Tom's Trailer Talk QUICK TIP

COMMON QUESTIONS - These are the questions we get asked most often. Here is what you need to know:
Information on the Internet is often conflicted and confusing. That’s why so many horse owners come to EquiSpirit for trailer advice. Some questions are asked more often than others.


  • Is the stall length in a slant load the diagonal length? The diagonal length is the measurement from the far corner to far corner. To know the true length (usable space) that your horses can comfortably fill, measure wall to wall, down the center of the stall or measure the length of the dividers. Don’t be surprised if a stall length in a standard slant load with a diagonal of 11' is only 8-1/2'of usable space. If you’'re unsure, load your horses and view them in the stall, taking into account that they need to periodically stretch their necks, and also to balance and feel non-claustrophobic.
  • Does upgrading tire/wheel and axles sizes improve safety? Don't make the assumption that increasing tire size/ratings and axles will give an extra margin of safety from blowouts. Tire and axle sizes should closely match or be slightly greater than the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of the trailer. This will give your horses the best possible ride. Overdoing the tires and axles on a trailer will give your horses a rougher ride.
  • Straight LoadDo horses travel better in a reverse load trailer? There is no credible research we have found that suggests this is true. When starting and stopping, horses balance by bracing their front and back legs. Facing backward would be the same only in reverse. And since rear accidents are on the rise with the wide use of cell phones and tablets, horses facing the onslaught of a rear-end collision would be more likely to panic and, injuries to the face and head would be far more serious than if the horse was facing forward. If a rear accident were to occur, horses facing forward could be walked out the head area walk-through doors which is why these doors are a standard feature on all EquiSpirit trailers. These doors can be used as exits in an emergency. It’s doubtful a horse could be backed out those doors if facing backward.
  • Do adjustable gooseneck hitches adjust the height of the trailer? An adjustable gooseneck only adjust the height of the nose, not the entire trailer. As the trailer sits level, the adjustable hitch allows you to raise or lower the coupler to adjust for different truck bed heights such as four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive trucks. If the bottom of the gooseneck barely clears the top and Level Goosenecksides of the truck bed (less than six inches) while the trailer is sitting level (evenly on both axles and all four wheels), adjusting the coupler does not solve the problem.The trailer will be titled up in front, and excessive weight will be placed on the rear axles and tires, overloading them.
  • Will my SUV tow a horse trailer? The three criteria that determine the capability of an SUV to tow a horse trailer safely are towing capacity, wheelbase length, and curb weight. Determine the combined weight of the trailer and your horse(s) to ensure that the tow capacity of the vehicle will support the combined weight, Secondly, establish that the wheelbase of the tow vehicle is long enough to keep the ride stable; the longer wheelbase will improve the ride. Lastly, determine if the curb weight of the tow vehicle is heavy enough relative to the combined weight of the horse(s) and the trailer. Generally, a tow vehicle curb weight should not be significantly less than the loaded trailer weight.

For related information about how couplers work with hitches, visit this link.

Tom's Trailer Talk "Quick Tips" are provided by EquiSpirit Trailer Co.
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