Customized Office Trailer: Small Animal Vet On The Road Again
Written by: Melissa Myre
In late February, Haulmark delivered an empty white 8ft x 24ft trailer box to Christie’s RV’s workshop. Travelling Veterinarian Carl Bowyer had commissioned Christie’s RV to re-create the Vet trailer they had first built for him ten years before.
Bowyer said, since he’d worked with them before “he knew they knew what he wanted.”
And once the mobile trailer box had arrived, it was finally time to start putting the completely customized travelling Vet Office plans into fruition. Former RV Technician, Matt Gareau explained that the floor was completed first, then framing, then cabinets.
BJ Perhonen, a Christie’s RV technician whose background is in kitchen and cabinetry installation, assisted in putting together the hidden drawers and pocket doors in the trailer in the beginning stages.
And then the pandemic happened.
Due to Covid-19 caution, those working on this customized project went from three RV technicians to just one.
“It was challenging, but we got it done alright,” said Gareau.
According to RV Sales Manager, Sam Bruni, the planning process began in August of 2019.
“This time around, we fixed and enhanced the design and parts to maximize efficiency,” said Bruni.
Together with RV technician Dan Chibnall, Bruni mapped out the placement of plugs, windows, insulation, roof vents, cupboard placement, etc. “It was strange not being as involved with the building of this one,” he said with a hint of sadness.
Normally Bowyer would be “stopping there and seeing [his mobile vet office] develop,” but due to the virus they’d mostly exchange emails with photos whenever there was a question.
“It was scary, but I already worked with Christie’s for years and I knew they knew what I wanted,” he said.
Since the trailer from the past had been uncharted territory for Christie’s crew, there were several things they wanted to do differently. Especially regarding storage placement and installation, said Chibnall.
“Last time we installed everything and [a cabinet company] built the cupboards around them. This time, we put the cupboards in first and then modified [the cupboards] to fit everything,” he said.
The lights, cages, anesthesia machine, portable x-ray machine were all installed at the workshop.
“There is a dental dog tooth brush, X-ray, a machine that breaths for the dogs, the surgical table, anesthesia machine,” said Gareau.
The mounted the majority of the hardware before Bowyer came to check out the almost finished product.
Bowyer was elated to see his newly finished trailer and his first thought was, “Awesome.”
On average, Bowyer and his team will travel 1000 kms per week, half of that with his trailer in tow, so 500 kms/week. In total, they travel about 23,000 km per year.
Bowyer takes care of his mobile trailer and routinely gets his trailer Winterized and Summerized each year.
“Obviously you have to enjoy driving and enjoy Northern Ontario. More than anything [the best thing is that] the clients are really excited to see us.”
If not for the travelling vet service, anyone in need of a Veterinarian would need to drive as many as 300kms .
“We’re saving everybody time and stress on animals. In the grand scheme of things, we’re probably saving the environment because [we’re] saving all those cars that have to make the trip to get the [vet] services.”
He’s confident he can get another 10 years out of this mobile office and then some.