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

If you would like to tow a fifth-wheel trailer but you have gooseneck trailer hitch in your truck, 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.Read more about the reverse situation here: Adapting a Gooseneck Trailer to a 5th-Wheel Hitch .
Truck with gooseneck ball backed up to trailer
You can choose from among these four types of adapters:

1. 5th-wheel adapter that replaces the trailer pin box

  • Most secure option
  • Doesn't cause additional stress in either the trailer frame or hitch
  • Creates more of a permanent solution
  • Leaves your truck bed open for other uses
  • Made to fit specific pin boxes
These adapter types are made to fit specific pin boxes, so you'll have to check the plate or sticker on yours to determine which make and model you have (ex: Lippert 1621). Because this adapter replaces the king pin on your trailer, you won't need to measure for height.
Reese Goose Box 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Air Ride Coupler Adapter

2. Another excellent option is a 5th-wheel adapter that installs in the ball hole of the gooseneck hitch

  • Doesn't require modification of trailer
  • Provides a good solution for frequent switching between trailer types
  • 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
These adapter types are made to fit specific pin boxes, so you'll have to check the plate or sticker on yours to determine which make and model you have (ex: Lippert 1621). Because this adapter replaces the king pin on your trailer, you won't need to measure for height.
Gooseneck Hole in Truck Bed
Hi-Rise Gooseneck-to-5th-Wheel Trailer Hitch Adapter by Bulldog, Draw-Tite and Reese

3. Adapters that Attach to a Gooseneck Ball in the Truck Bed

  • Attaches to underbed gooseneck ball in the truck bed
  • Hitch height is adjustable
  • One of the lightest hitch options available
These adapters mount to the gooseneck ball in your truck bed. The higher attachment point between the trailer and the hitch relieves stress on the trailer's frame and pin box.
Demco Recon Gooseneck-to-5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Adapter

4. Adapters that Attach to the Fifth-Wheel Trailer King Plate

  • 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)
  • Works well as a temporary solution
  • Can cause stress in the trailer frame and hitch
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.
Convert-A-Ball Cushioned 5th-Wheel-to-Gooseneck Adapter

Offset Adapters for Increased Clearance

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.
Offset 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter
Offset 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter

Cushioned Adapters by Convert-A-Ball

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.
Cushioned 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Adapter by Convert-a-Ball

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". The tallest is the cushioned gooseneck adapter at 16". There is an easy way to determine what height you need for your truck-and-trailer combination.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.
Measuring diagram for gooseneck to 5th-wheel adapter
Updated on: 3/2/2021

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