Got a 5th wheel? If you do or are thinking of getting one as a way to get out and adventure, you’re going to need a hitch. And while you may have gotten away with using a regular bumper hitch on an old trailer or camper, a 5th wheel is different.
These homes on wheels can get massive and require something truly strong and dependable to make sure you’re hitched up. In this review, we’re going to look at some great options as we find the best 5th wheel hitch currently on the market.
So, let’s get things rolling…
- 1 Top 8 Best 5th Wheel Hitches on the Market 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Curt 16115 E16 5th Wheel Hitch – Best Budget 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.2 2 Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch – Best 4 Way Pivot 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.3 3 B&W Trailer Hitches The Patriot 16K – Best 16,000 lbs 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.4 4 Curt 16181 A25 5th Wheel Hitch – Best High Weight Capacity 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.5 5 Andersen Hitches Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection – Best Gooseneck 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.6 6 B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch – Most Versatile 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.7 7 PullRite 2700 ISR SuperGlide – Best Slide 5th Wheel Hitch
- 1.8 8 Demco 8550034 Autoslide 18K Ultra – Best Premium 5th Wheel Hitch
- 2 Best 5th Wheel Hitch Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for Something Else?
- 4 What is the Best 5th Wheel Hitch?
Top 8 Best 5th Wheel Hitches on the Market 2021 Reviews
1 Curt 16115 E16 5th Wheel Hitch – Best Budget 5th Wheel Hitch
We like to keep things organized for you. In this review, we’re going to start with the cheapest 5th wheel hitch on our list. After we learn all about it, we’ll slowly work our way up to more expensive units. You’ll have to decide if they’re worth it.
Basic but practical…
This hitch weighs a light 95 pounds of smooth, powder-coated steel. As you’ll see, that’s not a whole heck of a lot for a hitch. What can it pull? This 5th wheel hitch is rated at a maximum of 16,000 pounds gross trailer weight (GTW) and 4,000 pounds vertical trailer weight (VTW).
That means you can pull a trailer that doesn’t weigh more than 16,000 pounds. But also that the load on the hitch from your trailer’s tongue (or A-frame) shouldn’t exceed 4,000 pounds. Not bad for one of the best cheap 5th wheel hitches available.
What does this hitch have to offer?
It comes with standard legs that can fit onto industry-standard rails. Well, sort of, anyway. We found the fit to be very tight, and the unit needed some persuasion from a mallet.
It can also link up with OEM puck systems if you already have one in your truck bed. The height can be adjusted to four different levels between 13-17” to make sure you’ve got the clearance you need.
How’s the towing?
While the hitch head has an anti-skid plate and rubber stoppers to keep the noise down, there’s some rattling when driving around. The Curt 16115 has a single-handle locking system to help you get hitched up easily.
It’s also easy enough to remove from rails, and because it weighs only 95 pounds, this can be done by one person. As a result, it’s one of the best easy to use 5th wheel hitches out there. Build-wise, though, we think the welds don’t look great and worry they won’t hold up great in the long term.
- Very affordable price.
- Fits an assortment of mounting systems.
- Can make some noise while you’re driving.
- Quality doesn’t look fantastic.
2 Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch – Best 4 Way Pivot 5th Wheel Hitch
So what happens if we almost double the price? What kinds of features are we going to see when we get over half a grand?
The Reese 30047 16K Fifth Wheel Hitch is going to help us answer that question. As the name suggests, this is another hitch that has a capacity of 16,000 pounds gross trailer weight (GTW) and 4,000 pounds vertical trailer weight (VTW). The vertical clearance is adjustable here as well. You can set heights from 14 ½” up to 18” to make sure you’re getting far up and over the sides of your bed.
What’s excellent about this hitch?
The amount of play it gives helps you pull around corners and get your 5th wheel into tight spots. It has what they call a 4-way pivot, which means forward and backward, plus side-to-side action.
In this case, the side to side is almost like a slide plate. You’ve got a full range of 6 inches of side-to-side motion here. That also helps you to hitch up on rough ground. This means it’s one of the best side to side 5th wheel hitches available.
And speaking of hitching up…
Rather than a sliding bar, this is one of the best jaw lock 5th wheel hitches around. That gives you more contact on the pin for less strain on the hitch itself and a quieter ride. To us, though, they should have made the jaws thicker for extra durability.
This unit comes with pull pins for mounting. However, it doesn’t come with rails, so you have to buy these separately, and they’ll set you back over $100. As well, the manufacturer warns that this hitch isn’t going to fit beds shorter than 6 feet, so make sure you know your bed size before you make your purchase.
- Relatively affordable.
- Lots of 4-way pivot.
- Not the strongest looking lock jaw.
- Only fits truck beds longer than 6 foot.
3 B&W Trailer Hitches The Patriot 16K – Best 16,000 lbs 5th Wheel Hitch
Next in our Best Quality 5th Wheel Hitch reviews, let’s add another $100 onto the price and see what sort of hitch that gets you. Well, it’ll get you the Patriot 16K by B&W Trailer Hitches. No, not BMW, B and W.
Unlike BMW, though, B&W is American-made. Well, you can tell by the name, can’t you? And the Patriot 16K, of course, has a capacity of16,000lbs and a GTW of 4000lbs. VTW just like the other two hitches we’ve just seen.
But let’s look at what’s different here…
This unit is made from thick powder-coated, solidly-welded steel. It looks like it’s bombproof. With a weight of 147 pounds, this is a big boy. As a result, this is one of the most durable 5th wheel hitches out there.
However, installing and removing the hitch from your truck bed is still pretty easy for one person to handle. You can take it apart into two pieces, with the base weighing 95 pounds and the coupler 52 pounds.
The hitch connection looks very strong…
It has 3/4″ wrap-around jaws with a jaw locking mechanism that’s easy to manage and very solid. The coupler has polyurethane bushings to prevent metal-on-metal contact, and this keeps it running smooth and quiet. It has a fully articulated head with front to back and side to side movement with spring cushioning. This gives you a soft ride without bucking.
To make sure you’re getting the clearance you need, this hitch gives you 4″ of front-to-back adjustment. You’ve also got four levels of vertical adjustment from 16” to 19” for clearance over your sidewalls. Once again, the mounting system can link up with standard rails, but these are sold separately.
- Solidly American-built.
- Strong coupling jaws for a secure hitch.
- Rails not included.
- Heavy, but can be broken down into two pieces.
4 Curt 16181 A25 5th Wheel Hitch – Best High Weight Capacity 5th Wheel Hitch
Well, looky here. Curt is back with another 5th wheel hitch, and this time it’s a big fella.
The 16181 is in Curt’s A series. This one is the A25, which, you guessed it, means it can handle loads up to 25,000lbs GTW. The vertical load is 6,250 lbs. This is a bigger, tougher unit, and it weighs 180 pounds compared with the 99 pound E16 we saw at first.
This is a tougher build…
You can see a big increase in quality from its little brother. This is cast steel coated with tough graphite powder coating. Even though it’s a whopping 180 pounds, you can remove a single pin to take the coupling head off of the main body, helping you move this big hitch in two easy pieces.
Secure and simple coupling…
You’re getting adjustable 13-17 inches of vertical range to get the right height for your truck. It also has an articulating torsion head to keep things smooth. Coupling is really easy with this unit. It has a coupling indicator to let you see that you’ve been coupled properly and securely and are ready to tow your 5th wheel.
Color coding on the coupling indicator helps you see your coupling status, so you know you’re secure. It also has a self-resetting lockable handle, meaning that after uncoupling, the handle re-sets to the ready position. All of this makes it one of the best coupling 5th wheel hitches on the market.
Superb value for the money…
Because of the articulating head, this hitch rides smooth, even on rough terrain. But the best part is probably the deal you’re getting here. It’s bigger and stronger, but only $200 more than the Patriot. And it comes with rails!
- Great price for a high-capacity hitch, including rails.
- Smooth ride and easy coupling.
5 Andersen Hitches Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection – Best Gooseneck 5th Wheel Hitch
Andersen Hitches has given us a little something different to look at. If you already have a gooseneck connector in your truck bed, this might be the easiest and simplest hitch for your 5th wheel.
Rather than making their hitch from heavy steel, Andersen used lightweight but strong aluminum. This allows their hitch to weigh in at just 35 pounds. So, it’s one of the best lightweight 5th wheel hitches on the market. Furthermore, that makes installation and removal a piece of cake for any truck owner. The whole unit clamps onto a gooseneck and is ready to go.
The greaseless coupler fits onto the kingpin of your 5th wheel with about 5 minutes of adjustment and a few wrenches. The ball on the hitch can be adjusted to three levels: 16-3/4″ lower position, 17-7/8″ middle position, and 19-1/8″ upper position to give you the right clearance.
And because the whole thing rides on a ball, you get more swivel in every direction, making towing very smooth. You might say it’s one of the best towing 5th wheel hitches available.
There’s one thing we want to point out…
This hitch claims a towing capacity of 24,000lbs GTW and 4,500 VTW. And now that might be true. However, be careful not to overload this hitch, or even get it up close to its maximum capacity. Because it’s made from aluminum, it can shear more easily than steel under impacts. Drive safe!
- Lightweight and easy to install and remove.
- Rides smooth and is very forgiving.
- Designed for gooseneck attachment only.
- Aluminum could shear in an accident.
6 B&W Companion 5th Wheel Hitch – Most Versatile 5th Wheel Hitch
B&W is back, with a bigger and tougher option for the best 5th wheel hitch. It’s called the Companion, and it’s The Patriot’s big brother.
This hitch can handle a load of 20,000lbs GTW and 5,000lbs VTW compared to The Patriot’s 16,000 GTW. It also weighs a heck of a lot more. You can still take it apart into two pieces for easy setup and removal. But with a 131lbs base and 75lbs coupler, this big fella weighs a whopping 206 pounds.
Once again, this is quality American-made beautifully welded steel coated with thick powder coat paint. Tough and durable, this is a hitch that’s built to last.
A few different versions…
You can choose a rail version, a slider version, and a single point mount version. The single-point mount we’re looking at here is great for keeping your truck bed smooth and clear when you’re not using your hitch. It connects to a turnoverball under-bed mounting system, but that mounting system is sold separately.
Once again, you’ve got polyurethane bushings for smooth, quiet contact. The head of the mount is fully articulated for side-to-side and front-to-back pivoting. And, of course, you’ve got three height adjustments from 16.25-18.25″ to get to the clearance you need.
Built to last…
This hitch rides smoothly and can get you right close to 90-degree turns. It’s strong and durable, and get this – it’s covered by a lifetime warranty!
- Lifetime warranty.
- Smooth and quiet ride.
- Doesn’t need any rails or connections left in your truck bed.
- Heavy – usually needs two people to install it.
7 PullRite 2700 ISR SuperGlide – Best Slide 5th Wheel Hitch
PullRite is one of the last hitches in our review, and with its 22700 ISR SuperGlide, it’s also one of the most expensive. This hefty hitch costs well over $1000.
Is it worth it?
Well, this hitch is 177 pounds of solid American-made steel. It’s finished in a glossy black coat that’s durable and weather resistant. Then again, at this price, you’ll probably want to get yourself a rain cover for this unit. And rails, too. Because although it fits all industry-standard rails, it doesn’t come with them included.
The 2700 ISR SuperGlide has a towing capacity of 18,000lbs GTW, making it one of the stronger, but not the strongest, of the hitches we’ve seen so far. As we’ve already seen, it’s a heavy unit, but it’s still easy to remove or install.
You can separate the coupler head from the base by simply throwing a few pins, and a couple of people can easily lift the parts in and out of your truck bed.
This hitch has an automatically locking gear-driven rotary latch, rather than a lock bar or jaws. This makes it easy to hitch up and gives a smooth and quiet ride when you’re towing. It’s even smoother because of the dual articulating head giving you side to side and back to front movement.
But what sets this hitch apart is the fully automatic slide. The SuperGlide gives you a full 14 inches of front-to-back motion, making it easy to turn sharp corners even in a 5-foot bed.
The downside of this hitch is that because it’s got a sliding plate, it’s not height adjustable. The hitch stands 17.5″ from the base to the hitch plate, which is a reasonable average height but might be extra high for some set-ups.
- The sliding plate makes sharp turns easy.
- The latch is smooth and secure for a quiet ride.
- Expensive at well over $1000.
- Not height adjustable.
8 Demco 8550034 Autoslide 18K Ultra – Best Premium 5th Wheel Hitch
The last 5th wheel hitch in our review is Demco’s Autoslide 18K Ultra. But it’s certainly not the least expensive. This hitch costs nearly a buck and a half. For that price, it had better be excellent.
Let’s have a look…
The Autoslide 18K has a decent 18,000lbs max gross trailer weight towing capacity, but it’s not the highest-rated hitch on our list. At 331 pounds, it’s by far the heaviest and not just the most expensive. This is a big piece of machinery, all coated in hammertone paint for durability.
Sure looks built to last…
The hitch connection here is a big wrap-around jaw with a locking bar, so you get extra security knowing you’re coupled and locked. The hitch gives you three levels of height adjustment to help you get things level.
This hitch fits onto all industry-standard rails but doesn’t come with any. It can also be held in place with an under-bed mounting system (it doesn’t come with that either).
This way, your bed can be left clear for other uses when not towing. However, with this weight, we don’t expect you’ll be moving this hitch around a lot.
The main points that make this hitch great…
The up to 14″ of travel you get from the automatic slide. That will help you get in and out of tight spots and makes this an excellent hitch for short-bed trucks. It also comes with a 5-year warranty for extra peace of mind. Altogether, this is a very heavy and expensive top-quality hitch. It should last a lifetime.
- Smooth coupling and smooth ride with no noise.
- 14” of slide lets you haul with a short bed truck.
- Expensive, nearly $1500.
Best 5th Wheel Hitch Buying Guide
There are tons of hitches out there for your 5th wheel. How do you choose the best one for your needs? There are a few main factors to consider when making your purchase. Let’s take a look at them now…
What are you hauling? Before you choose the best hitch for your 5th wheel, you need to know what it weighs fully loaded. Don’t forget to include fuel and water weights as well.
A smaller 5th wheel might land somewhere in the 10-15,000 pound area. In this case, a hitch rated to 16,000 pounds of gross trailer weight (GTW) would suffice. Remember to also take into account the vertical load on the hitch. This is the vertical trailer weight (VTW), also known as tongue weight or pin weight.
Bigger rigs need bigger hitches, and some of these can haul up to an incredible 25,000 pounds! Anything bigger than that is going to need something custom and extra special. WARNING: Never exceed the maximum towing capacity of a hitch as this could cause it to fail, resulting in dangerous accidents.
Truck Bed Size
As a general rule, regular 5th wheel leg hitches are designed to fit truck beds at least six feet in length. If you’re looking to tow with a shorter bed, say 5 or 5 ½ feet, you’ll need a slider. These hitches give you the extra front-to-back distance to allow the 5th wheel to pull back from the hitch, and away from your truck when making tight turns.
Quality and Price
Pulling 5th wheels is a real American pastime, so it’s no surprise the best 5th wheel hitch is made in America. Whatever your needs, look for a solid, strong hitch that’s welded perfectly and coated with durable paint that will help it withstand the elements. You might want to consider a rain cover for your hitch if you’ll keep it mounted most of the time.
For coupling, there are different types of hitches out there. Straight pins are the old style. These simply lock the kingpin into your hitch but leave a lot of play in the connection. That leads to noise and metal on metal grinding.
Locking jaws are a big improvement. The jaws get around the pin and create more contact for a more secure fit. This can limit noise and wear as well. Finally, a locking rotary latch grabs and locks the pin the most securely.
As for price…
You have to look at what you can afford and balance that with quality. Hitches run from a few hundred dollars to a buck and a half or more. Make sure an expensive hitch is giving you extra towing capacity or extra warranty to make it worth it.
Looking for Something Else?
We have a nice selection of vehicle accessories for all your needs. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best License Plate Frames, the Best Fog Lights, the Best HID Conversion Kits, the Best Bug Deflectors, and the Best Wide Angle Mirrors you can buy in 2021.
Also, have a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Nerf Bars, the Best Trailer Hitch Locks, the Best Jumper Cables, the Best Car Alarm Systems, and the Best Car Visor Extenders currently on the market.
What is the Best 5th Wheel Hitch?
Whew! That wasn’t easy. We looked at eight great hitches, all with different pros and cons. Some were extra tough. Some were extra expensive.
But for the money, we had to give the prize to the…
At this price point, this is a great hitch, AND it comes with rails, so it’s a complete kit. This hitch gives you a smooth ride and lots of articulation. It pulls up to 25,000 pounds and has a very solid, secure locking mechanism.
Now your needs might be different, or you might have a budget different from the average. Whichever hitch you choose for your 5th wheel, enjoy it and the freedom of the road that it’s going to bring to you.
Until next time, happy trails.