We had an idea the other day. At first, we thought it was a bit crazy. But after more consideration, plus a lot of measuring and specs, we decided that maybe this idea wasn't so crazy at all. Maybe, just maybe, we could successfully install a pet door in our RV.
Back in May, we retrieved Vanessa's three cats from her mom's house, where they temporarily sought asylum from our on-the-go RV life. After the cats rejoined the fam, we needed to figure out quite a few logistics in order to fit them back in to our lifestyle. One of the main issues we found, was the dreaded litter box. Dun dun dun.
Now, for me, I'm not a huge cat person. (Sorry, Vanessa). And in fact, I can be quite allergic at times. I've always had dogs in my life, and enjoyed the fact that dogs can be let out to do their duties and then let back inside. No mess, no stress. (sometimes). The thing about cats is that they have to have a box where they do their duties. You need to scoop said box (gross). And litter usually has that awkward perfumy scent. So, we needed some sort of resolution, and we needed it fast. The litter box could not spend it's life at the base of our shower.
The other night, we were brainstorming a few options...
“I wish we could just install a pet door,” Vanessa said.
“Seriously,” was my intelligent reply.
“Wait, why can’t we?”
In the bathroom we have our only closet. If you lift the bottom of that closet out, you find yourself in the largest exterior compartment we have. This exterior storage compartment can only be accessed by the outside, AND can totally fit a litter box. It was genius.
All we needed to do was figure out how to install a pet door to create an entryway from the bathroom to the storage compartment with ease. After a lot of observation, measurements, and specs, we found that there was only a single piece of wood separating the exterior storage compartment and the inside of our bathroom, about an inch thick. No wires, no pipes, nothing else was between those walls. A collective sigh of relief. This really wouldn’t be that difficult after all. So, we bought an awesome pet door from Menards, for only $19. BUT, you can actually find it here on Amazon for less than $10:
We were very lucky to have Vanessa’s dad assist us with the installation process. He’s a genius carpenter, electrician, and total jack-of-all-trades. We quickly rounded up the tools: a power drill, jigsaw, carpenter’s square, and a permanent marker, and set off to work.
In the pet door box there was a template, which we used to draw the door onto the wall with a pen. We made sure that by cutting through the wall, there wouldn’t be any hitting of the sub-floor, or snagging anything we shouldn’t.
After tracing the outline, we drilled holes for where the jigsaw would enter and cut through.
Next, was a very careful cutting process, until finally we had our through-door. From there, it was relatively simple in just drilling the pieces of the pet door into the wood to hold it into place. We also added some double-sided construction tape for good measure, just to ensure the door wouldn’t go anywhere. After the doors were drilled in on both sides—voila! The installation process was complete. Less than an hour, less than $20. Our very own installed pet door in an RV.
Vanessa’s dad did take an extra step, which most likely won’t apply to everyone. Turns out that between the two pieces of wood, the bathroom wall and the storage wall, there was a slight gap. So, he used a bandsaw to cut a thin, curved piece of wood and fit it into the gap so that nothing would get trapped or stuck in the abyss of the RV in-between.
So far, so good. Not only is the bulky litter box out of our shower, but also we can scoop the box from the outside of the RV. No inside mess. It’s a life-saver. We truly couldn’t be happier. Oh, and the cats are diggin’ it, too.
See you on the road!
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