Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Chico, CA.
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
I'll probably regret weighing in on this one because I CAN'T personally cite a case of a goose conversion causing frame breakage. That having been said I wouldn't do it unless the trailer frame is built for it -unlikely- or has been properly modified. To give you an example of how the increased vertical tongue length increases stresses (lateral/longitudinal) just look at the tow ratings for a B&W goosneck ball hitch. As a ball its 30,000 lbs. When you put the 5th wheel conversion (companion) on it, it goes down to 18,000 lbs. because of the increased torsional forces placed upon the sub-structure by the increased leverage (approx. 16"). This is exactly what your doing to your trailer frame with the goose converter, and I assure you the trailer frame isn't built anywhere as stout at the aforementioned hitch. I've been a heavy duty fabricator and welder (mostly farm implements/equipment) for most of my adult life (I'm 47) and have a pretty good background in things like stresses, levers and structural geometery and thats what I'm basing my opinion on. At minimum all four corners of the pin box frame need to be heavily gusseted and most 5th wheel travel trailers aren't gusseted at all.Yes, a lot of people have gotten away with it without a catastrophic failure, but I guarantee you that if two identical trailers were failure mode tested on a load dynomometer, the trailer frame with the gooseneck conversion would fail first every time. Its basic physics. Also, if you consult with the various 5th wheel manufacturers, the vast majority of them would advise you not to convert and would also caution of voiding the warranty in the event of a structural type failure. Thats my $.02 As far as the converters themselves, every one I've seen is quite stout. If the trailer frame were built as well, I wouldn't be doing all this typing. -- P.S. The stress point in question here - and yes there most definitely IS one- is where the pin box attaches to the trailer frame, it has nothing to do with the juncture of the pin box and the converter.
2011 F-350 Lariat Ultimate pkg. SRW, C.C., LWB, 4x4, 3.55 ELD
2010 Montana Mountaineer 345 DBQ (5th)
Last edited by PerryB; 12-13-2011 at 08:34 PM.