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Old 04-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
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What do you do with your dogs while on the road?

Hello, and I am new to this Forum. I had 3 dogs, lost my German Shepherd to cancer about 6 weeks ago, but I still have my older Blk Lab mix and a schnauzer/terrier mix. They are experienced canine campers, but for now I have a Ford (V-8) Explorer and there is just not enough room for them.I am close to getting another German Shepherd from a rescue, and we are looking for a larger tow vehicle to tow my 2011 Roo. Pick-ups don't work with dogs, so my question is... What vehicle do you use to tow and to have room for your dogs? What do you do with your dogs when on the road to keep them safe and comfortable and be strong enough to tow your camper? Before the Ford, I had a full-sized conversion van that had plenty of room and that towed the pop-up we had with no problem. Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #2
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I'm sorry to hear about your Shepherd.

Regarding what TV to use, do you have any other passengers in the truck? Or is it just you and the dogs?
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:08 PM   #3
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Wouldn't a crew can pickup give you room for the family and a topper give you room for the dogs? Or something like the Cowtown Sleepers to "extend" the cab?

(From a non-dog owner)
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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I'd suggest going back to a passenger conversion van (a Ford E450 or something similar from GM). Pick the right engine/transmission/rear-end combination for towing.

We have 2 Labs who ride just fine in our Kia Sedona with two middle seats out (our daily driver). That has very limited towing capability under US regulations (3500 pounds), though it's good for 6000 pounds in the UK.

When RVing, we're in a 32' Class A, so there's plenty of room.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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My husband drives, I co-pilot. Most of the time one or two of my grown sons join us camping. So, it's like 3-4 people and 3 dogs. I'm afraid that if I put my dogs in the back of a pick-up with a cap, it would get to hot for them in the summer. It gets kind of hot even in the Explorer. That is a lot to ask a Explorer to do, so that is why we are looking for a bigger vehicle. And when not towing, we use it to run errands and such around home. The Explorer does have a nice ride for driving around at home. It's just a bit cramped even going to the dog park.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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We drive a Chevy Traverse, so not a huge amount of towing capacity for most campers but works for ours.

While not a preferred method, our dogs will be loose in the car. They'll generally nap on the floor. I can also put up my soft-sided crate to hold one of them with a seat down, when we are only traveling with one and don't need the cargo space.

I also used to own a seat belt for my dog, but found it to be too awkward for them. They had to sit or stand, so it was not comfortable.

Many of my friends in the dog performance circuit have some great set-ups for their dogs!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:35 PM   #7
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A large SUV with a third row taken down/out should do it. Put down the third row seat or even the third row plus one half of the second row and you have enough room. We have a Toyota Sequoia with a golden retriever, but we also have three kids and this large SUV works well for us.

Do you crate them while driving or use one of those seat belt harnesses? That would make a difference, too, so just something to think about.

As others have said, a pickup with a cap on the back is another way to go. We use to haul bird dogs this way, but the difference was the weather was much cooler for us than camping in July and August so I can understand your concern. Also, we weren't traveling for more than a couple of hours. You would definitely need to take precautions.

Last, a conversion van (based on an E-350 or the like should do it, I think) is probably the best way to have the most interior room with decent towing specs.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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I personally would kennel the dogs inside the trailer and use a pickup truck for towing it down the road. But I'm a little old school with dogs.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:43 PM   #9
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Our two grown sons if they are with us come in another car....... The two dogs have the back seat of the duelly..........but we are usually leaving at different times or from different places.........
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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A friend I know uses a crew cab Chevy, with an A.R.E. truck cap and he travels around in hot western weather like I do, with two Huskies. He opens the rear window on the truck cab, and the front window on the truck cap, and opens the side windows on the cap, and the dogs stay very comfortable while driving. The open windows in the cap seem to draw the cooler air from the truck cab through the back.

I believe he had to get a 2500 to get a full size bed; whereas, the 1500 like I have only offers the small bed.

I just have a single Malamute and she just takes the entire back seat of either my H3 or my Silverado.
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