Equine Guide in Finding the Best Repossessed Horse Trailers

A repo horse trailer (repossessed horse trailer) is one that a horse owner is unable to pay for.

Typically, it gets repossessed by the bank/lender which then auctions it off for a lot lower price than the original price.

rusty repo horse trailer

As with anything that you buy used, though, there’s always a risk.

So, how can horse owners prevent themselves from getting ripped off?

This guide explains it all!

Repo Horse Trailer – How Do You Find One?

Naturally, there is a chance that the repo horse trailer could have sustained structural damage which is not visible at first glance. Naive buyers could end up spending tons of money on repairs later or worse, compromising the safety of their horses.

Unfortunately, there is no Blue Book for repo horse trailers like there is for used cars. So, you just don’t know how much your repo trailer should ideally cost.

If you are in the market for a repo horse trailer, here are some resources and sites you might find useful.

#1. Visit NADA Website

NADA stands for National Automobile Dealers Association. Please visit the section on recreational vehicles on this website. Here they allow listings only of horse trailers with living quarters.

NADA also clearly states that they do not have valuations for horse trailers or utility trailers without living quarters.

#2. Local Classifieds and Horse Owner Forums

A great place to find repo horse trailers within a few miles of your location is through local listings.

Newspapers and local equestrian magazines often provide you with horse trailer classifieds, repo 2 or 3-horse trailers, repo horse trailers with living quarters, etc.

Horse owner forums also help you connect with people who have purchased repo trailers. They can provide invaluable insights into the bidding process.

two repo horse trailers parked on the road

#3. Online Searches

Sometimes, simply putting your main keywords in the Search Engine box can also give you great results.

For example, if you are sure you want a repo Sundowner horse trailer with specific features, then you can type in those keywords important to you.

Search engines will show you many websites where manufactures and horse owners list down repo horse trailers.

Sites like Craig’s List etc. can also show you local listings of used horse trailers.

#4. Auctions

Many cities in the Mid-west have auctions for repo horse trailers consigned by banks and financial institutions.

The best way to know about these is to contact a bank near you. Note that many auctions require you to have a dealer’s license to buy repo trailers from them.

You can even contact your insurance companies nearby for information about these auctions.

#5. Repo Finder

Repo Finder is another great resource for finding repo trailers. They are a free online directory of credit unions and banks that have repossessed vehicles/property.

Repo Finder is not affiliated with any financial institutions or credit institutions. This means that if you buy a repo trailer, the site does not get a commission.

Naturally, they are also not responsible for any transaction that occurs between you and the bank.

What Are the Prices of Repo Horse Trailers?

The cost of repo horse trailers ranges from $200 to $10,000 depending on the size and condition of the trailer. 

Here are some factors that can determine the costs of repo trailers:

#1. Condition of the Trailer

The number one factor that impacts the cost of a repo horse trailer is its condition.

This includes the trailer’s appearance inside and outside. Banks will charge more for trailers that have clean, well-maintained upholstery, sturdy floors, and regularly serviced trailers.

#2. Brand and Model

A repo horse trailer of popular brands like Sundowner, Lakota, etc. will have more buyers in the market. Naturally, the price of these models and brands will be higher.

Models that are not in production anymore will be lower in price.

Check: Types of Horse Trailers

#3. Year

The year of manufacture of the trailer will determine its age. As the trailer ages, its warranty period reduces since it comes closer to the end of its life.

According to experts, horse trailers depreciate by 25% every three years.  The floor of the trailer starts to weaken structurally. Naturally, the year of manufacture will considerably influence the repo horse trailer cost.

#4. Size

The size of the trailer can also determine its cost. A 3-horse trailer will cost more than a 1-horse trailer. Similarly, a trailer with living quarters will cost a lot more than one without living quarters.

How Does Repo Horse Trailer Auction Work?

Repossession auctions are the best way to obtain a horse trailer for cheap. Most repo horse trailers are priced at a bare minimum and when you bid properly, you can save a ton of money on it.

While the auction and bidding process can be a lot of fun, it is also important to learn everything you can about the bidding process.

repossessed horse trailer

Understand that the repo trailer can be in any condition.

Check the trailer thoroughly before bidding on it. Most auctions list the trailers with detailed photos.

The repo sites/auction sites also inspect the trailers and catalog their findings.

This description and cataloged information can give you an insight into the kind of condition the trailer is in. 

You can also ask to hitch the trailer to your towing vehicle and take a short test ride if the repo authorities/auction house allows it.

If you are simply viewing the trailer online, then contact the auctioning authorities on the email or phone number provided with your questions, if any.

Repossessed vehicles like cars have a title. But that isn’t the case with repo horse trailers. Almost 99% of used and repo trailers do not have a title but may have a bill of sale or Certificate of Origin.

Note that some trailers may require repairs even before you can remove them from the auction lot, should you win the bid. So, plan things properly. Factor in the additional costs of repairs in the trailer’s final price.

Things to Consider Before Repo Horse Trailer Deal 

man fixing the repo horse trailer

While a repo horse trailer can save you a ton of money, it is vital to know what you are getting into.

Many a naive buyer has ended up with a white elephant and even spending tons of money on repairing a repo trailer.

Moreover, structurally weakened repo horse trailers can even compromise the health and safety of your horses. 

Here are some things to consider when getting into a repo horse trailer deal:

#1. Be Very Cautious

A repo horse trailer may have been repossessed by the bank within a few months after the payments stopped from the owner or even after a few years.

In any case, one thing is for sure: the owner did not have money to make the payments. 

Perhaps they lost their job or are going through an expensive divorce. In any case, one thing is clear: the owner may not have spent on the trailer’s maintenance.

Lack of regular service and maintenance can mean that your trailer is on its last leg. The floor of the trailer may have taken a beating and that can compromise your horses’ safety.

#2. Try to Build a Relationship With the Bank

Banks or credit institutions will be more cooperative if you plan to get into a working relationship with them. This means getting your financing from them if need be.

Most banks and credit unions will be more cooperative with such members and might even show them repo horse trailers they have.

You can also get crucial information as to whether the trailer was turned in by the owner voluntarily. This way, you have a better chance of getting a good trailer.

#3. Know the Lowest Value

Seek help from horse trailer owners, forums, and the NADA website to get the valuation of the trailer. Then bid accordingly. The bank will then wait to get other bids. Be patient, this process can take several weeks.

#4. Take the Time to Inspect it

Have an expert inspect the trailer before making the final purchase. In case the sale is not in your city/state, then hire a local inspector before the deal is finalized.

Physically inspect the trailer thoroughly as well. 

  • Is it the right size for your horses? Make sure your tow vehicle is also of the right size for the trailer.
  • Is there adequate headroom?
  • Check the floor. Are there visible signs of rot?
  • Ensure proper suspension. Is the trailer tilting to one side? In that case, the suspension may be faulty.
  • Check the tires and wheels. Ensure there are no cracks, damage, or dents in wheel rims.
  • Check the brakes.
  • Check the dividers.
  • Perform a moisture test with the help of an expert. These use a moisture meter.
  • Ensure there is no rust damage.
  • Check the electrical system.

#5. Don’t Get Caught up in the Excitement!

Auctions can be very exciting and it is very easy to bid higher than what the trailer may be worth. So stay calm and be practical.

FAQs

How much does a horse trailer with sleeping quarters cost?

Horse trailers with sleeping quarters can cost anywhere between $2000 and $45000 depending on their brand, year of manufacture, size, hauling capacity, weight, material, and other features.

Are single-axle horse trailers safe?

single horse trailer

Single-axles can actually maneuver better than their double-axled counterparts. However, they are prone to swaying if you drive in a windy area.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a horse trailer, then a repo horse trailer can be a great choice.

Based on your needs, you can search for repo horse trailers and save a ton of money in the process. Depending on their make and model, good repo horse trailers can cost anywhere between $200 and $45,000.

Banks or financial institutions offer these trailers to the general public through auctions. If you can win the bid, you could even get a repo horse trailer for as low as $200!

Always inspect the trailer thoroughly. If anything looks unsafe, walk away. Remember: no amount of money is equal to your peace of mind and your horses’ safety.

If needed, seek help from reputed individual inspectors to help you make an informed choice.

Resources

  • “Horse Trailer Cost-A Guide with Example Prices.” 2021. Horse Racing Sense. August 29, 2021. https://horseracingsense.com/horse-trailer-cost-prices/.
repo horse trailers, how to find the best one

Have you bought a repo horse trailer before? Let us know in the comments below!

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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