What is the smallest truck that will handle a trailer? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-07-2015, 10:16 AM
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I have a chevy dually that I pull my 4-horse slant with BUT...

Years ago, I pulled a 2-horse tag along w/ a 4-cylinder ford ranger. It actually handled really well. I've actually pulled that same 2-horse w/ a ford Aerostar. When I put 2 horses in it then it struggled but with one. They did well....

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post #12 of 20 Old 09-15-2015, 11:36 PM
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My last 1/2 ton 97 Ram 1500 had a 5.2 small V8. I pulled a 16ft all steel stock and a 2h straight load GN with 4ft DR. Truck had tow package. Added a brake controller and I also added brakes to the 2nd axel on the trailer. I would go to the mountains in VA and never had a problem. On the flat it would roll but we took a tad longer on a climb but no issues.
I have since upgraded and now pull with a 3/4 ton diesel.

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post #13 of 20 Old 09-24-2015, 02:52 PM
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It really depends more on the trailer size.

My 1/2 ton Yukon SUV had a tow package that pulled my 2 horse bumper. I would probably feel comfortable towing up to a 2 or 4 horse, but not a heavy stock trailer.

If you've only got a couple horses, a 1/2 ton might do you well. Otherwise a 3/4 ton should be sufficient for all other needs.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-24-2015, 03:05 PM
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Just remember that it isn't just about hauling and or pulling. It's about the STOPPING power. Once you get a 3 horse slant rolling, uphill or down, and some jackalope pulls out in front of you and you need to STOP right now, the bigger the truck the better.

For some reason, I have never been as invisible in any vehicle as I seem to be in that big orange truck, and I get downright see through when I add the horse trailer.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-24-2015, 03:11 PM
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I have steel 2 horse slant that I pull with my 1/2 ton truck (2010 Tundra). My truck has the tow package and a brake controller, and I had a weight distribution system installed as well. I haven't had any issues with it, even when it was fully loaded with 2 horses and all the equipment needed for a 3-day eventing show (both the tack room and truck bed were stuffed to the brim!)

You can go with a smaller vehicle for certain uses- if you will only ever haul 1 horse at a time, if you live in a region without steep hills/mountains, if you only need it for emergencies, etc. Having an ultra-light trailer can help, as well. But ultimately you want to make sure you have the horsepower to move the trailer, and the brakes to stop it, should you find yourself in a difficult situation!
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-24-2015, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
For some reason, I have never been as invisible in any vehicle as I seem to be in that big orange truck, and I get downright see through when I add the horse trailer.
Ain't that the truth!
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-24-2015, 04:33 PM
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ALWAYS go for more truck than you think that you need. I was reminded of this when watching a CA program about a trailer company and their recommendations. They sell aluminum trailers, all the way from 2 horse stock to 45 ft.(I think) long, with very long living quarters. They also sell semi's to pull the really big rigs with, and the number one point they made with those rigs was the ability to stop.
I have had several heart attacks hauling, including when an old couple pulled out in front of me on an airport road, speed limit 55mph, and they were going about 10mph. I don't know HOW I slowed down and didn't mow them down...but I did, and I didn't bang my horses up either, but I had an excellent tow package and really good air brakes, with a manual brake up front.
I have owned two steel trailers, and the 2nd one is 15 years old. DH wanted a slide in camper trailer, but can't find any close, so he is wooing me into wanting to buy an aluminum 3 horse slant with a decent sized living quarters. The specs say that you can haul this fully loaded with a 3/4 ton, like the 1993 3/4 ton Cummins Diesel, NOT 4 x 4. Last time I hauled my 4 horse Steel slant load fully loaded with this truck, you could hear the engine working hard. Last time I hauled my 4 horse Steel slant load fully loaded with my 2007 Full Ton Dodge Cummins Diesel, 4 x 4, Doolie, I had to put in on cruise so I wasn't driving at 80 mph. You don't even FEEL it and THAT is the big difference.
I love hauling with a doolie! Sooooo stable.
We bought the 1993 Dodge Cummins because we just plain wore out our Regular Dodge Full Ton Truck hauling, and the engine was failing at 142,000 miles. I was desperate and thought we couldn't afford to trailer anymore and had to maybe buy a used semi tractor truck.
Diesels almost NEVER overheat, and then, they cool down quickly. They are pansies in the cold, but we have electric plug ins to warm up the engine for an hour, and we have transported in bitter cold and left the engine running to keep it warm.
Spend good money on a powerful truck, and buy a junker car to get you everywhere else.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-10-2016, 11:55 AM
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My experiences with my Dakota SLT Quad Cab, 4WD Magnum V8 w/full tow package;

I think this is the largest Dakota that Dodge made and have read that they are discontinuing the Dakota now. I have pulled horse trailers numerous times with this truck and it's been just OK, not great. The trailers I've pulled have been up to a maximum 3100lbs empty (steel frame w/aluminum skin). Two horses, figure 1000lbs each. Power is great on the flat but drastically reduced on hills. You'll find yourself chugging up them at about 30 MPH. Sharp curves in the road make the tail end of the truck feel like it's being pulled off the road, it simply doesn't have the weight to keep it truly stable. Braking is OK but only if the brake controller is adjusted just right. In the flatlands, you do OK but hilly, curvy roads will make your hair stand on end.

I am currently selling this truck and buying a Ram 2500 heavy duty 3/4 ton truck without the Quad cab so that my trailer options aren't so limited. Even so, the manufacturer's have gotten very cautious about putting a real solid number in the manual for the towing capacity. The Dakota was listed at 6000lbs and from what I've been able to find, the Ram I'm looking at rates at 9800lbs.

Pulling a horse trailer with your valued creatures in it can be a hair raising experience and I wouldn't recommend going too small with truck. And, try to only buy a truck with a tow package installed by the manufacturer. It's incredibly expensive to try to add one later!!
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-12-2016, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Corporal View Post
ALWAYS go for more truck than you think that you need.
I can't agree with this enough. Maybe it's just my cautious, worrying nature...but I HATE wondering if I have enough power to pull and stop. Especially when my horse is loaded. I use an F250. I know it's plenty of truck for what I need...but I still hold my breath sometimes.
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-12-2016, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasin Ponies View Post
My experiences with my Dakota SLT Quad Cab, 4WD Magnum V8 w/full tow package;

I think this is the largest Dakota that Dodge made and have read that they are discontinuing the Dakota now. I have pulled horse trailers numerous times with this truck and it's been just OK, not great. The trailers I've pulled have been up to a maximum 3100lbs empty (steel frame w/aluminum skin). Two horses, figure 1000lbs each. Power is great on the flat but drastically reduced on hills. You'll find yourself chugging up them at about 30 MPH. Sharp curves in the road make the tail end of the truck feel like it's being pulled off the road, it simply doesn't have the weight to keep it truly stable. Braking is OK but only if the brake controller is adjusted just right. In the flatlands, you do OK but hilly, curvy roads will make your hair stand on end.


Hmm Dakota and Durango are basically the same ...different body but same frame.

The only time we go 30 mph up a mountain is because I want to. Our Durango is not lacking power to move whatever I hook to it.

As to stability, only once in 14 years of hauling have I ever felt unstable. and that when a pony fight broke out in a 14 foot stock trailer I was hauling.
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