Notched fifth wheel tailgates allow for hooking and unhooking with ease. We are talking about convenient in-cab hook-up, no more getting out of the truck 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 tailgate corner hits underneath the trailer’s overhang and usually right into the trailer’s storage boxes.
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. However, 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 real 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.
|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||$$$|
|Stromberg Carlson VG-97-100||Ford||Steel||Side Pulls||$$|
|Custom Flow VEL28||Ford||Steel||Center Pull||$$$$$|
Fifth Wheel Tailgates Construction.
Some fifth wheel notched tailgates are made from a heavy-duty plastic composite material. Others are made of 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 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. So 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 it should last a lifetime with proper preventative maintenance.
Composite Fifth Wheel Hitches
Composite or plastic fifth wheel tailgates are super lightweight and rust-resistant, and an inexpensive option. They are 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.
Since aluminum tailgates can run around $500.00, you want to make sure you keep it locked or even remove it when not in use.
No matter what build material of the fifth wheel tailgate you choose, it is safe to say it will be lighter than the stock tailgate. Allowing air to flow through the tailgate also reduces turbulent wind in the truck’s bed to help keep lighter-weight items from flying out.