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Old 04-03-2013, 12:52 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, 01:06 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, 01:08 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, 01:18 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, 01:25 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, 01:29 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, 01:35 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, 01:39 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, 01:43 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, 08:33 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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Old 04-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
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We put a cap on the back of our P/U and then the DW made a pad for in the back for our Shepherd/Retriever mix. He had no issues riding back there with a little fire wood too. This allowed us to put his food and water dishes back there with him and no worry when the water slopped a bit. We'd stop every 1-2 hrs and take him for a short walk/potty break same as us. We'd traveled the longest 8 hrs and no problem.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hopeforthebest View Post
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!
Sounds like a full size SUV or van is in order. Our GSD and Lab ride happy as clams in the back of our Excursion. Sometimes I let them sit in the third row as they prefer to be closer to the kids. With rear A/C and heat the temp is never a problem.

And they have a comfortable place to hang out when we running errands or setting up etc. they can see us which all they care about.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:08 AM   #13
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We have 3 dogs as well, a 60ish lb Shar Pei, Dachshund, and a Rat Terrior. We've taken all 3 camping before and it didn't work out very well. The wennie dog hates being outside, the rat terrior is nuts and barked at every little thing. The Shar Pei loves it and loves being outside. We usually leave the two little dogs with a friend of ours that grooms and boards them and take the big dog with us. Before my daughter was born, we let the Shar Pei ride in the back seat of the truck but since we have Peyton back there now, it is somewhat cramped. I decided that I could let the dog ride in the travel trailer in her crate, I put her very large crate on the bottom bunk in the back of our Surveyor next to the window so she can see out. If it's hot outside, I slide the window open so she gets some air. We usually don't go on long trips so it's never been an issue. We just bought the wife a Nissan Armada that has plenty of room as well as power to tow our Surveyor so I'll probably start putting the dog in the back of the Armada for trips.
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #14
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Crew cab truck with Rottie and lap dog in the back seat. Its just me and the misses now, so plenty of room
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #15
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Our dog is small so he goes into his pet taxi. We use a larger one so he's comfy inside the camper when we arrive.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:53 AM   #16
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Our dogs:



100Lb German Sheppard/Great Dane cross
65Lb Border Collie
60Lb Rotty/Husky/Lab/gawd knows what else

Our tow vehicle:



Where they ride:



Or:



(since been finished with hinged doors, black outdoor carpeting on the sides and interlocking foam standing mats on the floor)

I welded up a "grill" for the windows and popped them into the channels. We open the cap windows and let it flow thorough on warmer days.

They love both places but are usually in the cab with us.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:11 AM   #17
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We have an 07 Ford Explorer. Not the EL. With the third row seat folded down our Old English Sheepdog rides in the back. I put a large soft sided crate for him in the back. Me, DW and our two teenagers ride comfortably. The only thing we run into is that it's a big jump into the back of the TV. I have to help Bentley into the back.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:03 AM   #18
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My SuperCrew Ford Truck has rear seats that fold up flat against the rear of the cab. There is plenty of room in the back for your dogs with the seats folded up.

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Old 04-11-2013, 09:34 AM   #19
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We used to have a TH with a F250 crew cab. Wife, 2 boys, 70lb lab and 30lb Puggle all packed in.

Just bought an RV so everyone will now be traveling in style. Haven't been out yet but Lab will be on our bed in back spread out, puggle will be on the sofa and the kids on the floor.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #20
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We have an 11 yo German Shephard, Rosie. We tow a 37' fifth wheel so a big pickup is required. Our tow vehicle is a 2013 Chevy Silverado 3500HD, crew cab, dually, diesel, 4X4. We bought a "hammock", a padded seat cover that attaches from the front seat head rests to the back head rests. We also have a seat extender that we use between the driver seat and the back seat. So that keeps Rosie comfortable in the cab while underway. Of course we do stop at rest areas every hour or so for both Rosie and us.

But getting into and out of the truck would be a HUGE step up or down for Rosie who has hip problems and also arthritis. We bought a collapsible ramp and, with our help, Rosie can handle that for getting in and out of the truck. We also use the ramp with the trailer, running it from the top step to the ground. Rosie probably could get by without it for the trailer, but to be safe we set it up and leave it there while we are parked.
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