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Old 07-22-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
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Horse Trailers Steel vs Aluminum??

How much difference does it make in fuel useage if you have steel vs aluminum?? Looking at a 5th wheel trailer for comparison..

Is it a big difference or just a small amount.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:34 AM   #2
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It depends a lot on the size of the trailer and if your looking at a all aluminum or a aluminum steel combo.
On some aluminums the frame is still steel which adds weight to the trailer.
I know PCC and I have been looking at Goosenecks and we have been seeing a weight difference of 400 -800 pounds give or take between steel and aluminum. So depending on the size of your truck and hauling capacity the lighter option my be the better.
And yeah it will help with gas.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #3
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Looking at a 3-4 horse with living qhts.. The truck will be able to pull either one.. (F-350 Super Duty) just not sure how much difference there will be if you take fuel into consideration.

Our 16ft steel stock trailer doesn't affect the fuel milage now.. But with a longer and heavier trailer I'm sure it will just not sure how much..

I've found some steel trailers that are very reasonable and in good condition just not sure in the long run how much money you save..
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #4
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IMO the weight won't make that big of a difference in gas mileage because once you get it up and going it is not any harder to pull.Now size and shape will make a difference,square nose verses a sloped nose.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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We have an F-250 super crew. I haven't pulled that much with it but have found that the aluminum trailer does allow 2 miles better on gas mileage. It was about same size as the steel one. It was a 5-6 horse stock. That was mostly highway driving. It's not a huge mileage gain but does ad up over time! With the particular trialers we were pulling, bf said the aluminum pulled much smoother and easier. But I think that varies on the trailer. The truck never strugged with either, although it is a v-10.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:45 AM   #6
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I haul a 98 all steel gooseneck Bee trailer out of GA. It is 7500lbs empty. It has living quarter space but no actual quarters installed. So when I am hauling with my tack and 3 horses I am over 10000lbs. I use a F350 to tow with and I get 11-12MPG towing. Normal without the trailer I am avg 18-20MPG. Of course I have 4:11 gears in my truck too. It was designed for towing, so someone with higher gears will get better mileage than I would. My F350 tows my trailer like it is not even back there so I can imagine what an aluminum trailer would be like towing a feather! I like my all steel trailer, it tows like a dream because it is heavier, not a lot of bouncing around.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:49 AM   #7
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What I found is that I had a 14 ft, extra tall, extra wide, 2 horse steel Adams Stock Trailer. It was alot of trailer to move, either with the Chevy Silverado or the Ford F250.

Now I'm pulling a 14 ft Alum 2 horse step up tailer with tack room with the F250 and it feels like there is nothing behind me, even with a horse in it. With two horse's I can feel a difference only if they start dancing around.

I like both trailers for different reasons. The stock was easy to work by myself, with a difficult horse. The Alum. is easier for me to tow and the horse I have now is really good and loads and unloads with little assistance and I don't need an extra set of hands helping me with him.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:52 AM   #8
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Boy there are lots of good responses so far.. Our truck has an added tow package in it also.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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We used to have a 3H gooseneck aluminum trailer and a 2H steel bumper pull...

pulling that aluminum trailer was easier and felt lighter then that 2H. We didn't get astronomically better gas mileage with the aluminum, but we got 2-3 mpg more then with that little steel trailer.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:16 AM   #10
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Ok anyone know Brand names of trailers that are steel framed but alum skined??

Hart trailers are the only one that I can come with at the moment..
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:19 AM   #11
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I do belive that Exiss are as well as Sundowners.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:42 AM   #12
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I think Adam builds steel framed with aluminum skin. I have a 14ft Adam steel stock trailer that I love. Its totally simple, but it is heavier. I have one opinion about steel vs aluminum, and it is that your tie rings are welded to the trailer with steel, and bolted to the trailer with aluminum. My friend's horse spooked one day tied to her aluminum trailer and snapped the tie ring right off the side of the trailer. It was then that I realized that mine were welded to the body..., just something to consider..., nobody got hurt, but it happened so fast, and it could have been dangerous. Redboy
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:04 AM   #13
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Mine is made by Bee Trailers out of GA. All steel, frame and everything.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:57 AM   #14
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Our gooseneck was a steel frame aluminum siding Featherlite. I just saw one in the California Horsetrader, a 4 horse gooseneck for $9000. o.O
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:05 PM   #15
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Steel lighter than Aluminum

It may sound weird, but I went to an exiss dealer and he actually said that the newer steel trailers are actually lighter than the fully enclosed aluminum.
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirita_88 View Post
It may sound weird, but I went to an exiss dealer and he actually said that the newer steel trailers are actually lighter than the fully enclosed aluminum.
I bought a DreamCoach 2H BP slant because I wanted something light. I was at the Harrisburg Horse Expo and saw a steel trailer, same size as mine, 2H BP slant, and it was 800# lighter than mine. Sigh. I don't know how the newer, lighter steel compares in strength to aluminum though. CM, Hawk, Sundowner, Equispririt, Bison, Circle J, Adam.... lots of manufacturers make (or have made) steel frame/alum. skin trailers.

I know you have to be careful when steel comes in contact with aluminum (like in a steel frame, alum. skin trailer). Electrolysis occurs when the two come in contact (which means corrosion), so where the steel and aluminum join can be an issue.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I know you have to be careful when steel comes in contact with aluminum (like in a steel frame, alum. skin trailer). Electrolysis occurs when the two come in contact (which means corrosion), so where the steel and aluminum join can be an issue.
Yes, you do.

You also have to watch the aluminum trailers for failing welds as well. Aluminum is harder to weld properly so if it wasn't done just right the welds have a habit of popping or cracking at the worst time. A friend of ours literally had his back swing door fall off going down a rough gravel road. Good thing it was empty at the time. Trailer was only a couple of years old too.

Another thing to think about is repairs down the road. It's much harder to find someone to repair an aluminum trailer while just about anyone can repair a steel trailer.

There really isn't a big enough difference between steel and aluminum as far as weight goes. It's what's in the trailer that will make the difference (amenities and such).

Plus unless the trailer is fully lined it will leave those nasty grey stains all over your horses bum.

We have a Titan steel trailer. Love it! Built tough to last. We've had it for 3? years now without a single issue.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:51 PM   #18
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I have a 10 year old 2 horse bp trail-et that I just took in to have mainteneced. Mind you it has sat outside the entire 10 years. The person who checked it over could not believe we had never had anything done to it in the 10 years we had it. It is a steel frame with aluminum skin and a wood floor, plus a fiberglass top. It is very light to hual and it stays very cool inside.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #19
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There are many different companies that offer a steel frame with aluminum skin. That would be my preferance. We have pulled many different types of trailers. I will only pull a gooseneck as I do not like a BP. I have pulled an all aluminum trailer that I hated. It bounced and was so rough to pull and I'm sure to ride in. The steel framed one pulled much smoother and seemed to be a better trailer all-round, both were Sundowners. I have pulled many, many steel trailers and if you have a place to store them out of the weather I think you can get much more for your money with one. The newer galvanized metal they use on the outside doesn't rust like the plain steel does so they look nicer, but still the other hardware will rust. And with either steel or aluminum different brands and options will be different weights. So I guess I'm no help as to which is better as both have good qualities. I would have to say it depends on how big a trailer you are looking at - how big a LQ you want will make a difference. When you add in the extras of the LQ the weight of the outside will matter. We had a 4 horse steel HART with a 14 ft short wall LQ. That trailer was everything we wanted. It had every option imaginable....but gees it was heavy. It pulled great once you got it going but it was hard on the fuel mileage and breaks on the truck (even though the trailer brakes worked). We sold it because it was so heavy, it was a load for our F350 suspension wise, and it was so big it was impractical to go anywhere besides showing or camping where you actually needed the LQ. Good luck, I always love trailer shopping.
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:15 PM   #20
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Hey!! I 've got a question. Does anyone own / have any info on the BrenderUp trailers..., since we're on the subject? They are all fiberglass. I met a woman who had owned 2 of them and she loved them,
Just wondered what others thought? Thanks Redboy
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