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Truck/trailer question

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  • Truck/trailer question

    Apologies if there is another question about this.

    I was t-boned yesterday and my car was totaled. While I am pissed/upset/etc., I am looking at the positives - I am now able to get my truck sooner than expected (previously I was switching cars with my dad for horse shows and using his car to tow my trailer).

    I just wanted an idea from car savvy people as to how I should be searching. I have a 2 horse aluminum BP, a 2005 CM, which states that the empty weight is 2,920 pounds, and the gross weight is 7,000 pounds. (I'm assuming this factors in the weight of my horse(s) - I have an 16.1, 1100 lb TB mare).

    I was hauling my trailer with an F150, which was working out fine, but I had been told wasn't ideal because of the smaller size of the engine? I don't know much about cars; just wanted to know what you all hauled with.


  • #2
    IMHO a F-150 is NOT enough truck to haul that much weight. We're not just talking engine size, you also have to factor in gearing and suspension...I feel you can never OVER truck yourself...the BIGGER...the better. It boils down to safety, and I feel when someone uses the "bare minimum," that they are taking a bit of a risk.

    ETA: I haul a 3-H slant (empty weight 4,040 lbs.) And frequently fill to max capacity (with 3 horses and tack) and I have a 2500 Chevy Suburban with a 7.4L (454)...I can NOT tell that i'm barely pulling a trailer, let alone 7,000+!!!


    • #3
      Look at the towing capacity of the vehicle. Some of the Chevy 1500 pickup trucks are rated to tow 8,500 lbs while others are only rated to 4,000 lbs. Add up the weight of your trailer, horse, people, and stuff that you carry with you. Then, I like to add 2000 lbs to that as a safety margin. An F150 may or may not be adequate for your job.


      • #4
        I echo the others above me. And while, technically, it can "tow" the load, in emergency situations or high-winds, a 1/2 ton can't sufficiently stabilize the Live Load. Nor can the transmissions stand up long-term to the load.

        Always better to go one step up in the truck department. E.G., our old F-250 diesel could tow our 14' gooseneck BUT it struggled uphill. We upgraded to a full one-ton dually and our Chevy doesn't even know the trailer is there

        Happy Hauling!!!
        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
          I echo the others above me. And while, technically, it can "tow" the load, in emergency situations or high-winds, a 1/2 ton can't sufficiently stabilize the Live Load. Nor can the transmissions stand up long-term to the load.
          If you want additional information, look at the curbside / unladened weights of half-ton and three-quarter ton vehicles. The last time I pulled these numbers (a few years ago when a friend was truck shopping), an F-150 regular cab, 2 wheel drive, 8 ft bed weighted in 4,685 lbs. An F-250, regular cab, 2 wheel drive, 8 ft bed was 5,195 lbs. That extra 500 lbs of tow vehicle helps with the overall dynamics of controlling the trailer. If you go for a bigger F-250 -- supercab, 4 wheel drive, the weight is 6,446 lbs.

          Tow vehicle weight and wheelbase length need to be considered as much as engine and transmission configurations.

          "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
          - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


          • #6
            Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
            I echo the others above me. And while, technically, it can "tow" the load, in emergency situations or high-winds, a 1/2 ton can't sufficiently stabilize the Live Load. Nor can the transmissions stand up long-term to the load.
            Yes. I had an old dodge 1500 in college and hauled with that sucker everywhere. 2 horse steel bp with horses and the bed loaded down with alfalfa hay and never thought about it. After college I got spoiled with access to a diesel dually and the same 2 horse bp trailer... once that access went away I purchased a newer 1500 dodge w/hemi and later a newer F150... both were sold shortly after purchase because they just didn't have the 'juice' the dodge 3500 had. Sure they could handle the weight over distance and I had a great break box in them to help stop but I knew it was a matter of time until I was stranded on the side of the road... Now I've got a 2000 suburban with towing gears and 220k miles on it and don't worry about a thing! However a diesel is in the future...

            These newer trucks just aren't built like the older trucks...


            • #7
              Sorry about your accident - bummer. If you enjoy learning, I'd suggest you get the book The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining and Servicing a Horse Trailer by Nita and Thomas Scheve. It will answer your questions re tow vehicle/trailer compatibility and also give the pros and cons of various trailer types if you ever decide to buy a different trailer. Also the service and maintenance advice. Good luck...
              It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


              • #8
                For that size trailer an F-150 will work, but there isn't lots of extra stability. Newer F-150s should be better than the older ones.

                Not sure if the engine is an issue but pulling a loaded weight of 5000lb (horse + trailer + gear /water/hay) is not extremely demanding as long as you don't have the lowest rated of the available engines. You just won't be passing anyone uphill.



                • #9
                  I don't like towing with anything under a 3/4 ton if I have a choice. I LOVE my GMC Sierra 2500. It's got the 8.1L engine and the big tow package. It will pull pretty much anything.

                  I'll get another one when I finally kill this one.


                  • #10
                    In my area you couldn't find a 3/4 ton used unless it is run into the ground so for the budget I am guessing you are on I would find a nice 1/2 ton that was made for towing and you will be fine. Anything you pull with should have the brake controller and proper rated hitch.