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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    Default Sundowner vs merhow is there any comparison?

    I asked about trailers not to long ago. I think I've narrowed it down to these 2 brands, but I'm torn. The sundowners are a few thousand less but I also believe you get what you pay for but is it the same with horse trailers? We have a stock 3 horse slant load steel ponderosa and it has been a great trailer truthfully. It was very affordable and have never had a problem with it since 06. I'm ready to upgrade to a horse trailer and want something for the long haul. Meaning something that's going to last me 20 years if possible lol. I've seen some bad things on sundowners but they seem to be the older trailers. Are they still having issues? Is the quality about the same or less than the merhow? Both trailers will be all aluminum no steel on either if that helps. Sundowner also does not offer the werm flooring, merhow does. Sundowner said I can take it and have in lined with rhino or something. Does that make a huge difference?

    Sorry for the book but it's a good bit of money and I really want to make sure if possible to get the better one. I have researched a lot but like i said most of the sundowner reviews are older. Thanks
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    2,111

    Default

    I would never buy another sundowner. Almost as "rattle-y" as a featherlite.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,256

    Default

    You should go look at them both. Have you had a chance to do that?

    I have a Merhow Verylite. It's a beast. And I love it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2003
    Location
    Southern New Jersey
    Posts
    371

    Default

    I highly recommend Merhow trailers and believe that my former Merhow trailer saved my horses' lives. A few years ago, I hit black ice while traveling about 60 mph down I-95 and lost control of my truck and 24' gooseneck trailer. The trailer pulled the rig to the side of the highway, we ended up with the rig flipping on it's side and traveling part way down the embankment. Both truck and trailer were totalled and they had to use the Jaws of Life to cut open the roof to get one of the horses out. (The other one jumped out a blown out door when he got tired of waiting for the firemen to save him!) The firemen were amazed that the trailer maintained its integrity enough to protect the horses inside. Both horses were relatively uninjured with just superficial cuts and some sore muscles. I still have the photos of the interior and exterior of the trailer after the accident and photos of the crash scene after the accident. I credit my Merhow trailer with protecting my horses. That trailer was a 2003 or 2004 Equilite model that had aluminum skin and a steel frame. Overall a beautiful and very functional trailer.
    Annabelle Mayr, Arcadia Farm
    Home of Fitz, Max, Daeo & Austria
    Now over the Rainbow Bridge: Finn, Jake & Seamus


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 31, 2012
    Location
    Coastal NC
    Posts
    953

    Default

    You may want to pose the same question on horsetrailerworld.com. The regulars are always very helpful.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2008
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    368

    Default

    I bought a Sundowner before I knew about the problems one older series had. It gave them a horrible name, like Audis back in the '90s. My trailer is now eight years old, rock solid with no rattles and looks like new. I have no experience with Merhows, but I have nothing but good to say about Sundowners.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Location
    down south
    Posts
    5,060

    Default

    Thanks guys. Wow ADM I'm glad everyone is okay. That always scares me about trailering that's why I want to they to get the best trailer I can afford lol. We will start trailing more this year probably then we have in the past, another reason I want to upgrade from the ponderosa.

    I am going to look at them both this weekend, from the pictures the merhow looks nicer but pretty is what pretty does so I don't want to go for just pretty I want the quality. Doing research it seems merhow would be better but I know there are many many great people on this site so I wanted so true opinions from here. Thanks
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2010
    Location
    Middle America
    Posts
    584

    Default

    I'd VERY HIGHLY recommend Merhows. I know they're expensive, but IMO they're worth the price.

    My barn has 2 newer Merhows: a 6+1 straight-load gooseneck and a 2-horse straight-load gooseneck. And another boarder has the 2-horse straight-load bumper pull. They're incredibly sturdy, not rattley at all, and just seem incredibly safe all-around.

    Their 6+1 straightload is a fabulous trailer - tons of configuration options and it handles a full load with no problems. Pulls like a dream.
    In order to think outside the box, one must first know what is in the box.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    14,256

    Default

    If you're going to Horse Pro Trailers tell Sheri that Kat said Hi. She was great to work with. I cannot say enough good things about her Customer Service or the Merhow. I wanted a trailer that will last forever. I think I got one.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    If I have an option, Merhows.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    3,381

    Default

    I would ask the local trailer repair guy myself. He might even know the trailers you are asking about.

    If you are buying used it is a case by case anyhow, if you are buying new you have a warranty.
    The Denver Broncos went to visit an orphanage. "It's so sad looking into their faces so devoid of hope." Sara aged 6


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rabicon View Post
    I asked about trailers not to long ago. I think I've narrowed it down to these 2 brands, but I'm torn. The sundowners are a few thousand less but I also believe you get what you pay for but is it the same with horse trailers? We have a stock 3 horse slant load steel ponderosa and it has been a great trailer truthfully. It was very affordable and have never had a problem with it since 06. I'm ready to upgrade to a horse trailer and want something for the long haul. Meaning something that's going to last me 20 years if possible lol. I've seen some bad things on sundowners but they seem to be the older trailers. Are they still having issues? Is the quality about the same or less than the merhow? Both trailers will be all aluminum no steel on either if that helps. Sundowner also does not offer the werm flooring, merhow does. Sundowner said I can take it and have in lined with rhino or something. Does that make a huge difference?

    Sorry for the book but it's a good bit of money and I really want to make sure if possible to get the better one. I have researched a lot but like i said most of the sundowner reviews are older. Thanks
    Take a flashlight and look in the dark places. What do you see? Are the welds of good quality? Do you see any discontinuities in the metal? Does the overall workmanship look professional?

    Last time I looked at Sundowner the answer was a resounding no/yes/no. I've not looked in several years so I don't know about now.

    Brand is an indicator of quality, not a guarantee. For that you need a flashlight.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2006
    Posts
    172

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdenfarm View Post
    I bought a Sundowner before I knew about the problems one older series had. It gave them a horrible name, like Audis back in the '90s. My trailer is now eight years old, rock solid with no rattles and looks like new. I have no experience with Merhows, but I have nothing but good to say about Sundowners.

    I don't have any personal experience with Merhow, but my Sundowner has also been a fantastic trailer. Is is a 1999 4H head to head and has not given me an ounce of trouble. Super quality and looks brand new after years and years of abuse from youngsters and stallions. Aluminum floor, cross members, welds, etc. are all in excellent condition at 14 years young.
    New Blessing Farm
    Standing the Oldenburg stallion Legaczy
    www.newblessingfarm.com
    "The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground".


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    6,825

    Default

    Eby, 4-Star, Jamco
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Location
    down south
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks. We don't have a dealer for jamco or eby around here that I have found. I'd like something that is in state at least for any service or warranty issues if there are any. I will take a flashlight thanks for that head up and will look very closely at both.

    It will be a new trailer not used also.

    Yes I'm talking with Sheri at horse pro trailers. She seems very nice and very helpful. She will not be there this weekend though but someone is going to be there to show us a trailer almost like the one would we order. I'd have to order the merhow because they don't have exactly what I want there but it's very similar.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 10, 2007
    Location
    down south
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    Default

    Oh and the 4 star are even more than the merhow. The merhow would be right at 20k that I'm looking at the 4 star is even more. I'm trying to stay under 20k right now. But i will look at the 4 stars she has there and compare those also just in case.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2000
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    604

    Default

    I just bought a new 2H slant Merhow gooseneck. I had it fully customized and Merhow was totally willing to do anything I wanted *and* keep the price reasonable. This is my 2nd Merhow. My first was a Merhow 2 horse straightload BP and over 17 years old. It was in perfect condition and I only sold it because I wanted a gooseneck.

    There is an article on horsetrailerworld.com about their visit to the Merhow factory and how the Merhows are made. You can see their welding process and how the trailers are put together, frame, floor, sides, roof both the Aluminum and steel trailers. They also have visits to other manufactures as well to be fair.

    I looked at the Sundowner as well, but with all the custom features I wanted (some of which they were going to charge a fortune for since i wanted to change alot of stuff), it was going to cost an arm and leg.

    Since Merhow is a small company, a lot of the changes I wanted were not a big deal, they could change/modify/customize parts on the fly and not have to change around the entire factory or do special ordering from a supplier. They just made it.

    My trailer turned out exactly what I wanted and I am very happy with it. (and I didnt have to mortgage the house to afford it !!)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    If you have the budget, go with Merhow. I examined both (Sundowner and Merhow) two years in a row closely at the AQHA world show. Sundowner is not even in the same league as Merhow, as far as workmanship is concerned. I myself think Sundowner is overpriced for the quality. Now, 4 Star... drooolll....
    Last edited by Gloria; Apr. 10, 2013 at 05:23 PM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2000
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    604

    Default

    here is the link to the horsetrailerworld review of Merhow.
    http://mrtrailer.com/merhow2010.htm

    They also visit the featherlite and a couple of other manufacturers as well if you poke around the site.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
    Posts
    11,868

    Default

    Merhow is mighty pricey and you can get just as nice of a trailer with other brands.

    4-Stars are nice as previously mentioned. So are Hawks, Exiss and Gore trailers.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist


    1 members found this post helpful.

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