Bringing your fur friends on your RVing trips sounds like a great idea, but before setting off on the road, you must first ensure that you create an optimal pet environment on your rig. In this blog, we will go over twelve tips and tricks for devising a pet-friendly space in your RV.
1. Familiarize Your Pet(s) With Your RV
To avoid or minimize any travel anxiety, it’s important to familiarize your pet(s) with your motorhome before setting off on the road. Start off by bringing your pets into the RV and giving them treats and/or toys; allow them to roam around freely. After doing this for a few weeks, they should become much more comfortable with the space. If you plan on going on extended RVing trips with your pet(s), start them off small with weekend trips at first.
2. Check For Pet-friendly Campgrounds
Before heading out on the road, you should check to make sure that the campground you are staying at is pet-friendly. This can sometimes be a bit tricky to figure out, so we recommend using BringFido. This website lists many popular campgrounds and provides an inside scoop on their pet policies, reviews of other campers with pets, and even allows you to speak with the campground staff directly.
3. Check International Pet Requirements
If you are crossing international borders, make sure to check that country's pet documentation requirements (such as vaccines or licenses) so that you don’t run into any trouble when entering the country.
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4. Be Level
Just like humans, your fur friends would also benefit from being in a level RV. Here are just a few reasons why being level would be beneficial if you have pets on board:
- It would ensure that your pet’s food and water don’t spill
- Any pet toys would stay in place, instead of rolling around due to the RV being unlevel
- If you have an elderly or physically impaired pet, a level ground would be much more comfortable for them
- The Lynx Leveling System makes for a quick, safe, and easy leveling job, so that you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors with your pets, and less time fiddling with rocks and wood (which we strongly discourage, as it can be unreliable and unsafe).
5. Bring a Leash
This might sound like a given, but it is super important to bring a leash when going camping. In fact, many places, including most National Parks, require you to keep your pets on a leash at all times. This applies not only to dogs, but cats as well.
6. Prioritize Temperature control
Even more so than us, our pets are very sensitive to the temperature. If you are (or want to be) a full-time RVer, we suggest properly insulating your motorhome if you’ll be traveling with pets. This would help regulate the temperature in your RV so that your pets (and their owners, too) are comfortable aboard. If you are a weekend warrior, then we recommend purchasing a cold and/or hot air fan, depending on which season you’re traveling in.
1. Keep Them Active on Long Trips
Being active may not be an issue with cats, but it is definitely important when it comes to dogs. Ideally, you would pull over every 2-3 hours and let your dog(s) run around for half an hour or so. This could be during a gas or bathroom stop. We also suggest keeping your dog(s) entertained and active while driving as well. If possible, get a non-driving passenger to play with the dog(s) or you can purchase interactive toys that the dog can use on their own.
2. Keep Them Clean
As you know, dogs bring in dirt, mud, and rubble inside after playing outside. This is bad enough at home, and it’s even worse in a small space like an RV, as that will quickly dirty your rig and stink up the RV. Although a good ‘ol rag will suffice, if you want to really make sure your dog’s paws are cleaned off, you can use this special type of paw cleaner that will ensure all dirt is removed.
3. Purchase Collar Light
Especially during the warmer months, it's common to stay out late around the campfire. Even if you keep your dog on a leash when you’re outside, we still suggest putting a collar light on them when it’s dark for maximum safety.
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1. Make Their Ride Entertaining
Unlike dogs, cats are usually sedentary animals. However, even though they may not be particularly active, they still like to be entertained. One way that cats like to entertain themselves is by looking outside the window. You can easily give your cat(s) a designated spot to look outside by installing a hanging bed from one of your RV’s windows.
2. Find a Designated Spot for The Litter Box
Just like you have at home, you’ll need to have a designated spot for your cat's litter box in your RV. It’s a known fact that cats prefer privacy when doing their business, so ideally, you would find a secluded spot in your RV to place the litter box that is also easily accessible to the kitty. This could be in spaces such as under a bed, in the shower or in a utility closet. If you don’t have any secluded space available for the litter box, then we suggest purchasing an enclosed litter box.
TIP: Litter boxes can stink up your motorhome quite easily, so we recommend purchasing an odor control litter, like Purina Tidy Cats litter.
3. Leash Train Them
As previously mentioned, your pets will be required to be on leash oftentimes during your travels. Although this is not a big deal for dogs, most cats are not as accustomed to being on a leash. Considering this, it is important that you leash train your cat before going on the road to ensure that they are comfortable with it. This guide is a great starting point.
We’ve shared numerous tips on bringing your pets along on your RVing trips, but the main piece of advice to take away from this blog is to start off small. Begin by bringing your pets on weekend trips close by, and work their way up to longer distances, or possibly even full-time travel. Following these tips will help your pets adjust and familiarize themselves to your motorhome so that they can enjoy RV adventures as much as their owners.