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Taking trips with my dog has always been one of the perks that I have loved about traveling in my camper van. It can be difficult otherwise to take a dog or any pet on vacation when staying in hotels or other accommodations. However, an RV is like a traveling home and there is no reason your pets can’t go along with you.
RVers are generally pet-loving people and you will often see them traveling with their pets. Because of this, an RV park can be a great place for you to bring your pets, as long as you are courteous to others.
Most RV parks and campgrounds are pet friendly and do allow dogs but often have rules and regulations you must follow. There are some exceptions to this and many RV parks may not allow certain breeds of dogs that are known to be aggressive. Checking with each RV park you plan to visit is recommended.
The important thing is to make sure your dog is well-behaved. One of the reasons that people enjoy the RV lifestyle is because of the peace and quiet and relaxation it allows. A barking dog can be a nuisance to those trying to have a relaxing getaway. What you may see as your cute dog playing and barking might be seen as an annoyance to a neighboring camper.
Most campgrounds are aware of this and try to keep owners of pets in line with their rules. On one hand, campground owners want to allow campers to bring their furry friends with them. On the other hand, they want to make sure everyone staying in their campground has an enjoyable stay.
It can be difficult for the owner of an RV park to draw the line and enforce pet owners to comply. It’s best to make sure you are complying and doing all that you can to keep your dog well-behaved.
I love dogs as much as any other dog lover but I certainly don’t like to hear loud barking. When I go on a trip in my class B van, I am looking for a nice, relaxing time away. The last thing I want to hear is a loud dog that can’t be controlled by their owners. It can be quite distracting to have to hear such a thing.
Because of this, most RV parks or campgrounds have pet policies in place to protect those who want a quiet time away. Failure to comply with these policies could get you removed from the campground.
Campground Pet Policies
Most campgrounds have some type of policy in place that outlines rules for bringing pets. While most of these are very similar, there are some differences. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this and you’ll have to check with each campground to get full details.
The following are a few bullet points of what you can expect from some of the well-known campgrounds throughout the US.
- Call ahead to ensure that bringing your pet is allowed. There are some dog breeds that have been flagged as high risk of aggression from insurance providers.
- Service dogs are always welcomed.
- Campers with hostile or aggressive dogs will be asked to leave.
- Dogs must always be on a leash and you should be respectful of others around you.
Full information can be found here: KOA pet policy.
- Your dog must always wear a collar with identification.
- No more than two pets allowed per site.
- No aggressive dogs will be permitted.
- You may be asked to leave if you do not adhere to their pet policy.
- Do not leave your pet unattended.
- They have the right to reject any pet.
- Must have vaccine documents available upon request.
Full information can be found here: Thousand Trails pet policy.
You’ll find similar policies like this no matter the RV park you go to. I feel that these policies are very fair and protect residents from having to deal with rowdy animals from other campers.
Other Places To Stay When RVing With Your Dog(s)
RVing with a dog should be no problem if you are looking to stay in RV parks. However, many people like to stay in other places that may be a bit more secluded. There are other great options for those who prefer to sleep in places beyond the known RV parks.
The list below are places that you may want to consider if you like to RV with your dog or other pet.
The majority of Harvest Hosts locations are pet friendly. In fact, you’ll probably find pets owned by the owners at most Harvest Hosts locations. I have taken my dog to Harvest Hosts locations and have had no problems whatsoever.
Of course, you’ll need to make sure to be respectful just as you would at an RV park. Being at a Harvest Hosts location is a privilege and you don’t want to wear out your welcome by having a disobedient, aggressive, or loud barking dog.
Harvest Hosts are small businesses so you don’t want to interfere with their daily operations by having a pet that is out of control.
Similar to Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome allows you to camp at other people’s properties. These people often have pets of their own so they are usually OK with you bringing yours. You will need to ensure that your dog is welcome when you book your stay but most locations will allow dogs.
Dispersed Camping Areas
If you are fortunate enough to be in an area where dispersed camping areas are available, your dog will probably be allowed. In the United States, there are lots of places to stay for free on public lands. These lands, however, are generally in the Western states so those of us on the East Coast may not be as fortunate in finding dispersed camping locations.
There are plenty of apps that can help you find locations but they aren’t a sure thing. You may need to check with the local BLM office in the area that you are in to make sure your dog is allowed. Learn more about dispersed camping.
Tips For RVing With A Dog
Keep Your Dog Quiet!
When you are camping, make sure to keep your dog as quiet as possible. Dogs bark but as an owner, you should make sure that your dog is not a disturbing element at the campground. I have been to a campground where the constant sound of a dog barking made my stay less enjoyable. It’s not the occasional bark that would bother others but the never-ending barking that could get you kicked out of the RV park.
Other people don’t want to hear your dog because they don’t love your dog as you do. Others are looking to relax and unwind and listening to someone’s dog bark does not help. If you allow your dog to be loud, you may be asked to leave. Make sure you have your dog under control and know how to keep them quiet when the situation demands it.
Always Clean Up After Your Dog
This shouldn’t have to be said to dog owners but I often see it when I am out. Many people do not clean up after their dogs and leave their waste lying on the ground. This is incredibly rude, especially at an RV park where other people are walking and trying to enjoy their stay.
It’s just common courtesy to clean up after your dog does his or her business. Always keep poop bags in your RV in case you are in a place that doesn’t have them. Better yet, don’t expect RV parks to furnish these for you. Instead, keep these in your RV at all times if you have a dog and then you’ll never have to worry about it. Just be sure and use them.
Consider The Weather
The camping season is usually in full swing during the summer months. This can often make for a miserable time for a dog as far as the weather is concerned. A dog may get too hot during the summer heat so you will need to make sure that you consider this at all times. Make sure you have taken precautions to keep your dog cool and comfortable when the heat is at its hottest.
Take them walking in the early morning or late in the evening when the weather has cooled down. My dog has a lot of hair and gets very hot in the summer heat. Even the early mornings and evening hours can be difficult for her.
Don’t Leave Them Alone In The RV
Whether you have an air conditioner or not, don’t leave your pet alone in your RV for long periods of time. Systems fail and your air conditioner could stop working, leaving your dog to suffer in a hot enclosure. If you are going to leave them alone in an RV at all, I would suggest using a temperature sensor as well as a camera system so that you can monitor them at all times.
One solution that you might consider is the RV PetSafety Pet Monitor 4G. This system will alert you when the temperature is at a level that is dangerous for your pet.
Without air-conditioning, an RV can get extremely hot in the summer. They aren’t as insulated as effectively as a sticks and bricks home so they can heat up very quickly when the sun is beaming down on them.
Keep Them Safe While Driving
When driving in your RV, you should consider your dog’s safety as well as the humans inside. You don’t want your dog sitting in the front dashboard or another unsafe area. Your dog should be buckled in using a car seat for dogs or another solution.
In the case of a wreck, you want to make sure that your dog isn’t going to go flying through the RV. Even driving and braking can cause a dog to lose their balance and fall if not buckled in. Many people have their dogs sit in their lap while driving or riding but this is also unsafe.
Consider creating a safe place for your dog to ride when your RV is traveling down the road. There are some solutions on the market that will keep your dog safe in moving vehicles.
Most RV parks will allow dogs to stay. In fact, I have never been to an RV park that doesn’t allow dogs. While many of them do have restrictions, you will usually be just fine as long as you are courteous to others and keep your dog on a leash.
RVing with your dog is part of the fun and it allows you to take fun trips without leaving them behind. Your dog will feel at home in the RV that they know. It’s much easier to travel with a dog in this way than it is to travel in a car and stay in hotels. Hotels do not often allow dogs so traveling in an RV is the way to go if you want to take your dog.
Just be sure and follow the rules of the RV park and if you are ever in doubt, ask before you go. Since RV parks have different rules, you will want to make sure that you are safe to bring your dog. The best way to do this is to call the RV park before you go.