RVing with Pets

I think Link needs a papoose. . . whatdya think?

A few years before we made the switch to full-time RV life, we were already ready to move out and were just trying to decide where. Van life or RV life had already been up for consideration, but I kept nixing it because we had 4 pets, and I did not know how on earth the 6 of us could share the space without losing our minds (me in particular).

Well, we ultimately decided to just dive in, and so we created our crazy zoo on wheels: 2 cats, 2 dogs and 2 humans. And we set off across the U.S.

It has not been easy. Link and Zelda, our 2 cats, settled into the RV pretty quickly, but they absolutely HATE travel days. Link usually throws up within the first 15 minutes of putting him in the Subaru. Zelda cries much of the ride.

Bowser and Leia are mostly fine both in the RV and in the car/truck, but Bowser figures out when it’s travel day — because we’re uncharacteristically cleaning up the whole place — and whines loudly until he’s finally snug in the truck with Daddy.

The cats pretty much only throw up hairballs now — and infrequently — and Leia no longer has accidents. So, something is working. The dogs get a new outdoors to explore every time we move. And if they’re lucky, they actually have a yard! (If the RV park happens to provide a dog park.) They all have better access to windows than before, and at night the cats are closed off in the bunkhouse, instead of in the dark basement. Bowser actually gets to sleep in the bed with us now.

Though the space overall seems to be working, I think it’s toughest for me. Even though the kiddos are all small — all 4 of them about the same size! — the energy of all of us together can still feel pretty big, and I can get agitated pretty quickly. Getting out of the RV has been critical; over-the ears-headphones have been very helpful. And sometimes I just have to close myself off in the bathroom/bunkhouse/bedroom/vehicle for a time.

Bowser has given us a few health scares while on the road — and Link once — and sometimes we have a little trouble getting pet food for the kiddos, but overall, it’s working. I am grateful for that. I’m not quite living my perfect travel life, but I’m traveling more frequently than ever before, and our kiddos are with us and doing well. And that is enough for now.

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