When it’s time to head out in your new RV, it’s hard to leave behind any four-legged family members. So, many RVers choose to bring their pampered pooches along. Luckily, most campgrounds are dog-friendly and it’s not an uncommon sight to see a few pups sleeping under the awning or sniffing along the trails. If it breaks your heart to leave Fido behind, or if you’re used to bringing your dog along, we have a few tips on how to successfully RV with dogs.

yorkies sitting on a picnic table at a campgrounds

Choosing the Right RV

Once you decide to RV with dogs, you should take a step back and look at your camper. Assess how comfortably your dogs and your family can fit in the RV. Take a look at features you otherwise might not think about. This includes easy access in and out, especially for smaller or older dogs that might consider steep steps a mighty feat. You should also confirm that you can control the temperature inside the RV while you’re out on adventures.

Comfortable for the whole family

Your first concern when it comes to choosing an RV with dogs in mind is comfort. Can you, your kids, your S.O. and your dogs comfortably coexist in your unit? Make sure there are plenty of cozy spots to sleep in. If your dogs prefer to sleep in your room or on the bed with you, make sure everyone can fit comfortably. If you’re planning on-the-road truck stop sleeping, it’s worth making sure there are roomy sleeping quarters even without the slides set up.

RV with dogs happy young woman reading a book and playing with her dog in a camper van

Easy access in and out

Next, consider how easy it is to get in and out of the RV. Of course, RVs are always pretty high off the ground and not ideal for older dogs. If your dogs are small or have difficulties getting up and down steps then take a close look at the steps. Make sure there’s a wide entrance for big dogs and good grip on the steps so your pup doesn’t slip and fall, especially on rainy days. When you RV with dogs they might be young and athletic, but injuries are always a possibility. Take a careful look at your RV steps when at the dealership and think about adjustments you might have to make.

Temperature control

The last concern when you’re looking for a unit to RV with dogs is temperature controls. You’ll likely spend a lot of time out adventuring at new locations and your dogs will be patiently waiting in the RV. Especially if you plan on dry camping, be sure your unit has a feature that will keep the A/C running on a hot day, like a backup battery or generator. In this case, consider your neighbors at the campground as well. When leaving your dogs in the RV, it’s a good idea to leave a note for any concerned fellow campers to let them know your dogs are air conditioned and comfortable.

RV with dogs Family on RV Road Trip during summer vacation. Crossing on free ferry ride service to Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Helping your dogs

Once you’ve chosen the perfect unit to RV with dogs, it’s time to take a look at your dog’s needs. Make sure your pet is comfortable in their new home on the road, whether you’re heading on a short vacation or plan to transition to full-time RVing. Be sure your unit is supplied with everything your dog will need: water bowls, food, treats, plastic cleanup bags, leashes, toys, etc. The easiest way to relax your dog on the road is to tire them out, which is a great tactic to keep in mind if you plan to RV with dogs.

Test drive with your dog

If at all possible, take your dogs on a short test drive in your RV. Let them practice getting up and down the steps of a travel trailer and allow them to sniff around their new vacation home from the safety of your driveway. If you choose a motorhome, try taking your dog on a short trip. Allow them to get used to being in the motorhome while it’s on the move, and get an idea of how your dog will react.

RV with dogs Family with a small yellow dog resting on a pier and looking at lake and foggy mountains

Tuckered out

Once you’re ready to RV with dogs, do your best to tire them out. Whether you’re spending the day driving or have plans outside of the campgrounds and the dogs aren’t coming with. Take your dog on a walk early in the morning, and take them out for as much exercise as they need. This will differ with different dogs, depending on breed, size, age, health and personality.

Bring your pup along

Lastly, if you can, bring your dogs with you when leaving the RV. If your dog is apt to enjoy a hike, a sunny beach, quiet time on the lake or whatever your plans are for the day, bring them along! You’re their whole world, and most dogs would love nothing more than to tag along on all your adventures. This will help guarantee your pup is tuckered out by the end of the day as well, and not wreaking havoc on the inside of your RV.

We hope this advice helps make for a happier trip next time you RV with dogs. If you’re in need of a new camper to fit a growing family, need to downsize now that it’s just you and your pup, or are just looking for a change this season, we have the camper for you. Here at Scenic RV Centers, we have tons of travel trailers ready to take off the lot. Our staff will be happy to help you find a new RV. Give us a call, shop our online inventory or visit us at our locations in Baraboo and Slinger, Wisconsin.