Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
It's a little bit like horse shopping, when you start looking and the feet and legs first, THEN the pretty head, LOL!
Check the floors, any rust (aluminum trailers have steel skeletons), the shocks and suspension and the wiring. Any thing that you have to replace should be factored in YOUR total cost.
Unless it is a "steal", I think I'd want the mangers bc you might find yourself travelling more if the economy improves in 2013.
We bought our first 4-horse steel stock trailer in 1986. 3 years later the floor was rotting out, though it was new when we bought it, BUT stored outside, and the floor hadn't been sealed. So, a good friend helped us replace the floor. Don't remember how many layers of water seal when painted on, but it really lasted.
We made mistakes--one year of throwing 6 horses in to go to weekend events and a trail-riding trip out west--and we bowed an axle. We were driving out with 4 and our tires started smoking about 3 hours east of Rapid City, SD (we were headed for the Black Hills.) The shop we stopped at told us the problem, couldn't fix it BUT shaved off the excess metal that was hitting the tires.
We got to our camp and DH drove the trailer back to a repair shop in Rapid City. We spent the week riding, sans trailer, then drove the truck back to pick up the trailer, biting our nails bc we were sure that our Discover Card was really going to moan. They replaced the axle, added shocks made for a semi and charged us.......$300.00 (in 1992.)!!!!
I have MORE. Man, you really get your education with trailers AFTER you own one!
JUST make sure that your horses travel in a level trailer, please. =D