Notched fifth wheel tailgates allow for hooking and unhooking with ease. We are talking convenient in-cab hook-up, no more getting out of the truck just to lower and raise the tailgate. With a fifth wheel tailgate, although it is capable of lowering, there is no need to.
With the notched section for clearance and visibility, you can see the trailer’s kingpin unobstructed. That alone helps eliminate accidents.
All it takes is one time of backing with a raised stock tailgate and misjudging how close the truck is to the trailer.
The other common accident is backing in at an angle with a lowered stock tailgate. In this scenario, the corner of the tailgate hits under the trailers overhang and usually right into the storage boxes of the trailer.
Almost all notched tailgates are made to be more aerodynamic and weigh less than the stock tailgate. They are usually louvered or designed like a gate allowing air to flow through.
Being more aerodynamic and lighter also contributes to being more fuel-efficient. The amount of fuel you would save is debatable. Will you recover the cost of the new tailgate through fuel savings alone? It’s not likely, but every bit helps.
The true savings will be not damaging your stock tailgate with an expensive repair. Also, taking a few pounds off of the gross vehicle’s weight is always a good thing. Plus you may find yourself lifting and lowering it when accessing cargo in the truck bed and again it’s lighter than a stock tailgate and lighter is better.
Some tailgates offer a locking mechanism on the release handle to help prevent theft. Nothing is worse than having to buy the same thing twice.
Best Fifth Wheel Tailgates.
|Handy 10485||Chev/GMC||Steel||Center Pull||$$$|
|Stromberg Carlson VGM-99-100||Chev/GMC||Steel||Side Pulls||$$|
|Stromberg Carlson VGM-14-4000||Chev/GMC||Composite||Center Latch||$$$|
|Stromberg Carlson (VG-97-4000)||Ford||Composite||Center Latch||$$$|
|Stromberg Carlson VG-97-100||Ford||Steel||Side Pulls||$$|
|Husky Liners 15130||Ford||Aluminum||Center Pull||$$$$$$|
|Custom Flow VEL28||Ford||Steel||Center Pull||$$$$$|
|Husky Liners 15320||Dodge||Aluminum||Center Pull||$$$$$$|
|Custom Flow V-EL37||Dodge||Composite||Center Pull||$$$$|
Fifth Wheel Tailgates Construction.
Some fifth wheel notched tailgates are made from a heavy-duty plastic composite material. Others are made from metal such as aluminum or steel.
Choosing the best tailgate for you will depend on how much you are willing to pay. Aluminum tailgates cost the most but tend to be the lightest. Composite or plastic tailgates and steel tend to cost the least
Steel Fifth Wheel Tailgates.
If you plan on the tailgate being able to handle the weight of someone standing or sitting on it or placing heavy cargo on it, go with a steel tailgate. Steel tailgates can often support well over 200 pounds. Although steel is the heaviest of all the choices, it is by far the most durable. If you’re expecting your tailgate to take a beating, steel is the best choice.
Steel tailgates tend to be the least expensive. One of the biggest concerns with steel is rust, but with proper preventative maintenance, it should last a lifetime.
Composite Fifth Wheel Hitches
Composite or plastic fifth wheel tailgates are super lightweight and rust resistant and an inexpensive option. They also resistant to dings and dents. The downside to composite gates is that they can not support the weight that steel or aluminum gates can, usually under 200 pounds.
Aluminum Fifth Wheel Hitches
Aluminum is the most expensive option but is the best of both worlds. It is light like the composite gates but can support more weight and is strong like steel, but corrosion resistant.
Being that aluminum tailgates can run around $500.00, you want to make sure you keep it locked, or maybe even remove it, when not in use.
No matter what build material of fifth wheel tailgate you choose, it safe to say it will be lighter than the stock tailgate. Allowing air to flow through the tailgate also reduces turbulent wind in the bed of the truck to help keep lighter weight items from flying out.