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Old 04-25-2002, 09:58 AM   #1
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Pets in the motorhome

Edie -

I am specifically addressing this to you since you travel in your motorhome with a dog as big as mine (or used to?) - where does your dog stay while the motorhome is moving - in a crate (there is no room for a crate as large as I need, let alone a crate that is as large as I need!)?

What do you do with the dog while you leave the campsite and cannot take him with you? Do you leave him inside the motorhome with the a/c running off hook-ups/generator?

Finally, have you encountered any restrictions and/or difficulty while traveling with your dog and has it stopped you from thoroughly enjoying this lifestyle?

Thanks for your feedback!

-Emily
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Old 04-25-2002, 11:13 AM   #2
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You didn't address this to me, but, we have been traveling with our dog who is smaller, 14 lbs or so. We always check the park requirements before planning/arriving there, as some require pet vaccination certification, shorter leashes, or no pets at all. Also of course they require good pet owner "manners" when there.
So far it has all been smooth, with tying him out when we are around, and putting him in the coach with air on if necessary- or at least fan, and leaving him that way for a few hours at a time. My challenge will come this summer when it is hotter, and we might have to leave for longer than a few hours in some instances. I hope to work those details out as the time approaches.
Traveling on the road he is free to roam, and we stop occasionally at a rest area as needed. I find our dog loves the motorhome, and jumps in ready to go whenever I am out working on it.( which is often- its an obsessive hobby)
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Old 04-25-2002, 12:39 PM   #3
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How about our feline friends? Anybody travel with a cat? We have an indoor cat that we are starting to leash train in hopes that she can join us on our travels...any advice?

Shari
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Old 04-25-2002, 02:20 PM   #4
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Crates vs. Free Run

Hi Emily,

You asked several questions. I will answer each with a different post. The responses are fairly long, and some members may not want or need all the info in each post.

We don’t have any Great Danes right now. We had to have Caesar put to sleep the Friday before the April MH rally. His bone cancer was in a rear knee, so he couldn’t even get in and out of the MH. We only had the MH a few weeks before he died. Before that, we had Airstream trailers. I will be happy to share about traveling with animals in our trailers.

We had Pomeranians when we started traveling with our first trailer. We traveled with them in a crate in the bed of the pick-up, since we had a topper. We would move the crate to the trailer when we reached our destination. Our Poms never embraced good house manners. They’d be fine until the moment you turned your back. So they had to be crated if we weren’t around.

Caesar spent his first weekend with us in that trailer. Even though he was only 10 lbs., we knew we wouldn’t be able to crate him in the trailer as he grew. We gave him free run of the trailer.

As far as driving goes, we had an extended cab pickup at the time. We would lay the rear seat down so it was flat. We then put a crib mattress on the flat (hard) seat, and he would lie on the crib mattress.

At home, Caesar always had free run of our house. He was housebroken within 24 hours of joining our family. So it just followed that we gave him free run of our trailer, too. We never really crated him after he reached about 90 lbs./6 months old. He was not destructive, and would have exploded before eliminating in his “den”. (Which was great, because his den happened to be our home or trailer – wherever we were staying.)

About the time we started fostering Titus, the second Great Dane, we started full timing. We sold our business, our home, and most of our other possessions. We traded the extended cab F150 for a crew cab (four door), dually (truck with wide hips) F350. The Great Danes rode in a dog pile on the back seat of the truck.

Both dogs had free run of the trailer. We never had any problems. Remember, Great Danes are couch potatoes. They just lay around, preferably in someone's lap.

If we had a Great Dane now, I'm sure the dog would travel spread out on the couch. Or on the couch with me while I nap.
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Old 04-25-2002, 02:44 PM   #5
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Leaving the dog(s) behind @ the campsite

We have often left the dogs in the trailer when we left the campsite. We lived up in Wisconsin for seven years, and most of the travel was up in that area. The weather was usually nice enough to leave windows open for the dog(s).

Caesar was trained to use only a whisper bark if he was inside, whether he was in the house or the trailer. He would occasionally bark louder, but would quiet down for anyone using his name and telling him to “hush”.

Rally attendees were always amazed that they could make that huge dog be quiet. All but one, I should say. One man said, “I told him to shut up over and over. He never did shut up.” The problem is that we never used the phrase “shut up.” So of course Caesar didn’t know what the man was saying. I learned to be explicit when telling people how to quiet Caesar if we were gone.

Then we got Titus. He would push out ANY screen. As you can see in the photo of him I posted a while ago, we did finally learn how to contain him. But we couldn’t leave the windows open, or he would push out the screen and wiggle out.

That’s when we started leaving the trailer closed and the A/C on. We would leave the roof vents partially open, in case the A/C died or the power went out.

Finally, we’d always try to leave a special toy when we planned to be gone for very long. Caesar’s favorite was a chew toy made by Booda. It is called a “Velvet”. They make them in bone shapes and flat squares. It’s an edible toy made of cornstarch. It’s not very messy and lasts a long time. They aren’t cheap, but they can help keep the peace.

The most important thing is to be sensitive to those around you. In a dog-loving crowd, you can hardly go wrong. But if you are near people that don’t like dogs, every little courtesy helps.
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:12 PM   #6
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Restrictions...you CAN get around them with permission

“Finally, have you encountered any restrictions and/or difficulty while traveling with your dog and has it stopped you from thoroughly enjoying this lifestyle?”

First let me say that NOTHING could stop me from enjoying this lifestyle. We may only be weekend travelers now, but we will always be the “Turtle People.”

My dear cousin passed away a few years ago. We used to go to their farm in Indiana and park there a few times a year. She always called us the Turtle People, because just like a turtle we took our house with us everywhere we went. And of course we took the dogs, too. The ability to take the dogs along is a big part of RVing for us. And it’s a big part of RVing for many other families, too.

Here is the down side. Not all campgrounds that accept dogs will accept dogs over a certain size. Nobody can explain the logic in that to me, but that’s the way it is. And as you know, not all campgrounds accept dogs or even cats.

Rules can be bent. I needed a campground near my Dad’s house over Christmas. The only one I could find didn’t accept dogs over 40 lbs. After searching for another campground I called them back. They couldn’t even suggest any place within 30 miles that would take us. I asked them to make a deal with me. They would put us at the back of the campground, and we would be discreet with Caesar. I suggested that if they received a single complaint they could ask us to leave and we would, without disagreement and without a refund. It all worked out in the end. Politeness and tenacity do pay off.

I would ask that nobody try to get around the rules without permission from whatever authority may be in charge. It may be easier to get forgiveness that permission from some people you know, but not from strangers. And by breaking rules and flaunting it, it makes it harder on the next people with dogs who come along.

Finally, this seems as good a place to say it as anywhere. ALWAYS pick up after your dog. If you leave your RV with your dog, have a bag in your pocket or tied to the leash.

I was walking my poodle at a Florida rest area on the way to the Mystic 7 rally. The rest area attendant saw my bag and said, “You don’t have to use your bag, we have a person that comes through and cleans up.” I thanked him for the information, and sweetly told him that no responsible pet owner would consider not picking up after their dog.

The worst thing I’ve experience while traveling is taking my dog to relieve itself in the designated area, and having to clean my shoes because I was busy keeping my dog safe from traffic instead of watching where I stepped. I don’t want to step in anything the last dog left behind any more than I imagine the next person wants to step in anything my dog might leave. And it doesn’t hurt to carry an extra bag with you that you can give to someone else who is walking his or her dog and is taken by surprise.
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Old 04-25-2002, 03:24 PM   #7
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Cats

Shari,

Cats are easy. Don't laugh, but Caesar had a pet cat. We obviously fed it and cleaned the litter box. But that cat didn't like anyone but Caesar. We could pick him up, but he would only purr for Caesar.

Toby was a good traveler. He rode on the front seat between us, or curled up in the back seat with Caesar. He never tried to run out of the truck or trailer.

One thing, we did have a tag made for him with our cell phone numbers in case he got away.

It was smooth sailing with the cat, and LOTS of people travel with them. More than you'd ever know.
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Edie...

We would, of course put a tag on Lily's collar/harness...cellphone #'s sound like the way to go. She is way too much a part of our family to risk losing her carelessly. She actually is real good about staying indoors at home and we took her on a road trip last Christmas when we visited my family in AZ without any problems. We actually have taken her out to the trailer while working on it to start getting her used to it & she doesn't seem to mind. We just don't know how she'll do "out in the wild". So we'll see how it goes...

We're leaving for a weekend rally tomorrow, (our first one ) we'll be leaving Lily home for this one...so much commotion for us, let alone her! We figure we'll take her when we just go by ourselves...thanks for your encouragement!

Shari

P.S.
Just in case you want to meet "Miss Lily", she has her own webpage that you can check out @

www.insideout-design.net/lilybug
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:45 PM   #9
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Edie -

THANKS so much for all the valuable info. My dog at six months was over 130 lbs! He is also a "couch potato" and not very destructive, but I am realistic in acknowledging that ANY dog who is bored or anxious may become destructive. I plan on taking him with me and my son when we travel across country this summer (I am taking a month off from work!) for company AND safety reasons (single woman with 10-year-old son). I figure no one in their right mind will want to mess with a 170+ lb mastiff! My husband will meet up with us on the east coast (cape cod) and drive back with us (he cannot take that much time off work).

BTW - my husband doesn't even know I got this MH!!
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:49 PM   #10
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Thanks, too, to Alan!
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Old 04-25-2002, 06:50 PM   #11
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Shari - I actually met Miss Lily a while ago. She seems as precious as can be. I think she has wonderful "fashion sense", too. We used to always tell our smallest Pomeranian to get out of the way or we'd step on her and squash her like a little bug. She eventually answered to Little Bug.

I know you'll enjoy your first rally. Our first rally was almost 10 years ago, and we still talk about it!

Emily - Having a big dog for safety reasons is so reassuring. I always said that anyone who went into my house or trailer would get exactly what he or she deserved, when we had our Great Danes. I know that people give a lot more respect and distance to a woman with a big dog than a woman alone.

The secret to traveling, or even just living with dogs is the same as traveling with kids. Never let them get bored.
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Old 05-07-2002, 01:46 PM   #12
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Re: Pets in the motorhome

We are about to move into our 1981 28' Excella motorhome with our Lesser Sulpher Crested Cockatoo (medium sized Cockatoo) and need advise on cage size and preferred location in the motorhome. Has anyone had experience with a fultiming bird of this size?
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Old 06-13-2002, 04:20 PM   #13
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Well....we now have a camping kitty! Lily survived her first camp-out last weekend and she actually seemed to enjoy it! She was a trooper and loved to just hang out in the doorway, play guard cat and watch over her trailer!

Shari
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:30 AM   #14
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Here kitty-kitty-kitty

This is a no s***er, Last summer we camped in Watkins Mill state park in Mo. and we were told by the ranger to look out for and avoid the cats, apparently stupid humans bring their cats camping with them and let them loose I guess thinking they will return, duh! and they leave without their cats and they have kittens, and they have kittens, and they... So there are all these cats there at least 100 by my guess. Sooo the morning were getting ready to leave my wife takes the truck to town to do some shopping and look around and there is this cat hanging around the camp site with just me there and wont take a hint to leave, later my wife returns we pack up, hookup and head home and that one cat just sitting there very strange. I backed the trailer into the driveway before parking it in the back, I got out and my wife was already out after guiding me back and we heard a meow, we looked at eachother and thought oh no I ran over a cat, after looking under the truck and trailer- no cat, and we hear another meow and after some hard looking under the truck we hear more meows and it turns out to be a kitten sitting inside the spare tire under the rearend of the truck. Well that explains the cat hanging around the campsite.....mommy and the kitten was her baby who took a ride into town and back and then hitched home with us, what a ride she took. We finally coaxed the kitten out and it wasnt very old at all and after a few weeks found a home for it on a farm in Kansas and of course my daughter cried the whole time to which I said why are you crying we have three dogs!

John
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