Horse Trailers: Bumper Pull vs. Fifth Wheel

Horse Trailers: Bumper Pull vs. Fifth Wheel

Article by Meadow Claiborne

When choosing a horse trailer, there are many features to consider. One important feature is whether the horse trailer will have a gooseneck or bumper pull design. There are several reasons you might benefit from either design. Let’s take a closer look at both types to determine the best choice for you.

Bumper Pull Horse Trailers – Advantages and Disadvantages

Trailers that attach to a ball mounted on the bumper or a hitch assembly connected to the frame of your truck are called “bumper pull” trailers. Some people refer to them as “tag-along” trailers. These trailers “tag along” behind your truck without actually becoming part of it.

There are five major advantages of bumper pull horse trailers. First, they tend to be less expensive than gooseneck trailers. Second, some smaller versions of these trailers can even be pulled by cars or small trucks. Third, you’ll have a tighter turning radius with this type of trailer compared to a fifth-wheel. Fourth, bumper pull trailers tend to be smaller than fifth-wheel trailers so they’re easier to store when they’re not in use. Fifth, there are no bumper pull trailers large enough to require registering them as commercial vehicles.

There are several disadvantages as well. Many bumper pull trailers lack space for a tack/dressing room. Some bumper pull trailers might not be sufficient for hauling more than two horses due to the type of hitch required for the weight of the trailer. Bumper pull trailers are also more prone to trailer sway and fishtailing in windy conditions or on curvy roads.

Gooseneck Horse Trailers – Advantages and Disadvantages

Fifth-wheel trailers, sometimes called gooseneck trailers, are quite differtn than bumper pull trailers in the way they connect to the tow vehicle. The gooseneck is attached within the hauling truck’s bed with a ball and coupler mating. The gooseneck trailer offers several benefits. One, it doesn’t sway or fishtail like a bumper trailer tends to do, and towing is more stable. Two, it provides more room for living quarters, which can be convenient for camping and long trips. Third, these trailers are much easier to align with as you’re backing up to connect to them. You can see it clearly from the rear window. Four, the gooseneck design is more secure without worry of the load coming unhitched while traveling on the highway.

Nonetheless, there are still a few disdvantages to these trailers, as well Gooseneck trailers are more expensive and are usually bigger so they must be towed with a truck that is able to handle it. Then there’s the expense of adding the hitch system to your tow vehicle. And in many cases, you have to climb into the bed of the truck to complete the hitch connection. Also, you will have to remove your camper top (if you have one) from the truck to haul a gooseneck trailer.

Choose the Right Horse Trailer for You

Whichever style you think best suits your needs, take some time to look around some horse websites and look at the available designs and sizes of each type. And don’t overlook used horse trailers if you’re on a tight budget.

Some horse people insist on bumper pull trailers while for others only a fifth-wheel will do. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each design before making a purchase.

Meadow Claiborne is an avid rider and writer. You can learn more about her and her horses at Horse Websites.

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