RVing with your Shepherd - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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RVing with your Shepherd

Probably a silly question but......

We recently purchased a motor home and are looking forward to using it next spring. We fully intend to take our furry gal with us everywhere we can...which was part of the reason to buy the motor home.

So, for any of you who are or have already done this, any insight and helpful hints would be appreciated. Also, even though we can leave our shepherd ( 1 year and 3 months old ) in our house unattended for 4-6 hours on rare occasions and she has the full run of the house. Do you see any problems that might arise from leaving her in a motor home for a couple hours or so, if we couldn't take her with us in a specific incident?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts and suggestions.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:36 PM
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I am going respond, even though our situations aren't exactly the same.

About 9 months out of the year I travel to a job site 3 hours from home and spend most of the week there in a 25' camper. It functions as both my office and living quarters. Hans goes with me and adapts perfectly to being on the go.

Usually, if he is in the camper alone, he is crated. Not a lot of room in there for a crate, but it works. The only reason I would suggest crating her in the RV is, while she might do well on the loose at home, a different situation may make her nervous enough & bored to chew or destroy. It seems like anything you have to have repaired in a camper or RV is twice as expensive as repairing the same item that is NOT in an RV/camper
Just a thought!

My GSD lives to ride. He has been the perfect camper and traveling companion. Sometimes our camper is in a rather remote spot and having him with me is comforting and finding new places to explore in the evening, when the work day is done, is really nice.

I always locate the local vet and take a first aid kit with me too.

Have fun-I bet she will love it!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 06:55 PM
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Growing up my parents were big "campers". We lived in S. FL and traveled to CA with Dog in tow. My father owned his own business and took a month off for this trip pulling a 27' trailer. The dog at the time was a medium sized dog. No problems.

A little later in life he upgraded to a motor home with a Border Collie and pit bull. No problems at all.

I would agree with the crate as I'm a big proponent of them. When your stopped and set up, you could throw it outside. While traveling and/or away from the camper, the dog has a familiar space and your RV is protected from the dog, not anyone that might want to break in....

I think you will be fine. Maybe some short trips to start just to test the waters. You never know.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Sp00ks and Han-some,

Thanks for the input....I guess I didn't even think about the use of a crate. For a couple of hours I don't think I would feel too guilty leaving her in a crate. As a matter of fact, my brother in law who recently took care of her for a day ( he has three dogs ) stated that she did fine in a crate for a couple of hours.

Okay, great suggestion and I see it as a very viable option to my concern if she cannot be by my side when we are on the road.

Many thanks,

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 10:05 PM
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go traveling and have fun. put some type of sensors on the
motor home so you know if someone opens a door even if you're
not close to the motor home. get some type of GPS for your dog.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2013, 10:24 PM
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We take Uschi with us everywhere we can. We have a horse trailer with living quarters in the front of it and we us it like a travel trailer. Now that she is older we don't crate her in the trailer when we have to leave her. We have left her up to 8 hours in there in the past and she will usually sleep on one of the bench seats (or lays on her doggie bed) until we get back.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:34 AM
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My husband and I are looking into getting a travel trailer in the next year (hopefully) for weekends. One thing I completely agree with is having a crate with you. I know I can trust my older female out for a couple hours at home but I don't know how I'd feel about trusting her in a travel trailer. I think she'd do fine but I'm also iffy. My male on the other hand.... until I can trust him to sleep out of his crate at night without becoming Mr. Destructo, would be crated any time we stepped out and couldn't take the dogs with.

Also agree with getting some alarms for the door(s) just in case.

And make sure your RV is heater/AC equipped. Those RVs can collect heat pretty quickly and you don't want to leave your dog in a hot RV.

Also don't forget to try and plan your trip ahead of time. There are some RV parks and campgrounds that don't allow large dog and/or don't allow certain breeds. Also check state and local breed guidelines as well. Most places will be fine but some are just odd about it.

I did a lot of camping with a friend and their dogs when I was younger (one was a white GSD the other a Rottweiler) and there were some hassles because of the dogs but nothing major.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 11:21 AM
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SuperG.----you can get folding crates both wire and fabric. You don't have to leave a crate set up all the time, in fact, it might just be something you end up having stowed in the "basement" but rarely ever use. I'd look into one with the idea that besides use in the Motorhome, it might also be useful at a beach or campsite area----sometimes shady convenient areas are in short supply. It sounds like your girl is pretty mellow and dependable, I think I'd look at fabric type if I were looking for something for her. Fabric is light, easy to stow, and doesn't take up much room. With a motor home and the price of gas, weight and storage space are main things to consider.

Training to good recall, and off lead stays----with you both in sight and out of sight---are VERY important. Best investment of all, is training and very frequent use/review.

"I'd better go with you Huck, civilization can be dangerous."-------Tom Sawyer(Mark Twain)
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 01:12 PM
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We use to bring our GS Hero camping with us every other weekend and never had a problem. We didn't have a motor home, but we had a 35' horse trailer goose neck. When we would go out riding, we would either put Hero in the camper or on a rope under our awning ( there were other people we knew around the campground that would stay back and would make sure nothing would happen to him while we were gone ). Hero always did good. The only thing that did freak him out was one night it was storming really bad and a tree fell down right beside our trailer. Ever since then, Hero was afraid of storms.

Have fun!!!

~ Jesi
Gunner - GSD (Adopted 6/29/12) - Registered Therapy Dog Inc.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-06-2013, 01:18 PM
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My husband and I lived in a camper all spring, summer, and fall while we built our house.

They get VERY hot- unless you will be somewhere with electric hookups where you can run your AC constantly, don't ever leave your pup alone in there. Even then, I'm not sure I'd trust those AC's to run consistently.

Go with the flexible travel crates- we had a large trailer (32') and it was still not nearly big enough for Echo's wire crate. I would definitely not advise leaving her alone uncrated, ever. Those things are not escape proof, as I learned (my dog learned how to pop out the emergency window and hop on out, the one time I left him alone).

Be prepared for your dog to be a little nervous initially- if it has a pop out, it will make a LOT of noise in the wind.
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