Another horse-hauling question


Appreciate the responses from the other question. When I bought a GMC Safari van w/tow pkg & vortek V6 engine 5 years ago (now it has 180 miles on it), the dealer swore it would pull a trailer. Every mechanic I had it surviced at since has warned against it. So I went to a dealer thinking about a Toyota Tundra, and the guy led me straight to the smaller Tacoma. I felt it was too small to pull a two-horse trailer & left. Wrong? (I have a 1978 ford 1/2 ton slant six w/350,000 miles. Wouldn’t think of asking her to pull a trailer now.)Upshoot is now I don’t trust a dealer to tell me (a woman) true. And I don’t “talk car” or currently have a man in my life to drag along truck shopping. Pretty frustrating. suggestions? Appreciate any helpful answers. Thanks!

Sure the Tacoma will pull a two horse trailer…{D03DDA9A-CAA8-4B46-954E-754CF7A54E51}

Go with at least a full sized half ton.

The GMC Safari was truck based on a similar truck to your Tacoma. I know many people who tow 6000lbs+ with them (camper trailer) and horses without issue with the AWD version(not sure if help or hurts).

Make sure you get sway bars etc to dissipate the load of moving horses. Remember towing 5000 lbs of horses is much more difficult than 6000 lbs of dirt. The horses move a bit causing dynamic loads to the vehicle. Sway bars and better hitches or larger vehicles do better.

If you think about a Tacoma or Tundra(sister used 2000 without issue) make sure you go with xtra cab for longer vehicle for better stability.

It is all about the weight of the load you are pulling. I have a 2 horse trailer. It weights about 1,500 to 2,000 lbs empty. Each horse weights usually weights 1,000 lbs. Some horses are bigger and can go up to 1,400 and some smaller than 1,000 so I figure 1,000 per horse. Then you add tack, water, feed, hay, and other supplies and you get a few hundred more lbs. You are looking at 5,000 lbs. That is in range of a lot of vehicles. If you buy something that is max’d out pulling 6,000 lbs you are not giving yourself much extra capacity. That means the vehicle is working harder to start and stop the trailer. Bigger capacities mean bigger brakes, strong transmission, stronger differentials, more power in the motor.

I vote for getting something bigger if you can afford the vehicle and the extra gas it will use. Nothing will get good gas mileage when the trailer is hooked up so that’s not the issue. It’s the mileage you’ll get when using the vehicle without the trailer tagging along.

I bought a used Toyota Sequoia for pulling my 2 horse trailer. Its great and can handle the load just fine.

If you are trailering short distances, at moderate speeds, and encounter few big hills you can get by with a smaller tow vehicle, even one with a V6. If you are going several hundred miles every so often, in the mountains, and load the trailer heavily get a full sized truck based pick up or SUV with a V8 engine.

Pay attention to the brakes. Your horse trailer should have its own brakes, usually electric. If this system is working properly and adjusted corredtly you can tow safely with a smaller tow vehicle. I like to anticipate things going wrong so I feel better in a bigger tow vehicle with bigger brakes. If my trailer brakes malfunction I want to know I can still get the whole packaged stopped safely.

It might be a little underpowered, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t tow with the Safari. I think the problem is perhaps that it looks like a minivan, so people are prejudiced against it, but it is in fact a real honest-to-goodness truck-based van (based on the S10). The very fact that it’s offered with a tow package implies to me that they think you can tow with it-- and US automakers are very conservative about what they think you can and can’t tow with.

My boss used to tow a pretty decent sized boat with a '94 Astro with the non-vortec 4.1L v6 and had no troubles at all.

At my old Dealer we had a 96 Astro that the owner was using to tow a portable auto electronics display, he was maxed out in weight but not over. The heavy line guys put 3 complete rear housings (complete means ring snd pinion,axels you know complete) That was the only part that suffered but I guess it was enough (done under warranty)

An F150 or 250 should be good enough to tow the trailer. The 5.4L V8 should do the trick, some might recommend the V10 or diesel for some extra towing capacity.

I just read you had a 1978 ford 1/2 ton SLANT SIX. The slant six lable was usually assigned to Chrysler products (domestic,as BMW’s sixes also slant). For FORD you would possibly have the 200,240,300 none are slant six design.