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Useful Tips & Products
How we keep our RV Smelling Fresh (with 4 dogs!)
Make your Dog Beds Odor Free
After a month or so of the RV smelling like dogs, we figured out a system to help keep it smelling fresh. It start’s with our dog beds, each have a zip off cover that’s a fine (not fluffy) fabric. We put the inside of the bed in a plastic bag then zip the cover back over the bag/insides. This keeps odor from seeping into the foam part of the bed, which is very hard to get rid of. Then we wash the covers every 2 -3weeks and we’re good to go. If your snoop has an accident, no problem, just spray off the plastic bag and wash the cover.
Keep the Air Clean
You’d be surprised what a difference an air purifier makes when you have dogs. Occasionally we’ll forget to turn it on (we turn it off when we’re out) and immediately notice a stale smell. It’s quiet, doesn’t take up too much space and makes a big difference.
Remove Moisture From the Air
A dehumidifier isn’t only good for your RV by protecting it from mold, it also helps to eliminate odor. If you don’t have one yet, it’s a great addition. Ours is pretty small and fills up every 2-3 days.
Keep the Hair From Building Up
I love dog fur when I’m snuggling the snoops but wow, it gets everywhere when it leaves their bodies! Since being in the RV, we’ve established a routine of vacuuming every morning and evening. For this reason, we bought a reliable and easy to use vacuum. It has attachments to get into all the places fur likes to hide and is thin enough to maneuver around the RV. It’s important to also vacuum the dog beds at least once a day.
Clean AC Vents Helps Keep the Air Clean
If you’ve been in your RV for at least a month and haven’t cleaned your AC vents, you’ll be unpleasantly surprised how dirty they are. Dog dander will fill those vents very fast thus recirculating smelly air through your AC unit. Once you clean them you’ll notice a difference pretty quick.
Versatile, lightweight and tall , our choice for a dog pen.
If you’re deciding between tie-outs/a cable or a dog pen, get the pen. If you camp in RV parks and/or campgrounds, you will inevitably witness dogs and kids roaming close to or even in your designated site. A pen allows you and your dog to rest comfortably knowing he/she will not be approached. An added bonus, you can even put your favorite human in the pen with them! Here’s the pen we use, Giantex
There’s a Right and Wrong RV Dog Bed
RV’s are generally small spaces and dog beds can get pretty smelly. Controlling this odor will make the RV’ing with dog life more enjoyable. Here’s what we do,
- Use dog beds that have a removable cover that’s easy to wash
- Put the inside cushion of the bed in a plastic bag to help keep it from getting smelly and/or damp and eliminate the need to wash it. Then we zip the cover back over it. This has saved us many times as it’s easy to just wash the cover.
- Choose beds that don’t have a lot of excess fabric that would hold odor.
Would have never picked this to be one of our most important items!
Use this vault to contain the poop smell!
Odor control becomes increasingly important in the RV dog life. In addition to air purifiers, vents, etc, a Dog Vault has been a life saver. Not all campgrounds have garbage pales scattered throughout. So what do you do when you’re taking that last walk of the night, you have 4 full poop bags , you don’t want to walk across the CG to the garbage and you definitely aren’t bringing that mess into your RV? You put them in the vault. This thing seals up tight, holds the odor inside and isn’t an eyesore and we empty it every few days. We have one outside for poop bags and one inside for dog food. For sure a couple of our most coveted items in this wild and fun RV’ing dog life.
Prevention Tips & Products
Anxiety, aka Steve
We rescued Steve after our beloved trail running companion, Cadie passed away. I wanted to be able to run and hike in the woods by myself without being afraid. Steve is a good size and we thought he could have potential to present this, “not today bad guy” look. That backfired because he loves people, everyone. Turns out though, he’s perfect for the RV life. He does however get anxious. In the beginning he was OK but after a few weeks on the road he started this whining/ anxious behavior in the mornings. My guess it’s because when we do move locations, it’s in the morning. We found a system that works now and the anxiety is no longer.
Our anxiety combating system:
- 10 minute minimum walk first thing in the morning
- Thunder Vest is put on if it’s a moving day
- CBD along with his breakfast
- Calming Bone. The bone is great because he likes the flavor, the ingredients are calming and the action of chewing helps to relieve his anxiety
Learned something new in Florida….
Millie ate an alien on the beach in Florida. OK, not really an alien but sure had to be close to it because her stomach was wrecked. Of course this happened late on a Sunday and there were no vets near by. After a bit of research, we drove to the nearest CVS for activated charcoal. About 45 minutes after taking some she was almost 100%, then got to 100% by the next morning. We learned, always have activated charcoal (link) on hand. There’s lots of “stuff” out there that’s interesting to dogs and you don’t want to find yourself driving around looking for activated charcoal on a Sunday night.
Safety Tips & Products
This perhaps required the most research prior to starting this full time mobile RV life. We love to adventure and sometimes those adventures don’t include the dogs. Knowing we’d be in some pretty hot areas, we had to come up with a full proof plan to ensure our dogs safety when we’re away from the RV.
Our Safety System:
- Temperature Monitoring. Campgrounds are not immune to power issues so it’s very important that we can periodically check the temp in the RV and get alerts if it goes beyond the parameters we set. For this, we use Waggle.
- Keyless Entry. If you’re away from your RV and you get an alert that the temp inside is rising, it’s important that someone is able to access your rig. It’s too easy to forget to leave a key behind and not really safe to hide one outside the RV. With keyless entry you can call the CG host or someone you arranged in advance and have them check on your rig/dogs.
- Cameras. It’s a good idea to be able to check on your dogs to make sure they’re OK and not getting into any mischief. Our Wyze camera allows us to talk to them.
- Dog Walker. Having a dog walker check on the snoops/ let them out/walk them at a set time(we usually pick 1/2 way through our outing) helps to ease their anxiety and is another layer of safety. The dog walker can verify the trailer is the right temp and the snoops are not stressed. There are a few different services to chose from. We’ve used Rover and had a good experience.
- Solar Backup. We have a solar system in our RV that will kick on automatically in case of a loss of power and keep the AC running (for a couple hours).
Get the reflective leash
Now that we’ve been in several campgrounds with the snoops, I can really vouch for the reflective leash. Campgrounds by nature have low light. When you’re walking your pups at night along the campground loop and those late arrivals who’ve been driving all day are looking for their site, you really want to stand out. Check out the reflective leashes in our RV’ing dog shop.
Dogs, our biggest motivators
It used to be workouts for big races that got me out of bed at o-dark-thirty. This was until we started this whole full time RV life with 4 dogs. When we had a sticks and bricks house I’d get out of bed half asleep, open the front door and let the snoops go crazy in our fenced in front yard. If I did that now, our male Catahoula would make it his personal mission to pee on every RV in the campground while checking each BBQ grill for leftover snacks (not to mention its a big no-no to let your dogs off leash in a CG). So each morning at around 6:00 am they get their harnesses or gentle leaders on and we head out for our first of 5 daily walks. I have to say, this is doing wonders for my health, both mind and body. The last 3 or so months leading up to full time RV life were pretty stressful. SO much prep work combined with working overtime left health and fitness in the background and had us starting off this adventure somewhat depleted. Fast forward to today, each morning we start the day at sunrise or just before, breathe in the fresh air and get our bodies moving, its a change & new way of life that I just love. After a few hours (and coffee) we’ll take them out for a longer hike to trails we want to scout out for mountain biking later in the day.