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2020-159 HR in CO
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know this topic has been discussed in this forum but since summer is approaching I thought it might be worth revisiting to see if anyone has any new, ingenious ways to keep your inside van temp at a reasonable level for your pup while you are out. We did a test this past weekend using both of our MaxxAir fans (one pushing air one pulling) and reflective window covers while we went on an hour-long bike ride. The outside air temp was about 78° when we started. By the time we got back, the inside temp of the van was 83° definitely approaching too hot for a dog (today we woke up to 6" of snow...spring in Colorado). We don't have a supplemental AC unit but that could be an option. I'm interested in hearing what other people have done that has worked well.

73985

Zeke
 

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2018 136" HR
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391 Posts
I don't know if your van is insulated or not but it help slow down the heating process. one thing really cut down the heat is installing tint on the windshield and side windows. We got the llumar air blue 80, which almost clear looking and you can feel the difference in the interior heat. I also have a roof rack platform which create almost air barrier between the metal roof and the underside of the roof platform. Usually i have my hatch slightly open and have the fan pulling air out, and i will get similar temp to outside. Also your dog is lower to the ground so that should be a lot cooler than if you measure the temp at ceiling level.
Also I used to wear cooling vest when I was driving my VW van in 100+ temp day. It really work keeping your core temperature cool, assuming you are in an area where the relative humidity is low. At least with my cooling vest, you need to soak in water to let the internal fiber expand and it act like natural evaporative cooling like when we are sweating. I just did a google search and they make similar item for dog too.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
You might try one of the cooling pads and leave it where the dog can lay down on it. Talking about the type of cooling pad that you place in the freezer before you use it.

Agree with Phil that reflective window covers on the OUTSIDE will work better. If the van is not already white, paint the roof white. Insulation will make it easier to get the inside temp closer to the ambient temp using ventilation.

This is the test we did -- results similar to what you got...

Gary
 

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I think the key is not letting the sun hit the van. You can do this experiment. Go park in the shade on a hot day and run your fans. The inside temperature will basically be the same as the outside air temps. This is the best you can do. Now compare this with letting the van sit in the sun. The radiant heat will heat the metal and then transfer into the van. And it becomes an oven. SO, short of A/C, you need to build your own shade. If you can someone build coverings for the windows and roof that act as shade you'll get similar benefits as parking in the shade. Heck, I mean you might even consider bring a huge tent thingy to park the van underneath.
 

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2018 136" Low Roof in ID
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I park in the shade when possible, and use a reflective windshield cover. My front windows are left partway open, my CRL side window is open, and the Maxair fan is left running. My dog has a cooling mat to lay on, and I fill her water bowl with ice cubes. I don't leave her alone in the van for long in warm weather.
 

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The outside air temp was about 78° when we started. By the time we got back, the inside temp of the van was 83° definitely approaching too hot for a dog (today we woke up to 6" of snow...spring in Colorado). We don't have a supplemental AC unit but that could be an option. I'm interested in hearing what other people have done that has worked well.
Without air conditioning, the best you can approach is outside ambient temperature, and if 83 F is close to limit for your pet, that’s going to eliminate days in 80s and 90s, which is pretty much most of summer. Taking your buddy with you won’t make him much cooler either if it’s hot and or sunny outside.

We ended up covering all windows on our window van on the outside, installing a curtain to segregate the cab area, and ran 5,000 BTU/hr air conditioner for our pal. And I made sure van would be in shade most of the day.

I did not use one, but recommend having a temperature alarm that warns you via cell phone no matter where you are so you can come to his rescue if needed. We had shore power, but since then got generator which could stop suddenly without notice.
 

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Wow , between building canopy's to put over the van , cooling mats , leaving fans running , experimenting , custom window shades , this dog must be special . Is this dog trained to save lives / Therapy dog to disabled vets/ children/ terminal patients ?
 

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2017 136” HR
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Are you serious
Wow , between building canopy's to put over the van , cooling mats , leaving fans running , experimenting , custom window shades , this dog must be special . Is this dog trained to save lives / Therapy dog to disabled vets/ children/ terminal patients ?
Are you serious? So if the dog isn’t “special” in your eyes it deserves to die of a heatstroke?
I got news for you - all pets are special and deserve to be comfortable.
 

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I did not use one, but recommend having a temperature alarm that warns you via cell phone no matter where you are so you can come to his rescue if needed. We had shore power, but since then got generator which could stop suddenly without notice.
This is great advise, I have started researching the different devices already. There are a few on the market. Great price of mind. People don’t realize how quickly the temps in a parked vehicle can raise to deadly temperatures.
 

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This is great advise, I have started researching the different devices already. There are a few on the market. Great price of mind. People don’t realize how quickly the temps in a parked vehicle can raise to deadly temperatures.
An alternative, what I do sometimes is I have a security cam in the van that runs off a mobile hotspot. I also have a thermometer that is visible by the security cam. Then I will periodically check. That way I know and can see with my own eyes the temp/time. Otherwise I'm paranoid that the alarm is faulty.
 

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2019 118" Silver
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Was in FL a couple January's ago with my 15 lb black poodle and temps were in the low 60's one afternoon. I decided to leave her in the car with water, in shade, and walk out to Blowing Rocks on the coast near Jupiter. Was gone maybe 45 minutes and when entering the parking lot I saw the shade had moved off the car. Someone called it in and there were two patrol cars parked on either side of me with the officers standing there waiting.

Luckily, Lulu had been sleeping quietly and woke up as they approached, got a drink of water and sat there watching them. She wasn't panting and they saw she was fine - and that's the only reason they didn't break in. Seeing my SC plate, they told me that it wasn't ok to leave dogs in parked cars around there any time of year and not to do it again. I thanked them and got Little Lu out for a short walk as they drove off.

She made it another 9 months or so to 17+ years, right about the time I bought the van. Currently I'm taking a break from dogs while contemplating the logistics of traveling with one, but as far as I've been able to see it's just not really safe traveling with a dog, in a van, down south here. If I still had a dog I'd figure something out (like many here have) but for now (especially with the heat coming on) I'm traveling solo.
 

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In addition to all the information on all the definite do's.. I've thought about this.. particularly if you could confine your pet in a smaller area within the van.. could get pricey for ice over the long haul, but in a pinch when you have to leave them in.. this seems worth a try..
maxresdefault.jpg
 

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Was in FL a couple January's ago with my 15 lb black poodle and temps were in the low 60's one afternoon. I decided to leave her in the car with water, in shade, and walk out to Blowing Rocks on the coast near Jupiter. Was gone maybe 45 minutes and when entering the parking lot I saw the shade had moved off the car. Someone called it in and there were two patrol cars parked on either side of me with the officers standing there waiting.

Luckily, Lulu had been sleeping quietly and woke up as they approached, got a drink of water and sat there watching them. She wasn't panting and they saw she was fine - and that's the only reason they didn't break in. Seeing my SC plate, they told me that it wasn't ok to leave dogs in parked cars around there any time of year and not to do it again. I thanked them and got Little Lu out for a short walk as they drove off.

She made it another 9 months or so to 17+ years, right about the time I bought the van. Currently I'm taking a break from dogs while contemplating the logistics of traveling with one, but as far as I've been able to see it's just not really safe traveling with a dog, in a van, down south here. If I still had a dog I'd figure something out (like many here have) but for now (especially with the heat coming on) I'm traveling solo.
We said goodbye to our last dog in August of 2018. The Wife & I agreed on 10 years before we would get another dog as we wanted to be free.

About 4 weeks past & during dinner one night my Wife told me “So the breeder phoned” ,,, I’m like 😶 ?? I said, “We have a breeder? I know nothing about a breeder 🤷‍♂️. Of course being a man I am accused (& probably guilty) of not listening. Anyway somehow (I think I was snookered) 10 years got changed into 10 weeks and “Rocket” became part of the family. Now when we see “Old Guys” out in the park with their little dogs my Wife teases me “Oh look Honey at that Man who loves his dog that he never wanted & where is his Wife”. She says laughing. That is the thing about comedy - there has to be an element of truth for it to be funny.

Don’t leave it too long @h1k3rb “hikerbob” as you will figure it out & they do bring some of us joy beyond words.

Heading Out on the Harleys & Rocket is like “Ya Ain’t Leaving Me @ Home”

74008


$100 Aviator Ear Muffs 😳
74009


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We have 1 added window, a white van, loads of insulation, park in the shade, fan on 100%, front windows cracked, curtains closing off the cab & still won’t leave him if we are concerned.

There are airplane style coolers that would work in a van or you could DIY. Some use dry ice (not sure of the off gassing is safe).








I have not tried any of these products. The only other thing I can think of (besides the PM AC) is an RV style AC. The factory units have under chassis generators & real AC from what I can tell - not sure how good they are.
 

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We have a dilemma that is keeping me awake at night—the neighbor who has fed, watered, loved on our cats, plus cleaning their box every day, is moving. The van is a bit tight for a litter box-for-two, plus the two don’t like each other and we tend to be gone from the van hiking all day. We could get away with leaving them home alone for a week, but in the summer that week is hardly travel time to and from Oklahoma and any place decent. I really don’t know what we are going to do.
 

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2019 118" Silver
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@Club Rider @RV8R - Yeah, they're great companions at home, traveling, camping, hiking or whatever you're doing (ok, maybe not bungee jumping) and I miss all the dogs I've had over the years - have to say though that I'm a bit surprised at all the free time I now have...time that was taken up caring for/worrying about/catering to dogs. You're (willingly?) forced into being a constant trainer, parent, medic, chef, walker (with pick-up bag in hand), cleanup crew (see previous entry), stylist (did all Lulu's hair trimming, etc), de-tick/de-flea/de-louse/de-wormer, and so on for the life of the dog (which always ends up being too short).

You get so used to it that it tends to blend into everything else but having a dog kinda takes over your life. With family health issues here increasing with age (including my own (prostate --> ugh!) surgery last week) I'm leaning toward keeping things simple for now, with the hope that much of the current turmoil will settle down with time and, maybe, someday. Even though I may not have a dog at home now I have friends & family that do so they will continue to be a big part of my life.

That said, I'm happy to see the serious consideration being taken toward keeping pets safe while on the road, camping, etc and my hat is off to all of you!
 

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We have a dilemma that is keeping me awake at night—the neighbor who has fed, watered, loved on our cats, plus cleaning their box every day, is moving. The van is a bit tight for a litter box-for-two, plus the two don’t like each other and we tend to be gone from the van hiking all day. We could get away with leaving them home alone for a week, but in the summer that week is hardly travel time to and from Oklahoma and any place decent. I really don’t know what we are going to do.
That's a tough one MsNomer. Years ago I worked with a woman in a similar bind just before a big, planned camping trip in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. She ended up taking the cat with her and it worked out for awhile but the cat got loose and sadly, she never saw it again. It can happen with a dog too but is far less likely as they 'mostly' tend to listen.

Two cats that need space from each other, in an enclosed van with two humans, doesn't sound like a good time for anyone. I'm sure you've considered boarding them but if you can't find someone else to pick up your neighbor's role I'm not sure you have many other options.
 

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We have a dilemma that is keeping me awake at night—the neighbor who has fed, watered, loved on our cats, plus cleaning their box every day, is moving. The van is a bit tight for a litter box-for-two, plus the two don’t like each other and we tend to be gone from the van hiking all day. We could get away with leaving them home alone for a week, but in the summer that week is hardly travel time to and from Oklahoma and any place decent. I really don’t know what we are going to do.
Unfortunately it’s difficult to board cats because they don’t like to be taken away from their territory. I used to do a lot of pet sitting for people by staying at their house. Check out rover.com for sitters willing to stay at your house, or even a college student or other person with a roommate perhaps, who would enjoy having a house for themselves for a few weeks.
 
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