1991 Merhow Trailer Advice

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by CarlisleChipper, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Horse trailer drama! This is the trailer I bought just now - 1991 Merhow 2 Horse Straight Load Trailer | D&D Farm and Ranch Trailers - Seguin, Texas

    Paid for it. But they are inspecting it, servicing it, and detailing it. This is the first trailer I bought and I didn't have anyone come look at it with me. The floors are good. But the ramp is incredibly rusted. So I go home and get a call from the guy asking if I *really* wanted to buy it given the weight of the ramp and it's condition. He said he estimates it to be at least 200lbs and he doesn't think I'm strong enough to work it myself. Now, I am *going* to lift it when I get there just to see... He said I could have a wench installed to help me be able to work it myself. I had another trailer lined up to go look at but it's even older than this one, 1978, and is 100% steel and bigger. Also the tires on the merhow are estimated to have 50% tread left and the spare is rotted. So I probably need to purchase new tires. I normally buy tires at Sam's club but not sure if they work with trailers. I need some input since I'm trying to let my trustee trainer take a nap.

    Honestly, this is just a starter trailer. If I can get it to last 5 years I'd be satisfied.
     
  2. bobo and horses

    bobo and horses Senior Member

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    I can lift my daughters ramp on her 3 horse bison with just a little extra effort. It’s an after market ramp (it’s a blue ribbon ramp without the stickers) with no help, and no mechanical aid. Possiblely trying to get some extra cash from you? Is this the seller doing this stuff for you? I’d be more concerned about the tires than lifting the ramp.

    Exciting to get a trailer, isn’t it?
     
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  3. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    It's a weird scenario. I spoke on the phone with a guy yesterday, but today he isn't here so I'm working with someone else. I don't get a good vibe either. Surely ramp doors can be replaced and the rest of it is fine and no rust. I guess I'll see later!
     
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  4. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    I just spoke with tractor supply and they sell winches for trailer doors under $30 and they're easy to install they say. $150 bucks my foot I'm going to stick with the merhow lest they find anything else wrong on their inspections. They replaced all the lights and wiring for the lights today as well. Can we get trailer tires at Sam's club?
     
  5. tlwidener

    tlwidener Senior Member

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    Trailer tires will cost $400 or so IME. For now I'd buy a spare and keep the other four on it until you see wear bars or smooth spots. As long as you check them before pulling, you'll be fine. Then you can save up for the other four. I don't remember if you can get them at Sam's. Tires are something I always buy locally... I like having the relationship with the dealer to service them (rotate, balance, etc.)

    The ramp is no big deal, though I would put rubber on if it doesn't already have it. I'd get something with some texture. I'd also put a winch on it.

    Good luck on the buy!
     
  6. CabterCrazy

    CabterCrazy Senior Member

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    I would take the trailers to a tire shop and have them looked at, SO bought a truck that was said to have 50% life left on the tires but they really had less than 20%.

    May also be worth it to get a second inspection done by a different mechanic. Seems like they may be messing you about to get a bit of extra cash
     
  7. CarlisleChipper

    CarlisleChipper Senior Member+

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    Well here it is. Hubby will install a winch. I can drop the ramp fine but I do struggle to get it up. I did it, but it was a pita. Definitely needs new tires. Let's hope I make it home. I've never driven a trailer before.
     

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  8. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

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    Couple of things here... firstly, if the ramp is that rotted, I would not want my horse walking on it, and I would certainly not want them leaning on it whatsoever while driving. I also doubt that if the ramp is that rotted, there is not more rot on the framing.

    Secondly, I would never use a winch with horses, because they will undoubtedly end up stepping to the side of the ramp and getting tangled up in it, which is not what you want. Check to see of there is a leaf spring under the ramp. If there is, it is an easy replacement or fix, and will fix that issue. Otherwise you replace the internal springs on the ramp which is a PITA.

    Please, please, please get all the framing, floors, wiring, brakes etc inspected before putting a horse in there, and ensure you are comfortable driving it with a moving horse back there before going too far. I have a 91 Kingston that I bought for cheap, but it needed areas welded, new floor, new plywood and aluminum on the ramp, new ramp leaf spring, new paint, new emergency brake, some rewiring... it was a project, and worth it, but terrifying that someone had been hauling with it before I got it. Horses trust us to get into those tin cans, and the least we can do is make sure they're safe back there and we respect them while we are behind the wheel.

    I adore etrailer.com for trailer supplies. I got wheels with tires for a very reasonable price from them, and have been very happy with them!
     
  9. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    They make ramps with spring action to help lift it. I would not use that ramp or a winch. I would get a better ramp installed.
     
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  10. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    All in all, your description of this trailer is troubling....rust, a heavy ramp that doesn't have a proper counter-balance, dubious tires (they might have tread, but how old are they? More than 5 years...they need replaced. Check date codes on the tires to see when they were made) and so forth. What about the brakes? The emergency braking battery? The lighting and wiring?
     
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