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7 Cheap Horse Trailer Upgrades and Useful Accessory Ideas

Last updated October 14, 2023 by Brad Heath

Horse trailer upgrades often make the difference between a full-fledged unit and a mediocre unit. There are plenty of options to choose from when building your custom horse trailer, and you probably won’t need all of them. It’s the right blend of comfort and functionality that you should strive for, and there’s always a budget to stick to as well.

We know that people often wonder if they’re going overboard with their choices when it comes to custom horse trailers. Using our easy-to-use trailer design tool, it can become easy to add option after option until your trailer is decked out with all the bells and whistles. This makes upgrading your trailer as easy as child’s play, and you’ll know you only opted for what you really need.

So, if you’re trying to rein in your excitement – and keep your pocket happy – we’ve chosen just seven inexpensive upgrades to make your custom horse trailer more useful. You don’t need to buy a fancy horse trailer with living quarters to have some of these handy trailer options. Even a basic 2 horse bumper pull trailer can be designed to be a cut above the rest with these custom features.

Check them out below!

1. Storage Boxes and Wall Grid Organizers

Storage is one of the top issues customers want help with when it comes to their new custom trailers. They are looking for clever ways to fit all the equipment that goes along with owning a horse into a limited space. This could seem like an impossible task, hence the need for smart solutions. 

There’s usually a lot of gear to store, too. You know what we mean… that extra set of grooming supplies, the box of medical goop, the spare show blouse for when your horse decides to snot all over the first one, the extra boots, rakes, and braiding gear. The list goes on and on.

If you choose one of our SafeTack slant load trailers, then you’ll already have a handy tack storage area in the rear corner of the trailer. Additional storage can be found in the front dressing room of your trailer.

Why not kick things up another notch with a carpeted storage box and wall grid organizer? The carpeted storage bench will span the nose of your trailer and act as both a storage trunk and as an extra bench to use when it’s time to pull on your boots. If you have a gooseneck horse trailer, this bench will also double as a step so you can easily hop into the gooseneck when you’re ready for a nap.

You can place the wall grid organizer on the interior wall of your dressing room with attachments to keep all of your smaller gear within easy reach. “These wall grids made a huge difference when it comes to storage and organization,” shared Double D Trailers owner Brad Heath. “You can purchase accessories like bins, racks, and hangers to clamp into place and keep things tidy.”

2. Cowboy (or Cowgirl) Shower

After two or three days at a horse event without a shower, you’ll start contemplating bathing in the nearest muddy pond. Although a cowboy shower is pretty basic, it is significantly better than waiting for a heavy rainstorm and will get you much cleaner than your standard stagnant body of water or horse trough.

The shower consists of a wall-mounted hose in the front stall of your horse area. While standing in the privacy of your trailer, you can use the handheld shower head to wash off the dirt and grime of the day. 

bumper pull horse trailer

Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes! A huge relief when you really need a wash? YES! Above all, this is one of the most affordable horse trailer upgrades you could opt for.

3. Front Stall Storage Partitions

One thing that will make your cowboy or cowgirl shower even more private is the installation of a front stall storage partition – also known as a “stud gate.” This solid panel hangs down from the regular front stall divider to provide a solid barrier for horses that like to kick and bother their neighbors.

Besides adding extra privacy for a shower, it also allows you to make full use of that front stall in the event you aren’t hauling a full load of horses. Store hay, muck out buckets, or other equipment up there without any fear of it rolling back to the horses in the other stalls. 

custom horse trailer

Or, better yet, use that front area as a little sleeping area with a comfy little cot. The partition is usually made out of metal, but stiff rubber is also an option. It is fully removable and 100% handy.

4. Upright Water Tanks

With or without the cowboy shower, an upright 25-gallon water tank is a must-have if you plan on taking your trailer anywhere far from home. You’ll have a ready supply of water for your horses whenever they need it. This eliminates the need to haul heavy water buckets across crowded showgrounds. Instead, you’ll have fresh water right at your trailer. 

Standard water tank inside of a Double D Trailer

This feature is extremely useful on any non-living quarters trailer. Water tanks will need regular cleaning but take up way less space than stashing water in smaller containers on board. If you purchase a living quarters horse trailer instead, you’ll have a large water tank mounted under a seat or inside a cabinet to supply your toilet, shower, and other appliances. On these trailers, you’ll also have an outside water spigot to pull fresh water for your horses.

5. Trailer Fans

Everyone inside the horse trailer should feel as comfortable as possible during long travels, and that includes the horses, too. Their safety comes first, but that doesn’t mean you should deprive them of the comfort they deserve.

A simple way to make the trip more pleasant for your horses is to install trailer fans. This solution is one of the must-have horse trailer upgrades, especially if you’re regularly covering long-distance routes. It is also the easiest way to make sure the scorching heat won’t be a burden for your animals. Plus, it’s an affordable horse trailer upgrade that’s worth the investment.

Horse trailer fans inside of a horse stall area of a Double D Trailer.

The proper way to install the trailer fans depends on the specific design of your rig, but these fans are usually mounted in the front. This way, the horses will enjoy the cool airflow they need to avoid overheating. They would thank you for choosing this upgrade for sure.

6. 110V Electrical Systems

Although water is indispensable on a long trip, electricity is a very close second. You’re bound to bring something with you that needs power, be it a smartphone, electric razor, or your favorite electric heater. The 110V electrical hookup is available on all models and includes two receptacles mounted inside the front dress, a breaker box, and a 110V light inside. It also comes with an exterior campsite hookup.

Water hookup and exterior 110V outlet on a Double D Trailer.

Anything using this 110V hookup will require a power source such as a generator or campsite power supply. All the other lights within your trailer are operating on a 12V supply and will operate just with your trailer’s battery power. The 110V and 12V circuits are completely separate. When the time comes, you’ll be incredibly happy to have some electric juice to power your favorite gizmos. This is a must-have feature.

7. Backup Battery

Sometimes, the smartest decisions are also plain and simple. Still, most people would not think about adding an auxiliary battery to their horse trailer, unaware that it could save them a lot of trouble

The backup battery you should equip your rig with could be more than a lifesaver. It can save you and your horses from trouble. If you’re stranded somewhere or you’re stuck for some reason, this battery can power the trailer’s water and cooling systems, for example, allowing the tow vehicle battery to keep its charge.

The battery rack area on a Double D Trailer.

You never know when you’re going to need it, but you better be safe than sorry. Plus, adding a backup battery to your horse trailer is a cheap upgrade to enjoy. 

BONUS: A Small Living Quarters Area on Your Horse Trailer

We can’t wrap this up without sharing one more tempting upgrade you may want to consider for your trailer. Many of our customers think wistfully of the living quarter trailers but end up purchasing a much less-expensive trailer to stay within budget.

Well, what if we told you there was an “in-between” option? Sure, this isn’t exactly cheap, but compared to a full living quarters trailer, it’s an absolute bargain. We’re talking about our weekender small living quarters horse trailer known as the Basics Living Quarters. 

Unlike a full living quarters trailer, a living quarters horse trailer with a weekender package will not have a full kitchen or full bathroom. Still, it can have a toilet (optional) with a few cabinets and running water. The walls will be left unfinished as if they were a regular gooseneck dressing room. 

These few extra amenities (cabinets, water, and a toilet!!) will make a HUGE difference in your comfort level while you’re on the go.

Final Thoughts 

Designing custom horse trailers isn’t a task for the faint of heart. It requires you to take a hard look at your needs, preferences, and budget to achieve the balance necessary to get it exactly right. 

Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. We’d be glad and excited to help you with every aspect of the process.

The team at Double D Trailers has years of experience building custom trailers for all types of horse owners. From basic bumper pulls to high-tech living quarters trailers, we’ve got the skills to create the exact horse trailer your horse adventures require. If you have any questions about designing your own custom trailer, then contact Brad Heath and he’ll help you get started.

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