Bumper Pull Trailers vs. Gooseneck Trailers: Pros and Cons

Bumper Pull Trailers vs. Gooseneck Trailers

While each option has its own advantages, the differences between a Gooseneck and a bumper pull hitch sometimes aren’t apparent. We will discuss the pros and cons of bumper pull trailers vs. Gooseneck trailers.

Bumper Pull Trailers vs. Gooseneck Trailers

Bumper Pull Trailers

One of the most common type of hitches is the bumper pull, also known as a drag or tag-along trailer. The name can be slightly misleading because the trailer doesn’t actually connect to the tow vehicle’s bumper.

Instead, the trailer’s tongue fits over a ball hitch that sticks out from the vehicle’s frame at the vehicle’s rear.


When comparing the size of bumper pull trailers vs. Gooseneck trailers, bumper pulls are smaller. This which means they normally costs less. It also means you may not have to buy a pickup truck as a tow vehicle for a bumper pull. Depending on the trailer, a motorhome, SUV or even a CUV may be suitable for hauling.

The combined weight of a bumper pull trailer and the tow vehicle is unlikely to exceed 10,001 pounds. Usually, this is the weight at which a trailer is declared commercial and requires a special license to haul. However, you will want to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles in case your state has lower limits.

Also, a bumper pull hitch is a more common style of hitch than a Gooseneck, which makes it less intimidating. A first-time trailer owner is more likely to have a bumper pull hitch on his or her SUV or pickup truck than a Gooseneck hitch. First-time trailer owners will also appreciate that a bumper pull trailer has a normal turn radius. Therefore, the trailer will follow the towing vehicle as it makes a turn.


With a smaller trailer, this means less space for living quarters or a dressing room in your trailer. Also, if you’re hauling horses or livestock it limits the number of animals you can transport. If you want to haul more than two horses, you will most likely want a Gooseneck trailer instead.

You’ll want to be careful when hauling heavier loads overall. Make sure your truck has a proper rating for the weight. If not, you will potentially encounter several problems while on the road, such as lack of stability and loss of control, including trailer swaying.

These aren’t issues most beginning trailer owners consider. Also, since more novice trailer owners have bumper pulls, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that more trailer accidents involve bumper pull trailers.

Gooseneck Trailers

Conversely, trailering veterans often own Gooseneck trailers. Because of the two hitch types being quite similar, Goosenecks are easily confused with a fifth-wheel trailer.

The difference is that a Gooseneck trailer slides over a ball hitch in the bed of a pickup truck. However, a fifth wheel trailer attaches to a pickup truck using a hinged plate hitch; semi trucks uses the same type of hitch.


Gooseneck trailers offer stability. Tthe tongue weight of the trailer is over the truck’s rear axle instead of a the back of the frame,. Therefore, this minimizes the potential of swaying. The increased stability also means a Gooseneck trailer can accommodate more weight and be larger than a bumper pull trailer. Goosenecks also have more room for living quarters if you want them, as well as more room for any cargo you haul.

Additionally, Gooseneck trailers have a tighter turn radius. This allows you to cut corners tighter than a bumper pull trailer. In addition, this lets you maneuver the trailer in tighter spaces. Although, this tight turn radius can be a double-edge sword. It can take a few tries to learn, and if you mess up you can take off the trailer’s fender, to say nothing of damaging street signs and others cars on the road.


A Gooseneck trailer can have its limitations as well, though. One limitation is its size. You won’t be able to haul a Gooseneck trailer with anything less than a pickup truck. Unlike bumper pull trailers, several Goosenecks are heavy enough to be classified as commercial. Also, Gooseneck trailers require a special hitching system, installed in the bed of a pickup truck.

Gooseneck trailers are less common than bumper pull trailers. This means most pickup trucks don’t come equipped with a Gooseneck trailer ball in their truck beds. You will need a mechanic (and some additional money) to do this.

Also, Gooseneck trailers are usually larger than bumper pull trailers. Therefore, storing one is a little more difficult.


Both bumper pull trailers vs. Gooseneck trailers have their own advantages. Selecting the hitch that’s right for you will give you a better ride and optimize your trailering experience. For more information about Gooseneck and bumper pull trailers, feel free to contact us today!

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