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Hi Folks,

I recently bought my first truck (a 2006 Tundra SR5 with the larger engine, plus tow package). I love the truck and so far it has been perfect, but the reason I bought it was to tow horses, which I haven't tried yet.

I'm currently looking for a trailer, and our nearby dealer has a 2 horse, bumper-pull, straight-load Hawk for the right price. The trailer is 16 feet long (because it has a storage/ dressing area in the front) and weighs about 3,200 pounds empty.

I have only one horse who weighs around 1200 pounds, but I'd like to have the option of towing two full-sized horses plus gear, so fully loaded it could weigh over 6,000 pounds, maybe closer to 7,000. Is this too much weight for my truck? Also, is there an advantage or disadvantage to a longer or shorter trailer? Does one provide more stability than the other? Also, is a heavier trailer more or less stable than a light one?

I am concerned about road sway and getting up VT hills-- already decided to go with the weight distribution hitch, but will I need anything else? I've never owned a trailer before and don't have any towing experience, so definitely want to play it safe. If anyone has advice or tips-- either about the truck or trailers-- I would be grateful.

THANKS!
Alexandra
 

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Make sure you tow the trailer around quite a few times before you actually put a live animal in the trailer and attempt to tow it. Your going to need a brake controller too.

My advice to you would be load the trailer with something heavy that would allow you to get the feel for the weight. 3200lbs empty and 7000lbs loaded is a big difference and you'll have to compensate for things like following distance and stopping/starting times.

A weight distributing hitch is a good choice and will give you better control over the trailer. Just take it easy when towing. You want to get to your destination in one piece and if that means you piss off a few people behind you, then so be it.
 

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My advice to you would be load the trailer with something heavy that would allow you to get the feel for the weight. 3200lbs empty and 7000lbs loaded is a big difference and you'll have to compensate for things like following distance and stopping/starting times.
A great point. If you "dead head" behind the wheel like most people in a car, you're in for a rude awakening at stoplights, lane changes, etc.
 

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If you can afford an aluminum horse trailer I would reccomend it. Half the weight of the the steel trailers and won't rust. Heavier doesn't add anything except more weight.
For 2-3 horses you don't need to go longer than 16'. You can get shorter 2-3 horse slants that still have a small dressing/gear room. If you don't need the dressing/gear room (they def. are nice though) you could go even shorter. In tight spots you would appreciate the shorter trailer.
No matter what type you get take a good look at the floor. Pull up the matts and check wood floors for rot and metal floors for corrosion. If the previous owner didn't keep the floor mucked out they go bad pretty fast.
Get a trailer with brakes and install a trailer brake control.
If the trailer doesn't have matts put some in.
Practice with the trailer before you put animals in. Especially practice making tight turns forwards and backwards. A lot of the mountain trailheads out here have pretty tight access roads, parking and turnarounds; they can get hairy fast if your not careful.
Take it slow and easy; your horse (and you) will be happier if they had a nice mellow ride.
 
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