Imagine arriving at an idyllic campsite in your RV, saddling your favorite equine companion, and riding off into the sunset. This situation may seem overly utopian, but equestrian campers may find it a reality.
Whether you’re a full-fledged rodeo competitor or a trail-riding beginner, you shouuld give it a try. An equestrian RV trip may be just what you need to explore new places and get to know your horse.
Finding an equestrian trailer
There are several options as far as equine transportation for RVs. When choosing a vehicle or trailer, consider how many horses you plan to bring. It’s also important to consider the number of people.
Motorhome with horse compartment: Motorhomes with horse stalls are by far the most luxurious vehicles for equestrian camping. Reaching lengths up to 45 feet, RVs like Equine Motorcoach and Epicruiser Superspec Luxury Horsebox include full living spaces and separate horse chambers with up to four stalls. Given their size, you may not want to buy one of these RVs unless you plan on full-timing.
Horse trailer with living quarters: Another approach to equestrian RVing is to travel in a horse trailer with living quarters. This allows you to disconnect your tow vehicle if needed.
Although most trailers allow very little space to move around, Featherlite’s Country Estate Ranch Trailer and the Lonestar Custom Horse Hauler offer plenty of space and homey luxury. However, considering their 53-foot length, you should be prepared for a semi truck-like driving experience.
Thor Industries offers a more practical 21-foot trailer with two horse stalls for easier maneuverability.
Toy hauler with horse stall: If you aren’t ready to purchase a new trailer, Equine Equipped Inc. offers a solution. The Stable Boy® Kit allows you to convert any toy hauler or fifth wheel with a garage into a horse trailer. Simply install the lightweight stalls, padding, and mats into the back of your trailer to safely transport 1-2 horses.
Preparing for a trip
Before embarking on your equestrian excursion, make sure your horse is prepared. It is very helpful to have a well-trained horse. However, even horses with trail riding experience can get jumpy when spending the night in a new place.
You may want to practice “camping” in a friend’s pasture so that your horse can adapt. Shoe your horse a week before trail riding, and make sure all vaccinations are up to date.
Call your campsite ahead of time, as some RV parks require weed-free feed. If you need to change your horse’s feed, you should slowly replace it at home over several days. Make sure you bring enough water (20 gallons a day per horse) if there is no water access.
When packing your horse trailer, be prepared for all circumstances. Although you don’t need to bring every piece of equipment you own, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You should definitely pack feed/water troughs, hay nets, rope, a muck bucket and fork, a blanket, and riding gear. It can also be helpful to carry a small electric fence. Keep all paperwork, registration, proof of ownership, and health records with you. If you are prepared for the worst, there’s a good chance your trip will go smoothly.
Choosing a location
There many RV parks in the United States that allow equestrian camping and some offer full RV hookups as well. When camping in smaller parks, you should reserve a campsite.
In addition to the campgrounds listed, many U.S. National Parks offer equestrian camping.
- Blake Ranch: Located in Arizona near Route 66, Blake Ranch offers stalls, corrals, and riding areas for equestrian campers.
- Tryon International Equestrian Center: North Carolina’s Tryon Equestrian Center offers full RV hookups. It also allows access to a recreation center and stabling, as well as hosting certain equestrian competitions.
- Mullet Hall Equestrian Center: Mullet Hall Equestrian Center in South Carolina is ideal for horses. It allows access to trails, pastures, stalls with water and electricity, and horse washing stations. It also hosts events throughout the year.
- Farr Park Campground & Horse Activity Center: Located near the Great River Road in Louisiana, Farr Park Campground offers horse boarding and full hookups. Pastures and trails are also available for horseback riding.
- Oak Mountain State Park Equestrian Camping: With 12 equestrian sites, Oak Mountain State Park is one of Alabama’s best campgrounds. Stable boarding is available at an extra cost.
- Bell Cow Lake & Equestrian Campground: Located in Oklahoma, Bell Cow Lake offers full RV hookups and picket poles for horses. Riders can easily access its lakeside trails.
- Mozingo Lake Park: Missouri’s Mozingo Lake Park contains 13 equestrian RV sites that can be reserved. It also allows access to trails, picket posts, and picnic areas.
- Sheyenne Oaks: Sheyenne Oaks in North Dakota gives campers access to manure dumps and complimentary corrals. You can also purchase hay or manure forks if you choose.
- Lake Arrowhead State Park: Lake Arrowhead State Park in Texas is an ideal camping spot. It features four equestrian RV campgrounds with hookups. Reserve a site ahead of time and enjoy 5 miles of horse trails.
- Kiva RV Park & Horse Motel: New Mexico’s Kiva RV Park offers RV sites with full hookups. Horse boarding is available for $20 a day per horse. Campers can enjoy a range of trails through New Mexico.
- Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort: Horse boarding, corrals, and full RV hookups are available at California’s Pacific Dunes Ranch RV Resort. The park also offers guided trail rides along the beach.
- Whistle Stop RV Resort: Whistle Stop RV Resort in Texas offers campsites with full hookups. It features spacious pastures, as well as covered corral rentals and stalls. You can also rent an RV on site if your horse trailer doesn’t have living quarters.
- Alafia River State Park: At Florida’s Alafia River State Park, campers have access to equestrian campsites with full hookups. A 12-stall horse barn is included free of charge.
- Ross Prairie Campground: The Ross Prairie Campground in Florida includes 14 equestrian sites with tie posts. A horse washing area is available after days on the trail. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
Equestrian RV camping is an experience like no other. Though it takes some planning and preparation, you won’t regret it. Plan a trip with your equine companions this summer!