How Gooseneck Hitches Work

Installing Gooseneck Hitches

Trailers shaped like this one can make use of gooseneck hitches.
Trailers shaped like this one can make use of gooseneck hitches.
© iStockphoto/oksanaphoto

The process of installing gooseneck hitches varies depending on the brand, but the one thing every installation job has in common is the importance of following the directions to get everything done just right. Otherwise, you might glance out your rearview mirror only to watch your trailer fade off into the sunset the first time you try to take it for a spin.

To install a gooseneck hitch, sometimes a few modifications need to made to the truck. Most notably, a hole typically needs to be drilled through the center of the truck bed. This way the underlying frame can attach firmly to the hitch ball, which in many versions can be folded away or detached when there's no need for towing.

The hitch assembly is usually bolted to the truck's frame in a number of places, providing a secure connection between the truck and the trailer. Safety chain anchors are frequently a built-in feature of gooseneck hitch assemblies to ensure the trailer won't come completely loose if the hitch should fail.

Tools for the job generally include those already found lying around the garage, with various drills, saws and wrenches topping the list. Important steps of the process involve locating where the hole for the hitch ball needs to be made -- both in terms of the distance away from the back of the truck bed as well as in centering it to the left and right. Expect to do lots of measuring during the installation; you want to make sure everything is properly aligned. Also, don't forget to make certain you're not damaging any key components of the truck while you're getting everything into place. If you aren't sure about the process, you can always call up a professional to get the job done.

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