Andersen Ultimate or Reese Goose Box - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 02-11-2019, 11:19 PM   #1
KMG
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Andersen Ultimate or Reese Goose Box

I'm trying to decide which system I'll buy. I'm installing a B&W drop ball gooseneck hitch and will either buy an Andersen Ultimate gooseneck hitch or a Reese Goose Box 5th wheel replacement pin box. Reese cost about $250 more than the Andersen.
Thoughts and advise appreciated. Thanks, Kevin
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:52 AM   #2
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Although it isn't obvious in the illustration shown, the Reese Goose Box is intended to reach down to a ball mounted at the truck floor level, rather than to an ball elevated at normal pin height such as the Andersen Ultimate, so it is a lot longer (vertically). This gives the horizontal forces of pulling, braking, and turning a longer lever arm to twist the trailer's frame. This has caused problems with some larger fifth-wheel trailers, and is prohibited by Escape (due to structural concerns) in the Owner's Manual on page 10, under Chapter 3: Towing and Leveling:
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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.
It's unfortunate, because the Goose Box is a tidy solution which is air-cushioned. On the other hand, it's tough to carry stuff in the back of the pickup box when the Goose Box has to pass through that area near box floor level while hitching and unhitching.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:08 AM   #3
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I didn't consider the extra length creating leverage or the additional space required for the tongue rotating in the box area. Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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I'm also looking at the Escape 5.0 and we have just purchased a new 2019 Ram to handle the trailer, the Ram is a crewcab with the 5'7" bed. I would also like to get the recessed goose neck pin installed in the bed of the new truck where I can take the hitch in and out when needed. Only problem I see is the goose neck recessed pin is usually installed over the rear axle, thus putting the hitch too far forward for our short bed to handle the 5th wheel 5.0 Escape clearance needs. This Anderson and this type of install would not work for me as it is not the adjustable type to move back as needed and I would have to mount one directly to the bed, so the Escape 5.0 would clear the cab. I have talked with a hitch dealer that installs these type of hitches daily and they do offer a recessed pin and adjustable hitch that would work, it's going to around $1800. I thought if we go with the Escape 5.0 I would talk with the hitch dealer that Escape uses up there by them, people on the forum say they are great to deal with and know what they are doing.

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Old 02-12-2019, 09:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by KMG View Post
I didn't consider the extra length creating leverage or the additional space required for the tongue rotating in the box area. Thanks!
There are several post on this, biggest thing is what size (length) bed your truck has, as many talk about measurements, but sometimes they don't mention there bed lengths.
https://weekendrvadventures.com/short-bed-hitch-guide/
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
I'm also looking at the Escape 5.0 and we have just purchased a new 2019 Ram to handle the trailer, the Ram is a crewcab with the 5'7" bed. I would also like to get the recessed goose neck pin installed in the bed of the new truck where I can take the hitch in and out when needed. Only problem I see is the goose neck recessed pin is usually installed over the rear axle, thus putting the hitch too far forward for our short bed to handle the 5th wheel 5.0 Escape clearance needs. This Anderson and this type of install would not work for me as it is not the adjustable type to move back as needed and I would have to mount one directly to the bed, so the Escape 5.0 would clear the cab. I have talked with a hitch dealer that installs these type of hitches daily and they do offer a recessed pin and adjustable hitch that would work, it's going to around $1800. I thought if we go with the Escape 5.0 I would talk with the hitch dealer that Escape uses up there by them, people on the forum say they are great to deal with and know what they are doing.

trainman
We traveled 150 miles to look at a new style 2016 5.0 pulled with a Ram with 5 1/2' box. He had no problem with the recessed goose neck and his Andersen hitch. I believe if you have a 5 1/2' box they turn the Andersen receiver 180 degrees to provide more clearance (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). We aren't even close with our 6 1/2' box. However, if any of us turn over 90 degrees we'll all hit the cab/windows.

Enjoy,

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Old 02-12-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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However, if any of us turn over 90 degrees we'll all hit the cab/windows.

I'm a 5th wheel rookie. Does that apply going forward as well as backward? The reason I ask is that I need to make a greater than 90 degree turn (going forward uphill on gravel) to get out of my driveway (see photo). Backing the trailer into the spot where the white car is less of an angle.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:02 PM   #8
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Actually, the Reese Goosebox hitch is the only one that isn't supposed to cause the frame stresses, Etrailer states this as well on their site. I'm not a 5th Wheel guy, but my friend is using a Reese Goosebox hitch on his Grand Design 5th Wheel and it's approved for a Lippert Frame now. Of course, Lippert's connected with Reese financially, so who knows.
If the manufacturer is saying it voids the warranty as does ETI I wouldn't use it, but they are starting to be used a good bit in the big stick world.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:00 PM   #9
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I'm a 5th wheel rookie. Does that apply going forward as well as backward? The reason I ask is that I need to make a greater than 90 degree turn (going forward uphill on gravel) to get out of my driveway (see photo). Backing the trailer into the spot where the white car is less of an angle.
I've experimented turning the steering wheel all the way going forward and still had clearance between the trailer and the truck cab. We have an F150 crew cab with a 5.5' bed and only about 31" clearance between the cab and front of the trailer. Going forward I'm only concerned if pitch differences between the truck and trailer start getting the pinbox close to the siderails of the truck - there is about 6.5" clearance on level ground.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
I'm a 5th wheel rookie. Does that apply going forward as well as backward? The reason I ask is that I need to make a greater than 90 degree turn (going forward uphill on gravel) to get out of my driveway (see photo). Backing the trailer into the spot where the white car is less of an angle.
90 degrees isn't the angle of the roads at an intersection; it's the angle between the truck and the trailer. When you drive forward around a turn the truck can't turn tight enough to make the truck to trailer angle as sharp as 90 degrees. When you drive around normal 90-degree intersection turns, the angle between truck and trailer never gets as extreme as 90 degrees.

But specifically about forward versus backward...
Regardless of whether the trailer is a fifth-wheel/gooseneck or conventional (hitch at the bumper), the sharpest angle between truck and trailer when going forward is determined by the lengths of the trailer (from axle to hitch) and the turning circle diameter of the truck) - there is rarely an issue with interference with any hitch setup, and Tom confirmed it is not a problem with a typical pickup and an Escape. In contrast, when backing up any trailer can jackknife, so the trailer hits the back of the cab (with a fifth-wheel) or the bumper (with a conventional hitch).

Of course none of this is relevant to the choice of Andersen Ultimate or Reese Goose Box (or conventional fifth-wheel).
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Actually, the Reese Goosebox hitch is the only one that isn't supposed to cause the frame stresses, Etrailer states this as well on their site. I'm not a 5th Wheel guy, but my friend is using a Reese Goosebox hitch on his Grand Design 5th Wheel and it's approved for a Lippert Frame now. Of course, Lippert's connected with Reese financially, so who knows.
Sometimes eTrailer is full of crap - this appears to be an example, but in fact they do acknowledge the problem and its cause in several of their Q&A entries, and only claim that the Goose Box is approved specifically for Lippert. The problem is simply that it is taller (to reach down to the ball) - whether you attach a gooseneck adapter (such as the Andersen Ranch Hitch Adapter) to the king pin or replace the lower part of the pin box with a Goose Box doesn't fundamentally change that, although any cushioned pin box may reduce peak stress issues.

Lippert sells the Goose Box; it makes sense that they have approved it. Lippert make frames for various brands of trailer, but not Escape.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:31 PM   #12
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Kevin are you still in MO?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMG View Post
I'm trying to decide which system I'll buy. I'm installing a B&W drop ball gooseneck hitch and will either buy an Andersen Ultimate gooseneck hitch or a Reese Goose Box 5th wheel replacement pin box. Reese cost about $250 more than the Andersen.
Thoughts and advise appreciated. Thanks, Kevin
Kevin I tried sending you a PM but would not allow me to send to you. Just wondered whether you had gotten an Escape yet, it you're still in MO, and if so whether you wanted to see ours as we pass through Springfield next week.
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Old 02-22-2019, 06:41 AM   #13
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I'm pretty much sold on the B&W gooseneck drop-in ball hitch, but would like to not use the Anderson hitch as I personally don't care for having to use an adapter to hitch to the Anderson and 5th wheel, just one more thing to go wrong. Other 5th wheel hitches are available, but at a much higher cost then going the Anderson way, I'm now looking into them. I won't let cost make the decision for me, but peace of mind will be how I decide on which way to go.

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Old 02-22-2019, 07:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
I'm pretty much sold on the B&W gooseneck drop-in ball hitch, but would like to not use the Anderson hitch as I personally don't care for having to use an adapter to hitch to the Anderson and 5th wheel, just one more thing to go wrong. Other 5th wheel hitches are available, but at a much higher cost then going the Anderson way, I'm now looking into them. I won't let cost make the decision for me, but peace of mind will be how I decide on which way to go.

trainman
I debated about using the B&W turnover ball but ultimately decided on rails - I don't expect to take the hitch out very often and will use the truck primarily for traveling and towing so having a completely flat bed when the hitch is out was not a big factor for me. Also, the gooseneck ball greatly limits your choice of hitch, only a few are available that have a gooseneck mount. Like you I prefer a traditional fifth wheel hitch head, and after researching hitches found that the one I settled on is made in both a rail mount and a gooseneck ball mount.

The Demco Recon hitch is kind of a hybrid - it has a pyramid style base similar in shape to the Andersen, and is overall lighter in weight than a traditional fifth wheel hitch. But it has a regular fifth wheel hitch head, mounted on a single post which also makes height adjustments and hitch removal very easy. The pyramid shaped base means that the Recon has a smaller footprint than most fifth wheel hitches so there's more room in the bed if carrying stuff back there is a factor - it is for me. Also, with the gooseneck version of the hitch the post with the hitch head is offset and is 3" to the rear - just behind the goosneck ball mounting socket. This might be helpful with your short bed.

I'm getting my hitch installed next week, will be able to post photos then, and we'll head to Chilliwack in early April to pick up our 5.0TA so it will be a couple of months before I can report on how I like it. But at the end of the day I don't think I've ever seen anyone report anything but terrific towing of a 5.0TA with any hitch - it's so light compared to other fifth wheels that it tows like a dream and is well below the capacity of any fifth wheel hitch.

Here's a link to Demco's website info on the gooseneck version of this hitch: https://www.demco-products.com/rv-to...eck-ball-mount
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by trainman View Post
I'm pretty much sold on the B&W gooseneck drop-in ball hitch, but would like to not use the Anderson hitch as I personally don't care for having to use an adapter to hitch to the Anderson and 5th wheel, just one more thing to go wrong. Other 5th wheel hitches are available, but at a much higher cost then going the Anderson way, I'm now looking into them. I won't let cost make the decision for me, but peace of mind will be how I decide on which way to go.

trainman
🤔 I think your concerns are unfounded. The adapter is simple and rugged. Installed almost 2 years ago and haven't thought about it since. That air bag gooseneck thingy has more moving parts and complication than 2 Anderson hitches. Cushions or air bags might be necessary for a 15 or 20k lb. trailer, not an Escape.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:26 AM   #16
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David, so you were able to get the rails for the new Ram?
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:25 AM   #17
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David, so you were able to get the rails for the new Ram?
Yes, I finally managed to find a rail bracket kit for the new Ram. Everyone I checked with said none were out yet, and Curt and Reese were having problems developing one and had no ETA on when they might have one ready. No local shop wanted to attempt a custom rail installation without a truck-specific bracket kit, too many variables and complications on the new trucks. B&W does have a turnover ball mount to fit the new Ram, so I had determined that might be my only option for getting a hitch installed in time for our trip to Chilliwack.

I had decided on the Demco Recon, and sent an email to Demco asking about the dimensions of the base on their gooseneck mount - with the Andersen hitch the gooseneck mount base is much wider and might conflict with my toolbox in the front, wanted to make sure the Demco base would fit. I mentioned why I was asking, and the rep replied back that Demco had a rail bracket kit for the new Ram and gave me the part number.

The local hitch shops don't buy direct from the manufacturers, they go through regional distributors, and the distributor didn't have the bracket kit and didn't want to do a special order. So I called the Demco factory rep and he agreed to sell me one directly and ship it directly to my local shop, should be here in a few days. Whew!

Apparently none of the distributors have this bracket kit in stock yet, and all the hitch shops buy from the distributors so they don't know about it. The Demco part number is 8552032 if anyone needs one, it may take a little persistence to actually track one down.
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:52 PM   #18
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Yes, I finally managed to find a rail bracket kit for the new Ram. Everyone I checked with said none were out yet, and Curt and Reese were having problems developing one and had no ETA on when they might have one ready. No local shop wanted to attempt a custom rail installation without a truck-specific bracket kit, too many variables and complications on the new trucks. B&W does have a turnover ball mount to fit the new Ram, so I had determined that might be my only option for getting a hitch installed in time for our trip to Chilliwack.

I had decided on the Demco Recon, and sent an email to Demco asking about the dimensions of the base on their gooseneck mount - with the Andersen hitch the gooseneck mount base is much wider and might conflict with my toolbox in the front, wanted to make sure the Demco base would fit. I mentioned why I was asking, and the rep replied back that Demco had a rail bracket kit for the new Ram and gave me the part number.

The local hitch shops don't buy direct from the manufacturers, they go through regional distributors, and the distributor didn't have the bracket kit and didn't want to do a special order. So I called the Demco factory rep and he agreed to sell me one directly and ship it directly to my local shop, should be here in a few days. Whew!

Apparently none of the distributors have this bracket kit in stock yet, and all the hitch shops buy from the distributors so they don't know about it. The Demco part number is 8552032 if anyone needs one, it may take a little persistence to actually track one down.
David, still following you on your hitch decisions, keep me informed on what you do, trainman
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:16 PM   #19
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I'm pretty much sold on the B&W gooseneck drop-in ball hitch, but would like to not use the Anderson hitch as I personally don't care for having to use an adapter to hitch to the Anderson and 5th wheel, just one more thing to go wrong.
If you count the total number of components, I think you'll find that an Andersen Ultimate (with either anchoring system, and counting the coupler block) is simpler than any fifth-wheel hitch. When designing a system that needs to pivot in all three axes, it's hard to beat the inherent simplicity of a ball joint.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:20 PM   #20
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David's experience with Demco is interesting. I was considering a tow dolly (for a car behind a motorhome - not relevant to trailers but the same company) and had some questions; I found Demco staff to be very responsive and helpful.

It is strange that their website doesn't seem to list vehicle-specific frame bracket kits at all, but they are in the 2019 catalog, which says that part 8552032 specifically fits the 2019 Ram 1500. Since this bracket kit is for "industry standard rails" it would work for anyone using those rails, regardless of the brand of the hitch.
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