We’ve built some pretty big – and gorgeous -- trailers over the years. But a large trailer, complete with a well-appointed living quarters, isn’t going to do you much good if it’s too big to drive safely!
So recently, when a customer asked Brad to build a straight load trailer with living quarters, he decided to draw the line. This is not a style of trailer we recommend because it is simply too long to haul and maneuver.
But don’t worry, we’ll provide an easy solution for those of you who are craving their own horse palace-on-wheels. It’s a solution that gives you MORE living space and a much shorter overall wheelbase!
The Story of the Trailer That Was Just Too Much…
When our recent customer asked for a straight load trailer with living quarters, he was hoping for the perfect family retreat. Two straight load horse stalls in the rear of the trailer would butt up against a living quarters complete with bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area.
In a very unusual move, Brad said “no” to this request...
Normally, we do everything in our power to make your requests come true. But in this situation, Brad knew the customer would be unhappy with the end result.
“Back in 2011, I built a straight load living quarters trailer for a client against my better judgment,” Brad explained. “She insisted it was what she wanted. But after only six months, she admitted that it was just too difficult to maneuver.”
The image below shows the trailer we built for this client back in 2011.
Then, here's an image of a typical straight load living quarter model that many of our customers regularly ask for. Note the front axle is a whopping 26.5 feet from the tow vehicle pivot point. You’d basically need a football field to maneuver this thing. Not to mention the extremely heavy trailer tongue weight.
So driving this trailer around would feel a little more difficult than driving a charter bus and just a little bit easier than driving a full 18-wheeler truck!
Not exactly “easy hauling” when you’re headed out for a fun weekend with your family. So, as you might expect, the 2011 client ended up selling her brand new trailer at a significant loss.
Why Do People Think They Want a Straight Load Living Quarters Trailer?
It’s actually pretty common for people to approach Brad asking for this long style of straight load trailer. A lot of folks ask for straight load living quarter trailers with the thought that “it’s better for the horses.” Or, they think, “My horse won’t fit in a slant.”
In truth, the issue with horses fitting in a trailer doesn’t have anything to do with whether it’s a straight load or a slant load. It actually has to do with whether you have a trailer specifically designed with dimensions to haul your breed and size of horse.
Indeed, one size horse trailer does NOT fit all horses. That’s why we specialize in custom build-to-order trailers even for large breeds like draft horses and Warmbloods.
This way you can buy a straight load OR slant load trailer with stalls large (or small) enough to properly support your animals during travel.
We even customize each particular stall, which is a perfect way to deal with your large cart horse and daughter’s jumping pony all in one trip.
Horses Prefer to Haul Standing a Specific Way
As to “straight or slant,” we’ve actually learned something interesting over the years. If you haul your horses in a box style trailer equipped with a camera, you can observe which way they choose to stand.
Surprisingly, 99% of the time, they will turn into a slant – facing backwards away from the direction of travel.
There are a lot of theories as to the “why,” but for whatever reason, it seems that horses prefer to ride in the reverse load horse trailers.
In addition, there’s been a lot of research to suggest horses haul with less stress in a rear-facing direction. That’s why we designed our patented SafeTack Reverse trailer – something you won’t find anywhere else in the US.
This model allows you to load your horses through a large side ramp and door and walk into a rear-facing stall. Then, to offload, you simply walk your horses straight off the back of the trailer. We eliminate the need to ever back your horse – which results in horses who will load and unload much more happily.
Here’s a Straight Load Option You Might Like Instead
If you have your heart set on a straight load trailer with some sort of sleeping quarters, there are still some other options.
For instance, any of the straight load gooseneck trailer configurations would be available. This includes a model with 1) a dressing room in the gooseneck, 2) mid-tack room + dressing room, or 3) 2+1 style with front box stall and dressing room/tack room.
We could also build you a straight load gooseneck trailer with a “hang out living quarters” package. This will leave you with a 4-foot short wall living area with limited amenities like a toilet, sink, and basic cabinets. The gooseneck area could still be used for a sleeping mattress.
A cowboy/cowgirl shower could be installed back in the horse area of this trailer. But this type of trailer would not have a kitchen, sofa, or bathroom.
Get More Living Space With a Shorter Wheel Base
One thing to notice though…
On the straight load hang out trailer described above, the distance from the front axle to the rotation point for this trailer is 21-feet. This is about the same as our patented SafeTack Reverse LQ trailer (with a distance of 20.75-feet).
Remember, the straight load hang-out trailer only has a 4-foot short wall with limited accommodations. But, with the SafeTack Reverse you get an 8-foot short wall – DOUBLE the size of the hang out trailer!
Plus, the SafeTack Reverse would be built with FULL living quarters rather than a simple “hang out LQ” package.
Point being, you’ll get DOUBLE the space with a SafeTack Reverse LQ with an 8-foot short wall as you do with a straight load, mid-tack, 4-foot short wall model.
That difference between 4-feet and 8-feet short wall will make all the difference in your living space. You’ll be able to include a full kitchen, sofa/dining area, and separate bathroom.
And, with a front axle that is 6-FEET closer to your tow vehicle when compared with the straight load living quarter model, this is MUCH easier to tow.
So, if you have your heart set on a 2 horse trailer with living quarters, we’d encourage you to consider our patented SafeTack Reverse design. We can build it to fit your large breed horses and it will be safer – and easier – to haul down the road.
If you have any questions about straight load living quarters trailers, contact Brad here.