Aluminum or Steel Horse Trailers - Which is Best?

Back in the late seventies and early eighties, Sooner, Featherlite, Four Star, and many other horse trailer manufacturers created and launched an all-aluminum trailer line. These aluminum trailers were designed as solutions to the problem that all steel horse trailers were known to have back then...they deteriorated fairly quickly from rust.

At that time, it was true. And since most horse trailer manufacturers were nothing more than oversized weld shops, not a lot of attention was paid to the rust problem.

Nonetheless, companies such as Sooner, Featherlite, and Four Star introduced what has become known as the all-aluminum trailer. (It really isn't all aluminum, because steel was and is still used in the axles and the couplers).

Since aluminum was and is about three times the cost of steel, the aluminum trailers were much more expensive than the steel models. Customers immediately perceived that the aluminum trailers were better because they didn't rust, and they cost so much more.

What is little known, however, is that many of the all-aluminum horse trailer manufacturers quickly realized some drawbacks. Adjustments had to be made when some of the trailers began to actually break under the weight of their cargo and from the pounding of the road. Aluminum hinges broke on ramps. Aluminum dividers were breaking under impact of minor accidents.

Although steel had many advantages, (i.e., it was easy to work with, more readily available, easier to repair, held its shape [tensile strength]), it still rusted.

Some of the better manufacturers of steel horse trailers fought this by using heavier gauge steel. But, then the trailers became too heavy. So, they tried using better grade steel, with higher quality paints and under coatings. The trailer lasted much longer...but, it eventually showed rust. Most of the manufacturers of horse trailers back then were very small and didn't look down the road as to whether their trailers would last or not.

EquiSpirit Horse Trailers - Utilizing Both Aluminum and Steel

When we started EquiSpirit, we worked to design a durable horse trailer that would withstand years of use, while it provided a safe, comfortable, and non-threatening environment for hauling horses. Today's EquiSpirit horse trailers continue to be high quality, dependable, and safe.

The EquiSpirit is a composite of three materials:
  • galvanealed steel frame, inner side walls, dividers and breast/butt bars
  • molded fiberglass roof, incorporating tubular steel structure into the fiberglass, as well as easy to repair/replace fiberglass fenders
  • aluminum skin on the outer walls (non stress part of the trailer) with insulation between the steel and aluminum

Even though EquiSpirit horse trailers are NOT all aluminum, they are also NOT any heavier than most all-aluminum trailers of equal strength. In fact, EquiSpirit trailers are actually lighter than some all-aluminum models! (NOTE: The construction of a trailer may have more to do with its weight than with the materials used.)

EquiSpirit horse trailers are built to resist rust. They are made strong and stable to withstand unexpected mishaps, as well as to handle maximum weight limits. Our horse trailers are created with a focus on horse safety and comfort. For the horse owner, the design of an EquiSpirit trailer enhances safety and ease of use.

Early EquiSpirit horse trailers were built to last! Design and material improvements continue to be made, ensuring that the consumer will get a quality product.

Also see: The Rise and Possible Fall of All-Aluminum Horse Trailers
This horse trailer safety article is provided by EquiSpirit Horse Trailers.
Join Our Mailing List


Get The Complete Guide
The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer
Explore All Our Models
Trailer Models