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Adapters for Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer with a Gooseneck Hitch

Image of Reese trailer coupler

If you have a gooseneck trailer hitch but would like to tow a fifth-wheel trailer, you can choose from among several kinds of adapters that may help you. Some of these adapters attach to your gooseneck ball or use the ball hole of your gooseneck hitch, allowing you to hook up your fifth-wheel trailer without having to modify it. Other adapters mount to the trailer, allowing you to attach it directly to the gooseneck ball in your truck. Which option you choose depends on your particular circumstances.





You can choose from among these four types of adapters:

Image of Reese trailer coupler



B&W 5th wheel adapter for B&W gooseneck hitchGooseneck hitch to fifth-wheel trailer adapter - Draw-Tite
  • The second safest and most secure option is a 5th-wheel adapter that installs in the ball hole of the gooseneck hitch
    • Installs temporarily in truck bed
    • Doesn't require modification of trailer
    • Can reduce stress that is exerted in either the trailer frame or hitch
    • Provides a good solution for frequent switching between trailer types




Gooseneck hitch to fifth-wheel trailer adapter - Andersen Ultimate Connection



Gooseneck ball to king pin trailer adapter - Andersen
  • The last option is a 5th-wheel adapter that bolts to the king pin plate
    • Works well as a temporary solution
    • Can cause stress in the trailer frame and hitch
    • Some manufacturers recommend that their adapters not be used with pin boxes over a certain length
      • Always check for maximum recommended pin box length




Adapters that Replace 5th Wheel Trailer Pin Box

Underside image of Reese trailer couplerImage of Reese trailer coupler

This type of gooseneck adapter replaces the trailer's pin box. The Reese Goose Box, a popular adapter of this type, is designed to fit the most common fifth-wheel trailer pin boxes on the market. Since Goose Boxes are made to fit specific pin boxes, you'll have to check the plate or sticker on yours to determine the make and model. Goose Boxes are available for the following pin boxes:



The Goose Box features an adjustable air bag and dual shock absorbers to create a smooth, cushioned ride and to reduce stress on the trailer frame. Because this adapter replaces the king pin on your trailer, you won't need to measure for height. The Goose Box is approved by Lippert, a popular trailer frame and pin box manufacturer, and will not void their trailer warranties.





Adapters that Fit into a Gooseneck Hitch Ball Hole on the Truck


gooseneck ball hole in truck bedDraw-Tite gooseneck hitch to 5th wheel adapter installed

Some fifth-wheel trailer hitch adapters mount into a gooseneck ball hole. The Hi-Rise fifth-wheel trailer hitch lets you keep your Draw-Tite, Bulldog or B&W underbed gooseneck hitch for towing a gooseneck trailer, yet it lets you tow a fifth-wheel trailer when you need to. The Curt X-5 Gooseneck-to-5th-Wheel Hitch Adapter Plate connects to Curt Double-lock, Flip and Store gooseneck hitches, adding a set of fifth-wheel rails that accept standard fifth-wheel hitches, such as those made by Curt, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch, Reese, Valley and Husky.


Draw-Tite gooseneck hitch to 5th wheel adapterImage of Curt C16210 Adapter PlateB&W 5th wheel adapter for B&W gooseneck hitch

  • Great solution if you have to tow multiple trailer types with the same vehicle
  • Fifth-wheel hitch is easily removed when you need to haul cargo in the truck bed
  • The High Rise adjusts in height from 14-1/4" to 18" tall - the normal range of fifth-wheel trailers
  • The Curt X-5 comes in two models
    • X-Plate for Curt goosenecks (C16210) - fits Curt Double-Lock, Flip and Store gooseneck hitches with round hole
    • X-Plate for B&W (16310) - fits B&W turnover ball hitches with square hole
  • The B&W Companion is custom made to fit into the square ball hole of the B&W gooseneck hitch




Adapters that Attach to a Gooseneck Ball in the Truck Bed

This adapter mounts to the gooseneck ball in your truck bed and supports another gooseneck ball at the top of the adapter's frame. After the king-pin-to-gooseneck adapter is installed on the king pin of the trailer, the trailer can be mounted to the frame. The higher attachment point between the trailer and the hitch relieves stress on the trailer's frame and pin box.


Andersen Ultimate Connection Adapter

  • Hitch attaches to underbed gooseneck ball in the truck bed
  • Ball height on top of hitch is adjustable
  • King pin/coupler height is also adjustable on the trailer




Adapters that Attach to the Fifth-Wheel Trailer

This type of fifth-wheel-to-gooseneck adapter is a tube that mounts around the fifth-wheel trailer king pin at one end and attaches to the gooseneck ball in the back of the truck at the other.


Gooseneck ball to 5th-wheel king pin adapter installed
  • The pin box and king pin DO NOT have to be removed
  • Adapters can be heavy - an extra set of hands will help with installation
  • Not all trailers can use this type of adapter - confirm with the trailer manufacturer
  • Some manufacturers recommend that their adapters not be used with pin boxes over a certain length
    • Always check for maximum recommended pin box length



Offset Adapters for Increased Clearance



Offset adapterConvert-a-ball offset adapter

An adapter with an offset can give you a little extra clearance between the fifth-wheel-trailer overhang and the back of the truck cab. It can also create more clearance between the trailer and the back of the truck. Although the offset adapters will provide additional clearance, a sliding fifth wheel hitch or a fixed fifth wheel hitch and a sidewinder pin box will be required to safely execute a 90 degree turn on short bed trucks.




Cushioned Adapters by Convert-A-Ball



Cushioned adapterCushioned adapter, cutaway view, closeup

A cushioned adapter features polyurethane cushioning that absorbs the movement and jarring of the trailer, reducing bouncing and vibrations to give you a safer, smoother, and quieter ride.



Determining the Correct Height for Your Adapter

Adapters that fit around the king pin and attach to the king pin plate have to be the correct height so that you can tow the trailer level. Getting an adapter of the correct height is important for safe towing. Some adapters are height adjustable and others have a fixed height. The shortest available adapter is the Ranch Hitch adapter at 11-3/4 inches. The tallest is the cushioned gooseneck adapter at 16 inches. There is an easy way to determine what height you need for your truck-and-trailer combination.

Measuring diagram for gooseneck to 5th-wheel adapter

Measuring Your Truck and Trailer

  • Back your truck into position as if you were hooking up your fifth-wheel trailer, making sure that the truck and trailer are level
  • Measure from the king pin plate down to the top of the ball in the bed of your truck
  • The measurement you get is the height of the adapter you will need

Also, five or six inches of clearance between the overhang of the trailer and side rails of your truck is necessary for safe operation.






















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