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Trailer Purchase- brand and option preferences

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  • Trailer Purchase- brand and option preferences

    Finally going to purchase a new trailer. I ship about 1-2 a month usually no more than 2-3 hours away. I'd like a 2 horse, bumper pull with dressing room. (have 2500 HD truck).

    Brand Preference:
    -Sundowner (have a 2005 or 2006 model and don't like it- leaks, moderate construction, really slick ramp!) Are the 2009/2008 models better?
    - Lakota (know little about them but heard positives)
    - 4 Star (having one priced now)

    WERM flooring?
    5200 lb axle? (suggested by 4 Star dealer)
    what else.....?

    THANKS!!! Want to get best/most/safest for my money!
    "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC

  • #2
    Wrangler Trailers

    If you want something EXACTLY like you want, consider having one custom made by Wrangler Trailers in Arkansas.

    Buddy at Wrangler Trailers will make it just as you want it AND he will give you a better price than any of the big name trailers. Well constructed, best price, best service - that's Wrangler. They'll make it with any and all options you want.

    The customer service there is GREAT and we'd have him make our next one also, although ours is so good, I don't think it will ever wear out.


    • #3
      I would go with 4-Star. They hold their value well.
      I am on my 4th 4-Star, I keep trading them in as my needs change but I am done changing. Werm flooring is easy to care for better than lifting up mats to clean under. 5200 lb axles should be fine unless you are hauling really big horses than go to 7000 lb axles. I would get minimally "E" rated tires or higher. If you can afford it get the dressing room braced for AC , helpful if you want to add AC later or for resale.

      Lakotas are too new and don't how well built or how they hold up to reality of hauling and horses.


      • #4
        5200# axles on an aluminum 2h BP? What is that dealer smoking?

        I have a steel 2H slant BP w/dress, loaded with two 1000# animals, weighs 5000# on the axles (2 @ 3500#). I would think 5200# axles on an aluminum (even with larger horses) trailer would ride like crap. I would skip the axle upgrade and go for the WERM.
        Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
        Not in the 42% or the 96%


        • #5
          Eby's are great.

          Yep, 5200# axle would ride horribly...
          "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


          • #6
            4-star also offers an air-ride. That would make it really good.. But I have a Classic -I like it. But my next one I defnitely want an air ride-and and -oh well you never stop when shopping for your horse!!!!


            • #7
              Hawk, Trail-Et, Adam, Jamco

              What the dealer is referring to on the axles is how much weight they carry. If the axles are rated quite a bit higher than the weight they carry - they will be very stiff and the trailer will bounce unless fully weighted.
              (Like my truck does when the bed is empty).

              If money were not a limiting factor, I would start first with a HAWK or Trail-et. From there, I would consider an Adam or Jamco.

              I'm not sure how 4Stars are performing lately - they have a strong reputation from the 1980s and 1990s and into early 2000...

              I would avoid a Sundowner at this point in time. It appears that their QC goes up and down based on model and date of manufacture.

              Can you at least give us a state or region you are in? Then folks can suggest dealerships. I think that even with a great trailer, if you don't get a REALLY,REALLY good dealership who will take care of warranty issues, the warranty isn't much good at all. And, there are some brands more available in the north east than in California, for example.

              Here's a simplified version of what torsion/Dexter axles are. A tube filled with rubber bits that the axle goes through. The rubber bits allow the axle to "float" so to speak. If the axle floats too much, the ride is bouncy. On the other hand, if the axles are not rated at a high enough weight rating, they can prematurely fail.


              • #8
                I have a 2005 4-Star, and it is awesome. Built like a brick you-know-what. Extremely well-built trailers (well, really OVERbuilt, which is nice) and they will design it any way you want.

                My trailer has the WERM and it is wonderful. My gelding pees in the trailer all the time and it is so nice not to have to pull mats. He is an occasional pawer with his big size 4 feet and you can't see a mark on the WERM....very durable.

                My instructor advised me to get the heaviest-duty axles and brakes that I could, so I did (mine are 7k axles for my 3H), and my trailer rides fine. I put a lot of miles on it and the horses come off happy and relaxed.

                If you can afford it, go with a 4-Star....super quality, and they hold their value really well.


                • #9
                  Glad to hear that 4-star is STILL a great trailer to own... I wasn't sure if the rumors I was hearing were grounded or not.

                  I still prefer a fiberglass roof though. It's SO much cooler in the summer and I really like the extra "light" it provides.


                  • #10
                    I wanted a 4-Star but went with a Hawk instead. 2-horse bumper pull with the Rumbler floor. I bought the bigger TB option and I LOFF it. Great quality and my horses love the light and open feel and walk right in. So much fun not having to fuss with them or worry about the trailer.
                    If you cannot set a good example, at least serve as a terrible warning....


                    • #11
                      I also have a new Hawk trailer and I found that they are extremely reasonably priced. I also love that their standard models come with excellent features that you would have to pay extra for with other brands, such as standard height on inside is 7 feet 6 inches. Comes with spare tire with the tire not just the rim, roof vents etc. I was able to customize my trailer a little bit more with out breaking the bank, so I added a ramp with full doors rather then the half door, added a few extra lights on inside and running boards and a little extra gravel guard diamond plate to the wheel wells.

                      Also the horse area seems to be wider and longer then some other two horse trailers.

                      And I absolutely love the dressing room, very spacious.


                      • #12
                        I just bought

                        I just bought a Hawk as well. I got a two horse, gooseneck with a dressing room and a side ramp. I have found that I LOVE my side ramp. All of mine know how to back out of a trailer but I feel much better about walking them out the side. My 5 yo, who was afraid of trailers, is walking right in (mind you, I've had it a week and haven't taken her anywhere in it yet. ). I hauled a horse to a trainer in the next state over the weekend and had to haul back empty in the heavy winds. Scared me silly but the truck and trailer handled it fine. The only customization I did was to put in a barred divider instead of solid but, in retrospect, I would probably put in the extra gravel guard in the wheel well also.

                        Things I love about my sideramp:
                        Super easy to unload!
                        Let's in a lot of light and gives an open feel.
                        Provides a great area to put hay or shavings when it's raining.
                        It's going to be a great place to set up chairs at an event to stay out of rain or sun.
                        At rest stops, I opened the half door above the ramp so my girl could have more air but no one could go in to see the horsie.
                        Easy to put hay or shavings in it since it is wider than an escape door
                        When I leave it open while riding, my dog loves to sit inside and watch me ride.

                        Thanks COTH folks for directing me to Happy Trails Trailers. Risa was great and now I have the trailer of my dreams.

                        Here's the BP equivalent: http://www.happytrailstrailers.com/product.php?pid=2
                        This one has a couple of customizations I didn't do but it's almost what I got:
                        Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                        • #13
                          I love my Featherlite. 2-horse bumper pull with a large dressing room. I needed the extra wide/extra tall variety for my monster.

                          It has a door to the dressing room between the mangers, and loads of storage space under the mangers.

                          Everything about this trailer has pleased me so far. Service from the dealer was exceptional.

                          No ramp (I hate ramps) but it is an option if you want it.

                          Floor covering and wall covering is great, soft and grippy. Cleans very well too. This trailer has stood up to a ton of use already, carting a Clydesdale around the Province. She's pulled back on a lot of the components, nothing has broken so far (besides the halters...as is the idea). Padding on the fronts of the mangers is tough and looks great after a year and a half. She also FITS which is a huge deal. The floor space AND the space in front of the chest pad are big enough for her.

                          I'd ask the dealer to add sway bars to this model. I pull it with a Dodge 1500, and strong cross-winds on the tall trailer sometimes creates a bit of sway in the back.

                          Besides the periodic cross-winds, the trailer handles beautifully. Very responsive, great trailer brakes, easy to back-up.

                          The dressing room is wide enough for a cot, and has more than enough room to camp in at shows I also camp in it on trail rides.

                          I would also ask the dealer to install the extra bridle hooks...pretty much install all the extra hanging-stuff you can. That's my only complaint so far, that I have too much crap to just stack on the floor.
                          Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


                          • Original Poster

                            I can't seem to find base pricing on 4 stars anywhere!
                            The quote I was given was right around 20k for a 2 horse bumper pull, dressing room, WERM flooring, heavy axles.
                            I bought my sundowner from Ken Feagin trailer in Western NC. www.kftrailers.com
                            I saw prices for the Hawk trailers on the happy trails website.

                            Are 4 stars that much better really? I've always heard great things but never touched one. Guess I should find a dealer and go.... I spoke with Stotts Trailers in Landrum, SC for my price quote.

                            "are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn...I can yawn, because I ride better than you, Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn, you, not so much..." George Morris in Camden, SC


                            • #15
                              Horse Trailer World


                              You can search for size, brand, state, price, etc. etc.


                              • #16
                                You're welcome to stop by and look at my Hawk. I've been beyond happy with it and Risa at Happy Trails is a delight to work with. They really are nice trailers.

                                4-Stars are really nice, but being all Al, they are pricey. What I like about the Hawk is the right materials in the right places that keeps the $$ down somewhat.
                                "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                Spay and neuter. Please.


                                • #17
                                  I wouldn't touch a Sundowner based on structural problems I've heard about. I also did not want an aluminum floor. The work required to keep the warranty in effect made me wonder why they required so much upkeep and what bad might happen if I didn't get around to it all. My wood floor has a lifetime warranty, which is more than Rumber or Aluminum and my old 1979 trailer had the original wood floor, still in excellent shape.

                                  I have a Hawk 2+1, bought through Happy Trails and have been very happy with the trailer and Risa's service.

                                  Best of luck with your search!


                                  • #18
                                    Like Niptuck said it is great that Hawk backs their wood floor with lifetime warranty. I went with the wood floor on my Hawk because I did hear from a few people that the Rumber floor can wear unevenly and have dips in the floor over time so I opted to just go with wood with mats.

                                    However if you do go with another brand and you want to use that worm floor I would try to get some people's experiences with that type of floor. To be honest I had never heard of it, but I checked out their webpage and it seems pretty cool.

                                    Just see what others have experienced with it over a long period of time


                                    • #19
                                      I just bought my first trailer with a DR -- a 2-horse Adams bumper pull.

                                      As far as options go, I am soooo glad I had them put in a window in the bulkhead wall between DR and stall, and also add another window in the external DR wall. I can open them all up and get some really good ventilation both in the DR and the horse stall for those times ol' Dobbin has to wait a bit in the trailer (and for me when changing into my britches).

                                      And I'm very happy with the Adams trailer, both quality and price. Steel frame and aluminum skin.
                                      ...somewhere between the talent and the potato....


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Anselcat View Post
                                        I just bought my first trailer with a DR -- a 2-horse Adams bumper pull.

                                        As far as options go, I am soooo glad I had them put in a window in the bulkhead wall between DR and stall, and also add another window in the external DR wall. I can open them all up and get some really good ventilation both in the DR and the horse stall for those times ol' Dobbin has to wait a bit in the trailer (and for me when changing into my britches).

                                        Both standard in Risa's Hawk packages
                                        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                        Spay and neuter. Please.