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Old 06-29-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
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Power Loss & Pets Inside?

We like to travel with our 2 dogs ... but I'm concerned about taking them with us with these hot summer temperatures (100 degrees +). Herein lies my concerns:

1. I would think there is high risk of power failure in campgrounds and RV parks during the summer when the park is at full capacity. Is this a common occurence?

2. We like to take occassional day trips away from the Airstream and sometimes leave our dogs in the comfort of air conditioning. But if there was an extended power failure they could easily die inside from the extreme temps.


I thought about leaving the air conditioner running, running the 12 volt fan to circulate air (I assume it would continue to run off of the battery power in the event of loss of city power), and opening the roof vents as a "backup" solution in the event of loss of power whiler we're away from the Airstrem. But opening the roof vents is going to cause the Airstream to heat up and makes running the air conditioner useless.

Anyone else have any suggestions on how you trie to plan for something like this and avoid having your dogs suffer from a power failure in your absence?
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:23 PM   #2
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A laptop connected to aircard or other internet connection with weather station hardware?.. the temp sensor. You could monitor it on a smart phone.

Perhaps there is a simpler way such as a smart phone enabled with a temp sensor.. Or some kind of system dedicated to that purpose. Perhaps something like this is part of a home security system with freeze or overtemp warnings. Failure of power to the system would be a warning in itself.

I'd like to know more about this myself...
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
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Short trips?

We spent a few days at Port Aransas, 98 degrees daily. we left the dog in the air conditioned AS a couple of times but never for more than an hour because I had the same concerns.

I like the concept of smart phone monitoring but that's more advanced tech wise than I am at the moment.

Only other suggestion I would have is to skip summer camping with the dogs and concentrate on the seasons where it wouldnt be an issue if the ac stops
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:20 PM   #4
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I have the same issue with my little one (dog). But, I found a neat way to help me monitor the situation. And, it only costs $129. Here's the link: Temperature@lert - Temperature Sensor USB - $129 USB Temperature Sensor With Email Alarms
I'm also looking into a home (a.k.a. Airstream) monitoring system. Betcha it's a little more pricey!
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:22 PM   #5
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You probably answered your own question in point number two. If you can not take your pets with you, then perhaps your best alternative is to find a place to board them for the day. Leaving animals locked up alone in a trailer is cruel and and inconsiderate of fellow campers when the dogs bark or whine all day.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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I have the same issue with my little one (dog). But, I found a neat way to help me monitor the situation. And, it only costs $129. Here's the link: Temperature@lert - Temperature Sensor USB - $129 USB Temperature Sensor With Email Alarms
I'm also looking into a home (a.k.a. Airstream) monitoring system. Betcha it's a little more pricey!
That sounds great. Since most basic txt phones can also receive email as a text you're basically set with a laptop/internet connection and cell phone. Because the laptop would run on battery after a power failure, it should give a good handle on the increasing temps.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:37 PM   #7
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WE travel with our 3 dogs and utilized a little known option from Fantastic Vent. The top fo the line vent with the rain sensor has a setting that has a temperature sensitive setting. With double vents installed, we have one fan inhaling and the other exhaling at top speed they move a lot of air. When dry camping, of course no A/C, but with these Fantastic Vents, even the adults are comforable in the heat, so we know the dogs are OK. Newer trailers are better protecting from heat we found out. In 2006, we had to care-take a Unit members 2005 34 footer containing 2 cats the emergency didn't allow the owner to take along by plane. So, monitoring the kitties while travelling in 100 plus degree weather from the 2006 International, even in that heat by afternoon, the trailer closed up of course was a good 20 degrees cooler.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:22 AM   #8
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Frank&Mike... Why not conduct an experiment on a hot day in a campground to see just how warm it actually gets inside? Set your Fantastic vent to move air when it reaches a certain temperature. If you have two FVents, so much the better. But even one vent blowing air out and the non-motorized vent open a lot of air will be moved. We find that the AC actually works better when a vent is opened a little anyway, so you don't have to open them all the way.

We often leave Sadie in the trailer while we are out for a while, and if it's warm we set the AC to keep her cool. She does not bark and mostly sleeps. We also leave the CD player on with music so she is less likely to hear outside noises. We sometimes leave a note and our cell number on our door in the event someone needs to reach us, too.

Another thing you can do if you are somewhere where you can rely on the camp host (and are comfortable doing it) is leave a key to your rig with them — or at least a cell number and let them know that a pet is inside your rig. If the power goes out they can call you.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:45 AM   #9
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I try not to leave my dog in my trailer for more than 8hrs even after 3 i start to worrie and i only do it if i am going to a show in the summer time. Monitering you trailer from a laptop or smart phone is a awesome idea if not only for your pets but for the insurance people when a thug trys to enter and steal stuff. I also have a sugestion for yuou as far as your pets being couped up for more than a day see if the camp couordinator will let them out for a wile in case of a power out or if you have to be gone for longer than 8hrs. I am sure they will if they need some cash.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:20 AM   #10
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Doggie Day Care? Most towns have a vet/day care for dogs. It's more common today and if you travel with dogs, I'm sure you travel with copies of vaccines, etc. Thats all you need to get checked in to most day care centers.
This is our concern also, so we have opted to travel in cooler weather or to mountain areas in the summer where we know the temps are cooler.
I do like the idea of the Temperature Sensor USB, but I'd still worry....if only campgrounds would have doggie/cat/bird daycares.....Disney is the only one I know of.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:27 AM   #11
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great thread, we have the same concerns.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:44 AM   #12
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I spoke to the Fantastic people, and they sent me some parts to make our center Fantastic open, turn on, and close, when the temp got too high. So, in the morning, I'd set the temp on the Fantastic for, say, 90 degrees and turn the fan to the on position. I'd make sure the a/c was on and running, then leave. If the power went out in the campground and the a/c cut off, the Fantastic would open and run. It had a rain sensor as well, so it would close if it rained.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:04 AM   #13
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For what it's worth, in the 5 or 6 years I've had a camper, I only experienced a power outage at a campground once, and that was due to a bad thunderstorm, not because it was a hot summer day. I can't remember another example even from when I was camping with my parents. Now that I think about it, campground power seems to be much more reliable than the power at my house...

(We travel with a cat.)
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:00 AM   #14
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Some commercial campgrounds are used to dealing with pets. You can sometimes pay one of the campground workers to check in on the dogs a couple of times a day and to walk them. Our dog is old and we just do not leave her a lot. I actually have left the air on and some windows open and the fantastic fan running. Seems to work okay. The cold air falls so the floor is cooler with the air on and the open windows and fan provide a sort of backup. A shady campsite helps the most. On some caravans when there is an all day trip one of us just opts out and takes care of the dog for the day.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:09 AM   #15
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Simplistic...but it's just what we do.

Never leave Fado in the trailer alone. If we can't do it with him, why do it?
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:39 AM   #16
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The first time the dog was accidentally locked in the trailer, she chewed the bedroom window screen. This was in the driveway - hadn't even had the trailer for a month.

The only way I can trust her in the trailer (alone) is if I put her in a porta-kennel. She's never been in a porta-kennel. She would bark her head off; not a good thing at sites/RV parks.

I also worry about the heat issue; wouldn't take long to kill a pet in a AS w/o ac. So, as hard as it is, summer camping will be sans dog. When the weather isn't as hot, I figure I can put her in the truck if I will be a way from the campsite for a bit. She is familiar with the truck - just curls up and goes to sleep.

The provincial-park campsites here do not allow dogs on the beaches or public places, and generally discourage people bringing dogs as they can aggravate the wildlife.
There have been cases of cougars scooping up small pets tied to trailer or getting to them when they were in those portable wire enclosures.

It would be awful to have a holiday ruined by the death of a pet.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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Our 11 year old cocker had never been in a porta-kennel (crate) and we got one in anticipation of traveling and she just loves it. We put her bed in it in the kitchen for about a week before our first trip (it took some extra treats to convince her it was safe to enter) and she took to it. We put it in behind the drivers seat and she rides there in total happiness. The couple of times we have left her in the AS, we didnt even use it and she just sleeps the day away like she was at home. YMMV based on the breed of dog but it works for us. But I agree with Robert in terms of hot weather camping especially. If I couldn't stand to be locked up in the trailer all day with no AC, then the dog shouldn't be either.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:58 AM   #18
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First, we got our Airstream so we could take our dog with us when we travel. There are some places pets are not allowed that people would like to visit when traveling. We took our dog with us when we went to Disneyland, and for $100, we got a cage inside a building to put her. I had to go back several times during the day to walk, feed, and water her.
Second, what would you do with your pet if you were fulltiming in your Airstream? We both work, and our alternatives were to leave our dog in the trailer while we worked, while making reasonable provisions in case either the power went out or the a/c failed, or boarding her in a kennel 6 days a week for a tick over $200 a week. We chose the former. In 18 months, the power went out 3 times, once in summer, twice in winter.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi View Post
That sounds great. Since most basic txt phones can also receive email as a text you're basically set with a laptop/internet connection and cell phone. Because the laptop would run on battery after a power failure, it should give a good handle on the increasing temps.
While laptops will continue to run on battery power, you will need to consider your laptop's Internet connection. If you are using a card in your laptop that connects you to the cell system (3G, 4G card or whatever) you are good. If you are connecting via a Wi-Fi system you need to consider that the network may also go down in a power failure. My DSL connection would still be OK during a blackout, but the gateway/router is AC powered and would not work. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:54 PM   #20
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We have and are traveling with our dogs. We have an aging Blue Heeler and a Great Dane. We leave the A/C running when we leave the trailer but we limit our time away from the trailer. Someone (can't remember who or their credentials) gave me a time limit of 4-5 hours for dogs to stay in crates and I transferred that limit to the amount time they should be in a trailer without being walked. We just plan to only be out 3-4 hours.

When we are home we don't run the a/c if we can get away with it. You would be surprised how well that fan works in keeping the trailer cool.
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