What Are The Best 5th Wheel Hitches For A Flatbed?
Several manufacturers do make special low-profile hitches and gooseneck adapters. Let’s explore some of the best systems below.
B&W Trailer Hitches Flatbed Companion Fifth Wheel
This B & W Companion hitch is specially made for flatbed trucks because it has a low profile and a fully articulating head. The head has front-to-back and side-to-side pivot points, allowing the fifth-wheel trailer to move as it needs to around curves. The hitch weighs 70 lbs and is rated for 25k GTW (gross trailer weight) and 6250 lbs VTW (vertical tongue weight - making it stout).
The Companion comes with polyurethane bushings installed for a quiet, rattle-free towing experience. There is virtually no noise from the hitch to the truck bed, which makes it a winner in our books. There is a cam-action latching handle for easy release, and it should be easy to reach for most trailer operators.
The great thing about this hitch is that the Companion flatbed RV Hitch utilizes the B & W invention of the b w turnoverball. (This nifty invention utilizes a gooseneck ball you can unlatch, turnover, and store in the same gooseneck hole. This hitch allows you to tow when you want or have a flat cargo bed when needed). The Companion flatbed utilizes this gooseneck ball system by simply setting down on top of the turnover ball. Instead of purchasing an adapter for the pinbox, this hitch adapts the gooseneck ball into a fifth-wheel hitch.
The Companion flatbed hitch is easy to install, and its weight doesn’t mean you need multiple people to lift it into place. It meets all SAE J-2638 standards for fifth-wheel hitches. The fifth-wheel hitch comes with a limited lifetime warranty, is made in the USA, and is backed by some of the best customer service in the business.
The Companion flatbed has been named the Best Fifth Wheel Hitch by over 10,000 RV Magazine readers (formerly Trailer Life).
B & W is a leading manufacturer of trailer hitches and operates out of Humboldt, Ks. Even though the company has a rich history in building components, it is currently employee-owned by 147 workers. B & W has an excellent reputation for caring about customers. The hitch has a good 4.5 rating on Amazon.
- Solid company with good reviews
- Hitch uses the Turnover Ball system
- Great customer service
- Reasonably priced
ANDERSEN HITCHES | Ultimate Fifth Wheel Connection
This Ultimate Fifth Wheel Connection by Andersen Hitches is one of the fastest-selling hitches on the market. The aluminum-made frame mounts to a recessed gooseneck ball and is ideally suited for a flatbed truck. Since the whole hitch only weighs 35 lbs, it can be installed or removed from the bed in under five minutes by a single person. The hitch requires a kingpin adapter to make the proper connection.
One of the best things about the Andersen hitch is the remote cable quick-release system that allows an operator to stand off the bed and disconnect the trailer without crawling underneath the fifth wheel.
The hitch is best when used in the lowered position for flatbed capability, and we recommend using the anti-slip pad that goes between the hitch and the bed floor. The Ultimate requires no custom installation, works with a typical 3” gooseneck ball, and, due to the aluminum composite, it resists corrosion and rust. The Ultimate is rated for up to 24k lbs weight capacity and has a limited lifetime warranty. (Remote cable is warranted for one year).
Andersen Hitches is a great family-owned company located in Idaho Falls, Idaho. (These folks have been in business for over 60 years, so they know a bit about towing. The Andersen Ultimate is their bread and butter hitch, and with the explosion of sales over the last few years, we can see more and more RV owners agree. The unit has a 4.7 rating on Amazon and is one of Amazon’s top sellers.
- Light-weight hitch
- Lifetime warranty
- Good company
- Very Popular hitch
- Highest-rated RV hitch on Amazon
- Must have kingpin adapter - which costs extra
Demco Recon Gooseneck-to-5th Wheel Trailer Hitch Adapter
The Demco Recon works with a recessed gooseneck ball set into the middle of the flat bed and has a 22” square frame to support a fifth-wheel hitch. The Recon handles a 4” tall, 2 5/16” recessed gooseneck ball and is rated for 21k lbs load capacity. This hitch has a wrap-around jaw which helps to provide a stronger, more secure latching of the kingpin. The additional hold can help the ride.
There are three different height adjustments, although the lowered position is likely the best for safe towing. The latch handle function nicely and is built into the unit. The compost construction material is steel, sealed with a black powder-coat finish.
There is no offset to this hitch. We appreciated the wrap-around locking jaw and the addition ao of a ¾” steel locking bar for additional security against accidental disconnection. The hitch head is padded with polyurethane bushings to comfort the ride, and the pivoting head keeps the trailer balanced.
DEMCO is based in the middle of the Iowa cornfields (some of the most beautiful country in the Midwest), but they specialize in more than just agricultural applications. The company was founded in 1964 by owner Robert Dethmers - Demco is made from his name (Dethmers Manufacturing Company). At the same time, they are best known for their agricultural components until they broadened their horizons in the mid-80s and expanded. They are a leading manufacturer of hitches, brake actuators, and other parts for Ag, RV, and semi-trucks. They produce one of the best hitches on the market today. (They have a 99% satisfaction rating on etrailer.com).
- Good hitch for money
- 5-year warranty
- Wrap around locking jaw
- The Warranty could be longer
Reese Fixed 5th Wheel Low Profile
The Reese Fifth Wheel Fixed Low Profile hitch requires some custom installation, but once done, this will be one of the most solid hitches you can find. (Most cab/chassis trucks require an additional steel plate to be welded to the underside of the truck bed to provide enough support to handle the fifth-wheel torque). The Reese is a beast of a flatbed RV hitch, rated at 30k lbs load capacity, built from alloy steel, and finished in a black powder coat.
The hitch head slides and tilts to help provide a comfortable ride. The dual-locking jaws provide excellent surface contact on the kingpin for additional security against shifting. The kingpin stays in place, despite the bumps on the road or uneven terrain. The actuating lever is easy to handle and offers enough resistance to feel firm in hand but doesn’t inhibit. Simply pull it out to lock the jaws in an open configuration or release the handle to engage the locking mechanism. One nice feature is the safety lever that holds the actuating lever in place, which can be secured with a cotter pin.
The hitch is expensive at nearly $2k and has a five-year warranty that we wish was longer. (Some reviews indicated that the hitch wore out at about five years, but most comments were positive). The Reese Low Profile is the go-to 5th wheel hitch that etrailer.com recommends for flatbed trucks.
Reese is a division of Horizon Global that owns brands like DrawTite, TowPower, and BullDog. They are based in Plymouth, Mi. Even though the company is based in the US, most of the hitches they produce are made overseas or in Mexico.
- Not a gooseneck adapter hitch
- Robust and heavy load capacity
- Lock pin on the actuating lever
- Not USA made
- The warranty should be longer
- The custom installation will cost more.
Tulga T10 5th Wheel Hitch - Low Profile
The Tulga T10 5th Wheel hitch is perfect for hotshot truckers who are constantly using their flatbed trailers. This T10 is the smallest hitch the company makes, but it is still one of the most trusted hitches for hotshot runners in the country. So, if you are running classic cars back and forth across the country (or other items), this is the hitch. Made from durable steel, the Tulga has an adjustable locking mechanism and is compatible with almost any type of flatbed pickup truck.
(It should be noted that the Tulga may require an adapter plate to fit some models, and with a riser height of only 6 inches, some kingpins may need a Tulga hitch to ride on a platform to make the proper connection. Owners should ensure that they purchase both the locking head and the mounting plate, as they are sold separately on some sites).
This 5th wheel hitch is rated for 36k lbs of GTW and 9k in VTW (a lot of weight), meaning the Tulga tows heavier loads than almost anyone. The hitch is coated with rust-inhibiting paint and meets all testing requirements.
The hitch comes with a three-year warranty (which we don’t care for), but the company has received many positive reviews from satisfied customers. (Their return policy is less than stellar in that it requires the product to be in its original packaging, unopened and unused, and will all stickers and attachments (etc, etc, etc). Failure to comply results in a 35% restocking fee. That amounts to a $250 fee for someone to put it back on a shelf.
The feature that sets this hitch apart from the rest is that it has an adjustable locking mechanism that allows owners to manually tighten the dual jaws. (One of the issues of 5th wheel hitches is that they don’t grip as tightly as they should, increasing the likelihood of a disconnect). The Tulga squeezes in on the kingpin with a full circle connection, also a nice quality. The hitch design helps with longevity, and the increased connection improves safety.
Tulga Fifth Wheel Hitches is based in Santa Ana, Ca, with a distribution warehouse in Atlanta. They have been in business since 1976.
- Great 5th wheel hitch for hotshot pickups
- Rust-corrosion resistant
- Perfect for steel flatbeds
- Adjustable locking mechanism
- The 3-year warranty should be longer.
- The return policy is less than stellar - a 35% restock fee is excessive
About THE AUTHOR
My name is Matt and I've been around cars all my life! I have owned and worked on many different classic vehicles, so I started this site to share my experiences. If you're new to classic cars, then this website is for you.Read More About Matt Lane