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Trailer Awning vs Canopy for shade at shows

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  • Trailer Awning vs Canopy for shade at shows

    As someone who's already had skin cancer surgery before age 30, and an older show horse, shade is super important to me! I've found at the last 2 shows I went to there was no natural shade and it was really tough. I can wear a hat but I felt terrible having my horse tied to the trailer roasting.

    I was thinking of looking into having an awning installed on my trailer (Essex 2 horse with a dressing room) but I got some mixed reviews on facebook. Many people said that they are too flimsy and if there's any wind will flap and possibly break. A few people recommended getting a pop up canopy but I'm not sure which ones are the best.

    I want something easy to set up, tall (my horse is 17.3) and stable.

    Any suggestions? - Lets build your dream barn

  • #2
    I don't have any experience with trailer awnings, but I don't think I would want to put a pop-up canopy over a horse! Anything that is portable may not be tall enough or stable enough for your horse. We use them for the "tack room" at pony club rallies. They do come with little stakes, but they often blow over or one side caves in if it's windy. Before that, they get pretty flappy. Most horses would be concerned.


    • #3
      Would it work to trade to a little bigger trailer with lots of ventilation options, that has room to keep a horse in there and out of the sun?
      Then you can keep horse and yourself out of the sun in the trailer itself, feed, water, groom and saddle in there, etc.

      I read that some 2-1 trailers are set up like that?

      The shorter RV awnings that roll against the side ought to work for what you need.
      Especially if you can park where that side is in the East, so much less sun during the day.
      If it gets very windy, roll it back up and do without.


      • #4
        eventually I will get an awning but by the time I finished designing my dream trailer, the electric awning $$ put me in sticker shock so I decided to wait a few years on that one. Since then I've decided that I can probably live without the electric part. But for now I purchased a pop up awning and I really can do it all by myself in a few minutes (the first one I tried, not so much, but thankfully it was on a super duper cheap closeout sale).

        But NO WAY could you safely put a horse under it, especially 17'3, I can't think of any pop up that would be safe for that purpose. But you could get a marine battery (or two) set up with a plug in attachment and bring along a fan and let him stand in the trailer. with the windows, doors and ramp open and a real fan (not those useless trailer fans), that would probably be cooler than under an awning.

        If you do get a pop up just buy the sand bags that are used to hold them down along with it!

        This is the super easy one I purchased:

        CROWN SHADES Patented 11ft. x 11ft. Slant Leg One Push Up Clia Instant Folding Canopy with Wheeled Bag, White
        by One Touch Shade
        Learn more:
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


        • #5
          As long as there is no significant wind either one can work. But any sort of breeze means trouble when you've got lots of "sail area."

          For several years we had an awning on our 4 horse with a "weekender" LQ. It was fully manual and it got damaged EVERY year we went to KS, OK, or NE. The wind blows a LOT in those places. I ultimately sold it and had our local shop pull it and the new buyer hired them to install it. On our last two trips to OK in September I've watched the destruction of five of the "pop up" canopies in thunderstorms (one was mine).

          If I were to do it again I'd look at a "shade sail." It would look like this:

          Attach one side to the trailer and use some tall tent polls set in the ground and anchored for the other side. At the outside you'd have a max of $100 or so invested and if the wind damaged it you'd have a chance to repair it. A boy scout or a boatswain's mate could show you how to rig it for safe use!

          Sadly there is no cheap and easy solution to this problem.


          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


          • #6
            Our previous trailer had a manual awning. As long as some planning was done before parking, it was great. The down side, expensive to maintain (bent and torn). Nice for the horses, not so great for people. We always seem to want people shade elsewhere, and haul a pop up for that purpose. LOL, want to make friends on a hot day? Just offer to share your shade. When wind is too great, we just don't use it.

            Our current trailer is tall, bright and inviting. Does not trap heat and never seems any hotter than standing under an awning would be. I just open it up as much as possible and everyone hangs out, happily munching hay. I have not needed it yet, but this thread will change my practise. We have a small generator. When the forecast is very hot weather I need to start carting it, and a fan.


            • #7
              I sort of answered you on FB but...
              I vote for canopy (my trailer does have an awning but it's on the people side). I camp a lot at endurance rides so my horses are hi-tied to the trailer for overnights. The canopy I have is mainly for the vet check area but works for next to the trailer too. First it's super heavy, weighing a good 75-80 lbs not a flimsy walmart one. Also the legs can staked into the ground with the flat tent stakes so it wouldn't matter if a horse stepped on them. I also can secure it to the trailer with zip ties. If the weather starts to pick up too much, the canopy comes down. Before I had the canopy, I used to take a big piece of greenhouse shade cloth with me and stretch it between my trailer and a friend's trailer to make a big shaded area. It's designed not to blow with the wind so it worked quite well
              "Traditions are basically just peer pressure from dead people"


              • #8
                I have had three previous trailers and a fifth wheel camper, with manual awnings that we very rarely, if ever used, because they were such a PIA to operate and it seemed you had to have at least two people to set them up.

                I downsized my trailer from a 13’ shortwall to a 6’ shortwall in 2018, and the new trailer did not have an awning. On two camping trips last year we had rain and ended up sitting under the gooseneck for shelter while outdoors. We decided over the winter that an electric awning would be a priority this year. We figured an 18’ awning more than tripled the amount of usable space we have.

                We spent last week camping, and even my husband raved about the electric awning. We did not leave it open overnight or if there was no one at the campsite, but opening and closing it is just pushing a button. The electric awning is well worth every penny!

                That being said, even if you go with a pop up canopy, you should still be aware of weather, and that it may need to come down if the wind picks up or you get substantial rain.
                "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                • #9
                  If you do get a pop up canopy keep a few pool noodles around. You can use them in the corners to keep water from pooling and collapsing the tent

                  Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.