Gooseneck vs. Bumper Pull: Choosing a Trailer

Which Hitch Style is Right for You?

Which is better, a gooseneck or bumper pull trailer? Each has its advantages and downsides, but one may be a better choice depending on what you intend to use it for.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of gooseneck vs. bumper pull hitches to help you choose the best trailer for your intended purpose.

Bumper Pull

Bumper pull, also called drag or tag-along trailer, is the most common hitch. Although its name implies it connects to the bumper, the trailer’s tongue actually fits over a ball hitch that protrudes from the frame at the vehicle’s rear.

Bumper pulls can be used with pick-up trucks, SUVs, and even rated cargo vans.

The bumper pull is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an easy-to-use trailer for smaller loads. But how does it compare to a gooseneck trailer?

Gooseneck

Gooseneck trailers have a “neck” that extends over the tailgate and attaches to a ball hitch in the truck’s bed, hence the name gooseneck. This type of trailer is more advanced, and it offers a few advantages over the bumper pull trailer.

gooseneck trailer hitch

Maneuverability

Because of the mounting location, a gooseneck trailer is more maneuverable than a bumper pull trailer. It has a tighter turning radius — which may pose a problem to first-timers, but for experienced users, it makes the trailer easy to maneuver. A gooseneck trailer also minimizes the sway problems that can occur with an improperly loaded bumper pull trailer.

It’s also easier to hook up than a bumper pull, as you can see into the truck bed where the trailer hitch is located.

For first-time users, however, a bumper trailer may be less intimidating and easier to maneuver on the road. It has a normal turning radius and tracks closer to the tow vehicle when taking a turn.

Towing Capacity

Bumper pull trailers come in varying weights and sizes and can be hooked to various vehicles — from trucks to SUVs and vans. They are usually lighter and can be pulled by vehicles with lower towing capacity.

On the other hand, gooseneck trailers can only be attached to a ball hitch on a truck bed. They are usually heavier, hence the need for a truck with a higher towing capacity.

bumper pull hitch

Cargo Space

One of the biggest advantages of a gooseneck trailer over a bumper pull trailer is its stability. Its tongue weight is exerted over the truck’s rear axle instead of the rear frame. This means it can haul more weight than a bumper pull.

Enclosed gooseneck trailers are generally larger than bumper pull trailers, which means more space for your cargo. However, size is a double-edged sword as you will need more space to park the entire rig than you would a bumper pull.

If you intend to use the truck bed, consider a bumper pull since it hooks onto the rear frame.

Pros & Cons: Summary

Advantages of Gooseneck

  • Can haul heavier loads (weight is partially distributed to the truck’s axle)
  • Easier to back up
  • Easier to hook up – you can see the hitch ball’s position on the truck bed
  • More cargo space
  • Turns sharper
  • Eliminates sway problems

Disadvantages of Gooseneck

  • It needs more parking space
  • It can only be towed with a truck
  • It takes up truck bed space
  • More expensive (you need a stronger truck, + hitch installation costs)
  • The sharp turning circle can take some time to master

Advantages of Bumper Pull

  • A bumper pull trailer is cheaper, shorter, and lighter than a gooseneck trailer
  • It doesn’t take up much space
  • It follows the path of the tow vehicle when turning
  • It can be pulled with a properly rated SUV, cargo van, or truck

Disadvantages of Bumper Pull

  • Harder to hook up on your own
  • Susceptible to sway, especially when the load is not properly balanced

Get a Custom Trailer for Your Specific Needs

At MO Great Dane, we specialize in designing and building custom trailers for various purposes and configurations — from bumper pull race trailers to semi trailers to gooseneck trailers. Contact us today to learn more about our custom design and building services, or see in-stock inventory ready for purchase.

MO Great Dane trailers