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Author Topic: One girl and her dog  (Read 6481 times)

FortyEight

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One girl and her dog
« on: March 07, 2016, 02:34:45 PM »
Hello
What a wonderful discovery this forum has been!
So to introduce myself, I'm a girl with a dream and a dog, trying to work out the details of how to make it happen. Having had to 'retire' from self-employment for health reasons, it now opens up the very exciting prospect of an open-ended journey with a book to write. I'll start in the uk, and see where it takes me.
Having done lots and lots of research into vans, I've decided on a van conversion. My requirements are a 6m van with two full length singles as I need to leave one made up as a bed 100% of the time - a very bad back means that driving is the only sitting time I can manage. This is hurdle number one as there aren't many of them around. I've narrowed it down to the Autotrail V-Line 610SE, but there aren't any used ones around yet. I also like the Vantage Sol, also rare. Any other suggestions welcome (I'm fussy)  ;)
My even bigger concerns though are around my best friend.....my dog. I'd welcome people's advice. As a solo traveller I have two big worries:
1) What happens if I fall seriously ill/have an accident etc? Who looks after my dog? She's a very fragile soul, health wise and emotionally, and certainly wouldn't be able to cope with emergency kennels. I wouldn't dream of leaving her behind. It's either find a solution or we don't go.
2) How do I manage times when I need to go to dog-unfriendly places such as supermarkets, pharmacies, doctors' surgeries etc? I never leave her in my car because there's such a problem with theft of dogs from vehicles these days. What do other solo travellers do?
I'm itching to get this project on the road, but my pal's welfare comes first  :)
All advice welcome!


malcolm

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Re: One girl and her dog
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 08:10:27 PM »
Hi

You know the answer the dog is on his own but can you live life if you venture abroad dog will enjoy but your decision.

Van wise buy a van and build what you want not mass produced cos they compromise.

malcolm

kryten

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Re: One girl and her dog
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 03:25:22 PM »
I wouldn't worry about leaving a dog in a vehicle while you go into a supermarket or general shopping where dogs are not permitted. During your build add a roof vent and leave that open for your dog. To travel across the Channel you need a dog passport and a visit to a vets before your return to the UK, these are easy to arrange.

If you are fulltiming then wild camping in a large van can be more difficult in the UK. You have to find places to park and not stand out too much. Bigger the vehicle harder it is to get around, especially in towns and cities. Wild camping is a lot easier in Europe with many free sites some with free water and emptying points. There are several good websites for free/cheap stops in Europe.

I can't help with the type of van, get the best you can afford and take a tape measure with you. Think about what you need in a van before you start looking. Can you do without a fridge or shower and adapt? Do you need instant hot water? What will you electricity usage be? All things that need to be considered. There are always several options for everything, think outside the box. a kitchen sink doesn't have to be a sink, a toilet doesn't have to be a shop bought toilet, there are different ways of keeping clean without an inbuilt shower. I don't know if you have ever watched George Clarke's Amazing Spaces but sometimes some people come up with some very good good solutions to problems.

purplebus

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Re: One girl and her dog
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2016, 09:50:20 PM »
Hey! Im a lone man travelling/living in a van with my dog... as far as it goes with the dog, there will be times when you'll need to leave the pooch in the van, the dog sounds very loved so she wont mind that much, she'll be happy to be joining your adventure no matter what! As above get roof vents for the hot weather and somesort of pet insurance is advised!! You can beef up security with a deadbolt or alarm system, as for what van its what best suits your needs... i live comfortably in an old lwb renault minibus, itd not the biggest but its cosy, i have a shower (kahuna portable shower) which i customised with a submersible water heater and have fitted a shower tray and 360 curtain, also have a toilet (camping bucket with a seat) but i do the bigger business in public restrooms (this limits smells) log burner for free heat and cooking and a fully functional but compact kitchen i sleep in a fold away hammock and have seating area that doubles up into a double bed, power comes from liesure batteries recharged by a big solar panel and a generator for back up! Clever storage is how you need to think but it can be done with ease! I wish you best of luck!

BeepBeepParker

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Re: One girl and her dog
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 03:35:42 PM »
an open-ended journey with a book to write.

I am quite envious of this. Sounds like the start of a great experience.

In terms of figuring out which van is right for you I would avoid rushing into anything. I spent quite a while "shopping" around. I was quite surprised with how many things I thought were an absolute must to begin with turned out to be unnecesary and how many things I hadn't considered are now indispensable to me. Some things you just don't know unless you really spend some time in a certain model. I used to turn to sites like this one https://www.campanda.com/ that rent vans for hire to try and get a feel for as many as possible. Was a great help to me.

I have travelled alone with my dog quite a lot too and was very nervous about leaving him alone in the car. He is so trusting he would go along with anyone if they stroked him. I did eventually get a deadbolt for my van. It just gave me a little more peace of mind. I still avoid leaving him alone for too long though. Can't bear the thought of him waiting for me to come home!  ;)

Good luck with your journey and your book!