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Re: trailers: gooseneck vs bumper


When I first started endurance riding 15 years ago I had a 1976 Chevy half
ton 454 truck and a Circle J 2 horse.  I put a light weight fiberglass
camper shell on my truck to sleep in and I rode endurance for 7 years with
this set up.  In the late 1980's I wanted more comfortable accomodations so
I sold my trailer and camper shell and bought an aluminum Sooner
combination gooseneck.  The combo is a stock trailer for the horses with
the tack room finished off for sleeping, with insulation and paneling
installed at the factory.  I couldn't afford a new truck or camper either
at this time so I opted for the gooseneck trailer.  At the time I paid
around $12,000 for the trailer and thought I would die spending this much
money for a horse trailer, however today I have no regrets over spending
the money.  While it doesn't have all the luxury of a camper, my husband
and I carry a camp stove to cook on when we need to and a porta-potty works
well for multi-day rides.  (I rode all of Outlaw Trail with this rig
several years ago)  We can even set up a solar shower back in the trailer
box when necessary.   The over all length of the trailer is 23 feet, it is
easy to pull and the weight is comparable to my old steel 2 horse. 
Gooseneck trailers are a dream to back and maneuver.  You can back into
some areas where a bumper pull would jack knife.

There are some nice steel goosenecks out there also.  A good friend of mine
pulls a Trails West 3 horse gooseneck that she bought used for under $6,000
and she pulls it with the same truck as yours.  In 1992 we bought a 3/4 ton
Dodge 5 speed which is wonderful for pulling any trailer and will last us a
lifetime.  If you go with a camper and a 3 horse trailer you will need a 1
ton truck with is lots more money and poorer fuel economy.  One of my
complaints with campers is that unless you take them off the truck between
rides you loose the use of your truck and if you do take them off you have
to put them back on the truck before each ride.  The gooseneck makes ride
preparation and packing that much easier.  

Aluminum trailers hold their value well.  I figure I could sell my trailer
for between 9 and $10,000 since it is in real good condition.  In fact
recently, recently my husband and I were toying with the idea of moving up
to a trailer with a larger tack area that we could put a sink, table and
cabinets in but we couldn't justify spending another $10,000 on top of what
ours would sell for.  We will use this trailer for many, many years.

What ever you do, remember that bigger isn't always better and keep your
ride preparation as simple as possible.  This is supposed to be a fun and
relaxing sport and the more complicated we make things the less fun they
become.  You might want to look up some of the trailer web sites to check
out their products.  The ones that I am familiar with are;; and sundowner on the endurance
home page.  Do your homework on prices if you buy new.  Some dealers
offering AERC discounts still couldn't beat our local dealer on the
identical product when a friend of mine bought a new trailer recently.

Happy trails,

Marci Cunningham
Bakersfield CA

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