RVing with dogs is a wonderful thing. It allows you to share your travel adventures with your furry friends, and in some ways it allows you to stay out on trips longer or even live on the road.
All that said, there are some things you should know before jumping into RV camping with dogs. While we’ve shared plenty of RV living tips in the past, we’ve never actually touched on the subject of pets. Lucky for you, that’s just what we’re going to do today!
Below are our top tips for RV travel with dogs!
Don’t have time to read a bunch of RV travel posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for RV living:
Our Favorite RV Resources:
- Ultimate RV Living eBook
- Harvest Hosts: (save 15% off your first year and stay overnight at one of the many farms, breweries, and wineries across the country)
- Romely Insurance – (sign up for full timer’s RV insurance and save big)
- Rent An RV With Outdoorsy – (the Airbnb of RVs)
- CampScanner – (Snag reservations at sold-out campgrounds!)
- RV Sheets – (Camping World Queen Short sheets made just for RV mattresses)
- Best Sewer Hose – (popular sewer hose for RVs)
- Best RV Vacuum – (small but mighty vacuum)
- Berkey Water Filters – (the travel Berkey is used by so many RV owners to get clean drinking water)
Choose the Right RV
Many dog parents looking to buy an RV want to know which is the best camper for dogs. The truth of the matter? There is no single best RV for pets. Even so, you might want to take your dog into consideration when shopping for your rig.
If you have a large dog, a tiny camper is probably not a good idea. Meanwhile, those with tiny dogs will need to consider how the pup will get in and out, especially if the RV is very tall.
Well, we’ve met other dogs that are used to the RV life or going on an RV trip, but it took some time before they got used to it.
You might also take a look at the features of each individual RV, as some do come with some pretty great pet-friendly amenities. Especially if you are looking for a pet-friendly rig that is also the best RV for full time living.
Some of the best campers for dogs include the following features:
- Built-in crates.
- An outdoor leash latch for keeping your pup on your campsite.
- Vents that won’t catch doggy claws.
- Feeding bowl drawers that slide in and out to both contain the mess and get bowls out of the way when feeding time is over.
- Vinyl or laminate flooring that is easier to clean than carpet.
- Customized RV door for your dog.
Give Your Pup Time to Adjust
Even the best RV for dogs will be a change for your pet. For this reason, you will want to make sure to give your dog plenty of time to adjust to the new home-on-wheels. Give them a bed so they have their own space, and spend some time in the RV with your dog before you ever hit the road.
Consider using only the dog-safe pest control strategies if you are trying to get rid of pests or ants in your RV Be sure to read our deep dive blog post about the best tip for getting ride of ants in RV campers.
If you get a motorhome, try driving short stints to get the pup used to the idea of a moving home. If you get a towable, make sure your dog is comfortable riding in your truck.
New Dog To You?
If you already own a camper or RV and you just got a puppy or new dog to you, then you’ll have to consider some fun dog names that could fit your pup who will be traveling along with you. While you’re naming your dog, check out these funny camper names that you might consider.
Get Up to Date on Shots
Most campgrounds will ask to see your pets’ shot records, and they absolutely must be up to date. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to schedule a vet visit and ensure your dog is totally up to date on all shots before heading out on the road.
If you plan to travel in your RV full-time, you will need to plan to return to your vet to get shots when needed or search for vets along your route.
Look for Dog-Friendly Campgrounds
Some campgrounds allow dogs, while others either only allow some dog breeds or don’t allow furry friends at all. It is very important that you know for sure that any campground you book will allow your pets to join you on your campsite. You might also keep your eyes peeled for campgrounds that offer dog-specific amenities such as dog parks.
To find places where you can go RVing with dogs, try using the BringFido website.
For dog owners, of course, you will need to pack for your pup as well. For the most part, camp gear for dogs consists of the same items you’d use at home. However, there are a few extra things you’ll probably want to grab when RV camping with dogs.
A good basic packing list for RV camping trip with dogs includes:
- Medical records
- Dog food
- Dog poop bags
- Dog’s favorite toys
- Dog bed
- Non-spill food and water bowls and food
- Cleaning supplies for accidents
- RV fence for dogs
Make sure your dog is buckled up in the same vehicle as you are as you travel! That’s right, your furry friend should be strapped in just like the rest of the family, and should never ever ride in a trailer. This is an RV safety mistake you do not want to make.
To contain your dog while you travel, you will either need a seatbelt harness, a dog crate, or a pet booster seat like this one. If you go with the crate, be sure it is secure so it won’t move during travel.
On a related topic, if you are traveling with a cat, you’ll also want to be sure to use a cat crate on travel days. Oh, and learn how to stop cats from jumping on counters so that you can have the best RVing with cat experience.
Related Post: RVing with Cats: What To Prepare
Set Up a Dog-Friendly Site
Once you get to your campsite, you will want to ensure it’s as dog-friendly as possible. This is where the dog fence for RV—which we mentioned in our list of dog camping gear above—comes into play. Setting up a portable fence in your campsite means your pup can hang out outside with the rest of the family and won’t run away.
A dog ramp for RV campers could also help make your site more pet-friendly. These ramps are ideal for those who are RVing with dogs that can’t make it up the steps of an RV.
Related Post: Discover These Fun RV Gadgets
A portable dog fence for RV is great for letting your dog get some energy out and soak up the sunshine. That said, the little bit of running a dog can do in a pen is not really enough. You’ll also have to make sure your dog gets to exercise daily. This means stopping often on travel days for walking and potty breaks, and planning walks into each day while at your campground.
Make sure your dog is always leashed while out walking, and always, always take poop bags to pick up your pet’s poop.
Consider Pets when Planning Outings
Most people want to see some sights while out exploring in their RV. This is totally possible, even if you take a pet with you like going to National Parks. That said, you will need to take your dog into consideration when planning your outings.
Some attractions might allow you to take Fido along. That said, there are also many attractions that won’t allow dogs such as visiting National Parks. Since leaving a dog in the car all day is never a good idea, you will have to leave your pup at the camper when you head out to visit these places.
The first thing to keep in mind when leaving your dog in your RV is that pets should never be left outside unattended. Even the best RV fencing for dogs won’t change this fact.
This means you will need to put the pup in your RV while you’re gone, which means you will also need to be back in a reasonable amount of time in order to take the dog out to potty.
Another thing to consider when leaving a dog in an RV alone? The weather. You’ll likely need to leave the A/C or heater running while you’re gone, and you might want to get a temperature monitor for your RV in case the power goes out and things get too toasty or too cold for Fido.
Additionally, if you see a storm coming, you might need to head home in order to ensure your dog is safe and not too afraid. Be sure to have a great weather app on your phone so that you can be prepared.
Be Considerate of Neighbors
Always be considerate of other campers when RV camping with dogs. When you have a dog in tow, this means keeping barking to a minimum, always keeping your dog on a leash or fenced-in, and picking up all pet poop. A dog bark can be loud and obnoxious, especially if you are camping in close quarters.
There you have it! 10 tips for RVing with dogs. Now, who’s ready to get out there and show Fido the world?
RVing with Dogs FAQ
Totally, many dog owners keep their dogs with them in RVs and enjoy all the same benefits of RV living as everyone else. Just make sure you adjust the air conditioning accordingly so your pup is comfortable and always be aware of temperature fluctuations. Additionally, make sure to bring along all the necessary items like leashes, bowls, beds, and toys.
Having a dog in an RV means always being aware of where your pup is, and finding ways to keep them safe and secure while you’re on the move. Investing in an RV pet gate or guard is a great way to keep your pup safe and contained while you’re driving, as well as when you’re camping. You can also consider using a crate if your pup is used to one.
First is making sure they have a safe way to get in and out of the RV. If your pup is used to stairs, you can install temporary steps or a ramp for easy access. Secondly, having a place for them to sleep, walk around, and relax is important for both their comfort and safety.
There are options where you can add a pet bed, hammock, or small crate to an area of your RV. This is great for dogs who are used to having their own space to sleep and feel comfortable. Additionally, you can also consider adding a door or gate to the RV so your pup has their own private area.