Best 5th Wheel Hitches: Haul More with Your Pickup Truck

The best fifth wheel hitches to haul heavier loads

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BY Austin Fracchia , Linsay Thomas / LAST UPDATED ON May 24, 2021

Traditional fifth wheel hitches are the preferred choice for hauling large, heavy trailers with a truck. Compared to ball hitches, fifth wheel hitches provide more stability and higher weight capacities due to their location over the bed of the truck. Like some goose neck trailers and hitches, fifth wheel hitches can also be added as an aftermarket purchase to almost any truck with a high enough towing capacity. Take a look at our handy guide on the best fifth wheel hitches.

Best Overall
B&W Companion
The best high-end fifth wheel hitch to buy if you want a good amount of towing capability and reliability.
  • The design of the head allows it to fully articulate front to back and side to side. 
  • Good articulation range for uneven terrain.
  • The hitch is heavy compared to lower-end models. 
  • Installation may require more than one person to position the hitch.
Best Overall
B&W Companion
Best Value
Curt E16
A great fifth wheel hitch to consider if you don't need a complete kit that includes the base rails.
  • The design of the hitch uses many industry-standard components (like the base rails), making it compatible with different accessories and mounts.
  • Comes as an incomplete kit. 
  • Will need to spend more money on base rails. 
  • Shipping is problematic at times.
Best Value
Curt E16
Honorable Mention
Curt E16
The complete package to check out if you are starting from scratch with a new fifth wheel setup.
  • Head offers a little bit of articulation for uneven terrain. 
  • Has a high degree of heavy-duty construction
  • Difficult to install for the first time. 
  • The included base rails may require professional installation to avoid damaging the truck.
Honorable Mention
Curt E16

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Why Buy a Fifth Wheel Hitch

  • Tow heavier loads. The main purpose of a fifth wheel hitch is to tow loads you normally can't with a traditional ball hitch. The design manages to offer a higher weight capacity because of the location and construction quality of the hitch. The weight of a trailer presses down near the rear axle of a vehicle, which can take the greater load compared to the rear bumper. These hitches work with things like campers, fifth wheel trailers for cargo, and more.
  • Stabilize heavy loads. In combination with a greater weight capacity, fifth wheel hitches benefit from the truck bed located in the form of extra stability. In other words, connecting a fifth wheel trailer to a truck near the bed is naturally more stable than a typical ball hitch location at the rear of a vehicle. This helps when towing a trailer on rough terrain or at high speeds.
  • Minimize the chance of damage. A typical fifth wheel hitch reduces the chance of damage to the truck or trailer during transit. Maneuvering the trailer, for example, is somewhat easier compared to a ball hitch since there is more room for the hitch and trailer to pivot around the truck.

Types of Fifth Wheel Hitches

Fixed Position

Fixed or mounted hitches remain in one location in the truck bed while pulling a trailer. The design has the advantage of simplicity since there are very few moving parts, but the turning radius is more limited. On trucks with a bed that is 6.5 feet or shorter, a trailer runs the risk of hitting the cab near the 90-degree mark. This is why fixed hitches are most common on trucks with 8-foot beds instead.


A sliding hitch is a preferred choice for short bed truck (6.5 feet or smaller) because the design creates room for the trailer to move during tight turns without hitting the edge of the cab. The kingpin can be positioned more forward or back along the slide bars depending on the trailer and the driver's personal preference without having to remount the whole hitch.

Top Brands of Fifth Wheel Hitches


As a well-known brand of towing products, Curt has become a trusted name when it comes to pulling heavy loads safely. The brand's line of gooseneck hitches and weight distribution hitches is supplemented with other accessories like bike racks, hitch components, and, of course, fifth wheel hitches. The E16 is a great fifth wheel hitch to consider if you are looking for your first hitch.

Reese Hitches

Founded in 1957, Reese Hitches has a long history of specializing in trailer hitch and towing accessory design and manufacturing. Since that time, the company has expanded into a full online retailer that offers an entire line of hitches and parts for nearly any type of vehicle. The Reese General Hitch is a great option for a fifth wheel hitch to consider for your truck.

Fifth Wheel Hitch Pricing

  • $250 and under: There are a few budget fifth wheel hitches you can find for under $250. The build quality tends to be decent, but you will notice a lack of useful features like fully articulating heads. Most options also lack base rails here.
  • $250-$500: This range tends to offer a few high-quality hitches (lacking base rails) along with lower-end kits that include all of the parts required to mount the fifth wheel hitch to a truck.
  • $500 and above: The best fifth wheel hitches are found in this price range. For the most part, options here have the highest pulling capacities and the greatest range of movement in the head.

Key Features

Pivoting Head

The head of a fifth wheel hitch is where a trailer slides in and connects to the hitch, creating a secure connection when towing. An articulating head is recommended so it can rotate with the trailer on uneven terrain. Some heads use a two-way pivoting mechanism that twists along one axis. More expensive options have a four-way pivot head that articulates along two axes for even more stability. A self-aligning head with height adjustment is also good for getting the right connection.

Mounting System

To mount to a truck, a hitch needs some base. Many hitches use a rail kit, either sold separately or as a complete package. The rails tend to bolt directly into the frame of the truck for the best stability. Other mounting solutions also exist, including under-the-bed and above-the-bed mounting systems that use a bracket or base to attach the hitch directly.

Other Considerations

  • Weight Rating: In combination with the towing weight capacity of the truck itself, the weight capacity of the hitch is important to consider. Higher-end hitches can have capacities upwards of 20,000 pounds for large trailers. Smaller capacities do exist, but this can limit the usefulness of a fifth wheel hitch compared to heavy-duty ball hitches in terms of sheering towing capability. 
  • Jaws: The jaws on a hitch create a secure hold around a trailer to stabilize the load and reduce noise and movement when towing. Most designs offer single- and dual-jaw varieties. Single-jaw units have a one-piece design that offers a more secure hold for heavy loads (greater than 25,000 pounds) but can produce more noise. Double-jaw designs, on the other hand, are preferred for lighter trailers when noise reduction is paramount. 

Best Fifth Wheel Hitches Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500

The B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch RVK3500 represents the high-end quality and versatility you can expect from options that sport this price tag. While the expense isn't something to ignore, the Companion offers a lot of value that budget options tend to lack. Beyond the quality construction, the highlight of the hitch is the full articulating head that offers adjustments from the front to back and side to side. The hitch also sports a vertical adjustment range between 16.25 and 18.25 inches.

The articulating head makes the fifth wheel hitch quite versatile when it comes to pulling a heavy trailer or other loads. The head allows the hook-up hitching connection to rotate when traveling on uneven terrain, improving the quality and safety of the ride. The included instructions are fairly easy to follow, especially in the assembly phase that's required before you can install the hitch onto a truck bed. The hitch comes disassembled in two separate packages.

Installation takes just a few minutes on a properly equipped truck but does benefit from a second pair of hands or professional installation given the weight of the hitch itself. Given the heavy-duty construction, the hitch is a bit difficult to move around to get it into position for mounting. If you are new to fifth wheel hitches, it's a good idea to have a professional install it the first time around.

Best Value
CURT 16115 Black E16

Well-known for high-quality construction quality, Curt's Black E16 Fifth Wheel Hitch is no exception when it comes to durability. Rated for 16,000 pounds (gross trailer weight) and 5,000 pounds (vertical load weight), the E16 is designed to simplify the installation process while saving the customer some money. The hitch is designed to work with a universal rail.

The design of the hitch not only promotes simple mounting (using industry-standard legs that lock into the base rails), it also emphasizes quiet and reliable operation. The dual-pivot head offers around 10 degrees of lateral movement for uneven surfaces and terrain. There is also an automatic lock that kicks in once everything is coupled together. Lacking base rails, the hitch is mainly sold as a solution for trucks with existing rails, but base rails are available from Curt.

Beyond the incomplete kit, the main drawback of the hitch is the shipping process. There are many reports of unreliable shipping, with many boxes arriving damaged. The hitch itself tends to arrive just fine, but we recommend checking the integrity of the welds, bolts, and individual parts (such as the legs) before mounting it to the base rails for the first time. If you notice any damage, it's best to return it for a replacement or for another model.

Best Hitch Package
CURT 16116 E16 5th Wheel Hitch with Base Rails

Curt's Complete E16 Kit offers the complete package of a fifth wheel hitch and included base rails at a budget price. As a result, we recommend this kit not just as a perfect start-from-scratch type of kit for first timer fifth wheel buyers. Since the hitch comes with base rails, compatibility isn't much of an issue, making it a perfect option if you don't know all of the ins and outs to buy your first fifth wheel hitch.

Like many of Curt’s hitches, the E16 has a dual-pivot, auto-locking head that offers 10 degrees of movement on the lateral side. While it doesn't articulate as much as higher-end options, the head offers enough freedom of movement to work on slightly uneven terrain. With its heavy-duty construction and design, the hitch is rated for 16,000 pounds of gross trailer weight and 5,000 pounds of vertical load.

On the negative side, this hitch isn't the easiest thing to install the first time you want to use it. Proper installation first involves mounting the base rails to the truck's frame, which is best left to a professional if you want to save some time and headache. Once the base rails are on, mounting the hitch is easier. The weight of the hitch, however, may warrant the use of an extra pair of hands to avoid damaging the hitch or the truck bed if the weight escapes your control.

Most Versatile
Pro Series Fifth Wheel Hitch

If you’re looking for a no-frills fifth wheel hitch, then you’ve found it in this one. It can tow up to 20,000 pounds with a vertical load limit of 5,000 pounds. The hitch height is adjustable between 13 and 17 inches. The floating head can pivot in four ways to give you a full range of motion. 

What’s nice about this hitch is that it has a thick skid plate at 5/8 inches. It also comes with a ten-year warranty. The double jaw completely surrounds the king pin to ensure you have a secure and stable connection. 

One downside of this hitch is that it requires some assembly before you can install it. To make this more frustrating, the instructions aren’t very clear. This hitch will not fit in truck beds that are shorter than six feet. Unless you use it with a sidewinder. It also won’t fit trucks that have a step side or flare side bed.

Honorable Mention
Demco Autoslide Mount Fifth Wheel Hitch

This bed mount fifth wheel hitch is a compact size to make mounting a breeze in tight spaces. Operating it from outside the bed of your truck is easy with the large pull pin or manual slide. It can give you up to 14 inches of travel distance to provide you with more room when working in tight spaces. It has three vertical height adjustments and an 18,000-pound towing capacity. 

What makes this hitch stand out is that it can fit all industry-standard rails. It also doesn’t require a locking plate. You’ll like that it has a lower profile design and is lighter weight. This gives the hitch greater versatility and maneuverability.  

Unfortunately, this hitch may not allow for 90 turns in all situations. You’ll want to confirm whether or not this is possible with your setup. Despite this hitch being lighter than others, it’s still heavy to regularly move in and out of your truck bed.

Honorable Mention
PullRite SuperGlideFifth Wheel Hitch

This fifth wheel hitch from PullRite is capable of towing up to 16,000 pounds. The pin weight capacity or maximum vertical weight capacity is 4,000 pounds. The hitch is powder-coated black to give it increased durability and corrosion resistance. A five-year warranty covers your hitch. 

What makes this hitch stand out is that it can move up to 50 percent farther when making a turn than manually adjusted slider hitch designs. It can move up to 14 inches when making a turn. 

Unfortunately, you can bend the pin locking system while hooking up to it. If this happens, you’ll need to contact the company for a replacement. This can happen when you hook your trailer up too high. You also need to keep the trailer within 20 degrees of center while hooking up. This can limit how you hook up to the trailer.

Honorable Mention
CURTFifth Wheel Hitch

If you’re looking for the best of the best, then you’ll be pleased with the quality and performance of this hitch. It has a maximum towing capacity of 24,000 pounds and a vertical weight capacity of 6,000 pounds. This hitch will fit any industry-standard base rails. The height adjusts from 13 to 17 inches. 

You’ll like using this hitch with its built-in three-position indicator. This lets you easily determine the coupling status of your trailer. It has a unique spherical axial bearing. This enables the head to tilt and turn easily in any direction. 

Unfortunately, this hitch isn’t compatible with turret style pin boxes, such as Sidewinder. The automatic latching system doesn’t always engage properly or unlatch correctly. This takes extra work on your part to get it to work. 

Honorable Mention
B&W Hitches Companion Fifth Wheel Hitch

This fifth wheel hitch can tow up to 20,000 pounds with a vertical weight capacity of 5,000 pounds. It can adjust from front to back up to two inches and has three vertical adjustments from 16.75 to 18.75 inches. The hitch is treated with a grey powder-coated finish over the heavy-gauge steel to give it durability and corrosion protection. 

It fits four pucks in your truck bed for easy installation. What makes this hitch stand out is how easy it is to install and uninstall. It has a cam-actuated latching mechanism and a simple two-piece design. It also has release handles that can allow it to easily convert to a level bed. 

This hitch’s biggest drawback is that it’s specifically meant for the GMC and Chevy trucks from 2016 through 2019. This seriously limits who can buy and install this hitch. You’ll also find this hitch to be quite heavy, with the base weighing 88 pounds and the couple weighing 75 pounds. 


  • Always remember to stay within the weight limit of your tow vehicle, hitch, and trailer. Exceeding limits can make driving very unsafe.
  • Higher altitudes can make gas engines work harder when pulling a heavy load. Take this into consideration if you are looking for a trailer to pull when living or visiting in high-altitude areas.
  • If your truck has a straight gas pipe coming under the rear bumper, you may need to reroute it to the side. Otherwise, it could scrape against the trailer since the front will be closer to the tail.


Q: Can I install a fifth wheel hitch myself?

A: The hitch installation can be a DIY process, although professional installation tends to be recommended if you don't have much experience with automotive work. 

Q: Do fifth wheel hitches work with bed liners?

A: Plastic bed liners typically don't work with fifth wheel rails. The loads can damage the plastic, causing it to disintegrate and loosen the hitch itself. Spray-on liners, however, can work with installation rails without the worry of damage.

Q: How does a slider hitch work?

A: The hitch slides around its base, moving forward or backward depending on the need. Under normal driving conditions, you can position the neck near the front or middle of the base for better stability. If tight maneuvering is required, you can move the neck towards the gate to clear the room with the cab.

Final Thoughts

The winner of our top spot is the B&W Companion for its generally easy installation process and towing capacity.

Taking our value spot is the Curt E16. It offers a good weight limit and installation process for the price.