To come up with the best design ideas for horse trailer living quarters, having plenty of industry-specific experience makes all the difference. Brad Heath, the owner of Double D Trailers, has been designing horse trailers since 1997 and knows all there is to know about building and customizing them to perfection.
In this guide, we’ll share part of Brad’s knowledge in the form of useful ideas to create the living quarters of your dreams. We’ll also list the steps to take when ordering your very own, brand-new, custom horse trailer with living quarters.
To make the most of your horse trailer’s living quarters, you need to think outside the box and set your priorities straight. There are plenty of questions to ask yourself, such as:
Would you use the trailer for relatively short trips or head to cross-country events during which you’d call its living quarters your home for a solid few weeks?
What matters the most to you: comfort or convenience?
What are you willing to compromise on?
How many people are sleeping inside?
What tow vehicle will you be using?
The answers to these and other similar questions will help you shape the process you must follow. When the time comes to put it to good use and design your own horse trailer living quarters from scratch (or convert the one you already have), you’d be better off separating all the ideas and solutions into categories.
Even top-of-the-line gooseneck horse trailers have limited space, meaning that you need to optimize your living quarters to the fullest extent. The following ideas might help you with that.
Fold out sleeper sofa: Since a bed would take a large chunk of your living quarters, you might consider opting for sofa that doubles as a fold out bed.
Convertible dinette: For the same reasons, you can opt for something popular in the RV world: convertible dinettes. They can transform a table area into a sleeping space.
Slim cabinets: You’d need all the storage space you can get, but that doesn’t mean it should dominate your living quarters. Slim or ceiling-mounted cabinets are among the smart space-saving solutions you can choose.
Wall grid organizers: Even if you already enjoy a horse trailer with living quarters that suit your needs, such as a SafeTack slant load trailer, you could enhance things further with a wall grid organizer and effectively store your gear and accessories.
When you’re off to your next equestrian adventure, you’d be faced with a limited water supply while on the go. The same goes for electricity, at least for most horse trailers. Therefore, you need to think smart when designing your living quarters horse trailer.
Solar panels: Using roof-mounted or foldable solar panels is the feature you need to power various gadgets. It’s an affordable and effective solution that’s often a preferred design feature.
Combined sink and toilet area: Not all horse trailers would allow this, but if you’re converting one, you might consider such a solution. Utilizing the available space in the bathroom and installing a small sink allows for more convenience. You can brush your teeth, wash your hands, without having to go to the kitchen sink.
Portable shower (Cowboy/Cowgirl shower): This is the simplest and most affordable solution (apart from rainfall) to take a shower when you need one. It’s one of the five essential and cheap upgrades you can introduce to the living quarters of your horse trailer.
If you’re spending weeks on the road in between equestrian events, then you need to take care of the comfort inside your living quarters. Implementing the following ideas in your initial design would definitely raise the level of comfort inside your rig.
Soft walls: This is a typical feature of the horse premises inside a trailer, but it can (and should) be introduced to the living quarters as well. It’s a safety feature that prevents injury from accidentally bumping into a wall, and it also acts as noise insulation.
Pocket doors: Having such doors instead of the usual swing ones can save a LOT of valuable space, which is why pocket doors need to be part of every clever horse trailer design.
Flush lighting: Built-in lighting not only looks good, but it also saves just enough space to make a difference. Plus, ambient LED lighting could transform the interior of any horse trailer with living quarters.
Even if you don’t realize it at first, great design and safety come hand in hand. Still, you can increase the safety of your horse trailer tremendously by introducing subtle, but essential changes, such as:
Floor mats: This might appear a trivial thing to refer to as a design feature, but a set of carefully crafted floor mats can dramatically improve the safety of your living quarters. You need to make sure they fit perfectly and prevent slipping.
No edges: When designing the interior of your horse trailer, particularly the living quarters, you need to avoid sharp edges. This applies to every feature: the cabinets, the bed, and the rest of the equipment you include in your initial design.
Avoid loose objects: Avoiding items that have inertia is a must. We already mentioned that everything needs to be secured tightly in place, but this includes even the smaller things, such as storage boxes, ceiling-mounted lighting units, and so forth. Plus, rounded edges often become design features because they give your interior a streamlined look.
Bumper pull horse trailers with living quarters are preferred by many equestrians over gooseneck models for reasons nobody could argue with:
They’re cheaper than their gooseneck counterparts.
You could pull them with your daily-driven SUV.
They’re generally easier to pull on narrow, twisty roads.
Still, most bumper pull horse trailers are not better than gooseneck trailers in terms of safety. There are exceptions, though. For example, the SafeTack 1 Horse Trailer with Living Quarters. If you’re frequently on the go and you need to haul a single horse, this would be one of the safest custom horse trailer solutions you could opt for. It boasts a rigid construction with excellent weight distribution that eliminates the biggest threat to bumper pull horse trailers: excessive or negative tongue weight. Plus, it features a lot of the horse trailer living quarters design ideas mentioned above.
To help you avoid making compromises, we’ll list several VERY important tips you need to remember. They all matter:
Check the trailer‘s weight: A horse trailer’s weight needs to be compliant with various factors: the towing capacity of your vehicle, the weight of your horses and gear, and so forth. Aluminum horse trailers are the choice to make in most cases: they’re lighter than steel ones and they don’t rust, too.
Be careful with weight distribution: If you’re converting an existing trailer into a living quarters unit, make sure you don’t ruin the weight distribution balance of the rig. The ultimate solution in your pursuit of enviable quality and unprecedented safety would be to design your own horse trailer with living quarters using the available options offered by Double D Trailers.
Make sure insulation is done right: Both you and your horse need to be protected from the elements, which would be impossible without proper insulation. Without it, the trailer would be unbearable to be in when it’s hot, cold, or even windy.
Figure out what you need in advance. This is an important tip, especially when you’re about to order a custom-built trailer. Double-check your blueprint and confirm you won’t need to add anything later, as that might interfere with weight distribution or could be too expensive (or impossible) to do.
Safety starts with securing everything in place: To avoid accidents and to achieve the ultimate level of comfort, make sure you secure everything you add to your trailer in case you decide to build living quarters in it. Nothing should succumb to inertia or bumps, otherwise, it might be hazardous.
Confirm there’s enough headspace: This is not just a requirement for your horse’s premises. You need to make sure there’s enough headspace because, in some cases, lighting, ventilation, or storage compartments could be in the way.
Don’t forget to add a compartment for a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher: This goes without saying, but these two must-have features should be placed in a convenient spot with the easiest possible access.
When the founders of Double D Trailers began construction of their first designs back in 1997, they never planned to make living quarters horse trailers. Owner Brad Heath recalled, “We quickly realized folks loved our trailers but wanted living quarters!” By 2003, they were in full swing building custom living quarters horse trailers with individual layouts and handmade cabinetry.
Double D Trailers has built several hundred living quarters horse trailers over the years, so the entire process is now down to a science. “Designing a living quarters horse trailer is like designing two trailers in one – one for the humans and one for the horses,” Brad explained. “We approach both designs as separate, independent projects.”
Buyers can become overly excited about creating luxurious living quarters, but the safety of the horses should be your primary concern. After all…it is a horse trailer first and foremost.
“My preference is to focus on the horse area first, and then the human area.” Brad and his team will help you examine your specific horse needs. This includes the size and type of trailer along with any special considerations like storage for motorcycles, ATVs, or horse carriages.
Brad can also help you determine if you want a slant load or straight load trailer design. “The SafeTack slant makes a much more efficient use of space than a straight load, ESPECIALLY in living quarter layouts.” Other features to consider in your horse area are ramps, stall layout, escape doors, air vents, fans, flooring type, and tack storage.
Once the horses are taken care of, it is time to progress forward to the human portion of the trailer. Brad starts by determining how many people will be sleeping inside and what amenities are needed. “Most people want to focus on what it looks like, when really we are more concerned with ‘where’ things go rather than décor.” Those small finishing touches, like types of wood and fixtures, are easy to determine after the basic layout is finalized and construction has begun.
“Once we figure out the horse area required and the human area required, it’s easy to put the two together, determine the cost, and determine the vehicle necessary to safely carry the weight.”
Check out this demo tour of our SafeTack Reverse Customizable 3 Horse Trailer with Living Quarters.
There are several advantages to designing a living quarters horse trailer with Double D Trailers.
Tons of Design Options – The interior style of your trailer can contain a wide range of sofa styles, flooring, countertops, wall coverings, kitchen layouts, and special features. If you can dream it, we can build it! Click on Customize Your Trailer to see photos, videos, and pricing.
Flat Rate Delivery – Your new trailer can be delivered directly to your home in the continental US for a flat rate of $395. A Double D Trailer representative will show you how to operate your trailer and wait for your ‘thumbs up’ before they leave.
Learn more: The Double D Trailers Difference
Top Horse Safety Features – Double D Trailers has the most innovative safety features in the industry. Some of these include the patented Reverse Slant SafeTack design, SafeBump ceilings, Z-Frame construction, SafeKick wall paneling, and Rumber flooring. You will have a top-notch living quarters trailer without sacrificing the safety of your horses.
'One Stop Shop' for Warranty & Repair Issues – Most other trailer manufacturers send out a ‘shell’ trailer to a third-party company to install living quarters. These interior designs are often cookie-cutter styles and poorly installed. This method not only creates additional costs, but also means no one will take complete responsibility when a problem arises. You won’t get the ‘run around’ at Double D Trailers. We will do our best to fix any problems with our trailers with specialized servicemen that can come directly to your farm.
Expert Designers for Custom Layouts – Do you need a place for your motorcycle? Do you want your trailer to look like a home in a designer magazine? Do you need enough kitchen space to whip up an Italian feast? Talk to our guys. Explain your specific needs and we’ll create scale drawings for your approval.
Save Money and Get the Features You Want – Buying a shell trailer with third-party installed living quarters will often cost you more money. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the exact features you want and need!
High Quality Craftsmanship – Your trailer can have things like handmade home-style kitchen cabinets, recessed lighting, onboard air conditioning, and deluxe fixtures. No cookie-cutter style interiors here!
One of the best ways to decide if a custom horse trailer from Double D Trailers is right for you is to hear from our happy customers. We’ve designed living quarters trailers for horse folks across the country and around the globe. (Learn more about buying from Canada.)
Rosemary Lawler of Leesburg, Virginia wrote: “My little Buffalo trailer is absolutely perfect. For such a tiny space, the storage is extensive and exceptionally well-designed. I love the screen door option - one night was blistery hot, and I used the AC, but the next night was so pleasant I had the windows open and the screen door closed and it was lovely.”
Ivy Loftice of Kentucky invited friends into her trailer while staying at the Rolex 4 Star event at Horse Park: “We had a great time and were very comfortable! I'm thrilled with my huge closet and tack compartment that I have in lieu of another door into the LQ! Every time someone saw me near it, they would stop and ask about it. I gave two tours of the LQ!”
Leslie McDonald and Douglas Froh of Ohio wrote: “I cannot tell you how overjoyed we are with the new trailer. Your attention to detail rivals that of the finest RV trailers. Your finish and cabinet work is as tight as anything I have seen in the industry. The fittings are all top-class. These trailers are by far the best value on the market. The horses travel superbly well and load easily. The living quarters are awesome. GREAT WORK!”
Sandy Tucker of Australia wrote: “I would just love to say a big ‘Thank you’ for making my family such a beautiful trailer. Our 3-horse Renegade is the most awesome trailer, and the custom design interior plan was exactly what I ordered. I’m sure that many more Aussies will be towing a Double D Trailer in the years to come.”
Ordering a custom horse trailer online doesn’t need to feel like a shot in the dark. Our proven process will allow you to visualize exactly what you’re going to get with full confidence. The Double D Trailers team will help you cover every detail from initial questions through to final delivery. There’s no reason to wait. If you start the process now, you could have a brand new custom living quarters horse trailer in time for the next show season!
Click here to start designing your own: Living Quarters Horse Trailer
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