It is very convenient to be able to transport horses around with your own truck and trailer and many horse owners do exactly that. Figuring out what truck to use to pull a horse trailer is another story.
The typical Dodge Ram 1500 can easily pull a bumper-pull 2-horse trailer with 2 horses in it weighing 5,000 and 7,500 lbs loaded. This truck has a towing capacity between 7,500 and 12,500 lbs depending on the engine. Goose neck 2-horse trailer weighs about a 1,000 lbs more but still within the typical Ram truck’s capacity.
The towing capacity is the weight a vehicle can pull legally and safely. Attempting to tow a heavier weight can result in excessive sway that can cause the vehicle to go out of control. Also, hauling or towing too much weight can cause the brakes to wear out quickly and make it difficult to stop. The transmission also bares a lot of the burden when towing and if it overheats the transmission will not last as long as it is designed to.
What Is The Dodge Ram 1500 Towing Capacity?
Depending on the engine, the Dodge Ram 1500 has a towing capacity between 7,500 and 12,500 lbs. A Dodge Ram 1500 with a 5.7L HEMI V8 engine with eTorque has a rated towing capacity of 12,700 lbs.
How Much Does A Loaded 2-Horse Trailer Weigh?
A 2-horse trailer, when empty, can weigh between 2,300 and 3,900 lbs. A typical horse can weigh from 900 to 1200 lbs. Adding the horses to the trailer and then some cargo, the total weight can reach 7,000 to 8,000 lbs.
Different Types of Horse Trailers & Their Weight
The different types of horse trailers are:
- Horse trailers with living quarters. The horse trailer has additional living quarters for the trainer, rider, and other personnel the horse needs. There is a separate compartment for the horse and the living quarters. It’s like having an RV attached to the horse trailer. This type of trailer can weigh from 9,000 to 18,000 lbs.
- Gooseneck horse trailers. The gooseneck is the forward part of the trailer that extends over the rear of the truck. The gooseneck provides additional space for equipment, luggage and other items the horse or trainer needs. This type of trailer can weigh from 5,500 to 7,000 lbs.
- Horse bumper pull trailers. Also called the straight pull trailer, or a tagalong trailer, the bumper pull trailer has a frame hitch directly attached to the truck frame. It can vary in size from a one or two-horse trailer to a gooseneck trailer.
- 1-2 horse trailers. It is the most common bumper pull trailer capable of hauling one or two horses. It can easily weigh over 6,000 lbs when fully loaded with two horses.
- 3-4 horse trailers. A three to 4 horse trailer is a bumper pull trailer capable of carrying up to 4 horses. It can weigh from 3,000 lbs to more than 14,000 lbs for a gooseneck trailer.
- 5-10 horse trailers. A 5 to 10-horse trailer can be a bumper pull trailer or a gooseneck trailer capable of hauling up to 10 horses and weighing more than 14,000 lbs.
Do Horse Trailers Need Stabilizer Bars On A Dodge Ram 1500?
Stabilizer bars or sway bars are optional equipment for trailers and campers. It helps prevent excessive sway when on the road. If the trailer is designed correctly and well-built and the load is evenly distributed, there is no need for a sway bar.
However, if the trailer always sways on the road, some design flaws, construction issues, or weight distribution problems might cause the swaying. Installing a stabilizer bar can temporarily correct the horse trailer sway.
What’s the difference between a sway bar and a stabilizer bar?
The stabilizer bar is also called the sway bar. It is used to help minimize the sway and stabilize the vehicle while on the road. It can be advantageous with a trailer to reduce sway and instability in the towed vehicle.
What happens if you drive without a stabilizer bar?
You can drive without a stabilizer bar. Also called the sway bar, it is useful in vehicles with a high clearance or trucks used in towing and hauling heavy loads. A sway bar can also be installed in a trailer to help stabilize its movement, minimizing the sway or side-to-side motion while on the road. When pulling a horse trailer a stabilizer bar should be used.
Does Dodge Ram 1500 Need Air Bag Suspension To Tow A Horse Trailer?
The Dodge Ram 1500 does not need an air bag suspension to tow a horse trailer. However, it can help improve handling and the driving experience. If you are towing something heavy like a Bobcat Skid Steer, airbag suspension will come in handy.
With an installed air bag suspension, the ride on a Dodge Ram 1500 would be less bumpy, especially on rough roads.
The suspension is also convenient when towing heavy loads, like a horse trailer, because it prevents the truck from bottoming out, where the truck might drag dangerously low across the highway due to the heavy load.
It can also help stabilize the load when towing a horse trailer.
Can You Pull A Horse Trailer With Air Suspension?
A Dodge Ram 1500 with air suspension would be great for towing a horse trailer. The air suspension can help stabilize the trailer, prevent bottoming out with the additional weight, and also allows it to adjust quickly for the more even and firmer suspension.
How Much Air Do You Run In Airbags When Towing A Horse Trailer?
When pulling a horse trailer, having 15 PSI of pressure in your airbag is recommended, and it will help compensate for the additional weight and the lower clearance the horse trailer brings.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.