What type of truck to use for hauling - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-01-2017, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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What type of truck to use for hauling

I am in the process of buying a trailer and truck to haul it and I'm wondering what everyone recommends, or what you use. . I will be buying a 2 horse bumper pull, probably steel frame aluminum body. A medium weight. Some people say I should get a 1 ton but am wondering if a 1/2 ton or 3/4 to would be sufficient. Most likely be hauling 2 icelandics horses that might 800 lbs each. But would like something that can handle mountain passes.
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-01-2017, 04:30 PM
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There are many previous threads here about just what you are asking.
Know a pretty good approximation of the LOADED trailer weight, including feed, water, tack and you/passengers when searching for a truck if you have not found a trailer first.

As you will be looking for not only power but stability pulling mountain passes you imo need to go larger rather than smaller to handle the differing climate conditions driving through, over passes can involve.
I would strongly advice against a half-ton, a 150, 1500 or smaller sized truck.
The smaller half-ton truck has a lighter frame, braking system, cooling system and many other components that give you better gas/diesel mileage and ride but not necessarily towing capacity truly needed.
You will want beefiness and strength to do what you ask of it easily and with safe handling...especially because you refer to mountain passes and pulling through them.
Most 3/4 ton trucks will handle what you need... I truly don't think you need to go to a true 1-ton configuration.
Today the ratings of trucks and their tow capacity can vary widely with package components...a VIN number on "the one" will tell you what the exact classifications and capabilities are.
Do remember that no manufacturer that I am aware of does "live load" tow capabilities.
All use stagnant weight of camping trailer, boat and such...a huge difference in truck needed to be safe on the road.
A proper hitch, a frame hitch not a bumper hitch should also be attained.
Bumper hitches attach by 2 bolts...2 bolts to a frame hitch that attaches by 4 bolts each side so = 8 bolts through the substantial truck frame.
Also make sure your hitch ball is rated for the weight you will be handling...there is a difference.
That hitch ball you buy at Walmart is not normally rated for the weight of a loaded horse trailer...
It goes without saying working trailer brakes are a must for safe stopping...so brake control unit add to the list.

Enjoy your trailer and truck search...

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-01-2017, 05:12 PM
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You can get by with a 1500 sized vehicle - we haul a two horse bumper pull with a crew cab hemi Dodge. Just be careful.

For ultimate stability, you can't beat a gooseneck and a 3/4 ton though. We have a canvas top stock trailer, sometimes haul five horses, saddled up, in it, and yes, you can feel them move, but it never feels hairy... unlike the 1500 and the two horse bumper pull.

Keep in mind its not just towing capacity or braking, but the suspension. A 3/4 ton has beefier suspension so your truck doesn't get squirrley when the critters your towing shift their weight around.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-01-2017, 07:57 PM
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I haul mountain passes, I will tell you from decades of experience, at least a 3/4 ton and if you don't want to mat it the whole way up the mountain, get a diesel. Doing big climbs with gas, kills the tranny after awhile.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-01-2017, 08:35 PM
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A good 3/4 ton set up for towing might be the sweet spot for you.

I would avoid 1/2 ton pickups, unless it was equipped with non-standard towing/hauling optionals when built. They just aren't made to have something that weighs more than the truck behind them.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-04-2017, 07:29 PM
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I bought a used 3/4 ton Dodge Ram 2500 standard cab with the V8 Hemi and I love it. It's rated to tow 13,850lbs and is more than enough to pull my 2 horse Merhow (w/dressing room & water tank) with two 1000lb horses in it. Probably a maximum of 7500-8000lbs total. I barely feel the trailer back there. Despite the horrendously bad gas mileage (12-14mpg without the trailer), I find myself using it as an everyday vehicle as it is incredibly luxurious inside and has all of the "bells & whistles", unlike my car!

I'll be really honest and tell you that this set up cost me $14,000 total. I shopped for several years before coming across exactly the right combo and the right pricing.

What ever you buy, I would recommend looking only at trucks with the factory installed "tow package" option. You'll get the brake controller, more heavy duty suspension, electrical plug for your trailer lights/brakes and the hitch. It costs an arm and a leg to get that stuff installed aftermarket.
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