Do you need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer? (top 5)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do you need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer? We will explain how to safely and easily pull a gooseneck trailer. We will also discuss what a dually truck is and why they are considered the best choice for pulling a gooseneck trailer.

Do you need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer?

No, you do not need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer. A standard pickup truck can manage just well to pull your gooseneck trailer, as long as it has the needed towing capacity. 

Keep in mind that most gooseneck trailers have higher weight ratings than fifth-wheel trailers, for example.  A gooseneck trailer will have an average dry weight of 7000 lbs, with a maximum reaching even 10000 lbs. 

For this reason, while it is not a requirement, a dually pick-up truck may be best for pulling a gooseneck trailer. When it comes to the towing capacity rating, performance, payload capacity, stability and sway control, a dually will clearly outperform a standard pick-up truck. 

What is a dually truck and why do you need one to pull a gooseneck trailer?

A dually truck is a standard pick-up truck but with a set of additional wheels in the rear. Duallys are known to be better at towing fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers, even larger and heavier hauls. 

Here are the main reasons why you need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer:

  • Loading capacity: Most pick-up buyers are interested in its generous cargo area. It is a completely flat and rectangular surface that is bounded by bodywork and has a hinged door to access it. Its capacity will largely depend on the type that is chosen. Because it has an additional set of wheels, a dually will be able to support the extra cargo. 
  • Traction: Although the trend has been deciding on the side of gasoline over diesel and is gradually moving towards electrification, the pick-up segment seems like a remote island that is not affected by anything. Here time seems to have stopped and there is a total commitment to diesel, the most suitable type of mechanics for these vehicles and which has always been closely linked to the industrial world. 

Still, the real discussion should be about duallys vs standard pick-up trucks. It is obvious for many drivers that a dually (diesel or gas) will be able to pull better and easier a gooseneck trailer. 

While fewer and fewer users go off the asphalt with their cars, pick-up buyers are looking for precisely those high off-road capabilities, hence the power is transmitted to all wheels in all these models.

Traction has to be guaranteed on all types of terrain and conditions. That is why it is also common for there to be different driving modes and traction functions. It is usually connectable, so by default, they will be propulsion and then you can choose all-wheel drive, all-wheel drive with differential and even a mode with reducer in some models.

  • Safety: In this section something similar to what we saw inside happens. A dually pick-up improves a lot in terms of safety. In any case, many models will have emergency braking with pedestrian detection, involuntary lane change warning, signal recognition system, adaptive cruise control. 

You can even see some concessions to luxury and comfort. There are models that can have heated and electrically adjustable seats. We also see some equipment that we would not consider for this type of vehicle, such as the Full LED lighting, the parking sensors, the 360º vision camera and many driving aids. Do not forget that even some premium manufacturer enters this segment

What are the best dually trucks for pulling a gooseneck trailer?

The best dually trucks for pulling a gooseneck trailer in 2021 are:

Pick-up truck modelMaximum Towing Capacity Maximum Payload
Ford F350 Super Duty35,750 lbs7,850 lbs
Ford F450 Super Duty37,000 lbs6,210 lbs
Chevy Silverado 3500 HD36,000 lbs7,442 lbs
Ram 350037,100 lbs7,680 lbs
GMC Sierra 3500HD36,000 lbs7,442 lbs

How to pull a gooseneck trailer with a standard pick-up truck

As discussed above, you do not need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer, especially if you are doing it once or twice a year! It is possible to pull a gooseneck trailer with a standard pick-up truck, as long as you have the right hitch and the towing capacity. 

A gooseneck trailer is similar to a fifth-wheel trailer in that it connects to the centre of the truck bed through a special connection. This centres the mass of the trailer on the drive wheels of the truck to greatly increase the stability of the towing vehicle.

 A gooseneck connection is typically used for larger trailers such as motorhomes, horse trailers, and large flatbed trailers. 

  1. Aligning the gooseneck coupling with a truck hitch is the first step in connecting the trailer. After opening the rear door of the truck to lay flat, adjust the height of the gooseneck trailer so that it is a few inches above the height of the hitch. The trailer will have a crank raising and lowering mechanism for this purpose. Reverse the truck until the hitch ball lines up perfectly under the trailer’s gooseneck coupler.
  1. Once the coupler is in place on the hitch, connecting the gooseneck trailer is a simple operation, completed by lowering the coupler onto the ball with the crank mechanism. Lock the trailer coupler in place by pushing the mechanism toward the rear of the truck. Secure the mechanism in the locked position by lowering the locking lever into the hole and turning 90 degrees.
  1. Secure safety devices. A gooseneck trailer will have devices that ensure towing safety. Once the trailer is hitched, attach the trailer safety chains to the trailer hitch on the trailer bed. Attach the safety cable to the same hooks as the safety chains, then press the trailer’s electrical harness into the receiver on the truck.
  1. Weight and driving limitations. Trailer mass plus load weight must be less than vehicle towing capacity for safe travel. This information is found on the trailer data plate and inside the vehicle owner’s manual. Drive significantly slower, providing more room for braking and emergency situations. 

Take wider corners than normal, while keeping your lane sill, to reduce the amount the trailer cuts the inside of the curve. Drive with caution as an accident with a trailer has increased consequences.

The bottom line

If you are looking to tow the heaviest trailer possible, either the Ford or the Ram is the best truck for towing fifth wheel options. However, the GMC is close behind. Your final decision will likely be subject to price, and what other features you want or need with the vehicle. Just remember that the best truck for towing a trailer is not necessarily the highest towing capacity, but the one that best suits your towing needs.

As discussed, you do not necessarily need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer. Although this type of trailer is a heavier load, there are plenty of options and standard pick-up truck models that will be more than capable of towing a gooseneck trailer. 

Please let us know if you have any questions related to the content, or if you want to share your experience of towing a gooseneck trailer!

FAQ on Do you need a dually to pull a gooseneck trailer?

Are safety chains required on gooseneck trailers?

Yes, safety chains are required on gooseneck trailers. Safety chains are, well, metal chains. They are usually quite thick and strong and are used to connect a trailer to a towing vehicle.

How much can a pick-up truck tow? 

A half-ton pickup (or midsize AWD SUV) can haul around 5,000 pounds. Uneven trucks have unequal weight classes and unequal tow bars have unequal weight classes. Therefore, check your vehicle’s towing limitations. 

Can a 3/4 ton truck carry a camper?

Yes, a ¾ ton truck can carry a camper, as long as the truck camper weighs between 3000 and 4000 lbs. The average weight of a truck camper is 2,684 lbs unloaded, but of course, this varies depending on the camper type, whether it is a slide-out or a non-slide out model. 

How big of a fifth wheel can a RAM 2500 pull?

A RAM 2500 truck can tow up to 20,000 lbs (depending on the model and technical specifications). RAM 2500 trucks are ideal for small to medium-sized fifth wheels. 

Besides, this model has a factory-installed rear-axle that is ideal for fifth-wheels and/or gooseneck trailers. 

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