Horse Camping Hacks and Tips

I bought a 2H gooseneck trailer over the summer and now I am going to be joining friends for horse camping soon now that the weather is cooling down.
Fortunately, my riding friends have a nice LQ so we will share in its creature comforts (hot showers, potty) and the place where we are camping will have individual paddocks with sheds. We will be staying at a riding campground here in Florida that will have water and electricity.
My trailer has electric outlets, but other than that it’s a basic dressing room, uninsulated (although I am looking into fitting the dressing room with insulation and AC). It’s my first time that I will camp in my trailer. I’ll add an air mattress to the gooseneck and a memory foam topper, and bring a fan.

Anyone have good suggestions and “hacks” to make my weekend camping in the trailer more comfy?

Also, my horse has been to horse shows and plenty of trail rides but he’s never camped out before. He’s easy going so I think he’ll be fine, but any suggestions to make him more comfortable are welcome. Do you think it’s a good idea to bring my own water from the barn in case the water “tastes funny” (I have a water tank on my trailer).

Thanks for any advice!

If you are comfortable going to shows and trail rides, and understand car camping, you should have no major surprises. I haven’t done much human car camping in decades so I’ve been acquiring propane stove, sleeping bag, etc.

I’ve been sleeping in the 2 horse bumper pull with a tarp over the shavings so an actual gooseneck sounds lovely!

Other than that make sure you have what’s needed for likely weather in your area. In Canada I’d always have a rain sheet even in summer, Florida maybe not. I would make sure someone in your party brings a portable shade tent canopy thing unless your campsite is under trees.

Maybe also multiple saddle pads and maybe a girth cover too if you want fresh pads for long rides or if your girth rubs.

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The metal walls of a trailer are great for hanging magnet backed items like the little mirrors and organizers they sell for high school lockers.


I’d grab a portapotty and a water jug, so you don’t always have to borrow a bathroom. If you have a walk door, the horse area makes a good bathroom. It’s nice to be able to brush your teeth and wash your hands before bed without having to go out as well. Make sure you have a way to make coffee, if you drink it. Bring more hay than you expect to need. Some horses are piggies when camping. I find it easier to mix his feed in ziplocs, so I don’t have to do portions and supplements. I bring two water buckets, just so I don’t worry he has run out. Have a blast!


Thanks y’all . These tips will all be super helpful. I was definitely planning on the porta potty for night time #1 usage. I used to have a pop up camper and I would set it up in an exterior tent but I plan to put it in the horse area. We will probably camp only at places that have water hookups and I also have a big water tank on the gooseneck with a 12 v water pump.
I’m a big list maker so all of these suggestions will go into my master list.
Coffee is critical. I’ll be bringing a personal coffee maker bc I’m particular about my coffee. :slight_smile:

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Mosquito netting might be handy, hung over your sleeping area. A cord or rope clothesline for hanging wet girths, saddlepads, after your ride. An extra set is handy, you do not want to put wet items back on your horse to cause rubs lIke mentioned above.

I always have several 5 gallon water bottles on the trailer, so water is right there for horse or me when needed.

Not much help, since we do things so differently up here in Michigan. The quarter showers are always fun! Run out of water when least expected! Ha ha The Parks use picket lines, so training your horse to tie well on a picket line does take a bit of practice for horse to understand and cooperates. No trailer tying or corrals allowed for overnight. You need to know how to put up a secure picket line to tie horse to. There are ranches you can pay to stay at, that sound like where you will be staying. Nice trails close by.

Hope you have a good first outing!

We camped in an uninsulated gooseneck for years. The worst thing that happens is it condensates and drips on you!

Having tried the air mattress I encourage you to upgrade to a real mattress, at least a foam one. There is nothing quite like the air mattress deflating on a freezing cold night…

If it’s just for overnight, consider the “Luggable Loo” which is basically a plastic toilet seat that fits on a five-gallon bucket. Heavy black plastic bags and fine shavings or kitty litter and you’re all set.

If you decide to insulate your dressing room, join the Horse Trailer Conversion II group on Facebook, they know all the tricks.

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I camp in my uninsulated gooseneck a lot. I bring a roll-up table, one of those large camping mats for outside, chairs, small propane stove, and an ice chest. I also have several collapsible crates for dry food and utensils. I use an air mattress and a sleeping bag and it’s really quite comfortable. I like having my own space and not having to rely on anyone else. So far, I’ve only camped at places with Sani-cans or regular toilets so that’s not an issue. The only thing I’d like is more lights in the gooseneck. I have a small lantern which works pretty well but I also bring head lamps which are great for when your hands are full and a couple of Mag lights. I plan to add a pop up canopy this year.

Be aware that an air mattress will never warm up. If night are cool, you can wrap yourself in any amount of garments and still be sleeping on ice cold air. Any alternate type of mattress even a thin one is going to treat you more kindly.


Check out the Horse Trailer Conversion site on FB. You will be blown away with ideas!


OP did say she would use a memory foam topper, will that not help enough on an air mattress?

Yes, it should be enough.

We always took water with us and electrolytes just in case. Amount of water depended from ten to 55 gallons.

Our horses were also “show horses” that easily converted to competitive trail, they accumulated many thousand of miles in trail while still showing. We found that using a highline overnight allowed the horse to turn 360 degrees to see what it could hear, also if rigged correctly the horse could still lay down without becoming entangled with the lead (be sure to have a lock blade pocket knife with you in case you need to cut a horse out of a mess)

If you are to tie your horse to the trailer be sure to make sure there is no way horse can entangle themselves with the trailer

The first several weekends were really an adventure

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Never had an issue with cold air. I’ve always been very comfortable.

Yes, and horses that go on trail a lot get used to different tasting water if you don’t bring your own. We didn’t at first and our horses did fine but then we were camping every other weekend during the spring/summer so they got used to drinking what was available. Now, we bring our own water tank more for convenience than anything, it’s nice first thing in the morning to be able to offer a drink without having to lead them to a creek or at night before bed. We also highline and I much prefer that than tying to the trailer. Horse can move around easily and able to lay down to snooze. I’m thinking of getting a High Tie so when there aren’t trees to highline to, I can use that.

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I fantasize about doing this with my horse. The horse is an old pro thanks to his previous owner. I am not! Is there a reason high lining is preferable to portable corrals? I always envision the corral secured to the trailer - even off the back end so the horse has a shelter in the rain, while I’m sleeping in the back of my large hatchback in one of those car tents. Of course that’s where the vision ends since I haven’t had an opportunity to test it out.

Good luck with your adventures, OP.

I use an air mattress too, and I agree it does not warm up. My bed consists of all the shavings in the trailer swept up into the front, tarp laid down, foam pads, air mattress, sleeping bag/blankets. And I’m still cold. OTOH, I’m sleeping like Scribbler - in my 2H BP. And yes, it can deflate on you.

One thing I bought for my camping is a propane heater. One of those “Mister Buddy” types. I do not leave it running at night, but in the morning when I’m dressing or whatever - yes.

@Pehsness - high line vs. portable corral – to me, all I see is horses busting out of that corral when they get spooked. Then, there is transporting it. Then, what if you’re in an area where setting it up is just not feasible? Plus, it keeps the horses in a small area where the ground gets pretty torn up. When the motto is “leave no trace” - being able to highline where your horse can move and not be in a small tight area, is preferable. That’s my take on it.


So when I sleep in the back of my trailer, I have a large tarp under a mattress topper. I have a sleeping bag for cold nights with extra blankets. I use the rest of the tarp over me to protect from condensation and keep in the warmth. A space blanket is helpful as well. I like the mattress topper alone, I don’t care for the air mattress at all.

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I camped in the horse compartment of my horse trailer one year. Tarp, air mattress and foam topper. I know someone else that camped in their trailer when it was colder and they ran to Walmart after the first night and grabbed a silver reflective blanket for under the air mattress. I don’t think they were using a foam topper. If you are going from trailer to communal bathrooms and might go in the middle of the night slip on shoes or flip flops for the walk up are nice.


Just insulating the roof of a GN will help greatly in the comfort department. Hot or cold. Rigid foam board between the roof ribs, covered with vinyl shower wall has worked well for us. Used stainless screws into the ribs because they will conduct the cold into your cozy, warm, moist area. Then condensing water on the screw heads. I did the roof this way since any roof leaks (an eventual happening) doesn’t permanently damage the roof.