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Old 11-23-2012, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Custom dog trailer options?

I am looking at purchasing a trailer here in the next few months. I have happened upon a few good deals. But one in particular has me intrigued. There is a guy who can custom build one for me for quite an affordable cost.

So my question is, if you could have a custom built trailer for your dogs what would you want?

To kick start here are a few must haves and luxurys. I am going to see how much extra the luxuries are and add a few. Which ones to add is the question.


MUST HAVE: a good bar space on doors that is small enough that an adult GSD cannot fit their mouth around to clamp down.

Luxury: Screens on the door where teeth do not have access to edges, but will prevent bugs from entering dogs kennel.

MUST HAVE: Ventilation system. A fan to pull in air flow. Prefer the open top so the dogs can see each other and share the air. But bars in between must be very thin so no teeth, noses, ears can get through and potentially cause a fight.
MUST HAVE: Insulation to prevent overheating in the summer.

MUST HAVE: steel frame to help prevent crunching in an accident and potentially save dogs lives

Luxury: I would love to have some lighting on the side that I can turn on to potty dogs. Doesn't have to be super bright. Just a little help to see the dogs standing right next to the trailer to load them up.

Luxury: Tie out cables on each side of the trailer. Maybe 4 total? to attach dogs too. Need to be DURABLE as dogs may pull VERY hard on these

Luxury: Storage on top. Also offers insulation. would like a raise top with lights. Also prefer dividers for separating collars, leashes, balls, tracking articles, vests. Etc. Maybe a deep area somewhere to fit a food bag.



MUST HAVE: needs to be easy to clean. I would love to be able to hose it off and let it air dry and call it good. Maybe slightly slanted floors to make water drip out immediately? Or maybe have a little drainage system in place? I don't want a dog to spill water or potentially pee in there and be standing in water. Or have it splash all over me when I let a dog out

MUST HAVE: Needs to have either one, or separate (prefer just one key) for each kennel.

MUST HAVE: lightweight. I am pulling with a chrysler town and country minivan. I believe my towing capacity is 3600lbs

MUST HAVE: two types of doors. Outside door for protection during driving. (would love to be able to vent them partially open, or open a window for airflow during drive) Inside door with bars so I can open the big door and see what the dog is doing and make it sit before I open the door.

Luxury: I feed my dogs the raw prey model diet. Plus this trailer will potentially be pulled weekly to a Schutzhund club. If there was a built in cooler on the top that would be awesome! I could travel with some dog meat for trips. Or bring cool drinks and lunch on the weekends

MUST HAVE: I want the dogs to have enough room to sit up and not duck their heads. They have erect ears and their ears touching is not a big deal but if they are traveling for a potential 14 hour road trip I want them to be able to stretch around in it.

Luxury: Two axels. I heard this makes the ride softer for the dogs.

The trailers this guy builds are similar to this

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Old 11-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here are the two I have been looking at:
WT-METALL Home Page
4 Dog Trailer-Elite K-9

Be sure to get double axel.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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qbchottu I definitely love both of those trailers. I have a club member with the campeon model.

Riley Trailers + WT Metall West | Wt Metall Campe?on Trailer

and another club member with a 6 dog compartment Jones Airliner.

I really like the airliner. Both are aesthetically pleasing and quite roomy. I might buy the airliner, but I like the novelty of a custom made one that I can add anything I wouldn't get on either of the other trailers and for less money. I have big complaints about the WT Metall one. My club member already can't put one of her dogs in the trailer because she can bite the door and is tearing it down. I know some of my dogs would do the same so I am avoiding WT Metalls now. I need very durable doors.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's so strange. Wt-metall is pretty much the gold standard in crates and trailers. My trainer and a couple friends have had their trailers for going on 5-10years now with constant abuse and they are still fine. I like the Euro trailers because they tend to be lighter and are easier to tow with smaller vehicles or ones with low tow capacity. I have always heard nice things about Jones, but I never liked them because they are so ugly and look like fallout bunkers from the cold war era! They also tend to weigh more.

I will either wait for a nice used wt-metall 4 dog to go on sale on pedigree or buy the elitek9 one. Elitek9 is not to far away from me so I might just go check it out in person and buy that - it would also save me $$ on shipping. I think the wt-metall ones are too expensive new. I can't justify 15k+ for a trailer! A couple people told me the East coast distributor has tried to get the patent from Germany to build wt-metall here so they can go down on the cost, but the parent company refused so for now, the costs will remain quite high for new :/

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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that's what was so shocking to me. But I saw it for myself. The dog was crunching the door completely. This was a particularly bad chewer. I have another club member who has a pretty old trailer, not sure who it's made by, but it is very similar to the WT Metal and the dogs were able to chew the fans out of the ceiling, and do the same thing to the door. There was actually probably a 12"x6" area on the door where dogs had scratched with claws and indented the door about 1" -2" deep.

Pretty serious damage. It was also a pretty old trailer though. I am hoping I can get this guy to make me an aesthetically pleasing looking trailer that I can add decals to. He builds it out of aluminum but has a steel frame so it is very lightweight and safe.

I agree the jones trailers do look kind of old school looking. I don't love the look of the airliner, but it is a lot better than some of the clunky looking trailers I have seen out there. I would take a jones over what I have seen on CL lol.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So strange - never heard of those type of issues with wt-metall. I think I will go check out the elitek9 one and probably will end up getting that one. I've been waiting for months for a nice used one to show up and still haven't had any luck.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have a newer campeon 4 dog and have owned a jones aluminum six dog trailer. My understanding is they have a cross bar in the inner door now to prevent chewing the bars in the wt metall.
Jones has a great reputation, but are just too heavy- I needed something I could tow with a minivan, or an hhr, or an aztek. Even the hhr doesn't have any problems with it.
The jones was a single axle and had smaller compartments for hunting dogs, and no inner security doors. It was also much heavier, but used 15" tires and had a water tank and tieout loops, as well as the airing lights on the outside. The double axle and the inner doors were a must have for me this time.
Check the inner finish of the jones- maybe it's because mine was an older one, and a hunting dog model, but it was rough inside. The edges of the expanded aluminum mesh was not finished, and there were edges everywhere. I had a dog injure itself inside by chewing the aluminum mesh up and getting hung up.
I like that the wt is smooth inside, but would kind of like the upper third of the partitions to be bars or mesh (NOT expanded aluminum). My breed is medium sized, and it seems like the campeon model compartments might be small for a larger breed. Not so much for travel, but if you kennel the dog in it all day at events.
I did ride in the jones- it was a little noisy and not real smooth. I have not ridden in the wt metall but travel with cameras in the stalls so can hear and see what's going on in there. If you don't take the buckets off (even with the kennel systems) they rattle a lot. The trailer will bounce quite a bit if the air pressure int he tires is too much, but once the air was let out down to what was recommended, it seems pretty smooth. The sides are almost transluscent in bright sunlight- I can see my decal through the wall, so it's pretty light inside on a sunny day.
IF you do have one custom made, be sure to post photos and list features!! I know some folks who had trailers custom made, they had the storage on the bottom and the back- they felt it was safer for the dogs to be higher and felt the storage on the back provided a buffer zone in case it got rear ended. But they have to lift dogs up into the trailer, and the trailers are pretty heavy.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdogs View Post
I have a newer campeon 4 dog and have owned a jones aluminum six dog trailer. My understanding is they have a cross bar in the inner door now to prevent chewing the bars in the wt metall.
Jones has a great reputation, but are just too heavy- I needed something I could tow with a minivan, or an hhr, or an aztek. Even the hhr doesn't have any problems with it.
The jones was a single axle and had smaller compartments for hunting dogs, and no inner security doors. It was also much heavier, but used 15" tires and had a water tank and tieout loops, as well as the airing lights on the outside. The double axle and the inner doors were a must have for me this time.
Check the inner finish of the jones- maybe it's because mine was an older one, and a hunting dog model, but it was rough inside. The edges of the expanded aluminum mesh was not finished, and there were edges everywhere. I had a dog injure itself inside by chewing the aluminum mesh up and getting hung up.
I like that the wt is smooth inside, but would kind of like the upper third of the partitions to be bars or mesh (NOT expanded aluminum). My breed is medium sized, and it seems like the campeon model compartments might be small for a larger breed. Not so much for travel, but if you kennel the dog in it all day at events.
I did ride in the jones- it was a little noisy and not real smooth. I have not ridden in the wt metall but travel with cameras in the stalls so can hear and see what's going on in there. If you don't take the buckets off (even with the kennel systems) they rattle a lot. The trailer will bounce quite a bit if the air pressure int he tires is too much, but once the air was let out down to what was recommended, it seems pretty smooth. The sides are almost transluscent in bright sunlight- I can see my decal through the wall, so it's pretty light inside on a sunny day.
IF you do have one custom made, be sure to post photos and list features!! I know some folks who had trailers custom made, they had the storage on the bottom and the back- they felt it was safer for the dogs to be higher and felt the storage on the back provided a buffer zone in case it got rear ended. But they have to lift dogs up into the trailer, and the trailers are pretty heavy.
vickie
The Jones I am looking at is the 6 dog airliner. I have checked out the inside. It's been a few months since I looked inside but i remember thinking the bars inbetween the kennels at the top for ventilation could potentially cause fight between dogs. I remember thinking to myself which dogs I can't put next to each other. I was told that Jones trailer is 1500lbs. My tow capacity is 3600lbs so I should be alright. But I remember it also being kind of high.

I am definitely thinking of putting storage in the back for that same reason.

As for the wt metal door that got chewed. It was the actual door that got chewed not just the bars.

I am tempted to get an elite k9 one. But that is at the top of my price range. And for that much I could just go with the 6 dog Jones Airliner.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a K9 Trailer company which looking at the elite k9 one I'm betting they are made by the same folks. Visual differences only. Same hardware, same dimensions, same framing, lighting, etc.

Very solid steel framed trailer. My dogs cannot escape
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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That is good to hear! I will definitely be checking those out in person if pedigree doesn't come through with the wt-metall trailers

Maris: did you see the 4 dog jones on sale on pedigree? It's in NY
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