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Let’s face it: Americans are enamored with their dogs! It makes sense that we want to take our furry friends on vacation with us. Traveling in an RV allows you to bring the kids, all your stuff and still have room to bring the dog on your road trip adventure. Here are the “need to knows” about traveling in an RV with a dog.
When our family took off on a 3,000-mile RV road trip adventure from our home in Texas, we loaded up the RV with the essentials (check out our full RV packing list here), including the dog. We headed West to explore some of Arizona’s natural gems–the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyons and the Petrified National Forest. It turned out to be one of the best family vacations we’ve ever experienced.
We were so glad that we didn’t leave our pup at home. Having our dog Lily travel with us added another layer of fun to our trip. I did speak will several full-time RVers to get their advice and tips on how they travel with their pets. Whether you’re a Camper or RV owner or if you’re renting an RV from a company like RVshare you’ll want to make sure you know the dos and don’ts of RVing with a dog.
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Things To Consider BEFORE Taking Your Dog on an RVing
- RVs get hot in the sun, just like cars. Don’t leave your pet unattended in the RV on a hot day. Even with windows open, dogs quickly get overheated.
- Call campgrounds ahead of time to check their pet policy. In addition to finding out if a campsite is dog-friendly, you’ll want to verify if there are any restrictions about certain breeds or the size of dogs allowed.
- Your kids stay secured with seat belts and your dog needs to be secured also. Keep your dog in a kennel or safe location inside of the RV while driving to avoid injury to the dog and passengers. You can even purchase seat belts for dogs on Amazon.
- Check your route to plan fuel stops that at stations that have designated pet areas. TA stations have a complete list of stations that have dedicated areas for pets where your dog can run around for a bit.
TravelingMom Tip: Bringing your doggy along on your RV trip is a great way to save money on pet boarding fees.
Check Pet Policies at Your Destination
Some national parks and state parks allow dogs only on certain trails. Read signs carefully because those fines can be costly! Hike With Your Dog has lists of trails where dogs are welcome.
The same goes for beaches. Some beaches allow dogs to roam off-leash at certain hours. Others require dogs to be on-leash at all times. Check sites like Pet-Friendly Travel to find beaches that welcome dogs.
Those bright yellow KOA Kampground signs along the freeway point the way to fun…for your family and your dog. Many KOA Kampgrounds offer special K-9 dog parks and playgrounds. Your dog can frolic inside a fenced area complete with ramps, tunnels and other devices for exercise. Download the KOA app to find rv parks and campgrounds offering the Kamp K-9.
TravelingMom Tip: Our Travelingmom’s with pets recently used Chewy.com and the products arrived the very next day. Super handy when grabbing essentials for traveling with your pet.
A Packing List for RV Travel with a Dog
RV camping is such a fun way to travel but it’s important to make sure that your RV or travel trailer is packed with some essentials that make traveling with your furry best friend a breeze! Here are some of the things fellow RVers recommended and the items we packed to make sure Lily would be just as happy and comfortable as we were:
We love these collapsible dog bowls! They were so handy when we were inside the RV and even when we took our dog in the parks. We would clip the water bowl to a backpack when we were out hiking and it made it so easy to feed and water our pup anytime.
Staying organized in an RV is so important. We tried to make the most of our smaller living space. This streamlined dog food container traveled so well that it’s become one of our must-have items when traveling with our pet.
Pet safety is so important even when we’re away from home. If your dog does not already have an ID tag. order a customizable one from Amazon. Just make sure to list your cell number, not your home phone (if you still have one of those). If your pet gets lost when you’re traveling, you’ll want whoever finds her to be able to reach you!
This is another pet safety item that would be good to have with you anytime you travel with your pet. When you’re taking your dog on outdoor adventures you want to be prepared in the event that your pet gets unexpectedly hurt. Having a first aid kit designed just for our pets gave us peace of mind on our RV trip.
It’s very hard to pack a large bulky hardshell crate into an RV. That’s why this soft foldable one is ideal for RV travel. Order it several weeks before your trip and get your pup used to being inside it rather than his regular hard-sided crate. You won’t want to find out that he doesn’t like it when you’re already on the road to your vacation.
We love this super cute “happy camper” bandana so much that we just couldn’t resist adding it to the packing list!
We hope that all of your pet owners will enjoy your camper / RV adventure with your furry family member! Be sure to share a photo of your pet traveling with your pet on Instagram and tag @travelingmom.