First foray into trailers with LQ. Help????
My husband and I are planning to retire in January and looking forward to having a lot more time to trail ride, camp, and travel with the horses. In the past we've been very happy with our steel, warmblood sized, two horse bumper pull but for the first time we're thinking about a trailer with living quarters. I'm beginning to feel like a rat in a maze!!! It's a whole new world. So could someone please help me with some basic information?
1. We have two horses. Is there some real advantage to a 3 horse trailer? Why are two horse trailers with living quarters so outnumbered by 3 horse trailers?
2. Right now we have a Ford F150. Are we going to need a larger truck?
(I think I know the answer to this...I'm just sort of grasping at straws here. :-?)
3. My husband's OTTB completely fills the warmblood trailer from one end to the buttbar. Will he fit in a slant load?
4. How do you begin to choose among the various manufacturers?
5. We're used to a steel trailer, but we have quiet, well-behaved horses and an aluminum trailer would be lighter to haul. Is a steel frame essential?
ANY guidance would be appreciated. We've hauled our horses for the last 10 years in our current trailer and we've camped...but camping would be SO much easier and comfortable with living quarters. I'm looking forward to it, but sorting our way through all the choices is a little daunting. There are a LOT of used trailers available and we're not even sure how to go about evaluating them and choosing among them!
It's ok, we have all been there!
Congrats with the retirement, I hear its more work than work...lol. Ok, lets look at your situation and see if I can put out any of your fires.
1. The reason I have found for the 3 horse popularity vs 2 is the versatility of the extra stall, ie. a place to put hay, leave the third stall open for more room, bring a friend, you name it its been done in the third stall. The weight difference for the additional stall averages somewhere between 500 - 800 lbs depending on type of trailer and the materials its made of, ie. high side (stock style) vs double wall (fully enclosed) and aluminum vs steel, etc. When you figure adding that weight to a bumper pull it can account for as much as 20 -25% more vs a living quarters only adding 5 - 10 % more in weight.
2. For a living quarters....YES, you will need something a bit larger. Now, that doesn't mean you have to buy a diesel dually. You would be smart to consider both purchases, the truck and trailer, at the same time to maximize bang for the buck. To make it simple, when you think have the trailer you want figured out you can get a weight from the dealer and start your truck shopping knowing what you will be towing.
3. Slant loads come in all shapes and sizes, from 6'6" wide to 8' wide and the same goes for the height. Most companies offer warm blood packages that incorporate the popular warm blood options the people before you wanted and requested. If your having trouble getting answers from your local dealer, I suggest measuring your warm blood trailer now for a reference and applying those measurements to the slant loads you look at.
4. As far as choosing a manufacturer, it couldn't be any easier these days with the internet being what it is....a wealth of knowledge. Now, I'm saying do all your homework here, just a little of the leg work. I always tell people when looking for a trailer manufacturer to look for a couple things. The first thing you are going to need to consider, especially with a living quarters, is the proximity of you to the dealer you are purchasing your trailer from. You will more than likely need to visit them a time or two, just count on that. Living quarters are essentially houses on wheels and require a host of maintenance and upkeep. You can have most work done at an RV dealership at a hefty hourly rate, but if it is warranty work you will want to be close to your dealer so they can provide you with service after the sale. A lot of problems are little things that are common to that brand and the dealer may know how to fix it in 30 min as where an RV dealership may have to start from A and not figure it out until Y and a three figure bill!
Another thing to consider, this is where the internet works wonders, is the reputation of the manufacturer. Google is your friend, Google the brand and the model you are interested in and read the feed back people before you have. Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB.org) for the manufacturers name and address for complaints and resolutions. I have really enjoyed going to local equine events and just walking up to people unloading their horses and asking them what they like and dislike about their trailer, most are happy to talk about them and even give tours!
5. This is probably your most controversial question asked! I try to keep it simple with a few facts.
a. Cost to repair: (Steel<Aluminum)<Steel/Aluminum. This little formula represents the fact that steel is the most common to repair and more people can do the job which brings the price down. Aluminum is the most per hour in welding and replacing of parts due to the complexity of welding aluminum properly. The steel/aluminum configuration usually has the most man hours in fixing due to the way the aluminum is attached to the steel and you have to remove the aluminum to repair the steel and that in itself can be a chore. These scenarios aren't always the case, but often are.
b. Weight: This gap isn't near as big as a lot of people imagine it to be, especially in a living quarters. Small bumper pull trailers are really the only ones that benefit in the weight department here. In a living quarters aluminum requires more reinforcement and or usually thicker material to hold up to what steel can carry. When it comes to the steel frame/aluminum highbreds, they usually use thicker aluminum on the walls to withstand dents and in turn come close to washing in weight. The biggest reason manufacturers use aluminum on a steel frame is for the speed to finish and the durability of the exterior finish vs a painted steel. The thing to watch for is the steel frame prep before the aluminum is applied because you could be looking at dissimilar metal corrosion down the road if not done properly.
This section can take pages alone, so I will sum it up. The above isn't always the case, there are always exceptions to the rule. You need to find a manufacturer with dealers in your area. You need to check their reputation (dealer and manufacturer). Compare the different models and the weights to see what works best for you. Keep in mind the cheapest in the short term, isn't always the cheapest in the long term.
I hope that helps some. I will be reviewing trailers on another site in the near future, so if you have a trailer you would like me to look at, send me a pm and I'll see what I can do.
Look not only at the brand of horse trailer but who does the conversion. Many issues with LQ trailers are in the area of the conversion.
Check for any recalls on the components used in the LQ.
your gonna need a bigger truck. The reason you need a 3 horse LQ trailer to camp with 2 horses is you need the extra space for stuff. I have a 2 horse which was fine for me hauling one horse, not so much for two.
Oh, and....get yourself a 1 ton dually and never look back.
If you're going to pull a lot, then get the truck to do it.
I started pulling with an older F250. I can't tell you how much more enjoyable the trailering is with the F350.
I agree with all the above....
One thing to caution with a dually...yes they are great for towing, they are not so great in the snow and mud in my experience. I drive Dodges, not sure with the Fords, but you can get the Dodge ina 3500 without duals, or you can pull the outside hubs off and switch to a flatbed. £omething to consider and instead of 6 tires you buy 4.
As far as LQ trailers, been hearing complaints about the Bloomers and Exiss, but it depends on the year, model and conversion. Hear good things about Platinum and Lakotas. Not sure if you are going new or used though.
Thank y'all so very, very much! You've answered a lot of my questions or at least pointed me in the right direction for further information! Trail whisperer, I will certainly be running any trailer we're looking at past you! I think, with Joe's input, we're going to forget about 2 horse rigs. Right now, we're still in the early looking and thinking stage. We typically don't make snap decisions, so you might find me on this part of the horse forum a LOT!
Thanks again to everyone!
Is there some real advantage to a 3 horse trailer?
Why are two horse trailers with living quarters so outnumbered by 3 horse trailers?
Right now we have a Ford F150. Are we going to need a larger truck?
Yes, you are, or else you might have a breakdown. I’ve had many of these, and they’re NOT FUN. I used to pull my trailer with a ¾ ton Cummins diesel (Dodge.) I now pull with our new truck, a full-ton Dodge Cummins doolie, 4 x 4. I often find myself lead footing it, even when it’s full. That’s how much power I have.
My husband's OTTB completely fills the warmblood trailer from one end to the buttbar. Will he fit in a slant load?
Yes. If you buy a 3-horse slant-load you can do what I did for my 16’3hh KMH, and remove one partition to give him more room.
How do you begin to choose among the various manufacturers?
Start here and ask questions all over the I’Net about them. Do you belong to a local Farm Bureau? You could ask around the members and even visit them to see what you think about their trailers.
We're used to a steel trailer, but we have quiet, well-behaved horses and an aluminum trailer would be lighter to haul. Is a steel frame essential?
Aluminum trailers all have a steel frame, but the skin is aluminum. Whether you go steel or aluminum is a matter of choice. I could have bought an aluminum in 2000, but I opted for a 4-horse slant (gooseneck) steel bc of the tiny sedans that dart around you on the road. I figured that my trailer’s butt would make mincemeat out of one if it hit me, and my back horse would probably still be ok. I wasn’t sure that would be the case in an aluminum. It’s a personal choice, however.
I should add that some companies now make trailers with a side load and the tack room in the back. So...if a tiny sedan with an idiot "farbing" or texting who rear-ends your trailer, your saddle might be toast, but your horse won't.
Thank you, Corporal. The tack room in the back to protect the horses is something that never occured to me. Somehow I never think about getting hit from the rear. All my attention is riveted on the idiots that pull out in front of me like I don't even exist!!!!
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