There’s nothing quite like an RV vacation. The open road, the freedom to drive on to new destinations at the drop of a hat… It’s bliss.
But the best bit of RV travel has to be sharing your trip with your best friends.
And for us, that means bringing our pets along for the ride.
Just imagine, pulling up to your campsite in the mountains. Breathing in the fresh mountain air and watching your dog wag his tail in excitement as he begins to explore.
Or, imagine parking by a windswept beach. Your cat curled on your lap as you sip tea and watch the waves crash below your window.
And you want to enjoy yourself too. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best pet-friendly RVs for you – with all the features you need!
So, what should you consider when looking for a pet-friendly RV?
Table of Contents:
- What to look for in a pet-friendly RV
- The best pet-friendly RVs
- Highland Ridge Series Travel Trailers
- A.C.E. Motorhomes
- The Kodiak UltraLite Bunkhouse
- Keystone Cougar X-Lite
- The Winnebago Intent
- The Dogscamper Van
- What if you’re renting rather than buying an RV?
- Where are you going to park your RV?
- How are you going to keep your pet safe in a strange place?
What to look for in a pet-friendly RV
Our pets are our best friends. And that means we want to keep them safe at all times.
So, before you choose an RV, think about:
How you’ll keep your pet secure whilst you’re driving
Allowing your pet to roam around the RV whilst on the road is a recipe for disaster. If the worst happens and you’re in an accident, they are likely to be severely injured.
And because many animals have an instinct to flee when they are hurt, they may run away when rescue services arrive.
Plus, even if your journey is smooth, a loose pet is likely to come and visit you in the driver’s seat. And having a cute dog or cat come begging for attention is sure to cause a distraction.
Ideally, your pet should be enclosed during travel, and their crate should be secured in place by safety straps.
Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a dog, you might prefer to have them sit in one of the passenger seats.
If you plan to do this, you’ll need to fasten their harness to a seat belt, to keep them safe and secure.
How secure your pet is when in the RV alone
Unfortunately, not every tourist attraction is pet-friendly. And, depending on your travel plans, this means that you might need to leave your dog, cat, or other animal companions alone for short periods.
So, pick an RV that is safe and secure, to make sure they can’t wander.
Is the RV in good condition?
Buying or renting a second-hand RV is a great way to save money. But, make sure it is safe.
Look for things like loose wires and ripped upholstery (or anything that could potentially harm you or your pet).
How much space you’ll need will depend on your travel companions.
A cat, hamster, or a small and low energy dog isn’t likely to need much space to feel at home.
So, before you choose your perfect RV, think about:
- Where will your pet sleep? Is there ample space for your pet’s favorite bed onboard? Or, even better, does your RV include a designated space for your furry friend to sleep?
- Where will your pet be whilst you’re driving? Remember, it’s not safe to allow your pet to roam whilst the RV is moving.
- Do your pets have room to play? Even if you take your pet out for walks, they’ll probably want to play in the RV too. So, check that there is adequate space for a spirited game of fetch for your dog, a scratching post for your cat, or room for you to set up a run for your rabbits, guinea pigs, or hamsters.
Ease of cleaning
Muddy paws, pet fur, and the odd ‘accident’ can make traveling with pets a messy business.
And that’s why choosing an RV that’s easy to clean is so important.
So, what should you consider when choosing an RV that’s easy to clean?
Some materials are easier to keep clean than others. So, look for an RV that has vinyl, tile, or faux-wood floors, especially near the doorway.
That way, you can clean your pet as soon as you get inside, and limit the amount of dirt that finds its way into the RV.
Try to choose an RV that has vinyl, leatherette, or stain-resistant fabric on the furniture. This will make wiping off any mess much easier.
Is there somewhere to clean your pet if they do get muddy? If your RV includes a bathroom, think about whether your pet will fit in the shower. Or even better, choose an RV with outdoor washing facilities.
OK, so you know what to look out for when choosing your RV. Now, let’s take a look at some of your options.
The best pet-friendly RVs
Now, if you’re planning a relaxing break with lots of time inside the RV, you’ll probably want something like:
Built for the whole family, many of Highland Ridge’s RVs include designated pet features, like:
- Handy pull out pet feeding stations
- Designated pet beds
- No-carpet flooring for ease of cleaning
The Highland Ridge also includes a shower room for cleaning muddy paws. And, if you want to check out floor plans, a full list of pet-friendly Highland Ridge models can be found here.
OK, so the Highland Ridge Series is pretty great, but it’s not the only option on the market. So, maybe you’d prefer an…
Designed with pet owners in mind, all A.C.E. motorhomes include:
- A hidden Kibble Station with an F.D.A. approved pet bowl liner in the bathroom or bedroom
- An exterior Pet-Link™ multi-purpose tie-down, which prevents pets from wandering too far
- A Bird’s Eye™ window perfect for allowing pets to look out from the safety of their seats
- Vinyl flooring and leatherette furniture for easy clean-up
- An outside shower to quickly rinse dirty paws
- And if you are traveling with cats, the Motorhome Mudroom™ compartment is an ideal place to put a cat litter box
OK, what’s next?
The Kodial UltraLite Bunkhouse is another RV, designed with the full family in mind. And that includes our four-legged friends!
So, what features do we like in this sleek and stylish RV?
Well, it has:
- An outdoor shower port, perfect for rinsing muddy dogs before they step foot (or paw) inside
- Plenty of room for a kennel or bed in the spacious interior
- And, easily wipeable flooring in most of the living area
But you don’t necessarily have to go for a specially designed RV to find something pet-friendly. And, if instead of a dog, you’re traveling with a cat or small animal, you might be better off with something like:
The Keystone Cougar X-Lite wasn’t built with pets in mind. So, why do we like it? Well, it includes a well designed second bedroom, complete with two sets of bunk beds!
You might be wondering why that makes us so excited.
And it’s a fair question. After all, how many people above the age of twelve want to sleep in bunk beds? OK, we wouldn’t mind having the top bunk one last time…
But that’s not why we like it.
No, providing you don’t have children, the addition of a separate room complete with bunk beds is ‘purrfect’ for cats. And that’s because:
- It allows them to climb and play
- They can be safely shut away when the RV doors are open
- And, their litter tray can be left in the room, meaning that the common areas won’t smell.
Not convinced? Well, what about:
Not only is the Winnebago Intent comfy and stylish, but it also includes:
- Vinyl and leatherette flooring throughout (ideal for cleaning up little ‘accidents’
- And an abundance of storage space, perfect for storing pet accessories like hay, food, and collapsible runs.
But what if you’re not going to be spending much time in your RV? If you plan to spend long days out hiking, or are planning on driving in rough terrain, you might want something smaller.
Well, why not try…
OK, so this RV may be small, but it was designed specifically for traveling with dogs in tow.
This German-designed class B motorhomes modular design includes:
- A modular and flexible kennel system that fits both small and large dogs comfortably
- A ramp that allows your pup to climb in and out of the liftgate with ease
- A dog food/accessory case which hangs next to the spare tire
- And a wall mount/hook system that provides a place to hang up leashes, as well as other items, like coats and lanterns
OK, so that’s our top six RV options for traveling with pets. But what else do you need to think about before you hit the open road with Fido or Fluffy in tow?
What if you’re renting rather than buying an RV?
We get it, RVs can be expensive to purchase! And if you don’t plan on vacationing regularly? well, it can be more cost-effective to hire an RV for your trip.
Of course, you’ll still want to choose an RV that meets your pet’s needs. But, you’ll also have to consider whether the rental company will accept your four (or two) legged friend.
Luckily, there are plenty of pet-friendly RV rental companies out there. And you can find a handy list of some of the best here.
Then, it’s time to think about where you’re going to park…
Where are you going to park your RV?
RV parks are an essential part of a recreational vehicle vacation. They provide a safe place to stop for the night. And depending on your budget, they can offer a wealth of facilities too.
But it’s not enough to find a park that meets your needs.
If you’re traveling with a dog, cat, or any other animal, you’re going to want to check that they are as welcome as you are in any campground you park in.
You see, not every campground is happy to have dogs or cats running around. And even small animals can be a problem.
That means that you could be refused entry if you turn up with a pet in tow… so, it’s a good idea to check that your intended RV park is pet-friendly before you book.
But, if you’re not sure where you want to stay, it’s worth looking specifically for pet-friendly parks.
And luckily, the internet is filled with blogs and websites designed to help you find the perfect place to park your RV. To start, why not try to Bring Fido’s list of Top Pet-Friendly Campgrounds or Roverpass’ 10 Most Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in the US.
It’s worth noting that many websites and blogs focus on dog-friendly, rather than pet-friendly, parks.
But, even if your pet isn’t a pooch, these sites are a good place to start your search
After all, dog-friendly campsites tend to be fairly pet-friendly in general… Just remember to check that your particular pet will be welcome before you make any firm plans.
OK, so you’ve chosen your RV and decided where to park. It’s time to think about keeping your pet safe when you arrive at your destination(s).
How are you going to keep your pet safe in a strange place?
If you are traveling with a cat or a dog, you’re probably going to let them explore with you are some point.
But, how will you keep them safe?
In the case of cats, you’ll probably need to leash them at all times when outside (and yes, harnessing and leashes for cats do exist!
- 【FOR SMALL CATS & DOGS】Measuring Neck Girth: Size SMALL 5.5”-8.6”, Size MEDIUM: 8.6”-12.6”. Chest Girth: Size SMALL 8.6”-12.6”, Size MEDIUM 12.6”-19” leash length 46.8”. Weight:Size Small 0-5lbs Pet, Size Medium: 6-10lbs Pet. Please measure your pet carefully and refer to the size chart before purchasing. Recommended Breeds: Small Cats, and Small Dogs such as Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Papillon, Maltese etc. Make your pet stand out with this cute and fashion Harness!
- 【 EASY TO USE 】- This hassle-free overhead harness is easy to put on and take off with its Fast-release Buckle. SLIDE the harness over your pet's head, BUCKLE it up, ADJUST the straps, and here you go!
- 【 NO PULL, NO CHOKE 】- Soft cotton strap and Expertly designed H-figure no chock harness quick distribute pressure from throat to the chest, preventing pulling and choking, keeps your cat safe at all time.
- 【 FULLY ADJUSTABLE 】- This adjustable harness features 3 easy Adjusting Straps around the body. You can use its 2 neck straps and 1 chest straps to create a Perfect Fit for your pet with some room of growth. No worries about slipping out or choking.
- 【 SAFE AND COMFORTABLE 】- Your cat will enjoy the daily walk in this comfort pet harness! Made of durable Soft cotton to protect your pet's skin.
But many people allow their dogs to run off-leash where it is safe and legal to do so. And, even if you plan to leash your animal whenever you’re outside, sometimes accidents happen.
A door is left open, or some wily pets can even escape out of a window left open a crack.
Then, before you know it, your beloved pet is lost in a strange environment.
Protecting Your Pet
In a familiar environment, your pet may find its way home easily. But in a new place, they can easily become disoriented. So, how do you increase the chances of finding your pet if he or she does wander?
Well, there are a few steps you should take:
- Make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date
- Attach a tag to your pets collar, and make sure your cell number is up to date
- Keep recent photos of your pet to hand (this can help when asking people if they have seen your pet around the campground or track).
But getting lost isn’t the only thing you should consider if you want your pet to be safe on the road.
You should also think about their health. The last thing you want is for your pet to become ill on the road. So, take them for a pre-vacation health check. And, if their vaccinations aren’t up to date, ask your vet to administer their shots before you drive off into the sunset.
So, there we have it; our top 6 pet-friendly RVs… and a few extra tips to boot. Now, all that’s left to say is:
We hope you have a great (pet-friendly) trip!
Last update on 2022-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API