5.0 TA: Anderson Ultimate Gooseneck or Ranch Hitch Adapter? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-17-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
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5.0 TA: Anderson Ultimate Gooseneck or Ranch Hitch Adapter?

I see lots of 5.0 TA owners are very happy with their Andersen Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection that comes in both a rail version and a version for trucks with a gooseneck ball in the truck bed.

My 2011 F250 came from the factory with the gooseneck socket already installed and I have the ball for it.

What I'm trying to figure out is why people already with a gooseneck ball like mine use the gooseneck version of the Anderson Ultimate rather than Andersen's Ranch Hitch Adapter.

The Ranch Hitch adapter fastens to the pin box and pin of a trailer and extends down to the gooseneck ball, turning the trailer into a gooseneck trailer. Wouldn't it be better to use the Ranch Hitch adapter if you already have a gooseneck ball? Then there's nothing in the truck bed when towing like the pyramid of the Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection.

Am I missing something here? All replies welcome. Ed
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Old 10-18-2019, 02:52 AM   #2
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The Ranch Hitch Adapter - or any similar product - extends the trailer to reach the bed-mounted ball. This means that horizontal forces (due to accelerating, braking, or cornering) cause an increased torque on the trailer frame, and this has caused structural problems for fifth-wheel trailers of other brands, and one Escape 5.0. As a result, the Escape owners manual includes this statement (on page 10 in the Towing and Leveling chapter):
Quote:
• Do not add any type of adapter to the fifth wheel king pin, such as a goose neck adapter. Lengthening the fifth wheel hitch by means of an adapter will transfer greater loads to the chassis, possibly more than the chassis is designed for, and could result in structural damage. Damage that is a direct result of the use of such an adapter is not covered by Escape Trailer Industries warranty.
The Andersen Ultimate solution is to provide a raised ball to reach the trailer, rather than an extension to the trailer to reach the bed floor. A bonus is that the cargo bed behind the hitch doesn't need to be empty almost down to the floor to clear a long gooseneck as the truck is backed under the trailer.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:34 AM   #3
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I have the Andersen Ultimate. While I like it, it does take up considerable room in the truck bed.

If money were no object, I'd likely try a Reese GooseBox pinbox replacement. According to ETI, the "Wings" used on the 5.0TA are Lippert, and the Reese GooseBox is the only conversion that doesn't void a Lippert Warranty.

That said, their smallest unit is rated at 16000lbs, and is way overkill for the 5.0TA...

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has done this?

John
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
If money were no object, I'd likely try a Reese GooseBox pinbox replacement. According to ETI, the "Wings" used on the 5.0TA are Lippert, and the Reese GooseBox is the only conversion that doesn't void a Lippert Warranty.
The issue isn't the strength of the pinbox or the Lippert warranty on it, it's the effect on the trailer's frame. When you asked someone at ETI about this, did you explain that you wanted to install an extended pin box? While it is not exactly an adapter, the effect is still an extension which is the source of the structural problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
That said, their smallest unit is rated at 16000lbs, and is way overkill for the 5.0TA...
The Goose Box is rated at 16,000 pounds because that's the pin box rating - every 5.0 and 5.0TA has a pin box rated at about that. It's far more than needed, but lighter pin boxes are not readily available. This is the same situation as the fifth-wheel hitch: they're all rated 15,000 pounds or more, so they're all heavier than they need to be for an Escape.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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When I emailed with Karl at ETI, his response certainly did not imply that it would cause any issue, and his comment was that it was only way overkill.

While I tend to agree with you that a traditional "Gooseneck Extension" would likely cause harm to "most" 5th wheels, I disagree that the Reese GooseBox would cause the same harm as the geometry is completely different, which is why the product exists.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
When I emailed with Karl at ETI, his response certainly did not imply that it would cause any issue, and his comment was that it was only way overkill.
I suspect that Karl is not aware of the issues which led to the statement from ETI not to use extensions - they're from long before his time and I don't think he's a technical guy. Just mentioning the "overkill" rating suggests that he's not familiar with this hardware, since it's all rated similarly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
While I tend to agree with you that a traditional "Gooseneck Extension" would likely cause harm to "most" 5th wheels, I disagree that the Reese GooseBox would cause the same harm as the geometry is completely different, which is why the product exists.
No, it's the same. Put identical trailers side-by-side, one with a Ranch Hitch adapter on a stock pin box and one with a Reese Box replacing the lower part of the same pin box, and you have the same 2-5/16" ball socket at the same location either way (it has to be in order to use the same bed-mounted ball), putting the same forces on the trailer frame.
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Old 10-25-2019, 01:26 PM   #7
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Brian, I am taking it you are the guy that just can't be proved wrong on this forum eh?

So I looked up the email from Karl-- and his signature is P. Eng, which I assume stands for Principal Engineer. Maybe he doesn't know what he is talking about-- But he is the guy calling the shots, and this is what he specifically said:
----
I Wrote:
This isn't a huge deal either way, but currently I have a Goosneck hitch. Would you consider offering the Reese GooseBox 2 as an option? Does your frame have any issue installing it after the fact?

Karl Replied:
Reese Goosebox2 is quite heavy duty and more than what is needed on our unit. We are always playing the weight game. Our pinbox is from Lippert and I believe the Reese Goosebox can be swapped out.

----

And I completely disagree with you about the side by side comparison. The geometry is completely different on the GooseBox. Clearly you have not looked at the product. While yes, the hitch point is the same as a Ranch Extension, it is not at the same angle, and the leverage and stress applied to the frame is coming from a far different vector.

Add to that the shock absorption as well as the air ride in the GooseBox, it is a completely different solution.

If anyone has tried this, I would be interested in their real world opinion.

John
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Old 10-25-2019, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
...So I looked up the email from Karl-- and his signature is P. Eng, which I assume stands for Principal Engineer....
John
In Canada, a P.Eng. designation stands for Professional Engineer, not Principal Engineer.

There are many fields of engineering that do not put much of an emphasis on mechanical engineering (which would best represent the area of trailer hitches). Hopefully Karl's education was in a field of engineering that is applicable to the discussion at hand.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
... this is what he specifically said:
----
I Wrote:
This isn't a huge deal either way, but currently I have a Goosneck hitch. Would you consider offering the Reese GooseBox 2 as an option? Does your frame have any issue installing it after the fact?

Karl Replied:
Reese Goosebox2 is quite heavy duty and more than what is needed on our unit. We are always playing the weight game. Our pinbox is from Lippert and I believe the Reese Goosebox can be swapped out.

----
Karl's response in that discussion completely misses the point of the reason for the restriction, which is what I already explained. Load rating of the hitch components is not the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLModer2 View Post
And I completely disagree with you about the side by side comparison. The geometry is completely different on the GooseBox. Clearly you have not looked at the product. While yes, the hitch point is the same as a Ranch Extension, it is not at the same angle, and the leverage and stress applied to the frame is coming from a far different vector.
The shape of the pin box is irrelevant to the forces applied to the frame, only the position of the ball socket. It can go straight forward then down, or straight down then forward, or angle directly to the socket, or form a decorative scroll shape, and it doesn't matter.

The Lippert pin box currently used by Escape goes down then forward; the previously used Atwood was diagonal (at 34 degrees from horizontal). They adjust differently, and the Lippert is more likely to run into the box sides, but they tow the same way and apply the same forces to the trailer's frame.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:49 PM   #10
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Yes Brian, Whatever you say Brian.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:39 PM   #11
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Closing thread until civility returns.
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