Step 1: Consider towing capacity and weight
Before you hitch up your truck and trailer -- or even select a 5th wheel hitch for your truck -- it is important to know your towing capacity and gross trailer weight.
Towing capacity is the maximum weight your truck is rated to tow. Gross trailer weight is the total weight of your 5th wheel trailer when it is loaded and hitched up to your truck.
Remember towing capacity is always limited by the lowest-rated towing component. For this reason, we recommend purchasing a 5th wheel hitch that meets or exceeds your truck's towing capacity.
Step 2: What size is your truck bed?
Once you know your towing capacity, the next thing to consider is the length of your truck bed. For simplicity, we'll speak in terms of short-bed versus long-bed.
The length of the truck bed determines how much space or clearance your truck and trailer will have when hitched up. A long-bed pickup truck generally provides more clearance, while a short-bed truck provides less clearance. This, in turn, determines which type of mounting platform your 5th wheel hitch will require: legs or a roller.
Note: Some long-bed trucks may require a roller. Review your own unique configuration before purchasing.
Option A: 5th wheel puck system
A puck system is a built-in mounting platform included with many pickup trucks today, particularly those with a towing prep package. It consists of a center gooseneck hole and a set of anchoring points or "pucks". Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Nissan and Ram all offer puck system options.
Utilizing this built-in puck system, CURT offers several 5th wheel mounting options for short-bed and long-bed trucks. The puck system allows the 5th wheel hitch to quickly and securely drop into the truck bed for streamlined towing -- no drilling, brackets or additional hardware needed.
Option B: Permanent 5th wheel base rails
If your truck is not equipped with a puck system, the traditional method for installing a 5th wheel hitch is to use 5th wheel base rails. You can choose to install permanent base rails or removable base rails, depending on your preference.
Permanent 5th wheel base rails provide industry-standard mounting points to accept all CURT 5th wheel legs and rollers (puck system products excluded). An under-bed bracket kit is required to attach the base rails to the frame of the truck. We offer vehicle-specific and universal bracket options.
Option C: Removable 5th wheel base rails
A unique mounting option you may choose for your pickup truck is removable 5th wheel base rails. Unlike traditional base rails and brackets, this setup allows you to completely remove the rails for an unobstructed truck bed.
The removable 5th wheel base rail system is comprised of a CURT gooseneck hitch, 5th wheel adapter plate and 5th wheel hitch. This option also provides the benefit of equipping your truck for towing gooseneck trailers.
Step 3: Choose a style of 5th wheel hitch
Once you are confident with the type of mounting platform needed for your pickup truck, you can browse our selection of 5th wheel hitches based on weight capacity and features.
CURT offers three distinct series of 5th wheel hitches: the articulating A-series, the quiet Q-series and the economical E-series. To find out more and compare each series, visit our 5th Wheel Hitches Learn More page.