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 9. General Alpaca Discussion
 Transporting in horse trailer vs. mini-van
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131 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  08:27:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've read that some people transport their alpacas in mini-vans. How do you get an alpaca in the back of a mini-van?

We have a mini-van and will probably be getting a two horse trailer. When transporting one alpaca, is it best to put it in the back of the van? How far can you go without stopping to let it out to stretch it's legs and do it's business? This late fall or winter we will be driving one that will be about a 12 hour drive. Would you put it in the van, or in the trailer?



331 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  09:29:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit starlingfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Carolyn,

I used my minivan for transporting alpaca for 4 years. It is easier going through the side door and they just jump in. Minivans have enough space that a full grown alpaca can stand up and move around. I would lay plastic down and then old carpeting and they then did their business in the van without it soaking into the permanent carpeting. I wouldn't suggest taking an alpaca out of the van while transporting. I would be afraid to take the alpaca out of the mini van at a rest stop. Dogs are there and would hate to have something happen. I have a trailer now and absolutely love it! Vans are nice as the alpacas are with you but you are limited to the number of alpacas you can take. Vans are great for transporting one or two but if you get more than that they start to spit at each other. Plus I don't recommend putting 2 breeding males together in the back of a minivan.

Jacki Kraft
Starling Farms
3606 Blackberry Lane
Westlake, OH 44145
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Springtime Farms

241 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  09:48:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I do not have a mini-van but often wish I did. Taking one animal to the vet would be much easier!
I have seen alpacas hop right in the back and lie down when the van gets going. They always did their business inside.
If it were me, I'd do the transport of one animal, 12 hours in the van, provided she/he could stand up. If not, I'd probably go for the trailer.
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156 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  11:49:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit FritzTheWonderMutt's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Four alpacas in a Honda Odyssey will definitely turn heads at the Wendy's drive-thru let me tell you. You load them in the side door, follow the last one in and close the door behind you. Remove all the leads, (keep halters on) and slide into the driver's seat. I've found that two moving blankets, (thick cotton like you'd get at U-Haul) on the floor is enough insurance against "spills". It also keeps toes from getting caught on the seat brackets in the floor. Would I do it for a cross country drive, probably not.

Gavin Moore
Puka Ranch
Fallbrook, CA
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131 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  12:31:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We would probably use a horse trailer for the 12 hour trip. We can use our mini-van to take one to the vet then. I just hope it will be ok by itself in a trailer on the long trip and won't get scared.

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Mary Jane

1152 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  8:37:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Mary Jane's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We have used a minivan frequently for transporting one or two alpacas. The longest trip we have taken so far is about 8 hours. We laid heavy plastic down, covered it with moving blankets, added an old piece of carpet on top, and we were ready to travel. After one or two trips, they learn to jump in and out without much trouble. The van we have now has a step inside the door. We will fill that with something (maybe a piece of rolled up carpet??) so no one steps in the hole while travelling and breaks a leg. The van is our first choice when transporting a single or pair of alpacas.
Mary Jane

Land of Legends Alpacas
2653 Swans Road
Newark, OH 43055
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384 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2007 :  08:53:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit slredmond's Homepage  Reply with Quote
OK - just had to share van pics from our 2006 OABA trip. Gavin, like you said it's a hoot watching people's reactions at the drive-throughs!

See the previous two pictures, too, for how we prepped the back. We put down a thick tarp, doubled up, then covered with carpet. It was a good thing, too, because over the five hour trip he "went" about three times.

Kevin, Sandy and Caitlin Redmond
Walnut Point Alpacas
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2967 Posts

Posted - 04/04/2007 :  09:31:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used my Chrysler T&C minivan to transport alpacas all the time, and I always set up the back very similar to slredmond way. I also have a sheet of plywood that get bungied behind the front seats to keep them in place. I have transported one adult, one adult and baby to the vet. We have also transported 2 adult females for a 5 hour trip, and when we moved to Iowa I drove the U-Haul truck, wife drove the dodge pickup pulling the trailer with all the females and babies, and Mindy who was 18 at the time drove the minivan with 3 adult males in it. So far we have had no problems.

I have had people drive by at a high rate of speed and suddenly slow way down to get back beside me to get another look.

I have also used the back seat of the 02 Dodge quad cab pickup to transport a cria to the vet. The seat folds up and the metal platform folds out. I threw a trap over that, laid a partially unfolded woven mat used in show stalls over that and away we went.


Bob & Vicki Blodgett
Suri Land Alpaca Ranch
3288 Halter Avenue
Newton, Iowa 50208
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283 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2007 :  8:39:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit jolee's Homepage  Send jolee an ICQ Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, We have a full size van and a trailer. For trips around 6 hrs and most of all in the summer we use the van with the A/C and they love it. We removed the two bucket seats and it is big enough for 3 pacas under a yr. old. They do stand up to look around and do their jobs. That is when we stop to clean up but never take them out of the van. I can sit on the back bench and talk to them the whole trip and not worry they are stressed at all. Can't forget the cost of gas and what we save with using the van.

For things like a show where we have to take so much more than pacas we use the trailer.

Our Alpacas aren't our whole life, they just make our life whole!

Lee & Joanne Mansfield
4011 CJ Calico Ln.
Blairsville, Ga 30512

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Blue Heron

3 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2007 :  10:38:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
This is my first time writing to the forum, read it a lot. Finally found something I felt I could put in my 2 cents on.
We use a Grand Caravan to transport and have had great experiences.
I put rubber mats down first (the interlocking play mats you can buy just about anywhere for around $20), then a "blue" plastic tarp and then an old painters canvas. I also use shredded cardboard bedding to help absorb nature's call. A container of Stall Dry, cheap dust pan and brush also help.
I put a bale of hay behind the front seats which helps keep the alpacas back and they like to munch on it while riding.
Our animals are all great transportees, usually cushing within minutes of starting the trip.

Tom Quigley
Blue Heron Alpaca Farm
Homerville, OH 44235
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