Issues finding a trailer - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Issues finding a trailer

I have anyways rented out trailers. My mom's car is able to haul a little over a ton. We've hauled before with only one horse with no problem at all. I hope to start showing seriously this summer but we would need a trailer of our own.
We don't want sparkly new but we don't want run-down rusty either. Our main problem is finding one that's not heavy.
What type of material should we mainly look for?
What kind of trailers do you guys use?
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post #2 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 02:49 PM
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I had a lot of trouble with this too. Two horse trailers that are still in safe working order were hard to find in my area. The dealerships nearby would post one online, but by the time I'd call it had "sold" (not sure on this, maybe they wanted me to have to buy a new trailer? ). Anything local I found in my price range was covered in rust. I ended up buying an older all aluminum trailer. It's an '01 4-star that I paid ~$7k for, which was more than we wanted to spend, but at this point I'd been looking for a trailer for and entire year. It is a good quality trailer though, and it tows much better than I remember the old steel trailers my parents always had. It's also got a bunch of nicer features not on newer, less expensive makes.

If your tow vehicle can only pull 1 ton, I'm not sure you'll have an easy time finding a trailer in that weight range without a horse, though. My all aluminum trailer weighs between 2500-3000 lbs empty, and the horses weigh 2000 lbs or so, plus weight of any equipment, feed, and water I load. You might consider purchasing an older truck that will have appropriate wheel base and towing capacity. Under-powered vehicles aren't any fun on the highway hauling live weight. Even though my Land Rover Discovery weighs more than the trailer and has a towing capacity of 5500 lbs (more than my loaded weight with one horse), I go up hill at about 35 mph here in the Ozarks (we have some crazy steep terrain here). I have trouble keeping the rig stable at more than 55 mph on the flat. It chugs along at low speeds and I can't complain for the price I paid for (free), but I absolutely can't imagine trying to tow this trailer loaded with an even smaller truck. I'm not sure it would even move! Stopping can also be a concern if your trailer seriously outweighs the tow vehicle. In fact this affects all the dynamics when towing and can make the trailer fishtail and shimmy and whip your vehicle around while it does it. Like I said, I've got this problem a little myself, and on paper, my truck IS big enough.

If you're determined, try to find a no-frills all aluminum without the dressing room or extra height. I believe some trailers also have some composite components specifically to be low weight, so if you can find one, that would be good. That should cut the weight down some, so if you load it minimally you might be close to your tow capacity. This should be ok for short hauls at low speeds. For the price of the aluminum trailer, though, you might be able to get a steel trailer like a Calico and an older more appropriate truck.
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post #3 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 09:28 PM
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1 ton? An empty trailer weights more than that. You need a towing vehicle first.
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post #4 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 09:40 PM
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An empty Brenderup trailer is just under 1 ton IIRC. Add a horse and you're hauling 1.5 tons minimum. If your tow vehicle is only rated to ~1 ton you're well over weight and putting yourself, your horse, and everyone else on the road in danger.
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post #5 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 09:45 PM
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Sure a heavier car can pull a trailer but I doubt it will be able to stop it in a hurry or keep it on the road if you need to swerve. Cars are not designed to haul livestock, in fact it is illegal here.
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post #6 of 43 Old 03-25-2014, 10:13 PM
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AND....even if your car can pull a trailer now, how long will it be before the transmission goes out? As LHP noted, the trailer itself weighs close to a ton. Here's an option, though.....BUY a suitable trailer, and then on the occasion that you need to haul, RENT a truck. Good luck to you, and stay safe
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post #7 of 43 Old 03-26-2014, 07:16 AM
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There's so much wrong with using a car to pull horse trailers I don't really know where to start. At best it's going to cost you a small fortune in repair bills, at worst someone is going to die.
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post #8 of 43 Old 03-26-2014, 08:04 AM
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Unless you're towing a mini inside a tiny trailer, using the car is not safe at all. It's also not good for the car. There's no trailer that I can recommend that is suitable for use with a car that can tow 1 ton.
1 ton is only 2000 pounds. Most horses are in the 900-1200 pound range, which leaves you very little room for a trailer, and you don't want to tow near your max.

Not having a problem in the past means you were fortunate. If you tried going up/down a hill or in the rain, you would end up on the side of the road with a flipped trailer.
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post #9 of 43 Old 03-26-2014, 09:54 AM
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Even a small 2-horse bumper pull aluminum trailer is going to be 3,000 pounds. With the empty trailer (no tack, no horse) you are going to be well over your weight limit.

Not safe at all.

The best idea is to first find a trailer that will suit your needs. THEN buy a tow vehicle that will be able to safely tow it.

A car is not a tow vehicle.

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post #10 of 43 Old 03-26-2014, 10:35 AM
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You know, I just remembered my Mini Cooper is rated to tow 1400lbs, so you're probably talking about any large 4 cyl/small v6 car. If you like your horse and/or the car, please don't pull with it.
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