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Old 02-22-2009, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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No Responses for Me?? Gooseneck vs. 5th wheel

Hi, I'm new to the site as of today and would like to ask the following:

I have a 2006 F350 super duty and use a 5th wheel hitch to pull a 31 ft. camper. I'm considering going to a gooseneck, specifically the new "una-goose" and would like pros and cons on converting and also maybe some "do's and don'ts" from those of you who have been there done this.

Also, any suggestions on a cheap way to replace the turn signal lens on the driver side mirror (that someone opened their door against and busted the lens)? Ford wants over $200 to replace the entire chrome piece that covers the back of the mirror. I just need the yellow lens, but can't find a way to remove "just" the lens.

Thanks! Wbrads

Last edited by Wbrads; 02-22-2009 at 12:14 PM. Reason: No one's responding...????
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've been hauling 5er's since about 1989 and I can't say I've seen any goose neck set ups. Not to say thier not out there but if you have a good hitch in the bed already, why the change. I used to have an RBW hitch in my '86 and the only thing I didn't like about it was it was single axis. Reese and others make an underbed set up that you can use either style with. I have had the rails in my bed and the first set ran length wise, these rails run across and I just cut the bed mat to fit between and I don't have any problems. Even though I WOULDN'T , I know that with seat belts and 2 way com. you can ride in a 5er, don't know about a goose neck.. Just my 2 cents worth. I'd leave it be

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Old 02-22-2009, 02:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I thought goose necks were for horse trailers and other really heavy towing applications. The guy that bought my 97 was towing a 10000 lb (empty) horse trailer.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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...would like pros and cons on converting ...
Pros? There arent's any. Why do you think every class 8 OTR truck in the world has a fifth-wheel and not a gooseneck hitch?

Way back when the gooseneck hitch was first developed, the 5er hitches tilted only two ways, for and aft. So they were not good for rough ground where the trailer wanted to tilt sideways as well as back and forth. With a gooseneck, the hitch could roll around in any direction over the ball, so lots of horse trailer and utility trailers needed the gooseneck hitch. But the better 5er hitches today tilt 4 ways, so now they work fine for dragging a horse trailer or utility trailer across very rough ground.

Cons? The gooseneck puts a lot more leverage on the frame of the trailer, therefore the frame must be strengthened around where the pinbox was located. The RV manufacturer will probably void the trailer warranty if you convert the hitch from a kingpin to a gooseneck, because they know the frame is not designed to handle the stress and strain of a gooseneck without a lot of "beefing up" by welding a lot of junkiron into the frame under the trailer's overhang.

Maybe pros? If you have several others trailers with a gooseneck hitch, you might want to have all the trailers you tow frequently have a gooseneck hitch. But better would be to have a hitch in the bed of the truck that's convertible from a gooseneck ball to a fifth-wheel hitch and vice versa. B&W Turnover Ball plus Companion 5er hitch is one way. Another way is to have the Reese/Drawtite bedrails installed that can accept either a gooseneck ball or a fifth wheel hitch plugged into the bedrails.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I converted my 5th wheel to a gooseneck with a Colibert adapter. I'm very happy with it as I don't lose my box. When I'm not towing, I rolll the ball over and I have a full box with no protrusions. When I am towing, the Colibert hitch takes up very little room in the box so I can pack gear, bikes, etc. Reading here though, I will keep an eye on the trailer frame for any signs of cracking.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a B&W Companion 5'er with the hidden goose

I tow for a living. Smokey Wren hit it right on the head. I prefer a 5'er over anything else.

The goose will give you more room in the truck bed but I honestly believe that with a trailer hooked to the bed, a 5th wheel hitch makes you feel like it is a single unit. When pulling a quality trailer like Keystone, Forest River, etc, you have to keep in mind that the traiuler is there.

When pulling a goose, the trailer always reminds you that it is there.

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Old 02-22-2009, 07:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The frame flex is a big problem with heavy 5er's and or frames that aren't quite as strong/stiff as they could be. I've seen several 5ers at local RV dealerships with cracks in the fiberglass siding straight up(well not straight up, but in a line) from where the overhang meets the main body of the fiver. True you can have a cleaner bed when not towing, and pack more junk in when towing, but connecting up is more of a pain. I have a 5er and a gooseneck. The fiver I can back under and "hitch-up" first time almost everytime. With the gooseneck, if I'm by myself, it takes at least three times sometimes 4 five or 6 trips in and out of the truck. A little to far left, now a little too far right, too far back, just a little more back, oops crap the parking brake didn't hold it perfectly still....Almost as bad as hooking up to a bumper tow. Plus, not that I've done this twice, but it's a lot easier to SNATCH the tailgate off with a gooseneck! It's a good thing 5er tailgates are cheaper than the Fords OE.

Oh,,And it's easier to reach/operate a 5er hitch than it is to reach/operate a gooseneck coupler.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudMan5 View Post
I tow for a living. Smokey Wren hit it right on the head. I prefer a 5'er over anything else.

The goose will give you more room in the truck bed but I honestly believe that with a trailer hooked to the bed, a 5th wheel hitch makes you feel like it is a single unit. When pulling a quality trailer like Keystone, Forest River, etc, you have to keep in mind that the traiuler is there.

When pulling a goose, the trailer always reminds you that it is there.

BudMan
I never had that problem. It's the horses moving that reminds me it is there I drove a 5er 3 car trailer for a while, that thing reminded me it was there every expansion joint I went over.
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Old 02-22-2009, 10:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBNtheWoods View Post
The frame flex is a big problem with heavy 5er's and or frames that aren't quite as strong/stiff as they could be. I've seen several 5ers at local RV dealerships with cracks in the fiberglass siding straight up(well not straight up, but in a line) from where the overhang meets the main body of the fiver. True you can have a cleaner bed when not towing, and pack more junk in when towing, but connecting up is more of a pain. I have a 5er and a gooseneck. The fiver I can back under and "hitch-up" first time almost everytime. With the gooseneck, if I'm by myself, it takes at least three times sometimes 4 five or 6 trips in and out of the truck. A little to far left, now a little too far right, too far back, just a little more back, oops crap the parking brake didn't hold it perfectly still....Almost as bad as hooking up to a bumper tow. Plus, not that I've done this twice, but it's a lot easier to SNATCH the tailgate off with a gooseneck! It's a good thing 5er tailgates are cheaper than the Fords OE.

Oh,,And it's easier to reach/operate a 5er hitch than it is to reach/operate a gooseneck coupler.
I don't see the difference in hooking up to one or the other, the technique is the same for both. The coupling part is true,but I used to it so no difference to me.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I would stick with the fifth wheel.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:40 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I converted my 5th wheel to a gooseneck with a Colibert adapter. I'm very happy with it as I don't lose my box.
Me too, it boils down to personal choice. All the armchair experts who've never pulled a gooseneck or conversion will recite the frame breaking, and on and on but they never can come up with a case where it happened. My friend has a Colibert on his 30+ footer and it's sure well made and a quality setup. They seem to be the best and most popular. In my part of the country by far the majority of 5th wheels are conversions. In an RV park here in town a while back I noticed 8 out of 11 trailers were goosenecks. I had mine converted by a friend who opened a trailer fab shop and I've been pulling it all over the western states for at least 20 years now.
Quote:
without a lot of "beefing up" by welding a lot of junkiron into the frame under the trailer's overhang.
Like a trailer fab guy pointed out a few years ago, if you analyze the assembly with some mechanical and fab experience, you can see that any added stress, or increased leverage if much, takes place at the pinbox to gooseneck tube point, not the trailer subframe. The Coliberts and others are well gusseted at that area just for that reason.
There's two pics of mine on the last page of my Webshots, not too much junkiron involved (none), I think he did a pretty clean job. I've done all types of heavy truck fab work and I was going to build my own assembly, but he was just starting his shop, quoted me a very good price, and I'm the first to admit he built a way nicer looking conversion than what I had in mind.
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:54 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've heard that the conversion to a gooseneck from a 5r adds stress.

I ASSUME that it is because the vertical distance between the trailer frame and the pin is greater with a gooseneck? Is that the added stress to the frame? More leverage "moment"?

Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2009, 04:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I've heard that the conversion to a gooseneck from a 5r adds stress.

I ASSUME that it is because the vertical distance between the trailer frame and the pin is greater with a gooseneck? Is that the added stress to the frame? More leverage "moment"?

Thanks.
That is exactly right.
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Old 02-27-2009, 08:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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For me, I'm usually alone when hooking up a trailer. The 5vr is a "line it up and back til it latches" set up, 2 axis alignment (elevation & left/right centering). Gooseneck hitches require a 3 axis alignment (elevation, left/right & fore/aft centering), putting the tow vehicle's ball directly under the receiver before mating can be accomplished, very similar to hitching a bumper pull trailer. For the person who tows GNs frequently, it's no problem. I can line up to my 16' flatbed, getting out only once to lower it onto the ball & hook the chains. For many others, it's a pain when alone. I've found the 5vr more user friendly. However, many GN hitches are rated for higher capacities than 5vr hitches in pickups.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just purchased a Reese 5th for my truck. The con for the gooseneck was in backing up and turning radius. I have a 6.5ft bed and to center the gooseneck over the axle would allow for the front of the trailer to hit the back of the truck cab when turning sharply or backing up in tight situations. The 5th hitch has a slider that allows the hitch to move back enough to clear the cab in tight situations. When not in use it has rails in the bed but those don't get in my way,
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