Benderup v Bockmann, etc. single v. 2 horse trailer
I have a two part question. Part I: brand of trailer and Part II: single or two horse trailer.
I'm looking for a very light-weight horse trailer. I have a light weight SUV (FJ Cruiser) with a payload of 5000 pounds.
I was looking at Benderup v. Bockman or Fautras.
I was leaning towards Benderup because it's lightweight but since it's no longer being assembled in the US, I'm worried about being able to find parts if I ever need them.
I'm going to be hauling my horse up on weekends 2-3 times a month to the showgrounds on weekends only during season for about 55 miles each way.
Anyone own one? Have any opinions? Ideally, a 4 star or something like that would be great but I'd have to buy a heavier truck then... so... choices are limited
I know there is alot of bias towards single horse trailers but I only and likely will only own one horse. I've read some opinions online that say don't buy a two-horse thinking you'll ship a friend's horse because it leads to alot of problems (what if your friend's horse gets hurt? what if it damages the trailer? what if your friend has to be there on a Thursday but you can't make it up until the weekend? What if your friend's class is at 8am but you don't go until 3pm, etc. etc.).
Does anyone have a single horse trailer? Can you guys share your experiences with single v. 2 horse trailer?
oh, and I wanted to add that the going rate off-season is $200 round trip and during season it is $250-300 round trip...
Also, my horse normally would have to go up with other horses so that he usually ends up at the show grounds a day or two before I show and so you have to also add in the cost of a stall for the night just to have him go up with others...
Bockmann is a very old German company, they make nice trailers.
As to where they are made for the US market, I have no idea though, but brenderup/Bockmann, you can probably toss a coin.
I would get a 2 horse unless the 1 horse is significantly cheaper.
You can throw some hay in the empty stall, or a tack trunk, or just lay down and crash in it yourself.
Most horses accept a 2h better than a 1h, and frankly, in Germany hardly anybody uses a 1h even if they never anticipate hauling 2 and while it is for most people (unless you have farm tags) illegal to haul anything but horses.
I bought a Euro-style trailer this spring as we have a similar SUV to yours. I had considered the Brenderups, but I had heard their flooring wasn't the best and as you said, replacement parts and/or resale might be difficult down the road.... Bockmann's are significantly more expensive with fancier finishes, etc. I just needed SAFE, basic transportation. No dressing room, fancy paint graphics, etc. needed for me.
Fautras is a French made trailer and their less-expensive sister brand is St. Georges. It's very similar to Brenderup, but some nicer finishes and floor has lifetime guarantee. It's a 2011 demo model so I got a decent deal on it. A dealer in WI carried both brands so I got the St.Georges 2 horse. They do offer a 1 horse, but it wasn't in stock and since there wasn't a BIG difference in price, I didn't want to wait for them to order and thought 2 horse would be more marketable. I am very happy with the trailer. I don't use it a lot, but plan to do trips within 3 hours from home about 6 times a year. Maybe more often if I find some trail buddies.
Great, thanks for the info on the Bockmanns and also on the feedback on the Fautras.
I think everyone is right, getting a 2-horse is better.
Sorry, I should probably clarify that I would only be bringing up my horse and tack (saddle and show bridle, girth and a small grooming tote). The rest (feed, shavings, hay, etc.) would be taken care of by the show barn (it's full service) or at the show grounds because we would have stalls there. So that's why I'm thinking 5000 towing might be ok... The benderups are less than 2K lbs...
I think Bockmans and Fautras weigh a little more though, which is why I'm a little leery too.
Can't buy another truck--not an option right now. Need my FJ to commute to work and not driving an even bigger gas guzzler just to get to work.
I had a brenderup (2 horse) for eight years. Loved it. New horse, however, prefers to travel sideways so it had to go. Never, in that time, had trouble w/ floor. Repairs were minimal. The question now is parts.
Don't buy a single horse, for all the reasons already listed. Yeah, you may not need the space now, but circumstances change...(I never hauled two horses either)
Depending on the climate you live in, you might want to investigate a basic stock trailer; I see a lot down here in Florida; they come w/ great tack space and may not be too heavy.
We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........
Not sure where you are but if you're on the west coast, try looking at Heacocks as well. They are in the same/similar weight ranges and are good long lasting trailers. I've got their biggest 2h with a large tack/dressing room and it still only weighs in at about 2600lbs. And the prices are much more reasonable than the European trailers.
I owned a Brenderup Royal TC for the last 12 years. I just sold it this spring because I needed a larger trailer -- 3 horse or the ability to haul one horse and a marathon cart. I still miss that trailer. It was a dream to handle and drive.
There were some issue when Thule brought Benderup and discontinued its arrangement with Real Trailers in Texas. However that matter has been sorted out. I was able to get replacement parts without a big hassle.
As others have said, get a 2H unless you get a rock bottom deal on a 1H. I've had situations where it was very handy to have the option of taking out the center panel and making a larger stall. Also, the resale value is better for a 2H. Finally, I am one of those people who use their trailer for non-horse stuff, like taking large items to the dump, moving furniture, or hauling sheets of plywood. A 2H is quite handy that way.
I have a Brenderup Solo, and adore it. I have plenty of interest from people wanting to buy it, so while resale is probably less than for a two-horse, it's still not a problem as far as I can tell.
I got the Solo because it was my first trailer and I liked that it was a few inches narrower than my tow vehicle (so I would be less likely to crash into anything), and my horse and I both like how roomy it is for a horse; she can brace her legs, step aside out of her own poop, whatever.
The downside is that you can't really carry anything except your horse in it, and its windows are tiny. If I had it to do over again and had the extra few thousand $$, I might get a two-horse so that I could go places with a friend, and so that I could put portable corral panels or something in the extra space, or I might have gotten a bigger one-horse, that had the bigger window in the front. But, all said and done, these are minor things compared with how much I love being able to go where I want, when I want, and with how beautifully these trailers tow, stop, function, etc. Really low-stress to tow with. So, I don't consider the one-horse a mistake, by any means. It just means I trailer to friends' barns when I want to ride with them, and that I throw all gear into the back of the minivan.
You can spend alot of money hiring a ride to shows before you equal the price of a late-model Brenderup. You'd want to really do the math. The thing that might make it worth it, aside from the money, is the convenience of not being dependent on someone else. Before I got the trailer, while I was very happy to hire someone to trailer me places, haulers were always booked on the day that I wanted, or they cancelled because they wanted to go ride their own horse that day. :-)
And, even a one-horse comes in handy for hauling other things, as Ironwood said. It's fun.
I pull a brenderup solo and it pulls very steadily and smoothly. I never have any trouble loading a horse in it. I pull with either my Subaru outback ( yes!) or my Toyota Tundra when I am also bringing my carriage along.
As another point of view, I prefer the solo because it allows the horse to balance in the middle. When I was at Black Prong Equestrian Center last winter, one of the highly respected competitors there told me the solo was too small and my horse would be happier in one of those enormous trailers. So I got out my measuring tape and found that the height ( 7'4") was about the same but the stall width (51") was larger and the stall length and area in front of the breastbar available to the horse was significantly larger than her very nice 4 horse trailer.
I am in the market for a baron one because I just bought a 17 hh warmblood (who has been trailered successfully interstate in the solo.) but I would like for her to have the extra large warmblood size for her head and neck.
Last edited by Moderator 1; Aug. 14, 2012 at 08:31 PM.
I have looked at both Fautras and Böckmann and was very impressed with both. I'd choose either over Brenderup; not because I feel there is any problem with Brenderup, but because I like the styles and possibilities offered by the other two manufacturers. Adding that one can buy them "new", too, for the reason you stated.
That said, The Fautras ProVann is limited to horses that are under 16h, IMHO, due to the short stall length. That has unfortunately ruled it out for me. The Böckmann Portax AK was my other target. Bigger, but unfortunately also more expensive. Since I recently upgraded my vehicle and consequently, my towing limits, I'm opening up my mind to a North American trailer. But for you, I'd suggest you stay focused on the Euro trailers as they are more suitable for your tow vehicle.
As to single vs 2-h...a 2-h is going to provide more opportunity and in many cases will provide a more stable setup with a wider stance. And better resale. I have seen a Solo being pulled locally over in NJ by a Subaru Forester, however, and the woman had a smile on her face...
Well, I would disagree that a two-horse would provide for a more stable set-up with a wider stance; with the one-horse, the beast has four feet of width, all to themselves. I have seen horses turn around in a Solo (my horse doesn't know this is possible, and I am not telling her). With a two-horse, my understanding is that the center divider makes for a relatively tight fit for each horse, width-wise, and they can't take a wide stance.
Though, a 2-horse used as a 1-horse (with the divider removed or slid over to the side) might be the best of both worlds.
One other thing; check the different makes for quiet, if that is important to your horse. My horse is used to the Bupster, which doesn't have anything that clangs or bangs or rattles; when she goes with other horses in a steel trailer, she comes off sweaty and wide-eyed, perhaps because of rattling and banging of different parts. (just my guess).
consider a small "stock" trailer made for a horse as well- I had a light-weight fiberglass/aluminum stock trailer for awhile; it weighed only about 1200 lbs. empty; add one small horse it was only 2100 lbs. which is well below the 5000 lbs. max of your tow vehicle. A stock is also very versatile for other uses, like hauling motorcycles or furniture. Compared to the cost of the brenderups, a little stock trailer is cheap.
Can speak only to the Brenderup, but we haul ours, which is twenty years old or so now, with a Ford Explorer with no problems, loaded with a horse, hay, and as much tack as I could cram in it (moving barns.) Handles like a charm, even in high winds or on mountain roads (admittedly that was with furniture and such, not a horse, but it was MUCH heavier than it would be even with two horses.) Maxes out around three thousand pounds of tow weight with two horses in it, so well within most trucks' tow rating. Lots of head clearance for the horse, and the white roof makes it feel much airier and lighter. Ramp vs. no ramp is a toss-up--we have a ramp because Benny hated step-ups, and now we have Lucky who doesn't care for ramps (but is learning to deal.)
I would not bother with a steel trailer if you plan on keeping it long-term as it will rust out where the Brenderup won't, plus the B'up keeps its value better (as those of us with them are usually reluctant to sell them.) For parts...well, we haven't replaced anything on ours, but the panels and floor can be replaced with marine plywood.
My friend has a brenderup that I borrow frequently. I really like it-pulls nicely, horse friendly, easy to hitch. She had another one that got totaled in a crash. Interestingly, a guy from our barn who sells Featherlites was also on the road (helped us get the horses home!) and said the way the Brenderup handled the crash was perfect. It stayed perfectly behind the truck and didn't wobble at all, and it didn't crunch at all, despite the fact that someone hit the back of it. The horses were fine except for some soreness on their chests and one horse scraped a bit of fur off her forehead. After that, my friend will only ever own a Brenderup trailer.