Gooseneck hitches are becoming increasingly popular as a towing option for many trucks and SUVs. You don’t have to have a heavy-duty truck to install one. In fact, many gooseneck hitches can be installed right at home with just a few tools.
If you’re considering installing one on your vehicle, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Can you install a gooseneck hitch yourself?
Installing a gooseneck hitch is not a difficult task, but it is important to follow the instructions carefully and take all necessary precautions.
A few tools are required, including a drill, an impact wrench, a torque wrench, etc. It would help if you also have someone to assist you with the installation.
Before talking about installation, first, let’s see what tools are required.
- 1/2″ drill bit
- Socket wrench set
- Tape measure
- Pry bar
Installing gooseneck hitch (step by step)
Step 1: Remove the spare tire and trim
First, you need to remove the spare tire from underneath your truck. Once the spare tire is removed, you will need to use a trim tool to remove the plastic trim piece covering the hole where the gooseneck ball will be installed. Save the trim piece and hardware, as you will need to reinstall it later.
Step 2: Measure the hole for the ball and drill it
Next, you will need to measure and mark the center of the hole where the gooseneck ball will be installed. Once you have found the center, use a drill bit to drill a pilot hole. After drilling the pilot hole, use a step bit to enlarge the hole to 1-1/2″.
Step 3: Install the cross-arm brackets
Now, you will need to insert the cross-arm brackets into the 1-1/2″ hole that you just drilled. The brackets should fit snugly into the hole. Once the brackets are in place, use a drill bit to drill two holes through the bracket and into the truck’s frame.
Step 4: Install the gooseneck part in the middle
Now, you will need to place the gooseneck center section into the hole in the truck’s bed. The center section should fit snugly into the hole. Once the center section is in place, use a drill bit to drill four holes through the center section and into the truck’s bed.
Step 5: Attach the brackets that come with the side plate
After the center section is in place, you will need to attach the side plate brackets to the sides of the center section. Use a drill bit to drill two holes through the side plates and into the center section.
Step 6: Tighten the screws or bolts on the hardware
Now, torque the hardware correctly. You will need to use a socket wrench to tighten the screws or bolts on all hardware. Make sure that all of the hardware is tight before moving on to the next step.
Note: check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper torque settings.
Step 7:Attach the safety chain anchors
safety chain anchors are required to ensure that the gooseneck ball does not come loose from the hitch. The anchors should be attached to the truck’s frame using bolts or screws. After the gooseneck hitch is installed, you will need to install the safety chain anchors. The safety chain anchors should be installed on either side of the hitch.
Step 8: Install the operating handle
This is the last step in the installation process. You should install the operating handle on the side of the hitch. Once the handle is installed, you will need to attach the safety chain to the anchor. Make sure that the chains are not too loose or too tight.
Gooseneck hitch FAQs
How long does it take to put a gooseneck hitch in a truck?
It usually takes around two hours to install a gooseneck hitch.
Can I install a gooseneck hitch myself?
Yes, you can install a gooseneck hitch yourself with some basic tools. However, we recommend that you have someone help you with the installation process.
What is the best way to secure a gooseneck ball in my truck?
The best way to secure a gooseneck ball in your truck is to use safety chain anchors. The anchors should be installed on either side of the hitch.
What is the weight limit for a gooseneck hitch?
Most gooseneck hitches have a weight capacity of around 30,000 pounds. However, we recommend that you check the weight capacity of your hitch before loading it.
Can my gooseneck hitch be behind my rear axle?
In our opinion, it’s not safe to have the gooseneck hitch behind the rear axle. The best place for the hitch is in the middle of the truck bed. This will help to distribute the weight evenly.
Things to remember before installing a gooseneck hitch in a short bed truck
Video credit: Curtmfg
Yes, there are some special considerations for installing a gooseneck hitch in a short bed truck:
- You need to make sure that the hitch is centered in the truck’s bed.
- You will need to use extra cross-members to support the hitch.
- You may need to use a spacer kit to raise the ball higher in the truck’s bed.
What size bed do you need for a gooseneck?
A 6′ length truck bed is the minimum size needed for a gooseneck hitch. However, we recommend having at least an 8′ bed for optimal stability.
How much does it cost to install a gooseneck hitch?
The installation cost will vary depending on the type of hitch and the size of your truck. However, install prices range from $200 to $500.
What is the difference between a gooseneck hitch and a fifth wheel hitch?
A gooseneck hitch is designed to be installed in the bed of a pickup truck. A fifth wheel hitch is designed to be installed in the back of a fifth wheel trailer. Both hitches are used to tow trailers. However, a gooseneck hitch is not compatible with a fifth wheel trailer.
Read the detailed comparison here.
Do I need a special license to tow a gooseneck trailer?
No, you do not need a special license to tow a gooseneck trailer. However, you will need to have a valid driver’s license and insurance.
Can I use my gooseneck hitch to tow a travel trailer?
Yes, you can use your gooseneck hitch to tow a travel trailer. However, we recommend that you check the weight capacity of your hitch before loading it.
Installing a gooseneck hitch is a relatively simple process that can be completed in around two hours. However, if you’re not familiar with auto repairs, we recommend that you have someone help you with the installation process. We also recommend that you check the weight capacity of your hitch before loading it. Thanks for reading, and we hope this article was helpful.
- Should you buy a 5th Wheel to Gooseneck Adapter? (pros and cons)
- Setting up weight distribution hitch
- Guidelines for towing a fifth wheel with a gooseneck hitch
We are a team of 8 Hitch specialists based in Poland. Every day we fix different hitches for our clients. So we thought why not create an informational blog for the hitch users from all over the world.
So besides running our Hitch store here in Poland, we also write the hitch accessories tips and guidelines on this website. Read more about our Hitch store and services here.