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Old 08-04-2009, 11:58 AM   #21
skypilot
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Was up in Goshen September, 2 years ago late next month, when I had upgraded axles and hydraulic from gear added to my SOB. Neighbor (Mike) who went with me to help with driving wanted to see how the Montana and others were made so we stopped by several of the plants while waiting for Lippert to finish the stuff on my unit. Montana, Forest River both said NO to gooseneck; and that Lippert would void the warranty. So, when we went back to get my unit, Mike asked specifically about pulling with a gooseneck adapter and was told by two separate people that doing so would void the frame warranty if it appeared the damage was caused by the torsion forces. They did offer that they would be more than happy to sell the manufacturer(s) an appropriately beefed up chassis which would be able to handle for forces -- and he would be able to use either a gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch with the proper safety margine. Don't know if either of these men still work there -- one was the salesman I dealt with for the hydraulic front gear, the other was the salesman/technician for the 7K axles / disc brakes that Trailaire installed.

Since then, I've seen a letter from Excel manufacturers posted on the bulletin board at 4 Seasons RV (my local Montana dealer) and it states that the use of gooseneck adapters on their trailers constitutes a breach and voids their warranty on the frame and front towing points (it is more specific as to the parts - I just don't remember the exact wording at this time.).

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:33 AM   #22
RRman
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Well...
Trailer Life Magazine had a feature article on Gooseneck adapters as sold by more than a few manufacturers and "approved" their common use. I had the same Turnover style Ball in Bed issue and went with the STAR PERFORMANCE Gooseneck Adapter that has a built in glider motion.
www.sphitch.com

This adapter was not reviewed by Trailer Life, presumably because the manufacture does not advertise in TL.

The high quality and robust lubricated SP Hitch was only a little cheaper than a good Fiver Hitch, but I also did not have to deal with removing the ball and filling the hole. The significant benefit of the turnover ball is keeping the bed easily free for other uses, which has come in handy several times.

I've towed my used 13Klbs Fiver for about 3000 miles so far (had 5000 when I bought it) and I just had the EZ Flex wetbolt/hanger/shackle upgrade installed. The old suspension parts were still in fine shape (nylon bushings intact, no elongated holes). Pinbox is still in fine shape.

I've heard of as many Fifth Wheel Hitch Frame Failures as Gooseneck related frame failures in my travels and on various RV Bulletin Boards (very few in all). Maybe if fulltiming and running over 5000 miles per year, the additional stress could become a more significant or greater issue?

If anyone is specifically inclined to purchase a Star Performance Hitch, please let me know as the company is currently running a promotion with a reward for referral purchases.

RVing still presents lots of sometimes tough decisions...
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:36 PM   #23
Dave e Victoria
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I'm sorry but anecdotal evidence cannot trump physics. The facts are that goose neck hitches will transmit more torque to the front of a trailer than a fifth wheel hitch will. We have no idea what margins were employed in the design of the trailer. Only the manufacturer can tell us. IF the manufacturer says no, who are we to argue.. Single good experiences are just that and not a predictor of future experience. Maybe it didn't fail this time but ............
Dave
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:26 PM   #24
RRman
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Its unfortunate neither frame manufacturers or Gooseneck adapter manufactures have ever indicated they've conducted failure analysis to determine how much or if significant the torque issues may typically be. I personally know of one fulltimer whose Pinbox/frame failed and punched up through the front Bdrm closet on a 2 year old Open Road Fiver. I was advised by one camper who had a Friend that was a working (weekly or more frequent regional movements)traveling Fulltimer Salesman whose used a Gooseneck and their frame failed with similar front end damage in about a year. I don't recall any specific failures on this, RV.net, and IRV2 boards since I've been interested for over 3 years now. There are frequent discussions about Goosenecks and physics on RV.net and no one has presented an uncontested "engineering assessment", nor have several manufacturers desisted from advertising in Trailer Life (and touting their features and benefits in ads or online) or many retailers stopped marketing Gooseneck adapters. So probably failures are not too frequent...

Per the Manufacturer of the Adapter I chose as "better" than most merely mechanical extensions that are prevalent: "The Star Performance Hitch absorbs jerks and bounces, protects your cargo; and extends the life of the trailer and towing vehicle. The secret of its effectiveness is the way the hitch's patented "swing box" dissipates excess vibrations and towing stresses. The patented technology moves in two directions and isolates the stress of the towing vehicle from the trailer."

I just wish everyone who had any kind of Fifth Wheel Hitch/Frame or Gooseneck Adapter Frame failure would report that just as so many do regarding unending Tire Failures (which based on MANY reports would seem inevitable), followed by frequent suspension failures, so that some anecdotal based risk assessment could be made. For me, while the consequences are severe, the likelihood seemed very remote and I made my decision based on that. Similarly, I have replaced all my Five Year Old Tires as the consequences are severe AND the likelihood appears great!
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:26 PM   #25
8.1al
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When I look at a gooseneck trailer I see all that bracing on the gooseneck, when I look at a trailer with a gooseneck adapter there is none and that scares me. I don't think all those braces are there for the heck of it. As far as Trailer Life goes I have yet to see them do an exhaustive study on much of anythingl
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:53 PM   #26
Delaine and Lindy
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We are in Clarksville, Tn. and there is a 2008 Big Country with a Gooseneck adapter that rides on the B&W system, actually there is another SOB with a Gooseneck Adapter here also. I have a Gooseneck Trailer (30') and I do believe the frame structure is heavier design than the 5th wheel type frames. I will say I'm begining to see more and more Gooseneck adapters being used. I just had a Trailer manufactor make a King Pin adapter for our Gooseneck trailer, its easier to hook up than the Gooseneck ball type, but I can change back to the Gooseneck ball connector in about 5 minutes. With the back up camera on the Freightliner it makes it easy. GBY....
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #27
RRman
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Another advantage and disadvantage of a Gooseneck Adapter and Ball Hitch is that since the trailer has to be lowered onto the ball, it would be impossible to drop the trailer onto the Truck bed rails. Even if you failed to latch the Adapter connection to the ball, I suspect it would take a pretty big jolt to bounce the trailer off.

A disadvantage to hitching up is raising the trailer pretty high to clear the ball and then lining up the ball under the adapter. Centering the truck is not too bad, but moving the ball in line directly underneath usually takes a few back and forth truck adjustments. So altogether, I wouldn't be surprised if it can take twice as long as hooking up to a standard Fifth Wheel hitch, but its never taken me more than 10 minutes.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:35 PM   #28
azranger
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RRman wrote:
"I just wish everyone who had any kind of Fifth Wheel Hitch/Frame or Gooseneck Adapter Frame failure would report that just as so many do regarding unending Tire Failures (which based on MANY reports would seem inevitable), followed by frequent suspension failures, so that some anecdotal based risk assessment could be made. For me, while the consequences are severe, the likelihood seemed very remote and I made my decision based on that. Similarly, I have replaced all my Five Year Old Tires as the consequences are severe AND the likelihood appears great!"

Good points! I chose to replace my Mission tires after a blow-out with less than 3,000 miles on the original set. In addition, I have read about several dropped 5th wheels causing $2,500 to $7,500 in damage to truck and trailer combos. There is a lot of talk about theoretical gooseneck issues ("bad idea", "voided warranty", "physics", etc.) but I have yet to see any examples of actual problems. I had a gooseneck adapter installed on my 2007 3475RL and have towed it for approximately 10,000 miles over 2+ years with no problem. I had it installed by Cliff's Welding in Mesa, AZ who said they have installed a lot of them with no problems reported. I went with a Pop-up RV1 adapter ( www.popuphitch.com ). PopUp uses a box-type construction versus tube or pipe-type of most other manufacturers. This seems to reduce the gooseneck stress cited in most criticisms. I also went with a Cody Cushion air bag attachment ( http://www.codyhitch.com/cody%20cushion.htm ) which further reduces the front/rear stresses.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:13 AM   #29
ols1932
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I say that if you desire a gooseneck hitch, go for it. It is not theory that the gooseneck hitch may void your chassis warranty; Keystone has said that any modification you do will void the chassis warranty and that is also what Lippert has told us.

From our experience of having to have rework done on the front end of our chassis, beefing it up with additional gussets and more welding, I don't believe I would try a gooseneck without first making all the additional stress relieving gussets and welds.

Orv
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