RVing with Pets

Expert Advice

Seven Important Things to Consider While RVing with your Pets

The Braga family share their expert tips on RVing with pets.

Everyone can benefit from some pet-friendly Rving tips! Whether renting a pet-friendly motorhome, opting for a road trip in your adventure van, or considering buying a new RV, traveling with your furry family member is easier than ever.

Did you know that according to most estimations, more than half of RV owners take their pets with them on their trips? That is a lot of paws!

What are some advantages of bringing your pets along in an RV? Well, there's nothing better suited for trips with pets than an RV. RVs almost seem like they are made for pets. 

They give them all amenities of a safe, familiar home environment while being location-independent. They sleep in their beds, eat from their bowls and spend time with their favorite humans.

One of the most significant advantages of RV travel is that your pets can go on an adventure with you all day and then sleep in a relaxing, familiar location each night. 

We all know pets need routines and stability, and providing a place to call their own is beneficial to helping them be happy and healthy.

Most pets accept their RV as another "home" after only a little exposure and positive experiences. Therefore, it is essential to keep the initial experiences in the RV positive to not trigger any fears of travel or RVing in general. Theirs is also the side benefit of large storage areas for packing all of your pet's food and toys. 

We use our outside shower often to help keep our puppy's paws clean and mud-free.

Seven Important Things to Consider While RVing with Your Pets

As wonderful as RVing can be, traveling with your furry friends may present its own set of challenges that you might not have thought about. We've picked up a few tips over the years and would love to share them with you. But, of course, these are only a few of the essential ideas to consider, and we would love to keep this list growing with some insightful comments on your part if you would like.  

First Tip: When traveling with your pet, it's essential to ensure their immunizations are up to date. Check their records and see if you need to update any annual vaccinations before you leave. If you need updated vaccinations while you are traveling, get them done before your departure. You are going to run into places that require documentation, so you should plan ahead and scan copies of all of your pet's records and keep them in cloud storage for electronic retrieval. This will help you keep track of their health schedule while you're on the go, and if an emergency occurs, you have the medical paperwork necessary to share with an emergency veterinarian if needed.

Second Tip: Make multiple paper copies of your pet's records. Besides the obvious fact that you might not always have cell service or internet access to get your cloud storage documentation, paper records are great insurance you will be prepared for. 

Some campgrounds require that your pet be fully vaccinated to stay with them and will ask you for a copy of your records. Copying your pet's records and keeping them on hand will make the check-in process much more manageable no matter your connectivity. You can leave a copy with them, and you are good to go. We keep an extra few copies in our glove compartment at all times. Some campgrounds are okay with emailing their records; you can do that easily from the cloud. If you need to board your dog, they will require records, which come in handy there too.

Third Tip: Do you know that not all dogs are welcome at some RV resorts? Many parks have breed restrictions depending on their bylaws, rules, and insurance regulations. Almost ALL parks have some sort of aggressive dog clause in their guest contracts, but some take it further and restrict certain breeds. While on a recent trip to California, we met the cutest retired couple from Canada, and they explained that their sweet six-pound Miniature Pinschers were not allowed to stay at a park booked. She fell under the breed description of a Doberman Pinschers, and that breed is not allowed in the resort. They had no idea that their sweet tiny pup was restricted, and unfortunately, they had to leave the park and drive around for an hour looking for a new place to stay on short notice.

Fourth Tip: Another obstacle many people overlook is pet weight limits. We've often seen many people travel with their beautiful Great Danes, think about all the parks with weight restrictions, and wonder if they ever have problems getting into RV parks. We've seen campgrounds have limits on dogs above thirty-five pounds and even some that restrict above fifteen pounds. Weight restrictions are sometimes used as a backdoor option to specify larger breed pets without naming them. Check the rules at each park before booking if you have a pet that falls into any questionable category. What are some of the most commonly restricted breeds?

  • German shepherds
  • Akitas
  • Staffordshire terriers
  • Chow chows
  • Pit bulls
  • Alaskan malamutes
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Great Danes
  • Siberian huskies
  • Rottweilers
  • Presa Canarios
  • Wolf hybrids

Fifth Tip: Store foods in airtight containers! If you use some of the outside storage bays of your RV for pet food storage, you will want to use some sealable storage containers to keep the animals out and the food fresh. There are countless stories of bears scratching at RV sidewalls and cars trying to get into the food supply they smell within the storage bays. Beyond the larger worrisome animals that might make their way into where the food storage is, smaller, more troublesome critters can be far worse to deal with. Bugs, raccoons, and mice, to name a few.

Sixth Tip: Make a plan for pet food delivery for extended trips. It isn't always opportune to carry large bags of food in the RV. Suppose your pet is like ours and has special diet needs; you need to plan far ahead as to where you will source your food and have it delivered to a location that accepts them. Mailing pet food packages to your RV location is not as easy as receiving them at your home. You DO NOT want to run out of food and then scramble to deal with a dog that has had his food changed on him. You especially do not want that experience to be within the confines of an RV. Trust us.

Seventh Tip: Have a proactive plan to keep them safe while you are away from the RV. Many RV parks state in their rules that they do not let you leave your pet unattended. We have several monitoring systems to help monitor our pup when we are away. From Wi-Fi Security Cameras to temperature monitor systems, to pet monitoring systems to connected thermostats, there are now many ways to keep a safe eye on your pet. Each piece of technology has its benefits and weaknesses, so you have to do your research. 

The most common option is a widely available Wi-Fi-enabled camera to watch your furry buddy when you aren't around. However, they don't notify you that the AC has gone out, your RV has lost power, or the thermostat has spiked a high or low temperature. There are separate devices like the Temp Stick, Waggle, or Marcell that work off Wi-Fi and cellular to send you an alert when temperature ranges fluctuate beyond your set parameters. We all know how hot or cold the RV can get when systems aren't on, and that is not safe for our pets.

Bonus Tip: We have also installed a keypad door lock to our main entrance of the RV. With this installed, we can notify someone at the campground so they can have to access the RV in an emergency scenario. We also have our phone number listed on the RV door in case someone needs to get a hold of us while we are away.  

Traveling with your pet can be a fun and rewarding experience. Following these simple tips can help ensure that your trips are safe and enjoyable for you and your furry companion.

Jerome Braga

Content Creator

The Bragas are a family of 4 (plus their dog Chance), RVing since 2013.

 When life hit them with several close friends' tragedies, the Bragas knew they needed to live a more fulfilled life. So, with snowcapped mountains and warm sandy beaches on their mind, the Bragas hit the road in 2015 with a bucket list dream of experiencing the quintessential cross-country road trip. However, they never thought that what they assumed would be their 1 Chance to experience such a life-changing journey would become a lifestyle mission.

 They began vacationing in 2013 in a renovated travel trailer; simply as an opportunity to get out and explore while keeping their environment safe from deadly food allergies that plague their youngest daughter. With weekend getaways filling their hearts and building their confidence, they set their sights on a cross-country journey that would take them from Connecticut to California and back. 

 What started as a simple winter getaway has turned into a journey that keeps getting more fulfilling at every passing exit ramp. With over 110,000 towing miles logged, the Bragas have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows that come with RV traveling. 

They can be found online at www.our1chance.com and on social media at @our1chance