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I travel in my RV Full time around the country with my 3 dogs. I couldn’t imagine life with out my little fur-buddies. I have Sadie, the baby at 6 yrs old, a 165 pound great dane. Then there is Ella, the neurotic senior miniature schnauzer who barks at her own shadow. And, finally, but very cherished, Tinkerbell, the “can’t believe she’s still alive years old” Westie. She can’t see, can’t hear, but still loves to sit outdoors and take in nature. When she is indoors, I park her either in front of the screen door or an open window where she can believe she’s outside with the sun on her face and the breeze through her fur. I ended up getting a screen door protector grill because Sadie the Dane likes to shove her face through the screen!
Traveling with one dog can be a challenge and even more so with 3, but my human children are grown and now my fur-babies are my constant companions. Because it’s such a small living space, dog odors can be an issue. I spritz the girls with a Pet Deodorizer on occasion and use Doggy Dry Shampoo between regular baths. Luckily I have an outdoor shower nozzle on the rig, so bathing can be done outside on nice days. The littles fit perfectly into a collapsible tub that I can stow away and use for other things, like laundry, as well. Multi purpose items are a must with limited storage space. Ella tends to be allergic to everything and ends up with skin issues if her hair gets too long, so I use a special Shampoo and keep clippers on hand to trim her up if I can’t get into a regular groomer. Even though I was a very successful hair stylist for humans, by dog grooming skills are really lacking and poor Ella shys in embarrassment after a Mommy grooming session!
As I go down the road, I usually secure the two “littles” in their Car Seat in the passenger seat. This boosts them up where they can see out and is big enough and comfortable for them to doze, which is what they do mostly. Sadie, the Dane, is another story. She gets a bit uptight during travel. I put her bed between the two front seats and she lays on that as we travel where she can be near me and I can reassure her with a gentle pat after an exceptionally rough bump or turn.
For quick rest stops I always have their leashes handy hanging on a hook by the door and a roll of poopy picky upy bags. Unfortunately, they all walk and poop at different paces, so I usually just take one at a time. It’s a process… a labor of love, if you will. I keep water available for them in a no spill doggy bowl that has been a game changer!
At the campground, if there is room, I put up my portable fold away doggy playpen fence so that they can have some outdoor space. When not in use, it fits perfectly in the the storage area under my RV. I always put a washable outdoor rug on half of their outdoor space along with their beds. I found this is a necessity because in dryer climates I found that if they were laying on the bare ground, their fur would get embedded with these little burs that were horrible to get out! The other half of the space I leave bare so that they will have a place to do their business, if needed. They LOVE being outside, but I keep a close eye on them by setting up my computer workstation at the campsite pik nik table next to them. This way I can cob-bosh any barking before it gets out of hand. Not to mention, they are happier when they can see me at all times.
The entire point of full time RV travel is to get out and see things and live a more active life style. This includes walking the dogs several times per day. Sadie and Ella are pretty easy. They are both still very mobile. They each get a walk on the leash to sniff and enjoy the journey. Tinkerbell is crippled now with arthritis, and though she can walk, she can’t walk far, so she gets a special treatment. I don’t want her experience to be limited to within a few feet of the RV, so I transport her to a new place each afternoon to enjoy. I either put her in my bicycle basket and we ride to a new location (she loves that!) or I put her in her Doggy Back Pack and I hike her to a new location where I can put her down and let her sniff around a bit and experience something new.
Many times, I’ll load all three of them up into my jeep and we will just go for a ride. All I have to say is “lets go for ride” and they all, even Tinkerbell, do a happy dance! It really is their most favorite thing to do. The two littles get the front passenger seat where I can use the same Car Seat that I use in the RV, and I fold down the back seat to give Sadie the
Dane all the space she needs in the back. I have a couple of thick pads I put down for her comfort, roll down all the windows and they are all in heaven. I keep a collapsible doggy bowl and water with me to make sure they stay hydrated!
Having 3 dogs, one of which is a Great Dane, I go through a lot of food. I store it in the storage area under the RV in a Sealed Container that I can scoop from. This keeps the critters out of it. I’m happy when we have good weather and the dogs can have their meals outside in their playpen, but sometimes, when it’s wet out, we all hunker down inside and eat together!
If there are times that I need to leave my fur-babies alone in the RV I monitor them with my ring stick camera and a temperature monitoring device. They both work on apps on my phone and neither of these items require a subscription like others I’ve found, so they work perfectly for me. I try not to leave them for very long and I try to stay relatively close (within 30 min) of the RV. If I have RV neighbors, sometimes I’ll let them know that I will be gone, that I am monitoring the dogs via the camera, and I’ll offer them my phone number in case something happens that I’m not aware of and need to hustle back. I’ve found that other RV people are super friendly and helpful.
In the evenings, sometimes we’ll all cuddle up on the couch that I have covered with a great couch protector that comes in a variety of colors. I have a couple on hand so that I can wash one and have one I’m using. It not only protects the RV furniture from the dogs, but it’s soft and cozy as well. Side note: You’ll find that lint rollers and dog hair remover tools are your friend! The hair remover tool works great on the carpet in your car and head liners.
At night we all sleep together. I’m blessed with a KING size bed that fits us all comfortably. It means for more washing of the bedding, but again, it’s a labor of love. After all, they are family 😊
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THANK YOU! and Happy Travels!