Once upon a time we went camping with our two wonderful dogs. With the camper set up, and the A/C running, we switched on some music and bid farewell to the pets while we met up with family for lunch. Fast forward to our return, and what did we find? While Sydney the Golden had contentedly awaited our return, Olive the Doodle had bounded from door to lookout window and back, working herself into quite a tizzy. The result of which was her regurgitated breakfast … all over the couch!
Most RVing pet owners can probably relate and may even have their own stories to tell. (I know our friends over at RV Circus have at least one similar tale to tell, right Mark and Sandie?) After some cleaning with Charlie’s soap, I’m happy to report the couch was salvaged. But we were on the hunt for a camper modification that would keep Olive contained on the linoleum part of the camper.
Although we have a collapsible crate (like this one), it can be a pain to set up and take down all the time. Additionally, because it’s for large breed dogs, it takes up a LOT of room in the camper when it is set up, causing us to fall over each other. So I got to thinking about installing a baby gate to keep Olive near the front door and on the linoleum.
The problem was that most hard/fixed baby gates require you to have two walls that are completely parallel and square … which wasn’t possible in our camper. Additionally, the smallest gate we could find was still too long to fit in the opening where we wanted to put it. So with some further research I found a retractable mesh baby gate that works perfectly for our needs!
The gate came with excellent installation instructions so I will not give step-by-step instructions but would like to mention a few things:
We were pleasantly surprised to discover the Stork Retractable Gate came with two sets of mounting hardware. We had been debating where would be the best place to install the gate, but with the extra mounting hardware it meant we would be able to use the gate in both configurations.
The instructions said you must mount the gate so that it is at a 90 degree angle from both walls when extended. (In a camper good luck with that!) Neither of our gate positions are at 90 degrees and the gate is working perfectly fine.
The gate can now run between the entertainment center wall and the kitchen wall, as well as between the entertainment center and the wall by the camper door.
This solution does have its limitations. It is not a crate, so Olive could jump up on the front bed and escape from the gated area. But because our dogs have never been allowed on the furniture, so far she has not tried that. (We’ll keep our fingers crossed!)
In addition to creating a safe place for the dog while we are gone, the gate has also been great for corralling Olive so she doesn’t get underfoot when we are in the middle of cooking or going in and out of the camper. Installing a gate in a camper would also be a great idea if you have a pet that’s prone to “taking off” when a door is opened. This past summer Jarrett had to help another camper whose dog went on a sprint before the man had hooked the leash on the dog’s collar.
And since this camper pet gate is mesh, Olive can still keep an eye on us from the safety of her spot, which makes her a happy camper. 🙂
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