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Old 10-23-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
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Wondering if anyone has adapted their 5th wheel king pin extension to a gooseneck adapter? Recently purchased 2011 gmc 3/4 ton duramax with a built in gooseneck hitch. Pull a 2012,34' cruiser at 12,000 lbs. loaded and about 2,000 lb. tongue weight.
Puchased a "Ranch Hitch Adapter" with 8 " offset as I have the short box. I am concerned from recent readings that the warranty will be voided and possible structural damage could occur to the 5th wheel hitch. I have not installed yet/looking for more information.

Wondering if anyone has a number to call crossroads to speak with a real person?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:00 AM   #2
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Personally would not adapt a fifth wheel trailer to a goose ball. The ride quality is terrible to say the least and safety is compromised. Bring the Ranch Hitch adapter back and invest in a 16K slider fifth wheel hitch.....I assume you have a fifth wheel hitch of some kind if you were pulling your camper with your previous truck.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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In general, GN adaptors are not a good choice due to the added stress that it puts on the fifth wheel frame. Not the hitch and not the pin box, but to the actual trailer frame. There are plenty of cases of frame failure even w/o the extra stress from the GN adaptor. The only adaptor that Lippert is likely to approve is their own GooseBox adaptor which is a reverse pin box that has a ball connection where the king pin is normally. Because it is NOT an extension but a substitute, there is no increase in stress. Then you still need an elevated ball hitch.

Now speaking of the Cruiser specifically, the new notched frame that was introduced in 2011 is probably a very poor choice for dealing with increased frame stress. The notched frame no longer has a full width crossmember across the front of the pin box and a number of owners experienced significant frame flex. CR and Lippert made repairs to our frames which involved removal of the front cap in order to add extra bracing to make up for the loss of the solid front crossmember. I can supply plenty of more info if interested since my Cruiser was the 2nd unit repaired. This problem was identified in June, 2011 and by August, 2011 Lippert began adding the extra bracing to new Cruisers in production. So, your 2012 has the 'improved' frame but the bandaid changes still make it below average for frame rigidity. Frame repairs out of warranty will cost at least $5k. Furthermore, since the sidewalls are bolted to the frame, if the frame flexes too much there is a risk of sidewall cracks and additional expense.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayle1
In general, GN adaptors are not a good choice due to the added stress that it puts on the fifth wheel frame. *Not the hitch and not the pin box, but to the actual trailer frame. *There are plenty of cases of frame failure even w/o the extra stress from the GN adaptor. *The only adaptor that Lippert is likely to approve is their own GooseBox adaptor which is a reverse pin box that has a ball connection where the king pin is normally. *Because it is NOT an extension but a substitute, there is no increase in stress. *Then you still need an elevated ball hitch.

Now speaking of the Cruiser specifically, the new notched frame that was introduced in 2011 is probably a very poor choice for dealing with increased frame stress. *The notched frame no longer has a full width crossmember across the front of the pin box and a number of owners experienced significant frame flex. *CR and Lippert made repairs to our frames which involved removal of the front cap in order to add extra bracing to make up for the loss of the solid front crossmember. *I can supply plenty of more info if interested since my Cruiser was the 2nd unit repaired. *This problem was identified in June, 2011 and by August, 2011 Lippert began adding the extra bracing to new Cruisers in production. *So, your 2012 has the 'improved' frame but the bandaid changes still make it below average for frame rigidity. *Frame repairs out of warranty will cost at least $5k. *Furthermore, since the sidewalls are bolted to the frame, if the frame flexes too much there is a risk of sidewall cracks and additional expense.
Very good and detailed information here!! I agree completely.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information and your reply. Seems confusing as these adapters are sold at trailer dealerships and you read of many people adapting to the goose neck and like it, yet I tend to side with the conservative side of the stress on the trailer king pin hitch increasing and possibly causing frame failure. How do you know? Any one know of someone who experienced frame failure from this type of switch?
Nothing worse than driving and worrying for a problem to happen?
Appreciate all information.
Dan
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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I'm using the B&W Companion hitch in my shortbed. Perfect offset for my 5th wheel.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Is your companion hitch an off set for your shortbed? How much of an offset? So this companion hitch uses the GN hitch without rails? Is this hitch a slider?
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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You have around 5 inches of variable offset but it doesn't slide. There's no rails, it slips down into my B&W gooseneck.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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Also using the B&W companion hitch in my goose neck hitch. I have a long bed, but the hitch has several adjustment holes built in to allow different adjustments for short and long beds. They have a very informative web site. Check it out, it is a very well made hitch and made in America.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:47 PM   #10
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Dan,

You haven't said if you need the GN ball mount for other trailers or just trying to utilize it. The B&W Companion is a fine hitch, a little heavy, but if the limited offset will work, then a good option. Of course, you can also use any rail mount fifth wheel hitch and remove it and still use the GN ball mount if required. There are plenty of manual and auto slide options for that short bed truck. Or you can use a non-slider and use the Reese Revolution (aka Sidewinder) pin box since it moves the pivot point back under the trailer. The B&W Companion is not compatible with the Sidewinder due to the B&W's single mounting point. My understanding is B&W approves use if extra bolts are added to the 4 corners of the Companion base, but that defeats it's ez removal.

Many Rvers want to believe that an accessory is OK if it is for sale. Yet some yrs ago I studied much of the info available from Andersen on their GN adaptors. Great info on how strong the adaptor is and warranty on it, but under disclaimers they also basically stated that not all fifth wheel frames are created equal and some are not strong enough to handle the extra stress. Further that it was the owners responsibility to determine compatibility. We can't see the frame, let alone know frame thickness, steel strength, weld quality or magnitude of forces, so we really can't make the call. And frame manufacturers certainly don't physically test nor computer model their frames with the added stress of any GN adaptor. So, to use one is a blind decision. My point is that greater awareness of this issue has probably lead Andersen to develop their new Ultimate fifth wheel hitch. This is an elevated ball mount with a compact king pin to ball convertor that minimizes extra stress. It is another option for you to consider, however it does not address clearance issues with a short bed truck.

Sorry for the long post, but hope it is helpful.
Edited by: Dayle1
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:58 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the comments, very informative. I will continue to search for the best solution and all comments are welcome. We don't want to worry about the unknown, so good to hear options in use.
Thanks for all the posts keep them coming.
Dan
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:01 AM   #12
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I will not need the gooseneck to pull other trailers, but like the idea of having an open truck bed when not pulling the 5th wheel.
Dan
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:22 AM   #13
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There are lots of fifth wheel hitches that use an underbed (hidden or level) type of mount. I have the Reese Elite underbed mount for my 5th wheel and just the 4 pucks in the bed - flat when the fifth wheel hitch is out of the truck. Many other options out there now to eliminate the rails in the bed. As already mentioned B&W is a great hitch, they can even be used in the Reese Elite underbed mounts and I believe also have their own underbed mounting system. I went through this research in the past so am not fully up to date. I would have purchased a B&W if it were available when I needed one but it came out after. I have the Reese Elite 18K slider(formerly Reese Signature series)in my shortbed. Rarely need the slider due to profile of the trailer, but nice to have just in case.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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I have an EZ-Lift 7500 which I use on a Crossroads 34RE. The dealer installed it and I doubt that a dealer would install something that would void the warranty. That said I am absolutely satisfied with it. I really cant see how this adds any additional stress to the frame as it mounts directly under the kingpin. Very easy to hitch using the magnetic mounted tennis ball on a stick from harbor freight.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:09 AM   #15
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I have an EZ-Lift 7500 which I use on a Crossroads 34RE. The dealer installed it and I doubt that a dealer would install something that would void the warranty. That said I am absolutely satisfied with it. I really cant see how this adds any additional stress to the frame as it mounts directly under the kingpin. Very easy to hitch using the magnetic mounted tennis ball on a stick from harbor freight.
The dealer will install anything he can sell. Check with Lippert about the adapter. AFAIK they only recommend one type and that's not it. Anything other than their recommendation voids the warranty.

Think of trying to bend the kingpin front to rear from holding onto it and then add a big lever (EZ-Lift)and try again. It's not the up/down that worries me.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #16
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The dealer will install anything he can sell. Check with Lippert about the adapter. AFAIK they only recommend one type and that's not it. Anything other than their recommendation voids the warranty.

Think of trying to bend the kingpin front to rear from holding onto it and then add a big lever (EZ-Lift)and try again. It's not the up/down that worries me.
Clif has it right, that extension means greater stress on the trailer frame every time you accelerate or stop. The Cruiser frame was strengthened after Aug. 1st, 2011, but not for the added stress. Good luck.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #17
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I just bought my Anderson Ultimate 5th wheel hitch. So much better than loading my B&W companion.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:15 PM   #18
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Most people don't know much about them and a lot that do have negative comments, but have you looked into Andersen fifth wheel hitches? They have a model that attaches to your ball and attaches an adapter to your kingpin location so no extra stresses. My first look was also negative until I checked them out as they are made where I live. I have one in my 2011 GMC Denali HD and love it! Price is also very reasonable. Once again, most folks will have negative comments, but I have never heard negative comments from users. Your choice.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:05 PM   #19
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Most people don't know much about them and a lot that do have negative comments, but have you looked into Andersen fifth wheel hitches? They have a model that attaches to your ball and attaches an adapter to your kingpin location so no extra stresses. My first look was also negative until I checked them out as they are made where I live. I have one in my 2011 GMC Denali HD and love it! Price is also very reasonable. Once again, most folks will have negative comments, but I have never heard negative comments from users. Your choice.
Greg
Unfortunately, you are wrong about no extra stress. The adaptor can be bolted to the fiver pin box and super strong, but moving the pivot point further from the fiver frame will always result in greater stress on the fiver frame. It is just physics. The latest issue of Trailer Life has an ad from PopUpHitch for another GN adaptor and I quote "according to the company (PopUpHitch), it will handle just about any fifth-wheel that has a strong enough frame for a gooseneck conversion." Some years ago, Andersen had almost the exact same comment on their website, don't know if it is still there. So, both companies in a very round-about way admit adding a GN extension puts more stress on the fiver frame. But what is really funny or sad is this, who knows if their fifth wheel frame is strong enough? Did the trailer manufacturer test the frame with a GN extension? Did Andersen or PopUpHitch? Can the average owner just look at the skin that is hiding the frame and tell that the frame is strong enough? Or is it just a *rap shoot?

Of all the GN adaptors on the market, two have the least risk (not zero, just least). The Andersen Ultimate fifth wheel hitch since it moves the pivot point just a few inches and the Lippert Goosebox since they claim they will still warranty their frame with their adaptor and just maybe they actually tested the combo.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:55 PM   #20
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Andersen Hitch

Actually, my Andersen Hitch setup moved my pivot point towards my fifth wheel. As I said before, most who have never tried do not like the Andersen for one reason or another. I just commented for another point of view on hitches not to debate the merits or physical design of any specific hitch. I needed one that was easy to remove while I am boondocking for six weeks hunting and need the bed of the truck. To each his own.
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