There’s a fine art to buying anything used, doubly so when it comes to something as complicated as a horse trailer. You know why you’re looking for a used trailer -- maybe you don’t really haul your horses that often, or perhaps you’re just starting in the horse world and need a lot more trailer than you can afford new. Whatever your reasons, we want to make sure that you find a used trailer that will meet your needs, so before you go trailer hunting, we’ve got five must use tips for buying used horse trailers:
1. Check the Chassis. Before you get too excited about the great deal you’re about to land on that gooseneck horse trailer you spotted in the newspaper, take a good look under the trailer. A seller can slap on a nice coat of paint and make a trailer look as good as new, but they’ll rarely bother with the undercarriage, so this is where you’ll get the real story. Look for rust, dents, missing or broken bolts, damaged wiring or cracks on the inward facing side of the tires. A little wear is normal, but too much means the trailer’s spent.
2. Walk Around and Kick the Tires. If everything checks out underneath, it’s time to look at the trailer’s outside. Examine the seams on the used trailer carefully, looking for missing rivets or rivets that have started to work their way out, damage around the windows and doors, significant rust and deep dents. Kick the tires, make sure they’re a matched set, check the pressure in them and take a good look at the tread -- well-maintained tires are vital to safe transport.
3. Think Like a Horse. With the trailer hitch safely mounted to a vehicle or on a stand, go inside and check out the horse area. Think like a horse: Are the doors wide enough to safely move your horse in and out? Is there enough headroom for your big stallion? Will there be enough airflow on a hot day to safely transport him? While you’re inside, check the floor for signs of damage, paying special attention to the edges where people tend to slack on cleaning duties.
4. Scan the Storage. Consider how you’ll use your horse trailer -- really envision yourself in it -- is there enough storage for the trips you’re planning? Whether you’re shopping for living quarters horse trailers or a small two horse number with a minimal dressing room, you’ve got to have enough room for your stuff and all your horse’s gear, too. Like a secure skeleton, you can’t fake good storage in a used trailer -- and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than you need.
5. Engage the Electrical. Last, but not least, you’ve got to take a look at the electrical system. Check that the lights all work properly, both indoor and out, that any appliances are functioning and that the outlets have plenty of juice. While you’re at it, count the outlets and the lights -- you’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough power to run whatever you’ll be taking on trips, be it a cell phone, a laptop or a space heater.
When you’re looking for used horse trailers, take a look at our inventory at Double D online. We’ve got a great selection of used trailers for sale in a range of prices to meet any budget. Unlike the strangers in the paper, we’ll stand behind our trailers and ensure that you’re happy with your used horse trailer purchase for years to come.