Knowledgable Trailer COTHers

I am in the market for a new (used) trailer. I had a pretty bad accident this past weekend (some of you follow me on IG) and almost couldn’t get my horse loaded to go to the hospital. *A lot of it was pain related, but I have three big horses who also easily hit their head in my current trailer - accident horse included - so that didn’t help.

Anyway, I’ve been pretty open with my requirements - I want a 4H+, GN, at least 7’ tall, and <$15K. Don’t care what make, don’t care what year, don’t need fancy dressing rooms or weekender packages or whatever.

I’m trying to buy through a dealership because I feel like it’s a little less sketch than buying privately. The dealership I usually work with for annual maintenance has a pretty big network and we found a trailer that hits all my boxes - a 2005 Exiss that looks to be in decent condition.

My problem is that whoever traded it in had someone add extra aluminum to the front two stalls of the horse area, and we don’t know why. I have a couple of friends with like, heavy draft type horses who have done this to reinforce that area. I’ve also heard of it being a cosmetic fix if there are dings or some corrosion in the existing aluminum. BUT I really don’t know what the likelihood of either of those are.

Has anyone ever seen this done, and if so, do you have any idea what the rationale behind it would be? Basically, I’m just trying to avoid buying a trailer that my horse is somehow going to fall through. I’ll have the dealership do an annual maintenance (repack bearings, inspect wires, etc) on whatever I buy - I’m honestly just so used to my trusty 2004 3H BP with a wood floor that I haven’t ever run into this.

Being in the market for used trailers myself, I’ve recently looked at several in that age range - I think the likelihood of corrosion is pretty high, especially if the aluminum floors were never treated or cared for properly. I saw one 2004 trailer with quarter sized holes in the floor!

Where is the extra aluminum added? To the floor or the walls? I’d be concerned if its on the floor - potential “patch” for corrosion underneath. If its on the wall, could be reinforcement for a ding/dent.
Definitely also stick your head underneath the trailer and get a look from below as to what kind of condition the floor is in - you might find a reason for the added aluminum patches.

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Call or write Tom Scheve at EquiSpirit.com - Truly, he is the only one I’d trust. Besides, he and his wife, Neva, wrote: The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer

https://www.equispirit.com/info/about-us.html

My EquiBreeze is built like a tank and has held all my drafties safely.

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On the floor. As a pro, it does look to be a professional type job - not some DIY disaster. :joy:

But I can’t go look at it in person, because it’s an 8 hour trip each way and I’ve got one horse in the hospital and eight more at home. I simply don’t have that kind of time; which is a really lame rationale - but I have to cap drive time at some point.

The other alternative is they said they’d transport it to their location 15 minutes from me… at a cost of a non-refundable $775.

These are the photos they sent me - the first two horse stalls seem to have had this done, the back two appear to be the original floor. It almost looks like they acid washed it, then put filler in to prevent any larger holes from appearing since you can see little original floor lines in the one photo.

I’m not opposed to maintenance or minor repairs. I know that in my price range most everything will have some kind of corrosion. My big problem is that I just know next to nothing about aluminum floors and I don’t know if this is something that indicates a small maintenance/preventative thing from someone hauling a bunch or if it indicates a huge structural problem.

Original Floor

“Repaired” Floor

“Repaired” Floor where you can kind of see the original floor lines:

The overall condition of the trailer looks REALLY nice for a 2005 like someone did take good care of it. So I just am torn on whether this is a deal breaker or if I can get a good 5-10 years of use out of it without major repairs. FWIW, it’s priced at just under $10K.

Totally understand not wanting to drive that far to just look! That’s a hike!

It does look like the repair is at least done well - I would recommend asking your local shops their ability to weld aluminum. Aluminum welding is different than normal steel and not all places are able or proficient enough to do aluminum repairs. I recently discovered my go to trailer shop will NOT do aluminum repairs, so that has shifted my price range and age of trailer in my search. Replacing an aluminum floor is not cheap…

If I were in your position, and this was what I was looking for in the right price range - I would:
*ask for pictures of the undercarriage, entire floor without mats, etc
*make sure a local, respectable shop had the ability to repair aluminum trailers
*pay the $775 to ship it closer to inspect before purchase

Trailer hunting can be very frustrating - I wish you the best! :smile:

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