Jim & Beth´s Horsebox conversion
(enjoying no.1 position on google for 6 years)!
Useful links are at the bottom of the page.
I also have the domain "www.HorseBoxForSale.com" for sale please email any offers to jim @ jimfranklin .info
This website has some photos and descriptions (almost a blog) detailing the conversion of an ex-TNT parcel van into a horsebox.
...and finally this...
The truck is a 1997 Iveco 75E14 Air Suspension ex-TNT parcel van, with a 1 ton hydraulic tail-lift.
This cruises nicely up and down the motorway and handles like a car - it's just a little longer!
The first job was to strip off the tail-lift, then remove the roller shutter door and unscrew the many many
screws holding the pallet strap runners along the side walls.
We had a ramp made and fitted by an engineering company based in Leigh, lancashire, they were recommended as good engineers, however, the
ramp hinges simply "peeled" away from the ramp after only 12 months. Further investigation shows that they hadn't given any thought to
the amount of weight going to be placed on the ramp - It's not simply tha case of a 500kg horse standing on it - They often run up and down it.
The firm has subsequently gone bust, so we have had some excellent repair work done by Weldtech of Atherton, re-inforced joints and some
excellent welding repairs.
Then for some windows:
(notice the observations of health and safety at work - wobbly ladders and a nice camber in the road)
The first set of windows were cut out using a reciprocating saw, and it was hellish. I switched to a normal jigsaw
and everything became so much easier.
The wooden frame you can see in the foreground of the first picture is the beginning of the bulkhead seperating the horse area
from the live-in area. I decided to put the outline frame in place to validate my idea of where the windows were going to be placed.
In the third picture, you can see windows in both sides of the truck, larger ones with bars for the horses head,
and small wide ones for their bum side.
I have started to line out the horse area in 18mm marine ply. The floor of the truck was in good condition and was left in place, so there is now
36mm or 1.5" thick flooring - a horse will never go through that!
The sides are laid out with 18mm ply up to 4 foot and white faced 4mm plyboard above that.
The door to the live-in was added next, and was scary - cutting a 6' by 2' hole in the side of the truck has a whole new feeling,
a bit like cutting the first window hole.
The ceiling was also done in 4mm white faced plywood. as you can see the start
here. Also all visible wood surfaces were treated to several coats of marine varnish.
Lining the walls
Once the ceiling was completed, the lower walls were lined with 10mm Stokboard to 4ft.
** New suppliers of stokboard in UK is Centriforce Products Ltd. they also sell
a new product called Equibord
This is a high density rubber/plastic board and is designed to take shocks like horses kicking it, and
protects not only the truck (which has 1.5" walls and floor!), but also stops the horse from injuring itself.
The partitions seperating the horses are hinged on a large steel angle and a floor runner, and swing and lock onto a front bracket.
Each of these are drilled 13mm at every 4" across the length of the truck
Don't worry about the uneven edges to the ceiling/walls as they will eventually be hidden by some aluminium coving.
Then I had a luton and skirts fitted. The cab was cut through to the box, to allow full access to the driver and front passengers.
There is a gap in my photo history - but i am working on finding them...
Here is the latest of the picture immediately before going for painting.
The final specifications of the truck
- R Registration Iveco 75E14 Air suspension with Air adjustable rear height
- 18" box length
- Carries 3 horses of 16.2hh
- Easy cleanable rubber matting and wipedown walls
- Two lights in coving for bright and inviting horse area
- Lockable External Tack locker for saddles/bridles etc
- Lockable External skirt locker for extra storage
- Lockable Undersprung ramp for easy lifting
- External horse shower/wash-off
- Reversing computer displays distance and beeps a proximity warning
- CCTV Camera in horse area displayed in cab on 7" LCD TV Monitor
- DVD Player and 13" LCD Television (remote control)
- 12v power distribution
- 800W 230v mains invertor feeding 4 sockets
- 220Ah leisure batteries with timed split charge to vehicle charging system
- Full sized cooker with 4 Burners, Oven and Grill
- Pressurised water system with Hot and Cold water
- Stainless steel sink and drainer with mixer tap
- 70 litre (15 gallon) onboard fresh water tank
- Fully fitted kitchen cupboards
- Seperate Toilet room with flush toilet, (outside access to change cassette and fill flush)
- Seating for 5 people in live-in and 2 + driver in cab
- Removeable table on chrome mount
- Full sized double bed in luton
- Independant Lighting in toilet, live-in and luton bed area
- Independant spot lighting over Sink and Cooker
- Easy clean Beech laminate floor
- Colour cordinated insulated and Carpeted walls
Once we had finished the box, my wife decided that she wanted an 18hh Irish Sport Horse, and guess what - the design we
had meant that he didn't fit!
I finished the box and advertised it for sale on Horsemart and in the Farmers Guardian;
within 2 weeks it was sold (through horsemart).
They allowed me to link to my own website to show more pictures and information than the basic web advert allowed (as long as it
was not another commercial site).
The finished box is here.
We have now started a new box, another Iveco TNT parcel van - in fact, off of the same fleet (R572 as opposed to R589!!), but this
one has two horses facing forwards and the big lad now travels in style and comfort.
Suppliers I used
Because I get asked a lot, "Where did you buy xyz " Here is a list of the supplier I used for this project.
Foxlea - John is the nicest man you will ever meet - Sells everything - Update - John has ceased trading as Foxlea.
Hartford Commerical - Windows and EVA Wall matting - (make their own windows) sells most stuff
CAK Tanks - Water Tanks, Gas accessories - water filler with hozelock for horse shower
Rainbow Conversions - Lots of useful things - fridges/cookers etc
O'Leary Motorhomes - Locks for drawers, gas, electric, water etc.
Equine Rescue ServicesHorsebox and trailer breakdown services
We have been with ERS (formerly ESS) for 3 years now, and have used them on three occasions. Both were weekend calls,
one at a show with a busted brake line, one on the M6 hard shoulder with a blown tyre, and the third was when our fuel filter decided to clog up,
the man who came to repair us was excellent. Using a whole collection of adapters and pipes, he made a bypass pipe so that we could get back on the road.
Callout was swift every time, with regular phone calls to keep us updated, and when we were towed home with the busted brake line, a brand new horsebox came to
ferry our horses home in comfort.
Horses for Sale
- Horsewizard - Horses for Sale, Ponies for Sale, Horseboxes and Trailers for Sale with Horsewizard.co.uk.
You can find all types of Horses and Ponies for loan, equestrian equipment and tack for sale and services for everything equestrian.
Quality horses regularly imported from the continent.
Our Insurers - they can't do enough to help
Horses for sale and useful horse news and information site.
Primarily UK based with UK horses and horseboxes for sale.
Got horse news? Send it to us..
Please mention this website when you speak to any of these suppliers ;)
More will be listed here as I remember them!
One final thing to remember - there is an illusion that horse owners are rich! Do people not realise that if we did NOT have horses then
we most likely would be rich.
Because of this everything related to horsebox conversion has a price premium - why not look for Caravan
or motorhome information.
I would strongly recommend joining the Self Build Motor Caravanners Club (click the picture link below) as you get a great deal of help
and advice from the guys on the forums. A lot of motorhome suppliers give discounts to members - The membership (at time of writing this) is
£10.00 and I saved literally hundreds in the first year.
Why motorhome information? - what do you think the live-in to your horsebox is? Sink/cooker/fridge/toilet/shower/cupboards/bed - sounds like
a motorhome to me :)
If you want to ask me anything, feel free to drop me an email - jim @ jimfranklin .info
I have been asked a couple of things quite regularly, the first being "Why don't you write a book about this?", well I have thought about it, and I have
started to put various things onto paper (well onto screen anyway), and I intend to get an e-book together giving a lot more detail about
the conversions that will be available from this site.
The second thing is, "I feel terrible asking you for help and ideas, how can I repay you?", well now you can, I have setup a paypal donation link,
and you can (optionally) repay me in coins of the realm, or as we call it around here, money!