Choosing a bumper pull horse trailer may seem like a simple and straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that must be made to avoid buyer’s remorse. Knowing what type of bumper pull trailer best suits your unique needs, as well as what features are “must haves” and what features are “wants” is important, as differing options from one trailer to another can make a big difference in price. We will break down some of the different features and options on bumper-pull trailers. We hope that this will help narrow down what trailer will be best for your needs and wants.
Types of Bumper-Pulls
A variety of different types of bumper pull trailers are available. The most common types in Canada are slant haul trailers. These are popular because they can comfortably fit more horses in a shorter, often more maneuverable trailer. Slant load bumper pull trailers can range from two horse to a max of four horse capacity. If you wish to haul more than four horses, it is best to move up to a gooseneck trailer.
The second type of bumper pull trailer is the straight haul trailer. Straight haul bumper pulls are generally two horse only, often have longer stalls, and are taller than slant hauls. They are great for horses standing 16 hands and taller. For this reason, straight haul trailers are more popular with the English disciplines, which feature larger warmbloods and sport horses.
A third type of bumper pull trailer is the livestock trailer. Livestock bumper pulls are very versatile because the open configuration can be utilized in many different ways. Many of these trailers have a center gate for dividing horses or livestock. This divider can also be used for hay storage or additional tack storage if needed. Most livestock trailers do not come with a front tack room, so this can make storing tack an issue.
The materials that a trailer is made from is one of the biggest factors that influence the price and weight of the trailer. Aluminum is more expensive than steel but it is lighter, and won’t rust. Steel is less costly and stronger than aluminum, but will rust and weighs more.
Flooring material is also a consideration. Although many bumper pulls floors are constructed of aluminum, wood floors are very common in livestock trailers and steel trailers. They let in dust but are cheap to replace and last a very long time. By contrast, aluminum floors, properly cared for, seal a trailer off from dust and can last the lifetime of the trailer. If improperly cared for, however, an aluminum floor can suffer from pitting and corrosion. The best way to protect your trailer floor, whether it is wood or aluminum, is by installing a non-porous flooring system such as WERM flooring.
It’s also important to consider where you will be hauling your trailer. If you are hauling primarily on highways, your trailer is unlikely to suffer damage from flying rocks and dust. This is not the case if you are hauling on gravel roads, which can cause rock damage. To prevent damage from flying gravel to the front of the trailer, a tall gravel guard is a must. Here at Vantage Trailers, we increase the height of the gravel guard from 24” to 48” on all bumper pulls trailers.
Trailers may be constructed with either single or double walls. Double walled trailers will weigh and cost more than single wall trailers, but can be kept much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Although single walled trailers are more lightweight, interior temperatures are more difficult to moderate.
Another feature that is common in bumper pull trailers is a front tack room. Tack rooms may be carpeted or not, and may come with saddle racks, bridle hooks, brush boxes, and water tanks. Front tacks are particularly useful if you have more tack than you can comfortably load on the back of your truck. Other bumper pulls may instead feature rear tacks, which are more compact than front tacks, although they offer less storage space. Finally, as mentioned above, livestock trailers rarely feature tack rooms, so if this is a “must have” for you, it may be best to consider one of the other types of trailers.
Bumper pull trailers may be fitted with other options that make a difference in pricing. For instance, if one trailer has double rear doors and an escape door, as opposed to a single rear door, it will be worth more money. Livestock trailers are generally single walled and don’t come with dropdown windows. Other slant haul trailers have plexi-glass on the butt side and dropdowns on the other side, and yet others will have drop down windows on one side and sliding windows on the other. Steel vs aluminum wheels can change the price of a trailer by several hundred dollars.
In summary, how a trailer is constructed and what features it comes equipped with will make a big difference in the price. Two trailers from the same brand and the same model can be different prices because of the options they come equipped with. It is important that you are familiar with what you want in a trailer, as well as the pricing difference that will make, before proceeding to purchase your next bumper pull.