Do you travel with furry friends? Are you looking for the best RV for traveling with pets?
Pet-friendly RVs make traveling with your furry friends more fun. Here are 9 examples of pet-friendly RVs, a few tips for making RVs more pet-friendly, and some FAQ about traveling with pets.
But first! Before searching for pet-friendly RVs, it is important to determine which RV suits your needs best. What size and type of motorhome or travel trailer are you most comfortable driving or towing? Where do you plan to travel and camp? The best RV for you will depend on your comfort level while traveling and camping.
The best pet-friendly RV must suit your needs and the needs of your pets.
Once you have determined the best RV for your needs, consider the needs of your furry friends.
What kind of furry friends -the four-legged kind- do you have? How many pets will be with you? There are specific things to consider for all types of pets but especially dogs and cats.
Large dogs, or several animals, have special requirements, while one cat or a small dog travels comfortably in any type and size of motorhomes and travel trailer.
Your first consideration is determining the type and size of RV best suited for you and your furry friends, then you can begin searching for RVs with pet-friendly features.
What to Look for in a Pet Friendly RV
Best pet-friendly RVs are those with adequate space, easy upkeep, and safety features for all travelers.
How much space will you and your pets need? All types of pets are happy to be with you and flop down or squeeze in anywhere; however, when selecting a motorhome or travel trailer that will be comfortable for everyone, also look for enough space for pet food and water bowls, beds, and cat litter boxes.
Where will you store kennels, crates, pet toys and accessories? If a cat is one of your furry friends, will it want a scratching post or climbing tower? Look for space to accommodate items like these.
Slide-outs are great for expanding the interior of RVs and providing spacious living areas. Remember, however, that while driving, space is reduced with the slides closed.
Are you one of those avid housekeepers who actually enjoys cleaning house? Or, like me, do you prefer spending your time having fun or relaxing on your vacation instead of cleaning?
Pet fur and hair, muddy paws, and the occasional ‘accident’ are part of life with pets, either at home or in an RV. Traveling with pets in an RV is more fun when it is easy to keep clean.
If you are like me, and want to have more time for fun and spend less time cleaning up after your furry friends, then look for an RV that is easy to clean with pet-friendly floors and furniture.
Motorhomes and travel trailers with vinyl, tile, or faux-wood floors or at least minimal carpet and stain-resistant carpeting make cleaning up easier. This is especially important if you travel in areas with lots of rainfall or enjoy camping on sandy beaches.
Pet-friendly furniture of vinyl, leatherette, or stain-resistant fabric also makes life with pets in an RV easier and more enjoyable for everyone.
The Safety of all passengers is important.
Animal crates and cages should fit comfortably and securely, possibly secured with safety straps.
If your furry friends will not be traveling in cages, their safety can be addressed with harnesses that attach to seat belts.
Some dogs and cats like to look out while driving. Small pets that can’t see out without sitting or standing on your lap or the dashboard can be safely secured in a pet ‘booster’ seat getting a good vantage point for taking in the scenery.
Here are 9 Examples of RVs with Pet-Friendly Features
All of the following examples of pet-friendly RVs, have easy-to-clean floors and furniture. Most RV models have convenient exterior pass-through storage compartments and slide-outs for expanded interior living space.
Some features are optional and many features and floorplans change with new models.
1. A.C.E. Motorhome
The most pet-friendly RV! Designed with our furry friends in mind, especially dogs, this RV has the most pet-friendly features available at this time.
Pet-friendly features in the A.C.E Motorhome include:
- Built-in kibble station – optional locations.
- Floor-level “Pet Window” on the passenger side of the cockpit
- Exterior pet tie-down
- Storage space with access for a cat litter box
- Extra-wide interior entrance with a pullout drawer in the interior steps for pet accessories such as leashes and extra collars
2. Highland Ridge Series Travel Trailers
All Highland Ridge Travel Trailers and 5th Wheel models have been re-designed with dogs and cats in mind and now offer a few pet-friendly features.
These new pet-friendly features include pull-out pet feeding stations and designated pet sleeping areas with bedding.
3. Dutchmen Kodiak UltraLite 285BHSL
The Kodiak UltraLite Bunkhouse floor plan provides extra storage space, under the bunks, which is accessible from the doorway and could be used for dog kennels, cat beds, and litter boxes.
The best pet-friendly feature of this RV is pet bathing in the tub-shower combo in the bathroom or with the outside spray port – hoses are included!
4. Dutchmen Aerolite 294RKSS
The Aerolite 294RKSS travel trailer model is another bunkhouse floorplan with under-bunk storage or kennel and the convenient pet-friendly tub and shower combo.
5. Rockwood 8311WS Bunkhouse Travel Trailer
This Rockwood travel trailer is a 5th Wheel model with the bunkhouse floor plan.
A nice feature of this RV is 2 entry doors, one of which opens directly into the bathroom keeping wet, muddy, or sandy feet from tracking in through the main entrance.
6. Grand Design RV Imagine 2800BH Travel Trailer
The Grand Design Imagine model Travel Trailer offers a pet feeding station in a slide-out drawer and an open storage space just inside the main entrance door, a convenient spot for pet accessories and toys.
The bunk beds have storage under a hinged base that folds up for easy access – another space for dog and cat confinement.
7. 2018 Keystone Passport 2900RK
This RV has a convenient pet-friendly exterior shower.
8. 2018 Grand Design Momentum 349M
Grand Design Momentum 349M is a Toy-Hauler 5th Wheel trailer. This model has a second entrance door opening directly into the bathroom and a Central Vacuum System making house cleaning extra-easy.
9. Keystone Cougar X-Lite 34TSB
The Cougar Bunkhouse is a 5th Wheel featuring a rear bedroom with four individual bunk beds, making a great room for children and pets.
This room might not have been designed with dogs in mind but it is a pet-friendly and convenient dog-room. Using a gate in the doorway, dogs can be confined and still see into the living area while having room to stretch out comfortably with food and water accessible. Cats would love the room with space for roaming, climbing, jumping, pet food, and water bowls, and even a litter box.
Tips for Making Your RV more Pet-Friendly
Already have an RV? Make your current RV more pet-friendly with these tips and special pet accessories.
Anti-Splash Food and Water Bowl
Keep the spills minimal with this bowl. Great for cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies, it is especially handy for traveling in RVs.
Outdoor Bathing Tool
Dogs, especially, but also cats, seem to find water, mud, and puddles. Bathing pets outdoors with this tool is super convenient, simple and easy. It attaches to an outdoor garden hose or an exterior water port on an RV and easily stowes in an exterior storage compartment.
RV Dog Ramp
Getting into RVs and other vehicles (truck and SUV’s) is not always easy for dogs, especially little ones and our senior pets. Some have a fear of climbing open steps, others lose strength in their legs or develop arthritis as they age. Others just have short legs.
Make it easier for dogs (and cats) to enter and exit vehicles with this convenient portable ramp. It has a “paw-friendly” non-slip surface for good traction and folds for compact storage. Constructed of lightweight aluminum, the weight capacity is 250lbs.
Pet Food Container
Storing pet food in an RV has its challenges. Food should be accessible for quick and easy feeding and yet contained to prevent unwanted critters from helping themselves.
Stackable containers are convenient space savers and being airtight keeps pet food fresh and the odor contained.
These pet food containers store 40-60 lbs of dog food – great for those large pets with big appetites. Smaller-sized containers are available for medium and smaller appetites and fit into smaller storage compartments.
Ruffwear Dirt Bag Seat Cover
Protect your vehicle seats from wet or muddy paws with this seat cover made of durable waterproof polyester fabric. Its easy to install and attaches securely to the seat. Seatbelt access points provide use of seatbelts and harnesses.
Side flaps protect seats during entry and exit and a zippered pocket can be used to hold leashes, treats, and pick-up bags, then conveniently stores the cover when not being used.
Mess-Proof Pet Feeder
Let’s face it – dogs and cats can be messy when eating or drinking. This pet feeder helps reduce the mess by containing spills within the feeder – food at the top, water draining into a catch basin; and all parts are dishwasher safe. Feeders are available for all pets from cats to large dogs.
RVing With Pets FAQs
Q: Can I leave my pet unattended in an RV at a campground?
A: Yes – in most situations. However – ALWAYS check the rules and regulations of each campground.
Not all campgrounds are pet-friendly and many have restrictions regarding pets!
Some states have laws against leaving pets in any type of vehicles, even with windows slightly open, so be very cautious about leaving your pet in your RV at any time.
Q: How can I find pet-friendly RV campgrounds?
A: There are online sites to assist in finding pet-friendly RV campgrounds. These sites often offer guides to other pet-friendly areas such as campgrounds, beaches, trails, and leash-free parks,
ALWAYS verify that these establishments and locations are still pet-friendly.
DogFriendly.com is a worldwide guide to all pet/dog-friendly places.
DogTrekker.com California specific.
Q: What should I do if my pet gets carsick?
A: Pets get carsick just like people do.
If your pet gets carsick, stop as soon as you can and offer your pet water, fresh air, perhaps a walk and comfort.
Pets that are not used to traveling might become anxious and get carsick. Animals are susceptible to motion sickness. Perhaps overeating or eating something it is not used to can also cause your pet to get carsick.
Most of the time, pets getting carsick isn’t serious and a little water, fresh air, and comfort will help your pet feel better.
If you suspect it is more than an upset tummy, contact your vet or find the nearest vet for advice and a check-up.
Q: Is there a way to eliminate the smell of cat litter?
A: Let’s face it – eventually, cat litter smells. You will never eliminate the smell of cat litter but you can minimize it.
Keep the litter box clean.
Have ventilation in the space where the litter box is kept.
Use cat litter that is deodorized and absorbs or masks odors.
Q: Can I travel with smaller animals?
A: Yes. All pets can travel
I’ve known people who travel with their small ‘furry’ friends (hampsters, gerbils, rabbits, even ferrets) and even their ‘feathered’ friends (parakeets, cockatoos, parrots).
However, not all pets are suited to traveling, even in an RV. Fish? probably not. Other aquarium type pets (lizards, snakes, turtles, small birds)? probably not.
All animals have specific needs and concerns. Understanding the limitations and confines of RV travel, consider the special needs of your pets, then decide if you want to take them with you.
Q: Can I bring my pet out of the country with me?
A: Yes, with caution.
Taking your pet out of the country is possible as long as you are aware of regulations and follow the rules of all countries you will be visiting – the USA included! Crossing a border with a pet does not guarantee re-entry with that pet back into the first country.
Know the requirements and regulations BEFORE you travel. Some countries (and Hawaii) require quarantine of your pet upon arrival.
All vaccinations must be current and appropriate for each country you are traveling in and health records, registrations, and pet identification are required.
Today, finding the best RV for traveling with pets is easier than ever.
Whatever size or type of RV you are seeking, you are sure to find some pet-friendly features as manufacturers realize how important it is to accommodate our furry friends and family members. More pet-friendly features and accessories are being added with each new design.
Traveling together as a family, furry friends and pets included, is especially fun when everyone is comfortable. Renting an RV and trying it out first is a good way to determine the best RV for your family.
What pet-friendly features are you looking for? What are some of your favorite pet accessories for traveling and camping?