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Trailer Dilemma

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  • Trailer Dilemma

    I have a major dilemma regarding what to do with my trailer. A little history first - I grew up riding and evented until I was 17. I went to college and played around in the jumpers for a while and then my horse got EPM. He never really recovered and ended up being an organically powered lawn mower for the last 10 yrs of his life. My parents (being the great people that they are) took care of him for me (I joined the Navy after graduating from college). Since they still had him, I insisted they keep the trailer just in case they ever needed to take him somewhere.

    Fast forward to now - we had to put him to sleep this past Jan. I am definitely going to get another horse but that is most likely 2 yrs away as I am currently going back to school to get my nursing degree.

    Here's the dilemma. Do I keep the trailer or do I sell it and keep the money in a savings account until I'm ready to buy another trailer? I already have a truck and the trailer is in great shape considering its almost 15 yrs old. The trailer is a 1994 Kingston 2 horse w/ dressing room tag-a-long (steel frame with aluminum skin) - there is really nothing wrong with it except that it has been sitting pretty much idle for about the last 8 yrs. I would really prefer to have a gooseneck but I just can't get over the fact that this one is basically free. I would most likely invest in new brakes, tires, and paint for the underside prior to using it. My mom took it to trailer shop about a year ago and they said everything on it looked great.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  • #2
    I would keep it, and put new tires, etc. on it when you are ready to use it. Then you can use it while you are keeping your eye out for the gooseneck that you really want!
    When I pull on my boots, I know who I am


    • #3
      A couple of years ago, I bought a Trail-et that had been sitting for eleven years. It needed new tires, of course, the bearings repacked, and some wiring repairs. But it was in fantastic shape and it has been a wonderful trailer.

      So... my advice is, if you really intend to get another horse, to wait until you actually have the horse and use the trailer for a season or two. See how you like it. If it is not meeting your needs, you can sell it then.
      Taco Blog
      *T3DE 2010 Pact*


      • #4
        Keep it!

        The resale value of a 15 vs 17 year old tralier in great condition is not going to be different the economy might even be better then and you could ask more for it then.

        So you sell the trailer now for $5000.00 (just hypothetical) and put it in the bank your new trailer will cost $10,000 or more. So you have to dig up another $5000.00 to purchace a gooseneck trailer to get your new horse (that also cost money) to the clinic/event (more money) or do you want to load your new pony in a trailer that's paid for and ready to go?

        Just a thought


        • #5
          I'd sell it.

          It's not about the money it's worth today or the cost of a new one tommorrow. It is about:

          1) the PIA today--You have got to mow around it, plow around it, insure it, register it and when you finally do want to use it spend >$1K to refurb it.

          2) I find that equipment that gets to a certain age becomes a logisitical disaster in maintenace. It's just stuff you don't normally wear out, now becomes issues. If you don't love or have the knowledge to love old mechanical things, sell while it still has value.
          Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.


          • #6
            I would sell it. I don't like to clutter my life with responsibilities for no reason. My experience is that if I maintain and save something because I might need it later, I never end up needing it. You may find that your next horse is 17h and doesn't fit in the trailer. You might suddenly get interested in driving and need a trailer with room for a cart. Sell it and put the money in the bank. Your parents will appreciate not having the trailer in their yard.


            • #7
              a new gooseneck trailer is going to run about $10,000-15,000 at least, right now you have a trailer that you probably just need to maybe sink a couple of thousand in - if that. My trainer just got rid of her trailer a year ago - her trailer was 30years old ! A friend of mine's trailer is about 26 years old and still going pretty strong. Right now you have transportation for a horse if and when the time comes. You also have something of possible value to trade in or sell when the time comes.

              The other thing is if you get another horse, where are you going to keep it - at home? If so, then I would definitely hold on to it. You never know what emergencies could crop up in the middle of the night requiring a trailer.. if at a boarding facility, then I would consider selling it


              • #8
                Your trailer sounds a lot nicer than mine was, so perhaps this cautionary tale won't apply, but here' s what happened to me.

                I left mine sitting for maybe 6-7 yrs (went to college, got a horse, took a while to get the truck), drove over 1000 miles to retrieve it, only to find that EVERYTHING (wiring, flooring, brakes) needed work from sitting around and it was prohibitive to get it fixed up for horses. I sold it for 150 for "hay storage." I would have done better to have sold it early on.

                Then again, if your has been sitting for 8 yrs and only has 2 more to go, maybe it's worth just letting it sit, then figuring out what work needs to be done when you're ready?

                I guess it depends on how much you need the money now. The trailer seems to be in a pretty steady state.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks so much for the advice. Kaboom, you're right - the value most likely won't be that much different today then 2 yrs from now and I really don't want to have to spend the money for a new trailer right when I'm getting a new horse. This trailer should be more than big enough as my old horse was 17h.

                  I looked at it again this afternoon and am still in awe at how good it looks. The floorboards look practically brand new - just a little shavings dirt. And wiring all works as well (tested that too!). I'm going to be optimistic and hope for Cookiepony's experience vs. Beam Me Up. Thanks again!


                  • #10
                    Kingstons are awesome trailers. They really hold their value in the North East. I would keep it. When you are ready, do whatever maintenance is needed, and you will have a great trailer.

                    I have a 1990 Kingston 2 horse that I had rebuilt. It is probably worth $3000-5000. It is road worthy and very reliable. Take good care of yours.


                    • #11
                      nah...no dilemma...go get yourself a nice 2 or three year old now...and that justifies keeping the trailer. Something you can play with when you need a stress relief from school but young enough that if it just sits at home in your parent's field growing...no problem.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                      • Original Poster

                        Bornfreenowexpensive, I like the way you think! Don't tempt me or I'll be living in the field with the horse! I suppose I could always set up an air mattress in the trailer...


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FuzzyTB View Post
                          Bornfreenowexpensive, I like the way you think! Don't tempt me or I'll be living in the field with the horse! I suppose I could always set up an air mattress in the trailer...

                          don't laugh...that isn't a bad idea!

                          good luck with nursing school....that is a great degree to get. And don't stress too much on the trailer...I don't think either decision would be bad.

                          I'd probably put a decent price on it even without doing any work on it...if it sells great...if not, you have a nice trailer.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                          • #14
                            I agree with Blaster. HOWEVER, I hate selling things and in your shoes, I would probably let the trailer sit but make some fatal mistake in caring for it/storing it that would render it useless when I finally got around to needing it again. Or I would end up giving it away like I did with my 3 horse van earlier this year. I lost patience trying to sell it (though admittedly I didn't try that hard), and got tired of paying insurance. When I got the $300 bill to re-register, that was it - out the door!

                            Don't be like me!


                            • #15
                              Keep it- Kingstons are fabulous and hold value.


                              • #16
                                If you are planning on getting another horse soonish, I'd keep it. A couple bits of advice though:

                                -Keep it stored in a dry area where there isn't a lot of grass growing around it. I left my trailer parked for about a year while a working student (we used the boss's rigs). It was pretty damp and the trailers didn't get mowed around. It ended up with a carpenter ant nest in the floorboards by the ramp which resulted in replacing the floor (~$1600)

                                -If it has a ramp, open it up every so often and make sure the ramp hinges are adequately greased or WD-40'd. Another time I let my trailer sit, this time in the snow over the winter, the ramp hinge rusted severely. When I tried to open the ramp, it stuck halfway, so I forced it down. Something went CRACK and I couldn't close it without help. Ended up replacing the hinge rod (~$300 but they put in new hinges and a larger stainless steel hinge rod, so a sound investment).

                                It sounds like your trailer has weathered its hiatus well so far. With proper storage and a thorough check up before it goes back to work, I don't think you'll have a problem.

                                ETA: Odds are too, if you have money in savings as a student, you might have trouble keeping it there for the day you are ready to get another trailer...
                                Leap, and the net will appear


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks so much guys! I'm going to keep it - I just think it would be foolish to sell it. WNT, you really hit it on the nose; it would be tough to leave the money alone with all the school expenses. I really love Kingstons and it will be difficult to get another one in the south so I'm going to hang onto it. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford my dream trailer: 2 horse Kingston gooseneck w/ a dressing room. But until then, this one will work just fine!



                                  • #18
                                    If it's as nice as it sounds DEFINITELY hang onto it.

                                    Hubby tried to sell off my (MY!!) "big box" 2-horse slant trailer ton one of his clients for about $3500.... at least, he thought he would, until I did some shopping and informed him that it would cost at LEAST $5500-$6000 to get another of equal usefulness - ie, big enough to haul Large Irish Stallion, with big tack room and in the same great condition!

                                    Shoot, for the one I'd want to replace it, I'd have to spend upwards of ten grand, and in this economy, THAT'S not happening anytime soon!

                                    Sheesh........ Men.......
                                    Homesick Angels Farm
                                    breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
                                    standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID


                                    • #19
                                      Keep it...even if it needs new tires, bearings repacked, and wiring and brakes tweeked thats less than a year of trailer payments.
                                      Plus since you never know where you will end up it makes a great U-Haul in a pinch.

                                      And I will be the enabler go put a horse in your parents field.
                                      I have 1 or 2 who would benefit from the time you will be in nursing school w/ your name on them.

                                      Trailers will hold residual value far longer than your truck and you might want those extra $$ your not spending on a trailer to go towards board, shoes, trainer.

                                      Bought my 1st trailer after it sat unused under a tree for 15 years. I hauled horses in it, furniture, moved our daughter to college and kept the yard tractor n push mower stored in it. After 5 years @ age 20 I sold it for 1/2 what I paid including new brakes n tires.