Steel vs Aluminum

The Innovation of Aluminum Horse Trailers


The horse trailer industry has moved from constructing heavy trailers out of steel due mainly to its propensity to quickly corrode in the initial years of ownership. In recent years, aluminum horse trailer construction has been integrated into much of the construction of trailers. This is mainly because it possesses advantages over steel such as lightening the weight of trailers to make for easier towing, and it does not corrode.


However, aluminum is more expensive than steel. Thus, many manufacturers have combined aluminum and steel to make hybrid frames that are lighter weight than all-steel trailers. Because of their still having steel content, these trailers continue to face problems with corrosion.


Although all-aluminum horse trailers have been offered by leading manufacturers for some time, they have grown to become a favorable option due to their lighter weight and non-corrosive properties. More horse owners are viewing all-aluminum trailers as a more cost effective option when taken into account the initial higher cost spread over years of ownership.


Facts About Aluminum versus Steel Horse Trailers:

  • Aluminum can reduce the overall load weight making it 25 to 35 percent lighter than steel.

  • Aluminum extends the lifespan of the trailer and eliminates the need to repaint the exterior, since it does not rust.

  • Aluminum maximizes the resale value because it lasts longer.

  • Aluminum improves gas mileage because it is lighter to tow.

  • Aluminum C-Channel tubing in the frame should be avoided because it is less durable than solid tubular aluminum.

  • Steel trailers require covered storage in order to extend the lifespan of the trailer.

  • Steel trailers require more maintenance, including repainting and rust-proofing.

  • Steel is heavier and requires more power to safely tow.

  • Steel has a lower resale value.

  • Aluminum skin over a steel frame can result in a reaction called electrolysis, which happens when aluminum comes in contact with steel, and contributes to corrosion.