How To Add A Dog Enclosure To RV
Travel With Dogs And Cats

Safety Pooch! How to Add a Dog Kennel or Dog Enclosure to an RV

If you’re getting ready for camping season, you’re probably cleaning out your RV, making sure it’s stocked up with everything you need, and making sure everything’s running well.

But you also want to make sure you have enough room to bring Fido along which, let’s be honest, can be tricky in a tight camper. So, you want to add in a dog kennel or enclosure to give your furry friend some extra room! But how do you do that?

Adding a kennel to your RV requires making creative use of unused space and a little bit of elbow grease (and maybe a few tools).

Getting a dog enclosure is a bit easier, but you want to make sure it’s light, portable (for easy storage), and durable enough to withstand the outdoors!

Table of Contents:

Why Have a Dog Kennel in an RV?

On the surface, you might not see why it’s important to have a dog kennel in your RV. Why can’t they just ride with you upfront (if your RV has a separate cab) and hang around wherever in back while you’re out exploring nature? But actually, a proper kennel is important for the dog’s safety and mental well-being.

For one thing, if you are driving with your pet, you should always have them in a securely enclosed kennel that fits them properly. Why? Because if you were to get in an accident, it could save their (and your) life.

Just as a seatbelt acts to keep you in place during a crash, a properly secured kennel does the same thing for your dog!

But kennels can be clunky and take up too much precious space in an already small RV. Plus, if your dog is considered a medium-sized (or bigger) pooch, you’ll have an extremely difficult time finding one big enough for them.

And it’s not only for physical safety. It’s good for their emotional health even when the vehicle isn’t in motion!

Dogs, like most pets, like familiarity and a place to call their own. When they’re not at home, they can quickly become overwhelmed by the new sights and tight spaces of an RV. This can lead to some pups to become anxious or stressed.

That’s why you should consider adding a dog kennel to your RV. Having a designated spot just for them will give them a sense of security and a safe place to be.

How to Add a Dog Kennel to an RV

RVs are notoriously short on space, and dog kennels are notoriously big, awkward, and less-than-appealing. So, how do you marry the two together to give both you and your pet a harmonious living space?

Well, some people have figured it out by adding a spacious kennel to some pretty creative places!

A Seat for the Dog


These people have cleverly turned the area under their booth seats into a dog kennel!

The seat base was already hollowed out, as it was used for storage. So all that was needed was to attach a gate onto the front and voila! You have a kennel that doesn’t take up any additional space.

Just make sure that whatever gate you use allows plenty of light to get through since it’s an otherwise dark area.

You could even make it more comfortable by adding some carpeting onto the floor, or put their favorite bed in there!

And to make it safer if you plan to use it while driving, make sure you add on a sturdy lock that won’t break open with pressure.

This clever conversion really only works with relatively smaller dogs, though, because the height is limited by the seat. And you want to make sure your dog has enough room to stand up in it if they felt like it.

The Under-the-Table Kennel


These people have turned their table into a dog kennel – and it’s simpler than you might think!

All you have to do is get a wire cage – like the one shown below – that fits under the table between the legs. You can even take off the bottom part so that it rests on the floor.

Dog Crate | Newly Enhanced MidWest Life Stages XS Folding Metal Dog Crate | Divider Panel, Floor Protecting Feet, Leak-Proof Dog Pn | 23L x 13.63W x 16H inches, XS Dog Breed.
  • Newly enhanced with added security features to keep your pet safe | Slide-bolt door latch now feature patented Paw Block and locking tips to create a safer, more secure home for your pet
  • Life Stages single door dog crate measures 23L x 13.63W x 16H inches and is suitable for XS dog breeds with an adult weight up to 12 pounds. If your dog’s weight or measurements are on the higher side for this crate, we recommend buying the next crate size up. When in doubt, bigger is better
  • Dog crate includes a divider panel, durable & leak-proof plastic pan, protective rubber feet, carrying handle, and customer support team based in Indiana. Easy to Clean, ABS Plastic Pan
  • Easy to assemble & portable | Dog crate sets up in seconds with no tools required and conveniently folds flat for travel
  • Durable & strong, quality construction creates a secure place for your dog to fulfill their natural instinct to den. Proper ventilation, large door openings with low thresholds, and patented rounded corner clips make Life Stages a safer crate experience for your dog. Removable leak-proof plastic pan makes cleaning easy

This is the perfect spot if you need a kennel for a bigger dog because it will fit most large and extra-large kennels.

To make this safer and more secure, you could fasten the wire cage to the table legs so it doesn’t slide around.

And to make it more comfortable, you could put a cozy plush pad on the floor for your pet!

The Kennel Took Over the Table


You know-how, in some RVs, your dining table and benches can fold into a bed?

Well, in this case, these people folded up their table and benches, but put a kennel there instead of a bed!

This works great if you have an extra-large dog, multiple pups, or you just want to give your pet a ton of extra room.

Also, the sides of the booth work to hold the kennel securely in place, so it won’t slide around.

But, as you can see, it completely takes away space for a table, so you’ll want to think about where you’re going to eat if this option works for you!

Two Under-Seat Kennels for Two Dogs


Similar to the first one, these people took both of their seats in their dining area and turned them into full-sized kennels!

Because of the height of the seats, this makes the perfect kennel for someone who has multiple pets – especially if they’re sizeable pups!

Put their favorite bed in there and you’ve given them a cozy den to relax and snooze in!

Under the Bed


These people added an ultra-spacious dog kennel under their bed. How’d they done it? By transforming the unused storage space into a doggie condo!

Not only is this perfect for big pups or dogs with siblings, but the wire cage enclosure adds a lot of light and visibility for your dog.

If you were going to be driving around with them in their new kennel, you should make sure the cage is securely fastened to the bedposts and won’t buckle under pressure. You could also consider adding a heavy-duty lock to the gate for extra protection.

And, while the people in the picture put two dog beds down (they probably had two dogs), you could easily get by with one plush bed and put their water and food bowls on the ground in there as well!

RV Pet Enclosures

Having a kennel on the inside of your RV is important, but so is having an enclosure on the outside as well.

Let’s face it: you probably don’t want your pet to be cooped up inside while you’re out barbecuing with your family, but you don’t just want to tie them up with a leash, either.

That’s why you should consider getting an enclosure for when you go RVing. They’re easy to set up, let your pup run around and get that all-important exercise, and then fold up and store when you’re ready to go.

So, let’s take a look at some!

Yaheetech Heavy Duty Metal Kennel

This kennel from Yaheetech is a superb option for those looking for quality and durability.

Yaheetech 40-inch 16 Panel Dog Playpen - Heavy Duty Foldable Metal Pets Playpen Dog Exercise Pen Barrier Kennel with Door Portable Cat Duck Chicken Puppy Fence Outdoor & Indoor Black
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

Not only is it constructed of strong metal, but it has rounded edges, which means no pets or pups getting cut on sharp corners.

Plus, it comes in three different heights (16”, 24”, and 40”) and has three different panel sets (8, 16, and 32). So you have a lot of options that allow you to really pick the right size enclosure for your dog.

It is a little expensive, with prices ranging from $129 to $278. But it’s been given tons of five-star reviews for the quality and ease of setting it up.

And when you need to take it down, it folds up flat to give you plenty of room for storage! The only downside is that it might be a bit on the heavy side.

All in all, you can trust this enclosure to keep your pet safe while you’re outside.

Kenley Outdoor Playpen Tent

This outdoor pet tent literally pops up – talk about easy setup!

Kenley Cat Outdoor Playpen Tent - Instant Pop-Up Pet Enclosure - Safe Indoor Play House for Cats - Large Portable Outside Habitat
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

It has a durable mesh that, according to reviewers, stands up to even the sharpest of claws. And, when you don’t need to use it, it folds up without hassle for convenient storage (which is a must in an RV).

This kennel is really only suitable for smaller pups, which is a downside. But, it has a leg up on metal enclosures, because it’s lighter and encloses them completely (sides, top, and bottom). So, you’ll know they’ll be safe while lounging outside with you.

Plus, the price isn’t that expensive either, costing a little less than $35. So, overall, it would be a good staple to have in your RV.

Pet Trex Exercise Playpen

Pet Trex's playpen is a great option for dog owners who want durability without an (excessively) high price point.

Pet Trex | 30" Exercise Play Pen | Large and Small Pets
Click the image to read reviews on Amazon

Made of metal, it stands 30 inches tall – a good height for even large dogs – and comes with 6 panels (including one with a door). But the cool thing about this one is that you can buy additional panelsto make it bigger if you need to.

And you can configure it to fit whatever shaped space you have, which is great if you’re in a busy campground.

And when you’re all done, it folds down to be able to store it easier.

The only thing to note would be that the manufacturer states that a heavy dog could move the panels around, so you might want to consider a way to keep it attached to the ground.

Advantek Pet Gazebo

The cream of the crop, this pet gazebo is made of high-quality galvanized steel and can stand up to even the heaviest pets.

Advantek Pet Gazebo Outdoor Metal Dog Kennel with Reversible Cover, 5 Foot
Click the image to view reviews on Amazon

It’s offered in multiple sizes, but the largest one is a stunning 8-feet tall! Plus, they all come with canopies to keep your pet shaded in the sun or dry in the rain.

They’re all octagonal shaped, but you can actually connect multiple gazebos if you have multiple pets or just want a bigger space!

Plus, you can put it all together in under ten minutes – without any tools. So, it’s a great option to bring with you next time you go RVing if you’re looking for a quick, easy setup.

Taking it down might be more difficult than some others, but it’s still considered portable, so it should store well in your camper without taking up too much extra space.

The biggest downside to this is definitely the price. It changes a lot based on the height you get, but the 8-foot one costs $460 (at least shipping is free!) and the shortest, 3-foot one is $100.

So, if you have the money to invest in a high-quality, highly-rated product, then this is definitely worth getting for your next camping trip (see also ‘Going Camping With Your Cat: A How To Guide‘)!

New World Metal Exercise Pen

This exercise pen from New World is made of metal and comes with 8 panels to make a 16 square foot living space for your pet!

New World Pet Products B552-30 Foldable Exercise Pet Playpen, Black, Medium/24" x 30"
Click the image to view reviews on Amazon

They offer multiple different heights depending on the size of your dog, ranging from 24 inches for small pups to 48 inches for extra large dogs.

Plus, it folds out to set it up, so there are no tools required. And it folds down just as easily when you’re done!

One unique feature with this is that it includes ground stakes to keep it secure when you’re outside.

And the cost isn’t that crazy, either. Coming in at only $50 for the largest (and most expensive) pen.

Overall, this would be a good option if you’re just looking for something cheap to let your pet hang out outside while you’re camping in your RV!

Last update on 2022-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API