Fifth-wheel to gooseneck adapters are a quick and effective solution to a common towing incompatibility conundrum.
There are just two types of trailer hitches that are used for hauling heavy loads: fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches.
However, your tow vehicle and wheeled cargo might not always be compatible.
To avoid the extra hassle and expenses, you can purchase a simple hitch adapter that will modify your trailer king pin and allow it to lock securely into a gooseneck hitch.
These adapters quickly and easily convert your RV trailer so that it can be towed with a gooseneck ball.
Unfortunately, choosing the best 5th wheel to gooseneck adapter can be a challenge, when you consider the broad field of options with somewhat similar characteristics.
To help counter this problem we’ve researched and reviewed 5 of the best fifth wheel hitch to gooseneck adapters on the market to help you quickly find the one that’s right for you.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks For fifth wheel to gooseneck adapters in 2023
5 Best fifth wheel to gooseneck adapters: Rankings & Reviews
1: Most Secure: C5G Convert-a-ball Cushioned Goose Neck Adapter
With a towing capacity of up to 20,000-pounds a GVW tongue weight of up to 4,000-pounds and Cushioned 360-degree mobility, there’s a lot to like in the C5G Convert-a-ball.
It’s also adjustable being able to range anywhere from 12-inches to 16-inches.
C5G also did their best to make it easy to install, with relatively easy to read instructions in the owner’s manual.
The collar was designed to slide over the kingpin and is held in place with three heavy-duty fasteners.
It was engineered with a positive lock guided coupler with a sliding red bar. for a very secure connection.
There is also a “Fail-Safe King Pin Adapter.” The C5G was also set up to cleaning accept a padlock.
It also has a 360-degree cushioning in the coupler which goes a long way toward improving towing comfort.
It’s especially handy if you are pushing the 20,000 pound GVW or 4,000-pound tongue weight and you need to minimize wear and tear on your town vehicle.
If you need a gooseneck adapter that was engineered for superior ride comfort and security then the C5G Convert-a-ball is the best gooseneck hitch adapters option for you.
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2: Best 15-Inch: T Built 15 Fifth Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter
One of the nice things about the T Built Adapter Hitch is that it gives you the ability to tow a fifth wheel RV or trailer without having to install an excessive amount of hardware and other components in the cargo box of the truck.
With this gooseneck adapter, you are essentially converting the trailer.
It’s designed to work with the truck’s original turn over the ball, or an existing other gooseneck hitch, and includesa 2 5/16-inch ball as well as other necessary hardware components.
This includes Grade-8 mounting bolts, washers, and locknuts. It has three adjustable heightsettings at 12-inches, 15-inches and even as high as 17-inches.
The T Built 15″ Fifth Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter has a towing capacity rated up to 20,000 pounds. It includes a self-centering locking plate.
This is very handy for making sure the fifth wheel trailer is confidently connected. If you need to disconnect this T Built gooseneck adatpter also has a padlocked coupler.
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3: Best Ride Comfort: Convert-A-Ball C5GX1216 Adjustable Goose Neck Adapter
The Convert-a-ball C5GX1216 has a rated towing capacity of up to 20,000-pounds with a pin weight capacity of up to 4,000-pounds.
It’s made from durable cast steel to be able to handle the rigors of pulling a heavy fifth-wheel trailer with confidence. The engineering also helps with ride comfort.
It also has poly-cushions that are designed to absorb shock for superior ride comfort and reduced vibration.
The engineering helps reduce wear and tear on your truck, which can be nice if you have a slightly older tow vehicle. There are 4-inches of height adjustment.
This is particularly nice if for example you need to tow a fifth wheel equipment trailer for work, then on the weekends and holidays you need to tow a different fifth wheel RV for vacation.
It’s also handy for minimizing wear and tear on your truck in the long-term.
If you need to tow various fifth wheel trailers with a priority on comfort and confidence then the Convert-A-Ball C5GX1216 might be your best gooseneck adapter option.
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4: Best 17-Inch: T Built 17 with 7 3/4″ Forward Offset Goose Neck Adapter
This is the bigger brother of the T Built 15-inch Adapter Hitch. With this gooseneck adapter,you can convert your B&W turn over the ball, or a pre-existing gooseneck hitch with a 2 5/16-inch ball to tow a fifth-wheel trailer.
T Built includes all the necessary hardware which includes their standard Grade-8 mounting bolts, and washers with locking nuts.
As needed, you can adjust it to 12-inch, 15-inches or even up to 17-inches.
This means you can set it up for just about any fifth-wheel trailer, or multiple trailers that you might have at your disposal.
The T Built 17″ Fifth Wheel to Goose Neck Adapter has a self-centering locking plate for a more secure and confident connection.
It’s was also engineered to fit up to a 2-5/16″ ball pocket. It has a towing capacity rated up to 20,000-pounds.
For added security, the coupler can also be padlocked for those times when you might be away from your fifth wheel.
The ability to adjust all the way up to accommodate up to 17-inches is certainly nice for higher and more robust fifth wheel trailers that need a gooseneck connection.
If you want a fifth wheel connection that can securely accommodate up to 17-inches the T Built 17″ is the best fifth wheel to gooseneck adapter for you.
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5: Best Remote Release: T Built Trailer Remote Release 15″ Goose Neck Adapter
When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of forces at play when a fifth-wheel trailer is hitched to a pickup truck.
When released none of those forces are particularly friendly to the human body.
Being able to release your fifth-wheel trailer for the gooseneck adapter hitch without having to get up close and personal is the sort of feature that you will quickly appreciate.
This T Built gooseneckadapter hitch has all the telltale quality materials and engineering that you expect from this industry leader.
It comes with the same hardware components included to let you perform your installation.
It’s even rated with a towing capacity of up to 25,000 pounds, and has a self-centering locking plate, with a pad-lockable coupler.
It can even be set to 12, or 15-inches. Just not that it can’t go as high as 17-inches.
Where it takes a step up from its brothers is the fact that it has a remote release feature.
This is a special braided steel cable with a handle that you pull to disengage the fifth wheel from the gooseneck adapter hitch from a safe distance.
It’s especially handy if you need to disconnect your fifth wheel trailer from your truck on uneven or unlevel ground.
In some of these situations the fifth wheel trailer can shift suddenly at disconnection with the kind of forces that the human body is not meant to absorb.
If you need to tow a heavy trailer and/or you need to disconnect it on uneven ground, then the T Built 1500 R is the best fifth wheel gooseneck adapter with a remote release.
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Choosing Adapters for Towing a 5th Wheel Trailer with a Gooseneck Hitch
There are a few important factors to consider when looking for the best fifth wheel to gooseneck adapter for you.
Engineers and fifth wheel hitch manufacturers have seemingly flooded the market with options to the point that you might feel spoiled for choice, or maybe even overwhelmed by seeming copycat options.
Right off the bat, you have to be mindful of the critical details like the overall load weight of the fifth wheel trailer you’ll be hauling.
You also need to take into account how that weight might change as you use the trailer. For something like a fifth wheel RV, the total load isn’t going to change much.
In the case of the fifth-wheel horse trailer with a small sleeping compartment in the front cap, there can be a massive swing between how much it will weight empty, versus how much it will weight with five horses and camping gear loaded into it.
You also need to take into account the tow vehicle’s statistics and towing capacity as well as the intended clearance between the bottom of your pin box and the tip of the gooseneck’s ball.
As a general rule of thumb, short bed trucks and gooseneck adapters are not an ideal pairing.
Especially you need to make some sharp turns or you need to frequently reverse at an angle, as the front cap of the fifth wheel trailer can get perilously close to the cab of the truck.
To start with, there are a few key questions that you should try to answer to help filter out your options and narrow down the field to find the best gooseneck adapter for your truck and fifth-wheel trailer.
What Size Goose Neck Adapter Do I Need?
You will inevitably have to do less measuring for a gooseneck adaptor that straight up replaces the trailer’s pin box. If you aren’t doing a total replacement you will need to fall back on the adage of “Measure Twice.”
Any errors in your measurements could lead to major mechanical headaches in the installation phase.
It could also lead to problems with ride comfort when towing, or result in your trailer not riding level, which could be a major problem for a fifth wheel livestock trailer.
The first measurement you need to get dead-on is the exact distance between the front of the gooseneck’s ball and bottom of the pin box.
This single measurement will be a major guiding light in helping you filter down your options.
Most gooseneck adapters are either 17-inches, 15-inches or 17-inches. You can generally use a 12-inch gooseneck adapter for an 11 to 12-inch.
A 15-inch gooseneck adapter will accept 13 to 14-inches, and 15- to 16-inch will fit a 17-inch adapter. Essentially you can go smaller, but not bigger.
Do I Want To Replace The Pin Box Or The Fifth Wheel Hitch?
This is a dividing line and often depends on which one your own first, the fifth-wheel trailer or the tow vehicle truck.
It’s often cheaper to replace the pin box on the trailer if you already own a truck with a gooseneck hitch installed in the cargo bed frame.
Though there is technically a third option where you can bolt an adapter over top of the kingpin’s lube plate.
With an adapter that replaces the fifth wheel hitch, you enjoy a more solid connection.
Yet it also takes up more space and realistically isn’t a viable option for a short bed truck.
On the other end of the spectrum, replacing the fifth wheel trailer’s pin box is much easier and often costs less.
However, you will have to accept that it will need more routine maintenance and if you are a do-it-yourself, it could void the fifth wheel trailer’s existing warranty coverage.
With an adapter that is bolted over the lube plate of the king pin lube plate, you get a secure connection, a little less maintenance, and an arguably smoother ride. This depends on any other additional features.
Determine Your Budget
Some gooseneck adapter options cost under $400, but when you take a closer look, they usually have some sort of short cut taken in their material, design or engineering.
So, it’s best to view $350 as your floor. On the other end of the spectrum, you might see other gooseneck adapters that are priced over $700.
With these, you want to keep your eyes out for special features that might make for superior ride comfort, or security features once you are unhitched.
Double-Check The Maximum Tongue Weight And Towing Capacity
The maximum tongue weight is the highest amount of force, the fifth wheel hitch can support.
It’s always 10 to 25-percent lower than the rated towing capacity.
This is with the assumption that 50 to 60-percent of the loaded weight of the trailer is intelligently distributed on or in front of the axle.
Are Gooseneck Fifth Wheel Adapters Safe?
Security, safety and general ride comfort are all important features to consider when shopping for a gooseneck adapter package.
Security features like the ability to accept a trailer padlock or other ways to lock people out from hooking up to the pin box on the trailer are always nice.
Especially if you are going to be parking your fifth-wheel trailer and leaving it unattended for long periods.
Safety features like robust tow chains and hasps are also a feature in the cap to help reduce accidents when you are on the road.
A remote release feature is also very nice for keeping you and others out of harm’s way when unhitching.
Ride comfort usually comes in the form of some type of cushioning in the gooseneck adapter.
Not only does it make for a smoother towing experience, but it can also reduce road noise while you are underway.
This is something you will appreciate if you have a long drive between Point A and Point B.
Most quality fifth wheel gooseneck adapter kits will have either mechanical or pneumatic cushioning.
This can affect the budget and might be limited by the features you want to install in your tow vehicle.
Will You Need To Remove A Gooseneck Hitch Adapter?
For some people altering the hitch in the cargo box of the truck is the preferred option.
It’s especially handy if you are going to frequently tow a fifth-wheel trailer for work. Afterall a lot of three-quarter and one-ton trucks need to earn their keep.
This might mean towing an equipment trailer on Monday through Friday to the job site and then pulling a fifth-wheel camper on the weekends.
In a scenario like this, the weight of the hitch adapter is a non-factor and you can just let it live in the box full time.
If you are only going to be using the fifth wheel hitch for occasional vacations or towing a livestock trailer to the fair, then having the hitch live in your truck’s cargo box can be a real waste of space.
Especially if that same area is needed to haul tools, bales of straw, or firewood to the campsite.
In a scenario like this, you might want to consider looking for a lightweight hitch that can potentially be removed and reinstalled with just two people.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Remote Release Work?
A remote release feature is very handy for letting you disengage the fifth wheel trailer from the gooseneck adapter without having to put a human body near what could be a potential amount of force.
Most remote releases of this kind are made from a braided steel cable with a sturdy handle on the end.
You simply pull it and it disengages the connection between the fifth-wheel trailer and the gooseneck adapter hitch.
What Are The Benefits Of A Cushion?
Some gooseneck hitch manufacturers engineer their units with some type of cushion system.
There are a few different ways to do it, but the end goal is to reduce the hard vibrations and shifting that sometimes comes when a pickup truck tows a large fifth-wheel trailer.
Not only does it improve ride comfort it can also reduce long-term wear and tear on the tow vehicle. This is especially nice if your truck has a little structural rust.
Does Adjustable Height Matter?
If you have one fifth-wheel trailer and you don’t plan on getting a new one in the foreseeable future, then height adjustability in the gooseneck adapter hitch isn’t all that big of a deal.
However, if you tow different fifth-wheel trailers, such as an equipment trailer for work, or a livestock trailer, and you also tow a fifth wheel RV on vacation, then a goose neck adapter with adjustable height might quickly rise your priorities list!
There are a lot of options on the market when it comes to shopping for a gooseneck adapter hitch.
Looking for robust materials and sound engineering principles is a good place to start. As is sticking to a trusted manufacturer with a strong industry reputation.
Once you’ve got all your measurements in the order you can start the process of filtering through your needs.
If you sometimes need to tow different fifth wheel trailers for work as well as play, you might want to lean toward one with height adjustability from 12-inches to 17-inches like the T Built 17″ Fifth Wheel to Goose Neck Adapter with 7 3/4″ Forward Offset.
If you have an older truck, or you might be taking your fifth-wheel trailer off the beaten path, you might want to prioritize one with cushioning or other engineering features that improve ride comfort like the Convert-A-Ball C5GX1216.
Along the way, you might want to also keep an eye out for safety and security features.
The ability to padlock or to disconnect via a remote release cable can come in very handy when you need to disconnect to use the truck for getting between Point A to Point B.
If this sounds like you, then the T Built 1500 R Goose Neck Adapter Hitch 5th Wheel Trailer Remote Release needs to be firmly on your radar.
Whatever your fifth wheel towing needs are, chances good that the best gooseneck adapter for you is somewhere on this list.