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Old 05-02-2021, 11:01 PM   #1
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5.0 Hitch Questions

Newbie looking for recommendations...

TV is 2018 Silverado 1500 double cab, 6.5' bed

I'm hoping to use an underbed "gooseneck" hitch with removable ball to allow hauling stuff without rails interfering.

What are the tradeoffs between the underbed and rail-mount hitches?

If the underbed hitch has no major concerns, what brands are recommended? Any that fit without drilling the frame?

Thanks
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:49 AM   #2
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Just to be clear, you're talking about two distinct sets of components:
  1. The part 'permanently' mounted in your truck - the rail assembly or the gooseneck ball assembly
  2. The part that's removable - the actual 'hitch' that sits in the truck bed, must be specifically compatible to either the gooseneck mounting system or the rail mounting system, and mates to the trailer
Then, to add joyful complication to the equation, there are many hitches (true 5th-wheel hitches) that mate directly to the 5.0 kingpin, and there is one hitch that mates to the trailer with a ball-adaptor added to the kingpin (the Andersen hitch). Note that the Andersen hitch is available for both gooseneck mounts and rail mounts as are 5th-wheel hitches.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
What are the tradeoffs between the underbed and rail-mount hitches?
Generalizations:
  • Gooseneck assemblies generally weigh a bit more and cost a bit more than rail assemblies.
  • Hitches that mate to gooseneck assemblies generally weigh a bit more and cost a bit more than hitches that mate to rail assemblies.
Weight goes to the issue of available payload capacity of one's truck and cost goes to the issue of one's budget; either may or may not be a concern for any individual tow-vehicle or owner, but it's useful to recognize those factors may affect opinions and preferences expressed on the forum even when not explicitly stated.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
If the underbed hitch has no major concerns, what brands are recommended? Any that fit without drilling the frame?
  • Both types of systems are perfectly safe and functional when properly installed and used.
  • For the vast majority of trucks there are installation kits for both removable gooseneck balls and rail mounts that do not require any frame drilling and those are what the vast majority of folks use (I suggest a good starting point is etrailer.com and entering your specific vehicle information).
  • There's endless opinion about the pros and cons of each mounting system, there's already many threads here on the subject, site search is your friend (and again etrailer.com is a good starting point for hitches that mate with either mounting system).
  • There's endless opinion about the pros and cons of the Andersen ball-adaptor hitch vs true 5th-wheel hitches (and the many brands), and again much already written about all of that on the forum.
Bottom line, what you'll find is that there are folks towing the Escape 5.0 with most every combination of mounting system, hitch type, and component brand that's available on the market. 99.9% are happy with their choices and will advocate with varying degrees of passion the nuanced differences that led to their preferences and selections. IMO no one solution is 'right' for everyone and it's hard to go 'wrong' with any of the available systems specifically designed for any given vehicle.

Obviously my reply is not offered to give you specific answers or guidance, just to offer you context and background to help you understand what you're reading when you research the volumes already written on this subject on this forum.

And, just as obviously, to politely urge that you undertake that forum research of the information already available here on the ultimately rewarding adventure you are beginning.

Have Fun!

FWIW I've had a B&W Turnoverball for many years in my 2005 F150 Supercab with 6.5ft box and it has served me well for towing a variety of true-gooseneck ag/utility trailers (I'm absolutely confident in its integrity); after much research I've purchased the corresponding Andersen hitch for towing my Escape 5.0 when it is completed; but that may not be the 'best' combination for you!
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:22 AM   #3
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I see the argument about rails “interfering” with hauling stuff when not towing, and in my opinion, REPEAT, MY OPINION, having rails is not an issue when using the truck to haul stuff unless it is something like a load of sand or gravel that the last bit will be raked/swept/rinsed out of the truck. Still, all the residue can be removed, albeit with a bit more effort. I personally have a preference for rail mounts and conventional 5th wheel hitches. I do not care for the Andersen hitch as I had a Scamp 19 prior to my 5.0TA and I despised the coupler and ball method as it had to be spot on in terms of alignment. Andersen now addresses that with the “cone” coupler. But I never liked the clanking of chains in the bed of the truck with the Scamp. Coupler and ball connections require safety chains, whereas true 5th wheel connections do not. But, if I did want to utilize an Andersen hitch, I personally would use the rail mounted version. In today’s world, the bottom feeders will steel anything. I find it easy to lock the hitch to the rails.
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:51 AM   #4
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Thanks to you both. Good points and I'll try to absorb. Warning about lining up the Andersen ball-mount is noted (and I had seen a video about the magnetic alignment aids)!

We are buying a used 5.0 and the owner has included an Andersen rail-mount hitch, the ball adapter, and even the rails (financial incentives). C&G in FL captured my thinking on this. We are landscaping and I have a "sliding" tarp gizmo that I have used to unload mulch and compost. I imagine the rails will be incompatible and that's what got me wondering if an underbed mount would be a less obstructive option. Seems I may be over-indexing on this... hopefully I'll go camping more than I haul mulch so perhaps I just need to get over my concerns about the obstructions and holes??

I did try to find answers by searching the forum but got lost quickly in discussions about clearance and mounting locations. If anyone can point me to threads that target the pros and cons of gooseneck vs rail-mount, I'd appreciate that.

I also find from reading threads that every truck and hitch system has its own nuances... who on this forum tows a 5.0 with a Silverado double-cab that can share direct experience?

I had also looked at etrailer yesterday and saw TOO MANY options, so thought I'd ask for opinions. Seems I may get as many opinions as options but that's a lot more efficient than trying them all and forming my own!

What I did take away so far:

Andersen vs others is a big question... seems Escape promotes Andersen but I need to learn more about this.

Rail-mount Andersen
PRO: security, smaller footprint in bed, lighter weight, many in the Forum with experience, saves me from buying a new hitch, may be able to use owner's rails
CON: obstructions in the bed, lots of holes in the bed

Gooseneck-mount Andersen
PRO: no obstructions, one hole in the bed
CON: I have to buy a new hitch and mount, hitch and mount weigh more

I do see there are 7 Andersen dealers locally. I will reach out to 1 or 2 of them and see what they recommend. I am expecting none will be familiar with the Escape 5.0 but the published towing guide should provide sufficient info for them.

Thanks again.. a lot to learn but will be fun!

Mike
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:30 AM   #5
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Congrats on your 'new-to-you' 5.0 !

Mike, may I ask what the Tire and Load Information sticker on your Silverado's door frame shows as "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed ____ lbs"

That's the number commonly called "payload rating" specific to your truck, assuming you or a dealer have not 'permanently' installed aftermarket accessories like a bed cover, toolboxes, winch, etc (if you have, the weight of those 'permanently installed accessories', just like the weight of the total hitch assembly you'll eventually install, must be subtracted from the number on the sticker in addition to "occupants" and "cargo").

Separate from the hitch and trailer, do you have a notion of the weight of occupants + cargo you'll typically have in your Silverado when travelling?

Just asking to see if perhaps you have such generous available payload capacity that you could discount (ignore) the weight difference between the different types of hitches in your consideration of hitch options, thereby simplifying the process.

Not suggesting you can ignore the impact of weight on payload, just suggesting it might not be a meaningful factor when considering different hitch options for your specific case.
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:30 PM   #6
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i use the Anderson it attaches to the turn over ball. i love it very easy to hook up and easy to remove for completely flat bed of truck. i find the hitch so easy to hook up even if i am not absolutely accurate. Also i do use chains they are attached in the bed of the truck i clip to the side of the truck when not hauling and if i want a completely empty bed i remove them -hauling gravel etc.. but really don't have to. i have never heard them rattling in the back as some have mentioned i guess if you are driving down rough roads with your windows open you could hear them? I've listened but never heard any rattle. You have lots of options - which ever hitch appeals to you the 5.0 hauls beautifully!
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:36 PM   #7
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you do not have to be perfectly accurate with the Anderson it is a cone very slippery if you get the ball in the cone it will slip in we remove our chucks if we see the trailer might need to shift a bit to roll into the cone hole. but I'm rarely accurate.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:13 PM   #8
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Hi Centex thanks for the quick response and focus on the weight factor.

Yes, we are happy to have found one equipped close to what we wanted and avoided the "1 to 2 years" wait for a new build.

My truck is 4WD/Z71 so the capacities are reduced vs what they could be if equipped better for towing. The "payload" rating is 1777 lbs and I think the towing capacity is 6800 lbs.



I don't have a clue about cargo weight ... I'm sure it will add up but I hope we have some margin. My guess is we will eat up 800 lbs without trying too hard, but part of the question will be what can fit in the bed that is now holding a hitch.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:16 PM   #9
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Thanks Fox hunt..

I do like the idea of the turnover ball mount, just on the fence give the seller is including a rail-mount hitch.

I currently have a bed mat that I can pull in and out easily. Rails would effectively make the mat useless when not towing.
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Old 05-03-2021, 02:38 PM   #10
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Mike, I would say that you have plenty of cargo capacity. I tow a 5.0 with a Tundra that has 1400 lbs capacity. I have a B&W turnover ball and an Andersen hitch. It’s a great setup. I prefer the clean bed when not towing. I’ve certainly pared down what I bring with while camping and am not over loaded. And after a few times connecting to the Andersen you’ll find it quite an easy process!
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Old 05-03-2021, 03:15 PM   #11
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Mark, I agree with the previous response, IMO it's unlikely that the weight difference among the hitch types will be the straw that breaks the camel's back in your case; if you've not seen it this thread with poll may be of interest and add to your confidence: https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...0ta-20118.html

In my research I've found the spread between the lowest weight hitch combination and the highest to be ~125#, and in most comparisons it's much less than that, on the order of ~75# or less. The extremes could be of concern or interest for those with payloads much lower than your, but in your case If I were you I'd forget about the weight differences and focus on the other factors and preferences affecting your decision.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark&Elaine View Post
Mike, I would say that you have plenty of cargo capacity. I tow a 5.0 with a Tundra that has 1400 lbs capacity. I have a B&W turnover ball and an Andersen hitch. It’s a great setup. I prefer the clean bed when not towing. I’ve certainly pared down what I bring with while camping and am not over loaded. And after a few times connecting to the Andersen you’ll find it quite an easy process!

I got one too! Totally easy and I fretted about it until I finally drove the damn thing. Then I loved it! Still do! TOTALLY!

I might actually change the height of the gooseneck just to check it out. Yeah I got a hole in my truck bed, but so what. I ain't selling it!!!
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark&Elaine View Post
Mike, I would say that you have plenty of cargo capacity. I tow a 5.0 with a Tundra that has 1400 lbs capacity. I have a B&W turnover ball and an Andersen hitch. Itís a great setup. I prefer the clean bed when not towing. Iíve certainly pared down what I bring with while camping and am not over loaded. And after a few times connecting to the Andersen youíll find it quite an easy process!
Thank you. I am leaning this direction but need to check cost and availability. I also need to think through the hitch footprint and what it means for cargo space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Mark, I agree with the previous response, IMO it's unlikely that the weight difference among the hitch types will be the straw that breaks the camel's back in your case; if you've not seen it this thread with poll may be of interest and add to your confidence: https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...0ta-20118.html

In my research I've found the spread between the lowest weight hitch combination and the highest to be ~125#, and in most comparisons it's much less than that, on the order of ~75# or less. The extremes could be of concern or interest for those with payloads much lower than your, but in your case If I were you I'd forget about the weight differences and focus on the other factors and preferences affecting your decision.
Thank you.. sounds like good advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
I got one too! Totally easy and I fretted about it until I finally drove the damn thing. Then I loved it! Still do! TOTALLY!

I might actually change the height of the gooseneck just to check it out. Yeah I got a hole in my truck bed, but so what. I ain't selling it!!!
LOL - You love the 5.0, a Tundra, the gooseneck mount, or all of the above? Regardless, I am glad you are excited and don't regret putting a hole in your truck bed.
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Old 05-03-2021, 07:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox hunt View Post
i use the Anderson it attaches to the turn over ball. i love it very easy to hook up and easy to remove for completely flat bed of truck. i find the hitch so easy to hook up even if i am not absolutely accurate. Also i do use chains they are attached in the bed of the truck i clip to the side of the truck when not hauling and if i want a completely empty bed i remove them -hauling gravel etc.. but really don't have to. i have never heard them rattling in the back as some have mentioned i guess if you are driving down rough roads with your windows open you could hear them? I've listened but never heard any rattle. You have lots of options - which ever hitch appeals to you the 5.0 hauls beautifully!
I agree. We have the B&W turnover ball and Anderson Ultimate and have travelled gravel Forest Service roads, the Top of the World Highway, in and out to Eagle AK, etc., and have never heard the chains rattle. The beveled red plastic cone on the hitch means you do not need to line up perfectly to get hitched. We put duplicate hooks on the other ends of the chains and simply unhook both ends and lock them out of sight when not connected.
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
in my opinion having rails is not an issue when using the truck to haul stuff unless it is something like a load of sand or gravel that the last bit will be raked/swept/rinsed out of the truck.
DITTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
We are landscaping and I have a "sliding" tarp gizmo that I have used to unload mulch and compost. I imagine the rails will be incompatible and that's what got me wondering if an underbed mount would be a less obstructive option. Seems I may be over-indexing on this... hopefully I'll go camping more than I haul mulch so perhaps I just need to get over my concerns about the obstructions and holes?? I have not hauled mulch or rock, but if I do in the future I will use my "cardboard box" levelers and a heavy tarp. I think it would work just fine.

Rail-mount Andersen
PRO: smaller footprint in bed YES, I like this feature alot, lighter weight Yessaves me from buying a new hitch, may be able to use owner's rails Yes, I see no reason you can not use his rails, you should just need to buy the mounting kit
CON: obstructions in the bed, lots of holes in the bed I have twelve (six on each rail), but they are smaller and could easily be filled with carriage bolts when selling the vehicle

Gooseneck-mount Andersen
PRO: no obstructions, one hole in the bed
CON: I have to buy a new hitch and mount, hitch and mount weigh more AND larger footprint
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox hunt View Post
i use the Anderson it attaches to the turn over ball. i love it very easy to hook up and easy to remove for completely flat bed of truck. i find the hitch so easy to hook up even if i am not absolutely accurate. DITTO, I too find it easy to hook upAlso i do use chains they are attached in the bed of the truck i clip to the side of the truck when not hauling and if i want a completely empty bed i remove them -hauling gravel etc.. but really don't have to. My chains attach to the rails and when I remove the Andersen the chains are detached from the truck and moved out of the truck

i have never heard them rattling in the back as some have mentioned i guess if you are driving down rough roads with your windows open you could hear them? I've listened but never heard any rattle. DITTO
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
I currently have a bed mat that I can pull in and out easily. Rails would effectively make the mat useless when not towing.
I laid the carpet on top of the cardboard boxes, I think a mat would work the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWCO View Post
and have never heard the chains rattle. DITTOThe beveled red plastic cone on the hitch means you do not need to line up perfectly to get hitched. DITTOWe put duplicate hooks on the other ends of the chains and simply unhook both ends and lock them out of sight when not connected.
my chains are attached to the rails and the HOOK attaches to the eyelet bolts on the Andersen coupler

I recently moved and looked for a solution to working around the rails. Foam and mats just seemed to be an expensive option. My solution was six cardboard boxes to fill the spaces created by the rails (two boxes taped together per space). I then laid a piece of left over carpet on top of the box. This worked great (and very economical) for me. They were in the box for three months and moved tons of stuff to storage before the move and to the new house after the move. They are still in great shape and I will keep them for the next time I want to haul something.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1a Cardboard Boxes for rail fillers.jpg (375.3 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg 1b Empty Box showing rails.jpg (276.0 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg 2a Leveling Boxes.jpg (365.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 3a Carpet over leveling boxes.jpg (366.9 KB, 18 views)
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:00 PM   #16
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I have the Andersen Gooseneck hitch with the B&W Turn over ball. It has worked very well for me. In my mind the biggest advantage of the rail version is the smaller footprint so more stuff can be fit around the hitch while towing. Here is a video of how I hook up my rig.

https://youtu.be/9SM0vge7rqE
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:55 AM   #17
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Ronn, arniesea, thanks to both for sharing. You are both creative problem solvers and good teachers.

I am still on the fence as it's clear either approach works.

I plan to cut some templates and compare footprints in my truck so I can better visualize the bed space differences.
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Old 05-05-2021, 11:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
I plan to cut some templates and compare footprints in my truck so I can better visualize the bed space differences.
Here are some pictures.

PS - empty bed is the most recent, I cleaned the truck bed (it sure needed it!)
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:15 PM   #19
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More bed space won the debate between my two remaining brain cells.

I decided to go with the rail-mount and use the sellers' hitch.

Ronn, the photos are appreciated.

Rail installation is scheduled for Tuesday morning, feels like progress.

Thanks to all for sharing your experience and advice. It's great to have this resource.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Shiny View Post
Newbie looking for recommendations...

TV is 2018 Silverado 1500 double cab, 6.5' bed

I'm hoping to use an underbed "gooseneck" hitch with removable ball to allow hauling stuff without rails interfering.

What are the tradeoffs between the underbed and rail-mount hitches?

If the underbed hitch has no major concerns, what brands are recommended? Any that fit without drilling the frame?

Thanks
We had the Reese goose neck hitch installed on our 1500 Sierra, and a replacement Reese pin box that Escape installed on the 5,0, like you did not want to fool with rails etc; the single ball pulls fantastic!
Even had room for 60 gal diesel aux tank in front of the pin box! (Duramax 3,0L turbo diesel option)
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