Anyone buying new horse trailers now?

I’m in the market for a small 2 horse bumper pull, straight load, modest dressing room, and easily pulled with a SUV. Only going short distances, my horse is only 15.3. I’ve been combing the used trailer market for several months and everything is either too big, no dressing room or gone already as soon as I reach out. So I contacted the local Featherlite dealer and I’m reeling a bit from surcharges and delivery timelines and wanted to see what others have experienced around this. They have a Featherlite 9652 already ordered, that I can still customize, but it is not scheduled to be delivered until August 2022 and comes with a 27.5% surcharge. Any new orders placed at this time wouldn’t be delivered until 2023. Is this what others are seeing?

I was trailer shopping a few months ago. Timelines for custom trailers were long, and I didn’t want to wait, so I essentially had to call around to see what any dealers had in the lot right then or what they were expecting now. I put a deposit down on anything I was interested in, then went to see it in person, prepared to buy. That’s how I found mine as you are correct - the used trailer market is HOT and everything small is selling fast.

Lead times on new trailer orders quickly jump from like 4mo to 8mo this spring! I’d wanted to downsize my trailer- I can’t new trailer prices will drop after this, so decided to sell my trailer during the peak of spring/sellers market. I knew I could borrow friends trailers during the summer, so listed mine for sale & put an order in for a new one in the same week, now in the waiting game.

Used trailers are flying like hot cakes. The one I sold this spring was a few years old, excellent condition, I didn’t over or underprice it and sold it with no haggling. I keep an eye on a few used trailer groups on FB and always go slack-jawed at some of it- my first trailer was a 2001 model and sold it ~8yrs ago. Trailers of the same model/year are now selling for 2-3x more that if sold mine for, 8 years ago!

without blinking as eye my insurance company agreed to double the agreed value on our trailer that puts its value greater than the cost when new…and this is a 2007 trailer

we also added a rider on the vehicles that adds 30% to book value for replacement if totaled

cost was next to nothing… pennies on the trailer and less than $100 annually for the increased rider value on the truck/cars


I am expecting a new trailer in November (I hope). I ordered it at the end of March if that tells you anything! We have been notified of a price increase (since the deposit) on materials…we were warned that when we ordered it, so while not what I wanted to hear, it was not surprising. Felt bad for the dealer as when she called apparently not all customers were being polite about the material increase notice…but she was up front when we did the initial paperwork. Hopefully there won’t be any more delays as I don’t want to get caught by another increase due to the manufacturer having to delay.

Normally I might not have ordered right now…but with the pandemic I decided it was past time to downsize. Also with the used trailer market, I should be able to get decent $ for mine…if I can get what I plan to advertise for (I’ve seen similar going for that $) then there won’t really be any $ out of my pocket to get the new one.

Last time I got an update from the dealer, the manufacturer wasn’t even taking any more orders for the rest of the year! So I am glad I ordered when I did. And they were limiting how many orders dealers could place for next year.

if the problem is material shortages then it may be time to talk with manufacturer to see about doing rebuild.

Back in the mid 1990s I bought a used two horse slant three year old trailer that had been built by a company not too far away. I talked with the owner about if they would be interested in a rebuild of one of their trailers as quality control review. He was up to it and told me to get the trailer there before Thanksgiving and they would run it backwards through the plant during their slow period between Thanksgiving and New Year.

True to their word they basically disassembled then re assembled the trailer updating everything to new, sand blasted all the steel, repainted. … came out looking just like the latest models

Cost was $1500

1 Like

Gore said they are taking orders now for Jan/Feb. Another dealer said Hawk is booked out to July/Aug.

Used trailers are listed for what I think of as ‘new’ prices. I probably need to recalibrate what I think ‘new’ costs now.

I was thinking of downsizing my 4star and have had so many offers for it but since I can’t get anything I want model wise I’m keeping it.:woman_shrugging: It makes no sense to buy a new trailer because of high price, surcharges and material fees increasing.

@imbassetma, is that 27.5% surcharge “permanent” - so if you ordered for a 2023 delivery, you’d be paying that? If so, wow! Thanks for sharing your information!

I’m over in Australia but sounds like it’s a similar thing here. I looked around second hand for a little while and quickly came to the conclusion that there was little on the market, even less that was vaguely decent and it was all priced at a point where a new one seemed better value. All I wanted was an open sided, 2 horse straight load bumper pull.

Ended up ordering a new one, 6 month build time if there’s no delays. Hoping to get it in February. I would’ve paid nearly the same price for something second hand, and this way I know there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s one of the most reputable brands in the country and I have actually owned one before and it was great.

I live in the trailer capital of the world: Elkhart IN—within 10 miles of my farm are the factories that make Merhow, Bison, Lakota and Shadow isn’t too far away. LQ are done here for Sundowner and many others. The newspaper just reported that the RV industry made and sold the greatest number of RVs in history last month.

So what you say? The RV industry uses the same parts and labor as the horse trailer industry. Right now labor and parts are the big problem. In June there was an across the board shut down --all factories shut because no one could get plywood.

Things are moving now, but RV still dominates (biggest market, greatest mark up). The horse trailer factories are way behind on orders because they can’t get parts or labor . . .

Bought my new Merhow last year —9 month wait. Sold my 20 year old Merhow in 1 week —but one friend getting out of horses sold his in 3 hours!

Crazy times.


This is an interesting concept. You bought it, ordered it and now they want you to pay more?
I get the whole shortage and price increase thing but typically once you enter a contract for a certain price, that is the price and they do not get to increase the price just because it is taking them lots of months to build it.

All I wanted was an open sided, 2 horse straight load bumper pull.

But in Australia with all its lock downs why even purchase a trailer?

1 Like

Yes, 27.5% surcharge. Featherlite at least if you ordered now, won’t increase the surcharge on your order even if manufacturer wide the surcharge increased. But if it decreased, you would see the benefit of a decreased surcharge price. This dealer was telling me some manufacturers are doing as much as 40% surcharge which just made me wince. I really want the benefit of a new, rust free trailer, but not sure I want to spend the extra money right now…gah!

This dealer was telling me some manufacturers are doing as much as 40% surcharge

Just how does one insure such a trailer since most policies, even agreed value ones, are based upon the price of the trailer based upon a retail price

I just revised our coverage a few months ago to add a rider to increase the value to 30% beyond Book value

I just suggest that if you are buying on of these trailers be sure your insurgence coverage is adequate

Why charge a huge surcharge? Why not just change the price of the item?

a “surcharge implies temporary price increase”… but when temporary has extended into the distant future it sure isn’t temporary any longer

I bought a used one privately in early summer. I dropped everything I was doing, and drove 10 hours with cash. I was the first one there to look at it on a Friday. I think I got a good deal. There were a crowd of others wanting to look at it on Saturday, which was a day not suitable for the seller. The trailer was close to what I was looking for, 2 horse gooseneck, with a tack room/bunk only, no fancy “living accommodations”. Over height- 7’8". I would have liked a front unload option, but this one didn’t have that, and I can live with unloading backwards. Then I sold my 1982 six horse Featherlite, with similar tack room/bunk up front. Had some “silly” local people look first, and they thought it was “overpriced” and walked away which made me smile, as I did not feel that it was overpriced. But the second looker bought it instantly, with cash, and loves it like I did. Then I had multiple callers who were disappointed to hear that it was already sold.
My advice is… if you are looking for a trailer, and see one that suits, get there right away, with cash.

There are many things going on at the same time over the last 1 1/2 years more or less

materials going into manufacturing are increasing in price with just about every order / with no notice ( IE pricing subject to change without notice from inputs and by a lot , more than 15% in about the last 6 months seems about right and there are continuing and increasing shortages )

It takes time and money to update costs across the board and to update pricing and distribute that information that may have to change again at any time, so builders are adding surcharges rather than changing pricing - I expect that to change once some supply chain issues settle down but would not expect price decreases

there are shortages of materials and labor

Most builders have orders out well into next year, 8 to 18 months is what I have found - so the builders have no idea what material and labor costs will be…
If pricing continues to increase I imagine demand will soften but there may be fewer builders over time making the remaining ones continue to have strong demand

Some builders are just guessing and laying on large surcharges to cover themselves ( they hope - I would not be surprised that if the huge surcharges are not enough and the demand is still in place th orders will be totally cancelled as no factory can or will build at a loss )

Just a few random thoughts about it all!


Yes, normally I would have been upset with the idea of a contracted price change, but when we put the order in, we were told specifically that the material cost was expected to increase within a few months, and since our order had not yet been put into being manufactured, we would be subject to the materials increase. So, it’s not like it came as a surprise. We did have the option of cancelling and getting a full deposit refund…but I want the trailer and it’s not like it will get any cheaper anytime soon. We also knew that we wouldn’t get it until October at the earliest. The dealer did send the manufacturer a note that I would not pay for another price increase if it was delayed past our current expected delivery date. So if we are supposed to get it in November…and the manufacturer gets behind and moves that date to January…I am not willing to pay for a January price increase.