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107 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a Calico 3 horse slant and I'm thinking of downgrading to a 2 horse so I'm combing the market. I'm not an experienced trailer owner, this 3 horse is the only trailer I've ever owned and it's been absolutely fine.

I'm noticing Calico trailers are much less expensive than say a Sundowner or Featherlight or really anything else that I'm looking at. Thousands of dollars less.

Why is this?
Is it just a cheaper, no thrills, standard trailer?
Or are there problems that I'm not aware of?

My internet searches don't bring up to bring up any recalls or bad reviews, so I'm just curious.

Super Moderator
13,675 Posts
Calico trailers are great trailers, but often they are a entry level trailer with no "bells & whistles" to them.
Today they make many more styles and can have upgrades.
I am not aware of any problems with the trailers...
They are well made, strong under-carriage, strong floors, good lighting, safe brakes and meet all and exceed some safety standards.
I own a steel Calico trailer now for many years and I intentionally bought what I bought because I did not want all the bells & whistles, nor even some of them.
I wanted a safe, heavy trailer to take my horses from point A to point B that would hold up and offer me "safe transport" and these trailers do that admirably.
I also owned another "upgraded" trailer in amenities and found my horses prefer the "no-frills" trailer actually.
So I sold my other trailer and kept my Calico and not regret my decision at all.
My trailer is heavy being steel frame and steel body, wood floor and fully matted.
I don't worry about aluminum cleaning and special washing/polishing...dig out the car soap and away I get scrubbing.
My undercarriage is better made than many brands in actuality and has closer spaced supports if you go searching underneath with a tape measure.
Walls of my trailer are double steel thickness which takes a beating literally by horses and not show on the exterior.
If something happens to the trailer, in my case my husband could fix it easily with body work and painting where if you have aluminum you need to go to a specialty body shop who does aluminum work and paint matching ...costly to say the least as most owners of these aluminum trailers are not equipped to do nor have the knowledge to do aluminum repair work...a art in itself.

I've seen what aluminum trailers look like when involved in a accident, hit by another vehicle..
I've also seen what friends and strangers trailers look like that were in far worse accidents but the trailer was made of steel.
I've seen the horses come off of both those kinds of wrecks and that made my decision of steel all the way for me.
Steel trailers require a heavier truck to pull it no doubt, but if God forbid I am in the wrong place at the wrong second involved in any degree of accident, I want my horses to have the best chance of coming out unscathed and minimally hurt and from my observations at accident scenes that happens with steel trailers far more than with aluminum.

True story...
My friend got hit by a driver texting at high speed when interstate driving.
Her trailer was flipped on the side and slid attached by chains to her truck which never flipped even when that car drove up the side of her from the distracted driver.
Trailer hitch snapped in half, literally....trailer slid almost 200 feet on its side down the interstate...
She held on and prayed for a miracle...
As soon as her truck stopped she was running as were passing motorists stopping to help for the trailer, you could hear the horse inside...
She wrenched open the back door and slid in to find her horse sitting up, legs curled under it, alive.
The horse had some nasty cuts but nothing life threatening...
Once fire rescue got on scene they opened the back door so the horse could walk off...and he did.
He stood up, and walked gingerly off the trailer through debris...was quickly looked at by a vet then went to a farm and attended to at that location.
After all that animal had just endured, he walked right onto a different trailer and left the accident scene and carnage behind.
Many stitches later, time to heal the bruises that horse was/is fine and goes on trailers all the time..
I truly believe if that horse had been in a aluminum trailer the outcome would of been very different for that animal.

Will I ever own a aluminum horse trailer...never.
There are I'm sure other stories with aluminum trailers involved with success stories...
I just know what I've seen firsthand being a passing trailer happening on a accident scene of animals involved and you stop to help any way you can.
Add seeing my friends wrecked truck & trailer at the salvage yard you know some angels wings were involved that day.
What I've seen has made me firm in my convictions of certain safety things done when trailering and if not done you don't go, period.

But is there anything wrong with Calico trailers...heck no.
They are workhorses in trailers.
Many cattle trailers by my home are Calico brand and they haul some huge weights on them, not babied nor taken the best care of and years later are still going down the road...not pretty but safe and functional is a testament to a better than average built trailer you own.

Honestly, the one thing I wish my trailer did have is a insulated ceiling.
Living in Florida we have daily torrential rains and it can be deafening inside the trailer when pouring rain on it...and insulation might offer a bit cooler upper air space for my horses comfort.
It is the only thing I would do differently and actually my husband is going to use a special insulating procedure done by body shops to sound deaden and cool the ceiling for me...

Happy shopping.

107 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for that reply. Your outlining the differences between steel and aluminum is very helpful.
I'm a very anxious hauler, so it makes me feel much better to have a steel trailer now!
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