You definitely get use to packing. For ease I tend to pack the car first as i can get near the tack room and dont have to carry stuff and then hitch the trailer on.As for preference, I’d love to have a 3.5t just to be able to Have stuff already packed and jump in and go but I’ve not been that lucky and have always had trailers and it’s not that much extra bother, I used to regularly go out schooling a couple of times a week and hack or show most weekends, you just get better at packing and hitching up
Lots of cars aren't up to towing, our first towing vehicle was a ford scorpio with cosworth engine....completely wrong....the sorento did it so easily, we had a trailer for x 2 16hh but only ever transported one cob or Buddy. Even with a car designed for towing, you have to be careful with snaking. Our 3.5 tonne carries Buddy at 550kg and me, OH, 2 poodles and all our bits and pieces. It would take 2-3 donkeys but certainly not Suze and Buddy even though it is partitioned to do so. If yo go up to the next level the 4.5 then you are into having them plated, speed restrictions etc. I have to say i much prefer the box, i hated towing the trailer even though i was quite adequate at it, i just didn't like it. I know with the box that wherever we go i will always be able to turn and get out, whereas with the trailer i have had to unhitch it as folks have made it impossible to turn it.Double check your car before having a tow bar fitted, not all 4x4s are big enough to tow horses. Check the braked tow capacity, you’ll need 2t minimum and really that only lets you tow 1 horse because you have to take in the weight of the trailer too, even if it’s a 2 horse trailer it doesn’t mean your car is up to towing 2, it’s generally not if your car can pull it, it’s if your car has enough weight to stop it in an emergency without the trailer coming sailing past you because it’s heavier than the car.
Similarly with 3.5t check the weights, if the van itself is 2.8t that only leaves 0.7t available for horse, tack, driver, fuel, hay etc. as if you go over 3.5t total you are illegal. There are many out there stalled for 2x 15.2 horses which in no way have the weight capacity to carry 2!
As for preference, I’d love to have a 3.5t just to be able to Have stuff already packed and jump in and go but I’ve not been that lucky and have always had trailers and it’s not that much extra bother, I used to regularly go out schooling a couple of times a week and hack or show most weekends, you just get better at packing and hitching up