The Best Fifth Wheel Hitch: Everything You Need to Know

Choosing the best fifth wheel hitch for your trailer can make the difference. For those who have RVs or planning to get one, you should get this amenity right away.

Specifically, a fifth wheel hitch has a unique design and installation that allows it haul loads that are too big for the regular ball hitch. You have to place the fifth wheel hitch on the rear wheel of your vehicle. This kind of setup enables the hitch to provide stable and reliable support to your trailer.

Of course, it is still a golden rule that the hitch that you are going to choose must correspond to the size of your vehicle and trailer. Otherwise, you might have a wrong time on the road. In some cases, it could lead to perilous consequences.

Fortunately, fifth wheel hitches are quite impervious to such kind of failure. As long as you choose the right model, you can guarantee that you will have a smooth ride while trailing the road. In here, I will showcase some of the top options for this type of hitch. Check all their features and see which one you think is compatible with your truck and trailer!

Best Fifth Wheel Hitch: Full Review

Picture
Best Pick
Reese Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel with Slider 25000 lb Load Capacity...
Reese Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel 18000 lb Load Capacity and 90...
Curt Manufacturing 16521 A16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller
B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400 Companion Slider 5th Wheel Hitch
CURT 16130 Q20 5th Wheel Hitch
Load Capacity
25,000 pounds
18,000 pounds
16,000 pounds
20,000 pounds
20,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
6,250 pounds
4,500 pounds
4,000 pounds
5000 pounds
5000 pounds
Overall Weight
151 pounds
137 pounds
196 pounds
207 pounds
140 pounds
Best Pick
Picture
Reese Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel with Slider 25000 lb Load Capacity...
Load Capacity
25,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
6,250 pounds
Overall Weight
151 pounds
Picture
Reese Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel 18000 lb Load Capacity and 90...
Load Capacity
18,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
4,500 pounds
Overall Weight
137 pounds
Picture
Curt Manufacturing 16521 A16 5th Wheel Hitch with Roller
Load Capacity
16,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
4,000 pounds
Overall Weight
196 pounds
Picture
B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400 Companion Slider 5th Wheel Hitch
Load Capacity
20,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
5000 pounds
Overall Weight
207 pounds
Picture
CURT 16130 Q20 5th Wheel Hitch
Product Name
Load Capacity
20,000 pounds
Pin Weight Capacity (Vertical Weight Capacity)
5000 pounds
Overall Weight
140 pounds

Last update on 2018-10-19 at 03:05 PST - Details

When it comes to weight capacity, there are only a few brands out there that can match the REESE Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel. This particular unit offers a 25,000-pound load capacity, which is insanely high. Even if you have a big trailer, this hitch can certainly pull it. On the other hand, the weight capacity of its pin is 6,250 pounds. The latter also comes with vertical and side-to-side adjustments for maximum control and security.

One of the good things about the REESE Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel is that it is pre-assembled already. Therefore, you don't have to hassle anymore on figuring out the parts, which could become a time-consuming process.

I also noticed that the foot of this hitch had been hand-tightened for reliable performance. Moreover, there is also a wrench available in the package if you need to do some manual tightening by yourself. For quicker installation, the REESE Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel Hitch has included folding tab washers.

Of course, the durability and sturdiness of this hitch are unquestionable. The materials are durable so that it won't break even carrying heavy loads. It is also noticeable that this device has a wide footprint, which optimizes its stability. Meanwhile, the mounting system of this invention is a turn handle. It has better performance than a pin-mount system.

Just take note that the REESE Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel is not compatible with trucks whose bed length are six feet or shorter. It can only work with them if you are going to use a sidewinder. Moreover, this hitch will not suit with vehicles that have steep sides.

We like

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    High-load capacity
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    It comes with a wide base for stability
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    Pre-assembled already
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    Durable and rugged
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    It has a large head plate for better contact with the kingpin

We do not like

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    Compatability issues (which is entirely understandable)

The little brother of REESE Elite 30143 is also a great fifth wheel hitch. Specifically, the REESE Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel has similar nuances to the Elite 30143, especially when it comes to design and construction. The two somehow differs to their capacity, as the Elite 30142 can only carry a maximum weight of 18,000 pounds. Moreover, its pin weight is 4,500 pounds only. Now, don't take those figures lightly as they are already enough to tackle large trailers.

The pin features a 14-inch to 18-inch vertical adjustment and another 4-inch side-to-side adjustment. Therefore, you can expect that this hitch can cater your trailer. The device also has a quick-lock mounting system. It can efficiently reduce slop, which is pretty standard when you are going to use pin-mount systems. Meanwhile, the head of this hitch can pivot in four directions. Its single jaw forges so that it has a better kingpin contact.

This fifth wheel hitch also features a wide footprint. As you can see, its two bases are curving outwards to ensure that you can mount it with stability. When it comes to its construction, I can say that the REESE Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel is foolproof and flawless. It is completely sturdy and does not come with shaky parts.

Furthermore, the device is already pre-assembled. You can just quickly set this one up to your vehicle and trailer when it arrived at your doorsteps.

There are still some limitations that I can see on the REESE Elite 30142 Fifth Wheel. It is pretty similar to the Elite 30143. This device is not compatible with truck beds that are shorter than six feet. It will not also fit if your truck has a side step or fireside.

We like

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    Durable construction
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    It is still a high-load fifth wheel
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    Stable design due to its broad base
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    Construction is smooth and flawless
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    Comes with multiple adjustment systems

We do not like

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    Does not fit all truck designs

Another fifth wheel hitch that can certainly do the job is the B&W Trailer Hitches RVK3400. It has an excellent towing capacity with multiple features to ensure your stability and safety on the road. Unlike most of the REESE hitches, this one is compatible with trucks that have short beds. That is already a plus factor. Moreover, with its 12-inch slide, you can guarantee that the hitch is highly maneuverable.

The RVK3400 Companion Slider features the standard vertical adjustments (17 inches, 18 inches, and 19 inches. There is also a turnover ball mounting system that allows you to utilize your truck bed whenever you are not using the hitch. You will also appreciate the presence of the cam-action latching handle that enables quick release of the hitch to the trailer. You can activate this feature even on uneven terrain. Mounting rails are not required anymore!

Furthermore, the RVK3400 Companion Slider polyurethane bushing enhances its stability and rattle-free towing action. Since it has a 20,000-pound capacity, there is no doubt that this one can carry big trailers from the get-go. Meanwhile, it vertical weight capacity is 4,500 pounds. The overall construction of this hitch is sturdy, as it comes from industrial-grade powder-coated steel. The jaws come from rugged cast iron.

We like

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    Can cater trucks with short beds
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    Double-pivot design
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    Can be installed and removed quickly
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    High-capacity hitch
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    Produces no noise and rattling

We do not like

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    It is a massive hitch
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    More pricey than most of its counterparts

Even it has a compact profile; the CURT 16130 Q20 5th Wheel Hitch is capable of dragging 20,000-pound trailers. It is a powerful towing machine that has durable and stable construction. Despite this, this glitch remains to be cost-efficient. It provides great value for a price that you can always call reasonable.

This device is also designed to ensure a quiet and smooth towing. You can experience less rattling with this hitch. This feature is possible through the presence of its sphere-shape axial bearing. The latter provides a versatile pivoting system to the hitch. It enables the coupling point and hitch head to tilt in any possible direction. Therefore, dragging trailers can become a smooth experience.

Aside from the axial bearing, the head of this hitch also comes with grease fittings. They ensure that the bearing and the head lubricate for responsive action. There are rugged rubber stoppers that offer foolproof cushioning to the tip of the hitch while it is moving. Take note that its head is self-aligning, too.

The CURT 16130 Q20 5th Wheel Hitch has dual jaws that ensure 360 degrees of kingpin contact. In this way, you can prevent the noises and other rattling sounds. The entire hitch system is compatible with a variety of mounting system. Such of these are base rails and legs and rollers.

We like

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    Its short-throw handle is lockable for easier coupling
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    Capable of 360-degree tilt
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    Connection is foolproof and stable
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    High-load capacity
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    Cost-efficient hitch

We do not like

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    Removal is quite difficult
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    It is not compatible with trucks that have short beds

How to Choose the Best Fifth Wheel Hitch

There is one thing to keep in your mind before you want to drag a fifth wheel trailer. That is the reduction of the items and utilities that are present on the bed of your truck. A fifth wheel hitch is usually attached or connected to the middle of the bed.

You want the trailer to be mounted all the time because the removal process may come tedious. You will have to dedicate your truck for hauling a fifth wheel. Therefore, you must ensure that its bed is free from any clutter. Otherwise, installing the hitch would be difficult.

Once you have settled this factor, you can already proceed with the selection process. There are various considerations that you should take when choosing a fifth wheel hitch. Fortunately, none of them will require technical knowledge. If you know your desired requirements, choosing a hitch by yourself is pretty doable.

Weight Capacity

It is the first factor that you should consider whenever you are going to buy a fifth wheel hitch. Always ensure that the hitch that you are going to choose to have enough power or weight capacity to carry your trailer. If you use a hitch that has a small weight capacity, then it might break while on the road. Of course, that can lead to serious traffic accidents.

Most of the fifth wheel hitches today have labeled their capacity (usually in pounds). I can already consider a hitch with a 20,000-pound capacity an ideal choice for large trailers. But there are still some hitches that have higher ratings than this.

Mounting Style

The standard mounting system of most fifth wheel hitches today is the rail system. But there are some models (like the ones that I have featured here) that are compatible with other mounting setups such as the under-the-bed system. Meanwhile, some other hitches are using specialized brackets to ensure clean and foolproof installation. But most of the time, you will encounter the similar mounting styles on the market.

Therefore, it is up to you which kind of setup do you think can give you better comfort and performance while on the road. Just make sure that the mount can be locked tightly to ensure unwanted breakages.

Pivoting System

The pivot system of a hitch indicates its flexibility while you are on the road. Specifically, hitches with two-pivot systems allow the trailer to move forward. In application, it will enable you to drag the trailer on any straight and hilly paths. But take note that this hitch doesn't provide a swiveling option. Therefore, you need to be careful when passing bumpy trails.

For those who want the maximum flexibility for their hitches, the four-pivot system is the right route. It gives the trailer the freedom to move sidewards. As a result, you can confidently drive on challenging terrain. It is a great benefit if you are going to mountainous terrains for weekend camping.

Sliding Hitch

If your truck bed has a short height (6 feet or lesser), this feature is necessary. A sliding hitch will prevent the trailer from bumping your vehicle whenever you are making sharp turns.

Most of the glitches in the market today have manual slides. In short, you need to adjust them from time to time, depending on the terrain or trail that you are passing. Some models have automatic resetting features. But of course, they are quite costly. But if you want this kind of convenience, then you should invest on these high-end fifth wheel hitches.

The Jaws

For those who have trailers whose weight is more than 25,000 pounds, make sure that the hitch you choose comes with a single jaw design. They have a secure hold and great performance when handling heavy loads.

On the other hand, a double jaw mechanism usually wraps the kingpin. This kind of setup lessens the movement and noise of the trailer while you are driving. On the flip side, double jaw hitches are not the right choice whenever you are handling extremely heavy trailers.

Final Verdict

I have to emphasize again that the REESE Elite 30143 Fifth Wheel is the prime choice for bulky and heavy trailers. That is the only one that has a 25,000-pound weight capacity. Of course, you can still opt for other options if your trailer weight is not that hefty. But for reliable performance and stability on the road, I recommend that you should check this hitch first.

It can swivel in any direction without causing any noise and rattling. The connection it can make between the truck and trailer is superb, too. And because it has a very sturdy construction, I can guarantee that this hitch won't give up on you. It is my best fifth wheel hitch, and I bet that most of you will agree on this.

But if you think that some other fifth wheel hitches are better than this, then just tell me. You can put all of your answers in the comment section below! Of course, you can also drop any questions and suggestions, too.

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This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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