Well, we were so excited to have the new RV we decided to practice driving without the car (by we, I mean Andrew). A little over a week ago we loaded up the car with beds, food, and meds for two cats, and two dogs and went to Woodbridge, VA where we park our RV. We ultimately decided to rent a space at Holly Acres due to the small driveway at our house and because taxes are very high on RVs in Arlington, VA and don’t exist in Woodbridge, VA! When we arrived we were happy to find everything as we left it. We decided not to tow my car and we left it in the huge rented space with the tow-dolly. So, we popped the pets in (two rescue lab/pointer/pit bull mixes and two rescue house cats), put the food and other items in the storage compartments, and headed to my parents’ house about two hours away. We forgot how much traffic there is on a Friday evening on I95 and so the trip took more than three hours. Andrew was able to navigate highways, narrow and winding two lane roads, and a few roads with NO lines until eventually the stone road where my parents live. Practice makes perfect! He drove like a pro!
We did have some serious excitement on the way though. Cats should probably NOT be allowed to roam as you drive. It seemed like they were going to be okay, so we left them on the bed in the back. We started down I95 and within 30 minutes Rhyolight, our 16+ year old calico, was perched on the back of Andrew’s seat! The width of the RV being what it is didn’t let me grab her off very easily. I held her most of the rest of the trip… not before she scratched the soft dashboard! About 30 minutes later our 14 year old tuxedo cat came up front. At this point it’s dark AND she’s mostly black so she was difficult to see under Andrew’s legs. So I had to scoop her up, too. By the time we arrived at my parents’ house I was covered in cat fur from two very unhappy kitties.
Once there we found a level spot in the drive way and used the self leveling system before opening the slides. All was set! We went to sleep. The visit was great! We spent a great deal of time on their porch and the pets all adjusted beautifully. The dogs played in the yard and slept well in the RV. The cats LOVED the front dash which was full of awesome views and sunshine.
To go home, we decided it was best for the cats to stay in the bathroom. So we moved the cat box, food, water and blankets back and had an uneventful ride back to Woodbridge. What a relief to not worry about their location as we are driving. Our younger dog, Gigi, is a nervous wreck in the car and the RV is not any better for her. To help her relax we researched melatonin after a friend suggested we try it. From what we found a dog her size could have 3 mg of melatonin every 8 hours. One dose is enough for many trips so we bought the dog treats designed for pills/capsules and gave her one! We of course had to give Kona a treat too so she gets one without the meds. After about 30 minutes she is pretty calm and we have found she often sleeps for most of the trip! She is easy to rouse though and is always excited to get out and talk a walk!
A good start for newbies! Practice makes perfect-ish!
Ideas I’ve decided to implement for travel with our four Girls. First, I decided we are going to get inexpensive laminate flooring and cut it to fit on the dash area where there is thin padding covered by very thin vinyl. Not a good functioning design in my mind. We also have a cat that chews cords! So, we will be investing in the hard plastic but still flexible wrap for the wires and cords all over the RV! We will also be buying large containers for the refrigerator to keep things from sliding all over the place. While I’m at it I’m going to measure the cabinet spaces in the bathroom, kitchen and pantry near the door and get some baskets or plastic containers for there too. I’ll also get an over the door hook for bathroom towels, and the proper laundry detergent for the eco washing machine. I’ll share later how this works out!