The Five Essential Rules for RVing with Dogs



Normally, traveling with dogs can be a pain. They stink up your already cramped car, and unless your dog is less than 20 pounds, you can forget about flying them to your destination. More than half of all RV owners travel with dogs. That’s because RVing solves these issues and allows your pets to enjoy more time outdoors when you’re camping. That being said, you can still run into problems if you don’t do your due diligence.

Essential Rules for RVing with Dogs

  • Choose a pet-friendly rental company (if renting) - Each RV rental company has its own unique pet policy. Some require cleaning fees, some require pet deposits, and some require both. Seek out companies like Cruise America, which has no deposit and only charges a cleaning fee if it's needed.

  • Create a pet packing list - Anything you don’t bring with you will have to be bought along the way, and that’s money out of your pocket. Make sure you have everything.  Bring necessities like food, treats (definitely a necessity), and drinking water as well as campground requirements like proof of vaccinations, health records, and ID tags. Speaking of vaccinations, visit your vet before your trip to ensure your dog’s shots are up to date.

  • Buckle them up - It’s dangerous to let your dog anywhere near the driver. Even though your RV feels like home, during transit your dog should be as secure as they would be in a car. This means either buckled via a harness or in a crate/carrier. If you’re pulling a trailer, never leave them alone in it. Keep them in the same vehicle as you.

  • Make frequent stops - There are two reasons for this. One, to allow them to do their dirty deeds. Two, to give them plenty of exercise. Your dog needs to stretch their legs every hour or so, and they need the mental stimulation too. Stopping frequently will keep your RV clean and your pup happy.

  • Take precautions when leaving them alone - At times, you’ll have to leave your dog in the RV while you go somewhere pets aren’t allowed. This won’t present a problem so long as you’re prepared for it. The most common issue occurs when camping in hot cities like Phoenix. Power outages do occur at campgrounds, so don’t assume your AC will work flawlessly. To plan for this, set your generator to auto-start if the power supply is interrupted.


Dogs love camping even more than we do, which makes us love camping even more with them. Bringing them along in your RV is the easiest way to make this happen. Follow the rules above and your trip will go as smoothly as a ride in a Winnebago.