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Old 09-23-2016, 03:47 PM   #1
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Pet friendly first road trip – Texas to Pacific Coast

I apologize in advance that this is a long post.

We just returned from our first TT road trip - 11 days from Texas to the West Coast - and our pups joined us. Before deciding to take them along, we gleaned a lot of tips from this forum on traveling with pets. We're hoping to return the favor by sharing our experience.

We have a 21 ft RW Mini Lite and our pups are both a little over 60#, so definitely not totable lap dogs.

We were a bit apprehensive (ok, a LOT!) that the trip might not be a comfortable one, due to limitations on restaurants and attractions we could access with the pups.

Since this was their first TT trip (and ours!) we wouldn’t have been comfortable leaving them in the TT alone – too stressful for them, and we wouldn’t want to disturb fellow campers. We also certainly wouldn’t leave them alone in our tow vehicle. So, the four of us were a close knit pack for 11 days on the road.

We’re happy to report that the trip went great and the pups were spoiled along the way and actually had more fun than we did!

There were no problems at any of the campgrounds and parks where we stayed. We had brought their vaccination records along, ready to show the campground staff, but were never asked for them at any of the sites.

Our greyhound is very laid back and mostly quiet, so we weren’t worried about her at all. The brindle and white beast, however, is shy and at home tends to bark at strange (to her) noises. Fortunately, during our trip, she only attempted to grumble under her breath a few times. A quick verbal correction stopped that behavior.

Our journey took us from Texas to New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. In our opinion, and based solely on our stops and overnight stays, our home state was the least pet friendly/accommodating of all.

In our opinion, California (San Diego area) was by far the most pet friendly. The pups were welcomed in the cafes with us (not sure if pets are allowed inside – we chose patio seating) and several even offered pet entrees that they thoroughly enjoyed. All immediately provided bowls of cold water and organic/healthy pup treats. In fact, they received their treats and water before we received our drinks and appetizers!

Even the small coffee shops that we popped into were super friendly to the pups and immediately offered them bowls of cold water.

We kept them on their leashes the entire trip while outside our TT – no tie outs. And they actually preferred to mostly stay inside and observe the campsite thru the screen door.

The only time that having them with us became a bit of an issue was in Nevada – outdoor temps were high (100+) and the campground only had asphalt and gravel/sand walking surfaces (with no shade). The asphalt was hot and we were concerned their pads could be burned. Carrying two over 60# pups three blocks to the dog park and back several times a day wouldn’t have been fun. So, we were sure to stay out and about sightseeing, where we could locate more pup friendly surfaces for them.

We stayed in a State Park and several various campgrounds (KOA’s, recreation preserve, etc.) and the pets of fellow campers were all leashed or on tie outs (when allowed), except for one miniature dog that ran from his campsite and crossed the street to follow us as we walked by – even though we had crossed to the other side of the road in preparation for his approach. No one ever came out to retrieve him, and he finally returned to his campsite without incident.

Something that surprised me was that in the 11 days we were in campgrounds, we never heard a medium to large size dog bark. But, while walking thru the campgrounds (on the street) we were entertained by a symphony of miniature dogs barking thru RV windows and doors or in outdoor pet pens. It was hilarious!

On the road, we stopped every 2-3 hours for water and potty breaks and found Petrol stations had wonderful pet areas with green grass (even in the middle of the desert), water, and benches.

Of the campgrounds we visited, the nicest dog park was at Lazydays KOA in Tucson. It was fenced, all grass, with large shade trees, access to water and about ¼ acre – the pups had lots of room to run.

Our hope is that as the pups become more comfortable with our TT and think of it as a second home, we will be able to consider letting them stay alone for short periods. But, only after we equip it with security and video cam surveillance/temperature sensors that we can monitor from our iPhones. And, even then we're not sure we would feel safe in leaving them.

We just wanted to share our first experience with taking our furkiddos on a long road trip – in the event others are considering it. We’re in agreement that it was a great time and fun to see the pups having a great time, too!
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Alan & Carolyn in the Lone Star State
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Old 09-23-2016, 04:53 PM   #2
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Location: Minnesota ( wishing we were boondocking in the New York Catskills )
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Some say, that we would be lucky, to live our dog's lives.

From your description, it sounds like we want to live YOUR dog's lives !!!

What an awesome time you all had !!!


Jeff and Abby
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:12 PM   #3
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Awesome post! Thx for sharing!!

Beau & Sue
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The more people I meet, the more I like my dogs!
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Great post on your trip - sounds like you folks nailed it! Thanks for the cute
pictures, too. Good people/Good dogs.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:14 PM   #5
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Sounds familiar. Ours are 12 and 14 lb. Havanese. They will bark at anything so they mostly stay with us on a short leash. If I say RV they will beat me to the door. They even love going out with me to exercise the genset in the winter.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
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RV Dog

Very nice to hear about your successful first trip with your dogs. San Diego is one of our favorite destinations and very pleased to hear that CA restaurants were accommodating to your pets needs.

We adopted a little terrier just prior to purchasing our new TT in late December, 2015. We were also apprehensive at first regarding traveling and camping with him, but after a good bit of patient training he has become the perfect traveling companion. After 98 days (and counting) of camping he especially enjoys camping at the beach.

Hope you have many more great trips with your dogs.
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Old 09-26-2016, 02:55 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Sun City Center, Florida
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Two Carin Terriers, (Yappers) About to kill us sometimes

Two Yappers with 100,000 miles on them. We change our plans totally based on their needs. Never off lease, but have been around other dogs who are. How many times have I heard that my dog is good and it wont cause any problems. I tell the other dog owner the problem is my dog not yours and please put it on a leash or get it away from my dog. Our dogs are not mean, but please, I do not want to be the problem of a dog fight. I also ask people not to pet our dogs. Accidents happen and I do not want our dogs to be the problem. We go to Disney a lot and leave the dogs in the camper about 3 hours max. We use an app (power out) and leave one phone in the camper so we know if there is an outage. These dogs are our life, but we use a lot of common sense with them. We drove past Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse only to see them at a distance since pets were not permitted. We very seldom eat out because we do not want to leave them alone. I was raised on a farm and an animal is an animal, but if you own them, take care of them. Hope this gives some insight. Please keep your dog away from our. We are social people, but I do not want problems of breaking up dog fights. Been there.
We are driving a Dodge Durango and pulling a Evergreen G269FK. We also have two Cairn Terriers. 2 Champion Generators. This year, planning on 6 months in our Evergreen visiting, California, Michigan, and Ohio. We live in Florida. Grandkids, and dogs are why we camp. Also have a Hensley Hitch which that eliminates all sway. Pricey, but worth it.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:36 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2016
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We travel short trips with one of our dogs. We leave a "white noise" fan going when we go out for an hour or two to drown out outside noises of people and dogs walking by the camper. Your dogs look so happy on your trips! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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