Tuesday, April 25

RVing With Rover: How to Do It the Right Way!

 How to Care for Rover When RVing
GoRVing.com (with Special Permission)

If you want to take your dog with you when RVing, it's important to keep him as safe, happy and healthy during vacations as you do at when you and he are at home.

This is no small task, so before you make the decision to travel with him, make sure you are willing to do whatever is necessary to give him the care he deserves to have.

Remember that although he will enjoy the excitement of doing something new and different, he also will not understand exactly what is going on, so there may be times when he becomes frightened and confused.

Thus, it is up to you to make sure that he is happy and comfortable at all times.

Important Care and Protection Tips

Here are some basic tips that, while a bit of work, will help your dog to feel secure and stay healthy while your family is traveling. 
  1. Never leave your dog in a coach that does not have good ventilation.
  2. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
  3. If you plan to be gone for long periods of time, give someone you trust a key to your coach and ask them to check on him a few times during the day.
  4. Always make sure you vaccinate your animal before you leave home, and carry the certificates of proof with you when you go.
  5. Clear all counters before you start moving so that items cannot fall on your pet and injure him.
  6. Use a travel crate to house your dog when you are away and/or when you are traveling from one spot to another to keep him safe and also to protect your living quarters.
  7. Carry a special first aid kit with you designed specifically for your dog that includes all of his flea, tick, heart worm and other medications.
  8. Check daily for signs of travel stress such as refusal to eat or lack of energy. If you see them, it is time to stop and rest for a day or two before moving on.
  9. Keep information on your pets that identify them and give people ways of contacting you if your dog gets lost.
Below you will find other information that will help as well.

Make His Comfort a Priority

Leaving an animal alone in a strange place for hours at a time while you go out to see the sights is frightening to him and may even prove dangerous. It's something a pet owner should never do while vacationing.

You wouldn't like to be left alone in a strange place and "not knowing", and neither will he. Furthermore, he can't know for sure when you'll return or even if you will.

Your dog is more secure at home because he knows your living patterns, but this is a totally different situation for him. The surroundings, smells and sounds are not the same as they are at home, and this can be scary for a dog.

Animals who become frightened have been known to injure themselves and damage RVs, so it is to your best interest to make sure your pet feels secure.

One way to protect him is to keep a pet gate on board that limits his access to certain areas of your unit. I have used the one I show below for years and have found it to be one of the best ways to keep my dog safe as well as control him. This one is light weight, folds easily, fits most RV door openings and stores well, and yet does a great job.


If you must go out,
  • do it only for short periods of time,
  • keep toys available for him to play with,
  • leave him plenty of food and water and
  • put on some soft, soothing music.
Remember, too, that your dog can only hold his bodily fluids for so long. He will do what he can, but being forced to hold back for too long a time is not good for his health.

If he does have an accident, never scold him for doing so because it will be your fault, not his. To avoid having this problem, always walk him before you leave and again right after you return.

Provide Good Nutrition

Good nutrition is actually more important for a dog when it is traveling than when it is at home because of the energy he exerts due to excitement and stress.

For this reason you should maintain his normal feeding schedule and
carry enough of the food and treats he is used to eating so that you don't have to supplement his diet with scraps.

You should also keep plenty of water available, especially if you are traveling or camping in hot climates.

Don't Let Your Dog Run Free

There is always a temptation to let dogs roam freely, but this is never a good idea because they
  • can get lost,
  • create problems with other campers or their pets or
  • harm themselves.
I lost a beloved dog who was browsing innocently near my RV, ate some saw grass and died due to the fact that it cut holes in her lungs. It was an extremely traumatic experience that I have never forgotten, and I would not want any other person or their pet have to suffer as we all did when that happened.

This is why I advise you to leash or otherwise control your dog when during travel.

Nurture Constantly!

Like humans, animals crave love and attention.

It's important to their well being that you hold, pet, talk to and play with them, rather than just having them "be there" for your own comfort.

Doing these things is fun and will be good for both of you!

Tend to Your Pet's Health

Sometimes pets get sick while traveling.

Problems can be anything from bee stings to ingesting foreign objects that damage intestines and require surgery, so it is a good idea to carry your vet’s phone number as well as your pet's medications, preferred foods and medical history with you.

You can buy dog tags that you engrave with important information to attach to his collar so that if he gets lost, whoever finds him can bring him back to you or get him to a vet if necessary.


This way, if something serious does happen, the new vet can have an immediate overview that will help him to diagnose and treat your little friend.

If your dog gets sick, stop and camp for a few days to give him time to recover and/or stop often while traveling to allow him to rest a bit. It's hard to get well when you're in a moving vehicle!

You should always carry paper towels, plastic bags, latex gloves and some Pine Sol just in case your dog throws up so you can clean the mess up quickly.

It pays to be prepared!

Provide a Special Place for Your Dog

We all like to have our special "spots", and dogs are no different.

Carry a comfy doggy bed that he can use as needed that he will learn to use instead of your furniture to stay warm and comfortable.

Put his toys, food and water close to the bed so that he knows he's got his own, safe little corner of the world.

To you this may not seem important, but to him, it will mean everything!

Happy, Healthy Dogs Make Great Traveling Companions

RVing with dogs can be a great deal of fun, but doing so requires a fair amount of sacrifice and hard work.

For this reason, you need to make sure that you are willing to do all that is necessary to keep him safe, comfortable and happy and provide for his needs while you're on the road.

If you provide the care your dog needs, you'll find that both you and your buddy will have great and memorable times together.

Happy Trails!


Saturday, April 15

The Best Ways to Deal with Sleep Problems During RV Trips

Don't RV When You are Sleep Deprived!

 It is more important to sleep well during RV vacations than you might think because sleep deprivation can cause accidents, and it can also make vacations much less enjoyable.

Unless there is some underlying health problem that causes insomnia, the most common reasons for loss of sleep during RV trips can be easily dealt with and resolved.

The Most Common RV Sleep Thieves

The most common reasons for the inability to sleep well are:

  • an ill equipped RV,
  • a bad campsite,
  • a coach that is not level,
  • an uncomfortable mattress,
  • incorrect use of bedding,
  • poor air quality,
  • inability to control noise,
  • intrusive external lighting,
  • lack of a comfortable temperature and
  • health problems.

A Poorly Equipped RV

The equipment and amenities in your RV greatly determine how well you will be able to sleep.

Ideally, you want those that will help you to filter out noise, eliminate odors and help you control the internal temperature of your unit.

Thermal windows, Fantastik Fans and high KW generators are helpful, but if your coach is not equipped with them you can use

insulated ceiling vent covers 

An excellent way to control internal RV Climate
(click link to buy)

portable floor fans

Great for circulating AC from front of RV to Bedroom
(click link to buy)

ceramic cube heaters 

Use this instead of wasting propane to run your furnace!
(click link to buy)

and small air purifiers 

To keep pollen and allergens away from sleeping areas 
(click link to buy)

to control the internal climate of your RV and make breathing easier so that you can sleep better.

The Wrong Campsite

You will not sleep well if lights are shining through your windows or you are parked too close to noisy neighbors who like to stay up late, drink and "chat".

Therefore, you need to examine sites carefully before choosing one.

 A Coach That Is Not Level

No matter where you park, you need to make sure that your coach is level because when it isn't, there is no way that you will get a good night's sleep.

All travel units come with either manual or hydraulic jacks that can be used for this purpose, but you also should use leveling blocks, wheel chocks and a level to stabilize your RV.

The attached video shows you the correct way to level a camper, but there are others on YouTube that provide directions for doing so with motor homes and travel trailers, so take a look.

An Uncomfortable Mattress

Low and mid level coaches provide very thin, cheap mattresses that provide only minimal support, while more expensive units come with those that are sturdier and more well designed.

The good news is that since all RV beds are basically nothing more than a mattress that sits on top of an upside down box, you have the choice of replacing the one you have if you find it uncomfortable.

Therefore you don’t have to own an expensive RV to be able to sleep on a good mattress.

Replacement won‘t be cheap, but it will be worth every penny you spend.

It would be a good idea, if you find your household mattress to be comfortable, to buy the same type to use in your RV so that your body won't have to "adjust" to a new bed when you travel.

Poor Use of Bedding

You can have the most comfortable bed in the world, but if you misuse your bedding, sleep will still evade you.

To eliminate this problem, do the following:

  1. Leave the original bedspread and decorative bed pillows at home.
  2. Put a fitted sheet over the mattress.
  3. Put two sleeping bags over the sheet.
  4. Use the same pillows you use to sleep with at home.
  5. Keep one twin sheet and one twin blanket folded up under the pillows of each traveler.
  6. If you do these things, you will not be disturbing the other person who is in bed with you each time you turn over because your sheets and blankets will not be tugging at theirs.

You also will be able to use a variety of combinations to suit any weather situation you may encounter. For example, in

  • very cold weather, sleep inside the bags and cover them with the blankets or
  • very hot weather, discard all coverings except the sheets.

Poor Air Quality

If you are not a smoker but are camped beside someone who is, their bad habit will foul the quality of the air in your RV.

The same is true of being parked next to people who set campfires using trash instead of hardwood and in so doing stink up your travel unit.

Also, if you are in a facility that is located near a pulp lumber yard or cattle holding area, the smell will overwhelm you.

You can avoid sleep thieves such as these simply by paying attention to the air quality of the campground you intend to visit, moving to a different campsite or simply shutting your doors and windows and turning on your air conditioner.


When you stay in campgrounds, external noises such as barking dogs, loud radios or group singing can sometimes be a problem that affects your ability to sleep well.

You can eliminate the great majority of them simply by closing your windows and turning on your air conditioner. You may also want to use a set of ear plugs.

If doing these things do not work, find the park manager and ask him to talk to those who are keeping you awake. This only works, however, if the facility has quiet hour rules (which most do).

Intrusive Lighting

People normally pull into a campground during daylight hours and thus do not pay attention to the lighting that surrounds their site.

However, after dark, they may find that blinking signs from local businesses or even facility street lights may shine right into their bedrooms and affect their ability to sleep.

To eliminate this problem, you need to be more observant and park where lighting won't affect you, or cut some cardboard to insert into your bedroom window rails to block the lights.

Uncomfortable Temperature

When you are too hot or too cold, you will not sleep well.

Therefore, you need to find ways to control the internal climate of your coach.

Using appropriate bedding as well as the equipment mentioned above will help you to do this.

Also, when planning your trips, you should always do so with an eye to weather patterns so that you can choose routes and destinations that will lead you to more amenable temperatures.

Health Problems

Pain and discomfort due to health problems negatively affect one’s ability to sleep well.

However, using pain medications and health aids such as heating pads and ice packs can help.

It is also a good idea to stretch often and take rest breaks as you travel.

Your body does not care that you are vacationing, if you don't pay attention to its needs, it will not let you sleep!

Get Some Sleep!

As you can see, most RV travel sleeping problems can be resolved simply by identifying their causes and then taking steps to deal with them.

Hopefully you have found something in this guide that will help you to sleep better so that you can have more enjoyable RV vacations.

Tips for Sleeping Better in Your RV

Tuesday, April 4

How to Safely Control RV Bugs and Pests While Traveling

Don't Let Bugs and Pests Ruin Your RV Vacation
One of the best ways to make sure that your RV vacation will be pleasant is to take steps to safely protect your travelers as well as your vehicles from bugs and pests.
There are several methods you can use that are easy, fast, safe and effective such as
·     environmental control,
·     proper vehicle preparation,
·     fending off invasive pests,
·     avoiding contact with bugs and insects and
·     correctly dealing with ticks.
Using some or all of them will eliminate many of the problems you might encounter while traveling and can significantly help to improve your RV travel experience.
Learn to Control Your Environment
When you set up camp in a motor home or trailer, you mostly spend your days in settings where there are trees, heavy foliage, standing water woods and grass,
In such locations you will also find ants, spiders, flies, fleas, chiggers, gnats, maggots, mosquitoes, hornets, wasps, bees and other critters that call those places home. You may also find skunks, rats, mice, raccoons and other pests that can harm you or damage your coach.
1.    Country settings are where those creatures are supposed to be.
2.    When you go there, you are invading their turf.
3.    If you get stung, bitten or aggravated as a result, it’s your own fault!
The best way to protect yourself is to control your environment as much as possible without hurting yourself or damaging your health, vehicles or equipment.
To do this always make it a point to
·     camp in places where others are parked close by,
·     be vigilant about your surroundings, especially at night,
·     be careful when you step out of your travel unit and
·     watch for signs of problems within your coach, such as crumbs in strange places or food boxes with holes in them.
To get rid of bugs and insects, use a non-toxic bug killer that is effective, yet safe, like Eco Defense.This product is good for eliminating ants and other crawling insects without harming your family's safety.
Protect Your RV

There are a number of things you should do to protect your RV so that when you get ready to take a trip, you won't discover any nasty surprises.
I well remember the days when we weren't smart enough to do this, and boy did we suffer for our stupidity. Traveling with ants, roaches and wasps as companions was definitely not fun!
Had we had privy to the the information I'm sharing here, those nasty little episodes never would have happened.
Here are some things you can do to avoid similar problems:
  • Before traveling or storing, set off a bug bomb and leave the coach closed for at least 24 hours afterwards. (Make sure you use a product that is nontoxic to humans and pets.)
  • When parked for any length of time, spread powdered ant killer around the tires of your coach and tow vehicle.
  • Spray your hoses and tires with Pam to make them slippery so that bugs cannot use them as entry points. Do this regularly as you travel.
  • Place ant and roach baits inside of the coach when it is stored or while traveling.
  • Check your coach for bee,wasp and ant nests regularly, especially if it has been stored for awhile. Favorite spots are inside of the exterior door behind the refrigerator, the insides of wheel wells, refrigerator vents and basement storage areas. Spray heavily to get rid of them.
  • When traveling in warm months, spray Pam on the front of your coach. This keeps bugs from “sticking” and protects your paint, too. Using dampened dryer sheets will make removal fast and easy.
  • Check screens for openings, tears or holes that can allow insects to enter your coach. Repair or replace them as soon as you discover a problem.
Deal Effectively With Invasive Pests
Bugs and insects are not the only creatures who will want to give you problems.
Mice and rats will try to get to your food supply and can also eat through the wires and plumbing beneath your travel unit.
The best and safest way to keep them at a distance is to place a few humane rat or mouse traps under your coach using peanut butter as bait so that they will go for that rather than your food or your coach.
By doing this, you can use the same traps repeatedly, the critters are not injured and you can release them back into the wild once you move on. However, if you do a release while you remain, they most likely will return!
To avoid problems with bigger pests such as skunks and raccoons, never leave food or open garbage lying around outside of your RV.
If you do encounter one of these creatures, back off slowly and get into your coach or tow vehicle until it goes away.
Never quickly leap out of your coach at night to check out strange sounds because you just might land on a skunk and get covered with with a noxious spray that will be very difficult to get rid of! (Bathing in tomato juice will remove the stink if you do get sprayed.)

Avoid Having Contact With Bugs

The following tips will help you to avoid having contact with bugs.
1.     Never camp near water or densely wooded areas.
2.     Check for bee, wasp and ant nests before setting up camp on any site.
3.     Carry bug spray with you and use it generously.
4.     Keep food covered and never leave scraps, spills or crumbs lying around.
5.     Never leave open containers unattended, even if they are empty.
6.     Place garbage in tightly closed containers and dispose of it regularly.
7.     Keep your unit’s doors and windows closed.
8.     Make sure there are no holes in your RV screens.
9.     Use a nontoxic insect spray or electric bug zappers to keep insects at bay.
10.  Turn off lights before entering RV after dark so that bugs do not fly in.
11.   Wear rubber bands around pant and shirt cuffs to keep insects from crawling onto         your body when you are walking in wooded areas.
12.  Leave the perfume and after shave at home.
13.  Protect you neck and head with scarves and hats.
14.  Travel in the cooler months, if possible. Many bugs are dormant then.
It is also a good idea to use an outdoor citronella candle or two near the entry door side of your coach to keep mosquitoes at a distance.They are are safe, small and easy to store.
I always carry at least one of these whenever we travel, and they work great. I have tried several different brands, but Repel seems to work the best of all of them.
Deal With Ticks Carefully

Ticks present a special set of problems because they carry Lyme Disease. You should do everything possible to steer clear of them, but when one gets a hold of you, make sure you know what to do.
To avoid bringing them into your travel unit:
·              stay away from tall grasses,
·              avoid Spanish Moss and
·              check your pets regularly for ticks before allowing them into your coach.
What to do if a tick crawls under your skin:
1.   Light a match, blow it out, and then hold the hot tip on the back of the tick. It will crawl out, and you can then knock it off and kill it.
2.   If you cannot get the tick out, coat it with clear nail polish. This cuts of its oxygen supply and kills it.
3.   If you are concerned that you may have contracted Lyme Disease due to a tick bite, seek medical attention immediately.
4.   Never try to pull a tick out of your skin because the head will remain and cause problems for you.
Get Ready to Fight the Pest and Bug Wars!
There are many more insects in the world than people, so when you leave your home and thrust yourself into theirs, you and your family had better be prepared to deal with them.
Batting a few flies away when you are trying to enter or leave your RV is much different than fighting off a some wasps that have gotten to your coach through an open window.
Plan ahead, and prepare for the worst so that you can handle any bug or pest related problems that may arise.