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Finding the right trailer…

This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  G & S 2 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • TBeventer Original Poster TBeventer
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 22

    Hi everyone,

    A little over a year ago, I bought a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee after deciding that my days were over of trailering my own horse around. However, I am now finding myself in a predicament of needing to trailer again. My Grand Cherokee is a 3.6l V6 with a tow capacity of 5000lbs. Ideally, it would be nice to go back to a 1 ton pickup with a V8 engine but that isn’t possible right now. I’m getting some things installed into my Grand Cherokee like a brake controller and possible rear springs, whatever it needs to get the job done. I will also only be towing one horse that weighs about 1150lbs.

    I am currently looking for trailers and I have a couple different options but I am trying to figure out what would be best for my SUV. I am trying to find a BrenderUp but they are hard to come across these days. I don’t know whether I need to find a very small trailer 2 horse BP front load (without a dressing/tack room) but big enough for my horse (at least 7′ tall), a trailer that doesn’t weigh a lot but might have a dressing/tack room, or a trailer that doesn’t have a lot of tongue weight.

    Here are some options I’ve run into:
    a) BrenderUp (will have to travel hundreds of miles if I find one)
    b) Lightweight 2200lb trailer with tack/dressing room but 7’6″ tall (wind resistance/too big for suv?)
    c) Small CW 2 horse front load without a tack/dressing room that is 2600lbs. (too heavy?)

    What should some of my big focuses be? Trailer weight? height? length? tongue weight?

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    These are questions I think I would ask of both a Jeep dealer and a place that sells trailers.

    It is never the horse's fault

    TBeventer Original Poster TBeventer
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 22

    I have asked. The problem is Jeep/Mopar gives me information based on specs. So if I can tow 5000, I can tow up to 5000lbs. The sellers of these trailers say I will have no problem and my Grand Cherokee will have no problem. The questions come into play based on experience. I’ve heard from one GC owner who owns a V8 Hemi and wouldn’t tow more than his small 2200lb trailer and 2 horses weighing about 2500lbs together plus tack. I only need to tow one horse so I’m trying to see if I can be sufficient with a small American trailer because European ones are hard to find.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    They don’t make it easy, do they? I don’t think I would tow my horses with a V-6, but I am neurotic. I do know that Ford says absolutely not to try this with an Explorer, if that is any help. Small boats, yes. Livestock, no.

    It is never the horse's fault

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    One of the major & critical differences between hauling a horse trailer with horses in it and hauling a boat is that the horse trailer is carrying live horses that are going to do a certain amount of moving around in the trailer. A boat does not have a mind of its own, and isn’t going to get restless or bored and starting shifting his/her weight while going down the expressway at 60 mph. That is an absolutely critical difference. Also, is your Jeep set up with a “towing package”. I’m not a car/truck person, but there are extras than can be added (or installed at the factory if you are buying a new vehicle) that will make the vehicle better suited to towing a horse trailer. Off hand the only one I can think of is something to do with the transmission, sorry, I am so NOT a car techie person, but I have good advisers, who have taught me that pulling a horse trailer can be hard on the transmission unless the correct towing package (which usually includes more than just the transmission stuff) has been installed or added. Either the trailer mfgs or the car mfgs will know what I am concerned about, I just don’t know the proper technical terms.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    G&S – in addition to the transmission, there are other “things” (I’m not a car person either), including the hitch class, which is very important. I knew someone who thought she could haul her horse with An Explorer that had a Class 1 hitch. She could not (didn’t believe me, had to find out the hard way). Thankfully, the horse was not harmed. Just having a truck or SUV does not mean one can transport horses. Boats, as you say, perhaps, but even with boats one has to consider the power of the tow vehicle in correlation to the size of the boat. For myself, I would not do it in anything less than a full size pickup or SUV with a factory installed tow package and a big engine (not a six cylinder). I have an F-150, towing package and Class 3 hitch – never had a problem. My farm owner uses a gooseneck, which I find to be a lot more stable and much easier on the horse. For those who are willing to try going in reverse, they are also easier to maneuver. I only go frontwards.

    It is never the horse's fault

    neiner neiner
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 8

    I recently bought a used truck that has a V8 and a tow capacity of over 10,000 lbs…if I had to guess I’d say [conservatively] 12,000 lbs. I don’t know the exact number because the truck has a few upgrades that I have to take into account. I personally would never tow more than 8000lbs with it. (I’ve towed approx. 7000lbs before, and you can definitely feel the truck working.) Why? Well, I could write the world’s longest post, but here are some articles that do a decent job of covering your concerns:
    http://www.carcare.org/2011/10/what-your-vehicles-towing-capacity-means/
    http://bamarv.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-calculate-your-real-towing.html
    They address the hitch class and transmission issue to which Joe-joe and G&S were referring, but most importantly, they explain where Jeep got the 5000 lb number for your vehicle and how you can calculate your REAL tow capacity. (Spoiler alert: It’s much less than 5000 lbs.)
    Honestly, I wouldn’t tow with your vehicle at all if I could avoid it. If I absolutely had to, I wouldn’t exceed 3000 lbs (trailer and horse combined), and I would not do it regularly.

    "Gentle in what you do; firm in how you do it." -Buck Brannaman

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    Great Info, Neiner, thanks.

    TBeventer Original Poster TBeventer
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 22

    Those articles were extremely helpful. Since this post and with the advice of others, I’m working on trading my GC in for a truck. Yes, I will take a big hit on my 2014 Jeep, but I have to find a vehicle that would better suit my needs. I’m currently working with my brother who is a service manager with Nissan. I’m trying to get a Titan, 5.7L V8 Engine with a premium truck package (to lower the axle ratio among other things, basically built to tow). It will give me some relief regarding safety, use, and options for trailers.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    I’m sure the hit on selling your 2014 Jeep will hurt, but you could look at it as saving the money & grief you could have if you tried to pull a horse trailer with the Jeep, and the car and/or trailer ended up damaged, plus the horse and/or you ended up injured. When I am trying to make a difficult decision, I try to look at the worst case scenario of both or all options, and figure out which I could least live with and which I could most easily live with. That can make decision clearer. Although it sounds like you may have already done that. One of the problems with pulling a horse trailer is that anything that can safely & comfortably for both car driver and horse(s), is going to have lousy gas milage. One possible solution is to have a small car with exceptional milage for every day driving and a sufficiently powerful truck to pull the trailer. Two cars to insure, but the truck will last longer if not used for everyday driving. Not a solution for everybody, but something to consider.

    TBeventer Original Poster TBeventer
    Topics Started: 3Replies Posted: 22

    I agree. At first my dad suggested I spend $500-600 on my tow package and get a 2 horse trailer to see how I liked it for a while but I mentioned that I am putting mine and my horse’s safety in danger by just “trying” it out.

    I will end up saving a lot of money. Right now I am commuting one hour (2 total) to get to my barn I board at and I make it out 1-3 days a week. My board is stupidly expensive and I have to pay for full time training because I am so limited on getting out there. I found a private breeding facility 10 minutes from my house that the owners said I could board her there. The board rate is half the cost of what I am paying now, plus I’d save on full time training when I haul in for individual lessons once a week.

    I’m sure the hit on selling your 2014 Jeep will hurt, but you could look at it as saving the money & grief you could have if you tried to pull a horse trailer with the Jeep, and the car and/or trailer ended up damaged, plus the horse and/or you ended up injured. When I am trying to make a difficult decision, I try to look at the worst case scenario of both or all options, and figure out which I could least live with and which I could most easily live with. That can make decision clearer. Although it sounds like you may have already done that. One of the problems with pulling a horse trailer is that anything that can safely & comfortably for both car driver and horse(s), is going to have lousy gas milage. One possible solution is to have a small car with exceptional milage for every day driving and a sufficiently powerful truck to pull the trailer. Two cars to insure, but the truck will last longer if not used for everyday driving. Not a solution for everybody, but something to consider.

    G & S
    Topics Started: 16Replies Posted: 249

    It is always nice to hear that the safe choice ended up being the less expensive one.

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