3.5t van conversion or Ifor trailer

Sunshine

New Member
May 25, 2020
21
21
3
Chesterfiled
Need some advise on whether to go for a 3.5t van conversion by equisport - thinking of self drive hire or to do trailer test get a tow bar and buy a trailer.

Which would you advise and why.. pros and cons.
 

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
12,681
2,061
113
Buying a trailer and towing, you have the hassle of driving a trailer and having to have a vehicle capable of towing it but at least you are paying only one set of insurance, tax, vehicle recovery. But you need to have the right vehicle to tow as some are not up to towing a horse so you might need a new car to tow a trailer. We used a Kia Sorento when we had a trailer and it was very good.

If you buy a 3.5 tonner then you have the extra insurance and road tax and recovery for a second vehicle and if you don't use it much you need to keep it charged as you can guarantee when you want it the battery will be flat. I use a solar trickle charger on mine.

The horse box is a more expensive option but easier to drive and you would probably use it more as it is a pain in the butt constantly having to hitch up. However I am not sure i like the transit van fit outs like this in terms of safety. I know someone who had one similar to it the travelled a 15hh horse in it, and it hardly fitted in and it was very tight and low. They just fitted out a transit and called it a horse box but it was really flimsy and i wouldn't have travelled at horse in it, only a little donkey or very small pony.

When i looked at horse boxes there were a lot of really bad death trap conversions out there. The low cost van conversions often have a step up from the ramp into the box, which isn't very safe, going in or out, and are the fit outs heavy duty enough if a horse goes bananas? I have a 3.5 tonne lorry and i looked at a lot till i found one where the fit out was really really strong and robust. A lot of the ones i saw at shows a horse could kick through them. The lorry i have is based on a Peugeot but they took the entire van apart from the drivers compartment off and rebuilt it from scratch, reinforcing everywhere. The ones based on transits they are using the original vehicle possibly unmodified other than putting in horse partitions but the sides and roof are not originally built for this purpose and they can be very low inside with little headroom.

In general terms, a 3.5 tonne done to a high safety spec is going to be around £30K plus.
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
6,873
5,076
113
Depends on how many horses you are taking and what size. 3.5 tonnes doesnt give you much if you have a big horse you certainly couldnt carry two or youd be over the weight limit. Unless they were ponies.
Youve got the added cost of insuring another vehicle and taxing it and servicing. You need to service a trailer regularly and insure it so i guess you need to find out what those costs would be.

Yes it would cost to do a trailer test but once its done its done for life. Also means that you can tow a caravan as well i think although im not fully sure on that. So if you wanted to go away theres tht bonus maybe.

Obviously you need a suitable towing vehicle, although it sounds like you might have one but just need to get a tow bar fitted. I think when i had mine fitted it was £200 or £300. But they can be done at your home by a suitable garage mechanic.

My original trailer was given to me and did a good few years but was a bit knackered because of who had it prior to me. We brought a new one a few years ago but it is a combined horse and livestock one. So i can have horse partitions in or i can take out easily and put a cattle partition in to transport cows or sheep.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
24,317
14,728
113
40
Suffolk, UK
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 ?
 

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
6,873
5,076
113
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 ?

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.
 

diplomaticandtactful

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
12,681
2,061
113
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 ?
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.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Leaky ramp in Renault Master Van Conversion 3.5ton Transport and Travelling 0
Virago Anyone in Lincolnshire... keep eye out for aged labrador stolen in van. Cafe 5
eventerbabe just been verbally abused by a white van driver! Cafe 13
Trewsers Ice Cream Van music - love or loathe???? Cafe 13
hdonna Victor Van Erpekom Breeds, Colouring and Genetics 1
L Towing with a van. Transport and Travelling 25
scottishterrier turkish van cats? Cats, Dogs and other Animals 2
Jessica23 Van Conversions - Opinions Transport and Travelling 33
Miska Horsebox or van? Transport and Travelling 2
R almfurst van beauvoorde aka phoenix Cafe 1
M van conversions and the hay problem! General 4
BlueWicked horse 'shuttle' van conversions/lorries- a warning General 19
Shannon_Clover Custom Made Horse Van General 4
dani_gurl Would a ford escort van pull a horsetrailer General 26
L Trailers, Transit Van Things or Horseboxes General 2
Dinsarsio Towing a trailer with a van General 6
Joyscarer Loft conversion help Cafe 2
Elly Koopman Tales of a Horsebox Conversion...The hard way Transport and Travelling 56
Gina789 Gullet size conversion from inches? Tack & Saddlery 1
Montana LPG conversion?? Transport and Travelling 10
Sticky's GF LPG Conversion (not O/T, re: towing) General 5
P Will this work?Another ford transit conversion thread!! General 15
D conversion hands into cm and vice versa 2005 Archive of Posts 5
No_Angel Does anyone have an Ifor 510? Transport and Travelling 1
R Ifor Williams 510 - Am I the only one not keen on the front panel ? Transport and Travelling 8
No_Angel Ifor Williams 511 Diagonal? Transport and Travelling 6
No_Angel Ifor Williams 610 Trailer? Transport and Travelling 7
eventerbabe Ifor eventa trailer Transport and Travelling 1
juliecwuk Rear 'barn' doors/split ramp on ifor? Transport and Travelling 29
juliecwuk Those with an Ifor 510 Transport and Travelling 5
No_Angel Anyone ever travel horse rear facing in Ifor trailer? Transport and Travelling 3
R Help - LR Discovery with Ifor Williams Trailer Vs Lorry and small car Transport and Travelling 11
Frances144 Ifor Williams Horse Trailer SCAM - BE WARNED! Transport and Travelling 6
Happy Hacker 01 Ifor Williams HB505 HELP! Transport and Travelling 9
Stormin New model Ifor Williams trailers Transport and Travelling 3
pepsimaxrock price of new Ifor Williams 506 - is it a secret? Transport and Travelling 2
Mr Ed Head Partition - Ifor Williams Trailer Transport and Travelling 5
No_Angel Anyone have an Ifor 505? Transport and Travelling 11
A Painting and Ifor HB505R that WAS green Transport and Travelling 0
Native Lover Horse slipping in a new hire Ifor Williams Transport and Travelling 5
Maclynky Ifor Williams 3.5 tonne transit Transport and Travelling 4
Laura2184 where to get 2nd hand parts for ifor trailer? Transport and Travelling 2
Laura2184 Anybody got an Ifor hunter trailer? Transport and Travelling 21
OwnedbyChanter HELP How old is old for an ifor williams trailer Transport and Travelling 7
Bodshi Why Ifor Williams? Transport and Travelling 7
S opinions please on hb506 ifor Transport and Travelling 7
xJenniferx Serial Number for Ifor Williams Transport and Travelling 2
Midnight_Ashes Head divider (Ifor Williams) Transport and Travelling 3
K Ifor or Rice? Transport and Travelling 7
Shian89 How much for an Ifor Williams 510 be to buy second hand roughly? Transport and Travelling 7

Similar threads

newrider.com