I would really like to have a horse trailer, but I also need a vehicle capable of towing one, and I'm trying to work out the best way to achieve that. Mostly I'd like to be able to tow to nearby trails, and maybe some clinics or shows that no one else at my barn is going to. I don't expect to ever go more than about an hour away. Being limited to just my horse would also be OK.
Right now, I have a small coupe and my husband has a minivan. Obviously, the coupe's not going to pull anything. Assuming the towing package doesn't have to come factory installed and can still be added on, the minivan can tow up to 3,600 lbs. My horse is a smaller horse, right around 1,000 lbs, which leaves 2,600 lbs for the trailer itself (although I know it's not ideal to tow anywhere near the capacity). I know someone who tows a Brenderup with her minivan, but those are expensive and hard to find. Honestly, I have no idea how much "regular" trailers weigh, so I'm not sure if it's realistic to even consider finding one that the minivan could handle. (Anyone know a ballpark figure for how much a standard 2 horse slant or straight load trailer w/ small tack room would weigh?)
Replacing the minivan could be an option, but I'm not sure I could find something that would make DH happy and also tow a trailer. The minivan really fits all his criteria (except gas mileage, but nothing's perfect): he can fit a stand up paddle board AND a kayak AND his kiteboarding gear inside at the same time (he hates tying things to the roof, even though it has a rack), the middle and back row seats fold down flat into the chassis which makes re-configuring REALLY easy. I borrowed it for my last horse show, stuffed all my tack, hay, etc. into the back, then unloaded it at the show and slept in it instead of getting a hotel room, so I also am a big fan of the seats folding completely flat.
A pickup truck, even one with a longer bed, wouldn't fit a SUP board or kayak. The full size vans (like a Ford E-150) would probably fit that stuff inside and can tow >6000 lbs, but aren't re-configureable. The minivan has a low towing capacity. Anyone know of a vehicle that can "do it all"?
The other option would be to get a 3rd vehicle just for towing. I'd rather not go this route, since parking is already a little tight at my house and there's all the maintenance, registration, etc that would have to be done for it. And since we wouldn't be trading in a vehicle, the budget for buying the vehicle would be so low I'd be worried about getting a clunker that would break down and leave me and my horse stranded on the side of the road