Thoughts on this custom trailer? (With Pics) - Page 2

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Thoughts on this custom trailer? (With Pics)

This is a discussion on Thoughts on this custom trailer? (With Pics) within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category

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    11-20-2013, 12:43 PM
Please excuse the typos in my last reply, I just fixed them all – I'm using the voice dictation on my iPhone and it is often a bit odd at times. ;)

I do appreciate everybody's comments and concerns about the structural suitability for a draft however – it's something I will most certainly keep in mind if and when I decide to go and look at this trailer. It's likely to be a few years down the road however during which it would be used strictly for ponies and regular horses in the meantime – I wouldn't be against selling it in the future and upgrading at that point in time if it looks like it would be suitable for our needs until then.
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    11-20-2013, 01:01 PM
Sounds like you pretty much have your mind made up....

Good luck.

Don't forget the pictures of "the project" as it goes along.

Happy trailering.

As for today being behind the wheel of a "Big Rig" safe out there on the highways!!
    11-20-2013, 02:34 PM
Yeah, they should pay YOU to haul it away. Ha ha.

Well if that looks like a fun project to you and you have the time, go ahead and have at it. Me, I'd look on Craig's list for a suitable used one and spend my time on something else.

If you do get it, please post pics or start a project thread. I'd sub that.
    11-20-2013, 02:41 PM
I'll definitely do a project thread if we end up with it.

Again, a decent 4 horse gooseneck trailer up here in better condition easily fetches $4-$5K, even for something of similar vintage. Sure, It would be a lot easier just hit up the line of credit and drop a bunch of money on something newer and shinier that doesn't constitute a project, however I'll tell you what – a year or two from now when I'm still making payments on the latter, the one that cost me $1500, is paid for, and does the job just as well after putting some sweat equity into it will give me a warm fuzzy feeling - making payments, not so much.
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    11-20-2013, 03:04 PM
I'd pass. They have used this trailer UP. You will be trailering a LOT more than your think. Our first year of trailering we went to 10 CW events and two riding vacations. Our first trailer was cheap and new and we put a new floor in after 3 years.
ALSO, you need 6 tires. 4 for the trailer and 2 spares. Yes, we've gone through 2 spares and then we had none and we had to stop mid-way home from the east coast--13 hour drive--to buy new tires. AND, they need to be weight rated.
The safety of your horses rests in your trailer buying decision. They are made of metal and wood and need to be perfectly safe for your horse bc your horse will rock around in a trailer no matter HOW well you drive when you haul.
We put in and take out rubber mats in our trailer to keep the floor from rotting out. I also give a thorough cleaning on my hands and knees sometime after hauling. I do an intial cleaning IMMEDIATELY after hauling. It's like checking your leather tack for problems.
We haven't hauled at all in 2013, so the next time we intend to haul we will be taking it into the shop to have the bearings greased and the whole thing checked over. Before it leaves the back yard we will make sure that the tires are correctly inflated.
I would need to pay $12-13K to replace my 4-horse slant steel trailer.
    11-20-2013, 03:18 PM
I would certainly question the quality of the tires that you had on your trailer if you lost two of them on a relatively short trip like that. If they were the factory tires there's a better-than-average chance that they were Carlisle's – trailer manufacturers love to use these because they come dirt cheap from China, however they are extremely well-known in the RV world as the tire equivalent of a bomb. Head on over to and read all about them there as well as several other notable Chinese tire brands – they are universally condemned as dangerous garbage.

The first thing when I bought our fifth wheel was to replace all of the Carlisle tires with North American made Hercules tires – we subsequently pulled that trailer in excess of 50,000 km, coast-to-coast several times and many many places in between, and never had one single tire problem whatsoever. I literally did nothing except carefully monitor the air pressures every day that we towed for over four years – only last year did I replace two of the four because they were literally wearing out.

A quality tire with (also very important) an adequate weight rating as well as MOST IMPORTANTLY (!) proper attention to correct inflation is the key for not experiencing tire problems – unfortunately far too many manufacturers cheap out in this regard - they spec bottom of the barrel quality to begin with, make it even worse by putting on a barely adequate load rating for the trailer, and then commonly trailer tires end up going down the road underinflated because people don't check them often enough – all of this is most certainly a recipe for tire blowouts.
    11-20-2013, 03:32 PM
Green Broke
There are no windows. You need to add ventilation.
If it is just you and your daughter you could get rid of the side ramp all together and make it into a two horse straight load with a really nice dressing room or living quarters, or make it into a 2 + 1 trailer.
Actually it is not that rusty if you live in the rust belt.
    11-20-2013, 03:48 PM
Agree on the windows and ventilation. Unless there's something the photos aren't showing, yeah, that's odd I agree - it would get pretty hot in there in the summer. It would be something I'd address.

I did think about making the front a tack room or otherwise useable human space of some sort as an option. Realistically however any amount of living space isn't really overly necessary – unfortunately my wife isn't horsey whatsoever so it's just me and my daughter, so it's all day trip short hauls we'll be doing. There is 0.0% chance of any horse vacation type things, nor any long distance hauling.

I think with some people are missing is that it's either a budget trailer for us, or no trailer – there is NO way I can justify a huge cash layout on a nice shiny new trailer just so I can impress others. I don't care about that. I care about getting from A to B safely, and having fun, and my daughter feels the same - an old trailer that gets us to point B to have fun beats no trailer and sitting at the barn wishing we were somewhat else.

Could I afford a $10 or $15K trailer? Sure. Does it make sense for what we're doing? About as much as buying a Corvette to deliver newspapers, IMHO - it'll do it, sure, but it's neither ideal nor sensible in the end.

I learned a long time ago that part of having fun not necessarily always be hand-in-hand with keeping up with the Joneses, or making sure that you "arrive with a splash" with all the latest and greatest shiny baubles. If somebody wants to think less of me because I'm indifferent to the fact that my trailer might be 15 years old and be cosmetically less-than-perfect, that's just fine – that's neither the type of person I am, nor particularly care for to be honest with you.

Again, I am in no way shape or form suggesting that I would haul horses in anything less than a perfectly safe trailer, however over and over again people seem to be focusing on the cosmetics as opposed to much else. Perhaps 20 years in the commercial industry has made me jaded to it, however there is a significant difference between "pretty" and "safe", and they most certainly do not always go hand in hand. A trailer that just rolled off the line with cheap Chinese tire bombs for example would be FAR less safe than a 20 year old well equipped trailer (that yeah, could be rusty and beat up) but has perfect mechanical fitness and a set of brand new high quality tires. If you want to look at the situation purely from the safety perspective, the old beat up 20-year-old rusty trailer is arguably safer!

I hope some people can look at it objectively and see my points.
    11-20-2013, 04:12 PM
Green Broke
I think that what would concern me the most is that it is a lot a trailer for what you will be using it for. Why redo a 4 horse head to head trailer when you can redo a 2 horse BP for a whole lot less $$.

That it might be overkill if all you need is a two horse bumperpull, Ha but then your tow vehicle would be overkill to pull a two horse BP.

It looks like a sturdy trailer, I know if my horse were to be in an accident, I sure would want him in your trailer rather than my aluminum Featherlite.

I also don't see you getting hardly any of your investment back if you ever sell it.
    11-20-2013, 07:23 PM
Originally Posted by Taffy Clayton    
I also don't see you getting hardly any of your investment back if you ever sell it.
Just touching on that...I think I will. Probably twice over.

All the US members have access to prices that we just don't see up here - looking at the used market in the US trailers are notably cheaper. Yes, I could buy a trailer in the US and import it, but having done that process before I can say with some authority that although it's not necessarily that difficult (although it certainly COULD Be if something went wrong), but it IS time consuming and somewhat expensive. In the end I might save some money (depending on how far I travel to pick it up), but there are downsides:

1- Probably some time off work.

2- Fuel costs

3- Taxes due upon import based on sale price

4- Inspection has to prove it adheres to Canadian standards - anything not in compliance must be modified/fixed before it can be registered here.

5- Would be taking a lot of risks including basically buying sight unseen...and a previous bad experience with that has me once bitten twice shy on that idea.

So, a good 4 horse trailer that most members in this thread would probably consider "acceptable" (based on what I've read right here in this thread) would sell for a minimum of about 5K locally, and even that would yield something with probable less than idea cosmetics, but otherwise probably "ready to roll" out of the box. A decent 2 horse isn't that much less and would likely be a bumper pull which I don't ideally want - I have a 1 to dually and much prefer 5th/GN hitches.

So, looking back at the price of this trailer - if I have $1500 into this trailer by the time I'm all done I know I could flip it tomorrow for $2500 to $3500 with relative ease based solely on what I'm seeing stuff listed (and selling) for locally. That may seen obscene to some of you from the US especially those outside the rust belt that don't know the realities of what we go through up here, but in the end..that's just the way it is north of the 49'th. ;)

Again, despite my seeming "You've already made up your mind"...well, I was waiting for someone to say that, and arguably would have probably said it to someone else if it was their thread - but I'm still going into this with an open mind. Like I said, if we find it a rotten mess I'll run away screaming as it's basically scrap value at that point - probably about $300 worth of scrap iron.

However, I'm also not afraid of a little work, and am capable of doing it all myself, so this is still firmly in the running if it's structurally sound.

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