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Possible Trailer Shopping for New Trailer - Bumper Pull

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    Possible Trailer Shopping for New Trailer - Bumper Pull

    It is now likely that I may have to buy a new bumper pull trailer as my older GN is not going to work with a newer truck and I am not certain I am ok with making the modifications to it that will be needed (and there are safety concerns). I am sick to my stomach over this as I love my trailer and the quality will not be duplicated in any way with a newer model. What models should I avoid. I had a Hawk many years ago and it was junk. I would not buy of those again. Any suggestions?

    #2
    I don’t know about avoiding, but if I were in the market for new (or used!), I’d look at 4 Star and Gore. They have a consistent history of quality and hold their value well.

    I know that doesn’t exactly answer your question, but hopefully it helps.

    ETA: I read your post about your truck. I’m really sorry. That plainly, for lack of a better word, sucks.
    "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

    Comment

      Original Poster

      #3
      seabreeze Thank you. I have a 4-Star GN trailer now that I thought would be my forever trailer just like my now-defunct forever truck. I have been told that the new 4-Stars are not of the same quality as the older ones. Parting with mine will be difficult.

      Comment


        #4
        I’ve had 4 Stars my entire life and have a new one. It is wonderful. Take a look at the werm flooring-you’ll never move a mat again! They also have a new, quiet ride technology. I prefer the original drop pin, myself. I believe 4 Stars are superior in construction to Gore.

        Comment


          #5
          I have a 2019 4 star and have had numerous quality control issues. My saga is a little long though, so I won't go into details unless you want it.

          Comment


            #6
            I have a 2015 Exiss BP straight load with dressing room and I just love my trailer. I've had it since brand new (and we had a 4 horse head to head 2001 Exiss and also loved it) and its never given me one problem. Built well and has held up beautifully!

            Comment


              #7
              Look at Turnbow. Every trailer is custom made, used one’s specs on file with the builder. The builder even REMEMBERED mine and it was a ten year old trailer. He answers the phone himself.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NaturallyHappy View Post
                I believe 4 Stars are superior in construction to Gore.
                I agree, but Gore still puts out a very nice trailer.
                "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch

                Comment


                  #9
                  Get a copy of "Complete Guide to Buying, Owning, and Maintaining a Horse trailer by Neve Scheve https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Main...4396622&sr=8-1 -- then, if it were me, I'd go to the closest trailer dealer and LOOK at what's on the lot, new and used. My first priority is welds --you can look on line for what a good weld looks like -and what a bad one looks like. If the trailer is poorly welded, it really doesn't matter what the rest of it looks like. Welds should pretty much be any place metal is attached to metal. 4 Star does exceptional welds, as does Platinum, and Exiss --most recently I saw a 2019 Featherlite that blew them out of the water ---really well done, almost artistic. Aluminum welding is, some say, as much art as science. Anyway, I love my 2004 Merhow --beautiful trailer to this day ---great welds (second only to Hart but not sure Hart is still in business). However, Merhow is changing models and I've yet to see in person anything newer than a 2018. Still a good trailer, but again, haven't seen one in person. FYI I live in the "trailer capital of the world"[Elkhart, IN] --within ten miles of me are the factories for Merhow, Lakota, Bison, and just about every LQ trailer built has the interior done at Sierra Interiors which is also very close. Up the road is Shadow Trailer Factory.

                  The book recommended will thoroughly discuss Aluminum v Steel, size, colors, brakes, and flooring as well as give you a ton of other information.

                  When you go look in person, take a tape measure with you ---some trailers' dimensions are outside to outside --and if there's a 2-4 inch wall with a divider --we'll that number will be a lot smaller measured inside to inside where the horse stands. Double true for slant load where you'll be told the horse has 10' but if you measure where the horse stands, you may find there is a lot less length --or a wheel well where the hind feet go. And personally measure the thickness of the wall pads if any. 1/4 rubber padding won't hold up like 1/2 inch (duh) but the specs may just say "rubber padding."

                  Best time to buy a trailer is January --if there is a specific brand you want --call the factory directly. Here where I live, factories try to keep the workers busy at that slow time --they build trailers on spec in the winter (especially January) and have them sitting around waiting for spring/summer when people order them. You might get a real deal on one of the spec models, or if want, see what they'll custom build for you --at no extra charge --bigger windows, ramp, more vents, etc. My husband (who made his living negotiating) has gotten some great deals "working the phones" between different companies to see who will throw in the most for the price asked--free hay bags, extra spare tire, etc. --rethinking "best time to buy is January," --now might be good --I know the factories are open here so the employees need work --it may well be that orders are way down as horse people are not showing this year and perhaps disposable income for horse trailers is less. Not 100% sure that there's a slump in the horse trailer market, though --because it may be that folks have decided without shows, they may do more trail riding . . .and need a trailer for that. I think I would ask a dealer by phone or email (or more than one) what the time is between ordering a new trailer and receiving it --if it seems very short, then the factories are not too busy --if it is a long time, well, they probably are.

                  Finally, and I'm sure you did this ---seems like there have been treads on the trailer Facebook page where people have done a simple modification of their goose necks to fit over newer trucks --I think it involves turning over the axle or something like that --but it seems like a common problem.that has a solution that is safe and cost -effective. Might ask on a board like that or search the issue on line.
                  Last edited by Foxglove; Jul. 10, 2020, 12:28 PM. Reason: left word out

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Foxglove View Post
                    Get a copy of "Complete Guide to Buying, Owning, and Maintaining a Horse trailer by Neve Scheve https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Main...4396622&sr=8-1 -- then, if it were me, I'd go to the closest trailer dealer and LOOK at what's on the lot, new and used. My first priority is welds --you can look on line for what a good weld looks like -and what a bad one looks like. If the trailer is poorly welded, it really doesn't matter what the rest of it looks like. Welds should pretty much be any place metal is attached to metal. 4 Star does exceptional welds, as does Platinum, and Exiss --most recently I saw a 2019 Featherlite that blew them out of the water ---really well done, almost artistic. Aluminum welding is, some say, as much art as science. Anyway, I love my 2004 Merhow --beautiful trailer to this day ---great welds (second only to Hart but not sure Hart is still in business). However, Merhow is changing models and I've yet to see in person anything newer than a 2018. Still a good trailer, but again, haven't seen one in person. FYI I live in the "trailer capital of the world"[Elkhart, IN] --within ten miles of me are the factories for Merhow, Lakota, Bison, and just about every LQ trailer built has the interior done at Sierra Interiors which is also very close. Up the road is Shadow Trailer Factory.

                    The book recommended will thoroughly discuss Aluminum v Steel, size, colors, brakes, and flooring as well as give you a ton of other information.

                    When you go look in person, take a tape measure with you ---some trailers' dimensions are outside to outside --and if there's a 2-4 inch wall with a divider --we'll that number will be a lot smaller measured inside to inside where the horse stands. Double true for slant load where you'll be told the horse has 10' but if you measure where the horse stands, you may find there is a lot less length --or a wheel well where the hind feet go. And personally measure the thickness of the wall pads if any. 1/4 rubber padding won't hold up like 1/2 inch (duh) but the specs may just say "rubber padding."

                    Best time to buy a trailer is January --if there is a specific brand you want --call the factory directly. Here where I live, factories try to keep the workers busy at that slow time --they build trailers on spec in the winter (especially January) and have them sitting around waiting for spring/summer when people order them. You might get a real deal on one of the spec models, or if want, see what they'll custom build for you --at no extra charge --bigger windows, ramp, more vents, etc. My husband (who made his living negotiating) has gotten some great deals "working the phones" between different companies to see who will throw in the most for the price asked--free hay bags, extra spare tire, etc. --rethinking "best time to buy is January," --now might be good --I know the factories are open here so the employees need work --it may well be that orders are way down as horse people are not showing this year and perhaps disposable income for horse trailers is less. Not 100% sure that there's a slump in the horse trailer market, though --because it may be that folks have decided without shows, they may do more trail riding . . .and need a trailer for that. I think I would ask a dealer by phone or email (or more than one) what the time is between ordering a new trailer and receiving it --if it seems very short, then the factories are not too busy --if it is a long time, well, they probably are.

                    Finally, and I'm sure you did this ---seems like there have been treads on the trailer Facebook page where people have done a simple modification of their goose necks to fit over newer trucks --I think it involves turning over the axle or something like that --but it seems like a common problem.that has a solution that is safe and cost -effective. Might ask on a board like that or search the issue on line.
                    I had a weld break on a critical part on my 4 star (the chest bar).

                    A pretty weld means nothing. Penetration means everything. You can't see that until the weld breaks off.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      When I built my custom BP trailer I asked about WERM flooring... The trailer manufacturer (Trailers USA) said he refused to do werm flooring, that he was dealing with too many major floor repairs where there was a tine nick/tear in the WERM (presumably caused by shod horses) that led to urine/moisture getting trapped between the WERM and aluminum floor.

                      Food for thought, I'm happy enough to move mats (and mine has 2 smaller mats at the back third that are easy enough to move and sweep out regularly).

                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                        I have a 2019 4 star and have had numerous quality control issues. My saga is a little long though, so I won't go into details unless you want it.
                        I’m certainly curious...

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Kingston. Not sure where you are located but Kingstons are pretty popular in the northeast. They have been made in MA since the beginning. Hard to find used ones because people tend to hold on to them. They last forever and hold their value. I bought mine new in 2004 and it still looks new. I take it in every year for inspection and service and basically it just needs routine stuff - that's it.

                          My other choice would be a Jamco. Now those are top notch but way out of my budget.
                          "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                          Comment


                            #14
                            endlessclimb I hope there were no injuries when the weld gave way on your trailer. While I understand your statement that one cannot know the integrity of a weld until it breaks, I believe a buyer would be justified in assuming that a weld that appears to be well done is a better indication of a well made trailer than no weld at all or one that is appears sloppy or haphazard. I would like to believe that the inspectors at the factory would not pass a trailer with welds that were not up to the standard, and an employee who performed such shoddy work would be retrained or assigned a less important job. The only way to truly know if a weld is deep, is to xray and that would not be possible for a buyer. This web site does a good job illustrating good and bad welds -- https://www.valleybox.com/material-h...cated-products

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I’ve been trailer shopping for a few years now, inspecting different trailers at dealers and expos and Merhow really stands above the rest in quality. I was not impressed with some of the others I looked at that were supposed to be top of the line (Eby, 4Star). The welds in the Merhow Alumastars I looks at were just perfect and the dividers were designed from smooth bent tubing at the rear preventing any sharp edges from catching a hip while loading. Thoughtful lip over the ramp hinge to keep manure out, too. I regret not buying the one on clearance that I saw but now I’m considering a different layout (Gore side ramp no DR)
                              Equine Portrait Commissions and Sporting Art
                              www.laurenfanning.com
                              Roxy 2001 APHA, Al Amir 2005 OTTB,
                              Ten Purposes 2009 OTTB

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Awww gypsymare ! Merhow is my favorite! Grew up drooling for one --everyone said it was "The Cadillac of Trailers" when I was growing up! I now have one --a 2004 that I am considering trading in --it's perfect, but DH said next year it will need new tires, and he has concerns about a 20 year old trailer v a new trailer for safety for is old wife (me) to be driving to the hunt club all winter long. On Friday I'm headed to the dealer in the next town (Ironically, the factory is closer than the dealer! -just up the road about 5 miles) --I want to see the new models and she has one on the lot. FYI when I bought my 2004 Merhow (used) it lacked keys and hubcaps --Merhow gave me both free --just used the VIN number on the trailer to make a new key. Nice people there --last time I called they still answered the phones --real live person!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  To OP, it's not a really big deal to block the axles on your current trailer. We do it a lot especially with the newer pickups. It's a lot cheaper than buying a new one if you like your present trailer.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I love my Gore trailer...

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by NaturallyHappy View Post

                                      I’m certainly curious...
                                      Fully custom 2+1. I had specific placements for the doors, which on the first build were not followed (ie, they did not follow the signed drawing) so I rejected the delivery - quality control issue #1. Since it was their mistake, they fast tracked the second, correct build. I expressed concern at the fast track, but they assured me the quality control would be all over it.

                                      Issues I have had:

                                      A pin that wouldn't drop on the divider. Realigned and repaired.
                                      Werm flooring huge bubbles, clearly something was getting under them. Patched and repaired.
                                      A decal that literally just... came off (no surface prep). I cleaned it and have not replaced it.
                                      Chest bar snapped off - had to rip the rubber lining off the walls and reweld, and then patch/caulk the rubber lining back on. It looks bad, even if it is now functionally sound.
                                      Tunneling under the aluminum clear coat - they pulled the handles and stuff off, then put a piece of plastic under them with caulk around the edges. Again, it looks bad.

                                      Newest issue, will contact the dealer tomorrow: I can see the frame of the trailer through the WERM, on the side I nearly never haul a horse on. 99% of the time I am just hauling one - the old man doesn't go many places anymore.

                                      I bought a 4 star because of their reputation for quality. I have told my dealer if I EVER have another weld issue, he is going to eat this trailer and I'll look at another brand. The amount of issues I have had is certainly concerning, seeing as how I owned one of those "bad framed" Sundowners before this, and never had a problem with anything, ever.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Gosh, I’m sure surprised and sorry this happened to you!

                                        Comment

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