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How to keep dogs cool in trailer?

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  • How to keep dogs cool in trailer?

    I want to travel this summer with the kids and I want to bring the two dogs with us since we will be gone so long. They can't ride in the car because of space issues but is there a way to have an a/c unit in the tack compartment of the trailer? I want to be able to stop along the way but make sure that the dogs stay cool and comfortable if we leave them for a few hours.

    If it is possible how would it be powered when stopped? Would the car have to stay running? I am considering buying another Brenderup and this time get the Baron with the instatack. I just do not want a bunch of different trailers. If we get the brenderup it is light enough to throw bikes and strollers in to travel.

  • #2
    Can the bags ride in the trailer and the dogs in the car? Can you skip the trailer idea and upgrade to a larger vehicle? The problem with AC back there is that you won't know if it's not working. I've known rescue groups who lost loads of dogs trying to transport them in air conditioned trucks, not knowing the AC wasn't working. And knowing dogs, I'm sure they would be happy to be in the vehicle with you guys!


    • Original Poster

      The problem is that I have too many children!!! The dogs are too big. If we were just going point a to b I would work it out to be crammed in the car. I want to stop a lot along the way and see things where the dogs are not going to be allowed so I need a place where they are going to be safe and cool while we do whatever.

      If it were winter it would not be a problem but it is going to be July. If I have to I will board them but I really do not want to do that. They are part of the family not just farm dogs.


      • #4
        consider renting a van.


        • #5
          Not sure if this is an easy fix or not.

          A regular (house) window unit runs on AC current and is high amperage, and unless you want to run a generator, forget it.

          I think this might be more of what you're looking for:
          But you would still need a power source anytime you wish to run it.

          When I travel with my dogs and I need to stop briefly, I leave the vehicle running with the keys out & doors locked, via a Remote Starter accessory. It shuts the car off if anyone bumps the gearshift or gas pedal, but it allows me to run car AC.

          One warning: whatever you decide on doing, be aware of carbon monoxide build-up. Don't assume some of it can't get into a stationary vehicle, especially if your exhaust system has a little leak somewhere. If you run a generator, be aware of where those exhaust fumes go, too.
          Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


          • #6
            Sounds like a really bad idea to me. Your dogs belong with you, because leaving them unattended is risky. You cannot control the variables of their environment if you are not there. That includes putting them in the trailer while you are traveling, without a monitoring system to know if their environment changes. Do you see what I mean? They are dependent on you for their health. If horses are in the trailer, you can leave the windows open during travel. Can you not do that for dogs? They should be caged, whether they are in the trailer or car. Personally, if you are going to travel with kids and dogs, and your car is not big enough, I would consider spending the benderup purchase money on renting an RV for the trip. In my opinion, you would be much better served, both from a safety and group comfort position. It is very hard to travel for long distances in a car, and the dogs need to be with you. Otherwise, you risk their health, being left in a vehicle, whether car or horse trailer is a bad bad idea.
            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


            • #7
              I love traveling with my dogs, but in the summer I haven't found it to be feasible. Even if you leave your dogs in the car, with the motor running, while you eat, you'll never know if the air isn't working. I would think it would be the same with a trailer - if you are merrily driving down the highway, you won't know if the air shuts off.
              I would say that since it is going to be hot, boarding them would be safer.


              • #8
                actually, I had posed the question a long time ago about a horse hauler carriing a rescue dog. I was told that it is not uncommon for fumes to get into the tack room of a hauler. really bad for living creatures.

                I have been eyeballing those solar powered cooling gadgets for the car, that you put into the window and it supposedly keeps the car cool.

                traveling in the US with dog is not really fun, unless you are going back packing or something.

                If you are planning on making the road the destination, an RV is a marvelous choice.


                • Original Poster

                  I am loving the idea of the rv. I would use it all the time so maybe I will hold off on the horse trailer purchase and get a used rv. So when I stop to do whatever I can just leave it running with the a/c on? We will be doing a lot of hiking so the dogs won't be alone that much just times when we eat in a restaurant or see something where dogs aren't allowed.

                  I would consider boarding the dogs if it were just a week but we may be gone two months.


                  • #10
                    RVs have a different set up for the utilities. Not sure about A/C, but things like fridge and stuff. Extra batteries and gas powered equipment (propane gas that is)


                    • #11
                      Dog show vans have an alarm system that tells the owner if the air conditioning quits working.
                      Still, everyone is very paranoid about continuously checking any vehicles with dogs in them, because accidents can happen and dogs die fast in an overheated vehicle.
                      Even when eating in a restaurant, the sun will move and a car left in the shade can be in the sun in ten minutes and it takes less than five to become an oven, so someone keeps making rounds to check cars and any dogs left in them.

                      Any more, the local police also checks restaurants and will give tickets to those that leave a dog unattended in the car during the day.

                      Any time you leave dogs in vehicles, unattended, you are liable if something happens.

                      Many people travel with dogs, but you have to manage that well, so at no time you are leaving the dogs where they may be in trouble.


                      • #12
                        Another option is to scope out day-boarding for the dogs for when you visit places that they are not welcome. We were camping in Mammoth Caves National Park, and we went on the cave tour. They had kennels for the dogs so that they would be comfortable while you hiked. Lots of boarding kennels or doggy day care places will do the same.


                        • #13

                          RVing is an aquired taste. Not everybody likes it. so before jumping in and buying one, I suggest renting one for the trip and see where you are.

                          it comes in handy, sure, but has a lot of town time and taking up space and requiring maintanance well past what a trailer needs.


                          • #14
                            We take our dogs with us in the truck camper. It is a Lance camper, very well insulated. It does not seem to get hot inside on warm days when parked, like the car might. Along with that are roof vents, which allow warm air to exhaust while the vehicle is parked. Dogs ride in truck front with us during travel. The air conditioner for camper only works when we plug into the electric at the camp site. Dogs seem quite happy staying in the camper while we visit attractions, do a resturant dinner. Camper is not hot inside.

                            You could check inside temps with parking an RV in the sun, have a regular thermometer inside to see how hot it gets. That is a common demonstration for the folks saying DO NOT leave your dog in the summer car parked at the store. They lay a thermometer on the front seat by the stuffed animals, and you can WATCH the needle rise quickly to over 100F, as the sun heats up the car interior.

                            We used rented RVs before we got a truck camper. They were VERY nice to have with small children and traveling. You could pull over anyplace to fix a meal, kids could go potty without stopping every half hour. Naps were easy, and the dogs just layed down and slept.

                            The platforms will go in a trailer hitch receiver, so bikes are easily hauled along, or strollers if children are small. RVs also have storage compartments under the sides, hold a lot of stuff like folded dog cages!

                            I don't think I would go with a trailer for the dogs. They are not as nice a ride, lots of wind and noise. Stock trailer, 2 horse, can be an option, open sides for air flow, dogs still well contained in shade, a bit lighter weight with slats over solid sides. Would hold the bikes, "accessories" that you need for small people and travel. Dogs would get a lot of traffic emissions going by in the air circulating thru the trailer slats. There are small crate fans with batteries that we have used for the dogs at horse shows, when they needed to be contained.

                            You can also freeze pop bottles for dog to lay with or on or get ice in a bag from a store, for putting in the dog dish to lick.

                            I REALLY don't know how mothers of several kids manage without a pickup truck! Just with two, the needed accessories to go places had a geometric multipication factor! The amount needed for one child is NOT doubled when you add a second child, it is like 4 TIMES as much stuff!!

                            Two months of vacation sounds marvelous. My mom did those trips with us as kids, go out for 6 weeks or so. She had summers off as a teacher, no equines then, just the 2 GSDs who went with us. And she packed us all into the big old station wagon with a homemade car carrier on the roof!! Each kid could pack a backpack sized bag of entertainment like books, drawing paper, toys, puzzle books. We each got ONE medium size suitcase of clothes. We camped each night with pup tents for the kids, she slept in the folded down back of the car. Those were SOME trips! Planned stops always had lots of room for hikes to wear us out before bed. I am not sure why she didn't go insane with the 4 of us, but we did all survive. She did say once that she wished she could take a trip with just the dogs!

                            The OPs' plan sounds like the height of luxury! I know I LOVE my truck camper after doing tent camping for so many years!! Hope you have a lovely trip with your family!!


                            • Original Poster

                              That is exactly what I am planning. Make some memories. I plan on starting here, going up through GA to Asheville, take the older girls to see Biltmore. Then onto Boiling Springs, PA. After that I am not sure. Maybe I can just do a COTH roadtrip and visit all of the COTHers that I have always wanted to meet.

                              Of course, only the ones who don't hate kids!!!


                              • #16
                                Amcor 14,000 BTU pet portable air conditioner is not too bad choice I think


                                • #17
                                  hey, why not locate as many COTHers along the way as possible, and drop doggies there?

                                  i live outside of phila and valley forge (LOTS of great history here)......if you decide to go a bit further than boiling springs, and head this direction, your dogs are welcome to spend time here whilst you entertain the troops.........oh, and i love kids...

                                  paybacks would be the stories of your adventures along the way...


                                  • #18
                                    The A/C on an RV or a LQ is going to require that you be plugged into an outlet. the RV's batteries and propane tanks will maintain the fridge and lights. They will not run the A/C.

                                    Your only realistic option on either is an onboard generator to power the A/C while you are parked.

                                    I would rather walk than buy a used RV and do a two month shake down trip with a bunch of kids and two big dogs. Proceed with caution


                                    • Original Poster

                                      This was an old thread from Nov '09. We have had several life events that are going to prevent us from traveling at all this summer. I am just going to hunker down with the girls, dogs and horses until the stress blows over.

                                      We have a Suburban now so any future trip will allow the dogs to be in a/c if they come along.


                                      • #20
                                        We purchased our first rv in 2005 and absolutely loved it (we sold it this year in order to look for a larger one).

                                        We traveled everywhere with our two dogs and kitty cat. It had two roof top A/C units and we could keep it as cold as we wanted.

                                        We highly recommend an RV. Once you have your own bed, closet full of clothes, kitchen, high def. TV's, bathroom w shower, etc. you'll be spoiled.

                                        We decided that a diesel RV and horse trailer made more sense than a LQ horse trailer and larger truck for us (although we do have a truck for hauling around town).

                                        The RV is the best way to travel with our furry friends.