Tell me about axle position (as in horse trailer design ) (1 Viewer)

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Gotta get outta here...
Sep 20, 2003
I want to get a box trailer that I can build into a motorcycle/cargo/crash in trailer.
I do see occasionally older cheap horse trailers that I'm intrigued about as it seems that some could be easily converted to motorcycle transport and if so would be a great deal.
One thing though is that all the horse trailers I have seen have the 2 axles way back. I imagine so the horses can get in or out without the thing rocking back and forth too much. Which actually may not be such a bad thing with a motorcycle either come to think of it. Or so the horses can stay way back over the axles.
So my question: is that type of axle location a drawback for normal towing? Any reason why I should stay away because of it?
A horse has to have a little room to move around, but not too much fore and aft. In any case, axle placement is all about maintaining the roughly 60/40 fore/aft weight distribution. Since a horse can move, or worst case even sit down, the seemingly shorter rear overhang helps ensure that no matter what the horse does they won't throw the weight distribution off.

I'm pretty sure you're correct about the use of two axles being all but universal for horse trailers. The last thing you want to do is to spook a horse while it's being loaded. The way they are, the horse can step into the rear of the trailer without it suddenly moving in a way that could upset the horse.

No real impact on use for other loads so long as you watch the weight distribution doesn't end up too far forward and too heavy a tongue weight. By design, the horse's weight is fairly evenly distributed, so if you pay attention to that need a horse trailer could work for you.
thanks. Are these things weird to tow compared to a regular utility or motorcycle trailer?

Of course I would keep the bike and the heavy stuff over the axles, keeping the front for a cot and lighter supplies.
thanks. Are these things weird to tow compared to a regular utility or motorcycle trailer?

Of course I would keep the bike and the heavy stuff over the axles, keeping the front for a cot and lighter supplies.

Dunno, never towed one. Keep in mind that there's often light stuff at the front of the horse trailer, hay, then the horse, so your strategy on the load is sound.
Horse trailers are easily found in single and dual axle versions alike.

We had a single x single slot at the ranch for years. But then bought a dual x four slot and it was always the first one everyone latched onto. Main issue with a single axle horse trailer was if a tire blew loaded.....most of the time it was a rough ending to the story.

Duals are much more stable (loaded and unloaded) and back easier. But, IMO unless you are really heavy they are a PITA. Think of putting a riding lawnmower on a car hauler and using it ALWAYS... Trailers are tools, but one generic version will get you covered for quite awhile until you outgrow or realize you want/need to add a different version to make things more suitable for your application.

Here is a good site for all things trailer. I linked the plans for a motorcycle-single axle build.

Ground Loading/Ramp Free Trailer Plans

thanks. Agree on different trailers being better for different uses. I have 3 and need one more (at least).

The thing about a box (unlike flat top) trailer is that your typical heavier axle being 3,500 lbs (yes, there are some 5,000 out there but not seeing a lot), you put a box on top of that and you've lost a good chunk of the potential carrying ability. If you're talking about a couple of bikes and gear, you are probably close to 3500 lbs already, which is a bit limiting. Which is why I'm thinking dual axle.

Unfortunately, I have this gut feeling that the way back dual axle design of the horse trailer is intended most for horse safety and less for towing convenience. Probably easy to overload the front too. Wonder if one could easily move the rear axle in front of the front one, though...
Ever since I've seen these they have intrigued the hell out of me...imagine a loft bed, some extra windows, fold down back tent section, awning and kitchen. Put anther 10" of clearance and you'd have something.
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yup, I did see one locally that already had windows all around and looked tall enough.
the one above does seem shorter than many, though, and the dual axle placement does not look quite as weird.

It's not that I think a horse trailer will do a better job at carrying a motorcycle than a regular cargo box one, but the latter must evidently be made of solid gold from the asking prices I'm seeing, and some of the horse ones OTOH are rather cheap if older.

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