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Owning a trailer vs. Paying trainer to trailer

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  • Owning a trailer vs. Paying trainer to trailer

    Ok so these trailering fees are getting ridiculous. It's $1.25 a mile and when your traveling to events through out Area II, the trailering fees are astronomical compared to what it would be if I owned a trailer. So I was wondering what the perks of owning a trailer are versus paying a trainer to trailer. I would be pulling the trailer with an Envoy SUV 4WD. Let me know opinions! Thanks!
    “A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

  • #2
    I would venture to guess that whatever you're paying your trainer to haul for you is less expensive than it would be to own and maintain your own rig. You have to factor in the expense of the trailer, insurance, registration, repairs, maintenance, etc. Since you'd be pulling with an SUV, I'd guess your trailer would be on the smaller side, but you still need to consider the various and sundry costs associated with having your own wheels. For example, where will you store the trailer and will you be charged to store it at said location?

    That said, and coming from someone who was dependent on others for transportation for many years, having your own rig is a wonderful thing. You can go where you want when you want and you don't need to factor anyone else's schedule, fees, etc. into the equation. For me, that freedom is worth the extra expense.
    Last edited by AEM74; Dec. 28, 2011, 09:41 PM.
    "If ever I did not have a horse or dog in my keeping, I should feel I had lost touch with the earth." ~Beryl Markham

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    • #3
      You can go a lot of miles at $1.25 before you reach what a truck payment will be. That does not include insurance and upkeep on the vehicle and certainly does not include the cost of the trailer.

      Do not go into trailer/truck ownership thinking it will save you a boat load of money. You will be sadly mistaken.

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      • #4
        What TruBlu said. It's mostly a convenience factor.
        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
          You can go a lot of miles at $1.25 before you reach what a truck payment will be. That does not include insurance and upkeep on the vehicle and certainly does not include the cost of the trailer.

          Do not go into trailer/truck ownership thinking it will save you a boat load of money. You will be sadly mistaken.
          I already have a vehicle to pull it and if I found a used 2 horse do you still think it will be much more? I will need a trailer before I go off to college anyway do wouldnt it be beneficial to get it now and save some money possibly.
          “A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

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          • #6
            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
            You can go a lot of miles at $1.25 before you reach what a truck payment will be. That does not include insurance and upkeep on the vehicle and certainly does not include the cost of the trailer.

            Do not go into trailer/truck ownership thinking it will save you a boat load of money. You will be sadly mistaken.
            ^ This

            Not to mention, towing anything besides a Brenderup with an SUV is a very bad idea... just do a search thru COTH-dom on the subject.
            <>< 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.

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            • #7
              Even if you get a used aluminum 2H BP for $5k - that is 4,000 miles worth of hauling by your trainer. Add in maintenance, insurance, etc - bump it to 5k worth of hauling miles.

              How many events/miles do you travel in a year? Figure out if it's worth it to you. $1.25 loaded is half the price of commercial travel.

              I don't haul commercially anymore but ordered a brand new 2+1 to sit in the driveway in case I want to go somewhere or need it for an emergency. I've put maybe 100 miles on it in 2 years - but wanted it. It's all in what it's worth to you.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ChocoMare View Post
                ^ This

                Not to mention, towing anything besides a Brenderup with an SUV is a very bad idea... just do a search thru COTH-dom on the subject.
                I was just going to chime in that the only trailer you could safely pull with an Envoy SUV would be a Brenderup. (someone beat me too it, though. ) Brenderups are not cheap, if I remember correctly. Towing any other type of trailer with an SUV.....not safe. As above...do a search on the subject, you'll see.
                I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert!
                If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning!

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for your help everyone ! I'll look further into everything before I make any decisions.
                  “A horse is the projection of peoples' dreams about themselves - strong, powerful, beautiful - and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by azeventer View Post
                    I was just going to chime in that the only trailer you could safely pull with an Envoy SUV would be a Brenderup. (someone beat me too it, though. ) Brenderups are not cheap, if I remember correctly. Towing any other type of trailer with an SUV.....not safe. As above...do a search on the subject, you'll see.
                    This. And, Brenderups are very seldom imported into North America anymore. There is another lightweight brand that we get here in Canada called Bockmann that are supposed to be very good though, I'm considering one myself.

                    They are super hard to find used, although new seem to run similar in price to comprable aluminum trailers (Hawk, etc). They start at around $13k for the base model, I'd say you'd be at 15k by the time you get all the add ons you'd need.
                    www.felixfjord.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      The perk is really convenience--being able to travel on your own schedule. Also independence, if you ever want to go somewhere or do something without your trainer.

                      It is probably not cheaper. Towing a non-Brenderup with an Envoy is not the best idea, but it is probably $0.40/mile in gas alone, plus you have to buy/maintain/store the trailer, your SUV is going to probably need modifications and increased maintenance too.

                      If you have to have a trailer in the future anyway, then maybe it makes sense to take the plunge sooner rather than later but do go to off-course and around the farm forums for and search the tow vehicle discussions.

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                      • #12
                        I have NO idea how people can survive without their own rigs.

                        When I was younger and more broke...my only vechile was my towing vehicle. I had a 3/4 ton truck...and honestly, I still drive my truck more than my car. So that cut down on costs significantly (rather than having multiple cars). A nice two horse trailer isn't too expensive...especially if you buy used. Insurance is also not much.

                        The benefits...endless. I can trailer out to clinics, lessons with different trainers...trail rides with my friends. I can get to a show when *I* need to be there and leave whenever *I* feel like it.

                        If my horse is sick or injured...figuring out how to get him to the best vet or hospital isn't a stress.

                        I can do whatever I want to do.

                        In the end...having your own trailer is having more freedom. Kind of like when you get your first car.

                        And once you have had your own trailer....it is very very very hard to do without.

                        ETA: I have towed with a smaller SUV and much prefer towing with a truck. The smaller SUVs may have the pulling power but not always the weight and stability I want for stopping. That said...I typically am pulling two large horses with a lot of equipment. Another alternative is getting a small horse van. Horses haul great in them and used ones are not super pricey.
                        Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 28, 2011, 05:02 PM.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                        • #13
                          If you have a trainer who can/will haul for you whenever you go to shows, at times convenient for you, then you are ahead financially, even at $1.25 a mile.

                          The expense of owning the trailer isn't just buying the trailer. The gas costs money. The tires cost money. When I boarded, we had a monthly storage fee. When it's your trailer, it's you who buys shavings, puts them in, takes them out, cleans the trailer, hoses out the poop, etc.

                          With an undersized tow vehicle, you also have to ask yourself how much your transmission and brakes are worth to you. If your trainer has a large rig, it's probably a nicer ride for the horses than your rig will be.

                          I bought my first trailer because I didn't have that - the trainer didn't have a trailer available. So we always had to deal with outside haulers, which was a scheduling nightmare and took a lot of legwork. It made just going to a nearby clinic or dressage show unworkable.

                          On the nice side, my trailer is always loaded with my traveling gear, which makes going someplace fast and easy. I can travel quick and easy to a dressage show, with my travel tailored to my ride time, and not have to stay all day. I can go on short notice, and my trailer is large and airy and comfortable for me and for the horse. I can work out of my tack room and not pay for a tack stall, and I can do haul ins at dressage shows and avoid stabling.

                          I loved (and still love) having a trailer. But it didn't save money. Even 13 years later, I'd be ahead financially paying by the mile.
                          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                          • #14
                            I have done the math over and over and over, and it just doesn't save you money to own a truck and trailer. And yes, it has to be a truck.

                            It makes my brain explode to contemplate commuting with a crappy 15-20 MPG truck. I drive a minimum of 40 miles a day, and my current commuting car gets 30+ mpg.

                            Truck -- absolute minimum cost is about $10k.
                            trailer: absolute minimum about $5k.
                            Insurance and gas for both.

                            I can pay my trainer to haul me and buy her a nice lunch every time and still spend thousands less than owning a truck and trailer.

                            If you want to compete and go to clinics, etc. a lot, it is definitely more convenient to have own hauling gear, but it will never in a million years be cheaper.

                            Edited to note that this does depend on having a willing and available trainer w/ trailer. But for a trainer, it's a business expense, or at least it seems like it should be.
                            I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                            I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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                            • #15
                              I do not know about Envoys specifically. But if you tow with at vehicle that was not built with a heavy duty transmission, you will probably be replacing said transmission on a regular basis.

                              I keep my horses at home, and have my own trailer, which I tow with a Ford Econoline.

                              I doubt you will save much money in the long run by having your own trailer. It is more a question of convenience- the ability to go other places and arrive/leave at different times.

                              But if you still need to coordinate arrivals and departures with the trainer's schedule, it might not add that much convenience.

                              Currently, do you load/unload all your equipment, or does that trainer do that?

                              Finally, what does your trainer think? Is it "one less horse to worry about"? or is it "one extra complication to have to coordinate"?
                              Janet

                              chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Addictedeventer View Post
                                Ok so these trailering fees are getting ridiculous. It's $1.25 a mile and when your traveling to events through out Area II, the trailering fees are astronomical compared to what it would be if I owned a trailer. So I was wondering what the perks of owning a trailer are versus paying a trainer to trailer. I would be pulling the trailer with an Envoy SUV 4WD. Let me know opinions! Thanks!
                                You probably won't be pulling a trailer very long with an Envoy. They just aren't really built for it.
                                "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  As others have said, you'd get a lot of trailering miles before you reached the basic costs of having a rig. And yes... with an SUV, you'd not be looking at towing a "regular" trailer

                                  Used trailers are like used anything else, which is to say dicey. Paid $3500 for what I thought was a reasonable 2H BP, and it was a nightmare -- major electrical issues (blew the alternator on the truck twice before we figured it out), other safety issues and my horse was scared of it (given the safety issues, I don't blame her, and I always say she's smarter than I am. ) The person I bought it from, I later found out, buys up the used trailers that won't pass the vetting at a trailer dealer's lot, and waits for chumps like me to show up.

                                  We got $750 for it on a trade-in, bought a new trailer and upgraded the truck (original truck *could* do the hauling but did not have 4WD and we're happier with just a bit more power.) All that cost about $18K. That was in 2009, and then horse went lame and we used the trailer exactly twice in 2010, to take her to her surgery and back, and about 6 times in 2011.

                                  But -- if you like to go places without your trainer -- if you trailer to trailheads, go to a lot of clinics away from the barn, go out on rides at other barns etc. -- the convenience of having your own rig is wonderful.
                                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                                  • #18
                                    Does your trainer have a CDL and commercial insurance?

                                    Better find out, lots of states cracking down hard on this issue. Be a real bitch to find someone to come get your horse if the trainers rig gets impounded.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                      Truck -- absolute minimum cost is about $10k.
                                      trailer: absolute minimum about $5k.
                                      I'm not arguing that it isn't financially a better idea to own your own. As you put it, the numbers just aren't there. However, I am wondering where you're coming up with your "minimums"? They seem REALLY on the high side, especially your "minimum" for the trailer (and espeically in this economy). my first trailer made the trip to Canada and back with my girl, and that was after 5 years of eventing around Area VIII... and it was a $1500 2 horse walk thru that I know for a FACT I purchased within 48 hours of the dealer taking it in on trade (and in that 48 hours he made $700).

                                      Still... even with minimums closer to what I think they should be... you're still paying for convenience by owning your own.
                                      ************
                                      "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                                      "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike

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                                      • #20
                                        You'll not find $1.25/mile so expensive when you really run the numbers. Heck, I know many trainers who charge $2/mile.

                                        But for sake of argument, let's talk about pulling a Brenderup with an Envoy. There is a COTHer who does exactly that--I know so because I sold her her first Brenderup and she's recently upgraded to another newer, bigger Brenderup. The Envoy is well within the specs for the Brenderups and AFAIK her vehicle is fine and well.

                                        Now let's talk math.

                                        I own a Brenderup Solo one-horse trailer that I pull with my daily driver vehicle. So like you, I do not include the cost of my daily driver in the equation. It's among the cheapest rigs I could possibly have assembled, and I suspect I'm getting a better financial deal than most trailer owners--but even so, here's the ugly math:

                                        $4000 for the trailer, and B'up prices are way up since they were discontinued in the US so you'd likely pay more like $6000-$9000. And since B'ups are few and far between, you'll likely have to pay gas and/or transport costs to haul it in from many miles away. I bought my first B'up from Florida, the second from Tennessee.

                                        Approx. $100 for the trailer hitch and to run wires for the lights

                                        Approx. $200 for a transmission cooler and other adjustments to my daily driver vehicle that make it more suitable for towing

                                        To pay for the $4300 sunk cost, I'd have to log 3500+ miles of trailering during which I would burn approximately $800 worth of gas. So once you account for the gas cost and compare it to paying $1.25/mile, I don't break even until I've logged over 4,000 miles.

                                        And that's not including the rotating costs:

                                        Approx. $80 yearly in trailer insurance (more if your trailer was more expensive than mine)

                                        Approx $30 yearly in trailer tags (check your state laws--in Michigan I only had to pay the trailer tags once, not every year)

                                        Approx. $75-100 yearly for upkeep/maintenance, which is mostly a distributed cost for new tires every 3-4 years and annual checkups for integrity and brake alignment (the wheel bearings are sealed, at least)

                                        I don't pay for trailer parking at my barn, but if you do, that can easily add another $300-$500 per year.

                                        The cost of good synthetic oil that's more suitable for trailering. I change my own oil in the driveway, so this is pretty negligible compared to the cost of regular oil (maybe $30-$40 more per year). If you use Jiffy Lube or the dealer for oil changes, the extra cost can be much higher.

                                        And of course, there's the cost of gas. Even in my daily driver vehicle, I get about 15 mpg towing and it's best to tow on premium fuel in an SUV. So that's about $3.65 per gallon, which comes out to about 24 cents per mile.

                                        Your turn to do the math. If you log enough mileage and distribute the costs over enough years, it might come out in your favor. For example, I know someone whose Brenderup paid for itself in one East-Coast-to-West-Coast trip.

                                        Now I'll be fair and state some advantages that induce me to buy and keep a trailer that I drive MAYBE eight times a year (making it a money-losing proposition, so these advantages obviously mean a great deal to me):

                                        1. I'm on my own schedule. I can show up later and leave earlier than my trainer, and I often do. If my barnmates are stuck at a two or three day dressage or jumping show, I can trailer in for one day and go home at night.

                                        2. Freedom. If I want to go to a show or clinic that none of my barnmates or trainer want to go to, I just go. I have not yet had to trailer a horse in an emergency, but it's a comfort to know that my trailer is there.

                                        3. I have a one-horse trailer so I don't trailer-pool, but lots of eventers find a trailering partner to pay their gas money.
                                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

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