- Written by Todd Moning
Buying a motorhome is a big decision with much to consider.
Will the electrical system be sufficient to power all the equipment we want to use? How will the coach's length affect maneuverability in the places where we want to travel?
How much cargo can it safely carry? What are the holding tank capacities? Will the interior layout meet our needs? What is covered under the warranty?
Full-timers Robin and Tim Kenney pondered these questions before buying their 38-foot 2002 Gulf Stream Sun Sport Trio (triple slideout). But another factor also weighed heavily in their buying decision.
During hours of research and countless days touring new and used RVs at shows and dealerships, they always wondered, How will Rocky like it?
Rocky is the couple's 10-year-old Italian greyhound.
"Believe it or not," Robin said, "while shopping for an RV, we looked for space that would be comfortable for our dog. Such as where to place his food and water bowls, storage for his food container, and so forth. All of that was a big factor in selecting a practical floor plan."
The Kenneys, from Port St. Lucie, Fla., joined FMCA in October 2004 and started full-timing at the same time. Robin is a certified nurse trained in mammography. She works for five different companies that specialize in traveling health care professionals. The Kenneys spend up to 13 weeks at a time in the area of Robin's assignments.
Tim, meanwhile, maintains a Web site, www.watchthemroll.com, that provides RVing information and updates on their travels to date. He also manages his own e-commerce site, and work-camps when positions are available.
Rocky loves the motorhome lifestyle, Robin said. "He is always with us. This is our only child."
The dog gets excited every time its owners pack up the motorhome for the next destination, said Robin, who works as a traveling nurse. "Rocky brings a smile to our face every day. The companionship and joy we receive from him irreplaceable."
At stopping points and destinations, Robin, Tim and Rocky enjoy taking walks and exploring new campgrounds together. One of Rocky's favorite places, Robin said, is Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World — he loves the pet loop there.
In the motorhome, Rocky likes to lie in the pillows of the queen-size bed. "He's a real couch potato," Robin said. The Kenneys moved a barrel chair closer to the bed to make it easier for Rocky to jump up onto the bed.
When it's time to play, Rocky goes for his little furry, squeaky rabbit toy.
Robin offered a few tips for anyone who would like to go RVing with pets. "First, find a compatible pet companion that will fit your lifestyle. Begin by walking your pet in and out of the motorhome to expel any fears they may have. Let them find a comfortable and safe place while traveling. Rocky likes to ride in the passenger seat with a seat-belted navigator.
"For every ounce of love you give your pet, they will give it back tenfold. You are sure to have very memorable travels with your furry companion."