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Got a new Brenderup trailer...

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  • Got a new Brenderup trailer...

    It's sitting out there in my yard... sure looks cute... never hauled a trailer before (even without a horse in it) and hope that it's easy to learn how to maneuver. How did you all first learn to drive a trailer around?? Any good stories?? I have the dvd and manual that come with it so I will be studying how to hook it and unhook it etc., I have given myself a month to figure it out before I bring my mare home in it.

    I have to say it sure does look pretty cute and inviting sitting there... now driving it will be a whole new adventure!!

  • #2
    I also have a Brenderup (which I love!) When I got mine I got some great advise, a cowboy at my barn suggested I hitch up everyday for about 2 or 3 weeks and drive it (without horses on board) all over town. I did this, I took it to Target, to the Dairy Queen, to the grocery store, you name it, I drove it there. At the end of two weeks I could hitch-up in three minutes, could maneuver anywhere and could back up into my parking spot in one try. After that I started taking my horse on mini trips about twice a week ( he needed some trailering experience as well) and pretty soon he was self loading and unloading. Prior to this trailer, I had never owned or driven a trailer in my life. Best of luck to you!


    • #3
      Find an empty school or church parking lot to practice.

      If you have ever driven on glare ice, that is how you drive a trailer
      I wasn't always a Smurf
      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


      • #4
        Congrats! What model did you get?

        I love mine! I agree with a finding a large parking lot to try in but also the best way to get comfortable is to do it a lot. Brenderups are so easy to handle; you'll be a pro in no time.


        • Original Poster

          Hey, I got a Royal HB, it was significantly less than the TC and to be honest I prefer to have the space up front to work the horses or just sit with them (not sure yet but I think I would be barely out of reach of their pushy little faces LOL). I can always get a tack box or whatever. If I had big bucks though I would have liked a Baron, love the round 'nose'= so spacious. But more weight on my 4-runner... and way more spendy.

          Whatchaall got?

          SO seriously, is driving with a trailer the same as just driving, even when backing up etc, except you are just longer??? ANy driving, turning, stopping, backing up tips? I do plan to practice out in the middle of nowhere and in parking lots.


          • #6
            Do you have a dog? You can practice "trailer" driving if you have a dog that likes to stand up in the back seat of your car. If you can start, stop, and turn without causing your dog to shift too much, get nervous, or (worst) fall off the seat, then you're doing just fine for pulling the trailer.

            Brenderups track straight and true behind the vehicle. And the construction really does make them more steady, so they are easier to pull then other brands.

            Another thing I try to do is to not accelerate through turns (as when you start turning from a complete stop when joining a new road). It's common to do in a car, but makes the turn harder for the horses. Accelerate enough to get moving and then just maintain your (slow) speed/coast through the turn. It's easier on the horses if you can accelerate and brake in straight lines. This also relates to another tip is to be always watching the road and be proactive (like the drive like you're driving in icey conditions tip). This means you can reduce your speed by simplying taking your foot off the gas when you see a bend in the road coming and often the truck/trailer combo can slow itself enough to not have to brake heavily when you're going through the turn.

            You can make essentially normal turns but you'll want to practice and just always be using your mirrors to check the trailer's path while you make turns. If you're going slow enough, you can make adjustments to your track as needed. When you practice in the big empty parking lots, at least sometimes pretend the spaces are full of other cars and make sure you make your turns and back without hitting anything that would be in the lines.

            Backing takes the most practice with any bumper pull because the trailer will travel in the opposite direction of the way the steering wheel is turned.
            It just takes time and patience to get used to this and learn to back well. Many find if they put their hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and watch the trailer in the mirrors, it can be easier. If you get too extreme and angle when you're learning, don't worry, just go forward until your straight and try again. Also practice backing straight. If you can have a friend with you it can be helpful to back and try to get a feel for distances and the dimensions of your new rig. Enjoy!


            • #7
              Oh, and I have a Baron SL. Love it!


              • Original Poster

                Great advice Seven, I will study it carefully!!! And I am happy you have a Baron SL and only a smidge jealous .

                PS, I just got this 5 year old Toyota 4-runner to haul the trailer, and something about the way things go flying around in it when I make even a regular (not severe) turn, I feel like I am an astronaut watching my stuff constantly flying through space... have not had my dog in this vehicle yet but it should be interesting...


                • #9
                  You would not be at all jealous if you saw the kinds of cracker jack boxes on wheels I pulled years ago with equally ugly trucks! Fortunately my last few trailers have been really nice. I still covet the Brenderup Apollo.

                  I think you'll be happy with your 4Runner/B'up combo. I've seen a lot of those paired. Let us know how it goes - especially the first time you take the horses out!


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Seven View Post
                    You would not be at all jealous if you saw the kinds of cracker jack boxes on wheels I pulled years ago with equally ugly trucks! Fortunately my last few trailers have been really nice. I still covet the Brenderup Apollo.

                    I think you'll be happy with your 4Runner/B'up combo. I've seen a lot of those paired. Let us know how it goes - especially the first time you take the horses out!
                    So you earned it .

                    I will let you know how it goes the first time I take the horses out (where is the shakey and about to throw up smiley, LOL?).

                    PS I have to drag it up and down an Interstate mountain pass basically everytime, for 30 minutes one way/ 60 round trip, if that explains my, uh, excitement... I don't plan to haul in the winter season though, only in warm/good weather...


                    • #11
                      I have the same trailer. I bought mine about 2 1/2 yrs ago....

                      I had NEVER hauled a trailer before, so this really surprised me.

                      I was towing it around a big parking lot empty. I decided to practice backing up. I did not think I was going too fast, but must have really turned it too tight.

                      It fishtailed and hit my Durango HARD. The noise and bang was fierce!!

                      I mean I had just gotten my trailer brand new probably a day earlier. I was sick to my stomach when I got out to see what had actually happened.

                      It shattered my Durango's rear light, damaged my bumper, and side of the vehicle. I looked at my Brenderup, and it did NOT even have a scratch.

                      Whew, I had thought it would have been really messed up, but it was in perfect condition.

                      So, until you get used to backing up, GO SLOW and do slower turns.

                      I had NO idea the trailer could fishtail and hit my vehicle.

                      BTW - I agree totally. I love having the more open space in the HB than the TC version. I do a LOT of mostly day rides, and just LOVE my trailer.

                      Congrats. It wont take long before you are totally at home hauling your horse in your NEW trailer. It just takes practice and time. The trailer hauls really easy. I actually forget I am hauling my horse at times, until I look in the rear view mirror, lol.
                      Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks Shermy, I think I would be extremely mortified if my trailer damaged my new-to-me 4-runner... Erg, though I have to say it's a tough trailer to do that to your Durango and not get a scratch! Glad to hear you forget it's back there :-). Hey, is there any issue of balance if you are hauling just one horse in a 2 horse B'up? Like they are just on the one side with the divider down the middle? Sorry if that is a stupid question.


                        • #13
                          I have hauled a single extra large draft horse in My Brenderup (on one side) on occasion. Other than being heavier for my Tahoe to accelerate with, I can't tell a difference with balance when I'm driving.

                          Sometimes I can hear the big feet moving on the trailer floor, but I can't feel it at the truck.


                          • #14
                            I did the high school parking lot thing. An experienced hauler (my husband) helped me learn how to back the trailer. He took the driver's seat and showed me several times, then I sloooooowly tried it myself. But Brenderups are so easy to drive that it didn't take long.

                            Sadly, I hardly use my Brenderup Solo anymore. Fortunately they don't lose value, so I just take it for a spin every few weeks to keep it "healthy" and figure I'll worry about it later.
                            Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/


                            • Original Poster

                              Yeah, that's why I got one, have heard they are just ridiculously easy to drive and very agile. My trainer had concerns about it not being made of steel or something stronger in the event of a roll over, but my theory is that if it is easier to drive and maneuver plus I can haul it will my 4 runner (more agile, I feel than a big honking truck which you would need for any other trailer), I am less likely to get into a problem to begin with.
                              Last edited by 2greyhorses; Jul. 17, 2010, 03:04 PM. Reason: typos


                              • #16
                                Yet Another Vote for Brenderup

                                I love my Royal TC. It is very easy to pull and almost feels like it is not even there. I agree that practicing now is great. Hitching gets easy once you figure out the point to back to. It's kind of like riding a bike. Once you figure it out, you keep that memory.

                                Enjoy the trailer. I got mine 10 years ago used and never regretted it.
                                Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by 2greyhorses View Post
                                  Thanks Shermy, I think I would be extremely mortified if my trailer damaged my new-to-me 4-runner... Erg, though I have to say it's a tough trailer to do that to your Durango and not get a scratch! Glad to hear you forget it's back there :-). Hey, is there any issue of balance if you are hauling just one horse in a 2 horse B'up? Like they are just on the one side with the divider down the middle? Sorry if that is a stupid question.

                                  I have a Royal TC. Sometimes I take the divider out and use it like a large one horse. Brenderup sells a separate long butt bar that was easy to install and when I use it as a one horse I use the long butt bar. You can see it as an accessory on their website.


                                  • #18
                                    I had a brenderup Royal TC. I was reluctant to ever sell it, but I just wasn't using it. It's a GREAT trailer, and one of the easiest I've ever towed.

                                    Here's my suggestion: hitch up your trailer empty. Go to a big empty parking lot. Then practice turning and backing up. Bring cones if you have them and see how close you can get the rear bumper of the trainer between the cones when backing up from an angle. All you really need is a little practice.

                                    Do be careful about not getting trailer too close to 90 degrees from truck when backing up. That's when, if you keep backing up, trailer WILL most likely hit the truck.

                                    When you're ready to tow a horse, my advice is to visualize a full glass of water. You can go a steady 55mph and it won't spill... it's the *change* in speed or direction that matters. Keep that in mind when you've got a horse on board. For example when I know I have a sharp turn to make up ahead, I'll gently slow down before I get to it. Then when I do start to turn the wheels, nobody is knocked off balance.

                                    At higher speeds, do leave more stopping distance and do not swerve sharply.

                                    Learn to use your side view mirrors alot. Also, take the time to figure out exactly how big the blind spot is directly behind the trailer (especially when you're backing up).

                                    Overall you picked a GREAT trailer - one of the easiest IMHO to haul horses in. Enjoy it and try not to worry too much.
                                    Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


                                    • #19
                                      I think it hauls great if empty, one horse, or two horses. I will say it is a little smoother if it has at least one horse in it. I think the weight keeps it grounded while it is moving.

                                      MOST of the time, I can hook it up on the first time I back up, not always, but it's pretty often. I can hook it up in about 3 mins, so it is super easy.

                                      It is my first and only trailer I have had or hauled. I love it, and it wont take too long before you gain a lot of confidence w/it.

                                      I do a lot of hauling to different trails for day rides, and it works just perfectly for that. I do wish it had a little more storage, but that is what my vehicle is for, right??
                                      Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!


                                      • #20
                                        Also, just work on centering your rear view window to the trailers window. Once you get used to that, it makes it easy.

                                        Where I drop my trailer, I back up until I "almost" cant see the handles below the window. That is how I judge if I am close enough to the trailer to hitch it up.

                                        You will figure it out, I promise. Just take you time and play w/it. Just pick a big parking lot, and play
                                        Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!