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Low budget truck/trailer blues

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  • Low budget truck/trailer blues

    Hi all, If I had $50,000 I'd buy a new truck and trailer- or very nice used. But I don't. Current tow vehicle (owned by my friend) and trailer (owned by me) really need to be replaced pretty soon. I figure I could probably get a suitable used trailer for $3000 to $5000 (possibly stock combo). I'm not sure what the price would be for a used truck that has low enough mileage to last for at least 5-10 more years (preferably more like 10). And does not need a ton of money for repairs. The trailer needs to be a 2 horse for two big TBs who like lots of room. The truck should have enough power to haul up long hills (live in CA so suitable for trips to the sierras), and reliable enough to haul on longer trips (e.g. 200-400 miles one way). So I'd like to hear any advice that could be offered as well as what kinds of trucks/trailers the low budget crowd has. Thanks in advance!!!

  • #2
    Pick the trailer, then the truck to pull it. That way you won't buy more than you need, but will buy enough.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • #3
      I have a ten year old F150 and a 20 year old, basic 2H BP that is TB size. I paid about $10k (plus new wiring/ brake controller). I've since put about $3k into the truck for better tires and new transmission and brake lines

      If I were doing it again (and definitely in your case hauling in the mountains) I would hold out for a 3/4 ton truck with 4WD. Around here a gas truck like that with less than 150,000 miles on it is in the $10-15,000 range. Your estimate for the trailer is probably pretty reasonable. The repairs is pretty much of a crapshoot as far as I can see.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks so much. 4 wd would be very nice as we often get into dicey situations. Just hoping I will be able to get something nice for the horses and me.


        • #5
          What Guilherme said - find the right trailer, then find the truck to fit. Be patient, and do a daily (or twice, or thrice daily) check of want ads and Craigslist. I paid $2900 for my 2h BP trailer and $3000 for my 3/4 ton truck - neither is fancy, but both are in good, serviceable condition and will last me for many more years. It took me about six months to find them both, and I looked at a number of other possibilities before settling on them.

          I do wish I had gone for 4WD - that's the only thing I'd change about my truck. I've never gotten stuck, but it would give me a bit more confidence in tricky situations.
          life + horses


          • #6

            I feel your pain on the trailer budget. We just found the right truck (Chevy 2500HD 4WD), and spent more than I really wanted so now the trailer budget is <5,000

            I'm having a hard time finding something airy and roomy (2H) that has a dressing room. Everything in my price range has a manger and I don't DO mangers!

            My only advice is to be prepared to move quickly if the right trailer pops up. All the good trailers for a great price are selling like hot cakes in my area. Have check in hand (or cash) and be ready!

            Good Luck!


            • Original Poster

              Thanks all. Hoping to do it all in cash. I just wish I had picked a cheaper sport such as bowling or scrapbooking.


              • #8
                My setup:
                1999 GMC Sierra 2500, quad cab, gas, 2wd, bought for $800 off Craigslist the day it was listed.
                1987 Trail-et New Yorker bumper pull, fantastic shape, $3,500

                Pulled the trailer with a diesel '87 Suburban for quite some time as well.

                Have gone on several four-hour trips with the current setup, which we've had for about two years now. The truck chugs along without a care in the world. It's high miles, but it's the around town and towing vehicle, so I don't have to worry about whether it will hold up for another 100k....I think last year it went maybe 2000 miles? Have done nothing but regular maitenance to it, could probably use a paint job in the near future. The 2wd is annoying, but it's not our main winter vehicle.

                The trailer was overhauled by a body work guy before purchase, and is still in great shape.

                I pounced on both, cash in hand, the day they were listed.

                For tax purposes the town values the truck at $4.5k, and I've had offers of $5k for the trailer. I think I got great deals on both.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MtyMax View Post

                  I'm having a hard time finding something airy and roomy (2H) that has a dressing room. Everything in my price range has a manger and I don't DO mangers!
                  I hear ya on that one! I'm desperate to upgrade from our stock trailer. While I love how solid and roomy it is, the floor (was replaced around 5 years ago) is making me nervous, it's SUPER loud (think bang-clang even when going under 10mph) and it's not 7' tall.

                  Of course I can find NEW trailers that I would kill for, but finding a good used trailer in our price range is pretty much impossible.

                  Good timing on this thread, OP. I've definitely got the trailer blues.
                  runnjump86 Instagram

                  Horse Junkies United guest blogger


                  • Original Poster

                    WOW go for a gallop, that's pretty amazing! Fortunately for me, I have a friend who is a mechanic and can let me know if tow vehicle seems OK. Just hope to have a dependable, reliable truck, and roomy safe trailer for the kids. I suppose if I want to win the lottery, I'll have to start buying the tickets!