Spring is right around the corner and we are very excited to begin traveling with our three woofuses. Rob and I have talked about getting a travel trailer for a few years now, and this year it has finally happened. We did some research at our local Camping World and one week later found ourselves driving home an adorable new vacation home on wheels. It’s perfect for pup-cations!
Our Coleman “Lantern Edition” lightweight travel trailer is large enough to be comfortable yet small enough to be towed by our jeep liberty. We walked into the model on the lot and instantly knew it was the right one for us.
This little recreational vehicle has everything we need to travel comfortably with the pups, in miniature. A tiny kitchen equipped with a small fridge and freezer, a double sink, a three burner stove with a half sized oven (it fits half sized cookie sheets – hence my term of measurement), a functional bathroom equipped with toilet, sink, medicine cabinet, shower and small bath tub, and a cozy but sizeable bed nook. There’s a small dinette area with booth seats and a table (it’s like always getting the cool booth at the diner) and a mini fake leather couch which folds down to a bed (aka dog bed). The fake leather upholstery was actually a big selling point for us, as dog hair sweeps off easily, unlike cloth seats. There is an electric canopy out front with a string of LED lights, providing substantial daytime shade for people and pups, and fun ambiance at night. When the weather is cold, we have heat and when it is hot, we have air conditioning (very important for snow dogs).
We hung a small TV on the wall by the dinette so we can enjoy movie nights (with home made pop corn popped on the tiny stove, of course!). The first movie we watch will be Star Wars. This is a tradition of long standing.
Years ago when we started traveling with our first husky Sabrina, we went tent camping. We had a small tv with a VHS player built in which Rob’s mother had picked up for us at the thrift shop where she volunteered. As crazy as it sounds, we brought it along and watched Star Wars in that tent on that tiny, second-hand TV. We still remember it as a magical moment in time, watching one of our favorite movies from childhood, in a tent in the middle of the woods. Some may regard watching a film as anti-camping but I say to each their own – it gave us joy and the woods were not insulted by it!
Sabrina curled up on the floor of the tent right in front of the TV and fell asleep watching Star Wars with us. That dog was born for travel! She took to it like a champ. And thus two unique traditions were born – traveling with pups, and watching Star Wars on the road.
This past weekend we slept in the travel trailer, in our driveway at home. We were so excited and wanted to see what it would be like to spend the night there in our new little vacation home. We leashed up the dogs and walked them into the trailer, locking the door behind us. When we went to sleep, all three dogs piled onto the “short” queen sized bed with Rob and myself. After a little while, Lobo jumped off and onto the floor.
The bed is tucked in to the right of the doorway as you enter the trailer, with walls on three sides, one of which sports a small window. There’s no walking room around it, which provides a snug, cozy feel. I’m not sure why, but it reminds me of the loft beds in the Little House on the Prairie books. We live in a quiet cul-de-sac so all was silent in our neighborhood. We slept well with one major exception….
What we discovered was no surprise as we’d been forewarned by a number of reviews. The bed was horribly uncomfortable! Hard as a rock. We are planning to add a foam mattress pad on top – we’ll report back on that later. I am very glad we did this trial run at home before we spent an uncomfortable weekend on the road.
I love the book Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck. The famous author travelled in a pick up truck with a small camper built on top of the truck bed. He lived in this cool camper with his large standard poodle Charley while they travelled across the USA. Together they rediscovered the grass roots United States which Steinbeck had immortalized in books like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden.
Do I seek to emulate this book-worm inspired journey? Heck yeah! It’s the coolest travel book I know. Onward, ho, to the pack and the peeps. Stay tuned for our journeys when we sally forth in the spring, leashes in hand, bikes on board, and adventure in our hearts. Home is indeed wherever the pack sleeps.
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