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How many are using a Gooseneck adapter?


TxCowboy

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First off, I didn't even know they made such a thing as a "gooseneck adapter" until I saw it a few moments ago on the Camping World website.

 

I can see using it to move your FW around on your property but I'm not sure about putting all that weight on a 2 1/2 inch gooseneck ball and towing with it.

 

Is anyone using one of these adapters to tow their FW? How is that adapter working for you and what issues have you discovered while using it?

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I personally have no intention of buying one. As I said in the OP, I didn't even know they existed until this morning.

 

Apparently some people do use them and there are multiple manufacturers of this product line marketing this item as a viable replacement to the standard FW-type hitch.

 

It appears most RVers do not use this setup for a number of good reasons.

 

Edit: Also, there appears to be a gooseneck ball adapter that can be added to the standard FW hitch to accommodate a gooseneck hitch.

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The biggest problem is the additional arm length required to reach down to the ball. This creates a lot of leverage that can cause damage if the trailer is not designed to handle it. The gooseneck balls can be purchased to handle trailers to 30,000 pounds so that usually isn't the issue.

There appears to be extensions of various lengths that can be added to the gooseneck adapter so that the hitch and trailer are level.

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Do you know which one?

It is the Reese Goose Ball. They make all sorts of claims, but as for the engineering behind it, the lever arm is the same as a regular 5er hitch with an G/N adapter.

 

I am a mechanical engineer and I would not touch a Goose Box or a G/N adapter with a 10' stick...unless the trailer was specifically designed for the stresses created by a GN.

 

Ken

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What's the difference between a king pin sitting on a fifth wheel and that same kingpin sitting directly over a gooseneck ball that sits in the bed of the truck? The older style gooseneck adapters were a problem because the adapter "arm" approached the goose neck ball at an angle, causing irregular stress. That is no longer the case when the kingpin is directly above the gooseneck ball.

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I would not consider the weight on the connection the deciding point. I have been pulling gooseneck horse trailers for over 20 years and consider them to be superior to the fifth wheel connection. A few of the pros are simplicity of connection, once you are on the ball you are on the ball there is no guessing, no tug testing nothing, just latch the safety catch attach chains and break away cable and go (and close the tailgate). In addition the remaining bed space around the hitch to pack other items is much larger than a fifth wheel type hitch. Finally the amount of articulation (front to back and side to side) provided by the ball and socket type of hitch exceeds that of most fifth wheel heads I have seen, however I have noticed some newer fifth wheel heads advertised that provide far more side to side motion than hitches from just a few years ago. So all that being said I would not use a gooseneck adaptor on a fifth wheel trailer! When I find my Fv'r I will be getting a fifth wheel hitch to go in my truck. I believe the lateral forces applied to the adaptor at the ball will translate to a bit of a "rocking" motion on the frame of the trailer (as Randy mentioned already) and in my personal opinion I don't think most fifth wheels can handle this type of load for very long. From what I have seen myself, most fifth wheel frames are built with downward weight and fairly straight lateral force in mind. In comparison gooseneck trailers which are built with frame connections built to handle this type of stress, I have attached some pictures to illustrate (the picture of the adaptor is on a large angle but even the straight ones mentioned in the previous post still apply the same "rocking" motion by extension).

 

http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q626/kennleyjohn/Gooseneck/goose2_zpsu0lgok7s.jpg

 

http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q626/kennleyjohn/Gooseneck/Goose1_zpsnkbx66d2.jpg

 

http://i1167.photobucket.com/albums/q626/kennleyjohn/Gooseneck/fifth3_zpsr67amdp0.jpg

 

Now I would love to see some pics of EKBendana's trailer, specifically the hitch area. I have never seen a Fv'r with a factory Gooseneck, I think I would like it.

 

John

 

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With a "good" gooseneck adapter, there is no leverage arm as the kingpin and ball are directly in line; the kingpin is above the ball. That was the point I was trying to make.

Except for when you apply the brakes (and a lesser degree when climbing hills, accelerating and such). Then it pulls the front of the trailer down and back with a much greater twisting force, depending on the length of the adapter (and to the front and forward when accelerating). It is the accumulated stress forward and back that can fatigue the metal over time.

 

The only practical use I can see for such an adapter is if you have another goose neck trailer, such as a horse or livestock trailer that you mainly tow and want the convenience of occasionally pulling your light weight fiver with it for short, easy trips. I don't think it was ever intended for heavy, full timer use. IMHO.

 

Chip

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Seems like there is a good discussion going on. What "warning"?

 

On a new fiver don't use one unless your fiver manufacturer will give you a written approval to do it and cover it under warranty.

 

On a used fiver you can ask if it will work but if it doesn't you are on your own for frame repairs that usually prove to be very expensive.

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We did the opposite. We changed our gooseneck receiver to a fifth wheel hitch. With the gooseneck ball you have to be perfect with your positioning for the trailer to come down onto the ball. We could not see the ball when looking thru the back window so it required a lot of in and out of the truck to get it lined up. With the 5th and a simple convex mirror of the front of the trailer we could hook up much easier. Also getting into the back of the truck to hook up the safety chains was hard to do as the trailer was in the way making us climb over the fenders.

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

For Lippert frames, Lippert approves the Reese Goosebox which is mfg by their Reese division. For Open Range Light 5ers they approve the KingCombo adapter thats made by the Lippert Bulldog division. Open Range Light trailers have additional welding as required by the OEM build instructions for the King Combo. Lippert also approved the Andersen Ultimate for Grand Design Reflection trailers. I have emails and research to substantiate each of these. I was recently looking at each of these for my 2015 GMC with bed flip goiseball.

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Bill,

Welcome to the forums!

 

I'll be looking forward to your experience in setting yours up. I have my Andersen Ultimate hitch and my 6.5 foot Short bed Dodge 2500 Cummins Quad cab 2WD. But still looking for the fiver.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Goose Neck balls are 2 5/16" not 2 1/2". They are designed to carry a lot of weight and the same size (2 5/16") is used for pull type trailers all the time with equalizer hitches. I have Goose Neck ball and 5th Wheel hitches on my Dodge PU and have pulled some really heavy trailer on the ball and the hitch, I see no difference except for the hook up routine. They both put the weight in the same place on my truck and both are a very reliable hitching lash up. I have a converter pipe to convert Goose Neck trailer to 5th Wheel hitch and have had to use it on a few trailers when I was hauling commercially.

I do see that converting from King Pin to Goose Neck could put some extra strain on a 5th Wheel trailer frame and one may need to check with the manufacturer on that conversion. I have seen it done a lot.

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Mohamer,

Your advice to check with the manufacturer of a fiver before trying to use the pipe extension type of Gooseneck 5th wheel adapter is critical. Some trailers can be manufactured for use as gooseneck, when ordered to come with only a gooseneck hitch, as they will gusset the front frame much more with larger and thicker gussets which cannot be seen when the skin is installed.

 

The reason I picked the Andersen hitch is two fold. First it eliminates the extra leverage of the conversion pipes that are installed tightly at the top all the way down to the ball, adding tremendous amounts of leverage with any stop and start on the trailer frame despite the ball moving at the bottom. The Andersen attaches firmly to the ball on the bottom and spreads the weight over a larger areas, and the top moves at the same location as the originally designed fiver hitch was designed to move, with no added leverage. For folks with a gooseneck already installed in their truck this looks to be the answer, rather than removing it, or adding a 5th wheel hitch around it. The second reason is that it can be removed easily and carried by one person, me. Here is a video review of it from eTrailer: http://www.etrailer.com/tv-review-andersen-ultimate-5th-wheel-connection-gooseneck-to-5th-wheel-adapter-am3225.aspx

 

For those with limited bandwidth here are the written customer reviews on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Ultimate-5th-Wheel-Connection/product-reviews/B0059929HO

 

My opinion is I would never use a Gooseneck adapter of the rigid type because of the angular leverage with each start and stop unless I had one made custom for use with a gooseneck. I was glad to find this product as I was about to remove the gooseneck and install a standard sliding hitch. With this I can pick it up and put it up myself despite my back issues and limitations.

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As RV stated, there is no comparison between the Andersen hitch and other, angular leverage type gooseneck adapters. How many folks have heard of gelcoat cracking at the leading edge of front slide outs? It's not a completely uncommon occurrence with fifth wheels. And it occurs with fifth wheel hitches installed. Unfortunately, many fifth wheel frames just aren't up to the forces exerted upon them by "normal" driving conditions.

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My first 5er was a mid 80's King of the Road, read heavy and I bought a pipe adapter to pull it with on my '99 dually. It pulled it down the road with out any problem but I did not really like it as it did not feel secure, a lot of jerking and bucking. When I sold the 5er and truck I took off the pipe which was deformed and had been under pressures. I will never ever use another pipe adapter was mine adjusted correct, I don' know but it made me feel unsafe. I just traded my F-250 SRW for an F-350 dually that had a factory goose neck, instead of going out and buying a 5th wheel hitch, I bought the Andersen Ultimate Hitch and it feels very secure and tows wonderful without any noise or jerking, I feel very safe towing with it and it was cheaper than buying a standard 5th wheel hitch and getting it installed. It was very easy to install took me all of 15-25 minutes, I can now remove it and re-install it in less time than that. The only thing I don't really like about it is trying to find a place to mount the lock/unlock cable which I would have liked to have a little longer.

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