I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but I didn't see anyplace better.
I'm looking to buy a motorhome for traveling to dog shows. Other than just general personal likes or dislikes, is there anything I should be considering specifically because I will be using it to transport and house dogs and all the show paraphernalia? Has anyone gotten a motorhome, only to wish that they had some particular feature?
If this is more properly in another section, please just let me know.
Get one equipped with a generator and A/C also a Diesel engine if possible in the unit you can afford . There are all kinds of extras available limited only by your wallet
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I'm also wondering if there's any feature that the dogs need. I'm wondering about space for crates and tie downs. Is bigger better for the space of staying overnight with critters, or is smaller better for maneuvering at different shows? Carpet or tile? How the heck do you live for a weekend in an RV with two people and three or four dogs? Can you create a giant ex pen around the side of the motorhome for an area to hang out in and keep dogs?
I've never done the motorhome thing, and haven't even really paid much attention to the sea of motorhomes surrounding every show. What do I need to know?
I have a 25 foot older motorhome that we aquired from my parents in law. It has a sofa in the back corner adjacent to the kitchen and bathroom with the table clser to the door and an over the cab queen bed. I like this layout as I prefer to sleep up top and the sofa can be extended and the cushions removed as a place to put crates.
As part of my job at a service dog kennel I used to have to take intact male and female labs/goldens out of town overnight to a vet who donated her time to x-ray hips and elbows. I used to take 4 dogs at a time. Two full size crates would fit on the sofa area secured and I could get a third in if folded down the table. It was cramped but it worked well. I would crate and rotate the intact males/females. This was only one night and the new RV's with slide outs would make it even easier to pop out some folding crates when you are stopped.
I do wish we had a diesel engine...our RV is a total gas hog! Plus we need to do a lot of maintenance as it is old.
Good luck finding an RV that suits your needs!
Jenn, Murphy and Sassy Saffron
"Ever consider what they must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul --chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!"
Diesel generally gets better mileage and have stronger pulling power for going up hills. But fewer places to get gas. A gasoline coach will generally be less expensive. Some motorhomes allow you to fill fuel from either side, which can be convenient if the gas station you have to use is small or has limited access. Also, the larger the fuel capacity, the less often you have to fill.
I would recommend hard surface flooring rather than carpet with dogs. We have a 5th wheel, and things can get messy. If you buy new, or used, do a thorough walk-thru, as motorhomes are kind of like Detroit vehicles from the old days--lots of quality control issues.
As far as dogs go, look for an open floor plan, with plenty of slide-outs so you have room for your crates. Some have washer and dryers.
There are some bargains out there because of all the repossessed coaches if you will consider buying used.
Setting up an X-pen outside would depend on the location you are parked. We go to an RV park a few times a year, and usually hook Max up to a tie-out when we are outside. But we only have one dog.
You might try renting a motorhome for a weekend and trying it out.
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We get better than 8 mpg, more like 12, but we have a truck/trailer, not a motorhome. My husband keeps saying a motorhome would be easier to back up. We've also heard that two axles are easier to back up than one axle.
Our trailer is 16', so probaby not big enough for your needs. It's just right for 2 adults and a golden. Once we are in the trailer, Casper thinks it's a giant crate, and adjusts his activity to match. He sleeps in a crate at home. In the trailer, we make up the dinnette cushions into his bed at night. He sleeps there until the second we roll over in the morning and then he tries to jump on the bed. Sometimes he succeeds.
One of the best things about the trailer is that it is familiar to the dog no matter where we go. At the end of the day, no matter how we've messed with his schedule, he falls right back into his routine at the trailer.
A/C and heat depend on where you live. We live in Western Washington and are glad we have both in the trailer. Eastern Washington is pretty hot! The heater is not quite strong enough to keep the place toasty, and it's really noisy. Really, really noisy.
Also investigate what power is available at the dog shows. I've read that group events like that only supply a minimal amount of power, not enough to run things like the AC, heater, frig, TV, hair dryer, etc. For that, you'll need to carry a generator big enough for the job, and you'll need to be aware of what hours you can run the generator.
We just got our trailer this summer, when Casper was a year old. We're having a lot of fun with it. It is a bunch of work. It needs the same maintenance as a house (it has all the same systems). Not sure where you live, but if you live in a cold climate, you have to winterize it.
If you have a lot of gear, check around for how much storage you get. I got the small trailer to keep things simple. I don't want to spend the weekend with a bunch of stuff. We went on vacation to California for 17 days in the trailer thus summer. I didn't feel crowded or that I was missing anything at all. And when the dog got so, so sick, it was nice to have a familiar retreat.
Doggie specifics. Casper has his own drawer of stuff. He sleeps on the dinnette. He brings in a lot of dirt. The floor of the trailer is really, really cold, even for a golden. I wish we had a stronger screen door. Casper hasn't tried to crash it open, but it would be trivially easy if he ever tried.
There are forums for RVs, too.
Some motorhomes are really tall off the ground and can make passing down crates and xpens a real pain. Make sure you have a awning those are great at the show as you can set up outside it gives you shade, rain block etc. Some of the motorhomes have a back door that opens into a large, think of closet like area those are better for storing the crates, dog table and xpens and the like. Slides add expense and weight so keep that in mine but I could not go camping with all the dogs and kids without one lol. They do make Toyhauler motor homes that are made to put motobike or the like in and those work great for showing.
We have 5th wheel toyhauler and I can set up like six crates back there in ours, I see quite a few of the motorhome toyhaulers at our local shows
Boot, Tink and Sparkles
Bridge dogs, Tuffy, Blueboy, Pudge, Shasta, Maddie, Broker, Jet, Baily, and Reva