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Tips for RVing with dogs

This past winter we welcomed a sweet-natured Australian Cattle Dog named Maggie into our family. We spend over 50 nights a year traveling in our RV, and we wouldn’t dream of leaving her behind. Luckily we don’t have to. RVing is the most pet friendly mode of travel out there.

 According to industry studies, anywhere between 50-60% of RVers travel with their pets, and why not? Modern RV’s have plenty of room for your furry companions, and many dogs love camping as much as the rest of us.

It takes a little extra research and preparation to plan an awesome RV trip with your favorite pooch, but it is well worth the effort. Follow these simple tips and tricks so that you and your dog have an epic camping adventure!

Find dog-friendly campgrounds

Most campgrounds are pet friendly, but you need to make sure in advance of arrival. Read all of the pet policies on their website and call if you have any doubts or questions. We also recommend searching for dog parks and/or direct access to hiking trails for long morning walks with your pup. Don’t forget your coffee!

Store photocopies of all vaccinations and records in the RV

We have not had a campground ask us for copies of vaccinations and medical records, but we are prepared if they do. We keep extra copies in the RV at all times, and also have our veterinarian’s contact information handy.

Bring familiar dog items with you on the trip 

Does your dog have a favorite toy or soft cozy bed? If so, then bring it with you. Having familiar items along for the ride will make them feel immediately at home in the RV.

Find grassy rest stops along your route

Long drives can be challenging for dogs. We recommend taking breaks at rest stops instead of service areas, which are often concrete jungles with lots of traffic and noise. Rest stops tend to have open fields and grassy areas for your dog to stretch his legs.

Enjoy a long walk upon arrival

Let your dog get the lay of the land upon arrival at a new campground by talking them for a long walk. They will feel more calm and comfortable in their new environment, and be ready to settle into their home away from home.

Include your dog in the adventure

It’s important to include your dog in the daily fun both on and off the campground. Make sure that you choose a destination where you can take your dog along for epic hikes and swims. We had an amazing time taking Maggie hiking in Acadia National Park this past summer, but have avoided booking trips to certain state park campgrounds because of extensive pet restrictions.

Pack an appropriate length tie out stake and cable

We like to bring a 15 to 20 foot tie out stake and cable so that Maggie is free to roam around our site but won’t wander into the road or a neighboring site. The cable also allows her to find shade under a tree during the daytime or curl up next to us near the campfire at night. Maggie loves a warm campfire!

Give your dog opportunities to socialize

We love meeting other people at the campground, and many dogs love meeting other dogs! If your pup is a social butterfly, put on their leash and bring them to the dog park. She will make new friends, and so will you.

After a full summer of camping we can say with confidence that Maggie loves camping just as much as we do. She can’t wait to hop in our truck at the beginning of a trip, and she even looks a little glum when we pull into the driveway at home. The RV lifestyle appears to suit her as well as it suits us.