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Frequently Asked Questions

Trailers and Tow Vehicles


Q2)  What are the advantages of bumper pull trailer vs. gooseneck/5th wheel trailers?

A bumper pull trailer has the advantage of being towed by many types and styles of vehicles.  Pick-up trucks, RVs, SUVs or even cars can be equipped for this purpose.  Anytime you tow a trailer, your tow vehicle must meet the requirements given by the manufacturer for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).  

Some specific advantages of a bumper pull trailer:

  • Easy to use for most people and it can be easily attached to another tow vehicle

  • Less expensive than gooseneck trailers

  • The bumper pull trailer follows the path of the tow vehicle making it easier to turn corners in a normal manner

  • They generally weigh less and licensing is less complicated if the weight is less than 10,000 lbs.

Some disadvantages of a bumper pull trailer:

  • If hauling two or more horses, stability may be a problem; the tongue weight is heavier on the rear of the tow vehicle; tow vehicles must be rated correctly for weight in this situation

  • Carelessness in hitching is more common

  • There is generally not as much room for sleeping quarters


The gooseneck/5th wheel/mini 5th is a trailer with the coupler placed inside the box or bed of the truck.  The trailer appears to have a 'neck' that extends over the box or bed of the tow vehicle.  A gooseneck uses a ball hitch that is placed into the box of the truck.  The mini 5th uses a pin hitch.  The 5th wheel uses a 'semi-trailer' style coupler while the pin is fastened onto the trailer neck.

Some advantages of the gooseneck/5th wheel/mini 5th:

  • The down weight is over the truck axle which gives more stability

  • The trailer starts turning when the tow vehicle turns, cutting corners more quickly than the bumper-pull and giving a tighter turning radius

  • Living quarters are more easily built into gooseneck trailers

Some disadvantages of a gooseneck:

  • The tighter turning radius makes it more difficult to make normal turns - it's easy to cut corners too sharply running over a curb or hitting a post, etc.
  • To hitch up to a coupler (mini 5th) you must get in and out of the bed of the truck
  • Goosenecks are more expensive because they are generally larger

Additional resources include:

Kiefer Built, Inc.
P.O. Box 88  Kanawha, Iowa 50447
Phone: 515-762-3201
Fax: 515-762-3425
Toll Free: 1-888-2KIEFER (1-888-254-3337)

Trail-Et Inc.
P.O. Box 499  Waupaca, WI 54981
Phone: 715-258-8565
Toll Free: 800-344-1326
Fax: 715-258-8593

Feather Lite Trailers

Information for these and other trailer/tow vehicle questions is courtesy of:

Mr. Ray Reimann
Horseman Trailer Sales
W5712 Hwy JJ
Appleton, WI  54913

Back to Trailer and Tow Vehicle Index

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