LQ want to buy first one please advise - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-19-2020, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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LQ want to buy first one please advise

hello all,

Ty first off for any advise. i started with new truck. ram 2020 D SRW 3500 1ton with air bags etc for pulling. What would u recommend for us to get with siz etc. most sale people say i can pull almost any lq trailer. We only really need a 2h trailer. but mostly seee 3h out there. we are looking for something with 3 bed spots. my wife and i and 2 girls 10 12. they will grow up and not like sleeping with each other at some point.

What do you recommend for makes etc. new or used. size. anything to stay away from. would prob like used over new. but the smc are not to horrible priced. at 60k. we will be using it for going to aqha horse shows and local shows as well. we are nwe to all of this and any help is app.

also if anyone knows of a app or something to break down cost over time. to see what my break even point is that would be cool if not i can do it in exel

ty aaron
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 10:23 AM
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Welcome to the Forum...

With your purchasing a new truck you have the important paperwork from the window that specifies what is factory installed for gears, weight capabilities and such...
Because you have a 3500 Ram still gives you a wide range of what it can and can not handle safely towed.
Your truck VIN will tell the tale of where and what you should stay away from, not peoples hearsay.
Hearsay can kill you, facts will get you the trailer you can tow and handle with your truck within its capabilities much better.
Is your truck 4x4 or 2WD also comes into what weights you can tow.
You need to know your bed weight limits too...all those change with what is built in the truck from the factory.

Please, please also recognize you never ever put a truck to its limits of capability when dealing with live cargo.
Any weight ability you were told or read understand those numbers were obtained with stagnant/dead cargo of camper or jet-ski...
As soon as you enter in live cargo of said horses or any animal that can move you across a road with a hard shift of their body in the trailer....
I believe it is said whatever the truck is rated for to reduce that amount 20% to find a truer safe ratio of what the truck is capable of.
Make positively sure of the number you can take at the pin {hitch} as that varies widely truck to truck with what is underneath the pretty skin seen.

As for trailer...no idea.
But you are referring to a enormous trailer is you want separate sleeping arrangements for your children or a bunkhouse set-up for them and sleeping privacy yet for you...then add capability of 3 horses..
Honestly those numbers in my mind question immediately if a 3500 is big enough, seriously.
I know how big a travel-trailer you refer to as soon as you do separate sleeping accomodations for all..
I might be tempted to pitch a tent and bring folding cots for the kids as they age and not want to share a soft A/C, heated sleeping arrangement.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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ty for the info
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 11:41 AM
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I've seen where a person modified a trailer with a Mid Tack to have 2 bunk beds in it and made it a living place for the kids, that worked pretty good.... just thought I would through that out there.

These trucks today have awesome pulling power, so I think you would be fine with a trailer you are talking about... just my opinion.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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yes i have seen those as well they are a great option. just so much info out there. not sure what is the best trailer for the money. it doesnt have to me super fancy. just want it to last and look ok and possible have so resale value. 10 years from now lol.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 06:34 PM
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I have a Sundowner 3 horse, 10 foot short wall, 25 foot box, and 33 feet total length from nose to tail...extra 6 inches tall...which makes getting in and out of the rack a little less confined..full living quarters, shower, head, full refrigerator, stove, microwave, gas and electric heat, air.......15,000 lbs without horses....I pull it with a 99 F-350 dually with a 7.3.....I wouldn't want to pull anything larger with my truck, but a new Dodge is a lot stronger......heck, being 20 years newer, that Dodge would be light years of difference....MORE POWER!!!!

While I normally only take one horse, there are some advantages to having a 3 horse slant load......

I have a full stud wall so I can carry my grill, toaster oven, hay etc there.....

I load my horse in the middle stall and she can turn around to come out instead of having to back out.

I can put two cots back there if someone needs a place to flop for the night.....

That said, there are a few places in the Smokey's where the maximum recommended length is 32 feet due to the mountain roads.....

I bought mine used, and it's 8 feet wide....you'll see a lot of used trailers that are 7 foot wide.....that extra foot is more than you'd think....If you need more space look for a slide out......wish I had one....but I got a great price on mine used....

I knew what I wanted to spend and just looked at trailers in that price range......as it's easy to go way over budget.....and you can get a lot of money tied up in it if you're not prudent....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Last edited by gunslinger; 09-20-2020 at 06:48 PM.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-20-2020, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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I totally see that!!!!!!!!!!
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-21-2020, 09:50 AM
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Your truck is plenty fine to pull most LQ trailers (assuming you're not looking for a 40 ft monstrosity!) Especially if you're looking at a newer (pre 2010) model, they've made them considerably lighter in recent years. A quick glance at a dealer here showed a 3 horse 8 ft wide Merhow with slide out/couch/dinette (giving you 3 sleeping options) was 10,500 lbs empty which with 2 horses and gear should be well under your towing capacity.

We bought a Lakota 4 horse with 9 ft living quarters this year and love it. Have several friends who are engineers who recommended the Lakota's due to their welds. SMC is owned by the same parent company so I think their build quality is similar with probably nicer interior features. A friend has a Merhow and I would definitely consider them for my next trailer as well if I had a little bit more money to spend. Then there's always the Elite/Platinum/4 Stars which are known for their quality (but not for being easy on the pocket book).

I highly recommend the extra stall, much easier to carry hay (even if you have a hay rack), feed, generators, etc. I've always heard people regret that they didn't get an extra stall not the other way around. Plus, 2 horse trailers are usually custom orders (thus more $$$) where as 3 horse trailers seem the most commonly available.

Have fun shopping! Once I knew what brand I wanted/features I think I looked at every dealership in the country's website before I found my Unicorn!
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-21-2020, 10:01 AM
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I bought my first LQ this year and did a ton of research on the different makes before deciding what i wanted. I usually only haul one horse, but decided on getting the 3 horse. The first stall is where i store panels and hay, and then I still have the option for hauling 2 horses if needed.

I could not afford new, so decided I'd rather buy an older reputable brand rather than a newer lesser-quality brand. I ended up getting a C&C trailer (which are no longer made), but the construction and welds on this trailer are impeccable and comparable to Elite & 4 Star. I figure re-sale might be better, although I hope to have this trailer for many years.

I would suggest going to a couple dealers in your area and looking at the different floor plans/options. That might give you an idea of what you want/don't want.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-23-2020, 12:24 PM
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I would go to a few dealers and look at what they have, look at a few used ones on facebook marketplace or craigslist.

rule of thumb I found was # of horses +1 so if you plan on 2 horses get a 3horse so you have that stud stall for a generator, hay, and other "stuff"

what i'm gathering SMC is a good brand, but if you find a floorplan you like in a used one go used let someone else take the depreciation, although that also means you don't have a warranty behind your purchase and don't know how the previous owner took care of it so there is a trade off

going with 3 separate sleeping areas you are going to be looking at a longer trailer to probably have a couch & dinette, another option is to see if 2 cots will fit in the horse area so the girls can sleep back there and go with a shorter living area.

as years change build quality changes too, sometimes better sometimes worse so even if you order a trailer make sure to walk through it first, look at the cupboards, check the electrical stuff, open and close every window and door before you agree to anything
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