Renting an RV for your next family vacation can be a fantastic option for families who are on the go. And one of the best parts about choosing to travel by RV is that you get to bring your dog along too!
You may be thinking though, are dogs even allowed in RV Rentals? Thankfully, many companies and independent renters are pet lovers too, so yes you can bring your dog in your RV Rental.
There may be some preparation and policies to take into consideration first. While you’re searching for an RV to rent, take into account the size of your dog, your travel destination and your budget. All of these can help you narrow down a camper that will fit your traveling needs.
Read on for answers to some common questions you might have before renting an RV for your next family getaway.
Where Can I Find a Pet-Friendly RV Rental?
Cruise America and El Monte RV are both large corporations that rent RVs and both allow dogs with no restrictions or additional fees as long as the rental is returned in its original condition. RV Share and Outdoorsy are directories of private owners who rent their RV and they also have tons of RV Rentals that are pet-friendly, although each renter may have different restrictions or policies depending on their preferences. If you ever have any question about whether or not your dog is allowed, always speak with the company or owner before you’re stuck with an unexpected cleaning bill.
On the Outdoorsy and RV Share websites, there is actually a search feature that you can check to make finding pet-friendly RV rentals a breeze. It couldn’t be any simpler.
What Type of RV is Best for Dogs?
Since RVs come in many sizes and styles and offer different amenities, it can be tough to pick the best rig for you, your family and your pet. There are several different types of RVs, all with positives and negatives, to consider when traveling with dogs.
Class A: These motorhomes are usually bigger, more luxurious, campers that can be as long as 45 feet. These provide the most interior room but also can come with the more expensive furniture and flooring. If you are already considering a camper this large and your dog is well behaved and prefers the indoors, this may be the best option for you.
Class B: This style of RV is often called a campervan. This class tends to include smaller vehicles that still provide modest luxury to both humans and dogs. While the campers themselves aren’t that large, there is still enough room for most dogs to move around inside, but not much. One of the biggest positives is that this type of camper is easier to drive and maneuver, so if you’re looking to get to a remote spot (where dogs are allowed, of course!) and roam with your pup, this might be the camper for you.
Class C: A traditional looking RV that is anywhere from 20 to 33 feet, big enough to fit the family and fido comfortably and still rent within a reasonable budget. These RVs often have the same amenities as a Class A camper, but usually without the upscale interior, therefore lowering your risk of returning a damaged or dirty RV. This camper is an excellent option for most families and all sizes of dogs for their traveling needs.
5th Wheel and Travel Trailers: These types of RVs are towed behind your vehicle, therefore having entirely separate driving and living quarters for you and your family. Many of these types of campers have enough space for a larger family as well as a pup and are often less expensive to rent.
If you are renting a popup camper with canvas walls, you need to be careful to make sure your dog’s nails don’t accidentally tear a hole in the canvas.
Another thing to note is that you should never let your dog ride in a towable RV while being towed, they should always travel in the vehicle with you.
Is the Rental Price Higher if I Bring My Dog?
As mentioned above, Cruise America and El Monte RV do not charge a higher price if you bring your pet on your road trip. However, they will charge an additional cleaning fee if the RV is dirty when returned. And they also charge a damage deposit when you rent. But, this is the case whether you bring a pet or not. So, just clean up before you return the RV and you should avoid any additional cleaning charges.
Private owners on Outdoorsy and RV Share have the option to charge a pet fee if they choose to do so. I have seen pet fees range from $0 to $30 per night. All of these rentals include a damage deposit and most charge a cleaning fee. While there is usually a separate cleaning fee listed they can also take any additional money needed for cleaning from your damage deposit. So, you should do your best to return the camper in good condition.
A camper is considered dirty if it is returned with dirty floors, and or excess dog hair is present. So if your dog sheds a bunch, it might be a good idea to find a vacuum before returning the unit.
What if I Need to Leave My Dog in the RV?
When bringing your pet along on your travels, it’s essential to plan the trip ahead of time to make sure that you’re not just having them spend most of their day in an RV while you’re romping around the woods (unless of course, they don’t mind the all-day naps!). The most important factor to take into account is their safety. If at any point the dog’s life may be in danger because of temperature, weather or any other unavoidable scenario, it’s best not to leave them to their own devices. It’s also important to know the campground or RV park rules since many campgrounds are now putting a rule into place that dogs are not allowed to stay in their camper while their owners are away. Check out our article Is It Safe To Leave a Pet in an RV? to avoid putting your pet in danger.
Because most RV rentals can charge a fee if there is damage to the RV caused by the dog, it’s important to take into account whether or not your dog can handle being in the RV alone, with new sounds and smells, and without destroying things like the carpet or seat cushions. If your dog is properly crate trained and you can fit the crate inside, it might be best to bring it and have it set up while you’re gone. You can also keep the dog safe by keeping him or her in the crate while traveling. Also, make sure to bring some toys and familiar comforts of home while traveling to help your dog get accustomed to his new temporary house.
What Items Will I Need for My Dog?
Many items can help you and your dog be more comfortable while on the road. Many of these items you probably have at home already like an extra leash, collapsible water bowl and toys from home. You might also find it to be a good investment to purchase a pet monitoring system that can help you keep an eye on your pets while away. Some can even throw them a treat remotely! Other essentials include a dog bed, extra dog collar and name tags, crate and vet records. You can find a list of 11 Essential Dog Accessories for RV Camping here so you don’t forget anything.
How Can I Find Pet-Friendly Campgrounds?
Just like you can find an RV rental on the web, there are great resources available for you to find pet-friendly campgrounds, hikes, hotels, restaurants, and cafes too. Some of these websites include Bring Fido and Dog-Friendly (dogfriendly.com). You can also refer to the bigger RV rental company websites such as Cruise America and El Monte RV for ideas on where to bring your pup. If you already know your activities and are merely looking for a place to park your rig, KOA has dog-friendly options available on their site as well.
Tips for Camping With Dogs
- Try and make them comfortable. While you may quickly adapt to your RV rental, your dog may need some time to get used to it. Bring their favorite toy or bone along with you to help them get accustomed to the new space.
- Always have a leash. Whether or not your dog is well trained, it’s important still to have a leash because most campsites require it, and it may be the best way to keep your dog safe from chasing after that pesky rabbit or keeping them away from other potential dangers.
- Bring your vet records. The last thing anyone of us wants to do when traveling is to bring our dog to the vet for any reason. But it’s essential to have their records on you just in case there is an emergency. They also are required for most doggy daycares to prove vaccinations are up to date.
- Explore WITH your dog. You’re bringing your dog with you for a reason so don’t just coop her up all day while you’re romping around the woods! Try and find a fun hike you can do together and let them sniff and explore the new area too.
RV camping is fun and rewarding and even more so when traveling with your dog. And if you’re thinking about renting an RV, you can now rent with confidence and have an awesome family camping vacation and include your dog too!
Do you have a tip or comment you would like to share about bringing a dog camping in an RV rental? Please leave your comments or any questions below.
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I am an avid RVer and full-time blogger who loves camping, fishing, hiking, and biking. I started RVBlogger.com to share my lifetime of experience and knowledge about all things outdoors.