5th Wheels are a fantastic option if you have a truck capable of pulling one, offering much more room than a standard travel trailer. Before you can begin pulling a 5th Wheel, you’ll need to fit a relevant hitch on your truck. There’s a couple of ways to go about this, you can either have a shop fit a hitch for you or if you’re confident in your own abilities, you can do it yourself. Obviously, the price between the two options varies a great deal.
So, what is the 5th Wheel Hitch Installation Cost? The cost to install a 5th Wheel in a shop including the price of the hitch will be between $800 and $1600. If you choose to install the hitch yourself, you’re looking at between $200 and $500 for a hitch plus $100 for an installation kit. If you need to buy additional tools then the price will rise.
As you can see, you can save quite a bit of money if you choose to install a 5th wheel hitch by yourself, and it necessarily a difficult task. Having the right tools to hand and a good understanding of the steps involved will make your life much easier. If you’d rather have someone else do it for you, then it’ll cost a bit more, but you’ll have some assurance of a job well done.
What is a Fifth Wheel Hitch?
5th wheel hitches are essentially a device that supports the weight of the trailer and allows for the trailer to be securely towed. One of the advantages of a 5th wheel hitch is that the weight is more evenly distributed across the frame of the truck, which produces a safer and more stable towing scenario.
Before you go online and buy a 5th wheel hitch, it’s important to understand the total weight of your trailer, including all the accessories you’re going to take with you. Not all hitches are created equally, so it’s important to do your research and purchase a 5th wheel hitch that’s up to the task.
Types of 5th Wheel Hitch
There are essentially three types of 5th Wheel Hitch available, each uses a slightly different jaw mechanism to secure the trailer in place.
Slide Bar: This is one of the most affordable models available, but it’s also one of the noisiest types, you’re not going to forget you’re towing a trailer. It also boasts an excellent safety record and you can be confident in its abilities.
Double Jaw: A double jaw model is middle of the road in terms of price, and it’ll provide a smooth ride and very little noise and movement. This is because the king pin is held more tightly compared to the sidebar, but some movement of the king pin will be present.
Single Jaw: The double jaw will give you one of the smoothest driving experiences with next to no movement of the king pin as its completely held by the hitch jaw. This is one of the most expensive hitch types.
Ease of Installation
Another contributing factor to your buying decision should be the ease of installation. You can often find hitches that match the brand and model of truck you’re driving, which makes installation that much easier. This is especially relevant if you’re going for a DIY approach, you’ll want to make your life as easy as possible.
If you’re going to get a kit, just make sure you have all the tools you’ll need. It’s likely you’ll require a torque wrench, possibly a drill as well. Ensuring you have the kit you need before starting a project saves a ton of time and frustration, especially when you find you’re going to have to spend more than you anticipated.
We should also consider the mounting style of our 5th wheel hitch. Most modern hitches will use what is called a rail system for mounting. But, you can still find models that are installed under the truck bed. Under the bed installation requires significantly more work to install and is not recommended for DIY projects.
You can also get custom mounting systems which utilize specialized brackets, the set-up is generally clean, but is probably best left to the professionals.
For most users, the rail system is probably the best choice. The design is fairly standardized across models and brands, and they are increasingly popular due to their simple yet reliable design.
We have a couple of recommendations for hitches based on our experiences and the experiences of our readers, we think either of these two models will provide a great experience for you.
B & W RVK3300 Companion 5th Wheel Hitch
If you need an outstanding, reliable and functional 5th wheel hitch, then we think you can’t really go wrong with the RVK3300 Companion. It’ll work seamlessly with every 5th wheel trailer out, there, or at least everyone we know about.
The hitch features a double jaw design, so you know your journey is going to be relatively quiet and smooth. The design also boasts a cam-action release handle, which makes releasing the hitch dead easy, which is must have if you want to use your flatbed.
Expect to pay a bit of a premium for this hitch, but in our opinion, its worth the money, and we can all but guarantee you’ll be happy with your purchase.
Anderson Hitches 3220 Aluminum 5th Wheel Connection
One of the biggest selling points of the Anderson hitches is there lightweight aluminum construction, which can make installation significantly easier, as well as removing it after a trip that much easier. Coming in at a measly 35lbs, its one of the lightest if not the lightest hitch available on the market.
The design boasts a grease-free coupler and has three height adjustment settings. All of this means configuring the hitch for your particular set up that much easier.
One of the possible drawbacks is that you’ll need to take torque wrench around with you in order to use the latching mechanism but in the grand scheme things, it’s not a big inconvenience.
Fitting a 5th wheel hitch to your trailer needn’t be an expensive process. Just be sure you’ve done your homework and worked out how much your trailer is when fully loaded and what sort of hitch works best with your truck.
There are a ton of 5th wheels available on the market today, so you’re sure to find something to meet your needs and budget. Hopefully, after reading this article you can now confidently answer the question what is a 5th Wheel Installation Cost.
As always, if you have any comments or feedback, please let us know in the comments below.