My truck is nearly always connected to the trailer since I have a more economical car for driving around town. In 2007, Hubby and I went on vacation. since we were going to be gone for two weeks, I used the truck to deliver my quad to the shop for some maintenance. I left my truck parked at home while the trailer remained at the barn and the quad stayed in the shop.
Near the end of our vacation, I got a call from the barn manager. My trailer was no longer in its parking spot. Had I let someone borrow it? Uh, no, I hadn't. From our hotel room, the sheriff's office and my insurance agent were notified of the theft. I was pretty angry and frustrated because there was nothing I could do about it, especially since we weren't even in California.
Fortunately, I didn't have any of my riding tack in the trailer, but it was filled with many other supplies: buckets, rakes, organizers, hay bags, dishes, bedding, etc. After the insurance claim was settled, I spent about $1,000 to resupply the new trailer with all that had been lost in the first one.
Once we returned home from our vacation, we pieced together what had happened. Since it was a gooseneck and not a bumper pull, the thief had come prepared; this wasn't a crime of opportunity. Not many trucks have a gooseneck hitch installed in their truck beds. We are fairly certain that someone scoped out the trailer in advance and realized that my truck was no longer parked in the way. Sometime during the night, the thief drove onto the property, passed by the five or six other trailers parked in the row, and hooked up mine. He simply drove away.
I spoke to the sheriff's office a few times, but they had no leads. They admitted that it was an unusual crime as the trailer would need to be registered at some point here in California. They felt certain it was on its way out of state.
My insurance agent, Michael Gipson of Farmers, was great. We've been with him since our early 20s so we already had a good relationship with him. He worked very quickly to get our claim processed so that I could replace the trailer.
Knowing that it was going to take months to get the whole thing sorted out, I started my search for a new trailer. Two-horse trailers with living quarters are not very common; we had special ordered the first one. Right away I discovered that I was probably going to have to get a three-horse which meant a lot more money.
The insurance claim was settled within about 30 days, much to my relief. The check they issued was enough to pay off the note on the first trailer, with enough left over to put a down payment on a new trailer. Much like the housing market, the price of trailers had also risen. My new trailer was going to cost almost $30,000. I found myself once again pondering how to pay for a trailer. The good news, if there was any, was that I no longer had a truck payment, and my financial situation was much improved.
I did have to finance the trailer, but this time, it was for 6 years with the plan to pay it off sooner if possible. And that brings us to March 28, 2013, five years and seven months later. I made the final payment in person because I wanted to walk out of the bank holding a piece of paper saying that nothing was owed on it. It felt really good to actually own my horse trailer.
It took 12 years and four months, but I am finally rid of trailer payments; what a relief. I hope I don't have to buy another trailer for a very, very long time! By the way, the new trailer stays hooked to the truck, and if I need the truck for something else, the trailer sports a substantial lock over the ball receiver - so far, so good!