Recreational Vehicle (RV) Travel
Recreational vehicles (RVs) are the dog-show transport choice of many, and recreational vehicles have become a popular way to travel and see the country. Since an RV functions as a home-away-from-home on wheels, it is only natural that you would want to take your boxer with you when you travel in your RV.
Types of RVs
Recreational vehicles come in two basic types: trailers types and self-contained, enclosed vehicles. Each has different implications for traveling with your boxer. The most basic type of trailer is the tow pop-up. These are the smallest and simplest of the trailers. They are almost like a pop-up tent on a trailer that can be towed by a car or truck. With this type of RV, it is essential that you have room for your boxer's crate in the towing vehicle so that he can ride safely as you travel. Otherwise, he needs his own doggy seat belt or a barrier restraint. The bottom line is that you need to make arrangements for safe travel in the tow vehicle for your boxer. You will want a place for your boxer to sleep at night while you are camping.
The category of tow vehicles includes what are called fifth wheels. Fifth wheels are a specific type of trailer designed to hook onto the bed of a pick-up truck. These types of trailers can be quite large and elegant.
The second type of trailer is the more traditional, heavier trailer that can be anywhere from about eighteen to thirty-five feet long. These trailers require a vehicle with a larger engine to tow them. You will need a heavier vehicle the larger and longer your trailer is. Almost any vehicle can tow a trailer, but smaller cars and trucks without sufficient weight and braking ability cannot hold the weight of the trailer safely downhill.
In all trailers, regardless of size, you will need to have a crate in the towing vehicle and a bed for your boxer to sleep on in the trailer.
If you bring your boxer on a trip, make sure to include some toys from home so he feels comfortable traveling.
Some of the smaller trailers that are sparsely furnished have room to leave a crate in the trailer, which might be easier for you to manage. Don't do this unless you can guarantee sufficient ventilation to the trailer, as this type usually has no heat or air conditioning while you drive. However, if the weather is nice, if you can check every hour or so, and if your boxer doesn't mind, this can be a fine way for him to travel. Otherwise, it might be safer and he might be happier to ride in the car or truck with you.
The second general type of recreational vehicle is the self-contained, enclosed type that looks like a private bus. Often, these are built on bus chassis. They usually include a kitchen, bedrooms, and bathroom.
Bigger RVs usually include the elements of a Class A RV on a van or truck body with a larger van or truck engine. The driver's and passenger's seats are much like they would be in a van or bus, whereas the driver's and passenger's seats in a Class A RV are more elegant. Class C RVs are generally not as big or expensive as Class A RVs. With both the Class A and Class C RVs, it is best for your boxer to travel crated. This way, he cannot accidentally interfere with the driver, and he is safer should an accident occur.
While there are many different RV parks across America, not all are created equal as far as dogs are concerned. Some have wonderful dog runs and walk-and-play areas where your boxer can stretch his legs and enjoy being a dog for a while. Others will not accept dogs over forty pounds, which eliminates most adult boxers. Check with each RV park as you travel.
Remember, just as your unrestrained dog can basically become a missile in a car accident, the same thing can happen if he's riding unrestricted in a RV. It is best to plan for your boxer's safety while traveling.