You can never get too many horse trailer remodel ideas when it comes to living quarters design. The more tips and tricks you know, the better the result would be. Any trailer remodel attempt is a quest that needs to be approached the right way if you want a functional, fully optimized space that’s as close to being perfect as possible.
We can turn your horse trailer with living quarters into something beautiful by adding custom cabinetry, neat tiling, and all the little touches that transform a simple space into a stunning home on wheels. In fact, some of our recent trailer designs would be enough to impress even those celebrity interior decorators on HGTV! (Any Chip and Joanna Fixer-Upper fans here?)
Having the above in mind, we need to remind everyone that a picture-perfect trailer is not the goal when you decide to remodel it. While it might look awesome in an Instagram post, it might not be as functional. At Double D Trailers, we can help you create the living quarters horse trailer you’ve been dreaming of. You’d be surprised to find out that it’s not extremely difficult to do it.
No one wants a trailer that feels cramped. We’ve all seen rigs with too little storage space for snacks and meals, not enough cabinets to hold clothing and belongings, or so little floor space that guests don’t even bother coming in from the cold. That’s the kind of setup you can avoid.
Instead, you want a trailer with smartly designed features: one that provides you with plenty of space to relax, store all your supplies and prepare delicious hot meals after a day spent with the horses.
Get More Living Quarters Horse Trailer Design Ideas: The Complete Guide to Kitchens on Your Horse Trailer
Given the fact that every square inch counts, all tiny details must be planned meticulously. Space-saving design enhances the functionality of your trailer and brings that extra pinch of additional comfort you need.
In this article, we’ll share the top space-saving design features we believe will transform any horse trailer. We’ll also add a couple of options we suggest you skip! You can use these ideas when you order your custom-built Double D Trailers unit. The possibilities are endless! We do love a challenge, so let us know if you have specific needs or requests. In the meantime, if you insist on carrying on with your own horse trailer remodel project, you can still take advantage of the tips posted below.
Cleverly Designed Cabinets. Let’s start with the most obvious way to store supplies and save on space: cabinets! There’s no such thing as “too much storage” when you’re in a horse trailer. You can assume you’ll have cabinets in your kitchen, but what about the rest of your living quarters? Look above your dinettes and sofa. See all that extra space? Why not put in some ceiling-mounted cabinets to turn that wasted headroom into useful storage?
And remember, all the cabinets in your horse trailer can be custom designed specifically for you.
We once had a customer in Australia who needed very special cabinets to fit her riding equipment. She gave us specific dimensions for her top hats, riding boots, and trench coats. After a few rounds of questions, we designed the cabinet layout so that every piece fit in its custom-designed space. It worked out very well!
Convertible Dinettes. Most customized living quarters will give you the option to install a dinette, but before you say yes, make sure it’s convertible. This applies to every horse trailer remodel project, as long as the existing premises are big enough to fit one of these in the first place.
Convertible dinettes spend the day as a booth where you can eat, do your taxes, or surf the web. (Please DO NOT do your taxes when you’re on a horse retreat… ugh!) These dinettes fold out at night to accommodate several people for a good night’s sleep. They’re great if you travel with your kids or have friends who only occasionally tag along to horse events.
Flip-up Counter Extensions. Nobody thinks about counter space until there simply isn’t any to work with. In many horse trailers with living quarters, counter space is at a premium. Flip-up counter extensions that fit on the end of your base cabinets extend your workspace. When you’re done cutting vegetables or using them as serving areas, simply wipe them off and fold them back out of the way.
Flush-mounted Lighting. Short people may not give a second thought to the headroom in a horse trailer, but for the taller among us, a light hanging down from the ceiling becomes a hazard! Flush-mounted lighting will smooth out your ceiling so tall friends don’t need to duck and dodge when they walk through your living quarters.
Fold-out Sofa. In our trailers, you can choose between the dinette and a fold-out sofa. If a sofa is more your style, make sure it folds out for another sleeping space. A fold-out sofa will sleep an extra person and generally has some storage underneath. Some manufacturers will install a slide-out which will actually reduce the length of your sofa by 1 foot. This means your long 6-foot sofa suddenly shrinks to a 5-foot one to allow for the bracing for the slide-out feature. So, be aware of the length of your sofa when designing your living quarters. Most adults will prefer a longer 6-foot sofa for comfortable sleeping.
Gooseneck Nose Cabinets. Your living quarters or gooseneck horse trailers will have a large flat space in the gooseneck area. While it’s perfect for a full-sized mattress, it’s also a good space for a few extra storage cabinets. The very front of your gooseneck is a great place to put cabinets to store clothes, linens, books, or device chargers.
Smart Door Design. Sure enough, executing your horse trailer remodel project is all fun and games until you discover that your swinging doors are wasting a ton of space that you could be using for a bigger bathroom sink, for example. Swap your swinging doors for pocket doors and you’ll free up four to nine square feet of floor space and still have all the privacy horse trailers with living quarters can afford.
We also have a walk-thru door from the living quarters into the horse area. Typically, on non-living quarter models, we swing the door towards the front dress so it can act as an extra escape door for the horse handler. But on a living quarters model, this door swings back into the horse area instead. This saves valuable space, so the door doesn’t need to open into the bathroom.
Read More: Horse Trailer Bathrooms - A Complete Guide
Recessed Cooktop. Not to be a stickler about counter space, but you’re really going to wish you had it when you’re camping for weeks at a time and trying to cook and live in your trailer. A recessed cooktop has a glass cover that can be pulled over to create an essentially smooth surface, giving you more prep space. When you’re ready to cook, just flip it up and hit the gas.
If you’re not planning to cook much in your living quarters horse trailer, you might opt to leave the cooktop out of your design. One of our clients, Liz, preferred to cook outside on a camp stove, so we left her cooktop out of the design and instead gave her extra counter space.
Read Liz’s Story: Luxury Reverse Load Living Quarters Horse Trailer Tour
Creative Ways to Climb into Sleep Spaces. Horse trailers commonly have some kind of bunks installed, especially when it comes to gooseneck horse trailers. Tucking these bunks into underused spaces, up against the ceiling, or in the gooseneck frees up a lot of room, but there’s always a question of access. Solid steps eat up floor space, but removable ladders can be tossed on the bed when you’re not sleeping.
We also had a customer who opted for solid steps with storage inside. We installed a solid step so she could climb into the gooseneck sleeping area. Inside the solid step, we installed a lockable safe where she was able to securely store some items.
Removable Pedestal Tables. One of the biggest mistakes that trailer manufacturers make is putting in fixed tables. If you want a table, make sure it can be collapsed, folded against a wall, or removed from the floor and stashed when it’s not in use.
Slide-Outs. The ultimate in space-creation for living quarters horse trailers, the slide-out does exactly what you’d think it does - it slides from the main body of the trailer. Many people put their dinettes or couches in the slide-out, gaining them several feet in their living area. When you’re traveling with your family or friends, those extra few feet can create valuable breathing space. But, as we mentioned above, if your sofa is located on the slide-out, make sure it is still long enough for comfortable use. We recommend a 6-foot sofa minimum.
Storage Mangers in Horse Area. If you want even more storage space, consider adding storage compartments under your horse feed mangers. Now, this design isn’t ideal because mangers restrict your horse’s head movement. It prevents them from lowering their heads to snort out debris that may accumulate in their airways. Plus, some horses try to climb into the mangers in a panic. However, if more storage is required, mangers can provide some handy extra space to store your things.
Swivel-arm Television Bracket. Back in the day, a ceiling or wall-mounted flat-screen TV was all the rage. These days, people are pretty happy pulling out their smartphones and tablets to watch Netflix or other downloads. So now, a roof-mounted antenna or large TV hanging from your wall is not as appealing.
Shower/Toilet Combination. Yup, you read that correctly. We haven’t offered this feature to our customers in many years because it just doesn’t work well. In these setups, the shower is extra-long and the toilet takes up the area in the back, shaving wasted space out of your bathroom.
In reality, this just doesn’t work well. During a shower, regardless of where you point the shower head, water ends up running on top of the toilet lid and around into the toilet – filling it up. Toilet water dumps into the black holding tank. So, if you are at an event for a long weekend, the toilet tank fills up quicker than it normally would and you have no place to dump.
The other thing we didn’t like was the wet floor. After your shower, the floor will often be slightly wet. If you walk into the shower stall to use the toilet, dirt on your shoes will create muddy footprints. Your other option is to walk in and get your socks wet! So… take our word for it and skip over this space-saving feature!
Designing custom horse trailers can be a real challenge for horse owners, but with careful planning, you’ll have the perfect trailer with enough space to live comfortably. And don’t worry -- you’re not in it alone. Let the experts at Double D Trailers help you build the best horse trailer for your budget, no matter how big or small.
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