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10-Minute Tech: Dog-Friendly Steps

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

When my wife and I purchased our travel trailer, we were disappointed when our dog, an energetic Florida black mouth cur, did not share our enthusiasm. She has no problem negotiating steps at our house (or hopping up into our bed!), but she absolutely refused to climb the three steps into our rig. After talking to other dog owners and doing research, I was surprised to learn that some dogs will not climb steps without risers because they can see through the steps and it disorients them.

My solution was to “black out” the back side of the steps using a piece of black Coroplast, a waterproof, lightweight, corrugated plastic sheet material used by sign makers. RVers will know it as the black underpinning found under many RVs. Most sign shops will sell a small piece of the material, and it’s also available on Amazon.

For my RV’s Lippert SolidStep that folds up inside the entry door for travel, I cut the piece with a knife to 23¾ by 27½ inches for an exact fit. I slipped the bottom of the sheet into a lip on the back side of the bottom step, used a sharp-tipped razor knife to cut a small slit at the top of each side of the Coroplast, drilled a hole on each side of the horizontal piece at the top of the step and secured the sheet with a couple of black cable ties. That’s it.

The trick worked like a charm. The first time Melody saw the “new” steps, she followed my wife up them without hesitation.

Joe Malat | Punta Gorda, Florida


Read more tips and tricks for making RV travel easier, safer and more pleasurable, submitted by Trailer Life readers, based on real-life RV experiences.

To submit an RV DIY tip of your own, email an explanation of the idea to [email protected] and attach at least one high-resolution photo.

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