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Old 09-21-2017, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Of Dogs and RVs

Round Two of an Intro. The Forum software blew up and lost a rather long intro. Remind me to copy it this time in case it happens again.

We currently travel in a Dodge Grand Caravan which holds two people, two dogs, two ARB car freezers, 3 kitchen boxes, 4 dog crates (two for show site and two for motel), crates pads and covers, 3 folding chairs, 3 large suitcases, 1 cpap, a mobility scooter, and sometimes, three rat cages with 15 rats.

We have a standard longhaired Dachshund who is working on his AKC Grand Championship and his Barn Hunt Rat Champion Excellent.

We also have a findling Beagle (she found us!) who has her Novice title in Barn Hunt. In Open, her score is currently Babette Beagle, .5, Open Rats, 39.5. She'd rather smell Smells than indicate rats.


It gets tiring to load the car, drive the car, unload the car, night after night. So we're looking at an RV.

My preference is for a B+ because I really don't want to drive a monster rig.

No B or B+ is going to have a refrigerator large enough to handle my food allergies and the dogs' raw diet. Neither will a B or B+ have the room for our two ARB car freezers, but I think we can get around that with a rear-mounting cargo platform, and an ARB weatherproof freezer. Here.

The kitchen should hold the contents of our kitchen boxes, and the other storage the contents of the three suitcases.

The over-passenger storage area should hold the rat cages if they travel with us (ie, a trip of more than five days), but I'll have to figure out how to hold them in place with something other than cargo netting. The Rattie Girls (also known as Barn Hunt Training Associates) would chew through netting if it touches their cages.

I did get to an RV show and saw an Airstream and a Road Trek.

Wasn't over impressed with Road Trek.

Liked the Airstream -- it MIGHT have room in the back for my mobility scooter, the dog crates and the chairs.

No dealer within a hundred miles has the Pleasureway I have admired on video, the Pleasureway Plateau XLTD. So I can't crawl around one with a tape measure to figure out if everything will fit.

I like the PW Plateau FL, but I can't figure out where to put crates, chairs, and mobility scooter.

Anyway, that's where we're at. Any suggestions for other models that might work, or how to fit everything in appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:34 AM   #2
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You have a Beagle...you have a great future! My favorite dog. You seem to like the PW, but say there is nothing within a 100 miles, why not find your nearest one, make contact as the availability of the Model you want to Test Drive. Quite possibly a phone call, and a check of their website will tell you if they have that particular Model available. Maybe you can make it a camping trip and then do a hands on. I found mine about 800 miles away, and they had a couple different Models available. The idea of being able to see and touch a possible future vacation home might make the trip memorable. Ron
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:58 AM   #3
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HITCH CARRIER: If I were you, with a freezer that elaborate and expensive, I'd commission a custom-made hitch carrier. No big deal - hire a reliable weekend welder / hobbyist to put it together for you. In that regard, you can look over this series of blog posts to see how my husband and I built our own. Not for that freezer, but same idea. I now freeze food in solid blocks of ice to take in our Yeti cooler. The blocks last well over a week before melting, and the Yeti is about $900 less than that freezer - good enough to meet our needs.

MODEL / DOG MODS: On Air Forums, I have seen several dog show people who have customized Airstream Interstates for their needs over the past few years. One of them had the username K9CarCrate. This is one of their pictures of a crate retrofit where a passenger seat had been - it's a lovely job. This from 2013 or else I'd refer you directly but (s)he doesn't seem to be a frequent poster. Point being, this can be done, and there are upfitters out there who do it.

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Old 09-22-2017, 10:52 AM   #4
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I travel to dog shows as well and have a Travato 59G. the murphy bed in the back allows for a hallway that is large enough for cargo underneath. I can put two gordon setter size crates there, and still lower the bed over the top. THe dinette in the front also becomes a bed and is another option for dog crates. I have traveled with 5 dogs on board. 1 gordon setter in a crate, two whippets in crates and two senior gordon setters riding loose. For a small motorhome it has a lot of space.
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ron J. Moore View Post
You have a Beagle...you have a great future! My favorite dog. You seem to like the PW, but say there is nothing within a 100 miles, why not find your nearest one, make contact as the availability of the Model you want to Test Drive. Quite possibly a phone call, and a check of their website will tell you if they have that particular Model available. Maybe you can make it a camping trip and then do a hands on. I found mine about 800 miles away, and they had a couple different Models available. The idea of being able to see and touch a possible future vacation home might make the trip memorable. Ron
I wasn't PLANNING on a Beagle -- I've had Dachshunds since 1970. But what do you do when a seven month old pup turns up, abandoned, on a cold November night... the night of your Mom's memorial service? We took her in, fed her, let her sleep in a spare crate. By morning, my husband had named her. And our two longhaired Dachshunds, Shadow & Sunny, tutored her in What is Expected of a Hound in This Household.

BTW, if you are a reader, check out the Dale Kinsale mysteries by Doranna Durgin. Or should I say, the Sully Beagle mysteries? Doranna has Beagles -- conformation, agility, and tracking.

I did look. The next nearest dealer is in Houston, and after Hurricane Harvey, I'm not inclined to go there. After that, Atlanta. I get up to Atlanta exactly once a year.

What I would dearly love to do would be to show up, crates, car fridges, chairs, and all, and experiment with loading a vehicle to see if everything fits.

Unfortunately, the probability of a dealer letting our Hounds on board a vehicle we haven't bought is slim to none.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
HITCH CARRIER: If I were you, with a freezer that elaborate and expensive, I'd commission a custom-made hitch carrier. No big deal - hire a reliable weekend welder / hobbyist to put it together for you. In that regard, you can look over this series of blog posts to see how my husband and I built our own. Not for that freezer, but same idea. I now freeze food in solid blocks of ice to take in our Yeti cooler. The blocks last well over a week before melting, and the Yeti is about $900 less than that freezer - good enough to meet our needs.
I am VERY impressed with your and your husband's abilities. I could do the covers, but neither I nor my husband could do the welding.

Something like that could make either an Airstream or a PW Plateau FL a possibility. I believe both of those have wet baths, and that's something I have to be careful of, as I am both plus-sized and mobility-impaired.

I acknowledge that the ARB Elements freezer is VERY expensive, but we paid for our two current ARBs with credit card points -- all those motel stays have to be good for something! And it does save on the fuss of finding dry ice or water ice. (I agree with you, btw -- I wouldn't want to have dry ice sublimating inside our Grand Caravan!)


Quote:
MODEL / DOG MODS: On Air Forums, I have seen several dog show people who have customized Airstream Interstates for their needs over the past few years. One of them had the username K9CarCrate. This is one of their pictures of a crate retrofit where a passenger seat had been - it's a lovely job. This from 2013 or else I'd refer you directly but (s)he doesn't seem to be a frequent poster. Point being, this can be done, and there are upfitters out there who do it.

How does one find those upfitters? I would actually be looking at East Coast Crates. Those are the ones Harper's breeder likes. We'd probably be looking at two of the 200 size. If I could swing it, I'd go with the stacking crates, as 2-4 of those would fit in the space of one chair. And I think they lock together, which would make them safer.

(The possibility of additional seats, btw, is one of the things I really did like about the Airstream.)

One of the Barn Hunt judges has a B (I can't remember which make) which she outfitted to have a single twin bed on one side, and the dog crates where the other twin bed would normally go, because she has Belgian Tervurens and they take up a bit more space than a Dachshund and a Beagle.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Firesteel View Post
I travel to dog shows as well and have a Travato 59G. the murphy bed in the back allows for a hallway that is large enough for cargo underneath. I can put two gordon setter size crates there, and still lower the bed over the top. THe dinette in the front also becomes a bed and is another option for dog crates. I have traveled with 5 dogs on board. 1 gordon setter in a crate, two whippets in crates and two senior gordon setters riding loose. For a small motorhome it has a lot of space.
I've heard many good things about the Travato, although I've never seen one. The problem with that corner bed set up, though, is that a person has to crawl into from the end, and I simply am not physically able to do that. Neither is my husband.

I am definitely impressed by your load-meistering, that you can manage 3 gordon setters and two whippets in one!
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:22 AM   #8
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Someone else on Air Forums did stacking dog crates a couple of years ago. I don't know how to find them... best way is probably good old internet sleuthing. Search threads and contact users for leads.

Some people with mobility issues don't favor the Interstate due to its small size. Additionally, almost all Class Bs need to be modified with extra electrical capacity if the intention is to remain off-grid (for instance, at a dog show parking lot) and run appliances such as CPAP.

Airstream just debuted a new B-plus model called the Atlas at the Hershey show. It is larger but so is the price tag (MSRP north of $200K). It appears to be aimed at larger people with variable physical needs. I'm middle-aged but I'm in good health (knock wood), athletic and about 130 pounds. The Interstate fits me like hand in glove. Not so much for larger people and mobility-restricted people.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:02 PM   #9
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Someone else on Air Forums did stacking dog crates a couple of years ago. I don't know how to find them... best way is probably good old internet sleuthing. Search threads and contact users for leads.
The East Coast Crates have stacking crates. And will actually build to custom sizes for what you need. It would just be a matter of installing them. To be honest, this is the first RV Forum I've asked in because most of them appear to be focused on Class A or Class C, and the response pattern (like the one dealer we spoke with) is that we don't want a Class B, we "need" a bigger vehicle.

Quote:
Some people with mobility issues don't favor the Interstate due to its small size. Additionally, almost all Class Bs need to be modified with extra electrical capacity if the intention is to remain off-grid (for instance, at a dog show parking lot) and run appliances such as CPAP.
Actually, I did like the Airstream that I saw last year -- and I didn't have trouble moving around in it. It was mainly figuring out where and what type of freezer we could have -- and I think your suggestion of getting a custom cargo carrier could be a solution. (I recognize the one I'm looking at is beastly expensive, but we got our two ARB inside freezers (37 quarts each) with credit card points, and I'm almost halfway to the cost of the fancy all-weather one. I know my husband, and while I may think the dry ice one you have would be great, HE won't want to have to hunt up dry ice, and all the rest.

I would definitely want a good solar rig, because there is a CPAP in this mix, AND keeping the freezer and fridge and all going -- at a dog show! -- could be problematic. I've also been researching how to run an air conditioner on solar, because, well, south Louisiana is NOT cool.

Quote:
Airstream just debuted a new B-plus model called the Atlas at the Hershey show. It is larger but so is the price tag (MSRP north of $200K). It appears to be aimed at larger people with variable physical needs. I'm middle-aged but I'm in good health (knock wood), athletic and about 130 pounds. The Interstate fits me like hand in glove. Not so much for larger people and mobility-restricted people.
I just found an intro video on the Atlas, .

Quite an impressive model. Looks like it is Airstream's version of the Pleasureway XLMB. Except it does have a Murphy bed which is accessible from both sides, unlike the PW, which has the same problem as the Travato and Thor corner beds: the person on the inside of the bed has to crawl up from the end. I'm not sure, though, that the Atlas is worth that $200,000 price tag!

Plus, I admit to a slight prejudice against slide-outs.

I actually went looking for an Accessible RV -- the only one I found was the Newmar 3911 -- and while it was a dang nice coach, it is also quite a bit larger than I really want to try to drive, and I suspect the fuel efficiency sucks rutabagas, and not very well.
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Old 09-24-2017, 02:58 AM   #10
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