A fifth wheel hitch is a necessary item links the camper to your tow vehicle, allowing for safe road travels. However, not all hitches are suitable for your RV, towing vehicle, budget, and lifestyle. Here’s how to choose a fifth wheel hitch.
How to Choose a Fifth Wheel Hitch
Know Your Tow Capacity and Weight
Before you hook up your truck and trailer, or even choose a 5th wheel hitch for your truck, you need know your towing capability and gross trailer weight. Towing capacity is the maximum weight that your truck can haul. The overall weight of your fifth wheel trailer when loaded and attached to your truck is referred to as the gross trailer weight. Always keep in mind that towing capacity is always restricted by the lowest-rated towing component. So you will need to invest in a 5th wheel hitch that matches or surpasses your truck’s towing capability.
Know Your Truck Bed Length
Measuring the length of your truck bed is the next step when choosing a fifth wheel hitch. When your truck and trailer are coupled up, the length of the truck bed and the design of the trailer cap, dictates how much room or clearance you will have. A long-bed pickup truck has higher clearance, whereas a short-bed vehicle has less clearance. Some short-bed trucks may require the use of a slider. Before making a purchase, consider your own specific configuration.
For Long Bed Trucks
When choosing a 5th wheel hitch for a long bed truck, it’s crucial to consider the type of attachment that best suits your needs. Rails offer versatility and strength, gooseneck adapters provide simplicity for those with existing setups, and OEM systems offer a seamless, integrated solution.
For Short Bed Trucks
Additional space between the truck cab and the 5th wheel trailer overhang is sometimes required for short-bed vehicles, especially while turning. If you are using a short bed truck, you can use a sliding 5th wheel hitch if additional clearance is needed.
Does Your Truck Have a Factory Towing Prep Kit?
A factory towing prep kit, also known as a puck system, is a built-in mounting platform that comes standard on many modern pickup trucks. It is made up of a central gooseneck hole and a series of anchoring points. Factory towing prep kits are commonly available from most major truck manufacturers. This allows the 5th wheel hitch that connects to a gooseneck hitch to slip into the truck bed quickly and securely for streamlined towing without the need for drilling, brackets, or other gear. Not all factory towing prep kits are the same, but most will function in this way.
Choose Permanent 5th Wheel Hitch Rails
If your truck lacks a factory towing prep kit, the usual technique for mounting a fifth wheel hitch is to install 5th wheel base rails. This applies to non-gooseneck attached 5th wheel hitches. When you’re ready to install the 5th wheel hitch rails, just make sure they have industry-standard mounting points. To attach the base rails to the truck frame, an under-bed bracket kit is typically required.
Select A Blue Ox Fifth Wheel Hitch
Once you have gathered all of the necessary information above, you can choose a fifth wheel hitch that suits your needs. Blue Ox has two different fifth-wheel hitch options available.
BXR2410 5th Wheel Hitch
The BXR2410 has a 24,000lb gross towing capacity and a 6,000lb vertical load limit. It conveniently attaches to industry standard rails. The funnel-shaped hitch head helps easily guide the kingpin into place, reducing the risk of false hookups and trailer drops significantly. The kingpin has a true 360-degree nesting and dual articulating head that moves front-to-back and side-to-side. It is a lightweight 2-piece design, weighing 100 lbs total, and it is height adjustable to 17”, 18”, or 19”.
BXR2100 5th Wheel Hitch
The BXR2100 has a 21,000lb gross towing capacity and a 5,000lb vertical load limit. It attaches to 2-5/16″ Gooseneck Hitch. The funnel-shaped hitch head lets you guide the kingpin easily into place, decreasing the risk of false hookups and trailer drops significantly. The kingpin has a true 360-degree nesting and dual articulating head that moves front-to-back and side-to-side. It is a lightweight 2-piece design, weighing 122 lbs total, and is height adjustable to 17”, 18”, or 19”.
Don’t Forget to Get Any Necessary Fifth Wheel Accessories
Once you’ve selected your fifth wheel hitch, you can add the accessories you need for a smooth and safe towing experience.
- Blue Ox Fifth Wheel Bed Mat
- Blue Ox Fifth Wheel Lube Plate
- Blue Ox Universal Kingpin Lock
- Blue Ox Fifth-Wheel Wiring Harness kit
- Blue Ox Fifth-Wheel Rotaflex Lockout Kit