Hello all! Happy to have found you. We are the Wilkie's from northwest Michigan. We just bought a youngish Shasta fifth wheel -1996. I know that's kind of a youngster here, but that's what we found. It's replacing our 19 ft. Funfinder. More room for the three dogs and maybe the two cats. We traveled the country back in 1990 in a fifth wheel for eleven months and never regretted selling the house to do it. Took along our two dogs and two cats back then. I loved the lack of an itinerary and stuff. It helped to have 75 cent diesel fuel. But reality struck and we came back and started the grind over again. We will go full time again. Need to liquidate a lot of stuff, as do most people. We know the full time life and are anxiously looking forward to it. You only have now, no promise of a tomorrow. Don't waste your moments.

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Welcome, we are glad to have you here. 

Thank you Russ!!

Good morning, M. K. Wilkie; 

Also, welcome to the group. 

And, welcome back to "the RV lifestyle."  Nice to know that you have chosen to do this again, and that does say that there might be something to this way of life. 

You spoke of traveling with both your dogs and your cats.  I have considered taking along at least one of my cats, and there is a small modification to the motor home to fully block the doorway from the back of the motor home to keep WC back there when I open the door to go outside.  I do not want to try chasing him down if he decides to run up the trunk of a tree.  He does seem to enjoy laying on the large expansive area on the dash under the sloping windshield in the front.  He can see out watching things outside, and usually it is fairly warm up there.  I am just not sure yet how he will do while literally "on the road." 

Enjoy; 

Ralph 

Latté Land, Washington 

Hi Ralph! Thanks for the welcome. I know what your concerns are. We have them now too. One of our cats enjoys going outside. He came to us that way as a kitten. He wouldn't be happy just inside. We have considered starting to train him on a leash. When we full timed it in 1990 there were a few places we let the cats out. They stayed close and were closely watched. But not often. Although Bernie wandered into the woods behind our campsite in Washington State. Paul waited by the campfire until midnight and she finally appeared...covered with slugs! They rode on the bed in the fifth wheel the whole trip. Not the slugs, the cats. Lol! Cats can adapt to s lot of situations. I think it is because they are so independent. We were very fortunate to have had only one bad thing happen in all those miles. The tailgate accidentally got left down and smashed the front bay door of the RV. We had to replace it in Albuquerque. That old Prairie Schooner was a wonderful rig!!

Welcome!  Know some of the feeling.  We full-timed for about two years in Class A with our dog and cat.  Did everything wrong and ended up back in an apartment trying to rebuild our poor maxxed out credit cards (when gas went to over $4.00 a gallon we finally threw up our hands).  But love so much of the lifestyle. Trying it again but only for extended trips.  Now we have a home base.

New cat now and she's been indoors all her life.  She's going to hate me taking her to the vet to get on heartworm prevention (sadly we live in the east where you have to keep them on it if they go outdoors) but our new rig is too small to not give her some leash time (supervised and when she is ready ).  The first kitty though loved it.  Well, not the moving part.  You should see the claw marks on the back bedroom door.  But once parked?  She spent so many hours on the dash and at the windows watching the scenery (aka wildlife, geese and birds) at each new place.  

Look forward to your posts and journey to get back on the road!

Hi Dawn. Thanks for the welcome. Our cats rode on the bed in our fifth wheel. They did get used to it. The front bed was the smoothest ride. We never closed them in s room so maybe it helped. Who knows? We started our renovations today on the Shasta. We tore out the jackknife sofa. I will be using the fabric as patterns to cut the new fabric. We have to replace it because the fresh water tank, the pump, the hot air ducts and assorted other stuff is under it. And tons of 20 year old dirt!! We also noticed some holes in the heat ducts. We have our work cut out for us under there. But no water leaks!! Yippee! I also removed the very flowered curtains, the filthy valences and the bent mini blinds. It's just the beginning of turning our sows ear into s silk purse! Lol!!!

Oh, we only closed her in there once! In fact I went to let her out while we were moving - and you should have seen her dart out, and then stop and look at me with this horrified expression to find that the "front end" was moving, too!!  We were afraid she'd get under the driver's feet if we didn't but after that she pretty much would hide under the sofa while driving so let her be.

Haha - I know the feeling about not finding leaks.  Isn't that like the best feeling?!  Be sure to post lots of pics!  We're all voyeurs here I think :-)

Oh!! Yes, a cat loose in any motor vehicle can be a recipe for disaster. Been there. But I'm glad she settled in. Maybe we'll try cat carriers in the RV at first. Hard to know. The trucks back seat will be full of dogs. Will update the renovations as we progress. The YouTube couple that is very inspiring to us is called Duet Justus. They really did a number on their old motor home. We admire their perseverance. But it helps to be young with all of that energy!!!

HAHA!  Oh yes, I've seen them!  Grin.  Yes, I've thought the same thing!  To be young again :-)  Ah well, there are compensations, right?  I think, now that I'm older, I don't waste as much time on the unimportant stuff!

Our new kitty (Salem did pass sadly quite a few years ago, and our young dog is now elderly this time around) will definitely go in a carrier this time around.  Salem actually freaked out in the carrier.  Unlike some animals that find them safe she went nuts being confined - she would make her claws bloody trying to get out.  You could tell it was just horrifying for her.  Marie Antoinette going to the guillotine. Shillelagh does much better.  I'm trying to figure out how to use the space between the cab seats for Freyja.  There are too old seat belt receivers that were left in when someone replaced the seat but I don't think you can buy a belt with an insert on each end?  That would be perfect and then we could attach the strap on her car harness above her and going across. They never work with those shoulder harnesses, get all tangled up and she's really too big to be comfortable that way. Will take some creativity!  

My aunt and uncle travel with three dogs and a fifth wheel and expect they do the same :-)  I know they built ramps for their dogs to get into the camper.  In another year I expect I'll be doing the same for Freyja.  Maybe something that just assists with the cab as the door opens widely and it's lower....

Cats are finicky travelers.... I had a 15 yr old cat,(Gi GI ) who was at home in my 5th while traveling.. The queen bed up front was HER's.. lol,,, She would go outside like a dog to do her buisness,,, so no kitty litter boxes inside. She would sit next to the steps when we parked,, and maybe wonder no farther then 50 feet from the RV by herself... of course she would follow me around,, she thought she was a dog. I tried to let her ride up front in the truck and she wanted nothing to do with that,,,, miss panic and spazz... so she got the comforts of home in the RV while traveling and was quite content. Riding up above the hitch seemed to be her spot,,,, I guess cuz of the ride and she did OWN the queen bed,,

That sounds like our girls on our 11 month trek. But I don't think they were outside of the RV very much. That was 27 years ago and our memories aren't that great. CRS big time! Cats are wonderful independent little guys.

LOL.  Cats are the queen of wherever they decide to park themselves!  I love that attitude.  

I've got two places I can put the litter box - either in the front cab below the drivers wheel when parked (or the passenger although we're thinking that will make a nice seating space for someone to work on the computer) and I can sacrifice space under the kitchen sink, cut out the shelf and put in a cat door.  I'm going to start with the former (it'll ride in the bathtub while moving - she never uses the litter box when traveling) and then see how that goes.

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