Rolling birdhouse

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Hi. We?re buying a new toy hauler (RPM 23FD). The ?toys? we will haul are 9 parrots and a pooch. We live in south Florida and the plan is to get the family outta Dodge when the next big blow comes calling.

Other than comments about sanity, or the lack thereof, we would appreciate hearing your comments on some practical concerns we have. Here goes?

1) We don?t plan to drive fast or over bad roads. In fact, traffic will probably be a mess. What kind or ride can the birds expect inside the trailer?  Bumpy, bumpy? Miserable? What?  We plan to securely position the birds over the wheels where we would expect the ride to be best. We will rig a very good color camera setup (sound and IR) to read out in the truck. This should let us monitor their stress level and the motion.
2) Is there any change of exhaust gasses from the truck getting inside? Birds have a very delicate breathing system.
3) What kind of temperatures can we expect inside the trailer when running in south Florida? Can we run the A/C from the genset while underway? (Standard ducted unit used on lots of rvs). Any danger of generator exhaust getting inside? We have CO2 and gas detectors.
4) Will we have any park problems with our toys? Birds do talk during the day but are silent at night. Do we need to advise the park of our pets when booking? What?s the proper etiquette here?
5) Do any of you overnight at a Walmart or Costco? How is this for a quick stopover?
6) Will we have any state problems with our pets (not going to CA)?
7) Have any of you ever traveled with birds in an rv? How was it? Some of our birds go out regularly, some even to restaurants, and some aren?t quite ready for prime time. Our vet is 100 miles away so all travel now and then. What unexpected things did you find?

Cost is no object when it comes to the pets and this seems like a great alternative to a night of 120 mph wind and weeks without power. Because the pets are so important, we don?t want to stress or endanger them any more than necessary.

We can?t wait to hear what you have to say. Thanks for giving this some thought.

Smooth roads and light crosswinds.


Moderator Emeritus
Mar 3, 2005
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Wow! That's some tall order, but I'll try to answer a few of your questions in no particular order.

There's always a chance of exhaust gasses getting into ANY rig, especially if you're driving slowly on congested roads and, even if you don't plan on driving over bad roads, you may not have a choice. Good roads may be washed out or otherwise blocked, so you may be forced to use secondary or worse roads. There's a lot of up and down movement right over the wheels, so a better place to situate the birds is about half-way between the rear wheels and the tow hitch.
We will rig a very good color camera setup (sound and IR) to read out in the truck
A color camera will only give you black and white with IR lighting; regular lighting or daylight will be needed for best results.
What kind of temperatures can we expect inside the trailer when running in south Florida?
Hot. Very Hot. Yes, you can run an a/c from the genset while traveling.
Will we have any park problems with our toys? Birds do talk during the day but are silent at night.
Depends on how loud they are and what kind of foul (or is it fowl?) language they use. Constantly barking dogs or squawking birds or bagpipes are not welcome in any rv parks, and while pets may be allowed, neighbors may come knocking on your door - night or day. Many people will overnight at a Wal-Mart; others won't under any circumstances - matter of personal choice, and much discussion about it in other areas of the Forum. Common courtesy dictates you don't stay more than one or two nights, and no awnings, slides, leveling jacks, lawn chairs, BBQ's, etc. Remeber, you're a guest; not a registered, paying camper. And don't park right in front of the store. Pull into a space out of the way of regular shoppers.

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
Understand we are talking about emergency evacuation here, not a vacation.

Trailers generally are lousy places to ride in.  For one thing, joints in concrete highways can set up rythmic bucking.  Trailers generally have no shock absorbers to control this.  However, Monroe for one sells trailer shock kits.  Ask about them at your local RV service outfit or the trailer dealer.

Trailers are well insulated and tend to have white, reflective walls and sides and a low percentage of glass compared to any motor vehicle.  They can stay cool for quite a while on the road.  Get a recording high low thermometer and install it in the trailer and check out the actual high that builds up on a hot day with no A/C on.  That should make up your mind about the thermal safety. 

Dog should be in the tow vehicle, period.  Get a good heavy duty chest harness and tether it to a seat belt.  A dog in a trailer, isolated from his people in a blind box that makes all sorts of odd lurches and sudden stops will be terrorized.  The same dog will ride comfortably in your company in a seat beside or near you.  The harness and tether works to restrict his movements and protects him just as safety harnesses protect you.

Birds?  Darned if I know.  But we have bird folks here and maybe they will chime in. 


Thanks, guys. Pooch was always intended to be in truck along with some of the birds in travel boxes. Birds in trailer will be in small travel cages, not their big cages.

Any recommendations on wireless electric hi/low thermometers? Do you think I could pick up the temp on camera if I used a large mechanical thermometer? Maybe?
?There's a queen forward. Would this be a good ride?

Re: park etiquette, we live with our birds inside and we have no screamers. The grey parrots mostly talk and whistle, the green parrots (Amazons, eclectus, quakers) do everthing from singing opera to chirping. The greys, amazons and quakers often eat at outdoor restaurants percjhed on baskets sitting in chairs and holding their food. All are socialized (like people). We sure there may always be someone who takes offense, but they are far more entertaining than annoying. We will be respectful of others.

Can't wait to hear more comments and thanks for youre feedback. Mom


Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
wherever we are parked
9 parrots??  Wow!  I would like to hear THAT breakfast conversation!

Carl is right about the good insulation and coolness of a white trailer. 

My dog did not travel in the trailer when we had one, but I remember one day I experimented with him staying in it at Kabellas in Nebraska on a day in the high 90s.  I checked the trailer several times and it stayed comfortable for 4 hours.  Not like air conditioning but still comfortable.  I left a roof vent open to allow warm air (which rises) to escape.  At the end of the experiment I was satisfied that at least for half a day, and under 100 degree outside temp, this would work.

In the motorcoach we have, despite windows, and a darker color, it also stays fairly comfortable when parked.  In this case we have fantastic vents.  we set them on automatic and they turn on and off as the temperature rises and falls.  It is important to leave plenty of water when parked.  When traveling, stop frequently and insure conditions and water supply.


Moderator Emeritus
Feb 1, 2005
Oregon Scientific makes a line of wireless thermometers that will monitor up to 3 remote sensors.  Put one in the trailer and the base display in the truck.


Ned said:
Oregon Scientific makes a line of wireless thermometers that will monitor up to 3 remote sensors.? Put one in the trailer and the base display in the truck.

Mucho thanks, Ned, a $20 unit is on the way here. Nice folks at Oregon Scientific.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
West Palm Beach, FL
Since you are in Florida, it is going to start out HOT inside, probably in the low 90's. If your birds are accustomed to indoor, air conditioned living they may get stressed by the heat.  Running the a/c from a genset (where is the genset located?) may be a good idea.

When we hada parrot (a conyer), we often put its cage on the patio during pleasant weather. Occasonally the bird got quite ill and eventually we found that it was very sensitive to exhaust fumes from the large lawn mower our lawn service used. Watch for signs of CO poisoning, since a small amont of exhaust can readily penetrate a trailer. Could be your own exhaust billowing back into it or from other traffic.

Definitely get shocks installed on the trailer axles - it will make a substantial difference.  Or get a Mor/Ryde suspension installed instead of the usual leaf springs. It's often available as an option if you haven't bought the trailer yet, but can be retrofited easily too.
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