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What to Look Out for When Buying a Horsebox Van Type Conversion?

buying a horsebox

Buying a horsebox van conversion demands meticulous consideration, particularly when prioritising the safety and well-being of both the owner and the equine companion. 

At Southwest Horseboxes, we place a premium on safety, quality, and functionality in our conversions, ensuring a reliable and secure transportation solution for horses. Here's an in-depth exploration of key factors to look out for when buying a horsebox van type conversion.

Vehicles We Use For Our 3.5t Horsebox Van Type Conversions

We use two different types of vehicles at Southwest Horseboxes; those with a medium wheelbase or a long wheelbase. Each has its advantages but ultimately it depends on a few deciding factors such as where it will be driven, its features, and things like storage requirements.

  • Medium Wheelbase: In addition to being suitable for small country lanes, the medium wheelbase's ease of manoeuvrability is particularly advantageous for owners who may need to navigate through tight spaces or encounter challenging turns.

  • Long Wheelbase: A longer wheelbase provides extra space, potentially accommodating more features or creating a more spacious living area. 

Quality of Vehicles We Use

When buying a horsebox, one of our top customer questions concerns the service history of our vehicles. This is why we are committed to only using ex-company fleet vans with a full-service history ensuring not only quality but also reliability. The extensive service history records offer a transparent view of the vehicle's maintenance, instilling confidence in the buyer regarding the horsebox's longevity and performance.

Take a look at our current stock for inspiration.


Vehicle Features

When buying a horsebox van type conversion from Southwest Horseboxes, we understand the importance of safety, functionality, and the overall well-being of both equine passengers and their owners. Our attention to detail and innovative design features ensure a seamless and secure transportation experience. Let's take a look at the vehicle features that make our horseboxes a trusted choice for horse enthusiasts across the UK.


The meticulous reinforcement of the bulkhead is one of the most vital components of any horsebox. All of our builds come with a reinforced steel box section frame bulkhead, to prevent impact and an attached 14mm ply, to help with the kicking element, for double reinforcement. We do a 14mm ply coated in waterproof fibreglass resin/GRP, helping with the overall structural integrity of the horsebox.


At Southwest Horseboxes we prioritise a durable flooring solution by retaining the original chassis van floor with a steel base, marine ply, and fibreglass resin coating or an alloy planked floor, finished with added 12m rubber matting overlay, which is fully bonded and sealed.


All of our van-type horsebox conversions include gas ram-assisted ramps to provide a controlled and smooth operation during loading and unloading. This feature is crucial for ease of use, especially when out and about on your travels with your horses on your own, ensuring a stress-free outing.

Internal Windows

The internal cabin window offers an additional layer of safety by enabling continuous communication between the owner and the horse. This feature proves invaluable in monitoring the horse's behaviour during transit, allowing for timely intervention if signs of distress arise.


Internal & External Cameras

To further assist with checking in on your horse, we install a camera system with both internal and reversing cameras, which can be used to see what is happening in the horsebox and easy manoeuvring. These cameras as put into all of our builds as standard, an extra that is always appreciated by our customers.

Payload and Headroom

Beyond the two van height options, our 3.5t horsebox van-type conversion caters to individual horse heights. The Standard Height (7ft) is ideal for horses up to 17HH, while the Xtra Height (7ft 8in) accommodates larger breeds up to 17.2HH, providing ample headroom for comfort during the journey.

Ventilation and Climate Control

Consideration should be given to the horsebox's ventilation system and climate control features. Adequate airflow and temperature regulation contribute to the well-being of the horses, especially during longer journeys or in varying weather conditions. All of our build comes with roof vents as standard.


Storage Options

Assess the available storage solutions within the horsebox for tack, equipment, and supplies. Well-designed storage compartments contribute to an organised and functional space, ensuring everything needed for the journey is easily accessible. All of our builds have storage above the luton.

Warranty and After-Sales Support

We will always be transparent with our customers when it comes to any warranty offered by us at Southwest Horseboxes as well as the availability of after-sales support. For peace of mind, you will be able to reach out with any questions following the sale should any issues arise.

Compliance with Regulations

Ensure that the horsebox complies with UK regulations and standards for transportation. This includes checking the weight limits, safety features, and any legal requirements imposed on horsebox conversions.

User-Friendly Features

Evaluate the overall design for user-friendly features such as easy-to-operate partitions, secure tie-up points, and convenient access points such as an emergency horse exit which comes as standard on all of our builds. These elements contribute to a smoother and more efficient loading and unloading process.


Optional Extras When Buying A Horsebox

We also stock a range of optional extras to fully customise your horsebox. These include:

  • Removable Anti-Weave Bars: Acting as a safety barrier to prevent your horse(s) from jumping over the breast bars.

  • Infilled Removable Anti-Weave Bars: These are the same as above however feature a secondary safety feature to deter even the most determined horse.

  • Padded Partition: These make travelling more comfortable for your horses whilst also adding a touch of class.

  • Red Running Calming Light: These lights help to alleviate stress and anxiety within your travelling horse.

  • LED Loading Light: The ideal way to illuminate your horsebox to ensure safe loading is achieved whatever the time of day.

  • Secondary Rope Partition: A 2m reinforced twisted rope fixed to the opening of the ramp which provides a barrier to stop your second traveller from coming out onto the ramp whilst loading and unloading.

  • Hay Catcher: A black waterproof nylon sail fixed under the haynets in the grooms area to catch any excess hay from your horse. (Suitable for van-type conversions only).

  • Additional Tie Rings: Our standard builds come with two tie rings on either side of the horsebox so additional rings can be added during the build.

When buying a horsebox van type conversion, a comprehensive assessment of safety features, build quality, and additional functionalities is essential. Southwest Horseboxes' emphasis on these aspects serves as a valuable benchmark for prospective buyers, ensuring a well-informed and secure investment in equine transportation.

Head over to our build your own horsebox page to see a full list of features or give us a call at 07756548617 to find out our list of available vans in build.

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