Help, need tow vehicle recommendation
   

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Help, need tow vehicle recommendation

This is a discussion on Help, need tow vehicle recommendation within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Vehicle recommendation for horse trailers
  • Brenderup trailer "kayak" carrier

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    01-07-2013, 02:04 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Help, need tow vehicle recommendation

I would really like to have a horse trailer, but I also need a vehicle capable of towing one, and I'm trying to work out the best way to achieve that. Mostly I'd like to be able to tow to nearby trails, and maybe some clinics or shows that no one else at my barn is going to. I don't expect to ever go more than about an hour away. Being limited to just my horse would also be OK.

Right now, I have a small coupe and my husband has a minivan. Obviously, the coupe's not going to pull anything. Assuming the towing package doesn't have to come factory installed and can still be added on, the minivan can tow up to 3,600 lbs. My horse is a smaller horse, right around 1,000 lbs, which leaves 2,600 lbs for the trailer itself (although I know it's not ideal to tow anywhere near the capacity). I know someone who tows a Brenderup with her minivan, but those are expensive and hard to find. Honestly, I have no idea how much "regular" trailers weigh, so I'm not sure if it's realistic to even consider finding one that the minivan could handle. (Anyone know a ballpark figure for how much a standard 2 horse slant or straight load trailer w/ small tack room would weigh?)

Replacing the minivan could be an option, but I'm not sure I could find something that would make DH happy and also tow a trailer. The minivan really fits all his criteria (except gas mileage, but nothing's perfect): he can fit a stand up paddle board AND a kayak AND his kiteboarding gear inside at the same time (he hates tying things to the roof, even though it has a rack), the middle and back row seats fold down flat into the chassis which makes re-configuring REALLY easy. I borrowed it for my last horse show, stuffed all my tack, hay, etc. into the back, then unloaded it at the show and slept in it instead of getting a hotel room, so I also am a big fan of the seats folding completely flat.

A pickup truck, even one with a longer bed, wouldn't fit a SUP board or kayak. The full size vans (like a Ford E-150) would probably fit that stuff inside and can tow >6000 lbs, but aren't re-configureable. The minivan has a low towing capacity. Anyone know of a vehicle that can "do it all"?

The other option would be to get a 3rd vehicle just for towing. I'd rather not go this route, since parking is already a little tight at my house and there's all the maintenance, registration, etc that would have to be done for it. And since we wouldn't be trading in a vehicle, the budget for buying the vehicle would be so low I'd be worried about getting a clunker that would break down and leave me and my horse stranded on the side of the road
     
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    01-07-2013, 02:10 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Suburban? I wouldn't tow with a minivan. Ford Excursion? If they still make those. What about a long bed pickup? Those have an 8ft bed.

Here's the weight for the Featherlite trailers

http://www.fthr.com/userfiles/BP-Horse-Trailers.pdf
     
    01-07-2013, 02:33 PM
  #3
Trained
Chevrolet Trailblazer extended. I own a 2005 and I love it. I can tow my friend's aluminum FeatherLite two-horse slant with my 1500lbs draft cross gelding in it with no problems. Tow capacity is 7000lbs, gas mileage is pretty decent (averaged 22mpg on my last tank and I do a lot of both city and highway driving to work and running errands), the seats are easily reconfigured, and it's got a great ride. When pulling a trailer, you hardly notice the trailer.
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    01-07-2013, 02:59 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Yukons are really popular for towing.

I love my F250 though!
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    01-07-2013, 03:17 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
Chevrolet Trailblazer extended. I own a 2005 and I love it. I can tow my friend's aluminum FeatherLite two-horse slant with my 1500lbs draft cross gelding in it with no problems. Tow capacity is 7000lbs, gas mileage is pretty decent (averaged 22mpg on my last tank and I do a lot of both city and highway driving to work and running errands), the seats are easily reconfigured, and it's got a great ride. When pulling a trailer, you hardly notice the trailer.
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Looking at some pictures, that seems promising. There are a couple listed at a nearby dealership, so maybe I'll drag my husband out there to take a look with me next weekend and see what he thinks of it

Is the 7000lb capacity high enough to tow something other than a Featherlite? I'm mostly seeing steel trailers on Craigslist right now- probably something like this is what I'd end up with: 1990 Charmac 2 Horse Slant Trailer (not this one in paritcular, of course, since I don't even have a tow vehicle yet!)

Quote:
What about a long bed pickup? Those have an 8ft bed.
Probably should have specified... the kayak is 10 or 10 1/2 feet long, and the SUP board is only a little bit shorter. He manages to fit it- barely- in the minivan with all the passenger side seats folded down.
     
    01-07-2013, 03:41 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Our 2 horse BP steel stock trailer weighs 2200 lbs as a reference.
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    01-07-2013, 03:57 PM
  #7
Trained
You should be able to tow pretty much any two-horse slant, regardless of what it's made of.
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    01-07-2013, 04:07 PM
  #8
Green Broke
You need a proper tow vehicle, sorry but a mini van aint it. You want the tow vehicle Id sell/ trade your car. SOunds like he has what meets his needs, why should he give that up ?
     
    01-07-2013, 04:15 PM
  #9
Started
I am of the opinion bigger is better...I'm sure there is no such thing as "too much truck"...but then I am a paranoid mental case when it comes to towing safety. I wouldn't get anything less than a 3/4 ton pickup or SUV. I suppose a Brenderup would work with a 1/2 ton. A woman in the area tows one with her Mercedes sedan.
Just do all the research you can before you buy as far as towing capacity and all that stuff. It's not easy finding a vehicle that will do everything you want it to do for the price you want to pay and within the time-frame you want. But it sure is fun when you find it!
     
    01-07-2013, 05:29 PM
  #10
Weanling
Every make of trailer is different.... Had a WW 3 horse slant that weighed 3600..also had a 2horse BP with a walk in tack room that weight the same..

I would be afraid to pull a horse trailer with a minivan. Mini van may be able to handle it in terms of weight capacity- but horses move-sometimes alot, making your vehicle move too. Also, just because is "rated" to pull that weight doesn't mean it should. It wasn't built to be a towing vehicle, so hooking up to and pulling a horse trailer is probably going to wreak havoc on your transmission, engine, various other parts, TIRES..ect ect..
     

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