Mike has written about travels with Tai, Campskunk has written about travels with Fiona the fearless kitty, so I suppose it is time we write about our RV travels with Mark, Simon, Becky, Tate, Abby, and Farley. Six, you say, six dogs in a camper van! Well not actually. Our beloved Mark is deceased, so we have never traveled with more than five. And our longest trip of five weeks was with only four Poodles (Mark, Simon, Becky & Abby).
You may think that Poodles are small dogs. Ours are all Standard Poodles, ranging from 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and 38-54 lbs. So they are not particularly small. But they are all excellent travelers and think that life on the road is perfect for them. Although Becky made it clear that after five weeks she was ready to go home. The others thought that being a full-timer like Fiona would be great. Of course, we don't always travel with Poodles.
We now have five Standard Poodles – three rescues and two we got as puppies. Simon is 13, Becky is 11, Tate is 9, Abby is 6 and Farley is now 1.5 years old. People wonder how so many dogs and two people manage in a Roadtrek. It really is not hard – however, you have to give up on the idea of crating dogs while moving. There just isn’t room in a camper van for multiple big dog crates – even one dog crate was a challenge when traveling with a puppy.
They all have their favorite spots while moving and when sleeping. And they are very good at moving to another spot when needed. They all know what “Move!” means. The only disadvantage is it becomes difficult to invite people into our camper. With four or five dogs we run out of places to sit!
Food must not be left unattended on the table. It is too great a temptation. Our Simon believes he is a hunter. He hunts food which is most often found on tables, on counter-tops, and in cupboards. He is an experienced hunter. During lunchtime on the Blue Ridge Parkway Simon, Becky and Abby were more interested in the food than the view.
Mark, the one who never got into trouble, watched what was happening in the back from the front seat. Simon preferred to watch what was going on outside.
One of the highlights for our Poodles was our visit to Four Paws Kingdom in NC after a week on Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a campground for dogs and their people. We went there with friends (three Poodles in their 34 ft. Class A) and the dogs had a wonderful time. There were fenced dog parks for big dogs and little dogs, an Agility park, a pond park, a stream park and many trails through the woods. Even the campsites were named after dogs (ours was Scooby Doo).
Another favorite spot for the Poodles is Assateague Island. The National Park allows dogs on the beach and they have a wonderful time running and playing. Last year we took just two Poodles with us, the ten month- old Farley and his best buddy Tate. They had a wonderful time on the beach. Farley barked at the wild ponies, but only from a distance. And the last weekend for dogs allowed on the Ocean City, MD Boardwalk was also the weekend of the Kite Festival. Lots of fun for Poodles and people!
If you have one or more dogs, take them along. You may find they love the vagabond lifestyle as much as you do.