After a not so great experience having my horses shipped the last time, I decided it's time to do it myself. I just bought a 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins Heavy Duty (sooo excited!!) to haul so now I am going to need the trailer. I have three horses so naturally I need at least a 3 horse trailer. I will be towing across the entire country here in about 6 weeks or so, and naturally I want the best trailer for my boys that I can afford. I have a very experienced person that will be teaching me to haul but we only have BP trailers available at the moment so I'm unable to try out a GN.
I've been reading threads on here as well as reading elsewhere about BP vs. GN trailers and the consensus seems to be that the GN's are far superior. I've read that if it's bigger than a 2 horse, it should really be a GN. However, a lot of the trailers that I really like that are in my price range tend to be a BP.
So I decided to put this to the COTH wisdom and see what you all think. Could you all share your thoughts and opinions on the 3H GN vs. BP as far as safety goes? As I said earlier, I will be hauling across the country and through two mountain passes (Rockies and Cascades). Thanks in advance!!
PS: If it makes any difference, this truck comes with exhaust braking in addition to the normal tow package.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
I tow a 3h bumper pull with my F-350 dually Powerstroke. While I love having a trailer, it is definitely what I call my "starter trailer," and I hope to move up to a gooseneck someday. I have had no issues hauling through shorter mountain passes, the longest being 23 miles of windy road, or through significant grades with three warmblood horses, but I still would not call it optimal.
My biggest concern for you is your truck, honestly. A 2500 might not be big enough to slow down a heavier 3-horse trailer going downhill.
I have a F250 long bed. Had a BP and converted to a stock trailer type GN.
Totally impressed with how much nicer the GN was to pull than the BP.
As for stopping. The one tons aren't going to have much more significant braking power than a 3/4 ton. Biggest difference is in the suspension.
I assume the purchased Dodge is a long bed and with trailer brakes should be enough to stop the trailer. If the trailer brakes fail, the long bed should provide enough stabilizing to get the trailer and truck stopped safely...
I've noticed a BIG difference in GN vs. BP. Our 2 horse straight load with dressing room is a BP. Our 4 horse slant w/ weekend package is a GN.
The BP tends to create a lot more 'bounce' in the rear end of the truck because of how far back the tongue weight is, making the GN haul much smoother. Also, I find the GN to be much easier to get in and out of tighter places, because of how far forward the pivot point is, and I can jack the truck and trailer in a much more narrow angle with the GN than the BP without having to worry about jackknifing.
If it were me, I'd rather take the GN, especially across country. The horses seem much more comfortable in the GN.
BTW, you're going to LOVE your exhaust brake! Good luck!
I pulled an all steel 3H BP with a huge front tack room with my 2004 Dodge Ram Hemi 2500HD. It had no trouble at all stopping or starting. In fact, I was able to stop on a DIME from 55MPH to avoid an accident that would have involved me smooshing a motorcyclist between my grille and the bumper of the car in front of him, with 3 horses on board, a fully loaded tack room, a wood-wheeled horse cart in the bed, plus 8 bales of hay. No horses were hurt; in fact, I didn't even feel them shift around. A bit of stomping but no serious scrambling or body slamming. (I sent up a quick prayer of thanks after stopping. Wowza.)
I would have no qualms about pulling a 3H BP with the truck you have.
However - yes, a GN is more stable, and it's easier to turn and back. But I wouldn't turn down a BP if my budget only allowed for one.
I'm the weirdo who prefers a bumper pull. I had a gooseneck first, and dumped it for a stock/combo BP trailer. I haul 3 horses occasionally, and 4 rarely (but the two in the back have to be small ones). I tow with plenty of truck - F350 long bed crew cab dually, and it really doesn't matter what is back there - GN, BP, or our 28' boat, you're not going to feel it much. I prefer hooking up and backing with the BP. At this point, though, I'm wanting to camp, so I'm considering going back to a GN for that purpose. Do you plan to haul a lot after the move? If not, I'd look into renting a trailer, or even transporting one for free in exchange for using it, since you aren't sure what you want.
How big are the horses? If it is a BP, presumably it is a slant load. I'd not ask 16hh horses to curve to fit a slant load on that long a journey.
I'd look for a 2+1 or a 4 horse head to head, which would probably also mean switching to a gooseneck.
Since there is a wide variety in trailer sizing, including height, width and stall length, I wouldn't just assume a BP has smaller cargo capacity. My slant trailer was 7'6" tall, nearly 7' wide, and the stalls were 38" wide (I forget the stall length). VERY roomy. I have Saddlebreds, and routinely hauled horses in the 16.2+ range on long trips (4-5 hours) without any complaints. Of course I had to special order the trailer in that size, which cost more...
OP, it goes without saying, just make sure whatever you get, that your horses will fit and be comfortable for the journey.
If you are planning to drive across the country with your 3 horses, get a gooseneck. I traded up from a 3 horse BP to a 3 horse goose. I still like BPs and still have one for local use, but I definitely find that long hauls are far less stressful on my body and mind with the gooseneck, and I'm less tired at the other end. It's just so much more solid on the road, and big rigs passing me don't make the rig wiggle around.
I agree with those who say BPs are fine, but GNs are easier. My trailer is a 3 horse BP, and I've hauled all over the place with it (including multi-state long hauls) with no problems. If your truck is big enough to handle it, then you'll be fine. Just pay attention to weight limits like you normally would.
Goosenecks do tend to be a little easier to maneuver. I haven't really noticed any consistent thing about GNs feeling more stable--they definitely do sometimes, but I've hauled with old GN stock trailers that felt like they were wobbling way more than my BP.
If a BP is all you can afford and you need a trailer, seems like a no-brainer to me.
I love my bumper pull, they are fantastic, but I would not buy one for three horses, especially for a very long trip. Mine is wonderful for two horses, but I wouldn't want the extra length and weight on just a tail hitch.
ChocoMare - Thanks for the tip. I had actually already looked into this and planned to sign up before my journey. I am also already making a list of things I need for my first aid/emergency kit too. Once I finish that, look forward to another post for additional suggestions there.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."