How do you unhook a bumper pull on a horse trailer?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you unhook a bumper pull on a horse trailer? We will also explain how you can hook a bumper pull on a horse trailer, and how to choose the right hitch for your trailer as well. 

How do you unhook a bumper pull on a horse trailer?

To unhook a bumper pull on a horse trailer, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Before you begin, make sure the horse trailer tires are chocked for safety so that the trailer is secure in place. Check that the ball and hitch are secure to the truck with a pin, and make sure the trailer is jacked up high enough for the ball to fit underneath it.
  1. Back up to the trailer, keeping the truck as straight as possible. It’s helpful to have someone outside of the vehicle directing you.
  1. Stop when the ball of the hitch is directly under the trailer’s coupler. Lower the trailer by turning the crank handle. As you crank, the trailer will lower onto the ball, and the jack will raise up off the ground. Keep cranking the handle until it will not turn anymore.
  1. Next, secure the coupler onto the ball by closing the collar. It should snap into place. Then, put the pin through to keep the collar securely closed.
  1. Attach the safety cables or chains to the hitch. Clip the breakaway brake cable to the hitch. Finally, plus the electrical cable.
  1. Be sure to check that the tail lights and brake lights are working properly, and always do a final safety check of the entire rig before loading the horse(s)!

Safety reminders for unhooking a bumper pull on a horse trailer

When unhooking a horse trailer, make sure you are doing it in a safe manner and check the following criteria:

  • Always unplug the electrical outlet connecting your trailer to your towing vehicle.
  • Lock the parking brake if the trailer is braked or use wheel chocks.
  • Remember to activate the locking lever, pivot the handling lever forward by a rocking movement, raise the coupling head to unhook the trailer from the car, use the jockey wheel if necessary. 
  • Do not maneuver the loaded trailer on the jockey wheel.
  • If the safety cable is worn or twisted, replace it before using the horse trailer!

In the event of breakdowns:

If the ball joint does not engage properly to your horse trailer there are several cases:

  1. the ball joint Ø> 50 mm: have the coupling ball replaced
  2. the support load is insufficient: press down by hand on the coupling head
  3. the coupling head is dirty or stuck: clean and lubricate the coupling head and replace it if necessary
  4. If there is too much play between the head and the hitch ball or if the indicator light is not ok

If the ball (Ø The seal housings are badly worn: contact your dealer

If the trailer cannot be unhooked: The trailer and the towing vehicle are not at the same level: place them in the same direction of travel and unhook

The hitch ball is oval: replace.

In the event of a breakdown not described above, contact a professional and do not move the trailer.

How do you hook a bumper pull on a horse trailer?

Hitching up a horse trailer is not a complicated process in itself, but handling should be carried out conscientiously in order to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Reminder of good practices.

In order to evolve serenely with a horse trailer, its hitch must respect certain elementary safety rules:

  1. To begin with, you should approach your vehicle near the horse trailer, having previously taken care to adjust the height of the ladder using the jockey wheel.
  1. The next step is to position the coupling box on the ball making sure that the safety mechanism is properly engaged. It is easy to check by lifting the tiller.
  1. Then the breaking cable must be attached to the hook which is dedicated to it, without forgetting the electrical harness.
  1. It is advisable to regularly check the correct functioning of the lights (stop, indicators, reverse gear, etc.) as well as the condition of the socket, the connections of which tend to oxidize quickly (particularly valid for plastic sockets). .
  1. Before leaving, don’t forget to remove the brake on the horse trailer, and remember to adapt your driving according to the load and the conditions.

Which hitch to choose for a bumper pull horse trailer?

  Riding enthusiasts sometimes need to transport their horses. A horse trailer is then necessary, however towing requires some knowledge. The objective is for your mount to ensure it is transported in the best conditions.

Transporting horses absolutely requires having a horse trailer hitch. It can transport 1 or 2 horses and is specially designed so that the mount is spared during its journey. The horse trailer usually has a frame with an inertia braking system and wiring to install the rear signal lights. 

The hitch of the horse trailer must be correctly installed, in order to avoid any accidents on the road. The weight of the horse trailer is important here, in the same way as for a horse trailer it will be necessary that the driver invests in a coupling for a braked trailer

It must be able to withstand a GVWR – Total Authorized Loaded Weight – of more than 750 kg (but not exceeding 3,500 kg). This system allows, if the horse trailer is unhooked, the trailer is braked automatically. Also, if the driver brakes hard, the horse trailer will not skid. The diameter of the hitch ball varies between 45, 50 and 60 millimeters.

Do I need a weight-distribution hitch for a horse trailer?

The purpose of a weight-distribution hitch is to level the weight in the trailer, but whether you need it for your horse trailer or not will depend on several factors.  Here are some cases of when you will need a weight-distribution hitch for your horse trailer:

  1.  Calculate the weight of your vehicle and compare it to the gross weight of the trailer. The trailer can only reach 50% of the total vehicle weight.
  1. As you tow a trailer, you notice it swaying.
  1. It is difficult to control your vehicle while towing. It may be more difficult to turn or you may not be able to achieve optimum speed.
  1. You notice that the rear part of the vehicle lowers when you attach the trailer

Just imagine attaching a heavy trailer to a vehicle. You mount it in the back and the vehicle is now under stress due to the heavyweight placed on it. The weight of the boom is now directly on the rear axle of the vehicle. If you start the vehicle and begin to drive it, you may notice that it is difficult to reach optimum speed and maneuver it.

This happens because the rear part of the vehicle is carrying too much weight. This is why it is imperative to use a weight-distribution hitch. It applies leverage by using spring bars to distribute the weight on all sides. Thanks to this, you ensure pleasant driving without worrying about the sway of the trailer.

The bottom line

Loading and unloading a bumper pull on a horse trailer is not that difficult, but there are some safety precautions to take. As long as you make sure you follow our advice, with time and experience, unhooking your horse trailer will become easier and easier. 

If we can be of any further help, please feel free to get in contact!

FAQ on How do you unhook a bumper pull on a horse trailer?

How much towing capacity do I need to tow a horse trailer?

To be able to tow the average one/two-horse trailer, you will need a car with a towing capacity of at least 8.000 lbs. A horse trailer typically weighs between 2,300 and 3,900 lbs, to which you have to add the weight of the horse(s), the weight of the cargo – so the number goes up quickly. 

Are the weight distribution hitches difficult to install?

Some weight distribution hitches are difficult to install, it depends on the product. Some units come with parts preinstalled, which simplifies the process for the user. Make sure you know more about the installation process when choosing a suitable product.

Can you adjust the weight of the trailer hitch?

It is possible to adjust the height of a trailer hitch in just a few simple steps. The hitch system between a towing vehicle and a trailer needs to be configured correctly so that the two can work together safely. The towing vehicle must be capable of supporting the weight of the trailer. 

How does towing a trailer affect car behavior?

Towing a trailer will most certainly affect car behavior, but if you take the necessary precautions, nothing bad will happen. Before deciding to tow any trailer, make sure that your car is in good working order. Brakes, coolant and oil levels, and the quality of your tires are important things to check. 


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