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Author Topic: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.  (Read 2974 times)

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« on: August 01, 2019, 01:10:08 AM »
OK guys and Gals, first, don't get too wrapped up in this one because I am just looking for basic entry level knowledge. I have no knowledge or experience with goose-neck trailers which I always called a 5th wheel. I am about to switch back to a full sized pickup after a couple of years with those mini jobs. I would love to get a 350 or 3500, but the mileage is so bad for commuting that it is a non starter. Diesel is out too for other reasons. I would like to get something with a good tow package and would like to stay in the 1500 class if I can. But I also want to be able to pull a trailer with a few good logs on it, NOT a huge full load, just a few good logs. Tongue weight gets to be an issue as well as handling with a 16' trailer and some weight.
 SO I am wondering, if I were to get a goose neck trailer say around 18 to 20' how would that handle on a 1500 class truck compared to a standard receiver hitch? I like the idea of having the load right over the axle and figure it will just come down to the pulling power of the truck. I have no interstate driving in my plans at all. Just rural and secondary roads, 55 mph tops. 
What do you guys think, can I get a better load on a goose neck than I can on a receiver hitch with the same truck or am I just urinating into the wind trying to squeeze too much out of a smallish truck?
 Again, don't go crazy here, but I know this group will open my eyes a bit and maybe give me the reality check I need, as usual.
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Offline LeeB

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 01:38:24 AM »
I've been running 3/4 ton trucks for years so am no longer familiar with the capabilities of 1/2 ton. My only advice is to consider not if the truck can pull the load, but can it stop it. Just because it can pull it doesn't mean it should. 
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Offline Iwawoodwork

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2019, 01:45:22 AM »
first there is none of the 1500s that I know of that are rated to legally tow a decent gooseneck (10000lbs or up)loaded. also you probably will not get any better mileage when towing than a larger PU, my 1996 f350 ccab 4x4 regularly got 17 mpg driving and 10-14 with light load 7-8k, I put about 150k and my 1999 dodge 3500 dually  4x4 gets about 16 empty and similar to the ford loaded and have had close to20k lbs behind it with my 12 ton goose neck. I think you would be surprised at the mileage a  diesel gets plus the towing comfort I would never consider a 1500/150 gas for towing much.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2019, 01:52:48 AM »
first there is none of the 1500s that I know of that are rated to legally tow a decent gooseneck (10000lbs or up)loaded.
You read a lot more into my question than I intended. No way am I looking to even pull 8,000 pounds. I would not be moving very often with the trailer, that's why the mileage day to day matters to me. Not the mileage I get when towing.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 04:51:37 AM »
Towing capacity/ratings have climbed in all newer truck categories. No a 1/2 ton isn't in the same league as 3/4 or ton diesel dually but that isn't your goal. A gooseneck is still what you want. Better balance and much easier to maneuver. A brake controller, a little common sense, and go haul your 2-3 tons of logs. ;D

Online Skeans1

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 05:15:09 AM »
The biggest issue I can see is finding a trailer light enough to have a decent capacity, we have had 5th wheels put into half ton well before these new ones have come out. It seems like I remember seeing a fifth wheel prep kit/option on the newer F150s you might look and see if any of the factories offer a kit or if you ordered a truck with it.

Myself I prefer a 5th wheel over a gooseball any of these trailers can be switched over with a head tube change, our gooseneck has a fifth wheel king pin in it. 

Offline snowstorm

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 06:41:13 AM »
5th wheel goose neck prep kit. my old truck came with it. f250 6.7. my new one did not. i had the puck style hitich just needed the mount kit. the camper dealer agreed to include it with the new camper. after waiting 3 weeks reese told them thats special order we dont want to sell you one. so i call my ford parts guy. can you get it yes be here tomorrow. not only is it less money it s goose neck capable. the reese is not. its one peice the reese is 3 bolted together. the hardest part of installing it is finding a torrx plus socket to fit the body bolts 

Offline ellmoe

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2019, 06:42:51 AM »
I run a F150 2013 4 x 4 club cab with the eco-boost V-6 gas. I bought it precisely for the reason you described , better fuel mileage with capability to haul reasonable loads when needed . Overall I average 18 mpg and can pull and stop a 14,000 lb gooseneck trailer with no problems . Truck is equipped with trailer package . Very happy with performance . I ran 3/4 ton gas before at 10 mpg that couldn't pull much more.
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Offline Pine Ridge

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2019, 07:00:04 AM »
3/4 ton at least or you won't be satisfied.
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Offline Riwaka

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 07:01:25 AM »
Used pickups - salt rusted?  gasoline vs diesel, fuel freezing point, . replacing exhaust systems on the modern big diesel pickups is expensive.

2019 Ford  F150 3 liter v6 turbo diesel (250 hp, torque 440 ft pnds )rated towing is around 11K lbs, dodge 1500 2nd gen diesel 3 liter v6 260 hp and 480 ft lbs?. GM new 3 liter delayed till 2020.
Ford 5 liter V8 gasoline engine has been okay with regular service.
The eco diesel settlement   https://www.ecodieselsettlement.com/

Lots of different hitch types.
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Gives some idea on goose trailer weights - 2600 lb 20 foot etc.
Car Trailers - Gooseneck Car Trailers - 3112 Car Trailer



Towing is mostly about balance and weight distribution (and braking) , 2 X 5000lb short logs in rear receiver hitch trailer with single tire tandem axles.


Offline WDH

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 07:17:16 AM »
My 20' gooseneck with a 5' dovetail weighs 4250 pounds empty and rated loaded at 14,000 pounds.  So, the trailer can handle a payload just a bit less than 10,000 pounds or 5 tons.  My 2013 Ford F150 4x4 gas with ecoboost is rated for 18,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight.  I can only load the trailer to a bit over half its rated capacity and still be legal.  The truck will pull it, but it groans and sighs some.  If you want to load the trailer to its capacity, you will have to have a larger truck like the F250.  My Ram 2500 diesel can handle the trailer fully loaded and pulls it with ease.  The Ram diesel gets 20 - 22 mpg on the highway without a trailer.  The smaller F150 gas with 6 cylinder ecoboost only gets 16 - 17 mpg without a trailer.  The bigger truck gets way better mileage.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2019, 07:50:06 AM »
My only advice is to consider not if the truck can pull the load, but can it stop it. Just because it can pull it doesn't mean it should.


I agree with the above statement!!!!! It is something i have been saying for years.

I also agree with Ellmoe

I have a 2015 F-150 super crew short bed. normal driving to and from work (country roads lots of hills) I am about 20 mpg. highway I have seen as high as 28. If it is all highway. The truck has the "max tow package" and is rated to tow 13000 lbs. Oh yea, I have the 3.5 ecoboost.

I am still a very strong believer of just because you can doesn't mean you should.

The heaviest load I had behind it was a 14k bumper pull equipment trailer with a 3.5 ton mini excavator. Total of about 10000 pounds. Going up hill the truck laughed at the load. But in the flats and downhill I could tell the tail was wagging the dog. Overall though the truck handled it like a champ. I was quite impressed at how well it pulled. If I had balanced the load a little better it probably would have been much better. But stopping it was still a challenge.

Truck unloaded rides great and I do not regret buying it at all. I really did not like ford for the longest time but they were the only ones who would deal with me so I ended up with one. Out of all the trucks I have been in the ford cabs are by far the nicest.

I do want to put airbags in the back since I am finding myself hauling more heavy stuff now that the truck has proven itself to me. 

The last big tow I did was a 22' enclosed aluminum trailer with my 4300 pound rockcrawler in it. I towed it from New York to Pennsylvania through the hills. I was roughly 16 mpg. Funny thing was the trailer loaded or unloaded towed exactly the same behind the truck. The billboard of an enclosed trailer effected it more than the load.

I would still prefer a bigger diesel for towing real loads but for the occasional towing I do the F-150 is perfect combination between driver and work truck.

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2019, 08:01:46 AM »
Good advise above.  I think a gooseneck on a 1/2 ton pickup is not the best match for all the reasons mentioned.  I have an F150 and use a 16ft flatbed with the receiver hitch.  It's a good combo since the weight of the trailer doesn't eat into the GVWH to bad.  I use a load leveling hitch, which really helps a lot with heavier loads.  If I was towing max weight a lot I would want the 3/4 ton truck though.  I would also say that 16ft is too short, although I get by with it.  I should have gotten an 18 or 20ft trailer.
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Online btulloh

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2019, 08:15:12 AM »
I'm impressed with some of the towing capacity and mileage for these newer 1/2 tons.  Mine is a 2007 5.4 gas and gets 14 mph with nothing behind it.  Towing a good load, the gas mileage is frightening and makes me think there's a hole in the tank.
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Offline jdonovan

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2019, 08:20:27 AM »
Take a look at real numbers for a 2019 ford F150 https://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/Page 16 is very interesting. Max towing.
F150 - conventional - 13,200
F150 - 5th wheel - 12,100
Now there is A LOT of variance on tow ratings depending on cab style, engine size, axle ratio etc.. my quick scan shows that for same model/configuration there is very little change in tow rating based on hitch type. It looks like the max GCWVR is what limits the trailer weight on a 150.
So I do not see a large capacity gain based on hitch style on the 150 class truck. When you go to a 250/350, there is a HUGE gain in trailer load by going to a in-bed hitch, but you've already said you don't want that large of a truck, so that is off the table.
Having pulled a lot of conventional and gooseneck/5th wheel trailer miles. I'll say without a doubt the in bed hitch is a nicer ride. There is less porpoising, a tighter turn radius, smoother ride, better tracking of the trailer. These benefits really became noticeable as my trailer weights went up. 
The down side is you almost completely loose the bed for cargo when towing, unless you have a in bed camera, you'll make multiple attempts to get the truck aligned under the trailer.
When I was towing 6-7k on a conventional hitch I didn't have much complaint, but as I shifted to 12-14k trailers, it became much more of a problem, even with a weight distributing hitch. That 12-14k trailer pushed me up into a in-bed hitch, and at that point my ride improved noticeably. Now I'm routinely moving 20-25k trailers. 
One thing we have not touched on is trailer weight. There is a lot of steel in the hitch assembly to get to a 5th wheel or gooseneck hitch. Those trailers tend to be heavier than the same size conventional trailer, so you wind up eating 1000-2000lbs in added trailer weight, for no gain in payload.
If you have any other questions, drop me a PM, I'll be happy to answer.



Offline Southside

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2019, 09:12:58 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is the rating for the receiver hitch and stinger.  A buddy of mine bought a 4500 Dodge to haul his min-ex around with a conventional trailer, something like 12.5K gross.  Got looking things over and factory installed receiver hitch was not rated for over 10K.  Truck might be rated to tow the load but if the links in the chain are weak then that is the real limit.  Knowing New York I suspect the bears in the chicken coops all know to look at the hitch ratings.  

To answer the primary question, once you go to a goose you will never want to tow a conventional trailer again.  Ride quality, backing ease, tight cornering, etc.  You just need enough of a horse in front of that cart to make it work.  
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2019, 09:20:57 AM »
At some point youll want/require a bigger tck, which then youll want/require a bigger trailer. I started out with a 14k 20 gn pulled with a dodge 3500 dually gasser. MPGs sucked, carrying capacity sucked, length sucked. While deployed i put back a lot of $$$ to put down on a 3rd gen dodge diesel 3/4 and then came down on orders again, so i decided to go back to iraq instead korea. I sold the lite weight, short gn and bought a 24k 30+5. Max loaded was all the suspension could carry on the 3/4tn, so i traded up for a1 tn srw, now iv got a dually and regret not stepping up to the 12k axels. Basically, i wanted, like you, minus caring about mpg, to start out small size, but now maxed out and wanting more. My next set up will be a 5tn mil wrecker/crane with a 40k pintle trailer. MPG will suck on that 5tn, but calculating the multiple trips with a lite wt. set up, itll cost more in the end. 

As for backing under a gn, iv found using a reference point of a grease pencil line on the rear window, marking center of the bed, then line the hitch tube up with that line and 99.99% of the time, all i have to do is either back up further or pull back forward to couple on. Iv been doing that for bout 12 yrs now, but before, i would reference the trailer sides and the tck body to center up. 

When deciding tck trailer factors, plan (3-5yrs) for future expansion/improvements. As others have said, tongue wt. plays a big factor and a gn has a much heavier tongue than a bumper, yet a bumper if harder to get the load centered, but iv had to readjust my loads on a gn too to improve ride, handling and legalities. A gasser can do the job, but pushing it to its limits will prematurely cause failure. Just hope the tck is still under warranty. 
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Offline charles mann

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2019, 09:29:25 AM »
Adding to southside about conventional v. gn. I coupled under my 14k bumper yesterday to get get 300# of steel, a bit of over kill, but the bumper weighs 2800#, as where my gn weighs 7000#. Backing the bumper into its spot, its like i hadnt ever backed before, mostly bc at work, its gn and i regularly pull my gn at hm. With as much as it gets used, iv been seriously thinking of selling the bumper pull and building a pipe rack on my tck to go get lite wt. steel orders. 1 less set of tires, registration, repairs and space conservation i think outweigh the need for the trailer. 
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2019, 11:06:35 AM »
Wow, all good stuff, thanks folks. As usual with these threads, one silly question generates two better ones. First, a slight refinement. My needs are to only move a couple of logs loads a year and these will be select logs I specifically want. I do not intend to be hauling logs regularly. This is why I don't need to max it out on weight, but I do want a rig that can handle the weight safely so a little overkill in the trailer and hitch will allow a smaller truck to control it better. Stopping is of course very important to me, even though I did not mention it in the OP. I cannot afford to buy new or order a specific truck, I am looking at newer used with the right stuff already in them. Although a diesel is out because I don't want the ongoing cost, noise, stink (I have medical issues with diesel exhaust), etc. But I would consider going to a 250/2500 if I find the right combination. I've had a 2500 before. i'll take my time shopping around.

 First question: In my ignorance, I did not realized there is a difference in the hitches for a gooseneck and a 5th wheel. Can somebody give me the cliff notes version with some general pros and cons (cost being just one)? Unless I get really lucky, I figured I would be installing this myself.

I'll hold the second question until I have done more reading on all the links that were offered. Thank you all. By tonight I should be a little smarter.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline jdonovan

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Re: Stupid question about gooseneck trailers.
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2019, 11:15:11 AM »
Very few utility/equipment trailers use 5th wheel hitches. Most use gooseneck
Many travel/camping trailers use 5th wheel hitches, very few use gooseneck

Depending on the style, it is possible to convert some trailers from one style to the other.

gooseneck puts a ball into the bed of the truck, looks just like the ball on the bumper hitch.

a 5th wheel has a flat plate with a V notch at the rear where the trailers king pin slides into.

pictures and some explanations.

What Are The Differences Between Gooseneck vs 5th Wheel? - Outdoorscart


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