Let’s talk about ventilation. Ventilation is a vital component of any hauler, RV, trailer, or other towable/recreational vehicle. Many concerns crop up when you talk about the ventilation of your vehicles and trailers. From an enclosed environment with stagnant and humid air that could range from uncomfortable, to possibly toxic and dangerous, to internal climates that could damage surfaces and harm your animals. Knowing how to vent your environments properly, and what would work best for your trailer is imperative as an owner. First, you need a primer on the different types of trailers available:
1. Bumper Pulls (“Tag Alongs”) – These are one of the more standard forms of horse trailers that are on the market. They don’t typically run as large as some of the other forms of trailers. They can have an open ventilation profile or closed wall set-up with trailer windows. They attach via hitch to your truck’s frame and can haul up to four horses. While they are smaller and easier to maneuver when attaching to the hitch, they catch wind more easily than other trailers and are much more sensitive to the gyrations of the horses. As these are a tighter environment than other haulers, if they are not an open ventilation concept, they are in dire need of proper windows for ventilation so that the comfort, and health, of your horses, isn’t adversely affected.
2. Stock Trailers (“Open Air”) – These are open concept trailers. They have no partitions or stalls to separate the animals. These are the best examples of well-ventilated trailers available to horse owners. The bright and open area makes it easier to haul horses but could be problematic if the vents or ceiling are too low for your equines. These trailers are primarily used for hauling cattle but will work well for horses if the conditions are correct. The big issue with these open trailers and your livestock is that if the conditions outside are adverse, it could create an unhealthy environment as you travel down the road. If you live in a region where the weather fluctuates from time to time, owning a horse trailer with windows is the way to go so you can control the flow of air and outside conditions.
3. Goosenecks – These are the trailers that are used by many owners who spend a lot of time hauling their equine friends around. These are a heavier type of trailer that requires a more massive truck, that has an installed in-bed hitch, to attach to the trailer. These have much more natural sway control because of the position of the hitch connection, but they require (if they are not open air concept) a more extensive installation of horse trailer windows to allow for ventilation over a broader swath of real estate.
4. Straight Load – A straight load trailer is used to haul horses down the road, facing forward. It is favored among owners for the comfort of their equines. It’s good for compensating for acceleration (for the horses) when the vehicle is starting or stopping. It is essential in this type of trailer to have adjustable windows to help mitigate the flow of air into the hauling area.
5. Slants – This is one of the full trailers available to owners. They allow for more room for the horses as well as additional storage capacity for the owners. There are the two types of these trailers; the standard slant and reverse slant. It depends on how you, the owner, prefer to haul your horses. This long-bodied trailer requires multiple windows to keep the numerous stalls cool as you travel.
If you are a current owner or a first-time player, you now have an idea of the types of trailers that are out there. Whether a steel body or aluminum, if you find that your hauler fits one of these categories, then you need to make some decisions about how to best ventilate your trailer. With the high-quality horse trailer windows from RecPro, you can add that special touch to your towable that will give your passengers comfort and your trailer a great look. Though, it’s not just about the comfort of your horses. Ventilation is about their health. Remember, a horse that gets overheated can sweat too much, suffer the effects of dehydration, and may incur injuries because of their stressed system.
So, what goes into the construction of a horse trailer window? Why are they different from the standard windows that you might find in, say, your fifth-wheel or even a concession trailer? The first thing you have to consider is that you have animals in the trailer that can weigh anywhere from 840 lbs. to 2,200 lbs. With a shoulder height of around six feet, you’re looking at a lot of force contained in one animal. This means the windows that you have in your trailer need to be more than just something that separates the passengers from the elements outside. They also have to be able to separate the passengers from the outside world as well.
Our windows start with aluminum bars. Horses (while some can be smart creatures) are still animals, nonetheless. They can be startled, move suddenly because of discomfort, and swing their bodies erratically due to the movements of the trailers. If you had a standard window in your trailer, there is a good chance that it wouldn’t last the first trip and it wouldn’t be any fault of the animal(s). Tied up in the trailer they have to deal with the ebb and flow of the ride and if they catch a bump (especially in a bumper pull (tag along) trailer, they’re going to go where the sway takes them. If it’s into the window, you won’t have an intact window anymore unless you have a sturdy set of bars between the horse and the glass.
The bars aren’t just about protecting the glass from accidental stumbles into the wall. If you are ventilating your trailer, then you may have horses that want to get closer to the fresh air. Their powerful necks and large heads are sure to poke through delicate (in this case) screens that stand in the way of the horse getting its nose outside. The bars keep your screens (which you need to help keep insects out of your trailer) intact. They also serve another purpose that most owners know is a problem.
Chewing. Your curious equines like to chew. The paint or rubber on the outside (trim) of the windows makes an attractive target for your horses to chew. If you want to keep your horses from chewing where they shouldn’t, ingesting things that might hurt them, and destroying your brand-new horse trailer windows, then you’ll want the added protection that these sturdy aluminum bars offer. With no protruding surfaces to latch on to, this window (and its protective bars)
Another nice feature of having these particular bars on your window, in your trailer, is that even though they are highly sturdy, they are a hollow aluminum construction. This is important because heavier solid bars of steel (or aluminum) would add weight to the trailer. People that live in the equestrian world (especially owners that spend a lot of time on the road) know how important it is to mitigate the weight profile of your trailers and trucks. Each pound of weight that you pile on to your overall total can take a chunk out of your gas mileage capabilities. So, why not install a window that is just as sturdy as the more massive constructed pieces, but at half the weight?
These windows are more than just security for the animals. They also protect them from prying eyes and people trying to reach in and pet or grab at them. This keeps the animals safe and keeps you from a liability issue that might arise. But, they also offer a tinted glass that keeps the animals protected from encroaching stares (which keeping their anxiety down at shows and other large crowd events are very important) and sunlight that might be bothersome to the animals. UV protection and shading are both excellent reasons to add this window to your trailer.
Our windows are constructed for safety, longevity, and ease of use by the consumer. Knowing the environments, they experience, the designers of these windows opted for heavier materials with stronger tolerances. The bars aren’t the only part of this window that can take a beating. The connectors that make this a functional drop-down piece are also heavy-duty.
Hinge pins. The pivotal pivot points see a lot of action over the years of use with your trailer. Not only do they understand the constant forces from opening and closing when your trailer is in use, but they are what keeps your windows in place while you’re bouncing down the road. Compared to competitors that use a 1/4" pin for their windows, our manufacturer uses a 1/2" graphite pin. Not only is the barrel of the pin substantially more substantial, which means it can take more weight and abuse, but the pins are also made out of graphite. Graphite is engineered to last longer, absorb more shock, and have a higher resistance to inclement conditions much greater than that of steel or aluminum.
Less up front, but still relevant in the way of problems that need to be addressed in the world of horse trailer windows is the location of the opening latches. Years ago when the manufacturing of these windows began (dropdowns), apparently all horse owners average height was around 7’ 2”. At least the way these windows were (and some still are) constructed would make one believe that statement. Many owners have complained for years that latches at the top of the windows, with only outside access, made opening their windows a dangerous endeavor. It would be a regular occurrence to see people standing precariously on top of a bucket by their horse trailers over-extending themselves trying to reach those top latches. This is just bad design.
As a solution to this issue, RecPro opted to provide owners with a horse trailer window that was a dropdown with a slider. This means that when you want to open this window, you can do it in stages. The slider will allow you to open the window horizontally so that you can provide fresh air for your passengers. Then, if it needs to be opened for more air or access, then instead of a difficult to reach top latch available on most secondary windows, the lock is located at the center of the window. So, if you install a RecPro horse trailer window, you will have an ergonomic answer to a decades-old problem with horse trailer windows.
So, when you’re looking to improve your horse trailer, the windows, and the comfort of your equine passengers, horse trailer accessories from RecPro are the answer to your problem.