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Butterfly door vs full door on stock trailer

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  • Butterfly door vs full door on stock trailer

    im looking to get a stock combo trailer. What is your preference on the back door? I feel like the butterfly doors would be easier to manage but there arent many out there. Im wondering if the resale isnt good? Or are they lots more expensive? Or are the butterfly doors a hassle? Ive got a steel trailer for our cattle so this trailer would be just for the ponies.

  • #2
    My horse trailer has a full door, I have no issues with it. It's balanced well so it's easy to use. I like that in a windy day, I only have to tie 1 door open instead of 2. Plus only one latch to worry about. It also means when it's open, the back of the trailer is one nice wide inviting opening.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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    • Original Poster

      Those are good points. Anyone else out there with experience?


      • #4
        Check on the two door models where the cam latches attach and make sure that they are not where the horse would back out and cut himself.


        • #5
          I've had both, with a couple with the full doors (including on current trailer), and a couple with double. All the doors have been balanced and worked fine, but I think I prefer the double doors, if I had to choose.

          It does mean two doors to open and pin back, but takes less space to swing each door, while a single wide door requires more space to the one side. Depending upon the situation, two might be more convenient (or not!).

          Also, I found, with my small, cooperative horses, simply having only one of a pair closed was enough to keep them standing very quietly blase during loading/unloading, while having the wide single door swung open is a signal that it's time to unload -- not that they become antsy, but they are expectant and perk up.


          • #6
            You mean like a standard 2 horse trailer with 2 doors? You would need a brace down the center to make the doors stable. That would kind of eliminate the positives of a horse / stock type trailer which cam be the " openness" of it.

            I will agree that the 1 door is harder to manage if you are all alone. I didn't know there were options on the back door.


            • Original Poster

              Sort of like a regular horse trailer with 2 doors except these work independently and you can leave one closed at a time. I know my horses expect to step out if the door is open and keeping one closed while Im loading them alone seems to make it easier just to quickly grab the other door. These are all great responses. Thank you so much. Im hoping to make a decision by next week. If I end up quarantined Ill have plenty of time to think about it🤦🏻*♀️


              • #8
                I had double doors (top half) and a ramp (bottom half) on a straight load GN. Allowed me to haul with the double doors open for ventilation. If I was ever stuck on side of road I could open them and not feel like I needed to unload horses. I also liked the straight load because I could feed and water each horse separately.

                Of my friends with a single door -- yes, made it tempting for the horses to want to unload before their time.


                • #9
                  There are also other options where the left side is 1/3 and right side 2/3 of the space.
                  You can leave the left side closed and there is plenty of room for horses to load in the right, 2/3 space and still not feel the whole back is open.

                  Many horse trailers even use that left 1/3 door to make a little tack closet out of it, that swings out if you open that door, if that trailer is a slant, not a straight.

                  Plenty of commercial haulers use those kinds of trailers for their smaller loads.


                  • #10
                    I have a Shadow 1H slant load with a wide open back (the back is like an oddly shaped box stall) and one single big door. I'm not really a fan of it, but I've made peace with it - the way mine latches open, I have to run all the way around the door to unlatch it and close it after the horse is on, and with the door being wide open for that length of time, I was always worried mine would shoot out the back before I could get it shut when I was loading by myself. I fixed that by having the dealer add a butt strap across the length of it.
           - Eventing the Welsh Cob


                    • #11
                      I prefer the single door but it is also what I am most used to.
                      From hauling on mainly on dirt two tracks that rattle a trailer apart, a single door has less hinges and latches making a weld job pretty easy. Some claim the butterfly doors on a stock trailer (no center brace) give the trailer more flexibility, breaking less welds. But those doors I find a pain to close if not parked level.


                      • #12
                        I ordered my Exiss stock trailer with two rear doors. It was actually cheaper (probably because the normal rear door has an access slider within it, and that's more complicated to build.)

                        I did it because I had them put the 2-horse divider and breast bars in it, so I can open one door and unload that horse while the other stays inside. But those parts can all come out and then it's just a big open box.
                        ... with Patrick and Henry


                        • #13
                          have single large door with a sliding calf door and am happy - opens up nice and wide for loading, but can access thru the slider if you have a door barger. Would think with butterfly doors the latching points in the middle floor would be prone to getting gunged up with manure and bedding?