Best 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapters

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When it comes to hauling a heavy cargo or trailer on the back of your pickup you basically have two choices: a 5th wheel hitch or a gooseneck. They both do the same job, but their mechanical structures can make them incompatible. If you have a fifth wheel trailer but your towing vehicle is already equipped with a gooseneck hitch, the best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters can offer a solution.

While you could always replace the gooseneck hitch, you may not want to give up the extra space in your truck bed that a 5th wheel hitch demands. With many goosenecks, you can detach and reattach the gooseneck ball from the mounting socket when not in use.

Space is not the only issue!

The other big problem with changing your hitch type is that it will probably need you to visit your local garage to safely take the mounting system off from underneath the bed. Instead of going through the hassle and expense of all that, why not simply install an adapter? The best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters change the trailer’s pin box or king pin so it can lock itself into a gooseneck hitch.

The following YouTube video shows what’s involved when you choose to install an adapter like the Convert-A-Ball adapter we will look at later. It’s a lot easier than taking your gooseneck hitch out and replacing it with a 5th wheel hitch.

Purchasing the Best 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapters – What You Need to Know

Most 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters will cost you anywhere from $400 to $500. When you think that they are constructed from about 40 pounds of solid steel and are one of the most important links between your trailer and the towing vehicle, you’ll soon appreciate why they cost so much. And they’re certainly a lot cheaper than having a gooseneck hitch removed and replaced by a 5th wheel hitch. Hell, you can even still use your old gooseneck trailers on your truck if you leave it be!

Installation tends to be very easy, although you’ll need a friend to help you to support its heavy weight by holding it in the air as you attach the trailer. In most cases, you should be hooked up within 15 to 30 minutes and ready to tow.

Unless you buy an adapter designed to replace the trailer pin box, you will need to ensure you get the right measurements. A common mistake is to measure the distance between the truck bed and the king pin plate on the level trailer. Instead, you should measure the distance between the top of your gooseneck ball to the bottom of your kingpin plate, or the top of the kingpin itself.  Adapter measurements tend to be the size of the adapter itself on the outside so would be a larger measurement than it’s rated at.

Which are the Best 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapters?

When you consider the different types of adapter available, choosing the best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter can be quite challenging. We have tried to look at a number of different setups with brands that accommodate any particular preferences and can help you in your search for the best 5th wheel hitch to gooseneck adapters.

1. Convert-A-Ball C5G1216 Adjustable 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter – 12″-16″

This average-priced adapter is designed so it wraps around the kingpin lube plate and needs 8 socket points for installation. Made from high-grade cast steel it also features poly absorb cushions to keep the gooseneck ball stable and ensure a smoother towing experience.

The adjustable height of 12 to 16 inches makes it suitable for a wide range of applications, although the larger offset clearance doesn’t work too well in most short bed trucks.

Top Points

  • Cast steel construction, rust-proof guarantee.
  • Gross towing weight of 20,000 pounds; pin weight capacity 4,000 pounds.
  • Poly cushioning reduces bounce and vibration.

2. Universal Ranch Hitch Adapter 3100

This quality adapter from Andersen Hitches fits 2-5/16-inch gooseneck ball and can support a 24,000 pounds maximum trailer weight, with a 6000 pounds tongue weight. Three inches of vertical adjustment range from 11¾ inches to 14¾ inches. Including everything you need for installation, it’s quite simple to fix with even most inexperienced people able to fit it less than half an hour.

A remote cable assembly allows you to engage and release the coupling without even getting inside the bed of your truck. The 6-inch straight pipe stinger used on this adapter does, however, prevent you from opening the tailgate while the trailer is still hooked up. Purchasing an offset stinger is recommended for easier access to the tailgate.

Top Points

  • Hitch adapter fits standard 2-5/16-inch gooseneck hitch.
  • Supports gross trailer weights up to 24,000 pounds; tongue weight of 6,000 pounds.
  • Remote cable mechanism for hook up and release.

3. Eaz-Lift 48500 12” Gooseneck Adapter

One of the least expensive adapters we found was also the strongest, with an impressive 30,000 pounds towing weight capacity. And it’s even one of the most lightweight adapters available. The low price does come at a cost though, it’s non-adjustable, with a 12-inch height. Other options available are 15 or 17 inches.

The coupler is easy to hook up and release with a spring-loaded action that works exactly as it should. A large plate at the top of the adapter that bolts to the 5th wheel plate creates substantial stability compared to many other adapters.

Top Points

  • Lightweight adapter at only 5 pounds weight
  • Supports up to 30,000 pounds trailer weight
  • Non-adjustable 12-inch height

4. Reese 94623 Coupler

An alternative to the traditional 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter is a 5th wheel which replaces the trailer’s pin box. Many would argue that this is the safest method and most secure. But it is much more expensive, costing almost three times as much as many other adapters.

The Reese Goose Box is one of the more popular adapters designed for use with the most common fifth wheel trailer pin boxes used today; simply check with the manufacturer when purchasing. Featuring an adjustable airbag, this will give a smoother, cushioned ride and will reduce the stress on your trailer frame and hitch. And–best of all–because the box replaces your trailer’s kingpin, you don’t need to bother with any tricky height measurements.

Top Points

  • Latest version of Goose Box and fits more pin box applications.
  • Interior airbags and shock absorbers for a smoother ride.
  • Complete with a limited lifetime warranty

Our Choice

Although the Goose Box coupler is the latest innovation in adapting a fifth wheel trailer to a gooseneck hitch, justifying the expense is quite hard unless you are towing your trailer or RV on a daily basis.

A much more cost effective option, and in our opinion, one of the best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters, is the Convert-A-Ball C5G1216 Adjustable 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter – 12″-16″. With a large height adjustment feature and a solid cast steel construction that won’t rust, it is our choice of the best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapters you can buy today.

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