The best part of traveling for the past two years has been the friends we’ve made. Today’s guest post is by Harold Delk, who we met way back when we were still shopping for the perfect pet friendly RV. We hit it off right away with him and his wife, Jackie, and had a chance to catch up with them again last year on a cold Saturday in Galax, Virginia.
Harold, Jackie, and their Vizsla, Maddie, are serious pet travelers and have tipped us off to some great ideas for our RV. Harold’s most recent suggestion was very creative, will also work in a home without wheels, and could literally save your pet’s life.
Traveling in an RV with a pet, as we do with our rescue dog, Maddie, is fun – and it poses its own set of challenges. First and foremost we worry about keeping Maddie safe and have always used a seat belt harness to protect her while we’re driving. Recently a new challenge arose when we decided to spend a week at the Fort Wilderness Campground at Florida’s Disney World.
Maddie prefers to stay in the RV when we are away; it’s her home and she is comfortable there. Our concern is that, even with the air conditioner running, there is the possibility of a power failure or other malfunction that could lead to a rapid and dangerous rise in temperature – which could be fatal for a dog. We needed a way to monitor the temperature and know immediately if there was a problem when we were away from the RV.
A bit of research and a very helpful fellow-RVer led us to a solution that gives us peace of mind when leaving her so we can enjoy a theme park, restaurant, or other attraction where Maddie can’t join us.
Our solution is composed of three devices: a temperature alarm, a Bluetooth linking device, and a cell phone. Sound complicated? It’s not. In fact, it was surprisingly simple to set up and use.
We started with a Control Products FA-I-CCA Intermediate FreezeAlarm ($150 on Amazon.com). It’s a device that monitors the temperature in a home (or RV, in our case) and notifies you if the temperature reaches a pre-set limit. When you’re shopping, be aware that less expensive devices may only monitor for cold temperatures. This model can be set to sound the alarm for either rising or falling temperatures.
When the alarm is triggered the FreezeAlarm calls you to notify you of the problem, and that’s where the second device comes in. Most people would just plug the Freeze alarm into their land line, but since we don’t have one in the RV, we purchased a Cobra PhoneLynx Bluetooth Cell to Home Phone Connection System (BT 215) ($40 on Amazon.com). This device is meant for people that want to utilize their cellular service plan with their land line phones, but for us it allows the FreezeAlarm to connect to a Bluetooth enabled cell phone that we leave in the RV while we’re out.
When the set up is complete, the FreezeAlarm is connected to the PhoneLynx and that is set to recognize a Bluetooth enabled cell phone that you’ll leave in the RV. The system works by calling you at a phone number you program it with (another cell phone you’ll carry with you) if the temperature reaches the point you’ve selected or if the power goes out.
You can also call the cell phone you leave behind to find out the RV’s internal temperature, whether the power is on or off, and the state of the 9-volt backup battery. You can even adjust the settings remotely. The first time we used it we probably called in every ten minutes to check on the pup, and it called us a few times until we learned the best alarm point. If you don’t respond to an alarm, it will continue calling you and up to two additional programmed numbers.
This system works well, it’s simple to set up and operate, easy to adjust, and keeps your pet safe while you are away from the RV or home. Maddie gives it “four paws up” and reminds you to leave lots of water where your pet can’t spill it.
About the Author: Harold is a dog lover, avid pet traveler, and excellent source of RV tips and advice. He, his wife and Vizsla live in Roanoke, VA when they’re not on the road in their Class B motorhome.
GoPetFriendly.com’s Note: During our recent visit at Chez This One Wild Life, we learned that air conditioning units with electronic thermostat panels can turn off if the power to them is interrupted – even just for a second. Central air could also be a problem if the power went out at your home during the day. For anyone counting on an air conditioner to keep their pets safe – this temperature alarm systems seems like a good investment.