Anyone Ever Built a Horse Van?
I went to Rolex this year and was really intrigued by the horse vans they had on display, like this one:
My question is: has anyone ever built one? It doesn't seem like it would be horrible. There are box trucks like this one that are tall enough and wide enough.
I mean, they're meant to carry a lot of weight. They're pretty short (I drive a large pickup) compared to most truck/trailer rigs, and I would think the steering is a ton better. Plus the trailer isn't going to fall off (cause there isn't a trailer... :D ). My main concern would be center of gravity. If the ponies lean too hard around corners or whatever, will that make a difference?
Yes, the floors might need to be changed out, and perhaps some reinforcing steel on the walls, but that's minor. It ought to be simple enough to weld a chest/butt bar/divider thing too.
I haven't myself, but I've travelled in them often enough! A conversion is by far the nicest way to travel in the UK and the only reasons we don't all have them are a) the cost of maintaining two vehicles, and b) they are not as good for getting out of muddy fields as a 4x4 with trailer.
Anyways, do a search on Horsebox in UK websites and you will come up with loads. He's one for starters:
Minster | Horseboxes | Commercials | Leisure | Welfare | Horseboxes for sale, Used trucks for sale Horsebox conversions and Horse box repairs, Leisure Vehicles, Welfare Vehicles
I am still failing to get my head round why I won't be able to buy one when we get to Canada - if you start up a conversion business let me know :wink:
Only two reasons I can see not to do it. One is the height of the van. You'll need a stout ramp that has some length, that baby is going to weigh a lot and most people wont want to mess with it. Looks like it would have to be a folding ramp and best to have a mechanical way to raise/lower it.
Second issue is you might have to get a CDL to drive one of those even if it isn't for commercial use. On top of that, in my state you can drive past a weigh station with a pickup/trailer combo but if you tried to pass in one of those vans they'll pull you over.
Basically I do think one would make a good horse transporter but it will be a bit more of a hassle to use one than a normal setup.
Shro: I've never actually transported anything in a horse van, but I think it would be sooooo much easier than trying to hitch up a trailer and attempt to back it up if you overshoot a turnoff, etc. I have a giant pickup and a decent sized BP trailer and can't back it up for the life of me.
I think it would actually be cheaper in the long run. I currently own my large pickup because I like having the ability to carry big loads (not just horses). But it gets 7mpg... If I got a horse van, I could sell my truck and trailer and buy something with better gas mileage. (Though I would miss my truck...). I wouldn't really use the van very often but it shouldn't be hard to maintain. It really wouldn't even take up much more room than my pickup.
Darrin: What state do you live in? I'm in IL and I'm pretty sure only semitrucks have to go to weighing stations. The box truck pictured above is about the size of a typical moving van, or a bit bigger than a pickup truck. As for a ramp, well, I'm thinking maybe a half-ramp. My friend's trailer has a bottom ramp, and then the top half is on little pumps that help lift it up. It wouldn't have to be super large, and I could always set up a little pulley to get the ramp back up.
I live in Oregon, fairly sure all commercial trucks regardless of size have to pull into weigh stations but I could be wrong on that. Since few people own those types of truck other than commercial business is why I was saying they would hassle you. Just wouldn't be used to seeing one drive by that wasn't commercial.
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