If you are looking to get some towing done with your truck, a gooseneck hitch offers maximum capability. However, you need to install the hitch, which can get expensive, depending on what type you are looking for. How much does a gooseneck hitch installation cost?
In this guide, I discuss what makes up the gooseneck hitch installation cost. I also evaluate whether this is a job you should tackle yourself.
What Is a Gooseneck Hitch?
The gooseneck hitch would be installed in the bed of your pickup truck. It’s quite different from the typical hitch setup that sits on the bumper and attaches to some wiring. Because of where the gooseneck hitch is attached, it can better distribute the weight from the trailer onto the truck’s rear axle.
The gooseneck hitch is similar to a fifth wheel hitch because it helps you pull a larger load that would exceed the maximum capacity of a traditional hitch. However, not all trucks are designed to hold a gooseneck or fifth wheel hitch.
How Much Does A Gooseneck Hitch Installation Cost?
You can expect to spend between $775 and $3,000 for a gooseneck hitch installation, depending on the type you choose and where you have it installed. The cost varies greatly because of the size of the hitch you choose, so you want to do your research before getting started.
Here are some steps on how you can calculate the cost of your gooseneck hitch installation:
The first aspect of the installation cost is the type of hitch you are using. Among gooseneck hitches, there are several to choose from, all at different price points. The higher the towing capacity is, the better the finish looks, and the more features it includes, the more you can expect the price to rise.
To keep the cost as low as possible, you want an above-bed hitch. In some cases, you can get these for as little as $250, plus you can still enjoy a tow rating of 25,000 pounds, thereby exceeding the Class V range. However, this type of hitch is going to take up a lot of truck bed space, which might be valuable to you.
Additionally, the above-bed hitch is going to provide the easiest installation. Because the hitch gets installed over the bed, there won’t be as much time getting it set up. This easy setup allows you to save money on the labor. Plus, you should be able to easily remove it when you are no longer using it. By taking it out, you gain access to the truck bed once again.
Still, you can end up spending a lot on an above-bed truck hitch if you start adding special features to the equation. If you are looking to keep the price as low as possible, just stick with the standard hitch.
As you move into the fold down trailer hitch, you are going to bump the price up another $100 or $150 per kit. However, this option saves you some time when you are ready to access the bed again. To earn more room, you fold down the tow ball when you aren’t using it.
Another $100 and you could buy a below the bed trailer hitch. In total, expect to spend around $500 for a low-cost underbed gooseneck trailer hitch. Of course, spending more is always preferable if you plan to tow heavy loads and you want the hitch to last. Read customer reviews to ensure you get one that’s going to hold up.
Labor can easily make up a big majority of the cost, depending on what type of hitch you choose. It’s always best to get multiple quotes from reputable technicians in the area to see who offers the best value combined with experience. Don’t always choose the lowest-priced quote, but choose the best value of the estimates.
Installation can take anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. With labor rates ranging from $75 to $200 an hour, the hourly charge is going to make a big difference on the end cost. However, even if you choose a shop that offers a lower labor rate, you could end up paying more if they take longer to install the hitch. Inexperience could cost you more in the long run.
DIY Gooseneck Hitch Installation
If you have some mechanical knowledge, you might want to tackle the gooseneck hitch installation on your own. An above-bed hitch isn’t complicated to install if you are equipped to do so. Plus, there are plenty of online videos available to you if you run into a jam.
For a basic gooseneck hitch, you will need at least an hour to do it on your own. However, some could take an entire afternoon, so don’t cut yourself short. If you choose a hitch that comes complete with an installation kit, you should have all of the equipment to complete the job. Read through the customer reviews to see how easy the directions are to follow. It’s also wise to read through all of the instructions before you get started, just to be sure you are equipped for the task.
Avoid any gooseneck hitch that doesn’t include an installation kit if you plan to do it yourself. These hitches are lower-priced, but aren’t a good option if you are looking for a DIY model. Even though the price is lower, you will have to purchase additional parts, and you will likely need professional support to get it installed. In the end, you probably won’t save much money.
If you purchase a gooseneck hitch that gets installed under the bed, the installation is much more difficult. It isn’t recommended to install these at home, because serious modifications need to be made. Be safe, and hire a technician to install any gooseneck hitch below the bed.
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Gooseneck vs. 5th Wheel Hitch
Many people confuse the gooseneck with the 5th wheel hitch, but these are two different options. A gooseneck hitch uses a ball and coupler connection for a minimally invasive design. These are less expensive than 5th wheel hitches, but are also installed in the truck bed and can provide up to 30,000 pounds of towing capacity. In comparison, the 5th wheel hitch contains a jaws and kingpin connection. It can be bulky, but it does add some stability, especially for RV campers and trailers.