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Do you feel Aluminum Floors on Trailers are Sturdy Enough (as compared to wood)

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  • Do you feel Aluminum Floors on Trailers are Sturdy Enough (as compared to wood)

    I am selling my 3H trailer so I can trade it down for a newer, smaller 2H trailer. I only have one horse now and don't need such a big trailer. Most of the trailers I have been looking at have aluminum floors. An aluminum floor just seems... not sturdy enough to me. The other trailers I've owned have had solid oak floors- very sturdy.

    Experiences? Thoughts?

    I had also heard of the electrical wiring occasionally shorting in an alumininum trailer and eventually corroding through an aluminum floor. Urban legend?
    ~Living the life I imagined~

  • #2
    Yes. It's not something that can or should be assessed by a subjective "feeling". Aluminum is incredibly strong and durable, lightweight and very suitable for the job. Which is not to say that oak isn't fine as well. Different substances, different properties. Each suitable, with different pros and cons. We don't build trailers based on how we feel--we have engineers to do the math.

    Couldn't tell you about wiring/corrosion, other than the natural galvanic corrosion process between unlike metals (steel and aluminum in the case of most trailers) being accelerated or facilitated if a current passes through it.

    My aluminum/steel trailer is 12 years old this year, had to do a little floor work last year for the first time. Put in a WERM floor on top of the floor and now the floor is no longer something I need to mess with after every trip. But the trailer has been absolutely durable and is in fine shape after 12 Michigan winters and lots o' miles.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Considering the number of aluminum aircraft I've flown in, I am very confident in the strength of the metal.

      There should be no difference in wiring problems between steel and aluminum... both are conductive metals and the wires should be suitably shielded.

      I have heard that urine is more corrosive to Aluminum but I don't know the truth of it.
      Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
      Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
      Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


      • #4
        DH is an aeronautical engineer. I just asked him about this. He said not to worry. However, he suspects that IF you ever have to replace the floor, it will cost you more than replacing a wood floor. What grade aluminum is being used?


        • #5
          hmmm...here is another question to ask:

          I always tell my friends that for 3 horse and up go aluminum. But for a 2 horse I prefer steel. I like a heavy trailer. Large trailers are heavy enough but a 2 horse alum is kind of light. A nice heavy trailer won't bounce around as much.

          I bought a circle C just like this one:
          for 4500 bucks. custom stripes, custom back doors and an extra saddle rack (3 instead of 2).
          I sold it 8 years later for 4K.
          It was perfect with virtually no rust.

          Now I have a phat 4 horse so I went alum.

          The floors freak me out too though.

          Werm is a great idea. I have not heard great reviews on the rumbler floor. I've heard they wear unevenly.

          When I was trailer shopping I tried to put together a custom Merhow. I asked for a wood floor. I think wood absorbs more shock, no? Never could get the price down enough though.
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


          • #6
            Rumber or rumbar floors are the BEST floor material made today. It's made of thick sheets or planks of recycled rubber and they don't wear at all. I had 2 trailers with them, the 2nd one I owned for 11 years, used heavily, had horses that pawed, etc and the floors still looked brand new when I sold the trailer. I wish my current trailer had the rumber floor as it is far superior.

            Do a search on www.trailerhorseworld.com and you will see a ton of posters that prefer the rumbar floors and Werm is next. It will cost a lot to replace it with a rumber floor and the trailer has to have strong enough supports, so many go with the werm covering instead.

            With the rumber floors, you don't need heavy mats that you have to pull out.

            Werm is the next best thing, but its a layer over the aluminum floor, not the whole floor. If it's covering a wood floor, the wood can still and will rot with time.


            • #7
              I got the impression from checking out the Rumber that it would be potentially fairly slippery, and the very few people I know who have Rumber floors have mats on top for this reason. That's hardly a first-hand or expert commentary, however.
              Click here before you buy.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks all for the replies. Seems like in most cases an Aluminum floor will do the trick just fine... unless it's a Sundowner! (just came across the other thread on the Farm forum, I had no idea there were so many problems with Sundowner floors!)

                Purpl- the 3H slant I'm selling is an older Merhow that is in great shape. It is a really great trailer- it has a huge front DR AND a sizeable rear tack but I just don't need one that big. having said that, if I can't sell it for a good price and trade down to something smaller also at a good price, I'll just keep dragging that huge thing around.
                ~Living the life I imagined~


                • #9
                  My 12 year old workhorse is, in fact, a (*gasp*) Sundowner. I certainly didn't expect them to cough up for a few square feet of new floor in a 12 year old trailer, and in all the years prior to that I've had virtually no trailer repair bills. Happy Sundowner owner here.
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    I have had two OLD trailers with alumuinum floors, just sold a 1984 Sooner with aluminum floors and mats over and now have a 1990 featherlite with alumunum floors/mats. If trailers that old can have good floors I wouldn't worry! Having said that I find the older aluminum trailers to be MUCH better made and sturdier with heavier gauge metal


                    • #11
                      I had a brand new all aluminum Sundowner 2-horse tag along and my horse got to the point where he would not load in it. He also pawed terribly while shipping. He never gave me a problem prior to buying this trailer. Even though there were mats down over the aluminum, the trailer floor had a whole different sound to it when his hooves came down on it. I actually had to sell it and buy a brand new aluminum 2-horse bumper pull Kingston with a wooden floor. He went back to hauling and loading fine. Not sure if anyone else has ever had a problem like this.

                      I was in denial over the whole thing for quite a while. I really liked the Sundowner and it came with a lot of bells and whistles. After parting with it and getting the much plainer (but just as expensive) aluminum Kingston, I would never part with it. Love this trailer.
                      Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance