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

Make towing a breeze with a quality hitch that’ll support even the heaviest of loads.

Best Overall

Bu0026W Companion

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Best Value

Curt E16

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Honorable Mention

Curt E16 with Base Rails

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If you’ve been relying on a bumper tow hitch to haul heavy gear, trailers, and other items, it’s time for an upgrade. While plenty of hitches can satisfy your basic towing and hauling needs, your pickup truck can become even more capable with a fifth-wheel hitch installed. Other hitches can only do the work you need up to a certain extent; with a fifth-wheel hitch, however, you’ll be able to do more. Designed for trucks that need to perform medium to heavy-duty towing, these hitches are an improved design that can carry your extra-heavy load close to your truck’s own rear axle. Fifth-wheel hitches can carry more weight, and they can really wow when you’re turning, looking for increased reliability, and on-road security.

Summary List 

Best Overall: B&W Companion

Best Value: Curt E16

Honorable Mention: Curt E16 with Base Rails

Best Heavy-Duty: Pro Series Fifth Wheel Hitch

Best Compact: Demco Autoslide Mount Fifth Wheel Hitch

Best for Turns: PullRite SuperGlide Fifth Wheel Hitch

Best Easy Coupling: CURT Fifth Wheel Hitch

Our Methodology

To choose the best fifth-wheel hitches available, I looked for those made by top names within the towing and hauling space. From there, I narrowed down the many products available by looking at key details like towing capacity, vehicle fitment, ease of installation, and if the hitch could handle everyday needs like smooth, controlled turns, disassembly, security on uneven terrain, and adjustability (particularly vertical adjustability). I also looked at user reviews to better understand how each one of these fifth wheel hitches performed when installed, both for moderate loads to extra-heavy loads and in various types of terrain. 

Best Fifth-Wheel Hitch Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall

Bu0026W Companion

See It

Best Value

Curt E16

See It

Honorable Mention

Curt E16 with Base Rails

See It

Best Heavy-Duty

Pro Series Fifth-Wheel Hitch

See It

Best Compact

Demco Autoslide Mount Fifth-Wheel Hitch

See It

Best for Turns

PullRite SuperGlide Fifth-Wheel Hitch

See It

Best Easy Coupling

Curt Q24 Fifth-Wheel Hitch

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Our Verdict

The B&W Companion is the best high-end fifth-wheel hitch, and it’s a fantastic pick if you’re looking for serious towing capability and long-term reliability. Built to last and to carry heavy loads seamlessly, this is a hitch your truck will find secure and strong. If you’re looking for good value for your money, the Curt E16 hitch is another good option. It’s not a complete kit, but it’s affordable and highly reliable, giving you a great fifth wheel base.

Consider Secondhand

When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money. 

If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great for car parts, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.  

Secondhand Tips

To make your secondhand search easier, here are two tips to finding the best deals and making sure your new-to-you stuff wasn’t destroyed by the previous owner. 

  • Look closely at any hitch for signs of stress, like wear, cracking paint, or a binding jaw to ensure you aren’t getting a weak or overly worn product.
  • Opt for secondhand hitches from brands known for long-term reliability, like Curt and B&W to ensure you’re getting plenty of longevity. 

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fifth-Wheel Hitch

As you shop for a quality fifth-wheel hitch, it’s important to consider what you’ll be hauling as well as what your truck can safely pull. But with the right hitch, you’ll find you have plenty of versatility, and plenty of convenience. Keep the following in mind as you look for the perfect fit for your vehicle.

Types of Fifth-Wheel Hitches

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.

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. 

Fifth-Wheel Hitch Pricing 

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. Spend between $250 and $500, and you’ll find 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. And for $500 or more, you’ll find some of the very best hitches. For the most part, options here have the highest pulling capacities and the greatest range of movement in the head.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

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 room with the cab.

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Heather Fishel is a writer well-versed in subject matter that’s both informative and intriguing. In her career, she’s authored articles on topics encompassing food and recipes, productivity, life hacks, history, psychology, helpful mind hacks, education, and efficiency. A contributing writer for a number of publications, Heather has written for WonderHowTo, Campus Explorer, War History Online, College Niche, Electronic Retailing Magazine, and Clean Eating Magazine.