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RV and dogs  RSS feed

 
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Hope this is an okay forum, couldn't really find a place to put it. We got ourselves a piece of land a while ago and access issues have escalated meaning we're going to have to set up temporary camp by the edge of the lot instead of the ideal homestead site until we figure out whether to proceed or find a new home. So this means an RV. Main problem for us is we have two dogs and a cat and will probably have to work in town a bit to keep things going. My only real concern is when the weather gets hot. Has anyone had to deal with leaving animals behind in an RV? Most just say "don't do it on a hot day" but that isn't an option if you're scheduled to work. Wondering how novice homesteaders with pets navigated this issue. I'm not sure if it's wise or economical to leave a generator on unattended for that long. Not sure what the other options may be. Whether a roof covering would be sufficient or what
 
pollinator
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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What area are you talking about?  "Hot" in Wisconsin is different than "hot" in Arizona.  Ideally, they will do better if they have a nice shady spot outside with trees and bushes.  Even a small breeze will help.  They will dig down a way into cooler earth to rest during the day.  Figure out how much fresh water they need, and then triple that amount.  Put it in the shade and make sure they can't tip it over.  An "invisible" fence can be a pretty good way to go if you don't have a way to contain them.  The cat will be harder if it won't stick around or if you are worried about a road nearby, but it shouldn't be hard to rig up some kind of enclosure with the same amenities as for the dogs.  If you are an area where the cat can roam freely, it will pretty much take care of itself as long as it has water available.
 
Seb Cha
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Outside Asheville NC. 6 months of the year are totally fine. But the summer does get into the upper 80s and the south can be pretty humid. We were planning on rigging up a fence with welded wire anyways. I still worry it can get too hot outside on the worst days. At their current home they have a door with the option to come in and out as needed. Hard to do on an RV. Another thought we had was building a roof over the RV with an extended covered porch. But i'm not sure if the shade from that would be sufficient to cool it down to where they can be inside without AC constantly on.
 
pollinator
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Seb Cha wrote:But i'm not sure if the shade from that would be sufficient to cool it down to where they can be inside without AC constantly on.



My first reaction is to think definitely not. A big metal box (aka RV) outside in the 80s seems sure to get too hot for animals. I agree with Todd that you'd do best to set up something for them to be outside, with shade and ample water.

If you're still thinking about this, I suggest you test the temperature in the RV. In other words, get a thermometer that will tell you the highest temperature reached and put it inside the RV with the aircon off all day. There are both digital and old-fashioned ones that can do this but a digital one would of course be able to provide additional  information, in particular the average temperature. Once you get the results, you can go about setting up something outside.
 
Seb Cha
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Unfortunately i don't yet own the trailer and don't want to lock up my resources in another dead end to test the temperature. It's sounding more and more like this plan isn't as viable as i thought. Even outside i'd be concerned. I take them for a walk around the trails and with the humidity they're exhausted by the time we get back. Granted there's some exertion, but i think the humidity is a huge issue. I wouldn't expect them not to be playing alone in an enclosure anyways.
 
chip sanft
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Seb Cha wrote:Even outside i'd be concerned. I take them for a walk around the trails and with the humidity they're exhausted by the time we get back. Granted there's some exertion, but i think the humidity is a huge issue.



Our dog is beat after a fairly short walk when it's hot out, too. But she's fine laying around outside in the shade. (It's kind of fun to watch her decide she wants a bit of sunshine, so she goes and lays in the sun. Then she gets hot and goes back in the shade. Yes, I am easily amused.) You could always put out a kids' pool of water or something like that for your dog to get into.
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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chip sanft wrote:

Seb Cha wrote:Even outside i'd be concerned. I take them for a walk around the trails and with the humidity they're exhausted by the time we get back. Granted there's some exertion, but i think the humidity is a huge issue.



Our dog is beat after a fairly short walk when it's hot out, too. But she's fine laying around outside in the shade. (It's kind of fun to watch her decide she wants a bit of sunshine, so she goes and lays in the sun. Then she gets hot and goes back in the shade. Yes, I am easily amused.) You could always put out a kids' pool of water or something like that for your dog to get into.



That has been exactly my experience.  Animals know enough not to move around much when they are too hot.  When I spend the day outside working and the dogs are out "helping", it's not long before they are lying in the shade under a tree.  It's easy enough to test yourself.  Go for a walk in the hot sun and see how it feels as opposed to sitting in the grass in the shade.  Even a little exertion on a very hot day is uncomfortable.  Sitting in the shade is vastly preferable   I can almost guarantee you that your dogs won't play much, if at all, on hot days.

The kiddie pool works great as Chip said.  The pool water will be as warm as the air, but when they get out, they will be much cooler.
 
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We traveled with 4 dogs for 6 months in our RV.
(3 Shelties and a Rotty...a 100 pound, VERY energetic Rotty.)
They sell "kennels" that are sections of chain link fence bolted together.
These are pretty easy to attach to an RV.
If you use chicken wire to go around the bottom of the RV, you make the underneath an instant, cool spot for them.

The only thing I worried about was when gone, having a fire.
Building a "Habitrail" out of fence so they can get 30 feet away from the RV, but still be retained.
You can get two 10X10 enclosures and enough fence to make a very secure setup for the pup friends.
Leaving the RV door wide open with a sheet hanging with weights sewn into the bottom prevents bugs...and lets the pups inside whenever they want.
If you bury the bottom and get creative with a few bags of concrete...you just made a wonderful enclosure you can actually attach a tarp to the top of for shade (it works in the AZ desert...) for under 500 dollars.
Putting a padlock on the enclosure gate keeps the RV every bit as secure as the factory door does. (They are all very easy to break into for a thief...)

Don't give up. You have a good idea there.

BTW, in the summer, some milk crates placed on the roof and a tarp on top of them makes a hot RV instantly cool.
(You have to keep at least a 12 inch separation between the roof and the tarp. Milk crates work really well.)
 
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