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You’ll learn a lot!

I learned quickly that Sundowners are pretty negatively reviewed and some models are dangerous.

I ended up with an ancient steel Kingston trailer that people keep telling me I’d be insane to ever sell.

I wouldn’t buy a Sundowner. Maybe they have improved but there were some pretty big frame issues going on a few years ago.

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Cash that’s what I was afraid of. I looked at an 07’ sundowner with living quarters yesterday, they said it still had a warranty and all on it but my husband said “Why do they still have a 7 yr old trailer still sitting there” , I googled and got my answer :frowning:
I also want to check out a 13’ Bison that is very similar and actually a little bit cheaper, but I have no experience with Bison trailers.
Since I plan on living in this thing I want to be sure I get some decent quality.

Is the name worth the price tag? The warranty they offer seems better than anyone else, but if you had a choice between Bison, Sundowner and Exsiss how much would the name matter and why?[/QUOTE]

Short note on trailer warranties; read the exclusions, anything attached / not produced by a manufacturer is not usually warrantied ( but may have a separate warranty that is short/er) usually, a manufacturer warranty ends up being the main frame & top rail… and some warranties are void if the owner does not do certain cleaning & maintenance on schedule… just saying!

The other thing about warranties (horse trailers or anything else) is to get a handle on how the company handles claims. Are they “consumer oriented” where they give the customer the benefit of the doubt or are they “strict constructionist” and require the customer prove that the defect is in now way related to their use of the product?


We have an Exiss which is nicely made.

Short answer - no. The horrid experience of one friend (pony lacerated her nose) confirmed my observations at the trade shows. Have you considered Cimarron?

Sundowners are good trailers. They aren’t the quality of 4star, but they are very good in their own right. They are made much better than the current popular brands of today, like Featherlite, Exiss, Keifer, etc. They pull very well, the hardware is of good quality, the dividers are much more substantial than many other brands, the trailers are relatively quite… Don’t know where the hate comes from, but I wouldn’t touch most of the brands that are recommended on here, so I guess I’m strange. I do a LOT of hauling, and I see and go through a lot of trailers.

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Just read this on FB, both horses were okay after the trailer became unhitched and rolled over on a major Canadian hwy. I’m not in a market but I’ll certainly think of this article and look at the sundowners when it’s time!


I can’t comment on Bison trailers but personally I would NOT buy a Sundowner or Exiss - I’ve heard too many horrible stories about those two.

Now Kingston - thats what I have now and all my father bought back when I wad much much younger and he’s a very picky buyer!!


Have you considered EquiSpirit? www.equispirit.com

I have owned a Sundowner for twelve years and haven’t had any issues with it. I’ve loved it, actually. I also have a Featherlite gn and like it very much, too. If there had still been a Sundowner dealer in my area when I bought my gn I would have happily bought another one. To each his own, I guess.

I would avoid a Sundowner from the styles in the problem years ('97-2007, varying models by year, if I remember correctly off the top of my head), but the folks I know with Sundowners have REALLY liked them.

I just bought a used Sundowner, but researched the years and models which had the problem. Reed (RAyers on COTH) did the research which is cited all over on material testing the steel frame and it’s improper coating which is what caused the issues. I suspect that was actually a subcontractor problem, but Sundowner of course is responsible for their subcontractor management, and it was pretty poorly handled in my opinion.

Is the name worth the price tag? The warranty they offer seems better than anyone else, but if you had a choice between Bison, Sundowner and Exsiss how much would the name matter and why?[/QUOTE]

I have owned three Sundowners.

One 6 horse slant, which I never needed but bought because I needed one right that minute.

Traded it for a 4 horse slant, which I pulled something like 300,000 miles. Don’t know exactly, but based on the years I owned it and my regular trips, pretty close.

I bought both of the above new and they were the all aluminum trailers.

Traded the 4 horse slant for a 4 horse head to head. A used trailer with low mileage.

My present truck keeps track of miles pulled and it is not convenient to hook them up to read the latest, but I have pulled it about 30,000 miles.

I have been happy with all of them.

We got a wonderful deal with our Sundowner. Bought a 1996 in March 1997 on the dealer’s don’t want to pay tax on it by the end of the month sale. They took $6500 off the price - a 4H with weekender package. Love love love the insulated tack/living area with AC! No mildew or mold, can leave everything in place. We’ve never had a problem with it - except me busting the ac cap on a tree branch overhanging a barn drive, the only access to get thru and they hadn’t trimmed.

I repeat - we’ve never had ANY problem with it. It’s been a real Timex for us. Takes a beating and still keeps ticking. Oh the rubber trim around the wheel fenders dried up and fell off after 18 yrs of weather.

I love my 2014 Sundowner. I traded in my '01 Sundowner. I didn’t have problems with the '01, but my trailer repairman said eventually I would probably have corrosion because it was from the model years that had a problem. It served me well for 13 years, so it didn’t bother me to trade it in. My two trailers (Valley, Arndt) prior to my Sundowner had major issues with rust, a broken ramp, and other issues after only a few years.

Use a good dealer if you get a Sundowner. My local dealer didn’t want to give me a decent price and didn’t want to order a trailer with the drop down windows that I wanted. I called a dealer who my friend has used in Ocala. They got the trailer I wanted and delivered it to my door, 4 states away.

I too had a Sundowner for a while and really liked it. We sold it to get a bigger trailer and never had any complaints. Had there been a dealer closer to me I would have considered buying another one.

Dredging this one up!

Looking for a new trailer and there is a 2014 Sundowner that is available in my area. I’ve heard mixed reviews and that was also confirmed on this thread. How are they holding up these days? $13K

I’ve got a 4 Star dealer in my area and those seem to have a stellar reputation. A new two horse is pricing in around $25K.

Price is certainly a consideration but I’d like to do this once and be set for the next 20-30 years.

I just had a chat with my trailer service guy - we get our trailer serviced yearly so he knows us by our trailer lol. We have a Merhow, I know not on your list, but we were comparing the different brands. He looks at trailers every day. 4-star is the way to go if you can afford it. Merhow is middle high end but they have safety features in the horse area that I like above the other manufacturers. In regards to Sundowner, he said to stay away and they’re not what they used to be (pre-floor issues). Plus they’ve gotten more away from horse trailers lately and more into the ATV haulers.
Good luck in your search!

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Thanks! I didn’t see Merhow on either of the dealers site when I started looking. I did just double checked Merhow’s site and the one place is a dealer of theirs; they don’t have any on site or on order at the moment. They also sell Hawk which I have read are pretty well rated, but I think if I’m going to spend the money, going the all aluminum route in Ohio will be the best way to go which leaves me leaning to pay more for a new 4 Star.