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Old 04-01-2010, 10:19 PM  
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What to look for in a used horse trailer

Hey guys,
I'm going to take a look at a horse trailer tomorrow and was jsut wondering what you guys look for specifically while evaluating a trailer.
Thanks
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:22 PM  
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Look at wiring, rust, any damage, mats (do they need to be replaced, or are they even there), proper height/width for your horse to be comfy, anything out of the ordinary.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:30 PM  
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Well I know its the right size for my horse, at least if the seller is honest, and she says the lights are in perfect order. The one thing she has said is that the brakes are there and operable, but they need to be hooked up, because she hasnt used them. Does anyone know how much it would cost to do that?
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:44 AM  
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If there are mats in the trailer, pick them up and examine the floor carefully! Hook up the lights to your (or the seller's) truck to try them out. Also, carefully check the hitch and the welding around the hitch which actually holds it to the trailer - make sure it is a good weld with no visible cracking.

Not sure about the brakes but why wouldn't she have used them? Just curious.

Good luck and let us know how it goes. perhaps bring a camera to take pictures of anything you are unsure about.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:16 AM  
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Get underneath, at least your head, armed with a flashlight and check the frame for serious rust. Rust where frame is missing. Also check the floor for rot. Bearings can be a fairly big expense if they need replacing in all four. As already mentioned lift the floor mats if so equipped. You want boards that are dry and solid especially at the edges. Wiring is a minor issue, a nuisance but not a big deal. The brakes will need to be checked by a mechanic while you get the bearings checked. Spending money to have this done could save you a lot of money in the long run. If you get this done and decide to pass on the trailer, don't tell the owner what it needs. The owner can buy the mechanics report from you if so desired.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:49 AM  
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Check to make sure it has a VIN number. Mine didn't and that cost me an extra $500 to have it assigned. I couldn't get a licence plate for it until I got that new VIN number put on.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:02 AM  
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make sure its not defaced..many trailers "manufacturerers plates" are taken off to repaint, or it got rusty so they took it off, well insurance companies and registries can not register it, and it will be hard to find "parts" if you don't have any model numbers..although old trailers it will be hard anyways..mostly for the registration and licensing, and proff of purchase.

along with everything every one else has said

it its a 2 horse straight load bumper pull, brakes are not required on it, we asked because out brakes were not hitched up, it cost about 250.00 for the brakes to be done at a trailer place.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:14 AM  
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Make sure your TOW vehicle is big enough to pull it - loaded w/ gear and horse weight. Ask how much the trailer weighs (should be on the registration) and add that up. Then see what your tow vehicle is rated for. (Reece or GN). I saw this to make sure your tow vehicle can STOP the trailer !!

Floor. Make sure the floor is in good shape. Horror stories of horses falling thru wooden floors. Sad ending too.

Wiring.

Make sure the trailer is big enough for the horse. This means he can lift his head and not bang it. Once they bang their head, forget it.

Tires. (easy fix- just go replace them).

Maintience- Ball Bearings.
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:20 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim Pikkens View Post
Get underneath, at least your head, armed with a flashlight and check the frame for serious rust. Rust where frame is missing. Also check the floor for rot. Bearings can be a fairly big expense if they need replacing in all four. As already mentioned lift the floor mats if so equipped. You want boards that are dry and solid especially at the edges. Wiring is a minor issue, a nuisance but not a big deal. The brakes will need to be checked by a mechanic while you get the bearings checked. Spending money to have this done could save you a lot of money in the long run. If you get this done and decide to pass on the trailer, don't tell the owner what it needs. The owner can buy the mechanics report from you if so desired.

Absolutely agree with the above. It is NOT common to find a really old trailer that is in usable condition. Be very careful ... you can lift up the floor mats and check those yourself. Bearings, brakes have to be checked by a mechanic. Much older trailers can have "surge" brakes... not the best. Check to see if the lights and turn signal lights work... If your vehicle does not have the right connection have the seller hook up the trailer to their vehicle. There are many old two horse straight loads that are just plain creepy. They are also can be very claustrophobic for the horse. The manger is rusted out and just dangerous. Be careful. Oh yes... make sure it has a title!
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:22 PM  
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Just wondering how it went?
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:42 PM  
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FYI: I have an old trailer with electric brakes that aren't connected. Took it to a mechanic and he quoted me $475-500 to fix them.

Some things I would look out for when buying used are:
working brakes
if side of trailer is wood, look for rotting and the same with the floors
rusting, if it's steel
weight of trailer
safety break away
title and VIN number
does it need to be licensed to haul in your area (each state is different)
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