Written by Rachael Kraft (Updated 3/22/2023)
A horse trailer shower can be the very thing you'll miss if you’re roughing it at a weekend show or camping trip. A proper bathroom is one of the most essential features of a horse trailer with living quarters: it’s okay to sleep on a rollaway mattress or eat at a picnic table. But trying to relieve yourself in the woods or bathe with a bucket of cold water is another matter. That’s why a horse trailer shower is always a good investment. From basic equipment to luxury features, there are many options for your horse trailer's shower room. Here‘s our complete guide to all things “bathroom-related” on a horse trailer.
Let’s start slowly with one of the most low-cost options for your new horse trailer shower. If you don’t want to invest in a full living quarters horse trailer, you may want to look at the Basics LQ model. This option is available on our gooseneck horse trailers and our one horse bumper pull trailer. It often includes a few cabinets and a mattress in the front dress. Most important for today’s conversation, the Basics LQ trailer can easily include a toilet and a sink with running water.
Double D Trailers Basics Living Quarters Features vs. Full Living Quarters Features
Brad Heath, the owner of Double D Trailers, explained: “You could install a home-style toilet with a holding tank underneath. Or, to save even more, purchase a portable toilet from Wal-Mart to accomplish the same thing.”
Typically, you’d need to spend thousands in upgrades to a gooseneck trailer before it becomes a living quarters trailer. That’s money well spent, especially when you think about all the smelly port-a-johns you’d have to use otherwise.
Besides the convenience of an onboard toilet and sink, you can also design your trailer with an inexpensive way to shower. The “Cowboy/cowgirl shower” puts a shower in the front stall of your horse area. (see photo below)
The controls for the unit are flush against the wall, but a panel opens up to reveal water knobs and a shower head on a flexible hose. Use this hose to wash off the day’s dust and grime in the privacy of your closed horse trailer. And before you ask… yes, you will have hot water at your disposal. A propane water heater is installed along with a water pump.
If a full living quarters horse trailer is more your style, then you have many more options for your onboard bathroom. Brad explained, “A typical living quarters trailer bathroom will be set up with similar amenities that you would find at home. The features typically include a large stand-up shower stall, toilet, large closet, and a bathroom sink.”
Before we go much further, we should note that the horse trailer bathroom is one of the places many other manufacturers tend to skimp. Things are often really crammed in with a shower stall so skinny you can’t even reach your toes without opening the door. This is no fun when you’ve dropped the soap on the floor! So, make sure your bathroom is large enough to be functional and comfortable. With our living quarter designs, this won’t be a problem.
The layout and design of your horse trailer shower and bathroom setups largely depend on the type of living quarters trailer you buy. Our Trail Blazer Living Quarters trailer comes with a 30-gallon freshwater supply tank with a 6-gallon gas water heater so you can bask in a nice hot shower. There is a top-quality Thetford toilet with its foot flush pedal and a stand-up shower. Finally, there is room for several storage cabinets in these designs with the option to upgrade to hardwood.
The popular SafeTack Reverse LQ trailer expands on that with a roomy corner shower stall, separate bathroom sink, and higher-end finishes. It also includes a medicine cabinet over the sink and vanity bar lighting. A privacy door comes standard with many options to finish the interior with your choice of colors and materials.
We recently built this 2 Horse SafeTack Living Quarters Trailer with all the bells and whistles. The luxury bathroom included a black porcelain toilet, a sink with a vanity mirror, a corner shower stall with a glass door, and a sliding pocket door. (see photo below)
In order for your bathroom to work, a number of elements need to be added to your trailer. In essence, a horse trailer is no different than a camper or RV when it comes to the living quarters side.
Brad shared, “In fact, 100% of the parts we use are all used in the RV industry.”
In order to have running water on your trailer, several things are required:
- 110 Volt electrical service with a power converter to charge up the onboard 12V battery
- 12V battery to operate the water pump
- Water pump
- Fresh water tank of 30 to 50 gallons
- Waste tank underneath the toilet (“black water holding tank”)
- Waste tank underneath the sink/shower (“grey water holding tank”)
With all these items, you will be able to use RV hookups at certain campsites. Most RV hookups have a 30-amp power service, along with a water connection. Some even have sewer/waste dumps, so you can empty your grey and black water tanks easily.
As mentioned earlier, the Trail Blazer Living Quarters trailer is equipped with a 30-gallon freshwater supply tank, which comes alongside a 6-gallon gas water heater. Apart from the fresh water tanks for your living quarters and shower/bathroom amenities, you’ll also need tanks to store water for your horses. These tanks can be mounted upright and can either be inside the trailer or on top of the trailer. Let’s not also forget about the need for grey water tanks (containing the wastewater from the sink and the inside shower) and black water tanks that hold the wastewater from the toilet.
Horse trailer water tanks come in all shapes and sizes. Their volume and shape depend on their purpose and the room you have for them onboard your trailer.
Just like with an RV, regular maintenance will be needed to keep your bathroom operating correctly. We recommend using an RV service shop to properly winterize your trailer each season. This ensures your pipes do not burst when cold weather hits. RV shops can help maintain all of your appliances. In general, these items tend to last longer when in regular use and tend to deteriorate when left to sit for long periods of time. In fact, the most problematic appliance is the refrigerator. Dust and debris can clog the burner when it is left to sit without regular use.
We’re steadily adding to a list of preferred RV maintenance and repair facilities across the nation. Check out these shops for quality service in your home state.
If you have any additional questions about your horse trailer bathroom, please don’t hesitate to contact Brad.
What’s a cowboy/cowgirl shower?
Cowboy/cowgirl showers are simple devices that provide basic hygiene on-site. They’re often installed in the horse area’s front stall.
How long does a 40-gallon black water tank last?
Such a tank could last about ten days if a couple of people use the living quarters. This period can be extended, depending on how often the bathroom gets used.
Do you need a water pump for your fresh water tank?
A water tank/pressure pump) is needed to provide water circulation inside the living quarters. It also takes care of the water pressure you need.
Can you drive safely with a full trailer water tank?
You can drive with a full fresh water tank with no issues. Still, you need to consider the added weight. If you’re traveling to a nearby destination or you’re planning a short stay, you might not need full fresh water tanks.
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