Leaving Your Pet in the RV
(The $64,000 question)—Part I

In all the years that Jack and I have been writing about RVing with Pets, the absolute top question that we receive from our readers is, "How do I feel safe leaving my pet in the RV? What if the power goes out?" The answer to this question is complicated, so I am going to write about this in two parts. Part I will cover remote temperature monitors and Part II will cover some of the other possible solutions to keep your pet safe. One of the most reliable ways to ensure your pet's safety while you are out enjoying the sights is a remote temperature monitor. In essence, these monitors will keep track of the temperature inside of your RV and then alert you in one of many ways if something changes. Manufacturers take a variety of approaches to these monitors, so you need to research them closely to see which is best for you. In general, they require a land phone line, a cell phone or a pager. Because everyone's requirements are different, I don't recommend one brand over the other, but I will say that you need to use one that doesn't depend solely on AC power, it needs to have some kind of battery backup. Also keep in mind that if it requires a cell phone, you will need two cell phones–one to leave in the RV attached to the temperature monitor and one to bring with you for the device to call. Here are a few of the temperature monitoring products that work well an RV. Safe Home Products. Works with either a land line or a cell phone. It also has built–in batteries. No computer necessary ($179–$598). http://www.safehomeproducts.com/shp2/sm/home–guard.asp Ray Allen. Professional K–9 Equipment. Offers all kinds of products for professional dog trainers and police dogs. The company has a wide range of temperature monitors from the fairly simple to the complicated—designed for police vehicles, but can be used in an RV ($695–$895). http://www.rayallen.com/ramCart/cartFrame.htm OmegaPhone. A very compact unit which monitors both power and temperature. This unit requires a land line, but if you are in a long–term RV space with a landline, it just might work for you. This system can dial up to four phone numbers, and the integrated voice tells you the temperature and whether the power is on or how long the power has been off. You can also call the unit at anytime and hear a status report ($257). http://www.omega.com/pptst/OMA–VM500–3.html Temperature Alert. This is one product that is great for people with laptops and cell phones with email capabilities. It seems to have been designed for computer rooms to keep track of the temperature so that the servers and other equipment don't get damaged, but it would work great for an RV. It plugs into the USB port of your computer. When the temperature exceeds your pre–defined parameters, it sends you an email ($129). http://www.temperaturealert.com/product_p/tm–std30.htm Tip Temperature Products. The company's Mobile Temperature Alarm System lets you connect your cell to receive emergency calls from your TempAlarm. The emergency calls can be due to power loss or unfavorable high/low temperatures. In addition, calls can be made to the cell phone that is connected to the TempAlarm to verify your power status and current temperature ($499). http://www.tiptemp.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=21969 Sunny Park RV. Its Pet Safety Heat Alarm seems to be easy to operate. It's a 12–volt system with a 12–foot extension cord that plugs into your cigarette lighter/power point outlet. You set the maximum temperature and, if your A/C fails and the temperature rises in your RV, the Pet Safety Heat Alarm will call you. ($411) http://sunnyparkrv.com/ I hope this gives you a good start on finding a temperature monitoring system for your RV. If you come across any other products for monitoring temperature remotely or you have tried one of these products, please send me an email. Next month, we will cover some other possibilities for ensuring the safety of your pet while you are enjoying the local attractions.