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Beating the heat for our furry companions


starberry

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We are gearing up to go full time on our bus conversion and my great stumbling block continues to be how to keep our fun-loving dog-like feline duo cool enough through these Summer months.

Any and all constructive advice is welcome and greatly appreciated!!

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Can you provide some details about why you think it will be a problem. Do you not plan to keep the interior of your bus cool enough to live in? If it's cool enough for you, it ought to be cool enough for cats.

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We got stuck in 100 plus temps with no air-conditioning and ended up dipping the cat into the cold water in our ice chest, he was in real trouble and there was no other way to cool him down. After the initial dip we'd dribble cool water on him every few minutes so he stayed damp. He wasn't a happy kitty but he survived until we got out of the heat.

 

On later boondocking trips the furball seemed to be happy enough as long as the inside temp was below 100 and he had plenty of water.

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We travel with the seasons...south in the winter, north in the summer. We are rarely in extremely hot weather, so keeping our dogs comfortable is not a problem.

 

If it's a little on the warm side, we'll use our Fantastic Fan...open up the roof vent in the bedroom and turn on the Fantastic Fan located in the kitchen. That keeps air flowing through the rig. We also orient the rig so that the street side is facing south...that way, the large window awning keep that side shaded and our refrigerator is on the north side. You could also use something like Reflectix in the windows on the sunny side. (The way you orient your rig may be different depending on its layout.)

 

At those times when it gets hot enough (for us, in the 90's or above), we'll move to an RV park and plug in so that we can run the A/C. Although we have two Honda 2000's which, when hooked together, will run our 15K BTU A/C unit, we've found that the amount of gasoline they use over an 8-hour (or longer) period, would pay for a night in an RV park.

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We had a black Lab and when he got older he could not handle hot summer days very well. My solution was to clip him. Getting rid of a layer of that thick fur really helped. I usually only had to do it once a summer, during the hottest 2-3 weeks. If you don't want to clip their whole body, just doing their belly can often make a huge difference.

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Guest Butch "Toolhead"

82 Degrees are you from Florida? 82 is usually cold for the Southern People. Why not just use your A/C? It's worth it for the pets. I keep my House and RV at 74 Degrees. I don't care what it costs,

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82 Degrees are you from Florida? 82 is usually cold for the Southern People. Why not just use your A/C? It's worth it for the pets. I keep my House and RV at 74 Degrees. I don't care what it costs,

I think along your lines. I bought a Honda EU 3000 just to run the AC for the dog :D

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When the temperatures are to a point that it's hot enough to need A/C, we make sure we have reliable power to run them. We have a battery bank large enough to run a single A/C for a couple hours, which helps when in transit and we want to stop for lunch, shopping or touring. Otherwise, we make sure we are places with ample power hook-ups - such as RV Parks, campgrounds or courtesy parking with friends.

 

We also don't trust our generator enough to leave it running while we leave our bus. We did that once in 105+ temps (ironically, while we were parked at the workshop where we build the aforementioned battery bank), and it overheated and shut down. Thankfully, we were on alert for this and nearby, so were checking in every 15-30 minutes and caught it early. Kiki was hot and panting, we got her into a cool bath and then headed for the nearest RV Park with power and paid for a site.

 

- Cherie

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Can you provide some details about why you think it will be a problem. Do you not plan to keep the interior of your bus cool enough to live in? If it's cool enough for you, it ought to be cool enough for cats.

If we are off of the bus during the day whilst working on a project or something similar, I just preemptively worried they wouldn't be cool enough. We are making the switch in August.

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We had a black Lab and when he got older he could not handle hot summer days very well. My solution was to clip him. Getting rid of a layer of that thick fur really helped. I usually only had to do it once a summer, during the hottest 2-3 weeks. If you don't want to clip their whole body, just doing their belly can often make a huge difference.

Our Main Coon's belly is already clipped for his Summer do. His Russian Blue brother's hair is too soviet to actually cooperate with clippers. :)

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When the temperatures are to a point that it's hot enough to need A/C, we make sure we have reliable power to run them. We have a battery bank large enough to run a single A/C for a couple hours, which helps when in transit and we want to stop for lunch, shopping or touring. Otherwise, we make sure we are places with ample power hook-ups - such as RV Parks, campgrounds or courtesy parking with friends.

 

We also don't trust our generator enough to leave it running while we leave our bus. We did that once in 105+ temps (ironically, while we were parked at the workshop where we build the aforementioned battery bank), and it overheated and shut down. Thankfully, we were on alert for this and nearby, so were checking in every 15-30 minutes and caught it early. Kiki was hot and panting, we got her into a cool bath and then headed for the nearest RV Park with power and paid for a site.

 

- Cherie

We are still prepping our bus conversion for both ourselves and our boys. The plan is to try to keep to shore power if it's going to be crazy hot, but I just wanted to try to be prepared for everything, you know? We have a couple large panels on the roof already and a bank with a few deep cycle batteries in it, but I would like to get everything set so we would also be able to have that safety cushion of a few hours of a/c no matter where we are. What sort of a/c system are you running Cherie?

 

Also, and not 100% on topic, but did your Kiki go through a curiousity about the front door phase, and if so, how did you combat this? I want to add a storm door for starters.

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When the temperatures are to a point that it's hot enough to need A/C, we make sure we have reliable power to run them. We have a battery bank large enough to run a single A/C for a couple hours, which helps when in transit and we want to stop for lunch, shopping or touring. Otherwise, we make sure we are places with ample power hook-ups - such as RV Parks, campgrounds or courtesy parking with friends.

 

We also don't trust our generator enough to leave it running while we leave our bus. We did that once in 105+ temps (ironically, while we were parked at the workshop where we build the aforementioned battery bank), and it overheated and shut down. Thankfully, we were on alert for this and nearby, so were checking in every 15-30 minutes and caught it early. Kiki was hot and panting, we got her into a cool bath and then headed for the nearest RV Park with power and paid for a site.

 

- Cherie

 

For Jin we stay inside after the ground gets too hot to walk on or go somewhere inside where it's cool. Jin also wears boots from Muttluck and Ruffwear to protect his feet when we're out as well. Water in the car at all times. Remember a dog can only handle about 10-15 mins of hactivity in this weather. Keep plenty of fresh water and teach your dog to drink whern you give him water.

 

I'm in the process of upgrading my batts and putting an inverter in the trailer. Assuming I have enough AHB to run an A/C while traveling has anyone done it towing a TT.. Would be nice if I could arrive somewhere and not have to wait for the rig to cool down. Oh yes, doesn't the tow vehicle charge the trailers batteirs when it's hooked up or is that a separate wire in the hookup?

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I'm in the process of upgrading my batts and putting an inverter in the trailer. Assuming I have enough AHB to run an A/C while traveling has anyone done it towing a TT.. Would be nice if I could arrive somewhere and not have to wait for the rig to cool down. Oh yes, doesn't the tow vehicle charge the trailers batteirs when it's hooked up or is that a separate wire in the hookup?

Again, not real feasible, BUT more feasible than when not simultaneously charging, like when boondocking.

 

You "could" set up a system where this would work, IF you upgrade your alternator to one with lots of output, AND designed to supply that output continuously. A normal alternator will burn out given that service requirement. You would also have to run some dedicated #2 or larger wires to the trailer directly from the new controls you will add in the truck....using Anderson connectors is the best way. And you will need some additional circuitry to control the charge selection between your truck starting battery and the "house" battery bank. This should be a good three stage charger capability. If you look on my website in the truck projects section at the "Adding a house bank" you will see info and equipment references that would lay out the basics.

 

If you are serious about doing this, after considering the costs and consequences, I'll assist with design and equipment selection.

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Park power is not always reliable. 2011 took a trip out west and encountered low low voltage in several parks. Of course, it was always MY rig that was defective. Vacated and drove on. I had 2 dogs with me. I like the Fantastic Fan idea. It will run on battery, but not sure if you were hooked up to shore power and it went out if the unit batteries would kick in for the FF?

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The fantastic fans and your other 12 volt devices always run off the batteries** so when you have your 120 volt power go away they are not bothered. What you do miss is the converter supplying your 12 volt usage instead of discharging the batteries to provide it and if it is low, the battery being recharged by the converter.

 

** Unless you have a really old bad converter with a relay that takes the battery out of the circuit. But then the relay is supposed to switch you from converter power to battery power when the 120 goes away.

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For me it is quite simple: those furry friends to be assured of comfortable temperatures. Period. Once you adopt a special friend they need to be treated with respect. If you decide to full-time with pets, them you need to make the sacrifices to make sure they will not be harmed by excessive heat. With that philosophy you will know what you need to do. Often times my wife's and my side trips to sightsee have been shortened or negated by our concern that our pets could not be guaranteed a cool and safe time while we were gone. But I wouldn't trade the benefits of having those furry friends for any side trip I could imagine.

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  • 4 weeks later...

i'm with Earl. i bought my house for my two parrots & two cats - couldn't rent one, & cheaper to buy. the well-being of my animal companions always comes first. i am chronically depressed. i always said that my cats kept me alive; my birds get me out of bed every morning. i even buy their food before mine! i went 16 years without spending a night away from home, but my life would be empty without them, so i don't make any plans without considering them first. i give up a lot, but their love & companionship is priceless & can always be counted on.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is a concern we have had since we started tent camping many moons ago. We do quite a bit of RV'ing in Hot weather and always seek reliable power to keep the Fur Kids happy. Ive looked for years on many different Forums for a device that would somehow warn you of a power failure and/or Temp increase within the MH by simply calling you via cell phone. Such a system can be put together for approx. 250-300.00.....while this system does not give me complete confidence, it is a tool that allows me to breath a bit easer during those times the "Kids" are left alone. (Cell service is required for the system to function). If anyone is interested, Ill give you the part numbers(I purchased at Amazon).

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  • 2 months later...

I spent 3 weeks in Las Vegas in the month of April. My english bull terrier Ultra is a Service Dog ands goes everywhere with me even when temps reached 120 degrees. That includes riding in my toad with AC and on my Harley with frozen water bottles. The temps were a concern and I carry frozen water bottles and a small stainless water dish with me. Ice melts and cold water is left. With the hot concrete and asphalt, my dog wears booties with rubber soles to protect the pads on her paws. I also wet her down entirely and also the doggie T-shirt she wore. The shirt slows the evaporation of the fur. She never got overheated or sunburned as I use spray SPF on her and use shade when available. Whenever I stop to get a drink, I get a cup of ice cubes for Ultra and wet her down again with the water bottles prior to entering buildings. She loves to eat ice.

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