Your horse has two trailers before him. One trailer has a brightly lit interior with a gentle breeze flowing in through the windows. The second is dark and uninviting. It looks like a cave and he can feel the heat radiating from the stuffy interior.
Which one do you think he’d rather walk into?
Are the windows on your new horse trailer an after-thought for you? Are you distracted by factors like the trailer layout, dressing room, and… of course… the oh-so-important price tag? Maybe you should stop and give those windows a second look! They can have a huge impact on the comfort…and safety… of your horses.
A Quick Background on Horse Trailer Window Manufacturing in the USA
First, a quick lesson. There are three major window manufacturers that specialize on RV or horse trail windows in the United States. Double D Trailers has tried all three and settled on the type that we feel offers the best performance and quality:
Seigi - This is a lesser known company based out of California. Double D Trailer used this brand for many years, but we found that the windows leaked for many owners. It was clear that we needed to make a change, so we switched to the next brand.
Hehr - This well-known company within the RV industry helped with our leaking problem somewhat, but we still saw isolated issues. Nope, still not good enough! Luckily, there was one more option for us to try.
Statewide - In 2009, we changed again to Statewide manufactured windows and they have been our window of choice ever since. They are extremely well made and offer several advantages over the other brands.
Statewide brand windows on a Double D Trailer.
What are the Problems With Windows from Competitor Companies?
Windows in horse trailers are far from standard across the board. They vary in size and functionality. Sliding windows with built in screens may be found either on straight load trailers or on the ‘butt-side’ of a slant load horse trailer. These windows should be as large as possible to allow for air and light flow. The sliding portion needs to operate smoothly for easy opening.
The drop down windows on the ‘head-side’ of a slant load horse trailer also vary tremendously among trailer manufacturers. The first potential problem is leaking. We’ve found that Statewide windows perform the best with a solid rubber gasket seal.
Second, many competitor brands locate their window latch at the very top of the window. This can be difficult to reach unless you’re very tall. Many users find they need to step up onto a bucket just to reach their window latch which is inconvenient to say the least. Opening the windows to check on your horses shouldn’t be a chore!
The latches on these windows are located very high up so they can be hard to reach. Plus, these drop down doors feature a very small window with minimal light and airflow.
Finally, some trailer manufacturers will try to cheat and build their own ‘drop-down windows’ in-house instead of purchasing from a specialized window company. In order to do this, they will purchase a small standard sliding window and mount it on the center of a larger square door. They market this as a drop down feed window. (See image above for an example of this type of window.)
Brad Heath, owner of Double D Trailers, explained why this style is not ideal. “My issue with this style is often the glass portion itself ends up being very small. So if you are hauling and want to leave the door ‘up,’ you end up with a minimal amount of light coming inside.”
In comparison, a full glass window, like what we use from Statewide, allows much more light to come in which helps maintain an open and airy feeling for your horse.
The second problem with this style of window is that they require a ‘two-hand’ operation. If you look in the photo below, you can see that the window bars are attached to the folding door at the hinge. This means, if you want to open the bars for feeding, you have to lift the door with one hand while trying to guide the bars in a track up high with the other.
This window design is also not ideal because the bars can be difficult to open.
It can be quite challenging especially because each trailer manufacturer builds their own design. Some manufacturers can create a somewhat smooth mechanism…and some just can’t.
“As a designer, I've not been able to grasp the benefit of this style of window which is why we've stayed away,” Brad explained. “They simply do not function well for the operator and provide no benefit for your horse in comparison to a full glass folding style."
What are the Advantages of our Window Type?
The Statewide windows used in Double D Trailers have several advantages over the other brands.
Mid-Latch System -The latch to open our windows is conveniently located mid-way down the height of the window. This is one of the top things our customers comment on in regards to our windows. They like how easily these windows can be opened and closed. Brad explained, “The ‘mid-latch’ is within reach for most folks, and it’s easier to use as far as supporting the weight with one hand to open and close.”
Separate Bars - Next, you will find that the bars on our windows are separate from the glass portion. This makes it easy for you to open the glass portion, but leave the bars up for extra airflow during travel. Or, if you need to feed or access your horses’s head, you can lower the bar and window portion. (Note: We never recommend hauling with the bars down as a horse could try to jump through the window opening.)
No Caulking Needed - Each Statewide window comes with a rubber gasket on its outer edge which eliminates the need for any sort of caulking. They are reliably leakproof due to this design.
Drop-Down Window Screen (Double D Trailers Only) - Statewide windows are not exclusively built for Double D Trailers, so you may find them on other brands. However, Statewide does not include a screen on their windows. We offer a screen as an extra add-on since it can be an important safety feature. Screens allow you to maximize air flow for your horses while also protecting their delicate eyes from road debris or bugs.
Why is it Important to Get the Right Kind of Windows on Your Horse Trailer?
Finding a horse trailer for sale with the right type of windows can make a huge difference for your horses. As you read in the beginning of this article, great windows can add to the open and airy feeling of your trailer making it much more inviting to nervous horses. Horses are naturally claustrophobic animals and more light for them to see their surroundings is very important.
Next, good windows allow for better air flow to keep your horses at a comfortable temperature during travel. In fact, our windows are just one of many features on our trailers dedicated to keeping your horses cooler while they travel. A horse who is overheated is going to sweat too much, become dehydrated, and be more susceptible to injuries or illness because of his stressed system.
A sliding window inside a Double D Trailer.
Finally, windows need to be practical. You shouldn’t have to struggle each time you want to open or close a window. The mechanisms should work easily with just one hand. You shouldn’t need to climb a ladder to reach the latch and they should be leak-proof for your horses!
Our trailers have sliding windows with screens on the butt side of the horse and fold/drop down feed windows on the head side. All of the windows in the horse area have protective bars to keep your horse from damaging the glass. As mentioned before, you can choose to upgrade your fold-down windows at the horses’ heads with the addition of a screen added by Double D.?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at our horse trailer windows. As always, if you have any question, just reach out to Brad, and he’ll be glad to help.
What do you think of the mid-latch system on the Double D Trailers?
What are your experiences with windows from other brands?