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.
8 Responses to “RV Travel with a pack of poodles”
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March 17, 2014at10:20 am, Jody Eckler said:
We travel with 2 whippets, aged almost 2 and almost 3, about 40 # each. We have a travel trailer. The younger one still suffers from “Puppy Brain” so we do have to use a kennel yet. Perhaps we always will. The boys go with us whenever we camp and we camp more than we are home from Spring through Fall. Because they are both “talkative”, we have had to use a bark collar with them. I resisted this but it was necessary. I am happy to report that each only ever got a correction from the collar once. Now when we put the collar on, they both will not bark. On the low setting, the collar will allow them to whine and even vocalize softly. They just can’t bark loudly. We do not leave the collars on for long, generally never over an hour or two at most. These are only used when we are going somewhere they are not allowed to go and have solved the issue of disturbing our neighbors.
March 10, 2014at9:35 am, Gracie said:
Please tell us more about how you do things on the road when there are places the dogs can’t go. Do you just turn on the vent fan or furnace for climate control? Do people ever report you for leaving pets in the vehicle unattended? We choose to forego things often if our dog can’t join us, but we wonder what others do.
March 10, 2014at8:29 am, Dean Upson said:
I store the food in a couple of collapsable air tight containers similar to these http://www.petguys.com/-761715000120.html?productid=-761715000120&channelid=FROOG&utm_source=CSEs&utm_medium=GoogleShopping&utm_campaign=PetGuys . They hold 30# each and keep the food fresh. I use them at home also. I used to store them easily in the well under the sofa on our 210. I have since added a StowAway to our RT and will be storing the dog food in there. Realistically, I think you could use the original bag and put it in a trash bag and keep like that. I like the idea of the sealed storage because it would hopefully keep critters from smelling or getting at the dog food.When empty they take up little room and allows some space for things that may have been added to your inventory on the trip. They sell different size containers.
March 10, 2014at7:26 am, Linda Feldman said:
Hi, really enjoyed your article. We have two Goldendoodles, 70# and 60#. My question is, where do you store enough dog food for your crew?
March 08, 2014at11:01 am, Wendell said:
Thanks for the pictures of your “children”. We have two Standards, Thelma and Jack. They are so easy to travel with. Jack sits up front and watches everything and Thelma goes to the couch after about five minutes and takes a nap.
March 08, 2014at10:13 am, Laura H P said:
What a fun read! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.
March 08, 2014at9:43 am, Sharon said:
Always great to hear about travels with pets. I travel with a labradoodle and goldendoodle. As long as they have the bed they are happy campers. They are nice enough to share it with me at night! My biggest worry is keeping them cool when I want to travel in the summer months. But they are good travelers, just happy to be with me.
March 08, 2014at8:21 am, Dean Upson said:
We have always travelled with our dogs, normally 2 Goldens. One of our boys died before we got the RT and we were traveling with only one. We are getting another Golden puppy next week and I will have a month to teach him some manners before we hit the road. I think I get a cheap, smaller crate because the large one we have would be a challenge. I do not use the crate after I can trust them, usually around 4 – 5 months.