Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: gooseneck + adapter + Bighorn 3670RL (12K dry)

Posted By: rickb on 11/30/08 05:31am

Hi, all -

So, I've got a truck with a killer gooseneck setup installed in it, already. Looking to get the Bighorn 3670RL (which is a moderately heavy trailer - 12K dry).

I can get that all cut out and replaced with a plate, but I'm wondering if a gooseneck adapater would work?

Gooseneck ratings are pretty high - towing horses, vehicle carriers, etc. I'm thinking a concern would be the shock transmitted to the trailer? The truck's got a pretty stiff suspension (air-bags added). Is there an adapter with a suspension mechanism in it?

Anyone have any thoughts on this? I'm a real newbie in the fiver world, so any help appreciated. I'd like to really understand the issues before spending a couple of grand to get it cut out and replaced with a plate.

thanx,
rickb


Current stable:
  • '97 F350 CC 4x4 SWD/'97 Coachmen Ranger cabover camper, 11.5'
  • DataStorm Satellite Internet w/ 'a/b' Internal WiFi (I'm here!)
  • '92 Coachmen class 'B', Chevy van chassis.


    In Tow:
  • Folbot Yukon folding kayak.
  • Bike Friday Gnu/Sat-R-Day folding bikes.


  • Posted By: shadoow on 11/30/08 05:59am

    mornin rick,

    I'll tell you what i've read on here & you can probably get more info thru a search. One of the big considerations to using a goose neck adapter seems to be the stress it puts on the 5er pin box. Some say that using could/would void any frame warranty you have. It's suggested to contact the manufacturer to get their thoughts on using a goose neck setup.
    As far as a hitch goes, there are air-ride type hitches out there. Mor-Ryde (sp?) is one of them & I would think something like this would cushion the trailer ride considerably but, I have no personal experience with this type of setup.
    I'm sure others will chime in that can help you better (once the coffee gets done....)


    Posted By: curt12914 on 11/30/08 06:04am

    The gooseneck conversion adds a considerable amount of leverage to the pin box because of the distance of the point of hook from the frame.

    My first advice would be to check with the manufacturer of your trailer (and more specifically the frame) to check to see what their recommendations are and what warranty implications there might be with converting to a gooseneck.

    Another option might be the Companion fifth wheel hitch.

    I just did the opposite you are thinking about. I converted my gooseneck trailer to a fifth wheel pin to avoid changing hitches every time I wanted to use a different trailer. I much prefer hooking and unhooking the fifth wheel (especially when I'm alone) to the hassle of lining up the ball, climbng into the truck bed to couple, uncouple and fight with safety chains.


    05 Ford F-350 Lariat CC 4X4 PSD DRW Line X Retrax
    02 Montana Big Sky 3295 RK (2) Honda EU2000is
    When my grown kids were inspecting our new fifth wheel, one asked why we bought a trailer that sleeps 4. My reply was that we couldn't find one that sleeps 2!


    Posted By: rickb on 11/30/08 08:26am

    Actually, I've been talking to the folks at the Heartland Owners forum and ultimately the warranty is the issue (which does have implications for structural strain.)

    Thanks.


    Posted By: kakampers on 11/30/08 08:32am

    Heartland uses Lippert frames and I can just about guarantee that Lippert will void the warranty if you use a gooseneck.

    Look at a gooseneck trailer and notice the vertical gussets along the length of the pin. You will notice that you have none of that type of support in a 5er pinbox...they are totally difference designs and are made to be towed using very different hitch systems...I'd rethink the gooseneck idea.

    However the Bighorn 3670 is a really great decision in a 5er...JMHO.


    2013 Heartland Landmark Key Largo with Mor Ryde IS and disc brakes
    2011 Chevy Silverado 3500 DRW Crew Cab Duramax Diesel


    Posted By: Endricken on 11/30/08 11:46am

    I've towed an 05 Montana Big Sky 3670 of approximately the same weight for about 3000 miles using a STAR Performance Gooseneck Adaptor which incorporates a gliding motion to reduce stresses. So far, no frame issues that Ive seen based on fiberglass skin and front compartment visible framework. Stories of Lippert frame failures with Fifth wheel hitches seem to be as common as gooseneck adaptor frame failures so my suspicion is frame construction and welder quality is the biggest issue and heavier higher end Fivers may have more robust frames (?). I will be sure to report a failure should it ever occur, but so far, so good (albeit towing mileage to date is minimal...)
    Trailer got stuck once in soft ground so additional truck with chain on the rear trailer axle pulled it along backwards with my pushing and it survived that.
    The only problem I've had with the STAR adapter is severe backing maneuvers have sometimes rotated the adapter sideways. I think I will prevent that by finally installing the provided bolts to supplementally attach it to the Fiver Hitch.
    The reason I did this as the truck I bought used had a robustly installed turnup Ball in the bed and this has been very handy since I have a completely free bed when not hitched up.
    Just one of the tradeoffs/risks I've been willing to take albeit the consequences could be high.
    Good luck with your decision!


    Retired USAF
    Silver 05 Dodge RAM LB CTD Dually 4Speed Auto SWD 3.73, Westin Sportsman Grill & Taillight Guards, Bully steps, Husky Mudguards, Retractable Ball Hitch, MaxBrake - towing 2005 Keystone Montana Big Sky 3670 with Reese Goosebox



    Posted By: TXiceman on 12/03/08 10:36am

    My first word of advice is don't do it.

    Next is contact the frame manufacturer if you want confirmation

    Do not believe anything the dealer or the manufacturer of the GN adapter tells you.

    Ken

    * This post was edited 12/08/08 04:40pm by TXiceman *


    Amateur Radio Operator.
    2013 HitchHiker 38RLRSB Champagne, toted with a 2012, F350, 6.7L PSD, Crewcab, dually. 3.73 axle, Full Time RVer.
    Travel with a standard schnauzer and a Timneh African Gray parrot


    Posted By: SoCalDesertRider on 12/03/08 10:29am

    I wouldn't use one on a Lippert frame at all. That company makes the frames so they're just barely strong enough to hold up when used as designed, let alone when used out of the parameters of the design.


    05E350 6.0PSD
    97F350DRW 7.3PSD 4x4 4.10 11' flatbed
    98Ranger
    69Bronco ATC250R CR500
    20' BigTex flatbed carhauler
    Callen Camper

    92F350 CrewCab 4x4 351/C6
    B&W TurnoverBall, Curt Magnum V
    HD Springs Bilsteins,
    285/75-16E BFG AT on 16x8 Stocktons
    4.56's & LockRite rear


    Posted By: Dustytuu on 12/02/08 06:51pm

    I don't know if this is true but have heard from several people that if you use a goose neck to tow a 5th wheel it will void your warranty on the frame.


    2008 dodge 5500, diesel,Laramie
    2008 Carriage Carri-Lite, 36SBQ, 4 slides,dishwasher,washer/dryer,2 fireplaces,6500 gen.
    D & D
    3 Schnauzers and a BIG cat

    http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/Dustytuu/

    Kindness, and good manners are important.



    Posted By: countryrose on 11/30/08 11:51pm

    I am not familiar with towing a 5ver with a GN hitch, does a GN have the same tendencies to chuck and buck like many traditional 5th wheel hitches?
    If it does are there any devise available to reduce or eliminate those issues with a GN hitch. A traditional 5th wheel hitch provide you with many options such as Moreride, Trailride, Airborne, etc.

    I ordered My Bighorn with a Trailer hitch pin and it tows very smooth. My last 5ver was a Keystone and the chuck and buck was unbelievable. I am not sure how my Bighorn would tow without the Trailair but love the way it tows with it.


    Gary
    2009 Bighorn 3400RL
    2008 Chevy 3500HD DRW
    DuraMax w/allison


    Posted By: Endricken on 12/01/08 06:35am

    The STAR PERFORMANCE Gooseneck adapter is designed to reduce chucking per the manufacturer. My experience towing has been that only occasionally have I felt mild chucking.


    Posted By: Scarface56 on 12/03/08 09:57am

    I don't know why anyone would want to use a GN adapter to tow a 5th wheel. they are a pain in the --- to hook up.


    Me & DW
    08 GMC 3500 SLT 4x4 DRW Diesel
    Pioneer AVIC D3 GPS Nav/Stereo/backup camera
    2011 245RL Keystone Laredo
    Scooter Buddy 125
    17.5 Crestliner Boat

    For those of us who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. SEMPER FI



    Posted By: RandCBowlin on 12/03/08 09:37am

    I can confirm that it does void the Lippert frame warranty, and it's not just gooseneck adapters: "this warranty does not cover...installatoin of any and all aftermarket hauling attachments such as gooseneck adapters, pinbox extensions, tow hitched, load bearing devices, or other attachments..."

    This is a sore spot for me as I specifically asked the dealer if it was "ok" to use the GN adapter and was assured it was. I even bought it from them and they installed it when we bought our unit. Now, feeling very ignorant, I find that not only is the Lippert frame warranty voided, Lippert frames don't have a stellar reputation for quality. I've sent an e-mail to the dealer sales manager alerting him of this but haven't heard back.

    So far so good on the frame but we've only made two trips since we bought it in September. We're keeping a close eye on it and hoping for the best. (yes, I considered converting back to the 5th wheel but for now, we need the GN hitch in our truck).


    2009 Open Range 337RLS
    2001 Ford F350 Supercab 4X4 Dually
    Lily and Lexi (our wonderful rescue Doberwomen)



    Posted By: cwit on 12/03/08 09:58am

    Lippert frame will try and find a way to void their warranty,and if any thing happens it is void because the trailer man. gave them the specks on how to build the frame.






    Posted By: TXiceman on 12/03/08 06:48pm

    Schawnct450r

    And for those that have to have a "clean" bed, use the B&W Turn Over Ball and Companion 5th Wheel Hitch. Get to use a 5er hitch and no rails...end over argument.

    If you ever want to see how well the manufacturers that build the GN adapters stand behind their product, just ask one to provide a plain English warranty on their letterhead, signed by the president, that they will be fully responsible for any frame damage to the pin and pin box area of your trailer when used with their adapter.

    Ken


    Posted By: TXiceman on 12/04/08 10:47am

    Keith Smith wrote:

    There was a thread started on this forum where someone asked if anyone had any real experiences with frame failure due to a GN adapter. It specified no friend of a friend accounts. I don't believe anyone responded. If you do a search, you'll find it about a year ago.

    BTW, my GN adapter works well with no signs of overstress on my frame, but I still check it after every pull. It would be interesting to put some strain guages on the frame and check it with and without the GN adapter, but I don't have the money or equipment to test it.


    I have personally seen the damage a GN adapter can cause to a 5er. Both were high end units and the damage was in the pin box attachment area.

    As for a GN being safer....I will not buy that. If they were safer, all of the OTR guys would be using them.

    If you are a mechanical engineer, you should be able to easily see the problem with a GN adapter on a 5er hitch trailer.

    I just love these experts that don't know what stress of moment arms are.

    ken


    Posted By: Ray,IN on 12/04/08 10:49am

    The bottom line is- It's your money and property to treat as you desire-and deal with the concequences as you desire. The Zieman/Lippert frame warranty is just a previously described, Hyperlinks to the warranty and parent company, Davis Industries may be found in my reply to this subject on irv2.com. Yes, there are long-past threads of personal accounts of gooseneck adaptor severe damage to 5ers. One person included pictures of the damage to his 5er.You must use the advanced search feature and select search archives to find these threads. I just used "pin box damage" in the any words format, to find over 20 pages of long-past threads.

    * This post was edited 12/04/08 11:11am by Ray,IN *


    Posted By: SoCalDesertRider on 12/03/08 05:16pm

    Since you have a Weekend Warrior, you might want to go down to the Toyhauler forum and read about the problems some owners of WW 5th wheels have had with the area of the frame around the pin box, even using a regular fifth wheel hitch. The frames WW used are known to be poorly made and some poorly designed.

    I fully agree about the convenience of using a gooseneck hitch in the truck. It would make more sense for all RV fifth wheel trailers to be built as goosenecks, like cargo and horse/livestock trailers, eliminating the need for 5th wheel hitches in pickups. Toyhaulers would especially benefit from the heavier duty gooseneck trailer frame construction as well as increased ability to hitch/unhitch on uneven ground and greater lateral range of movement on the ball.

    * This post was edited 12/03/08 05:22pm by SoCalDesertRider *


    Posted By: Frank_EP on 12/04/08 06:12pm

    pctpaul wrote:

    "There are pneumatic spring gooseneck systems. You can just
    buy one and add it to your gooseneck trailer
    ."


    Frank_EP,

    Got a manufacturer's name/s for this system? Sounds interesting, and I'd like to check it out.


    You can certainly take a look at AirSafe.
    http://www.yourtrailerhitch.com
    There are a few others, but that one sticks in my mind.


    2003 Lance 1071 maxed out plus 200 watts PV, accumulator and bottle opener
    2004 Chevy 2500HD Duramax 167", Hellwig, Reese Titan, Reese Front, LineX, AirLift, bed mat, Rancho9000, Rickson 19.5" Eliminators with Mich 225/70 XDE M/S
    KF6JGX; 5W on Yaesu FT530


    Posted By: Frank_EP on 12/03/08 10:37am

    There are pneumatic spring gooseneck systems. You can just
    buy one and add it to your gooseneck trailer. So there is no
    specific concern about vertical shock loading.

    The only other concern is the additional torque applied to the
    trailer frame before it makes the connection to the lower part
    of the frame. It is possible, but not trivial, to re-engineer
    and re-fabricate that component.


    Posted By: DSteiner51 on 12/04/08 11:54am

    TXiceman wrote:


    I have personally seen the damage a GN adapter can cause to a 5er. Both were high end units and the damage was in the pin box attachment area.


    Great!! I'll be looking for some pictures from you!

    TXiceman wrote:


    As for a GN being safer....I will not buy that. If they were safer, all of the OTR guys would be using them.


    Totally different application and weight. OTR's do not have pivoting side to side hitchs because the trailers are flimsy enough that the hitch on the semi tractor actually helps stabilize the front of the trailer somewhat. Twist your 5th wheel camper like that and watch your fiberglass sides crack all over.

    TXiceman wrote:

    If you are a mechanical engineer, you should be able to easily see the problem with a GN adapter on a 5er hitch trailer.

    I just love these experts that don't know what stress of moment arms are.

    ken


    I may not be an expert but I've designed and built lots of trailers and yes, I did the calculations for my conversion. You are correct it does have a greater arm leverage in the strait pull but what many don't take into consideration are the other stresses inherit with the 5th wheel design.

    Older RV 5th wheel hitch designs only pivot front to back and not side to side, many newer ones do but not by much. Exceed the limits when off road this puts much more stress on the pin box then a normal start/stop maneuver or normal towing. Hook your 5th to a larger truck, such as a MDT and really stress it unless you have a 4 way head that will take pivoting to the full extent required. Some 5th wheels warranties are also voided behind a MDT Many goosenecks allow for the required maneuvering.

    In an accident the GN adapter will stress the pinbox more but in many (not all) of those cases the standard 5th hitch will also deform or break.

    Note: I don't say all or always as there are exceptions to the rules so one must consider his own rig.


    D. Steiner
    The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.



    Posted By: DSteiner51 on 12/04/08 08:59am

    AGBAT wrote:

    Quote:

    When someone pays big $$$$$$ for a 5th wheel they want a hitch that will carry it safely and without damage.

    In that case they should buy a gooseneck. If you search for frame failure stories you will find every one is a regular hitch. I have never heard of a gooseneck causing a frame failure. Based on the real evidence you will be safer using a gooseneck for you $$$ 5th wheel.


    I don't remember any one ever posting here of frame issues with a goose neck adapter but I did see picts and posts of frames breaking with the standard 5th wheel hitches. Another plus for gooseneck hitch is I've never heard or read of anyone dropping it on the bed rails. Some states require safety chains on gooseneck hitches but yet it is the 5th wheel owners who drop their trailer so much so I would think if a legislator would ever read these forums safety chains would soon be required on all 5th wheel trailers.

    I have over 30k miles on mine and yes I got it stuck once where a 19000lb farm tractor with dual rear wheels had all it wanted to tow it out while hooked to the front of my truck so all the stress went thru the hitch. Yes, it was muddy and the tractor duals filled with mud which limited it's towing ability.


    Posted By: Dustytuu on 12/03/08 09:39pm

    Quote:


    I, on the other hand, don't know why anyone would want to fill their truck bed with a 5'er hitch. As soon as I disconnect from my trailer, I am free to fill the truck bed with anything that would normally fit there.



    When someone pays big $$$$$$ for a 5th wheel they want a hitch that will carry it safely and without damage.


    Posted By: AGBAT on 12/04/08 07:54am

    Quote:

    When someone pays big $$$$$$ for a 5th wheel they want a hitch that will carry it safely and without damage.

    In that case they should buy a gooseneck. If you search for frame failure stories you will find every one is a regular hitch. I have never heard of a gooseneck causing a frame failure. Based on the real evidence you will be safer using a gooseneck for you $$$ 5th wheel.


    Posted By: AGBAT on 12/04/08 02:22pm

    Quote:

    I just used "pin box damage" in the any words format, to find over 20 pages of long-past threads.

    You must be trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes.
    I did the same search and the 20 pages have nothing to do with a gooseneck hitch damaging a frame. You get formus on everything from the grade of steel in a regular hitches pins to air ride hitches and some guy complaining about all the issues he has with Alumascape.


    Posted By: Keith Smith on 12/04/08 09:59am

    There was a thread started on this forum where someone asked if anyone had any real experiences with frame failure due to a GN adapter. It specified no friend of a friend accounts. I don't believe anyone responded. If you do a search, you'll find it about a year ago.

    BTW, my GN adapter works well with no signs of overstress on my frame, but I still check it after every pull. It would be interesting to put some strain guages on the frame and check it with and without the GN adapter, but I don't have the money or equipment to test it.


    Lost...But making good time.
    2000 Ford F-250 V-10 4X4 CC, 1998 Sprinter 265RK



    Posted By: 1100Sabre on 12/04/08 05:45pm

    GN hitches have all we have ever used and have NEVER had an issue. We have had this set up on 4 different 5th wheel campers and not one time have the frames bent, broken, or welds crack.


    2009 4X4 Chevrolet Duramax/Allison 3500HD Crew Cab DRW
    2007 Sportsman Sportster KZ 33P Toy Hauler
    "It's not the destination, it's the journey."


    Posted By: joshjack on 12/04/08 10:19am

    I use the B&W Companion with my B&W hitch and it works great. Most people really like the Companions' and love the smooth ride they give.

    Who makes your hitch? Is the ball removable or does it just lay over?

    J


    03 Ram 1500 Quad Cab with Hemi 5.7, HD tow package, K&N Cold Air, B&W Companion + Ball, Prodigy,

    Macbook Pro 17" (Fastest Vista Laptop , iPhone)

    Me and the DW and our
    2 Dogs: Jackson (golden), Pumba (min-pin)



    Posted By: pctpaul on 12/03/08 12:55pm

    "There are pneumatic spring gooseneck systems. You can just
    buy one and add it to your gooseneck trailer
    ."


    Frank_EP,

    Got a manufacturer's name/s for this system? Sounds interesting, and I'd like to check it out.


    2008 KZ New Vision Sportster 38SB
    2001 Torelli 20th. Anniversary Bicycle
    2008 Torelli 650 CM bicycle (DW's)
    2007 Co-Motion Periscope 700CP Tandem
    2004 Burley Duet Tandem


    Posted By: shawnct450r on 12/03/08 01:41pm

    Scarface56 wrote:

    I don't know why anyone would want to use a GN adapter to tow a 5th wheel. they are a pain in the --- to hook up.


    I, on the other hand, don't know why anyone would want to fill their truck bed with a 5'er hitch. As soon as I disconnect from my trailer, I am free to fill the truck bed with anything that would normally fit there.

    After having this set-up for almost a year now, and hooking it up approx. 10-12 times, it becomes very easy to get the ball under the trailer hitch even though I can't see it while in the truck. I rarely have to adjust now after backing the truck up. Normally it's close enough to drop right down on the ball. Practice, ya know. hehe

    I like my 5'er with the adapter on it. Got the 5" offset unit, and it gives me plenty of room when making sharp turns. Gets close to the cab, but will not touch. With as much weight as the thing weights, it seemd to ride just fine to me. Minor jerking around on crappy roads, but it did that when I towed it home on day one with my friends truck using his standard 5'er hitch.

    I have inspected all visible frame and tongue areas (several times)after hearing about possible weakness / deformation / damage issues associated with gooseneck adapters. Results - Nothing yet. Looks good to me. Will keep inspecting at the end of towing evolutions and update if there is anything noteworthy.

    This trailer gets towed offroad to riding areas, so it's not baby'd either. I do drive slow when off the tarmac, but it still gets shaken up pretty good. I'd say the set-up is sound.

    Hope this helps.


    04 F250 FX4 Diesel
    06 WW LE3305
    06 Honda TRX450R (CT Racing)
    04 Suzuki LTZ250 (Son's stunt machine)
    06 Suzuki LT50
    05 Honda VFR800A




    Posted By: TXiceman on 12/08/08 04:39pm

    Keith, no photos as i do not carry my camera around snapping useless photos. I did talk to the shop that was doing the work and he said this was pretty normal for larger 5ers and GN adapters if they encountered much rough road.

    I am a mechanical engineer and registered now since 1979. A first year statics student can see the weakness of the GN adapter. If the pin box is designed to take the additional stresses, it will work. But the frame manufacturers do not put 1 pound of extra steel in the frames.

    I still say, ask the GN adapter manufacturer to provide a warranty with the adapter that states in plain English, that his company accepts full responsibility to damage to the trailer hitch and pin box area....no questions, no qualifiers...just he will pay to have you trailer repaired or replaces. You will not get one to state anything close to accepting any responsibility. Just read the "warranty" they do provide. It is only on the material they supply and the do not accept any other damages.

    If you want me to provide a set of sketches and design calculations, my billing rate is $250.00 per hour for engineering services.

    Ken


    Posted By: TXiceman on 12/19/08 05:57am

    Like I have already said, if the GN adapter manufacturer really feels his product will not harm the trailer frame, he should give you a plain English warranty on his letterhead stating that his company is fully responsible and will waarranty (labor and materials) for any frame damage in the pin box area. They will never do this.

    Ken


    Posted By: C Schomer on 12/04/08 07:04pm

    Been there/done that and it was with a Lippert frame. Lippert told me "NO" but they also lead me to believe that just because they didn't built the adaptor, it wasn't allowed. So I thought it would be OK if I built it - and I did. Well, the frame took it although I could see twice the frame flexing in the mirror but it totally trashed the front walls. I made a closs-country trip and when it was over, the siding was broken loose and bulged out about 4" and I had a pile of staples on the bedroom floor that worked out of the paneling. It just isn't worth it!! Craig


    03Dodge QC HO 5.9 Dually NV5600, 4.1 Rear WD, PS 62/65/14 turbo, TST/PMCR, 4" exh, PRXB Pacbrake, Rancho 9000s, FS Airbags, Onboard air/in-cab controls, Custom hauler bed. 2008 Sunnybrook 30RKFS-LTD Our 3rd SB 5er. WHOEVER INVENTED WORK DIDN'T HAVE AN RV!


    Posted By: rchonly on 12/09/08 08:39am

    I'm another very satisfied customer with the B & W setup.

    Here's link to their website:

    www.turnoverball.com

    I paid just under $1,200.00 for the entire setup installed and it's worked flawlessly with a smooth tow.

    Roger


    1991 - 38" American Eagle - 8.3 Cummin's w/Allison 4spd
    (Purchased 4-15-10 w/5,600 miles on it)
    99 Dodge Durango/SLT 4X4 - Toad


    Posted By: curt12914 on 12/19/08 01:13pm

    mountainkowboy wrote:

    ... The GN hitch is a far better method for towing loads under 30,000 lbs than the 5er "puck". Less obtrusive in the bed, more romm to carry things when hitched, and FAR SUPERIOR off plumb performance...


    If the GN is so far superior, why are safety chains required on a GN, while they aren't on a fifth wheel?
    Why are fifth wheel hitches the industry standard if a gooseneck is superior?
    Why do some states allow riding in a fifth wheel, but not on any kind of ball hookup?
    As far as "off plumb performance", how far can you lean a fifth wheel trailer, before it becomes a tipping hazard?
    I think that everything you posted is a biased opinion, not based on facts.

    Quote:

    The manufacture has to prove that the GN adaptor caused the problem to deny the warranty.


    That may be true, but it can easily cost you more than the cost of repairs, to hire an attorney to litigate it when they deny coverage.


    Posted By: curt12914 on 01/20/09 02:38am

    BWdiver wrote:

    I can state this as my opinion, I think the trailer mfg's engineers already new about king pin use in semi trucks and just took the short cut to qaulifing the use of 5th wheels as law...why not, what works for trucking has to be better for us, plus they don't need chains, thats a joke. if anything needs a chain it should be 5th wheels pulling 5vers. I own a towing and recovery business in Fl. I do heavy haul, car hauling, and recovery light and heavy and have seen a few trailers hit the road due to 5th wheel problems or user error. never seen or heard of a GN failer. I have a light fleet of car haulers pulled by 1 ton dodges and all have GN set ups and haul 22,000 pounds every day of the week. it was a lazy decision in my opinion.

    just because a semi can pull 80,000 pounds doesn't mean your 5th WH is god, they aren't even close in design and have the opposite affect in there design, ie, trucking trailers are designed to flex, it is encouraged, hence the elimination of a side to side tilting in the 5th W, 5ver's mfg hate flexing it cracks walls and such. so what happens when a 5ver 5th W reaches its limit in tilt... the frame tilts with the truck which could cause frame damage, interior or exterior damage. GN will let the trailer by itself move independent of the truck. to me a 5th wheel causes more undue stress by making the trailer move at the pin box causing flex in the frame, it may not damage the pin box plate but could cuase damage to a part of the trailer that is much more costly to repair than a pin box plate.

    just my .02 not ranting.


    I'm glad you stated it as opinion.

    The major problem of converting a fifth wheel RV to a gooseneck is the frame (and rest of the structure) is just not built to withstand the added leverage that the gooseneck adds, since the point of hook is much further from the frame. With the added leverage, several frames and structures have failed or sustained damage because the rig is just not designed or built for it.

    If a manufacturer says it is engineered and built to withstand the added leverage, I would say go for it, but the fact that most will not is good enough for me. If they say they won't recommend (or warranty) it that's good enough for me, too.

    I guess it's like towing overloaded. A lot of people do it everyday and don't have any problems, but I would rather stay within the manufacturers recommendations.


    Posted By: rickb on 12/27/08 10:23pm

    All interesting - it is a point that all the fiver manufacturers fabricate to the fiver plate setup.

    For me, right now, I've got a brand new unit and I'm not interested in doing anything that would mess up the warranty. I got a turnover-ball/companion setup. Maybe when the unit gets out of warranty, I'll play with a GN adapter and see how it compares. In the interim, this is the setup.

    rickb (OP)


    Posted By: rickb on 12/09/08 12:20am

    Well, thanks all for the discussion.

    I wound up having the ball removed and putting in the B&W setup (my wallet says, "ouch!") Mechanic recommended it highly. Being ignorant in the matter, I have to trust his expertise.


    Posted By: SoCalDesertRider on 12/19/08 08:14pm

    Gooseneck hitches are the industry standard in the cargo hauling, heavy equipment and livestock trailer industry. These trailers often weigh alot more when loaded than comparably-sized RV 5th wheels.

    The gooseneck can usually be hitched and unhitched when the truck and trailer are on very uneven ground. Sometimes a 5th wheel pin binds in the hitch when in a similar situation.


    Posted By: Frank_EP on 12/04/08 06:19pm

    On the B&W... Yes, I have one. So my 5th
    wheel setup is through my GN setup.

    The lower pivot point of GN will reduce the
    effect know as bump steer. The GN is safer
    to a the extent that it has a lower mount point.

    Regarding safety chains. I use them on my 5th
    wheel. Right from the frame to the safety
    chain mounts on the B&W GN mount. Seems like
    a good idea, and it cost all of $30 to get
    real DOT Type 43 transit rated chain to do the
    job.


    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 12/19/08 08:05pm

    curt12914 wrote:

    mountainkowboy wrote:

    ... The GN hitch is a far better method for towing loads under 30,000 lbs than the 5er "puck". Less obtrusive in the bed, more romm to carry things when hitched, and FAR SUPERIOR off plumb performance...


    If the GN is so far superior, why are safety chains required on a GN, while they aren't on a fifth wheel?
    Why are fifth wheel hitches the industry standard if a gooseneck is superior?
    Why do some states allow riding in a fifth wheel, but not on any kind of ball hookup?
    As far as "off plumb performance", how far can you lean a fifth wheel trailer, before it becomes a tipping hazard?
    I think that everything you posted is a biased opinion, not based on facts.

    Quote:

    The manufacture has to prove that the GN adaptor caused the problem to deny the warranty.


    That may be true, but it can easily cost you more than the cost of repairs, to hire an attorney to litigate it when they deny coverage.




    WHAT PART OF IMO DIDNT YOU UNDERSTAND! I never state it as fact, I have ALWAYS pulled my 5th wheels with a GN adaptor and once again AS I STATED IN MY ORIGANAL POST "IMO"


    Chuck & Ruth with 4-legged Hanna...R.I.P. Dixie we miss you
    88 Ford F250-94 Alpenlite 29RK DL
    96 Kawi Voyager XII 89K and climbing
    71 VW Cabriolet-German Look


    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 12/19/08 08:10pm

    NC Hauler wrote:

    5er hitches are around for a reason, and the reason there are so many different name brands and types is because the 5er manufacturers


    Seems to me it the VHS vs BETA. Just because its the one everyone uses doesnt make it the best.


    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 12/19/08 09:03am

    I used a Colibert GN adaptor on my Alumascape for many miles. I had more bucking with it due to flex, but made an X brace between the pinbox and GN adaptor and virtually eliminated ALL the flex and bucking. I talked to HR about it and the engineer said that there would be no problems with it as far as he was concerned, but since HR had not done any testing with an adaptor that they could not give it there blessing.

    IMO its a matter of eliminating the flex or bracing the adaptor so that it pulls on the frame evenly instead of flexing the front of the pinbox. The GN hitch is a far better method for towing loads under 30,000 lbs than the 5er "puck". Less obtrusive in the bed, more romm to carry things when hitched, and FAR SUPERIOR off plumb performance.

    For the naysayers.........no I am not an engineer!! However, I have been a backyard fabricator of off-road toys and hotrods for many years. Its simple physics to transfer the stress to the frame in the same manner that the pinbox does with a little bracing to the GN adaptor. The manufacture has to prove that the GN adaptor caused the problem to deny the warranty.


    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 12/20/08 04:29pm

    I know the if ands & buts of this OLD arguement hauler (and my bp is always normal, I dont take most of this******seriously). I was simply stating MY take on the whole issue. I, as most believe that the GN adaptor by itself on almost any of the newer 5er's will do damage to the flimsy pinboxes now being used by the makers. My last 5er was a 99 HR, it was made far better than most units are these days. The brace that I fabed should probably be used on all GN adaptors to emulate the towing characteristics of the 5th wheel hitch. It worked for me because my truck already had a GN hitch when I got it.


    Posted By: mountainkowboy on 12/21/08 05:43pm

    I dont know if they still have offer it, but KZ used to have a GN as a factory option on there 5er's. At least they did 3 years ago when I was looking at toy haulers. You could not use an adaptor but you could order it from the manufacture as a factory option.


    Posted By: Delaine and Lindy on 12/20/08 07:47am

    It's a choice and by living in America we still have choice. Sometime we make bad choices, and again its you choice. If it makes you happy, thats all that matters. GBY...


    2012 Chevy Silverado 3500HD DRW's LTZ ******Traded******
    Trailer Saver Air Ride (SOLD) (Sold)

    2010 Mobile Suites 38 RSSB 3, with vanity slide (SOLD)









    "Montana" our Sweet Furr Kid
    12/21/10 "RIP" miss you!!





    We are BLESSED!!!!


    Posted By: NC Hauler on 12/20/08 07:31pm

    Evidently it's not the failure rate of the GN, it's apparently the failure of the 5er frames to be able to take stress in certain points of their framework. So, in reality, no one is saying a GN isn't up to the task of towing a 5er, it's the fact that most 5er manufacturers are using frames that won't hold up to the way a GN hooks up to them and handles load shifts. So they,(the manufactures), cop out and just say, if you use a GN, we'll void your warranty. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a GN application at all, BUT if there is a chance something might happen to the 5er while towing with a GN,and the manufacturer of the 5er say's they're not going to cover the repairs under warranty, then I'm going to "err to the safe side" and go ahead and use a regular, "run of the mill" 5er hitch.."just in case"....

    As to why GN manufacturers are still around and doing well, look at all the heavy equipment you see being hauled all over the nation and look at all those towing horse trailers, it's just different applications of hitches for different types of towing trailers construction.


    Jim & Kathy
    2013 Dodge 3500DRW Longhorn 4X4/CC/LB/Aisin tranny/4:10/Cummins: 385HP/850TQ
    06 HR Presidential Suite 37RLQ/SK3005 Satellite/Splendide XC2100/4slide/dual pane windows
    2014 Jeep Compass Ltd 4X4
    Boxers;Buddy& Sheba II
    USAF 71-75 Nam Vet


    Posted By: NC Hauler on 12/19/08 09:56am

    Per HR, they don't have to prove anything, I called them, IF they find out that you towed with a GN, (like you actually told them you did), your warranty is void,same with Coachmen. Guess you could sue, but from what I understand, there frame warranty is "bulletproof". 5er hitches are around for a reason, and the reason there are so many different name brands and types is because the 5er manufacturers
    "assume" your going to use "that type" of hitch. I don't need to worry about a hitch handling 30,000#, I have a 20,000# Reece hitch and the most my 5er would EVER weigh, would be around 16,000. It takes me about 10 minutes to get my hitch out of my truck and I have two rails that don't keep me from putting whatever I want in the back of my truck.

    Oh, I AM an engineer also, but feel it's a moot point, I've met some pretty dumb engineers in my lifetime, just believe this is a matter of "common sense" if a warranty matter is involved.


    Posted By: NC Hauler on 12/18/08 07:27pm

    Bottom line on all these converstations is that most 5er manufacturers will NOT honor the warranty on the frame if you use a GN
    application. To me, your taking a chance, makes you ask the same question that Clint Eastwood asked in one of his Dirty Harry movies, "Do you feel lucky,well,do ya?". Coachmen is one manufacturer that will not cover a warranty if your towing their 5er on a GN,also sig. 5er, HR will not honor their warranty either on frame damage or wall damage if you use a GN. I know this about Coachmen because I had a Somerset 370RLS and actually thought about going to a GN, I decided to call Coachmen on it and was told that if I used a GN and anything happened to the frame or front walls, there would be no warranty coverage. I had a short bed truck and was thinking about getting an extended hitch and I was told the same thing about it as I was the GN,if something "cracks" using either of those applications, Coachmen would not honor my warranty. So, I guess it comes down to whether you care about the warranty being there, if you don't, what the hey, tow however you want to, as for me, while my 5er is under warranty, I'm going to keep it that way.


    Posted By: NC Hauler on 12/20/08 02:01am

    Yo, mountainkowboy, take a chill pill before you pop a blood vein.
    I do know that Beta was better then VHS and VHS won out...don't care now, I'm into DVD's. You didn't finish my statement either. I stated another known fact, 5er hitches are around because that is what "normally" is expected to be used to tow a 5er with by most manufacturer's. This is NOT my opinion, this is most 5er manufacturer's stated warranty, frame damage and/or wall damage will NOT be covered under warranty if the 5er has been towed with a GN. Those of us who are siding with the use of a regular 5th wheel hitch are merely stating the industry standard warranty of 5th. wheels,(ie,rv's). IF the 5er IS under warranty and you wish to use a GN to tow the 5er with and the 5er manufacturer states some of the warranty is void, it is what it is and IF something does happen, you very well may be stuck with the repair bill if damage occurs to your frame or side wall. IF the 5er is out of warranty, then who cares how you tow it. Most don't really care how you'd tow it anyway, but the original poster asked for an opinion, like the ones you and I gave, "I" just wanted to let "said" poster know the consequences if they did tow with a GN, WHICH IS based on FACT, not feel good or I do it this way data. Just one little tidbit of FACT that they may want to know about before towing their 5er with the GN application.
    Some 5er hitches are made, as mine is,that can pivot, fore and aft,left to right, these hitches will let you hitch and unhitch in some pretty uneven terrain also.


    Posted By: Keith Smith on 12/08/08 10:50am

    "I have personally seen the damage a GN adapter can cause to a 5er. Both were high end units and the damage was in the pin box attachment area.

    As for a GN being safer....I will not buy that. If they were safer, all of the OTR guys would be using them.

    If you are a mechanical engineer, you should be able to easily see the problem with a GN adapter on a 5er hitch trailer.

    I just love these experts that don't know what stress of moment arms are.

    ken"

    Ken, I too would like to see a pic of the damage you witnessed. As I said, I keep a close eye on my frame and would like to make sure I'm checking where otherrs may have experienced a failure. Even a sketch would be helpful.

    I am a civil engineer and do understand stresses. That's the reason for my caution and inspection. Not an expert in trailer frame design, but I do understand moment arm stress, thus my comment and curiosity on strain guage results. I'd rather have good numbers than opinions any day. From a liability standpoint, I don't think anyone will ever post any numbers though (if they did have them).


    Posted By: Keith Smith on 12/09/08 10:21am

    TXiceman wrote:

    Keith, no photos as i do not carry my camera around snapping useless photos. I did talk to the shop that was doing the work and he said this was pretty normal for larger 5ers and GN adapters if they encountered much rough road.

    I am a mechanical engineer and registered now since 1979. A first year statics student can see the weakness of the GN adapter. If the pin box is designed to take the additional stresses, it will work. But the frame manufacturers do not put 1 pound of extra steel in the frames.

    I still say, ask the GN adapter manufacturer to provide a warranty with the adapter that states in plain English, that his company accepts full responsibility to damage to the trailer hitch and pin box area....no questions, no qualifiers...just he will pay to have you trailer repaired or replaces. You will not get one to state anything close to accepting any responsibility. Just read the "warranty" they do provide. It is only on the material they supply and the do not accept any other damages.

    If you want me to provide a set of sketches and design calculations, my billing rate is $250.00 per hour for engineering services.

    Ken


    Thanks anyway Ken. I too am a PE and am very capable of doing my own calcs. Just thought you had something more to offer us than just an opinion.


    Posted By: boiledcrabs on 12/07/08 07:59am

    I was in the same situation. I also pull a really heavy equipment trailer on a gooseneck ball. I found I was able to mount rails in the bed of the truck and just stick the fifth wheel hitch in when I wanted to. I have a 20k lb reese and it's quick and easy to install or take out. I bought a gooseneck adapter for the fifth and used it one time. I spent more time watching the rear view mirror worrying about it and just didn't feel comfortable with it. I'm sure they make better ones and I've seen some with the cushioning system. But it's tough to beat a well built fifth wheel hitch. I've even thought about converting my equipment trailer over to a fifth wheel.






    Posted By: Endricken on 12/20/08 07:23pm

    Whats so ironic to me is that there are more than a few manufacturers of Fifth Wheel to Gooseneck adaptors, and on my computer this topic always displays several resell advertisers for these converters. If their "failure" rate was significant, would there still be a market?


    Posted By: pctpaul on 12/05/08 01:42pm

    Frank_EP wrote:

    pctpaul wrote:

    "There are pneumatic spring gooseneck systems. You can just
    buy one and add it to your gooseneck trailer
    ."


    Frank_EP,

    Got a manufacturer's name/s for this system? Sounds interesting, and I'd like to check it out.


    You can certainly take a look at AirSafe.
    http://www.yourtrailerhitch.com
    There are a few others, but that one sticks in my mind.


    Frank_EP,

    Took a look at the AirSafe website today. I liked what I saw well enough to put in a request for more information from the company. Thanks for the referral.


    Posted By: turbobuick on 12/18/08 01:16pm

    Gooseneck for me hands down. I never have try any 5th wheel set-up. When I brought my new Coachman Summerset 340 3 slide. The deal was to install the adapter onto the plate. I still had warranty and I been through alot of rough roads. my truck drives smooth, you don't get that downward slam, from bad wavy roads, from the other brand. Now I see they have air rides for that problems. Also my neck is rated at 35,000 lbs compare to 5th wheel slide at 15,000 lbs. wth angle iron welded and a weak pin. I have seen "accidents and pictures" of those boxes in accidents. The base area just comes apart from all thae force.


    Posted By: BWdiver on 01/19/09 11:45pm

    I can state this as my opinion, I think the trailer mfg's engineers already new about king pin use in semi trucks and just took the short cut to qaulifing the use of 5th wheels as law...why not, what works for trucking has to be better for us, plus they don't need chains, thats a joke. if anything needs a chain it should be 5th wheels pulling 5vers. I own a towing and recovery business in Fl. I do heavy haul, car hauling, and recovery light and heavy and have seen a few trailers hit the road due to 5th wheel problems or user error. never seen or heard of a GN failer. I have a light fleet of car haulers pulled by 1 ton dodges and all have GN set ups and haul 22,000 pounds every day of the week. it was a lazy decision in my opinion.

    just because a semi can pull 80,000 pounds doesn't mean your 5th WH is god, they aren't even close in design and have the opposite affect in there design, ie, trucking trailers are designed to flex, it is encouraged, hence the elimination of a side to side tilting in the 5th W, 5ver's mfg hate flexing it cracks walls and such. so what happens when a 5ver 5th W reaches its limit in tilt... the frame tilts with the truck which could cause frame damage, interior or exterior damage. GN will let the trailer by itself move independent of the truck. to me a 5th wheel causes more undue stress by making the trailer move at the pin box causing flex in the frame, it may not damage the pin box plate but could cuase damage to a part of the trailer that is much more costly to repair than a pin box plate.

    just my .02 not ranting.

    * This post was edited 01/20/09 12:01am by BWdiver *


    Posted By: BWdiver on 01/20/09 04:05pm

    My point was if the mfg made it a GN to start with it would be a safer and less stressful on the unit.

    I understand the problem with the retrofit extensions.

    of course my opinion!!


    Print  |  Close