If you are considering replacing your current trailer’s hitch for a safer and more efficient towing setup, the gooseneck hitch is a great pick. Because they resemble a goose’s neck, these hitches get this name, and they are ideal for pulling heavy payloads and large trailers.
But before buying a gooseneck hitch for hauling purposes, one should know how a gooseneck hitch works. Knowing how these hitches work not only informs you about them but also helps you choose the right gooseneck hitch based on your needs. Let’s dive into this guide consisting of highlighted essential points of gooseneck hitches to make an informed decision while buying them.
What Is A Gooseneck Hitch?
A gooseneck hitch is a trailer type that mounts into a truck’s bed and offers a simple trailer ball for attaching a gooseneck trailer. Basically, gooseneck hitches are unobtrusive and fairly subtle in their design. Gooseneck hitches have a weight capacity of around 30,000 pounds.
These hitches are exclusive to pickup trucks and are not compatible with other vehicle types. These hitches are typically used for drawing livestock trailers, horse trailers, and ample multi-axle flatbed trailers.
How Does A Gooseneck Hitch Work?
A gooseneck hitch consists of a ball attached to the head of a surface within the truck bed. When hitched up, the ball joins the trailer’s gooseneck-style coupler. It allows the combination of truck and trailer to rotate and articulate while driving down the road. Also, many gooseneck systems have anchors to attach the safety chains.
Usually, you will find the gooseneck coupling point above the truck’s back axle. Few hitches let the ball attach or detach from the hitch’s main body to loosen up the truck bed for drawing cargo.
How To Pick A Gooseneck Hitch?
If you are looking for hitches for heavy towing, goosenecks are the hitches you can go for. Let’s read about a few factors to consider while buying gooseneck hitches.
Gross Trailer Weight
While buying gooseneck hitches for towing, first check out the total weight of the trailer when fully loaded. Gooseneck hitches can manage a considerable amount of weight, and the weight of a loaded trailer really adds up to its worth. Generally, your truck should weigh around 3/4 ton or 1 ton to match the weight of the trailer it is designed to tow.
Cost of Gooseneck Hitches
There are a variety of gooseneck hitches available on the market. Depending on their type and brand, the cost of gooseneck hitches varies. Gooseneck hitches usually cost around $200. But it can fluctuate depending on the hitch’s design and its labour cost for installation. Another factor that can impact the installation cost of the gooseneck hitch is the brand and model of the truck you are buying it for.
Step-By-Step Installation Of Gooseneck Hitches
Installation of a Gooseneck hitch is not an easy task. It is a complex process that requires attention to detail and the requirement of specialized tools. This complex installation procedure needs the hands of a professional to do it correctly. Let’s go through Gooseneck Hitch’s installation process one by one for better understanding.
Gather Tools & Required Materials
The first step in gooseneck hitch installation is to gather all the required tools and materials. These materials and tools comprise a gooseneck hitch kit, a torque wrench, a drill with drill bits, a tape measure, a socket set, ratchet straps, safety glasses, a level, a marker, gloves, and more.
Mark The Location For Hitch Installation
Once you gather all the essential materials and tools, the next step is to mark the specific spot where you want to install the hitch. To determine the accurate location for installation, try putting your hitch on the truck bed and using tape to spot the centerline. Also, you can use a marker or chalk to label the location. After that, use the tape to mark the holes by measuring the gap between the centerline and the hitch’s installation points.
Make Holes In The Truck’s Bed
After drilling holes, in the next step, use the drill to make the holes in the truck bed. Also, make sure to cross-check the markings to make sure they are correct. While drilling, it’s important to be careful because one minor mistake can damage the truck bed and its components.
Install The Gooseneck Hitch
Once you drill the holes in the truck’s bed, it’s time to install Gooseneck Hitch. Start by mounting the hitch over the drilled holes and use the ratchet straps to clutch it in place. Then join the hitch bolts to the truck bed using a socket set. Ensure to use a torque wrench to set the bolts, and also make sure the hitch is balanced during installation.
Install The Ball
Once the hitch gets installed, it’s time to install a ball. For ball installation, start by detaching the hitch cover and placing the ball into the hitch. By using the provided bolt or locking pin, ensure to secure the ball. Also, use a torque wrench to tighten the bolt or locking pin.
Examine The Hitch
Once you complete the whole installation process, you should double-check to ensure it is done right. You can test it by attaching the gooseneck trailer to the hitch and driving it in a safe area. Also, check the attachment of the trailer to the hitch twice to ensure there is no shaking or wobbling.
Finish The Installation
Finally, once you confirm that the hitch has been properly installed and it’s working right, it’s time to end the installation with a bit of finishing. Replace the hitch cover and other components that were detached during the installation process. Also, clean the truck bed and the hitch to eliminate debris and leftover metal shavings from the installation process.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Wear safety glasses for your eye safety.
- Wear work gloves and boots to protect your feet and hands from injury.
- Use the appropriate equipment, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Cross-check all markings to ensure they have been done properly.
- Never exceed the hitch’s weight capacity.