How to keep a dog cool in a motorhome (1 Viewer)

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chasingbluebells

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Hi all - I am days away from getting my first motorhome - yippee! I will be spending lots of time in it with my son and toddler over the next year or so, and am wondering if there are any clever wheezes to manage leaving the dog in it sometimes when its not winter. I have always been extremely cautious about cars and hot weather - I trained Hank (that's the dog not the toddler) to not jump out of the car boot so I could leave the boot lid completely open whenever there was the slightest risk. And never left anything of value in the boot / accessible. But of course you can't do that with all your stuff in a motorhome, and it would sometimes be convenient to be able to leave him alone in it. So - any ideas for managing temperature would be fabulous! Thanks in advance.
 

138go

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You will find if you shut all the blinds that the MH stays reasonably cool even in direct sun. We leave the roof vents just open and leave the blind slightly open as well. A 12v fan helps to move the air round. Even in Spain with temps in the low 30's dog was not hot when we returned. We also leave a big bowl of water.
 
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Mr Chrysalis

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Let him wear Aviator Sunglasses, and fold his collar up
E973A7C6-79FA-4F2D-A70D-6F89F77627D8.jpeg
 
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TheBig1

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we have a portable air cooler that runs on 12v. It is basically a fan blowing across a container of water
if your dog sleeps in a crate, soak a towel in water and hang it over the crate and aim a fan on to the wet towel. a very simple evaporative air cooler used in arab countries
 
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As above. Shut all the blinds, roof vents open, 12v fan if required, and also external insulated windscreen cover helps a lot if staying for a length of time. If shorter stop we just close the internal blinds on front windscreen and cab doors, but notice the difference compared to the external cover.

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Cal54

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I agree with all the sentiments above. I also have a cool gel mat for the dog to lie on and a ‘wet’ vest (you soak it in water before putting it on the dog) both of which help. However I suppose it depends a bit on the dog breed - my Dillon is a small Jack Russell X.
 
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dave newell

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I used a small 12v computer fan blowing over a couple of freezer blocks sat on a tray last year to give our dog some cool air and it worked really well. An alternative to the freezer blocks is a small plastic box filled 3/4 with water then frozen.

D.
 
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We follow the advice above, and although our two are never left more than a couple of hours, they are cooler in the mh than we are outside it. We have a big extractor fan in a roof vent which helps. Most important is to close reflective blinds on the sunny sides. Motorhomes are well insulated.
 
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Shrimp

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Wet towels.
A Pet Cool Mat.
Don’t leave dog for any longer than you have to, preferably not at all when it’s hot!

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lindyloot

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All of the above. I found a cool mat was very good ( had to put it in a pillow case as Muffie did not like the feel if the materrial mat is made from. I also brought a cool collar for here to wear when out for a walk.
 
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eddie

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Like others have said, Air Conditioning is the best way, decent walk first, possibly a swim if possible and then left for two or three hours doesn't seem to phase our long haired GSD at all

If mains isn't available, we use a fan like this :
ad33c0cc411bc77722ebdd82c556730f.image.398x397.jpg

which happily runs off of the inverter, drawing something like 100w We also have a Samsung camera setup with audio so we can monitor him whilsts we are doing what ever it is that we can't do when he is with us.

We have also got a mains failure device that will send us a txt message if the mains fails or the inverter fails for what ever reason, so we can relax knowing that he is OK

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Wellington

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Like most people, we park with awning facing west, if possible and put out the awning, then leave the blinds and windows wide open on the shaded side, and usually on the east side too, because we generally are going out in the afternoon, so there isn’t any sun there. I also leave the cab doors wide open (Archie won’t get out of the motorhome, it’s too high) and put the silver screen. Roof lights open, and we had a twelve volt fan fitted to the smaller one (which doubles as a handy extractor, and makes everyone envious when I’m frying bacon in a car park!). He also has a gel mat (those things are brilliant, I’m considering one for myself). Even on the hottest of days last summer, it was cooler in that out and Archie was as OK.

I only do this on campsites, where I am reasonably sure of security. I put the wheel lock and steering locks on, and we take our valuables with us, or lock them in the glove box. I'd infinitely rather come back to empty pitch, or a nicked iPad than a roasted dog.

Paying attention to where you park is helpful, too. If you can get on the east side of a tree, your van will be a lot cooler. I personally wouldn’t leave my van with just the roofilghts open, but I’ve only tried it in my van, and other people's may be better insulated. I’m considering getting a thermometer I can monitor from my phone, so I know if there's a problem. Our next van may have aircon, which I’m happy with, but supposing the battery ran out and all the windows were shut? (I’d just never forgive myself if my little girl came bounding back to van to see her pet, and found him cooked)
 
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SuperMike

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We have also got a mains failure device that will send us a txt message if the mains fails or the inverter fails for what ever reason, so we can relax knowing that he is OK

Are you saying, Eddie, that your built in Onan, does not auto start in the event of mains failure, like what ours does. :gum:

But then, hey, ours is a :inlove: Winnebago :inlove:.
 
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eddie

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Are you saying, Eddie, that your built in Onan, does not auto start in the event of mains failure, like what ours does. :gum:

But then, hey, ours is a :inlove: Winnebago :inlove:.
Yes, but you wouldn't want to start a generator on a campsite, when a simple SMS message will tell us that the mains has been unplugged, and we have the inverter on UPS anyway with the floor fans as standby(y)

Your right, we no longer have a Winnebago





Luckily :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
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SuperMike

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Yes, but you wouldn't want to start a generator on a campsite, when a simple SMS message will tell us that the mains has been unplugged, and we have the inverter on UPS anyway with the floor fans as standby(y)
:rofl:

'sall right, just checking. :moon2:

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eddie

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Our next van may have aircon, which I’m happy with, but supposing the battery ran out and all the windows were shut? (I’d just never forgive myself if my little girl came bounding back to van to see her pet, and found him cooked)

Hi Roof mounted Air Con is mains only when stationary so that shouldn't be a worry to you :)
 
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chasingbluebells

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Thank you very much to everyone who has replied - that is an amazing and really useful selection of advice. I was not aware of any of the gadgets (apart from a fan of course), I will now be purchasing away, and the general advice re shading etc is really helpful. What a brilliant first experience of asking for advice on this forum - you guys are fabulous! Thanks again.
 
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Wellington

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Hi Roof mounted Air Con is mains only when stationary so that shouldn't be a worry to you :)
So I understand. It did sound a bit too good to be true that you can get 12v ones. It’s one of the few 12v things that would have been really useful. Can all go out to a country house for the day, take the dog for a walk round the lake, post delighted dog back in under the the air con, and go int ehhouse and park for the afternoon. Not to be ☹️

Oh, one thing to be aware of with the roof fans, ours is very NOISY! the dog doesn’t care, being deaf as a post anyway, but I wouldn’t like to sleep with it on.
 
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Jenowen

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We were planning to leave the dog in the van ( blinds closed, silver screens on front, roof vents open) for a few hours this last week in Spain. Before doing so we tested our theory without the dog present- thank goodness we did so. The thermometer read 40 degrees when we opened up! Outside temperature was 22 degrees.
I’d be extremely cautious about leaving dogs in vans after this.

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TheBig1

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I was lucky and found an eberspacher ebercool 12v portable air conditioner. it cools the are lovely for the dogs, and us of course
 
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skylinersi

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I think its incredible that people still leave their dogs unattended in vans..............Oh Please! people:mad:
if you sit and think about what could go wrong................
 
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TheBig1

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I think its incredible that people still leave their dogs unattended in vans..............Oh Please! people:mad:
if you sit and think about what could go wrong................
year before last, we left our dogs unattended for 20 minutes and returned to 3 traumatised dogs with 1 of them nearly dead. he had been left chained onto his collar by mistake and somehow got a leg caught up. He freaked out and clawed frantically at the collar to free himself, ripping his ear and face to shreds. He then collapsed down the steps by the hab door and was losing conscious as I returned and opened the door. If I had not returned right then, we would of lost him
It is that quick for a tragedy to happen
 
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skylinersi

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year before last, we left our dogs unattended for 20 minutes and returned to 3 traumatised dogs with 1 of them nearly dead. he had been left chained onto his collar by mistake and somehow got a leg caught up. He freaked out and clawed frantically at the collar to free himself, ripping his ear and face to shreds. He then collapsed down the steps by the hab door and was losing conscious as I returned and opened the door. If I had not returned right then, we would of lost him
It is that quick for a tragedy to happen


terrible to hear this, but lesson learned and glad you posted it as a reminder if nothing else (y)
im oft accused of being overcautious with furbert...........but as i said, and as you pointed out, theres so much that can go wrong.....
 
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We were planning to leave the dog in the van ( blinds closed, silver screens on front, roof vents open) for a few hours this last week in Spain. Before doing so we tested our theory without the dog present- thank goodness we did so. The thermometer read 40 degrees when we opened up! Outside temperature was 22 degrees.
I’d be extremely cautious about leaving dogs in vans after this.
Which way did you park? It makes a huge difference if you park with the cab windows away from the sun if you park that way and open the roof vents I think the results will be totally different ours has never got a lot hotter than outside that being said we have very little glazing on the back of our van
 
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