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Old 04-30-2008, 01:04 PM  
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Pulling a 2 horse trailer with.....

I'm in the market for a new vehicle. With rising gas prices, I'm having a hard time convincing my hubby to get me a truck. This vehicle will be my main mode of transportation...and having a 7 month old baby means it has to have 4 doors. How well will a SUV pull a 2 horse trailer? Probably just a V-6 something...maybe an Explorer or a Toyota 4Runner. Anybody out there pulling trailers with these vehicles?
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:07 PM  
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I don't know about a suv, but I have a quad cab Dodge Ram and I love it. Plenty of room for two carseats, my girls are 3 and 4. I don't have any problems pulling a 3 horse goose neck and before that a 2 horse bumper. Gas prices suck however.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:09 PM  
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I pull my trailer, a 2H draft size, with my SUV. I even pull it with my bumper hitch (although I do need to upgrade because it is not the safest way to tow).

I have a 2001 Mercury Mountaineer - 4 door, 2 wheel drive, V8.

A V-6 should be fine pulling a trailer, but you will have to make sure it is on the lighter end. You might have some struggle making it up larger hills at a fast pace, but if you are hauling relatively locally it will work.

BUT I ABSOLUTELY recommend that you get a 4-wheel drive vehicle. I have gotten stuck SO many times because of rear wheel drive. Its manageable with real wheel drive (and cheaper) just don't put yourself into any compromising circumstances as I have done.

AND- my truck has over 100K on it.

Another thing, stay away from Ford Explorer type vehicles. Their transmissions suck and you will probably burn through a transmission if you are hauling all the time. Talking to you from experience - and $1,500 poorer after having to replace mine after I started towing.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:13 PM  
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I have a 2003 F-250 V-10 that I usually use to pull our trailer. However, I do get stuck in binds and use my Ford Explorer to pull when I have too. I have a 2 horse with a dressing room. It's steel and aluminum so it's not the lightest trailer. I haven't had much problem but I haven't gone much of a distance either (max 30-35 miles). I would highly recommend trailer brakes, a good permanant hitch, and a 4-wheel drive if you take that route. I prefer our V-8 explorer to the V-6 that I did have. But I'd def recommend a bigger SUV or better yet a truck.

I have had my truck jacked way up...so i may be pulling all summer with my Explorer...luckily all my planned shows are only 10-20 miles away
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:28 PM  
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I truthfully wouldn't pull with anything but a v8 or higher. v6 just isn't enough power to be safe AND it'll be extra hard on your engine.

Another thing to worry about is that smaller SUV's don't have the weight and power to STOP a trailer...... Thats why people have bigger towing rigs because the vehicle can handle the trailer pushing from behind.

I pulled my 2 hors trailer with a GMC Yukon, Chevy 1/2 ton 1985 and 2001 pickup....all worked great to do the job.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:32 PM  
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I had a 2001 Chevy Tahoe, and it was great with the trailer. I pulled a 4 horse STEEL stock trailer with it all the time. Never had any problems with it. Just make sure your new vehicle has the hook up for electric brakes. Makes life soooo much easier and safer.
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:42 PM  
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Sorry the short wheelbase of an SUV can make it problematic.
The big thing with safely towing is that small vehicles can get them rolling and pull them BUT it is the panic stops and coming down a grade that can cost you..literally your life.
Sorry but if you cannot get a safe truck for hauling your trailer-maybe you can barter rides or something.
Don't believe me-check out old trailer accidents-bet money most are from too small a vehicle for towing/stopping.
BTW I paid for hauls for years until I could get a rig-no issue with that
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:43 PM  
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Well, I plan on just pulling locally. I won't be straying too far away from home. A tahoe would be ideal, but was hoping to get something that got better gas mileage....it may not be possible
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:46 PM  
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OR a Brenderup trailer may be one way-they run 10K-to infinity..BUT they can be pulled with at least a 1600 cc engine and they last forever. Totally different animal than other trailers
Have you looked into them?
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Old 04-30-2008, 01:56 PM  
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I have a 2004 Explorer with a 4.0 v-6 engine. I have used it to pull short distances when my boyfriends Dodge Ram is unavailable. I can tell a HUGE difference between the capabilities of the two vehicles. My mechanic gave me a huge lecture NOT to use the Explorer anymore for towing. He told me that even if the engine can get it going that the transmission and braking system are suffering silently. I am certain if I continue to use the Explorer I will be replacing transmission and engine sooner than normal. $$$$$ Very expensive repairs!!!! I have not used it since the BIG TALK, and the mechanic could potential make a lot of money by not telling me this. Thankful that he is honest. If an SUV is a must I would check out the bigger Expedition or Tahoe, they are more expensive but you have to weigh that against the repair bills you will have if you get a smaller SUV.

Good Luck with your decision.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:02 PM  
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I'm sure that I'm risking tomotoes for saying this, but we pulled our two-horse with an Explorer Limited. We went maybe 30 miles away from home at the most, except when we moved from Central Georgia to North Alabama. The Explorer pulled the trailer fine, and even stopped it really quickly in a pinch once or twice.

To redeem myself, having used the Explorer as our main mode of transportation and our horses' main mode of transportation, you will fare better with a truck with a longer wheel base, or even a used SUV for the family and a cheap "farm truck" for the horses. It may cost a little more in gas, but in the long run it will be worth it. Just factor in the price of costly engine repairs, kicks to the tail-lights (experience speaking!), and having a dirty vehicle all the time that your kids have to no choice but to ride in.

Our Explorer did do well, and has had no problems whatsoever, but we have sold our trailer and before we buy another we will be buying a truck to be used for horse activities, hauling and such, only.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:11 PM  
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http://forum.horsetopia.com/tack-apparel-equipment/77906-talk-me-about-trucks.html


Here is a similiar thread on the same topic.


I pull a Featherlite 2H straight load w/ walk thru DR (BP) with an F150 XLT 4x4. I can't even feel the trailer behind me. Pulls awesome. It has the bigger V8 and tow package, heavy duty rear end with the 4x4.

I would NEVER pull with an SUV. They are not meant for pulling.

I am a medic and more than 1/2 of my roll over accidents are SUV's.

I will never own one and would never allow my horse to be pulled by one.

SUV's are NOT Built to be tow vehicles.

Its MORE than the engine when looking for a tow vehicle. Its the wheel base and extra heavy duty engine coolant, transmission coolant, shocks, brakes etc. Its called a "tow package" Trucks have them.

The last 2 accidents involving horse trailers on our interstate (both rolled) were both pulled by SUV's. In one accident, a horse was ejected while the trialer rolled and the other horse went for the ride, scraped and beat to a pulp. The other accident, horse was euthanized on the scene.

Last edited by BarnBum : 04-30-2008 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:20 PM  
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I appreciate everyones input on this topic. My husband will like the tallied results...What I will probably do is buy a used Honda Accord...4-door and get an older...probably not very pretty pick-up to do all the horse hauling. That way, I'll get good gas mileage going back and forth to work and going around town and just use the truck when we haul the horses.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:36 PM  
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I have pulled with my Expedition (a full sized SUV, not the mid size)- 2 horse steel trailer. The Expedition is 4WD, V8 with a tow package (SUV's can come with tow packages). It does the job. Like I told someone, it is the jack of all trades, master of none. It hauls people, my show dogs and it can tow a horse trailer. The farthest I have pulled with it was a couple of hours each way (just one horse in trailer). It can do the job (weighs over 5K pounds) within a reasonable amount of safety limitations. My fiance has an F350 and there is no question that it is the better truck to pull with - but my SUV does work when I need it to.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:35 PM  
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I have a 2 horse steel trailer with a dressing room and haul it with my 3/4 ton 4x4 suburban. I could haul it with my ford explorer, but there is no way I would feel safe. I have heard too many stories about the explorers. I found out that u-haul will not allow you to rent a trailer if you are using a ford explorer to pull it with.
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:51 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samtom View Post
I have a 2 horse steel trailer with a dressing room and haul it with my 3/4 ton 4x4 suburban. I could haul it with my ford explorer, but there is no way I would feel safe. I have heard too many stories about the explorers. I found out that u-haul will not allow you to rent a trailer if you are using a ford explorer to pull it with.

In my previous post, I said how many roll over accidents I encounter while on duty ......... most of them are FORD EXPLORERS !!!
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:08 PM  
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Before you tow anything with your smaller vehicles - -- check the owner's manual to see what the towing capacity is of your vehicle. You cannot and should not tow more than that weight. Now -- factor in the weight of your trailer empty and add horses' weight and tack and water if you are hauling water. Most small vehicles are not equipped to tow this amount.
An electronic braking unit is also a must -- makes stopping a whole lot easier. We have an older ford 3/4 ton truck and it can pull anything but it also has an electronic braking unit in it and we use it to pull our large holiday trailer. Would never even consider using our van to pull a horse trailer -- it just isn't safe!! Will have to rely on our 12 yr. old truck to do that. It basically sits on the drive way most of the time -- it is our tow vehicle. We own a van & small car for doing all the other stuff.
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:10 PM  
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Just get a brender up and an suv would be fine!!! But really an suv isn't strong enough or stable enough to pull a trailer,
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:20 PM  
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I have a 1996 Ford Explorer XLT V8 4x4 and I love it! It has over 260km's on it now and I have towed over 100,000km's on it in the last 8 years. It is one major work horse, and I have hauled through the mountains, and on 11 hour hauls loaded.
I have not had transimision issues nor brake issues. I keep up on all repairs and it is my work horse.
I have never been stuck (even durring major rain storms when other have been) and it tows so nicely.
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:28 PM  
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I can pull a 4 horse BP with a chevy suburban. Right now, I'm pulling a 3 horse with a toyota 4 runner with a v6 engine. It pulls but its not easy on me or the cars transmission. I loved my old suburban though. It pulled great.
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