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Old 03-05-2018, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default unattended pets

A RoadTrek dealer justified their VoltStart system to me with this scenario: you want to go for a half-day hike in a national park. Your dog isn't allowed on the trail, so you have to leave him in the van, so you have to leave the air conditioning on for many hours, trusting the VoltStart system to recharge the batteries as needed. PleasureWay has AGS, much the same system (running the generator, in their case). However, for unrelated reasons, I decided to order a custom Sportsmobile, and they don't offer any such system. They pointed out that running an engine unattended is illegal in most states.

I'd be interested in the group's insights around this scenario (particularly those who are pet owners):
- Does your van have a system like VoltStart or AGS?
- Do you trust it with your pet's safety?
- Are you comfortable leaving your pet in the van unattended for long periods of time (independent of air conditioning)?
- Have you ever gotten flak (or a ticket) for using such a system?
- Have you ever gotten flak (or a ticket, or a broken window) for leaving a pet unattended in your van?
- If all of the windows are covered with blackout shades, and an attic fan is left running, would the van still get too hot for a pet?
- In the absence of a VoltStart or similar system, what alternatives are available that would allow the hike?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:30 PM   #2
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.

LOL

Another Koolaid offer.

Would you trust the life of a dear member of your family to a hotchpotch collection of proprietary electronic parts made by unknown entities, then connected together by a group of anonymous "engineers". Have you counted how many points-of-failure in the set up?




I have nothing against VS.
I do smh when they try to sell it to pet owners.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:39 PM   #3
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Would you trust the life of a dear member of your family to a hotchpotch collection of proprietary electronic parts made by unknown entities, then connected together by a group of anonymous "engineers". Have you counted how many points-of-failure in the set up?
Heh. I think it's pretty obvious from my questions that I'm skeptical about it. But then, I'm an "engineer" myself, and skeptical is our natural state.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:52 PM   #4
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" They pointed out that running an engine unattended is illegal in most states."

Yes it appears that way, I had no idea that 'no idling' had become so widespread.

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Old 03-05-2018, 08:56 PM   #5
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I would do as many things as possible:
1. Blackout\reflective shades
2. Park in shade
3. Roof vent on
4. Iced water for dog
5. A\C if feasible (12v or voltstart)
6. Run A\C before you leave
7. Temp sensor that you can monitor from phone
8. Short haircut for dog
9. ...
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:56 PM   #6
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I rarely leave my dog in the rig alone... certainly not for hours unless it is a really cool day and the fantastic fan plus window is sufficient.

There are systems that are pretty good these days that can monitor the temp inside the vehicle... and connect to your smart phone... and also allow you to start the rig. Not cheap... but neither is the VS.

If I planned to do something like this, this is what I would get.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dronemo...?skuId=4290909

There is also a monthly charge I believe.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:00 PM   #7
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There are systems that are pretty good these days that can monitor the temp inside the vehicle... and connect to your smart phone...
Do you have a link for a product like this?
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Old 03-05-2018, 11:22 PM   #8
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I have Autogen (auto start) on my Advanced RV which is much more sophisticated than Voltstart. You don't leave a pet in your van depending on such a system unless you are right there.

For one there is no failsafe system.

Good luck monitoring with a cell phone in a national park let alone taking a hike for half a day in a wilderness in a national park.

There are idling laws attended or left unattended even though most auto start without a key is supposedly fool proof for theft. A tempted thief may not know that and once in could start your van other ways.

You are going to attract the attention of other campers and authorities especially if your dog barks or is seen unattended in the van. The attention is not going to be positive. It might not be just flak, a broken window or a ticket. You could get arrested. Even if you don't need air conditioning to prevent the van overheating you will still be subject to this attention if people know a dog is inside.

What are the alternatives available? Leave your dog at home with a friend, family member or kennel, leave your dog with a trusted friend or family member in the campground or don't go on a hike or anything leaving your dog unattended.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:54 AM   #9
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What good does it do when you are 2 hours into a hike and you get a cell message that your RV is overheating?
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Old 03-06-2018, 01:36 AM   #10
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What good does it do when you are 2 hours into a hike and you get a cell message that your RV is overheating?
In a salesman's ideal world, you can then use your cell phone to remotely turn on your van's engine and air conditioner.
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