6 Important Aspects of RVing with Dogs

Oscar, (pic from breeder)

Our life would not be the same without our two dachshunds (a.k.a wiener dogs)! When we first moved into our RV we didn’t have any pets, but once we took to the road we decided we wanted to add a fury companion, so we started with a puppy. I know your thinking a puppy, in an RV, are you crazy? Yes we were! We picked up our first, what was supposed to be a miniature dachshund, in March 2015 that we named Oscar. He was 8 weeks old and had the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. He was only 4 lbs and we thought we had hit the lottery.  He is now 17 lbs and not so mini. He was the hardest puppy to potty train and never did learn to use pee pee pads indoors, so rainy days are crazy days, but that’s a story for another day.

Harley, the day we brought her home!

Oscar did not like to be left alone, which I attributed to him being a puppy, but my husband said it was because he was lonely and needed a playmate, so puppy number two came into the picture in July 2015 at 6 weeks of age. This time we got a girl and she became known as Harley and was the darkest chocolate-colored weenie I had ever seen. At 7 weeks she was only 2.10 pounds and also suppose to be a miniature; however, there is nothing miniature about her as she is a plumb 20 lbs. now.  

Over the last two years we have learned a few things about living with these two magnificent animals and can’t imagine what our life would be like without them. Although they spend the majority of their day sleeping and being lazy, they still provide much-needed entertainment for us. They are more than just pets, they are our babies and life would not be the same without them.

They became fast friends!

Disclosure:  Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, so if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a commission.  While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they do help us keep this site up and running.  For more details, please check out our full disclosure policy. AnnaFWhite.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

LEAVING DOGS IN THE RV

On days that we want to venture out to sightsee, go fishing or just need a break, we leave them in the RV. When they were still puppies, we left them in a crate, which they hated. They did not like being confined to a small space and living in an RV, which is a small space in itself, didn’t really provide much space for a gigantic crate. The solution for us was to use what we had bought to use for an outdoor playpen inside the house. It provided a bigger area for them to move around in. We added their pet bed, a blanket and some toys and they were now good to go. We also leave the television on with their favorite DIY channel playing, which helps to block outside noises. We also leave either the A/C or heat on, depending on the weather, to regulate the temperature. The way we look at it is if we were still in a sticks and bricks house we would leave our dogs at home so what is the difference? This is our home and they have never known anything else, so they do well.

DOGGY DAYCARE

Although most days we leave the dogs at the house when we venture out, there are some days that require us to be gone for more than a few short hours, so we find a local doggy daycare to leave them at. In addition, this gives them time to spend with other dogs, just like children need to interact with other kids, dogs need to interact with other dogs. In the event we ever have to leave them in a kennel overnight, I would rather them be use to the idea of that atmosphere than be put into a situation where they feel alone and scared in an unfamiliar setting. They both love being at daycare and are excited when we drop them off and just as excited when we pick them up.  

EXERCISE AND OUTDOOR SAFETY

We take the dogs out many times a day and spend quality time exercising and playing with them. The most important thing to remember is that most, if not all, campgrounds require dogs to be on a leash at all times. I cannot express how important it is for everyone to keep their dogs on a leash. The last thing you want is to witness a dog fight because someone let their dog run free. I see it in every park we have ever stayed at and it drives me crazy. When your outside, set up a playpen area, if allowed, and let your dog get some fresh air. Do not tether your dog outside and go back into your RV. Tethered dogs can get loose and/or tangled up and most parks require you to be present if your dog is outside.

TRAVEL DAYS

We have a truck and fifth wheel. We have never once thought to let our dogs ride in the fifth wheel on travel days for several reasons. One, it is too hot. Two, the roads are too bumpy and the poor babies would be thrown all over the place.  The safest place is to have them in the vehicle with you. Ours ride in the back seat. I have two small puppy pads, one on each side, that provide a softer area to rest on plus a blanket and toys. Harley is the best traveler I have ever seen. She never makes a sound. Instead she sleeps most of the time and only gets up when we stop, which we do every couple of hours to give them both a chance to walk, stretch their little legs and relieve themselves.  Oscar is the whiner of the bunch and hates to be in the backseat. He would rather ride up front with the passenger so he can see what’s going on, which we do allow for a few minutes every hour or so. Once he gets his special time, then he will lay right back down and sleep as well.  

Enjoying the backseat on travel day!

VET RECORDS

It is very important to keep your dogs shots up to date. The only place that has asked for proof of rabies was at a park in New Hampshire, but I’m sure there are other places that will ask as we continue to travel to other states that we haven’t been to yet. You should keep your pets records with all your other important documents, so they are easy to locate when needed. When we are going to be in a place for more than a couple of days, I also look for the closest veterinarian office just in case we have an emergency. We learned this the hard way after Oscar was stung by a bee, had a swollen face and had to be treated. In our experience, in order to leave our dogs at doggy daycare or for an overnight stay, the kennel cough vaccine has been required. Some locations might not be prone to fleas, ticks or heartworms, but as a precaution we pre-treat our pets for all three. Either a google search or a call to a local veterinarian can provide information as to whether the area you are visiting should be of concern for these pests and if so precautions can be taken.  

CAMPGROUND ETIQUETTE

I saved the most important thing about RVing with dogs for last….etiquette. More and more people are becoming less concerned about what they do affects others. However, when you stay in an RV park or campground we need to remember that we are not the only ones there and not everyone likes dogs. We need to show consideration for those people as well. All dog owners need to pick up after their dogs. I think we all should have stock in the poop bag industry to recoup all the money we spend on those bags. The last thing anybody wants to do when having a nice leisurely stroll, especially at night, is to step in dog poop. Pleeeaaaassssseee pick up after your dog! In addition, do not cut through another campsite especially with your dog, and don’t let them pee on the neighbors flowers or anything else in their yard. Another thing that irritates your neighbors is a dog who constantly barks, especially when your gone. If you’re not sure if your dogs a barker or don’t want to believe it when your neighbor tells you your dog barked all day long, then set up a video camera and record your dog when your gone. We wondered how our dogs behaved while out, so we did just that when we were on our trip in New York. We bought a wireless camera that we could view from our phone, which allows us to watch the dogs, to see what they are doing all day. Not only do we see them, but we can hear them and we can talk to them as well. It provided peace of mind knowing that they were fine and slept more than anything.

RVing with dogs is possible and can be a great experience for all involved. Our life wouldn’t be complete without our furbabies and the enjoyment and companionship they provide is undeniable.

Christmas 2016

How to Bake in an RV Oven

When I first moved into our RV I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to cook like I had done for so many years in a sticks and bricks home and the thought of that scared me as I was afraid I would have to give up a part of myself in order to live this lifestyle. It took patience and time, but eventually I was able to cook without burning whatever I put in the gas oven. I prefer gas over electric, but it had been a long time since I had used gas and for some reason in my mind I thought it would be difficult to use.
 

Lucky for me I figured out rather quickly that I could still bake cookies, biscuits, cheesecake and more, as good, if not better than I had in the past.  The first thing I discovered was I needed to add baking tiles to the bottom of the oven.  The tiles would help distribute the heat better which would provide more even cooking. Second, I added an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature because it didn’t seem like the oven was heating to the desired temperature. A thermometer also lets you know when the temperature is actually at the degrees you want as there is no button to tell you you have reached the correct temperature. Once I added the thermometer, I discovered my oven was off by 25 degrees, which meant if I wanted the oven to be 350 degrees, then I had to put the dial on 375 degrees. 

Disclosure:  Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links, so if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a commission.  While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they do help us keep this site up and running.  For more details, please check out our full disclosure policy. AnnaFWhite.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Below are some of the items I use in my RV kitchen and recommend to others.


Please check out my RECIPE TAB for some great recipes that I have cooked in my oven.

Feel free to share in the comments below any secrets you have to cooking in your RV Kitchen.

5 Things I Love About Living in My RV 

When we made the decision to become full-time RVer’s I had no idea what to expect. The only experience I had in “camping” was tent camping like 20 years ago. I have a gypsy spirit and once I had children I hardly ever stayed in one house very long.  Over about a twenty-year span I quit counting after I reached about 40 moves.  Some were just across town, but it still meant packing and unpacking the house.  Once I became an empty nester, I considered buying an RV so that way I could just move locations instead of packing the whole house up and besides I didn’t need a big house for only one person. Unfortunately I never had the guts to do it solo. However, when I met my husband Greg he was living in a fifth wheel and that’s how all the fun began. 

It took us a few months to go from a sticks and bricks to full-time living, but it was worth it and there are several reasons why I love the life we live. 

  1. Flexibility to move – I can move when I want to wherever I want and I never have to pack.  Having the flexibility to explore any state on any coast at any time of the year is one of the main reasons I wanted this lifestyle. We even have flexibility when we stay at a campground. For example, if we don’t like the neighbors we can either move to another site, another campground or even another state.
  2. Adventurous lifestyle – Having the flexibility to move allows us to have as much adventure as we want.  Whether we’re fishing on a gorgeous lake, seeing lighthouses and magnificent waterfalls, or just back country roads. There is always some type of adventure out there and we are totally enjoying it.
  3. Perfect Kitchen – I love to cook and bake and although my kitchen might be smaller, I can still cook everything I cooked before I moved into an RV.  In addition, I’ve learned to cook in a convection oven, which saves on our propane use and the food turns out just as good as if I cooked it in the oven.
  4. Minimal Stuff – Having a smaller home makes it easier to keep up with what you have.  When we started downsizing to move into the RV, we realized just how much we didn’t need all the “stuff” that we had accumulated over the years.  We kept the important stuff, but minimal living is the best for us.  I never see us having a bigger home again. 
  5. Easy Cleaning – There are two things I hate, ironing and cleaning the house.  Lucky for me with only 400 sq ft it doesn’t take long to clean our home.  In as little as 30 minutes I can have everything cleaned from floor to ceiling. 

This lifestyle has many advantages to those of us that want to live like this and it’s not for everyone. Most of my family, if not all of them, think I’m crazy, but I can’t think of a time I have been this happy. The flexibility and adventures we have had thus far are reason enough for us to keep living this lifestyle.  

For those of you living this lifestyle, what do you love about it? Leave your comments below.

 

How We Wrapped Up 2016

The month of December brings us to the end of another year. This year has had ups and downs. January started with me taking a part-time job as we sat in Tallahassee trying to decide if we were going back on the road or staying put. It didn’t take but about six months for us to decide that what we really wanted was to be on the road travelling, so off we went. Our first trip was only for a couple of weeks to Louisiana and back to Florida. Come July we began what was supposed to be a 4 month trip to the New England states and back along the eastern coastline.  This marks the second time we have tried to visit the eastern coastline and had to cancel and head back home. The first time being back in 2015 when we first began our full-time travel.  

Our journey north started out good and for the first couple months we really enjoyed all the places we got to visit. The most memorable being our trip to Niagara Falls, followed by all the covered bridge sightings. Our time in the North Carolina mountains brought us or at least me some scary moments on the trip up and down the mountain, but nothing that I wouldn’t attempt to do again as the sights were beautiful and seeing the elk was more than worth the drive.

Unfortunately in September we were hit with a big setback when Greg had to have emergency surgery. Thankfully he is doing good and we are hopeful that in February he will have a second surgery to reverse part of the first one and once recuperated we will be back on the road enjoying this beautiful country. After two attempts of trying to see the east coast, we are going to forego that area for now and head west. We want to view some annual lots around Lake Fork in Texas, where we hope to settle one day, before heading to Monterey, California.  

CHRISTMAS

While staying in Florida, I was able to see two of the grandkids at Christmas time. I visited the one who lives in Louisiana right before Thanksgiving and since his mom is expecting a little girl in April, I decided to forego a trip back there until closer to delivery time.

 

Greg and I spent Christmas day out on the lake as we have a great RV spot on Lake Talquin that is known for great bass fishing.  We try to go out in the boat at least once a week at a minimum.  

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas holiday and we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

A Synopsis of our Summer Travel in an RV

A trip which started in June and ended in October included 120 days of traveling over 10k miles through 18 states. Our trip started and ended in Florida, which serves as our home base. 

The first 23 days of our journey included traveling through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. We had both wanted to visit Duck Commander in West Monroe, LA, so off we went to see if we could meet any of the Robertson clan. The scariest part of this journey was the roads as they were the worse roads we have ever traveled on and some I hope we can avoid in the future.

Once we left Louisiana we headed back to Florida as we were supposed to meet the rest of the family at my parents to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. Once we done that, we were headed out for the next 97 days traveling up to the New England states and back down the eastern coast.

Our state map shows all the states we have traveled through regardless if we spent an overnight or not. For us, if we spend a good part of the day sightseeing, then that’s good enough to add a state to the map.

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The other states we made it through were: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey. Wow! Saying that out load is scary! I can’t believe we covered that many states in only 4 months. I know there is still so much to see in these states and hopefully we will go back one day and see more.

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know our trip was cut short due to a medical emergency, so we didn’t make it to DC and Maryland, nor the eastern coastline through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia and eastern parts of Florida. Hopefully we will finish that portion of the trip in the future.

Our total miles over the expansion of 120 days of traveling were 10,497; of which 5,074 were actual travel miles. The rest were all the miles we spent going on sightseeing adventures looking for waterfalls, covered bridges, lighthouses, Elk and so much more. You can read about all of our adventures in the archives.

Our average cost for camping fees were $29.09 per day for the entire 120 days based on how much we spent on campground fees as well as 4 months’ coverage for our Thousand Trails membership, which we pay monthly.

We learned a lot on this journey and hope to put that knowledge to use when we get through this medical crisis and get back on the road. In the meantime, I’ll spend some time working on my photography skills, reading, sewing, crocheting and knitting. Oh and a little fishing on the lake won’t hurt either as we found a nice quiet little spot on Lake Talquin to spend the next few months.