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Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?

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CutAbove
Posted 2018-11-08 7:43 AM (#172018)
Subject: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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When I look at cars, I am generally aware of the difference between a Hyundai, a Honda, and a Mercedes Benz. With horse trailers, though, I really don’t feel like I have a clue.

Which brands out there would be considered “budget” brands, and what are the big differences between those brands and the more high quality brands?
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Kay
Posted 2018-11-08 12:31 PM (#172019 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Not a direct answer to your question, but there are many things that determine the quality and thus the cost in the horse trailer world. Just for example, the extruded aluminum siding is stronger than the sheet aluminum siding, and it costs more. The price of extrusions is partially determined by the "T"factor, or how much titanium there is in the extrusion. An extruded floor is stronger and more expensive than a smooth aluminum floor laid over crossmembers. The depth and quality of welds and the time spent achieving them affects price. Double walls, insulation, roof construction and endless other features, some standard and some optional, affect price.

When a trailer with similar dimensions and equipment is more expensive than the one sitting next to it, there is often more material and more time and workmanship involved.

Not everyone needs a " top of the line" trailer. It depends on how you are going to use it. If you are on the road, all over the country, following rodeos or horse shows or other events, in constant use, buy the very best built brand that you can manage. If you are a casual user, local trips, nearby trail rides, trips to the vet or farrier, etc., the "budget" brands will do just fine. In either case, maintenance will make you or break you. Check your tire pressure every time you hook up, have the bearings packed once a year (even if the trailer sits still most of the time), check for loose or worn things, make sure your light plugs are not corroded.

Hopefully R.T. Smith will jump in here. He may be brave enough to list top end and budget brands.
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RTSmith
Posted 2018-11-10 7:47 AM (#172024 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Thanks Kay, I think...! :)

Like Kay, we get this question often on our yard. And it isn't as a direct answer as one might think. If you are talking brand new trailers, that is fairly easy. Maybe not politically correct to answer, but technically minded folks in the industry know which are better built than others.But- if you are talking in general we have to cover several years of production and that puts a new spin on it. For starters, several brands have had changes in ownership that often took them through a different approach to marketing (mass market, mid-range, lower end economy, and so on). So an Exiss trailer today, really has little similarity to a 2004 Exiss. That same change has impacted Bison, Sooner, Sidekick, Dream Coach, & Featherlite to name a few over the past 20 years.

And within that same vein- some manufacturers have different lines of products, which are built with varying degrees of structure and quality. So while a certain entry level model may lack some things, their higher end is a better grade product. All a part of selling what people want.

And folks ask "which is best"? Well- what kind of trailer? I know of manufacturers who just have issues with certain kinds of trailers. While they have the structure just fine, the hardware and fixtures are lacking. Meaning they may have a great slant load traler, but a tour through their straight load warmblood trailer will leave you heading for another brand. At least that's my opinion. And that is one reason many dealers carry mutiple brands so we can show the best of each. A quality trailer dealer may not get to haul our own horses very much, but we spend 50+ hours a week listening to others' experiences that we learn from in order to hep you. And in our case, with a large service department, we get to see a lot of things that help us to make sure the next trailer is better. Even after 30 years, new ways to tear up a trailer still show up from time to time.

And Kay really touched on what are you going to do with it which is important to realistically analyze. Frankly- in todays market it can make significant price difference. An entry level mid sized living quarters that will serve most of the folks well for 15+ years may run in at say $55,000 for a nice mid-line 8311. Take a heavy user who needs a commercial grade trailer may need to invest $80,000 for a trailer the same size and layout. And you aren't paying for the name. That 55K trailer was built with a certain efficiency of scale because there are several built every week. The commercial trailer will be a one off, because there are only a few built every year so it will carry the inherent inefficiency of a custom product. It will also likely have a heavier mainframe, more floor crossmembers and heavier wall posts, thicker roof skin, more exterior extrusions, heavier doors and dividers, stouter saddle rack, and so on. And in 2018, time and materials are money. 
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CutAbove
Posted 2018-11-12 7:22 PM (#172027 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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I appreciate your efforts to answer my question. I’m afraid it leaves me still struggling to compare a 2015 Sundowner to a 2017 Exiss to a 2019 Logan to a 2012 Trails West. Maybe they’re all about the same.

I haul one or two horses across town 3-5 times per week. Three or four times per year, I’ll haul 4 horses (5 if they’ll fit) 200 to 400 miles each way for a trail ride, with the last 5-20 miles on rough dirt roads. I feel like I need a trailer that can take some lumps. For the last 17 years or so i’ve using a bumper pull stock combo trailer that has held up well. It’s definitely still serviceable, but I am looking for a gooseneck slant load with dividers and a tack room that is easier to get my gear in and out of, and that I can sleep in (not a living quarters).
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hosspuller
Posted 2018-11-12 7:41 PM (#172028 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Another consideration is time. Even if you don't haul many miles, how long do you expect to have the trailer. I just looked at a XX brand trailer. It was very nicely done but had a lot of galvanized steel hardware on the exterior. 5-10 years later this hardware will be rusty. Some of it was structural... the Huck bolts holding the trailer together are NOT easy to replace. Even if the rust is not dangerous, the appearance takes a major hit.
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CutAbove
Posted 2018-11-13 5:27 AM (#172030 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Good point hosspuller. I expect to hang onto this trailer for the duration. The only thing that I expect would cause me to move on from the next trailer I buy will be that I make a mistake in purchasing it.

The brands we see frequently in my area (Utah) include Featherlite, Sundowner, Exiss, Logan Coach, Trails West, Charmac, Circle J, and Classic. Hart, Bloomer, and 4 Star are pretty hard to come by. I do think there’s an Elite dealer a couple hours north, but I don’t see many in the used market.
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Jbsny
Posted 2018-11-14 5:10 PM (#172032 - in reply to #172030)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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If you are getting a GN step up, remember that the newer trucks sometimes requires blocks to level the trailer to the truck.  Make sure you are comfortable with the step up height, and that the slant size will carry your biggest horses :-
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CutAbove
Posted 2018-11-15 1:41 PM (#172033 - in reply to #172032)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Posts: 33
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@jbsny, what are these blocks you speak of?
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Jbsny
Posted 2018-11-15 2:49 PM (#172034 - in reply to #172033)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?


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Posts: 295
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Others might be more qualified to answer, I meant they block the trailer axles so that the truck and trailer are level.  Also helps keep the plumbing on LQ trailers from being damaged if the trailer is off road.  I only know of this because my friend had to do that to her GN trailer. It made the step up higher.  I have only pulled BP trailers.
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cajunmuleman
Posted 2018-11-15 5:49 PM (#172036 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?



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The blocks means adding blocks between the axles and trailer to give more height to the trailer to keep it level and clear the truck bed. This has to be calculated if the trailer has a ramp so the ramp can still reach the ground correctly. I had this done to a trailer that I used to have without a ramp and it helped level the trailer nicely.
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cajunmuleman
Posted 2018-11-15 5:49 PM (#172037 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?



Extreme Veteran


Posts: 594
500252525
Location: Rayne, LA
The blocks means adding blocks between the axles and trailer to give more height to the trailer to keep it level and clear the truck bed. This has to be calculated if the trailer has a ramp so the ramp can still reach the ground correctly. I had this done to a trailer that I used to have without a ramp and it helped level the trailer nicely.
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cajunmuleman
Posted 2018-11-15 5:49 PM (#172038 - in reply to #172018)
Subject: RE: Which brands are considered budget brands, and why?



Extreme Veteran


Posts: 594
500252525
Location: Rayne, LA
The blocks means adding blocks between the axles and trailer to give more height to the trailer to keep it level and clear the truck bed. This has to be calculated if the trailer has a ramp so the ramp can still reach the ground correctly. I had this done to a trailer that I used to have without a ramp and it helped level the trailer nicely.
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