Carl introduced an interesting alternative in another thread, and I thought I would make a new thread for it.
Originally Posted by C&G in FL
If you like the Andersen Ultimate Hitch, you might want to look at the Pullrite Superlight hitch on Amazon or at Pullrites website. Looks like "precision" alignment is not as critical as with the Andersen.
The Pullrite SuperLite
is very much like the Andersen Ultimate, except that it is "inverted": the ball is on the trailer and the socket is on top of the frame mounted to the truck. The pyramidal frame is mostly tubing, like the Andersen, but looks more solidly constructed to me.
Like the Andersen Ultimate, this is a lighter and simpler alternative to a conventional fifth-wheel, so it has the same advantages:
- The light weight would be helpful for those limited by truck payload or rear axle capacity, and would make it easier to install for towing and to remove from the truck when not needed.
- The simpler coupling should mean less rattling and creaking than a typical fifth-wheel.
In addition, the opening of the SuperLite coupler (which is mounted on the frame in the truck) is a big, wide funnel. As Carl mentioned, it should be more forgiving of alignment when hitching that the smaller opening of the Andersen Ultimate's coupler. This is a little surprising, given that Andersen touts the "bell shaped receiver" of their Ranch Hitch
system as superior because it "allows for the hitch ball and adapter to be as much as 3" off center, and still slide into place correctly".
- Mounting choices
- There is only one method for mounting to the truck; almost all fifth-wheel types and the Andersen Ultimate work with the common lateral rails that sit on the bed floor, but that's it for the SuperLite, while others offer additional methods. Notably, there is no version that anchors to a "gooseneck" ball in the truck bed. Strangely, Pullrite doesn't even offer a version of the SuperLite to mount on their own flush mounting pad system.
- Contamination of inverted coupler
- It seems to me that the open-on-top socket of the coupler would tend to accumulate road dirt and debris, plus water. There are other inverted ball-and-socket systems, but they're not common and this is likely one reason.
- If a trailer equipped this way needs to be towed by another vehicle, no one else around is likely to have the same setup. If an available truck has compatible mounting hardware (rails, etc) it might be practical to move the SuperLite frame over to that truck; otherwise, the ball would need to removed from the trailer's pin. Since removing the ball just takes loosening a few bolts, this isn't so bad and this is probably a minor concern.
- If the owner has more than one trailer needing a hitch in the truck bed, all trailers would need to be converted to the same system, or when switching between trailers the hitch would need to be removed from the truck and replaced with one that works for the other trailers and is compatible with the same mounting system. This seems pretty manageable, too.
For the mechanically curious, it appears that Pullrite has taken a common coupler used on a round tube at the front of a gooseneck trailer (commonly called a gooseneck coupler
), and built a framework to hold it inverted. Strangely, Pullrite doesn't sell these couplers for use in the normal configuration.