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Twi-Lite Aluminum Horse Trailers
Affordability through Innovative Design
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We’re excited about the addition of Twi-Lite trailers to our offerings. They’re well made aluminum trailers that also happen to be very affordable. Twi-Lite may be unfamiliar to some of you, but they’re not a new brand (more on that later). As with many of our brands, Twi-Lite doesn’t do a lot of advertising, relying instead on the product to impress. Our first Twi-Lites arrived in late 2012. They started finding homes shortly thereafter. Value shoppers seem to be attracted first by price and then explore construction and features. Shoppers looking for a tough, durable trailer are impressed by the construction; the affordability is just icing on the cake. Regardless of how you arrive at your choice, thanks to Twi-Lite’s innovative construction, you get a very well made trailer at a great price.
Twi-Lite trailers are impressive in many ways. First of all, the structural insulated wall panels simplify construction. The result is a smooth, strongly built trailer with a reduced cost of production when compared to the more traditional skin-over-frame construction. While some manufacturers might pocket the savings, Twi-Lite passes them along to consumers. The result is a well-made, clean-looking trailer at a surprisingly affordable price. Actually, we should say trailers, as Twi-Lite offers a range of models - straight load, slant load, livestock and even cargo trailers, bumper pulls and goosenecks, all featuring structural insulated panels in the design. Twi-Lite trailers are built by the folks who have been producing Blue Ribbon aluminum trailers for many years, so they’re designed and built by personnel with plenty of experience building quality aluminum horse trailers. While Twi-Lite is relatively new to the Traveled Lane lineup, it’s not a new brand. They’re in their fourth model year as this is updated in late 2012.
Enough background. Let’s focus on those structural insulated panels that are such a key aspect of the Twi-Lite design. They’re STRUCTURAL, meaning they’re engineered to carry a load, not just cover an opening. And they’re INSULATED. Insulation offers good thermal properties and contributes to a quiet interior. The laminated panels are about an inch thick and consist of .050” full hard aluminum inner and outer skins bonded to a high density core. And please note, these panels are engineered products, produced by specialists, not improvised in-house. The lamination process involves heat and pressure and sophisticated adhesives in a controlled environment. According to Twi-Lite, the panels have 500% more tensile strength than the panels on some lookalike products. Another Twi-Lite “cut above” feature is the Acrylic finish that’s more resistant to streaking and fading than the polyester finish on some brands. Twi-Lite offers several colors and 2-tone combinations at no additional cost. The White, Black, Black & Grey and White & Grey exteriors shown here are some of the colors and combinations available at no additional cost. Other optional colors such as Red & Blue are also available (at additional cost).
Each Twi-Lite trailer has an aluminum frame and many of the components are Twi-Lite’s proprietary extrusions. The aluminum frame components are welded in the traditional fashion. The structural panels are bonded to the extrusions with a very strong urethane adhesive. There’s a continuous bead of adhesive around the perimeter of each panel. Or more precisely, it’s two beads, as the panels fit into channels in the extrusions and there’s a bead along the edge of each panel, inside and outside. The urethane bonding makes for a much stronger structure than if the panels were free-floating. When it comes to the use of aluminum and adhesives, Twi-Lite is in good company. Some very, very expensive automobiles rely on adhesive bonding in key areas of their aluminum structures. And with Twi-Lite, you don’t have to pay $250,000+ for that modern technology.
The standard floor in a Twi-Lite is pressure treated wood, well-proven as a floor material for horse and livestock trailers. Because of its thickness, wood has good thermal and sound deadening properties and can last quite a long time with simple care. If you prefer another floor material, Twi-Lite offers two floor options – extruded aluminum planks and Rumber® planks. Rumber is an extremely tough product manufactured from recycled tires and high density polyethylene. With Rumber, you don’t need floor mats, so floor cleanup can be a snap. The pictures below are showing the optional Rumber floor in a Twi-Lite New Yorker, but it’s available as an option in most of their models. We’ve found the Rumber floor to be a very popular option.
Enough about technology. Let’s talk space. Twi-Lite trailers are ROOMY. Most Twi-Lite models have a body width of 6’8” and a height of 7’6”, so they’re wide and tall. Even the slant loads have a standard height of 7’6”. And the straight load stalls are LONG. The stalls on models such as the New Yorker and Baron shown here are listed as 94 inches. We took a tape to them and it’s 94 inches from front of chest bar to rear of butt bar, which yields a usable length of about 87 inches. That’s about 6-8 inches longer than most warmblood stall lengths. And we know some brochures claim lengths of 90 inches or so, but when you account for the thickness of butt bars and chest bars, usable length usually comes in around the low 80 inch mark. Look at the pictures and you’ll see smooth stall dividers, padded butt and chest bars and generously-sized groom doors. Even on Twi-Lite’s less huge straight loads (we can’t call any of them “small”), the stall length is listed as 84 inches; comfortable for a wide range of horse sizes. Straight stall hardware is easily removable and slant dividers swing out of the way.
The model just above is the Twi-Lite Saratoga. If you have a horse that doesn’t like to back off the trailer, the Saratoga’s standard side ramp likely caught your attention. The Saratoga has a rear ramp as well, giving you the option of front or rear unloading. Also standard are saddle racks and bridle hooks in the nose, offering much of the functionality of a dressing room trailer. Saratoga - a very versatile trailer in an easy to handle size!
Twi-Lite trailers are very well equipped in standard configuration. Some trailers shown here have optional wheels or lined ceiling, and some have one or two optional windows, but most of what you see is standard.
On the Twi-Lite New Yorker and Newport straight loads with dressing room, the large side windows and 2-way vents over the stalls are standard. In the New Yorker, the window at the front of the horse area is standard as well. Also, please note that Twi-Lite uses cam bar latches on the curtain doors above the ramp. The latches grab at top and bottom, even when secured open. Which means that you can run with your curtain doors open for additional ventilation. Even though many folks run with their curtain doors open, on most trailers, you aren’t supposed to run with them open because the hinges & latches aren’t strong enough. In addition to the strong latches, Twi-Lite’s hinges are massive (and note how securely they’re welded!). The hinges have stainless steel pins and nylon bushings for durability and quietness. Very good stuff.
In fact, here’s one example of just how good. Take a look at the picture on the far right, just below this paragraph. That’s a Twi-Lite Cargo trailer being suspended by its rear doors. The doors and hinges on that Cargo model are the same as those on side doors of the Twi-Lite horse trailers. How’s that for strong components?
Other useful features? Smooth-riding torsion axles. Forward self-adjusting brakes (more on that shortly). Radial tires. LED tail and marker lights. LED interior lights. LED loading light (the loading light is optional, but when it’s there, it’s LED). Further, Twi-Lite uses automotive style wiring harnesses for consistent quality and reliability.
To get back to those brakes for a moment, not every manufacturer offers self-adjusting brakes. With some designs, you have to back the trailer to activate the adjuster. Quite a number of folks don’t like to back their trailers, so an adjuster that requires you to back frequently isn’t the most practical design. On the Twi-Lite, the brakes self-adjust as you apply the brakes while moving forward. That is, in normal use, whether you back up or not. And the self-adjusting brakes are standard. But wait, we have more Twi-Lite features to talk about…
Most Twi-Lite straight loads come with a standard spring-assisted ramp. It’s easy to lift and with a nod to serviceability, the spring assemblies are bolted on rather than welded. However, to reduce the chance that you’ll need to repair them, Twi-Lite uses high quality stainless steel springs and they ride on nylon contact blocks. Thoughtful details abound on these trailers.
Twi-Lite offers a variety of standard models and a good selection of options. Apply some of those options to a standard model and the results can be quite spectacular. It’s not often that you call a stock trailer sleek, but that’s an apt description for the black 20 footer above. The basic look is standard Twi-Lite stock trailer, but add a little height, a little length, a hay pod on top & alloy wheels and that eye-catching trailer is the result. Twi-Lite also does some customization, so feel free to give us a call if you’d like a trailer tailored to your specific needs.
Just below, we’re showing a Twi-Lite 2H straight load gooseneck with side ramp. This particular one is a side unload model, but they’ll build it longer so it’s a true 2+1 side load. That is, long enough so that you can load it from the side, and that would have a larger box stall as well. On the display trailer, note the stout box stall doors, the handy gate for the upper gooseneck area and the optional Rumber floor. (Just a reminder - Even though the pictures are small, you can click on them for a larger view.) They’ll build this configuration with a dressing room and they also do the traditional 2H with dressing room. Twi-Lite builds slant load goosenecks in a variety of sizes as well.
From the viewpoint of practicality and technology, Twi-Lites are impressive trailers. When you take into account how affordable they are, they’re even more impressive. We invite you to stop by and check them out at Traveled Lane!
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