If you have a fifth-wheel travel trailer and wonder how much it costs to install a fifth-wheel hitch, worry no more. In this piece of post, you will find all the answers to your questions related to the 5th wheel hitch installation and its cost.
Having a fifth-wheel travel trailer means you are ready for adventure-filled journeys. These 5th-wheel travel trailers are a perfect option if you are currently driving a truck that is capable and can pull these trailers safely.
However, it doesn’t end here, as you also have to install a suitable hitch to your truck. This can be done either by an expert or by yourself if you are confident that you can do it correctly. Of course, if you consider hiring a professional for a fifth-wheel hitch installation, you have to pay for it.
Now the query is, How Much Does 5th Wheel Hitch Installation Cost?
If you are considering installing the fifth-wheel hitch by a professional, the cost of the fifth-wheel hitch installation will run anywhere between $1,000 to $1,800, which includes both labor and hitch cost as well. However, if you are confident in doing it by yourself, you can expect a cost anywhere between $400 to $600 that includes the cost of the installation kit.
If you are willing to make your travel smooth and your hitching and unhitching easier, you should never compromise on the hitch quality.
Below I have created a guide that will answer, how much does it cost to install a fifth-wheel hitch? What type of hitch would be best? Can you install it by yourself? How long will the process take time? And where should you get install your fifth-wheel hitch?
What is a Fifth-Wheel Hitch?
A Fifth-wheel hitch is a tool that connects your trailer and your towing vehicle so that you can safely tow it. What makes a hitch more important is it divides the weight to create a more stable and secure towing experience.
Before buying a hitch, the first and very critical aspect that you pay attention to is to know the weight of your fifth-wheel trailer. The weight should include all the gear and stuff that you will take with you. Since not all the fifth-wheel hitches are the same, it is critical to research thoroughly and then buy the one that is suitable for your truck and trailer.
Types of Fifth-Wheel Hitches
Fifth-wheel hitches can be defined in three basic types,
- Slide Bar
- Single Jaw
- Dual Jaw
Slide Bar: Slide Bar fifth-wheel hitches are generally basic kinds of hitches. They are budget-friendly and automatically lock around your kingpin when in position. However, the biggest downfall of these hitches is they don’t lock as tight as other high-priced hitches. It means if you are using a Slide Bar hitch, you will hear more noise and more movement when hauling.
However, if you often go on shorter trips, this would be a great option for you at an affordable cost.
Single Jaw: Single Jaw hitches are convenient and offer a secure connection. When using a Single Jaw hitch, you will hear a minimal noise when towing. It locks itself extremely tight to the kingpin once in position.
These kinds of hitches are great for longer trips or if you travel more frequently. Moreover, these hitches are somehow expensive, so you will have to pay a handsome cost.
Dual Jaw: Dual Jaw hitches sits in the medium price range. However, they are much better than Slide bar hitches in terms of noise and movement. You might hear a minimal noise and feel a bit of movement when towing, but it will be significantly less than Slide bar hitches. Another difference between Dual Jaw and Slide bar hitch is you have to manually lock the Dual Jaw hitch when you are in position.
So, these are the type so hitches that you can choose from. All of these hitch types are safe and offer a solid towing experience. However, it is worth highlighting that you should always check the connection before hitting the road.
5th Wheel Hitch Installation Cost
You will find various types of hitches in the market, so the cost of a fifth-wheel hitch varies. If you are looking for a basic hitch, you can have it between $50 to $200. However, if budget isn’t an issue and you are willing to have a fifth-wheel hitch that makes your travel smooth hooking and unhooking easier, you can go for a more sophisticated hitch model hitting $1,000 or more. Moreover, for DIY, you will also need to buy the installation kit as well.
You can purchase a hitch that is suitable for your truck and your budget. However, here are some critical aspects that you must pay attention before buying a hitch,
- Consider the length and weight of your RV.
- Consider the length of the bed.
- If you use your pulling truck for other purposes, you should choose a fully removable hitch.
- Do you prefer performance over money?
Fifth-Wheel Hitch Cost and Type of the Hitch That You Should Buy
Regardless of what type of fifth-wheel hitch you buy, it will move your RV. However, if you are following a strict budget, and the cost is your biggest concern, you can go for a standard fifth-wheel hitch that will move your travel trailer from one place to another, which is what you want. The standard fifth-wheel hitch can be used if you don’t drive the trailer around more frequently.
On the other hand, a more sophisticated hitch with a considerable price tag will be of much better quality. If you want easy and quick hooking unhooking and smooth towing experience and budget is not an issue, these fifth-wheel hitches would be the best option you can go for.
However, in my personal opinion, buying a fifth-wheel hitch in the medium price range is generally a good option. Medium range fifth-wheel hitches are made of with decent quality, gives you better towing experience, and they are easy to hook and unhook.
DIY Installation of 5th Wheel Hitch
Again, if you are following a strict budget and don’t want to spend your hard-earned dollars by hiring a professional to install your fifth-wheel hitch, you can do it by yourself. However, in doing so, you will be required to have all the necessary tools.
If you have just bought a modern brand new hitch, you don’t have to drill through your pulling truck frame as you will find pre-drilled holes that are ready to use. Before installing the fifth-wheel hitch, it is necessary to review the installation instructions for the hitch that you have just installed to make sure you have installed it correctly.
A simple fifth-wheel hitch installation process generally takes 5 to 7 hours. However, if you have just purchased a hitch that is suitable to your fifth-wheel trailer, it will also help you to install the hitch in less time and easily.
There are some hitches that require you to work from under your vehicle, and you might have to remove things like heat shields, etc. however, the entire process of fifth-wheel hitch installation depends on the model of your tow vehicle and the hitch that you want to install.
If you think you cannot do it by yourself, I highly recommend hiring a professional to get the job done for you.
Best 5th Wheel Hitches
If you are looking for recommendations to buy a trusted and reliable fifth-wheel hitch, here are some of them that you may consider;
1. Anderson Hitches 3220 Aluminum
- Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection Gooseneck Version fits with all standard brands of gooseneck hitches
- The base weighs just 35 lbs, eliminating the common struggle of getting your 5th wheel hitch into the bed of your truck
- Every Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection is designed to give you an incredibly smooth and quiet ride
- The custom ball used on the Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection has nearly 3" of adjustable height and rides inside a greaseless coupler — which means no more dirty hands and no more mess
- Three height adjustments: 16-3/4" lower position, 17-7/8" middle position and 19-1/8" upper position (from bed of truck to top of ball mount)
If you want a fifth-wheel hitch that is lightweight and durable, Anderson Hitches 3220 should be your go-to choice. These hitches are made with aluminum and aimed to make the fifth-wheel hitch installation process easier and straightforward.
You can easily hook and unhook these hitches without any trouble. The weight of this hitch is 35 lbs, which means it is one of the lightest fifth-wheel hitches that you will find in the market. It offers three height adjustment options and a grease-free coupler.
The only downfall of Anderson Hitches 3220 is you will have to carry a torque wrench with you because of its latching mechanism.
2. B&W RVK 3300 Companion
- Fits 4 pucks in Ford truck bed, Fully articulating head allows front to back and side to side pivoting.
- Cam action latching handle for easy release, even when parked on unlevel sites.
- Polyurethane bushings provide a quiet, rattle-free towing experience.
- Three vertical adjustments from 16.75" to 18.75", 2" of front to back adjustment with three coupler positions
- 20,000 lb GTW/5,000 lb VTW - Limited Lifetime Coverage
If you prefer performance over money and looking for a fifth-wheel hitch that is reliable and extremely functional, you cannot skip B&W RVK 3300 Companion. The biggest selling point of the RVK 3300 fifth-wheel hitch is it can be used for any fifth-wheel travel trailer.
You will see a double jaw, which will make your travel convenient and smooth. It also boasts a cam-action release handle, which makes the hitch removing process trouble-free. This fifth-wheel hitch cost you a bit more money, but believe me; it will be worth it.
3. Curt 16120 Black A16
- SELF-RESETTING. This A-series 5th wheel hitch features a unique, ergonomic handle and extra-wide head to make coupling your 5th wheel trailer easier than ever. After uncoupling, the handle self-resets to the ready-to-couple position
- FULL ARTICULATION. This 5th wheel hitch provides controlled towing of your 5th wheel camper with its patented head technology. The head is built on a cast yoke with poly-torsion inserts that reduce shock loads, chucking and noise at the coupling point
- COUPLING INDICATOR. Built into this 5th wheel hitch is a 3-position indicator that shows the coupling status. It conveniently shows if the 5th wheel hitch is coupled, uncoupled or ready to tow
- TESTED STRENGTH. This 5th wheel hitch is tested and rated for 16,000 lbs. gross trailer weight and 4,000 lbs. vertical load (limited to lowest-rated towing component). It is tested according to SAE J2638 specifications
- VERSATILE FIT. This 5th wheel hitch comes with standard legs to easily and securely mount onto any industry-standard 5th wheel base rails, such as CURT base rails #16104 and #16204 (base rails and brackets sold separately)
Curt 16120 Black A16 is yet another reliable and economical fifth-wheel hitch that you can have to tow up to 16,000 lbs of weight. The hitch boasts a three-position coupler that will display the coupling status. This fifth-wheel hitch is capable of converting Curt Double-Lock neck hitches to industry-standard trailer rails. You can expect it anywhere between $50 to $200.
4. Reese Pro Series 30128
- 15, 000 lbs. capacity; 3, 750 lbs. pin weight capacity
- Rounded slide bar mechanism
- Designed for automatic latching with cushion grip handle
- 4-way pivoting head for easier hookup on uneven ground
- Wide stance one-piece legs for improved stability
If you want to tow a fifth-wheel RV of up to 15,000 lbs, and looking for a durable and extremely functional hitch, here is Reese Pro Series 30128. This hitch has a rounded slide bar mechanism and developed to automatically latch with a cushioned handle.
The biggest advantage of Reese Pro Series 30128 is its multi-directional pivoting head, which helps you to hook up your fifth-wheel trailer even on an uneven surface.
5. Reese 30081 20K
- 20,000 lbs. capacity; 5,000 lbs. pin weight capacity
- 4 way (front & back/side-to-side) head pivot; 6" side-to-side head pivot
- King pin indicator; Increased king pin contact design; Wider 9" king pin funnel area
- Forged single jaw with self-latching jaw design
- Features Elite Series - Tough, heavy-duty stamped head
Reese 30081 20K is a single jaw hitch and a great option to tow up to 20,000 lbs of GVW. Just like Reese Pro Series, it also boasts a multi-directional pivoting head to help you hook the RV on an uneven surface. If you are willing to have a smoother ride and tighter connection, it has a kingpin that makes it possible by increasing the kingpin contact.
Where Should You Get Your Fifth-Wheel Hitch Installed?
If you don’t want to pay a bit of extra money to get installed, you can visit a fifth-wheel trailer hitch a local RV or trailer dealer with a shop. They will offer you an affordable deal if you buy a hitch and ask them to install it at the time you purchase your fifth-wheel trailer.
You can also find other automotive service shops that are experts in the installation of fifth-wheel hitches. The biggest benefit of these automotive workshops is you will get a better cost that will be significantly less than RV shops. Another place to get installed in your fifth-wheel hitch is U-haul locations. It will be a great place if it is available in your area.
That’s it about the cost to install a fifth-wheel hitch. I’ve discussed almost everything related to the fifth-wheel hitch installation. Before purchasing a fifth-wheel hitch, make sure that you have done your research. Knowing the weight of your trailer and gear that you are going to bring with you is critical in figuring out what hitch will work best for your truck. I sincerely hope that my post will help you, and you will be able to find a perfect hitch at an affordable cost without any problem.
Q: Is it hard to install a fifth-wheel hitch by yourself?
Ans: If you want to install a fifth-wheel hitch by yourself, it isn’t that hard. You just need the right tools and a suitable hitch that is perfect for your truck. Once you have tools and a hitch, you can easily install it by yourself to save a bit of your money.
Q: Is the installation of a gooseneck hitch worth it?
Ans: If you have a big fifth-wheel trailer that requires a heavy-duty towing, then you should install a gooseneck hitch on your vehicle to prepare it in the best possible way.