Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Full Size 2+1 Trailer vs. Mini 2+1 Trailer

For the sake of comparison and general trailer info in case anyone out there is looking for something similar of either model here is a break down on my previous trailer vs. my new trailer.  I am OCD with details and I research every tiny bit of information I can find on things.  I have even physically measured my previous trailer, and before I purchased my new one I made the sales guy go out and take some physical measurements for comparison's sake on the new one.

Overall Length:

Full - 30'1"  (floor length 22')
Mini - 26'    (floor length 18')


Full - 7'6"
Mini - 7'6"


Full - 6'9"
Mini - 6'9"


Full -  5,902  (empty) 13,000lbs (GVWR)
Mini - 5,760 (empty) 12,700lbs (GVWR)

Why so similiar with the weights?  The mini is a steel frame with aluminum skin, the new full is all aluminum.

Tack/Dressing Room:

Full - 4'
Mini 4'

Here is a walk through video done by a dealership in Michigan that gives a good overview/tour of the full:

Other differences:

The new one has drop downs at the heads of the straight load stalls.  This is a feature that began somewhere around 2013 on the fulls.  You will see fulls pop up for sale that will be around 2005 or newer and not have drop downs at the head.

Bigger wheels and tires, this is partly due to the trailer being longer overall.

Sliding windows in the tail curtains, this is another feature that the new fulls have that you may not find on older model fulls.  This also started showing up around 2013 as well.

Here is a side by side comparison where you can see that the 4' gain in length is.  It is behind the axles.  I had the sales guy measure from the start of the floor to the middle of the first axle on the new one and it is the same length as the mini.  This just confirmed that the floor length gained is behind the axles.



Walk through door in the tack/dressing room.  Not a big deal to me but nice to have.  The tack room in the mini did have a window that you could see through into where the horses were, which was also not really necessary.

Carpet in the tack/dressing room.  This is just an overall change to various models that Sundowner has made.  No more carpet in the tack/dressing room.

The box stall is a big difference in the mini vs. the full.  The box stall on the full is 7'6" in length.  The area where you can put in a divider for a box stall (it doesn't come stock) on the mini is, making it more like a stud stall/ very small box stall.  The ramp on the full is also wider.

 Here you can see just how close the divider is to the front compared to the full.  I gained a couple feet in this area with the full.

 The width of the side ramp is also different.  On the full the ramp is 5' and on the mini it is 4'.

I like that the horses can see eachother through the head divider on the full.

I LOVE that the straight load stalls have drop downs!  Maximum airflow is SO important to me.

Here is the factory diagram of the full:

All the lights on the new one are LED and really bright, I'm sure that's on all newer Sundowners though, that is not model specific. 

So how does it pull?  Like a dream.  There really isn't much difference between it and the mini.  I can feel a little more weight to the new one, but it is barely noticeable (because it's barely a weight difference).  Actually, I must have not have plugged it in tight enough in my excitement when picking it up, because half way home I looked down and noticed my brake controller was off, I know it was on when I left.  I pulled over at the next parking lot and plugged it in, didn't have an issue again.  The only reason I noticed I didn't have trailer brakes was from looking down and seeing the light off.  I never felt it pushing the truck, but my truck is a manual too, and this is also one reason I bought a manual truck, in case stuff like this happens.  I have had my brake controller die on the way to a show.  Luckily the way I was going was on back roads with no traffic but if I was on a busy highway with no brake lights, yeah...problem.  Braking without my trailer brakes was no problem though.

Turns are about the same since the axles are basically in the same spot, I just have to watch the rear end a little more since there is just more of it now.  I was a little concerned about the tight turn into my driveway, but it was no problem.  I had actually taken some video of the mini leaving the driveway and pulling into it to get a good idea just how much more room I had to spare.  Plenty.  No problem.

Overall, again, I couldn't be happier.  I love this trailer, it is exactly what I need, and I look forward to many happy miles with it, and happy ponies!


  1. I have a 2015 and love mine. Only thing I'd recommend, check those pins at the top of the posts in the trailer and make sure they're bent to stay closed. Mine kept working their way out when I hit about 7000 miles and I couldn't figure out what happened the first time my divider flopped over and my horses were like uh, not it! My head divider also called it quits early on (mine's solid so love yours!) but since I duck and weave in there a lot with green horses, I prefer it without that at this point. Enjoy, we love ours!

  2. Good to know! I have already taken the center divider out though. I am hauling Klein in the back as a BIG box stall. I probably won't have it in very much since I'll only need it when hauling all three. I am glad to hear you love yours! I am blown away by how smooth it hauls.

  3. Grats on the new trailer! A 2+1 has always been a dream trailer. I think it would be so nice to be able to load them into the stall part at shows to allow them out of the sun and some downtime. I never did understand why tack rooms have carpet in them. Hard to clean, and retain moisture. Retaining moisture on a wood floor is bad news!