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What are the best trailers in 2020 and why?

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    What are the best trailers in 2020 and why?

    We are looking to downsize from 2+1 GN with dressing room to 2 horse GN with DR and want to know what trailer COTH likes best this year and why.

    Thanks everyone!


    #2
    Love my Hawk (2018 model). Fiberglass room makes it cooler, low ramp, very horse friendly. I have a 2h gooseneck.

    Comment


      #3
      Topic has been well covered, but since I just bought a new trailer (will be delivered, maybe, in Oct) --here's what I think (having bought probably 10 trailers in 50 years) --everything starts with welds. (After you buy and read the book Everything to Know about Buying, Selling, Owning and Maintaining Horse Trailers by Neve Scheve --on Amazon).

      If a trailer lacks neatly (almost artfully) done welds at key locations (pretty much where metal meets metal stress points) walk away. If the welds aren't there or are poorly done, the rest of the trailer isn't going to matter. Personally I have seen great welds on 4-Star, Jamco, Sooner, Featherlite (best I thought), and my personal choice --Merhow. Hawk and EquiSpirit have good welds, but not as many as the first ones I listed. I have heard that a new trailer called Platinum is top-of-the line, but never saw one and couldn't find one to look at.

      Ok, so why, you ask, did I buy a Merhow when I thought Featherlite was better welded? Designs were the same, cost the same --but Merhow has a dealer close to me (1 hour) and a factory 7 miles from my house. I currently have a 2004 Merhow SL BP Oversize (will be for sale when I get my new one) --when I needed a part no matter how small (like the rain guards above the door that got bent when I um, ran into a low tree branch, I dashed over to Merhow and got one for $6, no shipping. Easy to do. The company gave me a set of keys for the trailer when I bought it used --just needed the vin-number --and as a "Welcome to Merhow Family" gift, gave me a set of hubcaps for the wheels that had the logo on them --nice! If Featherlite had a dealer anywhere near me --I would have given them a closer look. This new trailer (2021, by the way as I understand that many manufacturers of all trailers (I live in the trailer capital of the world, Elkhart IN) have been unable to complete orders for 2020 due to shut downs of factories so are moving at this point to making 2021 models). Anyway, the warranty on the new trailer is 8 years --since I am close to 70, that will probably see me to the end of my horse career. I don't want to be chasing a warranty claim from a manufacturer in TX six years from now, or deal with a company that might/might not still be in business. I doubt Merhow will close by then (know the owners casually) I believe the company and dealer will still be around when I need them to fix something under warranty. So for me, the best thing you can do look personally at the trailers (take a measuring tape with you --sometimes what they state are dimensions are not what we think --I measure inside-inside, some measure outside, outside. And don't hesitate to ask for wiggle room on the price ---I pointed out that I was a returning customer and always give Merhow a shout out on the COTH board ---dealer or company threw in almost $1000 in options when I asked for them.

      Comment


        #4
        I love my Gore trailer! It has a side ramp, which is perfect for my horse who is a bit frightened of trailering and gets stressed when having to back out of a trailer. It has plenty of space for saddles and even has built in hooks for bridles, show coats, etc. Mine does not have a dressing room as I did not feel the need for one, but when I was viewing trailers and saw one with a dressing room, it was lovely, with good space. The Gore is also easy to clean, both inside and out, and looks practically brand new with a nice hose down. Mine has held up wonderfully. It has great ventilation, plenty of room, and is easy to hook up to our pickup truck. I really cannot day enough good things about it!
        Best of luck on your search!

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the replies!
          Specifically, who has bought a new 2020 trailer, what brands did you look at and what did you end up buying?

          We have looked at 4 Star and Double D. Both were nice, we especially liked the 4 Star, which seemed very heavy-duty and had beautiful fit and finish.

          We have read that 4 Stars "aren't as good as they used to be" whatever that means. I did see a post about a 2019 4 Star that had weld problems, and wondered if that was a one-off.

          We want to get an alternative to rubber mats and really liked the Rumber floor that was available in the Double D, but 4 Star only has WERM floor instead of mats.


          Comment


            #6
            As I said above, I just bought a 2021 Merhow. I too heard the rumor about 4Star --that some of their folks had started their own company and were producing Platinum trailers. I asked about Rumber floor and WERM -- but not something I decided to do ---the trailer I bought has an aluminum floor with mats ---since I have a designated wash bay for my trailer, hosing after use has never been a problem. As stated, my reason for going with Merhow was quality (I currently have one that is wonderful --best trailer I've ever owned) and secondly the close proximity of both the dealer and the company.

            Comment


              #7
              I have a 2020 4 Star w WERM flooring. It’s awesome. It’s my third one and is just as beautifully made as my first one. I’ve never had a single problem w any of them. I’ve only traded because I wanted a different size. They really hold their value. Their customer service has always been fabulous, as well. (When I’ve made changes, I’ve called the corporate office to ask questions.). Good luck!

              Comment


                #8
                I absolutely love my Fautras.

                Some of my favorite features:
                • I can tow it with a small SUV.
                • Two front exit doors for the horses
                • Ample tack storage (two compartments).
                • The floor has a lifetime warranty.
                • The butt bar can be opened or closed from a lever at the front of the trailer (for loading/unloading on one's own).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Based on my experience last year with a young horse jumping over the breast bar, I will definitely make sure my next trailer is built to allow the internals (breast bar, dividers, etc) to be disassembled around the horse. My 2006Hawk is wonderful with that feature. You never know how valuable it is until you have a young horse make themselves into a pretzel.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by PossumHorse View Post
                    Based on my experience last year with a young horse jumping over the breast bar, I will definitely make sure my next trailer is built to allow the internals (breast bar, dividers, etc) to be disassembled around the horse. My 2006Hawk is wonderful with that feature. You never know how valuable it is until you have a young horse make themselves into a pretzel.
                    having had to drag a horse over the chest bar that it had hopped over then passed out since it could not breath .... I would never ever, ever have a trailer that has chest bars...never

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by clanter View Post

                      having had to drag a horse over the chest bar that it had hopped over then passed out since it could not breath .... I would never ever, ever have a trailer that has chest bars...never
                      My Trail-et is similar to the Hawk. I had a horse over the chest bar. I pulled the pin and it released him. The Trail-et had a cotter pin on the top of the center bar that holds chest bars and center dividers. It is quick and easy to pull to disassemble the whole thing.
                      I have seen a few pictures and videos of horses that have made it halfway through the window on a slant load. I was at a show and a pony got stuck in the front manger. I don't think any one design is 100% safe. Horses seem to like to try to regularly commit suicide in many creative ways.
                      Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I haven't bought a new trailer but I adore my Charmac. It's well made and lasts forever. I have a three horse GN with no lq but large front tack and a rear tack, it's a little heavier than some I've owned but worth it. However, my dream trailer is a 2 horse 4-Star with an lq.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I just dropped my very not new trailer off at corner for inspection and was absolutely drooling over their 2020s. I love Cotner trailers, I just find them well made and near-indestructable.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Huge fan of my 4 star with werm flooring. 4 stars also have the quiet ride dividers to give the horses a more peaceful experience when on the road.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Any comments about Lakota? They have a big dealership near me.
                              www.TheSaddleTree.com
                              www.TrainingTree.net

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I had a 2 horse Shoop bp that I liked a lot - good value for the money. We moved up to a Kingston Brunswick Gooseneck that we loved - very well built, hauled like a dream but we don't have the truck with the bed hitch any more so I'm selling the trailer. In the future, I'll stick with a bumper pull because they're more versatile to haul with.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Check out Boeckmanns- competitive pricing with German engineering. Light, cool, quiet and safe. You can unscrew the breast bar from outside if horse is a fool and tries to climb over!

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by caevent View Post
                                    Huge fan of my 4 star with werm flooring. 4 stars also have the quiet ride dividers to give the horses a more peaceful experience when on the road.
                                    Ride back there once. The quiet ride stuff is a gimmick, as there are about a million other things that rattle, not to mention just the noise of traffic.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                                      My Trail-et is similar to the Hawk. I had a horse over the chest bar. I pulled the pin and it released him. The Trail-et had a cotter pin on the top of the center bar that holds chest bars and center dividers. It is quick and easy to pull to disassemble the whole thing.
                                      I have seen a few pictures and videos of horses that have made it halfway through the window on a slant load. I was at a show and a pony got stuck in the front manger. I don't think any one design is 100% safe. Horses seem to like to try to regularly commit suicide in many creative ways.
                                      Sometimes there's just no design that will keep a horse 100% safe in that kind of confinement (in what is often an elevated stress environment to begin with). i had a horse come through the chest bar-- I had just loaded him, passed through the chest bar but hadn't gotten the pin fully seated when my horse panicked. He exploded up, sideways, backwards and then finally decided that forward--through the people door-- was his best option. Leapt right through the chest bar and got wedged halfway through the people door. Kept thrashing with his hind legs for about a minute, until the trailer door frame bent enough to get through. Somehow he ended up jumping into the pickup truck bed, then jumped down from there. Unfortunately my arm was wedged in the door with him, and broke in slow motion-- but i'm pretty happy to have gotten out of that trailer with just a broken arm, and he had some bruising and lacerations on his flank, nothing serious. This one featured all sorts of human error, brought into stark focus when combined with a 1300lb panicked animal.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by HungarianHippo View Post

                                        Sometimes there's just no design that will keep a horse 100% safe in that kind of confinement (in what is often an elevated stress environment to begin with). i had a horse come through the chest bar-- I had just loaded him, passed through the chest bar but hadn't gotten the pin fully seated when my horse panicked. He exploded up, sideways, backwards and then finally decided that forward--through the people door-- was his best option. Leapt right through the chest bar and got wedged halfway through the people door. Kept thrashing with his hind legs for about a minute, until the trailer door frame bent enough to get through. Somehow he ended up jumping into the pickup truck bed, then jumped down from there. Unfortunately my arm was wedged in the door with him, and broke in slow motion-- but i'm pretty happy to have gotten out of that trailer with just a broken arm, and he had some bruising and lacerations on his flank, nothing serious. This one featured all sorts of human error, brought into stark focus when combined with a 1300lb panicked animal.
                                        I try to quickly teach my horses to self load. I rarely drop my chest bar and duck under if I am loading a horse that does not self load. The Trail-et had a great design for both butt and chest bars. The end that you unhooked had a plate that was a 90 degree angle. You hooked that plate in a bracket and then dropped the pin. Therefore it was pretty quick to get hooked and if the horse pushed against the bar before you dropped the pin he is still secure. Not secure enough to travel without the pin.

                                        I agree that no one design that keeps both horse and people safe 100% of the time.

                                        I was loading a pony one time and he reared up and hooked a leg over the center divider. That can happen in a slant or straight load. I knew a horse that stepped backwards off a step up trailer and skinned the front of his hind leg. I have known horses to unload crooked and step off a ramp awkwardly and get leg injuries. Horses have fallen in all kinds of trailers.
                                        I had a very expensive show pony get a let up under the chest bar and get a let stuck in the manger bag. There was a little gap between the two.

                                        They will find a way sometimes

                                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                        Comment

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