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 that we love (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. This got me thinking about ways we could corral Olive near the front door (and on the linoleum!) using a baby gate.
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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 around the campground when the man was trying to take the dog out on a walk. 🙂
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. 🙂
Susan Sasman Rose says
That’s great information! Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Susan! Glad it was helpful. 🙂
Cheryl Procissi says
Good idea and thanks for sharing. I thought I would share what happened to us the first time that we took out our “new” motorhome a couple of years ago. We have a small boxer, she only weighs 60 lbs (we were used to 80+ pounders), Sophie. This particular weekend we also had our 2 granddaughters with us. One slept on the couch and the other in the table area. We did not make sure that the outside door was closed and locked, notice I say closed. Well, during the night Sophie decided, several times, that she wanted to go outside and investigate, she pushed open the screen door and then pushed the door open and went out to check out the campsite. The next morning we found this out because she was still outside and that there were muddy footprints all over the bed of the granddaughter who slept on the coach. We have since created a locking mechanism for the screen to make sure this doesn’t happen again!
Hi Cheryl-thanks for stopping by! Wow–that’s one smart dog! 😉 Glad you found a way to keep her from anymore midnight walks. Happy camping!
I love this, and have attempted this in our camper. Mainly so my kids can go in and out without the dogs escaping.
I’m struggling with the hardware though. We have it set up on the section separating the bedroom from the living area. The media center area is no sold, and my kids pulled out the screws. I’ve even tried using the mounting brackets for Sheetrock with no success. Did you do anything good special with mounting?
Sorry. That should have said that the media center is not a solid wall.
Hello Heather! Two thoughts that might help: Could you drill through the media center wall and use a plate inside the cabinet with bolts/washers/nuts to hold the gate in place rather than screws? Or if that won’t work could you secure a board (something like a 2×4) to the wall area and then attach the gate to the board? Without seeing your camper, I realize those ideas may or may not be helpful–but hopefully you find a good solution. 🙂