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A minivan is a spacious 7-seater vehicle and it is the perfect vehicle to haul cargo as well. It is the most suitable car for families and it is also very spacious which makes it ideal for traveling.
However, what if you aren’t just planning on traveling with family and luggage but your horses as well? Can a minivan handle that and be able to pull a horse trailer without a problem?
A typical minivan can tow a maximum of 3,000 to 3,500lbs and smaller horse trailers weigh about 2,500lbs. So a minivan can tow an empty horse trailer but not one with a horse in it.
A typical horse weighs between 1,000 and 1,500lbs so even having one horse inside the trailer would make it too heavy to tow with a minivan. So although a minivan can technically tow a horse trailer by itself it wouldn’t be useful to actually tow with a horse in it.
You can easily pack up your luggage, sports equipment, and other necessary items in a minivan but when it comes to a horse trailer and horses you are better off using a large truck instead.
Minivans even come with foldable seats to create more space for loading up all your horse related gear so they are great for taking to horse shows just not for towing the horse in a trailer.
All the minivans now come with a towing capacity of about 3500-3600 pounds. This means that they can tow anything you want as long as it is in the towing weight range.
It is important to keep in mind that any gear or people that you have inside the minivan actually reduces the towing capacity. So if you have 5 people in the minivan who combined weigh 1,000lbs then you can actually only safely tow an additional 2,000-2,500lbs (depending on your model).
That 2,000-2,500lbs likely isn’t enough weight to pull a horse and trailer (although it would be enough to pull just a smaller empty horse trailer).
You should also keep in mind the risks as well. If you have a minivan that does not come with a towing package then attaching one to it could be a mistake, especially if you are only going to use it one time. It would be a waste of money and even if your minivan can tow a trailer, there will be some side-effects to it.
If you are towing a heavy trailer then it is bound to put some extra strain on the engine. If the engine will work harder than before then you will get a lower MPH average than usual. Most minivan models are just not suitable for towing a horse trailer even if it’s small.
A Toyota Sienna is a great choice to haul a one-horse trailer (that is empty) but that also comes with some conditions. When a car is rated suitable to tow then it comes with an implied condition that you often have to spring for a transmission cooler and if you are towing with a van full of people then the extra weight will be subtracted from the total weight that you can safely tow. Otherwise it will be harmful to the suspension as well as the engine.
If you have any minivan then you will have to check to make sure whether the car is suitable for towing and also the towing capacity it has. Some minivans can’t even tow a small trailer that weighs around 2000 pounds. If you have a minivan that does not come with a towing package then think carefully before you decide to buy one.
Buying a hitch and a harness kit will cost you as much as it will if you someone else to do it. So don’t buy it if your minivan can’t support it.
When you need to tow something then the first thing that you will need to consider is the towing capacity. If you ignore that then there will be some serious consequences. If you want to tow a two-horse trailer or a single one with a horse inside then a minivan is not the way to go. You need something with more power and capacity to do that.
Keep reading to know the best option for towing a bigger trailer.
Which is the best vehicle to pull a 2-horse trailer?
If you need to tow a 2-horse trailer, then you need a vehicle with a large amount of horsepower. No pun intended! A two-horse trailer’s average weight would be 3000 pounds approximately and that is when the trailer is empty. Add 1000 pounds for each horse and you have a 5000-pound trailer to tow not even including any extra gear!
This much weight is going to take a very powerful engine and strong vehicle to be pulled. This is where large trucks and SUVs come in. They have some serious pulling power and are suitable for towing heavy cargo like a 2 horse trailer with horses inside.
SUVs and large trucks are also perfect for driving in hilly and uneven regions. They will get you through muddy roads in a jiffy and they typically come with a monster engine as well.
It is even better to have a car with four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive as they provide better traction and grip which is perfect for slippery roads.
A Land Rover Discovery would be an excellent choice. It has everything you could ask for and then some! It is a 7-seater SUV with a luxurious interior and a huge trunk.
Even with all these amenities, it has a high towing capacity which is perfect for a two-horse trailer as it can tow over 8,000lbs according to Land Rover! So even if you have 1,000lbs inside the vehicle you can still easily tow a trailer and horses weighing 7,000lbs.
This SUV is far from cheap however and it will run you 40-60k depending on which model and features you get.
Another great choice would be a Ford Expedition. This SUV can tow over 9,000lbs if you add the trailer towing package to it according to Ford. This not only gives you plenty of ability to tow a horse trailer but also means you have plenty of extra weight to bring everyone and everything else that you need.
This SUV again comes in at an extremely expensive price as with that Tow package added it will cost you 60-70k for the Expedition.
Can a minivan tow a U-haul trailer?
A minivan can easily tow a U-haul trailer as they are typically small and well within the towing capacity of a minivan. However, you need to be careful as it’s easy to put a bunch of heavy items inside without thinking about how much weight you are really adding to it.
If you are loading large bulky items like furniture then you will likely be fine as they take up way more room than they weigh. However, if you are putting heavy tools, machinery, or even an entire family’s clothes inside you might be adding more weight than the minivan can handle.
If you are towing a U-haul trailer, then there are some things you need to keep in mind. You should always load 60% of your cargo in the front part of the trailer and the rest in the back. These safety regulations will also come with the trailer and the rental company should also tell you about them.
You should tie down any loose items that you are towing so that they do not fly around when the vehicle is moving. It is also recommended to always drive the car lower than 55 mph due to liability reasons.
You should also check that your tires are properly inflated and the U-haul trailer is properly secured to your minivan before ever leaving.
There are many SUVs and trucks available on the market that you will find to be suited to your needs for towing a horse trailer but a minivan really isn’t an option for most people.
If you are a horse enthusiast and require towing frequently then consider investing in a large SUV or pickup truck as it will be more beneficial that way and you will not have to worry about overloading the vehicle or trailer either.