Can You Put a 5TH Wheel on a Ford F-150?

The Ford F-150 is a pickup truck that needs no introduction. For those looking to expand its utility, adding a 5TH wheel hitch can be an appealing option. But can you actually hitch one to it?

Yes, you can put a 5th wheel on a Ford F-150, but considerations must be considered, such as the specific model, towing capacity, and proper installation. Most importantly, your F-150 cannot tow a 5th wheel that weighs over 14,000 pounds (Max Tow Package).

The remainder of this article will further explore the various considerations. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of what hitching a 5th wheel to your Ford F-150 entails.

What Is a 5th Wheel?

5th wheel

A 5th wheel is a type of hitching system commonly used to connect a heavy trailer to a towing vehicle, such as a pickup truck or large SUV. The name “5th wheel” originates from the original manufacturer—The Martin’s Fifth Wheel Company—as well as from the extra wheel-like component that facilitates the connection between the towing vehicle and the trailer.

This system provides increased stability, flexibility, and maneuverability when towing large loads, such as RVs or commercial trailers. Its unique design distributes weight more evenly across the vehicle, offering better control and handling.

Components of a 5th Wheel

There are several components that go into a 5th wheel, but we’ll focus on the most important ones below:

  • Hitch Plate: The hitch plate is the core component that attaches to the towing vehicle’s bed. It features a flat, circular design where the trailer’s kingpin locks into place, creating a secure connection.
  • Kingpin: This is a heavy-duty pin attached to the trailer’s end. It fits into the hitch plate’s receptacle, enabling a stable connection between the towing vehicle and the trailer.
  • Support Legs: These legs offer additional stability to the hitch, spreading the weight of the trailer evenly across the vehicle’s chassis.
  • Jaws and Locking Mechanism: The jaws clamp around the kingpin, while the locking mechanism ensures that the connection is secure, preventing accidental disconnection.

How a 5th Wheel Works

A 5th wheel system works by creating a secure and stable connection between the towing vehicle and trailer. The kingpin of the trailer slides into the hitch plate’s receptacle on the towing vehicle, and the jaws clamp around it.

Once locked into place, this connection allows for smooth pivoting and maneuvering of the trailer, even with substantial loads. The support legs further stabilize the connection, distributing the weight efficiently.

F-150 Towing Capabilities

The Ford F-150 is one of the most versatile pickup trucks on the market, with a reputation for impressive towing capabilities. This capability allows the F-150 to easily haul trailers, boats, RVs, and other heavy loads.

Different towing packages and accessories can enhance the F-150’s towing abilities:

  • Trailer Tow Package: Including features like a Class IV trailer hitch and Smart Trailer Tow Connector optimizes the towing experience.
  • Max Trailer Tow Package: Designed for the heaviest towing, this package includes features like a higher axle ratio and an integrated brake controller for better control.
  • Accessories: Additional mirrors, brake controllers, and cooling systems can further customize the towing setup to specific needs.

Can You Put a 5th Wheel on a Ford F-150?

The question of whether you can put a 5th wheel on a Ford F-150 is one that many truck owners and enthusiasts might ask, especially those looking to tow heavy trailers or RVs. The answer is yes, but it comes with considerations related to compatibility and installation.

Compatibility with Various F-150 Models

Different Ford F-150 models come with varying towing capacities and features, which affect the ability to add a 5th wheel:

  • Payload Considerations: Assessing the payload capacity of the specific F-150 model is essential. At most, the F-150 can tow up to 14,000 pounds with the Tow Max Package.
  • Engine and Configuration: The engine type, along with the chosen configuration, affects the towing capacity. Selecting a 5th wheel compatible with these specifications is crucial.
  • Year and Model: Not all F-150 models or manufacturing years may be suitable for 5th wheel installation. Consulting the owner’s manual or a professional is advised.

Installation Requirements and Procedures

Before hitching a 5th wheel to your F-150, you should understand these basics:

  • Bed Length Considerations: The length of the F-150’s bed can affect the type of 5th wheel hitch needed. Shorter beds may require specialized hitches or slider systems.
  • Tools and Equipment: Specialized tools and equipment are needed for installation, such as torque wrenches and drilling guides.
  • Alignment and Positioning: Proper alignment and positioning of the hitch ensure safe and effective towing.

DIY Method of Putting 5th Wheel on a Ford F-150

Here’s a basic guide for how to hitch a 5th wheel to your Ford F-150. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can pay a professional to do the deed for you.

  1. Assemble the Hitch: Following the instructions from the hitch manufacturer, assemble the 5th wheel hitch.
  2. Position the Hitch: Place the hitch assembly into the mounting rails and adjust it to the desired position.
  3. Secure the Hitch: Lock the hitch into place by securing the pins and clips or other locking mechanisms as indicated by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Inspect the Entire Installation: Conduct a thorough inspection of the entire installation to ensure everything is aligned, secure, and properly torqued.
  5. Connect to a Trailer (Optional): Connect the hitch to a trailer and perform a test tow in a safe area.
  6. Check the Lights and Wiring: Ensure that all lighting and wiring connections between the truck and trailer are working correctly.


1. Can any F-150 model handle a 5th wheel?

Not all F-150 models can handle a 5th wheel. The ability to tow a 5th wheel depends on factors such as the engine, axle ratio, and overall towing capacity of the specific model and year. Check the owner’s manual or a professional to ensure your F-150 has the required specifications to safely tow a 5th wheel.

2. How much does professional installation cost?

Professional installation costs for a 5th-wheel hitch can vary widely based on the complexity of the installation, the type of hitch, and the region where you live. On average, you might expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $400 for the hitch installation, not including the cost of the hitch itself.