Horse owners need a vehicle with towing capacity. Depending on the size of your trailer and the weight of your horse or horses, you probably won’t be able to get away with less than a 3,000-pound towing capacity, and you may need to go higher. That means a full-size pickup or heavy SUV. We evaluated a number of used vehicles, and our choices come down to the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Chevy Silverado 1500, and Ford Excursion.
Ford F-150: The F-150 is known for durability and reliability, and has a very respectable towing capacity (11,000 pounds with EcoBoost). You can haul with confidence, and you’ll also appreciate the comfortable interior, making this truck not just a great vehicle for towing your horse trailer, but ideal for everyday use as well.
Ram 1500: With a towing capacity of 3,450 to 11,500 pounds depending on the package you select, you’ll find that the Ram is a very well-rounded vehicle. Available in V6, V8 and premium V8, you’ll get the power you need along with a tasteful appearance and comfortable interior. For towing horse trailers, though, we recommend either of the V8s.
Toyota Tundra: For our money, the Tundra is the only import that holds its own against the domestic offerings. With towing capacity of 4,500 to 10,400 pounds depending on engine configuration, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one that suits your specific needs. Thanks to the 5-speed auto transmission, you’ll find that even the V6 can handle most horse trailers.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500: The Silverado 1500 maxes out at 7,000 pounds towing capacity, but even this is adequate for many horse enthusiasts. You will, however, need to go with the V8 – the V6 is only suitable for lighter loads. This is a nice, classic-looking truck that will perform well for you and deliver decent gas mileage if you’re not hauling a whole lot in the way of horseflesh.
Ford Excursion: If you are in the market for an SUV to haul your horse trailer, the Excursion is the best one available. It’s stronger than any other SUV available, and is based on the F-250 frame, for a heavy-duty towing capacity of up to 11,000 pounds. It is also available with a diesel engine, and seats eight comfortably, which is handy when going to horse shows with friends.
When you’re hauling horses, you need a reliable vehicle that will handle your trailer without difficulty.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Best Used Cars to Buy if You're Hauling a Horse Trailer and was authored by Valerie Johnston.