Having a pet with you while you camp can be a really enjoyable thing. Your pets are part of your family and you’ll want to take them with you on adventures, but do they really fit in your RV?
RVs are designed for people not dogs, cats, and other pets. With that said, you can still, of course, bring them along on your RV road trips. One thing you’ll have to figure out, though, is where you want to put your pet’s bed inside your RV.
Why Do Pets Need Camping Beds?
The obvious answer is that an elevated dog bed gives your pet a comfortable place to lie down. But there are other reasons why RV owners don’t just let their pets sleep anywhere.
When you take a cat or dog camping, it’s a lot harder to keep the interior of your RV clean. They track in a lot of dirt and most dogs we know don’t wear shoes that can be left at the doormat each time they come inside. By giving your pet its dedicated space inside your RV, you can keep the rest of your RV furniture in better condition.
Plus, most pet beds for camping are completely machine washable these days. If they aren’t, they include a cover that can easily be removed and thrown in the washing machine. That makes your life significantly easier than having to vacuum pet hair out of your RV’s upholstery.
Additionally, portable dog beds are excellent for keeping your dog warm on your camping trip. It’s no secret that some RVs aren’t particularly well insulated, and if your RV has vinyl or laminate flooring, your pet is likely to want to climb in bed with you when those floors cool down. But a pet bed can save space in your human bed and ensure you get a good night’s rest without your furry companion hogging the bed.
Finding the Right Spot for Your Pet
The right spot for your pet will depend on two things: your pet and your RV. Some RVs are more spacious than others. Some pets are fine to be put off in the corner while others like to be right where everyone is sitting.
Think about your rig and your pet. Where you’d like your pet to go won’t always end up working out quite right. My dog, for example, wants to be right where I or other people are all of the time.
She won’t go off and lay by herself in the corner of the RV. I found that putting her camping dog bed under the dinette when we’re not eating is a good solution. This allows her to be right in the middle of the RV and able to see and be close to everyone.
If that doesn’t sound like it will work for you, consider putting your pet’s bed in a bedroom. This can work especially well if you have a pet that likes to go off and lay by itself.
If neither of these situations will work, take a closer look at your RV’s interior. Is there an area that you think will work? If so, give it a try. If not, you may need to think about making some changes to your rig.
When you arrive at a campground, the best place for your pet might be outside. While most RV parks have leash rules, you can use an outdoor dog bed to give your pet somewhere comfortable to lie instead of leaving them to lie directly on the ground.
For some help deciding how your RV pet bed will fit into your interior layout, it can be useful to speak to an RV interior design specialist. Visit your closest Camping World Design Center to speak with someone who can help you identify the coziest spot for your furry travel companion.
Consider Altering or Adding Furniture
I’m not talking about a full remodel here, but you may want to think about either adding a piece of furniture or altering the furniture in your RV so that your pet can have a bed or a place to go.
If you have the room and you just want to add a piece of furniture to your rig, then consider an end table that doubles as a pet kennel. You can put pillows, crate mats, or a travel dog bed inside the kennel and that can be their spot.
Another option is to make adjustments to the furniture in your rig. Many beds in RVs have storage space underneath them. With a little work, a portion of that space can be converted into a sleeping area for your dog.
Depending on the size of your pet, the space under the dinette seat might be the perfect place for a camping pet bed. This area is often used just as a storage space and might not work for large dogs, but with a little work, you can turn it into an area for smaller pets.
You can always let your dog simply sleep on the couch or floor, but I’ve found it’s best to give them a designated space that is theirs. It makes them feel more at home and keeps them from being underfoot all the time.
If you do let your pet onto your RV furniture, furniture covers are your best friend. Instead of mud, hair, and pet dander staining your furniture, you’ll have a cover that you can shake out and throw in the washing machine every few days.
This strategy can be employed on RV sofas, dinette seats, captain’s chairs, mattresses, and pretty much anything you want to keep in good condition when traveling with pets. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself spot cleaning stains directly on furniture, which may or may not come out easily.
Overall, traveling with pets makes life more enjoyable and encourages us to get out and explore once we reach our destination. But with a little prep work and some RV pet training, you can make your life easier when it comes to cleaning up after your pet-friendly camping trip!
How do you RV with your pets? Where do they sleep or lounge around? Leave a comment below.
My pet is a dog, he is under 20lbs. And his name is Recreation Vehicle, “RV” for short. RV is free to move about the trailer, I just block his view at the door so he doesn’t have any interest in blocking the doorway.