Bumper Pull Trailers

Now that we have a hauling vehicle we are seriously thinking about trailer options. I never knew how many options there were to consider when it came to a trailer purchase. For the sake of this discussion we can assume we are purchasing new but in reality I am seriously scouring the inter webs for a fairly price used trailer (aka 5k or less)… Nice used BP that aren’t close to the price of a new trailer are hard to find!

Things to consider:

  • load type (straight or slant)
  • escape doors/ no escape doors
  • ramp/ no ramp
  • dressing room/ no dressing room
  • materials (frame/ wall/ flooring)


For me I am pretty certain that I want a straight load, ramp, escape doors, and a dressing room. The more difficult questions come in terms of flooring for me. There are 3 popular options in wood floor with mats, rumber flooring, and aluminum flooring with mats. I can’t seem to decide what would be best. Wood and Rumber are probably my top choices. All of my experience has been with wood or alum and mats. I know that many people with rumber love it – though I have heard it can be slick. Are the warranties on certain floors better?

Weight is a slight concern given we have a smaller truck so right now steel frame/ alum skin or all alum are the top contenders. There are a few brands that I have been eyeing. The top one (Shadow) comes out quite a bit higher than we would want to spend but has fun options like fans in the horse area… Those are however unnecessary…

With price in mind the top brands are: Adams, Trailers USA, Eclipse, and Hawk.

For those of you with trailers or in the market how did you decide on all of the features you wanted/ needed? Is there anything you didn’t get that you wish you had? Or things that you upgraded for that you never use?

Looking forward to hearing all of your alls opinions and advice!

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24 Comments

  1. I had similar requirements when looking for a trailer – straight load bumper pull with a ramp! My truck (Toyota Tundra) while a great performer is also not huge, so we got a Cotner trailer with an aluminum skin over a steel frame. The floors are treated/painted wood with mats over and so far they have been easy-care and holding up perfectly, BUT I am sure to pull the mats up and hose down the floorboards ANY time a horse pees in the trailer. It doesn’t have a dressing room, which at first was a concern, but I’m usually showing by myself so all of my stuff fits just fine in the backseat of the truck. Have fun shopping!

  2. Love my Sundowner – bought used, but in great condition, in 2009. Straight load, 2 horse bumper pull, ramp, escape doors on both sides, small but organized tack room, hanging hay managers, fans, lights. Steel framed with aluminum siding – wood floors with mats. Nothing I would change about it…unless you could have a self cleaning feature!

  3. We just went through this a couple of months ago, though my requirements were a bit different. We needed a bumper pull since we don’t have a ball in the bed for a gooseneck. We also needed a combo trailer, since we figured we’d be hauling other livestock at various times, so removable dividers was a plus. I also wanted someplace to store tack, though a full dressing room wasn’t necessary. I preferred a 3 horse, as we plan on expanding our herd in the next year or two. I didn’t really consider flooring as long as it was in good condition. In the end, we found a cornpro 3 horse slant with dressing room and removable dividers for $4k.

    Good, used trailers for a decent price are out there, you just need to be patient and take your time. I found mine on a Facebook group for trailers and hay for sale in my state.

  4. Not exactly in the market right now, but maybe next year… escape doors and a ramp are definite necessities. I’ll be interested to read everyone’s input!

  5. Finding a good used trailer for a reasonable price is so hard! Most people want just under what you’d pay for a brand new trailer for their ten year old trailer. Um, pass?

    I don’t really have any structural advice to offer as I let Hubby handle most of that, but I will say that I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say anything bad about Hawk trailers. The last 3 barns I’ve been at have all had older 2 horse BPs, and they still look great!

  6. I have a 2 horse BP, straight load, ramp, side doors, dressing room. No mangers, because mangers prevent the horse from putting his head down and clearing his airways, and since we do tend to haul long distances, that’s important to me. Flooring is rubber mats over wood – never had any problem with that and we rarely put down shavings. I would make sure to get rubber torsion suspension, though – that makes a HUGE difference in the horse’s comfort.

    One thing that’s very nice about our trailer is that everything inside is removable. I can pull out the butt and chest bar, center divider, and even the center post, and have a great big box. That’s great for hauling one horse long distances.

    The only thing I wish is that it had more ventilation. Our old one had Dutch doors on the back and we hauled open during the summer, but the new one does not. I feel like you just can’t have enough airflow in Texas in the summer!

    1. Thanks for all of the info. Definitely no mangers for me. An old trainer had one with mangers and I hated that thing. It didn’t have a real escape door – just one to the tack room and it was so much harder loading on my own with it – imo. Houston was a bad loader for a long time though in anything that didn’t have a huge open door or window.

  7. OOOH! Trailer shopping is so exciting! We just got a cheap little one off a friend but it’s so nice to have some freedom.

    1. Ooh nice. If I could find something smaller and reasonably priced that wasn’t still like 5k I might go for it. But I can’t justify spending that much for something that’s kinda falling apart and doesn’t have the features I want.

  8. Looking forward to following your shopping as I’ll need to get my own trailer some day (currently using the Trainer’s). I prefer slant because I think its easier to load the horses in them, but I’ve used all kinds.

    1. Slant seems easier with one horse but after using someone’s 3 horse I don’t like that there’s only an escape option with the first stall in most slants. Most slants are shorter though which is kinda nice for SUV or small truck towing/ BP in general really.

  9. I had a two horse bumper straight load aluminum with no dressing room. Only thing I would have changed about it was the dressing room part – get that! Otherwise it was a FANTASTIC Gore trailer and sometimes I’m sad I sold it.

  10. I don’t have a trailer nor am I in the market for one. But if I were I would definitely get one with a dressing room and place for tack.

  11. Escape doors on both sides are mandatory for me! And a ramp – I just do not like step-ups, although lots of people don’t mind them.

  12. haha i chose the cheapest new trailer on my local market: a two horse straight load step up bumper pull, no dressing room (but it does have saddle racks and bridle hooks inside). one escape door. all the dividers and everything can come all the way out too if i want the horse to be loose within the trailer.

    my next trailer? it’ll be bigger, either a four horse goose neck, or a larger bumper pull option. yes to dressing room, probably two escape doors, actual windows that go up and down…

  13. I’m quietly trailer shopping myself, won’t be purchasing until next spring most likely. I enjoyed the post and all the comments! I’m excited to see what you go with 🙂

  14. My trailer was custom made at the time and is still pretty much the cheapest option ever- stock horse style bumper pull, straight load step-up, though it’s warmblood size (7’6″ tall). Eventually I would like something a bit fancier with a tack room, but still it works for me. The one thing I would recommend not compromising on are escape doors- trailering can be a sometimes adventurous activity, and for safety sake an escape door is vital. Not to sound dramatic, but it could mean the difference between life and death.

    Good luck in your trailer search!

  15. My trailer is an aluminum straight load with a ramp, two escape doors, and a dressing room. Escape doors are an absolute MUST in my opinion – makes it so much easier (and safer) to load horses in.

    I would also suggest looking for one with a removable divider that can slide over when butt bars aren’t locked into place. I know someone who has a permanent divider and it really isn’t very convenient.