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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Go Camping with Your Dogs: Part I

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© photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2009
Time to Set Up Our Bed, Mom!
We're Pooped from all that Hiking

Dog activities seem to have an infinite number of variations that add to my bonding with and enjoyment of the pups in my life. A recent camping adventure to visit my sons out of state became a canine camp, for sure.

After some friends from our agility class began camping with their dogs in an RV, my ticker went to work. I wanted to try it but had to work out my concerns. Weekends away have always represented certain things to me:

  • missing my dogs
  • worrying about my dogs
  • getting a dog sitter or kennel care ( we use a daycare where daytime is outdoor play time--no all day crates)
  • and finally, the cost of the above
Evaluating what we normally pay for hotels, airline tickets, dog boarding (per pet), and all meals out, I put pen to paper and discovered that an RV trip had the surprising potential (no guarantees here) to be enjoyed for about the same cost, without the worries.

After a few conversations with my friends, and then my hubby, we finally decided to give RV travel a trial run with a rental unit. I started this investigation by checking out the various types available and the gas mileage to be expected.

Hubby and I visited a few dealers to get the sales pitch on several different styles, looking at the pros and cons of each. There is much to consider.

When I moved on to rental research I quickly learned that my options were narrowed considerably by our desire to take the dogs. Since a large majority of retired (not me, not yet!) or semi-retired (what exactly is that, anyway?) RV travelers choose this mode of adventure in order to include their canine companions, it was unexpected that many rental locations do not allow dogs to come along. Tisk!

Like me, many renters are doing a trial run before considering a purchase. These same companies that rent RVs and travel trailers also sell them. Are they shooting themselves in the foot? Seems so. Or perhaps they are just letting the other guys do the selling for them. Hmmm....

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
Playing Cards Inside the RV

Enough of my ranting. We ultimately found Cruise America and happily rented their smallest RV. With 3 dogs along for a planned 4 nights of camping, hiking, new dog park visits and family time, we set off RV Adventure With the Dogs.

Join me as I continue this story in upcoming posts. You may be surprised to learn where our challenges lay. Curious? Did you see the movie RV, with Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines?

If you don't want to miss a word of my stories, tips and drama, be sure to subscribe at the top right of the blog. Hope to see you soon. Happy camping!

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Marty said...

Oh my, great minds think alike! We just retired our old popup and are looking at trailers and RVs. Small world... Looking forward to the entries on the details of your adventure!

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

I have so much to share that I will be bringing it to you in weekly installments on various themes. So glad to know there are interested readers.

For my greener minded dog lovers, check out my comments at, where I share the ways we made our trip a lighter shade of green.

Happy travels!

Dan said...

I think camping with a dog is a joyous experience. It’s a good bonding treat for both owner and dog. They learn new things about each other. Definitely, it is going to be a good time for both. But of course we have to take note that there are other hikers and campers out there… so we have to make sure that our dogs are not violent or danger to others. and treated with the right vaccine. We know our dog well, so we have to assess first before deciding to hike or camp with dog.

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Thanks for a great point, Dan. Our dog's socialization, health and proper vaccinations are critical to a successful trip, both for us, the dog, and our camping 'neighbors.' I hope you'll visit our guest post by Kelley Denz," Tips for Tent Camping with Your Dogs":

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