Is a Gooseneck Horse Trailer Safer Than a Bumper Pull?

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Is a gooseneck horse trailer safer than a bumper pull?

When looking at horse trailers, this was one of my most important questions, as the safety of my horses is paramount.

I not only asked trailer experts but also decided to do my own independent research to get the most well-rounded information.

So, if, like me, you’re keen to know about the safety of these two types of trailers, keep reading.

Quick Summary

  • Gooseneck trailers provide more stability
  • A gooseneck horse trailer is more maneuverable than a bumper pull
  • Goosenecks have less risk of sway than bumper pulls
  • A gooseneck hitch is stronger

Also Read: 12 Best Horse Trailer Review

Are Goosenecks Safer Than Bumper Pull Trailers?

Yes, and no! As the experts at Double D Trailers say,

This really is the million dollar question.” [1] You won’t find the answer by looking at the trailer itself but at your tow vehicle and your entire rig setup.

Using a towing vehicle that is not suitable will make any horse trailer less safe. However, once you have the right truck in place to tow your trailer, a gooseneck edges ahead when it comes to safety.

Let’s take a closer look.

READ MORE: Stock Trailer Vs Horse Trailer

Benefits of a Gooseneck vs. a Bumper Pull Trailer?

The biggest, and very important to me, as I’m sure it is to you as well, the benefit of a gooseneck horse trailer over a bumper pull is its stability.

In other words, a gooseneck trailer is more stable on the road. This has to do with how the trailer is hitched to your pickup truck.

A gooseneck hitch sits in the truck bed over the rear axle. This means the tongue weight sits in a better-supported location.

A bumper pull hitches onto the back of your vehicle, which can increase the risk of sway. As a driver, you want to avoid swaying as much as possible because this can lead to you losing control of your truck and trailer.

A dangerous situation that no horse owner wants to experience while on the road.

Greater stability isn’t the only benefit a gooseneck has over a bumper pull. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of trailer.

Watch this video to learn more about gooseneck and bumper pull trailer safety.

Gooseneck Horse Trailer Benefits and Cons

As gooseneck horse trailers have more stability it means that they can carry a heavier load. This can mean more horses or the addition of a tack room or even a living area.

Another benefit that I really like, despite being larger trailers, is how you can turn a gooseneck. Because of how they are hitched, you can take corners more tightly and get your rig into a more awkward space.

It doesn’t mean that goosenecks are easier to turn and park, as this does take some skill and practice. But once you have mastered this, you will really like this benefit.

One of the main cons of a gooseneck horse trailer is its size. They are much bigger than bumper pulls, which can make them a bit intimidating to drive. It also means you need a larger area to park your trailer when you aren’t using it.

Another con is the hitch location. If your truck doesn’t have a hitch installed, and most don’t, you will need to get this done by a specialist mechanic. This means an extra expense.

Finally, purchasing a gooseneck is much more expensive. So while the answer is yes to the question ‘Is a gooseneck horse trailer safer than a bumper pull?’ it isn’t always financially feasible to purchase one.

Bumper Pull Horse Trailer Benefits and Cons

While a gooseneck edges out a bumper pull when comparing the two, it doesn’t mean that bumper pulls don’t have benefits.

A bumper pull is smaller, usually, a two-horse trailer, and less daunting to drive, especially when you are starting out. The main key to maximizing safety is ensuring you are using a suitable tow vehicle.

is a gooseneck horse trailer safer than a bumper pull?

You don’t need to install a hitch into the bed of your truck, and usually, the hitch type below your vehicle’s rear bumper is suitable. However, always get this checked before you start towing to ensure your truck can handle the weight. [2]

Don’t just look at the tow rating, a common mistake, but it is also essential to look at a truck’s tongue weight rating.

A first glance, the tow rating can make it look like the truck is up to the job, but on closer inspection, the tongue rating might actually be below what you need.

When it comes to the cost of horse trailer, it is less expensive to purchase a bumper pull than a gooseneck, and it needs less space when stored.

The disadvantages of a bumper pull are that it is at higher risk of sway due to the trailer hitch location and how many horses or how much weight they can take is less than a gooseneck.

Gooseneck Trailer Safety Advantages

A gooseneck trailer hitch, which is sometimes called a 5th wheel hitch, not only provides more stability but it is also stronger.

To use a bumper pull, your horse must walk in and, in almost all cases, reverse out. This common type of trailer is also referred to as a straight load. This can make loading and unload more dangerous with some horses.

A gooseneck’s size allows the horse to walk in and walk out head first. This can result in a less anxious horse and safer loading.

It also has more space and greatly reduces the risk of handlers getting pinned inside with no escape route if a horse gets agitated or panics.

Another feature that increases the safety of a gooseneck trailer is extra reinforcement on their trailer bodies. The body of the trailer, if made by a reputable manufacturer will have, will have high-stress areas well reinforced.

While not specifically a safety feature, the best gooseneck trailers can be equipped with an air ride system. The safety benefit of air ride is that your horse is much more comfortable.

A more comfortable horse will stay more relaxed, making it less likely to panic or move around when traveling. This makes everyone safer; the horses in the trailer and passengers!

FAQs

What is the safest horse trailer?

A horse trailer carrying horses

A gooseneck is slightly safer due to its more stable towing. But the safest horse trailer is one that is towed by a suitable vehicle, is free from damage, loose fixtures, sharp edges, and corrosion, and has a safe floor and good tires.

Is a gooseneck trailer better than a bumper pull?

A gooseneck trailer is better than a bumper pull model as it is more stable, less sway risk, and can handle a heavier load. They are also not more difficult to two, a common misconception that comes from their larger size.

Can you pull more weight with a gooseneck?

Yes, a gooseneck can pull more weight, but you still must stay within each trailer’s payload and use a towing vehicle that has a tongue weight capacity and towing capacity for the job.

Conclusion

Is a gooseneck horse trailer safer than a bumper pull? As you can see, the answer is yes, but only if other factors a met as well. This means using the right truck and learning to drive it safely.

If you have any questions about the various types of horse trailers, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your experiences with these two trailer types.

is a gooseneck horse trailer safer than a bumper pull

So, which horse trailer looking you the safest one? Let us know in the comments section

Resources

1. Gooseneck vs. Bumper Pull Horse Trailers: Which is Better? [Internet]. Double D Trailers. [cited 2022 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.doubledtrailers.com/gooseneck-or-bumper-pull-horse-trailers-which-is-better/

2. Virginia’s Size, Weight and Equipment Requirements [Internet]. dmv.virginia.gov. [cited 2022 Sep 26]. Available from: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/webdoc/pdf/dmv109.pdf

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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