If, like us, you’ve always dreamed of exploring the open road with your dog in an RV, we’ve got some tips for you! Today we have a guest post with tips from pet influencers who are exploring America with their dogs (and cats!) and sharing their best tips on RVing with dogs–and some of their recommendations for the best pet friendly RV.
Pet RV Tips from the Grateful Glamper
For the past four years, Charity and Ben DeVries have been enjoying RV life with their family of “seven” in a 2004 Fleetwood RV® Discovery® 39J. Their family includes two children, a large dog and two cats.
On a regular basis, the husband-and-wife team share widely popular videos documenting the ups and downs of RV living on their Grateful Glamper website and social media channels.
“One of the things we love about our Discovery is it’s built for cargo. That’s an absolute must when you’re carrying around a pet crate, cat litter, and food for a Great Pyrenees and two cats,” says Charity.
To maximize cargo efficiency, the Grateful Glamper suggests buying food in bulk and stowing the bags underneath in the luggage compartment. Daily pet food can be stored in plastic cereal containers for easy accessibility and feeding.
Other tips from the Grateful Glamper include:
- A spill proof water bowl is a must and can be used by all of the pets.
- A top entry litter box helps prevent littler tracking and keeps the dog from nosing around the cats’ business.
- Know where your cats are before you put the slides in or out!
- Know where the closest emergency vet is located. VCA has a network of veterinary hospitals in 46 states and five Canadian provinces.
- Get a Waggle RV Pet Temperature Monitor. The system sends texts or emails with alerts about any potentially unsafe conditions for your pet. The best part is no Wi-Fi is needed since it uses cellular data.
- Bring Fido is a great website that will help you find dog-friendly locations.
- Identify and close any interior “holes” that cats might be tempted to explore.
“We learned the last tip the hard way. After a day of travel, we pulled into our campground and heard a faint meow. KitKat had found a gap at the front of the RV and had been sitting on the generator the entire time we were driving that day. She was just fine but it was another lesson learned,” says Charity.
The Grateful Glamper has two YouTube videos on traveling with pets. The above video shares five tips for RV life with pets and the second includes 10 tips and products that make travel with pets and RVing with dogs easier.
Dog RV Tips from Gaston and Sven’s Dad
Scott and Sophia Murray have owned a 2016 Holiday Rambler® Endeavor® 40DP for a little more than a year.
The Murrays, along with Golden Retrievers Gaston and Sven and their cat Holly Hox, typically hit the road twice a month and plan to start full-time RVing this July.
To follow Gaston and Sven on their travels, check out GastonTheGolden on Instagram.
The Murray’s tips include:
- Know your dog and what their tolerances are. Remember, your dog is now traveling and being introduced to new experiences and situations they’re not familiar with.
- Take time to train your dogs. If they’re not well behaved at home, they definitely won’t be well behaved in new environments.
- Know how your dog interacts with new people and new dogs. Don’t assume every person or dog you encounter is nice and wants to have a positive interaction with your dog.
- If your dog is aggressive or reactive, don’t create situations that will put them in close contact with other dogs. You should also be sure to over communicate your need for space from others.
- Plan activities that include your dogs.
- Make sure you’re up to date on vaccinations, flea and tick protection, and heartworm prevention. Bring documentation from your vet just in case you need to provide it to a campground.
“If your dog is allowed on your couch or bed at home, plan for that in your motorhome,” says Scott. “Gaston and Sven love to sprawl out on the floor wherever we are, whether that’s at home or in the motorhome. Because of that, we made sure we found a motorhome with a king bed, expandable sectional couch, and opposing slide outs. We didn’t want to feel like we were constantly walking through an obstacle course when we were traveling with them.”
Dog RV Tips from the Adventurtunity Family
The Adventurtunity Family has been on the road full time since September 2020 in a 2017 Holiday Rambler Vacationer® 36H. The family includes mom Kristi, dad Spencer, five-year-old son Kade, and Ruko Blu, an 18-month-old Golden Retriever.
The Adventurtunity Family’s tips include:
- Always double check that campgrounds are pet friendly. Most are but some don’t allow big dogs or dogs at all.
- Check the dog rules for national and state parks in advance since you may need to leave your fluffy friend at home. There’s an NPS app or visit the NPS website for all the details.
- On travel days, keep everything your pet needs within easy access.
- Invest in a collapsible impact crate that can be easily stored flat when not in use.
“Some people may be apprehensive to travel, especially full time with a large dog, but our Vacationer provides us ample space to all live comfortably,” says Kristi. “We put Ruko’s water and food bowls under the dinette and we store his food and treats in one of the large drawers under the dinette couches. We have a large bed for him in front of the fireplace and even have room for a 40″ collapsible crate that we can put in the front or back of the coach.”
Cat RV Tips from Wendy Gaynor
At age 72, Wendy Gaynor is happy traveling the country solo in her 43’ American Eagle® luxury motorhome from American Coach along with her three cats – Cleocatra, Zipper, and Miranda.
Gaynor’s tips include:
- Microchip your pet. If a cat gets out at a fuel stop or a campground, the microchip may be the only way to identify the kitty at a shelter if he or she is lost.
- When entering or leaving the motorhome, stomp your feet or make some sort of noise to make sure the cats aren’t at the door waiting to bolt out.
- Consider a collar with bells on it so you can find your cats more easily when they’re moving around the RV.
- When you’re getting ready to travel, give them plenty of water but just a little bit of food.
- When traveling, remember that cats are not tourists. They do not need to see the scenery and would rather be in their own small, cozy space. Make their cat carrier warm and inviting by putting a towel or blanket in it.
- It’s not safe if a cat runs across the dash or is trying to sit on your lap while you’re driving so a cat carrier is the best place for them when the coach is in motion.
- Stop every few hours. Give your cats some attention and time to use the litter box and drink their water.
Whether you are a travel buff, a pet influencer or you are just looking for a great way to enjoy some weekends away with your dog, you’ll have to agree that RVing with dogs looks like a great option!