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Old 06-29-2012, 03:51 AM   #1
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Default Dogs and Record High Temps

Hi,
This topic might have been addressed before, but I haven't found a thread about handling dogs in Class B's in the heat.

We took a 2-1/4 hour trip to a state park, leaving early evening Tuesday and planning to return today (Thursday). Yesterday's temps were high, but not as bad as today. We left the dogs in the van for about an hour and a half at the outside. We were careful to park in the shade and figure the direction of the sun. We have done this once before earlier in the spring, when it was also hot, but not to today's extreme. We ran the generator and coach a/c. Upon our return, the coach was cool and they were fine. However, a few minutes after we returned there was a change in the sounds and the "fault" light went on, on the generator panel. My husband called Brad, the contact for LTV issues, who said that the generator was most likely overheated and suggested we give it a try again after cooled down. We tried it today and found that the generator wouldn't keep running when the a/c was on. The heat today was extreme.

No damage done at this point, as far as the dogs go. HOWEVER, we had to drive the 2 and 1/4 hour return trip from the park to home today. One of our two is a senior citizen. We have them in safety harnesses that attach to the seat belts on the rear sofa and are the same as we use in the car. I opened all of the windows in the rear for them and we were generally traveling at enough speed to keep up a breeze, but every time I went back there it felt unbearably hot. We would have had no problem running the generator for them to keep the house cool, but with the problems we had had we didn't want to do that. The overhead exhaust fan is scary because of its lid. You are supposed to close those before you travel, aren't you? We turned up the engine a/c full blast and directed the vents backwards as well as we could, but it was SO hot that cranking up the engine a/c, if anything, made it less efficient. We stopped along the way on the trip, but that wasn't much help given that the senior doggie has problems getting in and out, especially when she's stressed, and everywhere was HOT. The main goal seemed to be to get home to the a/c.

Today was like so many things in my experience with hiking, camping, and the like; it is sometimes the excursions that seem the simplest that end up causing the most problems. This was a trip that's an easy day trip. We never would have thought we would be putting the pups at risk. I especially wouldn't have expected to put them at risk by not running the coach air while traveling at speed. I keep water bottles in the freezer all day long and replace them with new ones as they are used. That way we have a constant supply of cold water and they definitely love it.

The whole experience was scary. I don't know what we would have done if we had been further from home. That's not entirely true, if it were an overnighter it would be easy to check into a hotel. What do other people do who travel with pets? I'm terrified of a gen failure.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

Some sort of temperature monitor that will phone out an alarm might help.
You'd have to set the alarm at a low enough temperature to give you time to get back.

This iPhone app might do it:

Quote:
ALARMS
- Setup upper and lower limit alarms
- Call other phones (iPhone only)
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icelsius ... 12879?mt=8
with this accessory:
http://www.icelsius.com/index.php

I'd call them to discuss before purchase.

I don't recall reading about a generator overheating before.

There maybe other mobile temperature monitors out there.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

Anyone know if Vernon Longhibler still makes the Pet Safety Heat Alarm System?

http://www.motorhomemagazine.com/rv-rev ... rm-system/

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's another:

http://www.tiptemp.com/products/34593/t ... ert-system
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

We usually let our small dog ride up front with us. She curls up on the floor between us where she's kept cool by the van a/c. We don't generally run the coach a/c while driving, but then we don't usually travel when it's exceptionally hot either.

I suppose having the dogs restrained on the back sofa would be safer from an accident point of view, but the back sofa ride is pretty bumpy, and our baby already has a sensitive tummy...we sometimes have to clean up throw up and, once, a diarrhea attack.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

We have cats and haven't traveled with them, but if we did, we'd assume that there may be
times when extreme heat might be a problem. Keep water handy and let them roam forward
to the cooler area in the van cab is probably the only option if driving is necessary. You also
suggested stopping at a hotel/motel, or you could find a campground with electrical hookups,
and plug in and run your coach/roof air off electricity.
It's a risk you take when traveling with pets.

Re-read your post and saw you opened the windows at the rear of the van for a breeze?
I would probably have closed up the windows and vents and let the dash AC cool the interior
as much as possible. From personal experience, driving I-15 near Las Vegas in March, or I-17
near Phoenix in October, I think allowing the hot outside air to come in, would probably not be
much use to cool anything or anyone. Close it up, and set the dash AC as high as practical to
cool as much as possible.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is the first time I've been online in several days and I want to look up the alarm systems you all mentioned right away. However, I am about to leave to go into the city for the fireworks, even though we are having all time record heat for fourth of July. We are doing this mainly because we know we will regret it if we don't. Dogs are definitely not included in this event, not solely because of the heat, either. That's another story.

I wondered, also, about whether I should shut their windows. When we were kids none of the cars had a/c, so you always had to be patient until the car started moving and you cooled off. We would just fight to get the windows. But wow, when I went back there it was a hot wind, and I, too, thought of trips through desert country. If we had been stuck for a longer trip, I would have probably belted the senior citizen into the front passenger seat for a while and sat in back with the younger one. I really don't feel comfortable traveling with them unrestrained.

We are still figuring out the generator problem. Evidently it may be a warranty issue. I do want to check into heat warning systems. I wonder how they work in bad or no reception areas?

Happy Fourth of July!!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

Happy Birthday, America.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

Wow, I was reading those sites and they were really scary. I'm such a newbie I have never experienced a campground power problem. I'd be willing to spend the money on one of those systems if I trusted it not to fail. Not sure I could.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

We were on a trip out west last year when our AC stopped working and we had our "senior" dog with us. We were camp in Las Vegas with electric. After a day on the strip we returned and discovered the AC was running but no cold air. Inside tempts were in the low 80's. Long story short.....now when we leave for the day and it is warm/hot out, we open the rear windows 1.5"-2", open and set the Fantastic Fan to turn on when the temp's reach a certain temp inside, have a small fan blowing in the area the dogs (we now have 2) camp out (the bed), and run the AC. If the AC should stop working, we now have a safety net in place. We would rather have open windows and fans going while running the AC, then to come back and discover the worst case scenario. As far as cooling the back while driving, we keep ALL windows closed and the front AC keeps the entire area cool. If you have the Fantastic Fan, they guarantee it is ok to drive with the vent open. We never found a need to. We let our dogs roam freely all the time. They adjust to the movement of the van and mostly like sleeping on that big comfy bed in back
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dogs and Record High Temps

3 problems - unreliable AC, using a Fantastic Fan on thermostat as a backup for failed AC, and leaving
pets unattended in vehicles in hot weather.
Not much you can do about your AC except have it checked before you go. And hope it works well.
The FF is only going to move hot air from the outside through the inside of your van. Might help,
but probably not much if the temps are 85F or above outside. Your pets will be in distress pretty quick.
If you travel with pets, you have to assume the systems which will keep them comfortable might fail.
Keep in mind, your safety net (FF) could fail, too. It's battery operated.
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