To ensure safety when hauling a horse trailer, there are a couple of things you should be aware of before you select a tow vehicle.
Two important considerations are the horse trailer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the towing capacity for the vehicle. The GVWR is the weight rating the axles underneath the trailer are capable of towing. The GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) simply means how much weight you are towing including the weight of the trailer, horses and gear.
All weights below are approximate and can vary from your actual trailer significantly. We recommend to weigh your trailer on a scale to determine the actual weight.
--2 Horse without a dress (2,400 lbs)
--2 Horse with a dressing room (3,200 lbs)
--3 Horse with a dressing room (4,100 lbs)
--2 Horse Gooseneck (4,600 lbs)
--3 Horse Gooseneck (5,300 lbs)
--4 Horse Gooseneck (6,300 lbs)
--2 Horse Gooseneck 6' short wall (6,300 lbs), 8' short wall (7,300 lbs)
--3 Horse Gooseneck 8' short wall (7,900 lbs), 10' short wall (8,900 lbs)
**For each additional horse stall add 240lbs approximately.
**For each 1' of living quarters, add 500 lbs approximately.
**If your trailer is a full 8' wide, add another 1,000 lbs.
What is GVWR?
GVWR refers to the value assigned by the trailer manufacturer which reflects the recommended maximum loaded weight for a particular horse trailer. Included in this rating is the weight of the horse trailer itself plus the weight of everything else you're carrying in the trailer, that is, horses, and gear.
Obviously, the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) will fluctuate depending on what you happen to be hauling at any given time. For instance, the GVW will be heavier pulling two average-size horses versus one. However, the main point to remember is not to exceed your trailer's maximum GVWR. If you do, you're overloading your trailer, and that's dangerous.
How do you find out what your horse trailer's GVWR is?
Check the inside of the escape doors or the frame. Usually, you'll see a sticker attached which lists this rating. Your best option for an accurate GVW is to take your fully loaded horse trailer to a public scale and weigh it with your horses inside and your gear. This will also insure you to be able to put the correct amount of weight on your license plate tags so you will be legal with motor vehicle department.
How do you find the towing or pulling capacity of your vehicle?
Once you know the horse trailer's GVWR and GVW, you'll want to learn the towing or pulling capacity for the vehicle you're considering hauling with. You'll find this rating in the vehicle's owner's manual or on the manufacturer's Web site. Make sure you see this number in writing, don't take someone's word for it.
The importance of a proper towing vehicle.
If the towing capacity is not compatible with your trailer's GVWR, you'll put excess wear and tear on the vehicle as well as deprive yourself of important safety benefits such as maneuverability.
Never underestimate the importance of towing your horse trailer with a vehicle that's well-suited for pulling. For miles of safe and enjoyable hauling, choose a tow vehicle built for the job.
If you need help selecting a tow vehicle, reach out to us at Double D Trailers. Once we determine your trailer needs we will be happy to recommend a proper vehicle to fit.
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