VW Camper Family

A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.

Hi folks! I'm new here, so new I haven't put up a profile. So new, my partner and I haven't bought our Westie yet!

We have two small dogs and would love to take them camping with us. We'd like to be able to take them on a 4-6 week road trip. I'd love to hear about people's experiences, the pros and cons of traveling with and camping with dogs.

For example, what do you do with the dogs when it's hot and you want to eat supper in a restaurant or go to a museum? In what circumstances would you just keep the dogs at home with a dog sitter?

Thanks much. To many happy travels and future friends on the road!

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Hello, So far we have always taken our dog camping. Doesn't seem like it would be a good camping trip without him. That said, all that you point out is true. We drove a week from Florida to Yosemite. Inside Yosemite, dogs were only allowed on paved sidewalks. As well you could not leave the dog unattended. So, basically we have walked every paved inch of Yosemite Valley. It was like being at Disney World. In our travels, National Parks are the worse when it comes to dogs. State parks especially back east are much more accomdating to campers and dogs in our experience. We like to stop and take day hikes.

Traveling with a dog does also limit your stops. Museums and Restaurants are difficult. You can pop the top, open the windows and turn a fan on, but not much fun for the dog. So we prepare all of our meals, and if we stop, a requirement is some shade either under a tree or covered garage.

We stopped last summer beginning of June at the Hershey Museum in PA. It was "hot". I noticed some cars parked under trees and asked the parking attendant if we could park there. It was an area for employees. She said sure and we left Jake for a couple hours in the shade with the van windows wide open with a fan and a nice breeze. Still, I was worried about leaving him.

So, if you have limited travel time and want to hit restaurants and other points of interest, you may want to consider making arrangements for your dogs. mark

We take our dog on all our major road trips. If we go into a restaurant, or need a pit stop, we have a really long rope that attaches to his leash, which we attach to our passenger side seat belt. He is about 50 lbs, and it holds him just fine. Mister Bojangles is a pretty mellow guy though... so I guess if you have an aggressive dog you might want to think twice. He is also cool with us just leaving him in the bus... we open up all the windows, and he just chills in there. 

Not too discount the dangers of leaving an animal unattended in a parked vehicleas, but westys usually have white top. This helps keep them a little cooler in direct sunlight. We always travel with Huxley, our yellow lab, and park in the shade when possible. Sure it can be a hassle that he's not allowed some trails (all trails in state parks). As oghers have stated, it just wouldn't be camping without him. Just be smart about it and accept that you can't do everything you would like to when you travel with the dogs. Those few things will be over shadowed by the great experieces you will have with them.
Cheers
DJ

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