to mention here? If that's the case, share them with me and tell me your experience on using them. If you have some questions and suggestions, drop them in the comment section below!
See also: The Best Roll Up Tonneau Cover For Trucks.