Horse Van vs. Trailer - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Bear Creek, Wa
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Horse Van vs. Trailer

So I need to buy something to cart my horses around in. Normally it wouldn't be a problem. I would just buy the best horse trailer I could afford. Right? However one of my friends is moving and selling her horse van and it's right in my price range.

I would love to hear the pros and cons and opinions from others.

Random thoughts:
  • Like a lot of people I can't back up a horse trailer for ****.
  • I do already have a truck, but its a 1985 Chevy 3/4 ton S20 with 250,000 miles.
  • The van is a 1997 (12 years newer) Ford 450, with 125,000 miles.
  • The van has a 1-3 horse configuration, you can either have 1 big box stall or 3 straight load.
  • Several of my planned shows this year are over 300 miles away from home.
  • If the horse van or trailer were to break down, I have access to affordable bumper pull trailers, but if my truck were to break down I don't know anyone with a truck able to help me.
  • I am hauling my giant warmblood mare and new baby Aldis, and next year the two of them.
  • Price would be roughly the same for each, with a trailer being maybe a tiny bit less.
I am definitely leaning more towards the horse van, simply because it's a newer, more powerfull vehicle than my truck, but all of my non-horsie friends say a trailer.

I love them but they wouldn't know a snaffle from a gooseneck.

Thoughts? Feedback?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 01:22 AM
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Personally I love the idea of a horse van!! And if you are going on long trips, the van looks much more comfortable! If I could I would get a horse van over a trailer, also doesn't seem like you would have a problem loading a horse in something like that, I know my mare would not have ANY problems loading in a horse van!!! Definelty wish I could get one :)
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 04:09 AM
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can you drive a 450 legally without a CDL ? I don't think you can.
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 04:18 AM
Green Broke
 
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I love my lorry, Would never go back to a trailer

My lorry:

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #5 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
can you drive a 450 legally without a CDL ? I don't think you can.
Quick google shows that if a vehicle is used for commercial reasons and GVWR (vehicle only) rating is >10,000 then a CDL is required. Looks like commercial is the key here, just don't charge to haul anyones horse around and you are fine even if GVWR is over 10,000.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
can you drive a 450 legally without a CDL ?
As Darrin pointed out, yes you can.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 01:52 PM
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The vans do have their upsides, but they also have their downsides.
  1. Unlike pickups, it is very, very rare to find a van with two rows of seats. That means a cramped, cramped cab with more than two people and little space to store stuff from the trip.
  2. When you do get to your destination, you have to drive the whole van around if you need transport to stores, hotels, etc. With a pickup, you leave the trailer off making the driving much easier.
If you know that you will be driving solo most of the time, 1. Will not be an issue. Only you can decide if #2 is going to be a hassle.


Why would your non-horsie friends offer an opinion on something they know little to nothing about?
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
Quick google shows that if a vehicle is used for commercial reasons and GVWR (vehicle only) rating is >10,000 then a CDL is required. Looks like commercial is the key here, just don't charge to haul anyones horse around and you are fine even if GVWR is over 10,000.
The weight restriction is over 26,001# you need a CDL. A van is going to weigh well over 10,000#.

The only problem I see with the van is you still need a truck with horses . You will be paying for tags, insurance and maintenance on two vehicles which will make your operating costs higher.
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons View Post
The weight restriction is over 26,001# you need a CDL. A van is going to weigh well over 10,000#.

The only problem I see with the van is you still need a truck with horses . You will be paying for tags, insurance and maintenance on two vehicles which will make your operating costs higher.
When I googled it, tow rig + trailer of >26,000 GVWR requires a CDL when transporting for commercial use.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 03:05 PM
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Horse van, without a second of hesitation.

If you can afford to own a second vehicle that is only going to be used when you're travelling your horses then absolutely go for it.

Lovely driving high up position, no need to hitch up, easier to manouvre (yes, I know there are some people who are soooo good at reversing trailers, but really if you have the choice not to!), you can keep your horsey stuff in the van and don't need to move it in and out of your truck. Oh, I could go on. But if you have a real choice - get the van!!

Get up, get going, seize the day. Enjoy the sunshine, the rain, cloudy days, snowstorms, and thunder. Getting on your horse is always worth the effort.
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