Getting Started with Living Quarters Horse Trailer

Don’t want to read? Here’s my amazon market place that has all my recommended products for LQ horse trailers.

After I moved to Connecticut, I found myself 2-4 hours from the closest cow horse shows in upstate New York, making me consider either hauling with my bumper pull and staying at a motel, or moving up to a living quarters trailer. During a COVID quarantine period, my trailer search hit high gear and I found the perfect fit. It was a used 2 horse sundowner with an 8 foot short wall , a mini fridge, and a full bathroom. It was tiny (as far as LQ trailers go), but it was perfect. So I sold my bumper pull and upgraded.

Despite being excited, I found myself totally at a loss on LQ basics. I had no experience maintaining an RV…. I was so anxious about keeping this large investment properly maintained. Well with one year under my belt, I’m happy to share what I learned and the products that I feel are essential.

Maintaining an LQ battery/batteries

If you’re not consistently using a car battery, it will go dead. This is the same for horse trailer batteries. It’s especially important if you have a battery powered trailer jack.

A lot of people just plug their trailers into a normal house outlet (outdoors) and this will maintain the batteries. If you have access to an outlet where your trailer is parked, this is the best option. You’ll need to get an appropriate adapter (typically 30A tralier to 15A house, if you don’t know what amperage your trailer is, scroll down to the next section). The male end will need to be the 15A and the female end will need to be whatever your trailer is. Below is a 30A to 15A adapter, click the picture to see the product on Amazon.

If you’re like me, your trailer is parked far away from any outlet. After a lot of research, I found the “Battery Tender” solar panel trickle charger (link on the pic below). It’s a little pricey but it’s cheaper than having to replace batteries all the time. A quick install of the plug to the batteries and you can safely plug and unplug your solar panel as needed. You can have a professional mount the panel to the top of your trailer, if you have a steel trailer you can use magnets on the roof, or you can be like me and just lay the panel on the ground where it’s safe and gets plenty of sun.

NOTE: This will NOT support your trailer if you’re actively camping. You’ll need a different system for that. This is only for battery maintenance when not being used.

I also got this handy extension cord for it. It’s nice to have the ability to put it wherever I need it.

NOTE: If your trailer is parked but hooked up to your truck, unplug your trailer lights from your vehicle. If you don’t, your trailer will drain your vehicle battery trying to maintain itself.

Trailer Power

Needed knowledge #1, what is your trailer plug? Don’t know? Just look at the male end of the plug and look at the pattern of the metal prongs, most RV/LQs are either 30 or 50 amp. Mine is a 30 Amp, so all my links are for 30A.

This is the one that caused me the most angst. I researched all the power adapters I could need and was so excited to get to use them. My boyfriend and I roll into the horse show at 9pm, unload the horse, then go try and figure out how to hookup to the RV hookup stations. I was ready! Low and behold, the RV hookup boxes didn’t fit my power cord or the ANY of the adapters that I had. We were so stressed at 10pm. So, from that experience I recommend an extender…. it’s just an adapter that allows your power cord more space. Since my trailer is a 30Amp (30A), the 30A to 30A adapter works perfectly, click the pic below to order.

I also recommend having the 30A to 15A adapter that plugs into a normal house outlet. This is just handy to have in case you have limited hook up ability. Keep in mind, running off of a house outlet is extremely limiting. You can only run one or two things at once, or you’ll flip a breaker. Some power is better than none so it’s definitely a good adapter to have. The amazon link is in the picture below.

Let’s talk dirty…

LQs with plumbing have gray and black water tanks. Black for sewage, gray for non-sewage dirty water (from sink and shower). Black tank treatment is critical for proper sanitation and for your mental sanity. There are a lot of brands of treatments out there, my absolute favorite is the Happy Campers brand (link in pic below). This treatment doesn’t smell, which is amazing! A lot of other brands have a fragrance that floods your trailer and is too overwhelming in a trailer. So not having a smell is awesome. Everytime I hookup my trailer to use it, I immediately go add a scoop of Happy Campers to the toilet, flush, then forget. It is really a great product.

Just as important as black tank treatment, you NEED RV toilet paper. This TP is specifically designed to be broken down by your blackwater treatment product. It’s thin and flimsy but worth the sacrifice. I found a decent brand here that seems to be working and isn’t too flimsy.

If your campground has sewage pipes at the individual hookup sites, I recommend NOT hooking up to it. I learned that if these LQs are hooked directly to a sewage line/tank, then you will get a “poo mountain”. The RV toilets don’t have enough flushing force to force solids down to the sewage line. So when solids go down, they get stuck to the bottom of the tank while the liquid gets drained to the sewage tank.

Instead, keep the tank closed. With liquid staying in the tank, the black water tank treatment has a chance to break down solids. Then, when you go to dump your black water tank, the built up liquid/water can flush out the broken down solids.

Another great tip I learned: when you go to dump your tanks, dump the black water tank first and let it get as empty as it can get, then dump your grey water tank. The grey water can flush out any nastiness in your sewage tube and clean it up a little bit before you have to put it back.

Just Plumbing…

I went down a water hose rabbit hole and found out there are special water hoses for drinking water in RVs. The products the hose is made out of are a little bit different to avoid any adverse health affects or bad tasting water. Here is the one I use and have been happy with it.

Apparently, the water pressure coming from the RV hookups can do a lot of damage to your plumbing. The water pressure at these camp spots can fluctuate dramatically when people hookup or unhook or the pressure just may be too much. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth the risk. I put a water pressure regulator on my hose. So the regulator screws directly into the RV spot water spigot and the hose attaches to the regulator. At first, I was worried about not having enough shower pressure, but really, I didn’t have a problem with my shower pressure. So win win, I get good shower pressure and my plumbing is safe.

There are a ton of regulators available. 40-50 psi is recommended for RVs. You can get fancy regulators that have a pressure gauge. But honestly, you don’t need to pay the extra money for a fancy one. I just got this simple one, that you can’t adjust the regulation. it is permanently set for 40-50 psi and I really appreciate its simplicity. No dealing with getting the psi just right, you just screw it in and go. Link in the pic below.

So far, that is all I have for LQ trailer essentials. I will follow up with some non-essentials (but nice to have) and trailer safety necessities posts, so keep a look out.

NOTE: I am an amazon affiliate and receive commissions from sales. This does NOT increase the price of items. It’s just a nice way for me to earn some money at no cost to you, that way I can support this blog without those annoying pop up ads. All of these products I use, love, and recommend.


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