A Beginner’s Guide to RVing with Dogs

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When Joe and I first began our RV adventure, we had two large dogs: Duke (a Belgian Malinois mix) and Leo (a white Siberian Husky). At over 70 pounds apiece, neither were exactly “travel-sized,” but we loved spending time with our dogs. In fact, they played a major role in our decision to travel full time in an RV in the first place. If you’re about to start RVing with dogs, this should help you get off on the right paw!

From shopping for the perfect rig to basic travel and RV safety tips, this post covers everything we wish we’d known before hitting the road in an RV with our dogs.

To learn more about our dogs and the RV shopping experience, check out Joe’s first book: Take Risks.

Full-Time RVing with Dogs

Watch this video for additional advice about how you can start RVing with your best (furry) friend.

Finding the Perfect RV (for your Dog)

Anyone who owns an RV will tell you that there are compromises made with any rig you buy. (So long, in-home washer and dryer!) We’re currently on our fourth camper, a Storyteller Overland Mode LT. Each one of those four RVs took us months of searching to find the right RV for us at the time. However, shopping for our first RV was the most difficult because we had to consider what needed in the RV and also what would work best for our dogs.

This was our list of must-have items for the RV with the dogs in mind.

1. Comfortable sleeping quarters with all the slides in

We knew we wanted our first RV to be a Class A motorhome so there would be times when we couldn’t put the slides out, like when we used overnight parking at a truck stop. “Comfortable sleeping quarters” for us meant that Joe and I could sleep in our bed and have enough room to lay both dog beds on the floor while the slides were in. This also meant a comfortable travel experience for Duke and Leo while we were on the road.

2. Room for the dog beds in the bedroom

Our dogs liked to be near us at night, so we knew we needed an RV with enough floor space in the bedroom for both large dog beds when the slides were out.

3. Easy access in and out of the RV

Back in 2015, Duke was having issues with his hind legs, and Leo was no great fan of stairs. The entrance had to be wide enough for us to walk alongside Duke to help him in but also allow Leo to run up without tripping (We used a dog harness to help us with Duke). While shopping, we were careful to note the number of steps to get in and out of the RV.

In contrast, when we got our pop-top truck camper, we no longer had a dog. If we’d had one, we would have had to lift them in and out of the camper since it was so high off the ground or continue to use the scissor steps, which we found dangerous without a handrail.

4. No floor to ceiling windows

Floor to ceiling windows offer a great view, but we had to put them on our list of features to avoid. Both dogs would have gladly taken out a window if it meant getting at a squirrel on the other side. Window coverings would have just been collateral damage.

5. Temperature control

Whether we’d be hooked up at a campground or boondocking in a National Forest, we wanted to make sure we had a good way to keep the RV cool for the dogs on hot days when we might be out exploring. That meant at least one AC unit and some kind of overhead fan.

When we switched to a Class B RV on the ProMaster chassis in 2017, we even had an electrical system that could support running the A/C off the batteries. It would automatically start the engine to recharge the battery if the AC ran the battery down too low while we were dry camping, which was a great safety feature to have. This was a game changer for us because inevitably there are times when you need to leave your dog(s) in the camper which you go into a store. Being able to put the A/C on for them on a toasty day made all the difference.

6. As little carpet as possible

Cleaning up after dogs is much easier on hard surface floors than on carpet. We won’t go into too much detail on the “why” behind this one … Just trust us or check out this fun facts video we put together about Leo our Siberian Husky.

RV Shopping Tip: Leave the Dogs at Home

We made the decision not to bring the dogs RV shopping with us, and we’re so glad we did. We didn’t want them to have a bad first experience in the rig we chose, especially since we couldn’t completely control the environment at a dealership or an RV show, and in an RV that was brand new to us.

For us, we wanted to be able to focus on the shopping experience, without being distracted by the dogs. And finally, it was just plain hot. For some reason, it always seemed to be in the 90s on days when we had time to shop for an RV.

That said, we did break our rule when we had Leo and were shopping for a Class B RV. We brought Leo to the RV show with us and when we got to the van, we figured we’d just take turns going in and out. Leo had other plans. He hoped right in and proceeded to crawl behind the driver’s seat and take a nap. This would turn out to be his favorite place in the van.

Introducing Your Dog to the RV

After we took delivery of our small Class A RV, we parked it in the driveway of our house, which we were getting ready to sell. Because we still lived in our “sticks and bricks,” we were able to introduce the dogs to the RV gradually and let them get comfortable before moving them in full time. We would highly recommend this approach, since it did take Duke and Leo some time to adjust to their new home on wheels.

Take your time

To prepare for the introduction, we put all the slides out and brought the dog beds, blankets, and water bowl into the RV. To our surprise, they both went up the stairs without any hesitation. We didn’t even have to lure them inside with treats.

Our dogs were unsure of their surroundings on their first few visits to the RV. We were patient and let them each find the spots they liked best. Duke, the protector, liked to station himself by the door. Leo hung out under the steering wheel. By the time we had completely moved into the RV, both dogs were very comfortable sleeping there, which made the transition easy – for them, at least. Read our post on the highs and lows of RV Living.

Leos favorite spot in RV

Taking the Dogs for a Drive in the RV

RVing with Dogs - Introduce dogs to RV
Go for a test drive

Both dogs loved riding in our Jeep Wrangler and had never been carsick, so we really didn’t think too much about their first ride in the RV. This turned out to be a big mistake.

The first time we went for a drive, Joe was by himself in the RV while I followed in the Jeep. (We didn’t have our ReadyBrute Elite Tow Bar installed yet.) Once Joe got going, noises in the moving RV scared both dogs. Leo tried to crawl under Joe’s legs to his spot under the steering wheel, while Duke tried to climb onto his lap. Not a good situation in a large moving vehicle! Luckily, Joe was able to pull over, and I took both dogs in the Jeep with me.

Instead, we’d suggest having someone in the RV with you that the dogs know who can help if they do freak out for any reason. Keep some treats on hand or have other things that distract them from everything else going on. Also, make sure EVERYTHING in the RV is secure. The last thing you need is a drawer flying open going around a corner (that happened to us) that scares the dog(s). We’d suggest putting together a comprehensive pre-departure checklist to prevent this from happening.

Tire the dogs out

We were better prepared the next time, when we went for a weekend beach camping trip in Ventura, California. This time we left the Jeep at home, so I was able to ride in the RV and make sure the dogs stayed calm and out of the driver’s seat. They were a little anxious on the drive out but much more relaxed on the way back, when they were worn out from the weekend at the beach. That’s when we realized we needed to exercise the dogs before we got on the road so they’d be too tired to mind the drive much.

Be patient

It took about a week of driving and living in the RV full time for the dogs to become completely comfortable riding around in their new home. Give your pets the time and space they need to adjust, and do what you can to make travel days comfortable.

Dukes favorite spot in RV

Duke’s favorite spot was at the feet of whomever was passenger. He would lay his head on the dashboard or the window ledge and just watch the road go by. Leo would lay on the bed by the entrance or hang out in his “taco shell”.

Home Alone – Leaving the Dogs in the RV

Duke guarding the RV
Start with short trips

The first time we left the dogs alone in the RV, it was only for 30 minutes. When they handled that fine, we started to leave them for longer and longer periods so they could adjust. We worked our way up to leaving Leo alone for up to five hours, as long as we prepared him with a long walk and made sure he’d taken care of all his business. (We lost Duke early in our travels due to health issues – more on losing a pet on the road below.)

Explore with them

Of course, we usually didn’t leave him this long, because we tried to take him with us just about everywhere. As a rule of thumb, if the businesses or town we were in wasn’t dog friendly, we’d keep on rolling. After all, we chose RVing as a lifestyle so we could bring our dogs!

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and we still made time to visit Disney World and go hiking in National Parks. On those rare occasions when we had to leave Leo, we would always check the weather forecast to decide if we needed to turn on the A/C or run the fans.

We would never leave our dog alone for an extended period in the RV unless we were at a campground with reliable electric hookups, so we could run the A/C as much as necessary. The campground could also contact us if an emergency arose.

Even so, a pet safety temperature monitor is a good idea as a backup, in case any systems fail. These monitors will send notifications to your phone if the temperature inside your rig gets too high.

Consider the neighbors

A word of caution to those with Class A’s or campers with large windows: We had some campground neighbors call security on us because they thought we’d left Leo in our RV without the A/C running.

A small sign in your door or window explaining the precautions you’ve taken can help notify your neighbors that you’ve taken the steps necessary to keep your pets safe.

Tips and Tricks – Having an Enjoyable RVing Experience with Dogs

Here are a few other things we learned as full time RVers and dog parents.

Go for long walks on travel days

On travel days, we would always take the dogs for a long walk. This way they got all their business taken care of, and were bit worn out before driving to boot.

Jeep RV Dogs and Joe at rest stop
Leave some water in the dog bowl

The water bowl was always about halfway full before we got on the road. This way, the dogs could take a drink whenever they wanted, and we never had an issue with spills when going around corners. Or, you can try a no-spill dog bowl.

Be mindful of potty breaks

When we first started full time RVing, we drove long distances and relied on rest areas to walk the dogs. Eventually we slowed down and limited our travel to 100-150 miles at a time and found that we didn’t need to give Leo a break until we arrived at our destination. Travel days can get hectic; make sure you’re paying attention to your dog’s bathroom needs.

Vacuum daily

Did we mention that Leo was a white Siberian Husky? He would shed 365 days a year, so we vacuumed daily to keep the hair under control. Otherwise, it would start to look like it had “snowed” inside our RV. We used a handheld pet vacuum with an attachment that worked well on carpet. (Hopefully you won’t need to vacuum as much as we did!)

Finding a veterinarian

We’re lucky to have friends and family all over the United States that we can call on to ask for recommendations. Most of them are dog owners and have veterinarians that they use and trust. As our extended family of full time RVers grew, we could also call on them for recommendations. If you’re just getting started and don’t know anyone in the area, Google is a great resource because you can read reviews.

If you’re dog tends to need vets more regularly, it would help to research them before going into an area. It also helps to see if there are animal hospitals that offer emergency service.

Keep in mind that vets are licensed in the state in which they practice, and we’ve been told that getting a prescription filled across state lines can be tricky.

Losing a dog on the road

We lost Duke early in our travels due to health issues, and Leo passed away a few years later. Losing our boys was the most difficult thing we’ve experienced on the road. Finding a veterinarian in an unfamiliar city and trying to figure out what to do with the remains were things we just didn’t anticipate. Loss is always difficult, but dealing with loss on the road felt even more so.

If this ever happens to you, I would suggest taking some time off from the road. Maybe finding a campground you can hunker down for a bit or even getting an Airbnb. We felt a bit lost after losing Leo since we’d had dogs for so long and weren’t sure what to do with ourselves.

We’re lucky to have been able to share part of this journey with them and will always have wonderful memories to look back on.

Dog Products We Used and Loved

There are so many dog products we love for RVing. Here are a few that we found to be essential.

Sturdy Dog Harness

Whether you’re going hiking or have an older dog that needs a little assistance getting in and out of a vehicle, having a sturdy harness is essential for traveling. Read our Dog Harness Review.

Airtight Dog Food Container

This container is large enough to hold one 40-lb bag of dog food. In our Class A, we stored it in one of the bays. Be sure to measure the area where you plan to put yours to ensure it will fit.

RVing is a fantastic way to travel with your dogs. We can’t imagine doing it any other way! We hope you enjoy RVing with your dogs as much as we did.

If you have stories or photos from your own journey with your pets, please share them in the comments!

Leave a Comment

80 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to RVing with Dogs”

  1. Thanks for the info and the site. We just bought our first RV, a large MH. We have three dogs, 2 GSD and a Golden. All are very well behaved, well socialized and we can get them to accept the driving part with no big problems. What we are having an issue with is finding a MH park of any kind that will allow three big dogs. Any suggestions? Any source we could use to find the rare park? We’re so frustrated we’re about ready to sell the MH and give up on travel, because we’re certainly not giving up our companions (present and future). Thanks.

    • Hi John – I would suggest calling around, especially to RV parks that aren’t part of a chain. The other thing you’ll run into is that some campground have breed restrictions and GSD tends to be on that list. Again, I would call and ask. We’ve found in some cases that these “rules” are blanket rules they have and in some cases management is willing to allow more dogs or certain breeds when they’re well behaved. Also, I don’t believe I have ever seen a limit on dogs at National Park or Forest Service campgrounds. State campground vary more but may be a good option. Finally, you may want to consider doing more boondocking on public land as there are no dog restrictions and you can let the pups run around and play. https://weretherussos.com/pros-cons-rv-dry-camping-boondocking/

  2. We just got an rv and are traveking with two havanese. They are small …not more than 20 lbs. They are like my kids. Duke has a tendency towards car sickness. First trip no problem. Now he looks like he wants to puke. Xani is usually ok. It’s almost impossible to ride in the passenger seat with both of them. Right now facing forward in the dinette with lap belt. Need to figure this out.

  3. Thank you for these videos. I was so sad as I read that both pups had passed away. I’m retiring next year and want to tour the country for a few weeks. But I will be by myself with the dogs. (I’m a 65 year old female).

  4. Hi, thanks for the video.
    How important is it to have dogs buckled in when going down the road? I’m trying to figure out the best seat belt when driving for my 85 lb. lab.
    She likes having the run of the RV, even when we’re driving.

  5. I have a quick question… after our first cross country trip in our RV and subsequent trips, I find that dog fur seems to find its way to the toilet base, lid AND seat and is statically charged and I fight keeping the human potty fur free. Ever had this be a problem? And if so… how did you resolve it. I don’t have the problem at home with our non plastic toilets!

    PS . My boy is an 85# German Shepard

  6. We would like to partition the motor home with a retractable gate just behind the driver cabin area do yo avoid the dogs from climbing on the dash board. Have not found anything long enough – 92”.
    Any suggestion? Anything different? Thank you

  7. Has anyone purchased one of those crates / kennels that have multi-panels for expansion for extended stays while rv-ing? And if so, any recommendations? I have a 20lb mini-dachshund (I know, She’s a tub!) and a 40lb Pitt/hound mix. I want them to have a space to roam outside off-leash.

  8. Thank you for sharing your post about a beginner’s guide to RVing with dogs. Great suggestions and tips. Although I have never done this before, your advice is very valuable. Nice photos also. I will bookmark this site for future reference.

  9. Thanks for the tip to prioritize our pet’s bathroom needs no matter how hectic the travel gets. I had a nice video chat with my sister this morning and learned that she’s looking for an RV resort she can visit when her son and dog soon. I’ll send her this article so she can use your tips to make the RV trip as stress-free as possible!

  10. I have two huskies and my boyfriend has an RV and we are thinking about making this huge life change. Thank you so much for this information! Do you have recommendations for cost efficient travel sites that allow dogs and have power hookups for AC?

  11. Hi, terrible to lose a family member anytime but on a trip would be even worse.
    Thanks for your advice and tips, we are based in Sunny South Africa, so much to see so far to travel and about (after lock-down) to start our road trips, we have a 7m 4 berth old MB, and we intend to take our 2 Great Danes and a fox terrier with us , and revamping the MHome with them in mind is very challenging.
    But I think there’s lot of fun ahead.
    Your articals are very informative and of great help, keep them coming.


  12. Hello guys good read! Have you guys came across any issues with not being able to stay at a site/campground with your dogs? That are more than a certain amount of weight ?
    My wife, 2 year old son, 2 cats and 2 dogs, (1 Great Dane 1 mix pomeranian. We have had issues with sites not allowing animals over 50lbs, even it’s a short stay. Than again longest time we’ve been in one spot had been for 14 months, I travel for work and never know where the next job will be rea ase feel free to email. Thanks Colin

    • Thank you Colin! We did encounter a campground that had a weight limit for dogs, but they accepted larger dogs on a case by case basis and we were able to stay because Leo was so well liked by their staff. If your dogs are well behaved, you can speak to the campground staff and see if they will make an exception for you.

  13. Sylvia,
    we are looking at Type C Rvs and have two big dogs. How has yours worked out? Not really enthused about towing a big one and the Type As are so expensive!

  14. Hi there, we are newbie rv travelers and have 2 large active dogs. They’re not used to being on leashes daily. We really need some kind of fenced tall kennel that we can setup outside the rv in the campgrounds so they can get a break from being on leashes. Would anybody have suggestions for us about a portable kennel and where to get one???

    • Hi, we have the same problem. I found a local company the makes mobile electric fence that is so easy to put up and dismantle, which I intend to use .It will go around the motor home so they can run around
      It has adjustable setting from cows to small chickens, and will roll up and put away easy.It will plug in to an adapter and uses low electricity even solar. This will help control the dogs with others around, the 2 great danes get excited.


  15. Full-timers for 5+ years in a Class A motorcoach towing a car, Australian shepherd, Sadie, is a fantastic traveling companion. Because of her breed, she would never run away knowing that the motor coach (or car) is home wherever we may. She is super friendly with people and other pets. Regarding vet care, we subscribe to the Banfield Pet Hospital wellness plan. Around $55/month, it covers 2 well visits a year, all immunizations, maintenance medications (Trifexis), annual dental cleaning, and a discount for any other services. What we love about the program (other than the fact that they notify us when she is due for anything), they have her full medical history online at all of their 900 locations. It’s well worth it for us!

  16. I would be happy knowing I had neighbors that were concerned about my dogs’ safety. You call it being noisy; I call it being conscientious and ethical. However, I would not be happy with people allowed their dogs to run up to me or my dogs unleashed. That is neither conscientious nor ethical.

  17. Hi, thanks for the dog tips. I have a fawn pug who sheds 365 days a year. What vacuum do you use? Thank you for taking the time to let me know if you will.

    • I used a Shark ultralight rocket in my house and the RV. We have three large heavy shedders. I love it! I decided to keep it in the RV so we have it all the time. It weighs about 9 pounds. I also have a Shark Zero-M for household use which has a non-clogging brush that is great for accumulated dog hair. I just ordered an APEX duo clean (dual brushes) with Zero-M that boasts more power that would be great for heavy shedders. I hope this helps in your selection.

  18. Very touching your life style and the love for your pets. Very nice! I am reading here as I am trying to find a way to get a hold of you to ask something about RV and dogs. I really needed to send an email to ask you few things as I have a very peculiar situation. Well, I can state here: I have 5 little dogs. They are all under 21Lb. It is so hard to leave them behind when I travel from AZ to San Diego or wherever. I needed an RV but not sure if would be possible to carry them all and what RV size would be recommended. My dogs are all over 9 years old and well behaved. I am by myself so not sure how hard would be to care for the RV needs plus taking care of the dogs. Would this be possible and what kind of RV would you recommend? Thank you! Much love to you all.

    • Check out the 2019 THOR Outlaw 29j or the 29s. Buy it at an RV show, and save 25% off the msrp. Get it as close to 88k or better. This class C has a separated room that can house all these dogs comfortably, and it’s like a mini garage. It has a separate air conditioner, the rear wall opens up into a patio. There is a queen size bed that drops from the ceiling in above the dogs. The front part of the RV has the overhead bunk plus to sofas in the living room, which flip open. You have to walk in it, since it uses space very creatively! It’s 30ft long, just right for national parks.
      PS. ****I have Four German Shepherds.

  19. Have you considered the exterior screen for the windshield? The RV is then private. The dog can see out and no one can see in and it keeps the RV cool as well.

  20. My 11 month old Aussie has decided to be fearful of everything since we started RV’ing full time this summer. Barking at dogs, cars, kids, adults… Sometimes I think it’s being in a new location every week so everything familiar outside is gone, though he’s fine inside the RV. Planning to try some calming oils, a Thundershirt and counter conditioning.

    Any success stories out there?


    • We have not started full time RVing with our two dogs yet. Heck, we haven’t bought our RV yet but are expecting to within the month. Our dog Scooter has responded very well to CBD oil for dogs.

  21. I think a simple sign on the windshield might address the odd complainer…
    Sign : “The AC is on! Thanks for caring…”
    Alternate sign: “Go Back off in your own Jack yard. Its 72 all up in here.”
    Your choice!

  22. Hello,
    My wife and I just bought a small travel trailer to test out the waters and see if we enjoy the lifestyle. I am writing this at our first ever campsite. We have two large dogs a rescue Husky 70lbs and a working line German Shepperd who is a lean 105 lbs muscle machine. My dogs are not well socialized since we lived on the property wher3 they had 3 wooded acres to play at. It appears that my shepperd doesn’t like other dogs (he loves our Husky) and tries to aggressively charge at every single dog passing by. Being extremely people friendly, well trained and very obedient in all other situations he looses his composure and stops listening to commands if a strange dog is in a vicinity. I tethered him to a metal frame picnick table and he managed to pull it along trying to attack a passer by dog while having a choke spiked collar on. I am now afraid to have him outside teathered and poor thing has to spend most of the time in the trailer unless we are walking or driving somewhere. I found on Amazon a 90 inch tall portable kennel made out of wire mesh frames. I am thinking of trying it out on our next trip. If you had an experience using those portable kennels I would greatly appreciate a feedback.

    • Frank, i had a canine-aggressive German Shepherd Dog also. Good news! You can manage this and he can make friends. Teach him “Leave it!” Make sure he abides by that in all instances. Distract him when other dogs walk by. Start small and reward like crazy. Work from “leave it” to “be nice,” in a rewarding way so that he would rather be nice instead of aggressive. Get a muzzle for certain scenarios. And learn to “roll” your dog so he knows, without doubt, that you are the pack leader. If you want to chat, let me know. Good luck!

    • Get a soft muzzle for him and get him used to being around other dogs. One of the best ways to do this is, whenever you see a new dog, say a phrase like “there’s a doggy” in a calm low toned voice, and then giving him a treat. You could also do the same with a clicker. See the dog, click, immediate reward. The key is timing. You want to give him the treat before he goes nuts. This will, after much repetition, teach him that other dogs bring good things to him!

    • You hit it!…Tethering makes an anxious dog more anxious…the pulling agitates and frightens dogs. SPCA in California forbids doing this in front lawns and backyards. YOu need to work with your dog, devote time to teaching him how to heal and how to trust you as the pack leader. If you allow him to think he is in charge of you, you are in big trouble. Take him to SPCA training school or read books on training…alwayss make him feel you are in charge not the other way around…It takes patience and knowledge. The crate is a great place to teach your dog that he is in safe place and if done correctly, it will be a place he will go on his own to rest and get out of the way….There are many internet you tube videos on how to train a dog to crate. Make sure you put his favorite toys in there and at first when you start training him, put a piece of clothing you have worn (unwashed) into the crate to comfort him..it needs to have your scent on it….Good luck!

    • Frank, I’m not a RV’ing yet, I’m researching how & what others are going thru with their dogs. I have 5 dogs that are crated when I go to work. My Shepard easily broke through the wire crate one day and the Pit bent the wire door away from the sides as if it was butter. They are usually very well behaved, and I see no problems or issues when I get home. For some reason that day was an exception. All that being said, the wire crates are good unless your dog, as you say, doesn’t like other animals, he will probably go right through it like mine did. I put the Pit back in the hard plastic igloo type crate and he is doing fine. That type of a crate might be better for your dog, it seems to calm mine down. (Kind of like a safe cave I guess), I hope this helps.

    • I’ve got working line GSD’s who love the country setting where we live. And they are also very aggressive to other dogs. I would somehow incorporate electricity in ur portable fence. One of my GSD’s literally ate his way out of a large metal kennel lol. I put a three tier wire line with 3′ plastic stakes and hooked to electricity to keep them out of the back of my yard where my vegetable garden was. And ball or other animal couldn’t get them to get close to that line.

  23. Have you ever put up a quickly removable temporary construction fence around the entrance of the motorhome when you are there with the dogs so that they could be outside off-leash? I’m talking about the ones that are mesh and go up with a few steel rods.

  24. I am a single woman just bought a class c. I have an 85 lb Akita from a shelter. He is scared to death when the coach is moving, and wants to sit in my lap the moment there is a noise, or my stress level rises due to traffic, etc. I am so worried about an accident on a freeway. I would be afraid to travel without him, and scared to death to travel with him.LoL I hope to find a way to keep him out of the drivers area, a metal cage of some kind. I think in time he will settle down, but what a headache for me in the meantime. I wonder about putting him in the bathroom, with his dog bed, and simply closing the door. I have been told Dramamine helps too.

    • Hey Sylvia,

      We had the same problem with our pups and even now, if we forget to latch a drawer or something like that and it opens, Leo will freak out. I think it’s normal and your Akita SHOULD get more comfortable. I wouldn’t suggest putting him in the bathroom as that could scare him even more. I would suggest getting a friend to come drive with you and help calm your pup to get him used to it. Try to take a lot of short drives to places he likes so the drive becomes fun and he always thinks that he’s going to get a treat or run around the park anytime you get him in your RV. Otherwise, they make metal barriers or heavy duty straps to keep the dog behind the driver’s seat so he doesn’t disrupt your driving.

    • I am by no means an expert…we don’t have a motor home but a travel trailer so the dogs were already used to riding in the truck. We slept in our camper several times before we actually camped. We practiced leaving the dogs in the bedroom for short periods of time (at home with the air on and the radio playing low). Thank goodness we did that, it helped. The first few camping trips were hard with the dogs. One dog wanted to dart out of the camper and asked to go out night and day. Our other dog was nervous. I was discouraged at first. Good news though by the end of the summer they were both very very well behaved. At first I took crates and slip leads/harnesses. We just figured out what works. It took five or six trips but I feel confident now that we have it worked out. I never let my dogs off their leash out in the state parks. I have seen so many lost dog flyers. I do give my dogs Dramamine.

    • You could always try a pet friendly essential oil. My mother in law has found they work wonders. We are just starting to look at RV-ing and we have two pups (a lab and a Shepard mix) I’m not sure how they are going to do but I will probably try to run a diffuser to help keep them settled. Just make sure if you do choose to do this that the scent is pet friendly. You can look up animaleo, it’s oils made by a vet specifically for pets. 🙂 good luck!

    • You could also take anti-anxiety medication for yourself or play calming music. It’s possible the dog is reacting to your high anxiety levels. My mother’s dog was fine when we got him but then her anxiety over the “what if’s” of life have made the dog much, much more anxious and fearful.

  25. Hello Russo’s! We are currently in a 40′ 5th wheel and snowbirding it for the first time with two large Golden Doodles (a 100lb, and a 65lb). We want to downsize so we can travel more, but not cost so much with diesel fuels. My partner thinks a deisel Melbourne is the way to go since we can haul toys(motorcycle, quads, and kayaks), but it seems so small!! Do you think dogs this big can get used to such a small space? They are actually used to free roam in the summer at our 7 acre home. I loved the 27′ airstream, but you can’t haul anything and that is our current situation. Thank you for advice, or comment.

    • Hey Pam!

      I can’t make a recommendation because I don’t know your dogs. Dogs are very adaptable but it is also dependent on how you travel. If they’re stuck in the RV all day, it may be hard for them. If they’re spending the day hiking and running around with you two, then it may be the perfect thing for them. You and your partner will know much better if your dogs can handle it. Good luck in your search and sorry I can’t be of more help.

  26. Thanks for the post! My best friend Spartacus and I are considering buying an RV and living on the road full time. What is your experience of fleas/ticks at RV parks? I don’t use chemical treatments on her, so I’m curious if RV parks are often clear of pests with all the people with doggies? Thanks in advance!

  27. Hi! Sorry to read about losing Duke. I love your videos. I plan to do a long van trip to figure out where I want to live. Watching your videos has convinced me this a feasible plan. My question is how do you tether Leo. I have a small dog (25 lb) with a insanely, high prey drive who is also an escape artist so when I camp I have to keep her on a leash attached to me. It drives both of us a little nuts after about a day. Being able to safely tether her for short periods would be great. Also most the vans I’ve seen have large screens that go over the sliding door. While this seems like a great idea for air circulation, I’m afraid my girl could tear through them. Have you seen a way to deal with this problem?

    • Leo won’t go through the screen and we use a 10 lb kettle bell (available at any store that sells exercise equipment) and tether him to that. It works great and even though he can drag it, if he tries to run it slows him down enough for us to grab him before he gets away. 10 pounds should be enough for your little pup.

  28. Love your video’s. So sorry for your loss. My dog Zeus is a rescue dog with extreme separation anxiety. He barks constantly and loud when we are gone. I was thinking of a muzzle the kind they can still drink with. He barks at sight and sounds. He has attempted to save my life so i could never get rid of him. He thought the house was on fire so grabbed my wrist and pulled me out of the house. It was just some smoke from a spill in my oven. He once tried to attack a 200 lb. pit bull that came into my yd. Zeus is only 22 lbs. the pt bull was a big sweetie it looked at him like you think you can hurt me and it then ignored him. He is 7 yrs now I have had him for 5 yrs. will a campground kick us out for his barking is my worry. i know little of his previous owners. thank you.

    • Hi Janenne. It will depend on the campground. Some have breed restrictions, others have size restrictions. We’ve stayed at many campgrounds that have barking dogs, but not sure how the campgrounds deal with that. You might consider visiting a few campgrounds, walk around to get a feel for it and speak to the campground staff to get a better understanding of the policy.

    • Hi Janenne, We had a shepherd with separation anxiety and were given the following advice that worked in no time: #1 change your routine – this means think about every little thing you do before you leave your rv – these are all clues to your dog that you’re planning to leave, so change it up. #2 – Do your typical routine, but don’t leave…sit down and watch a movie or something. You’re trying to give your dog a new memory; shake things up. Put your shoes on, pick up your keys and your purse, then just don’t leave.
      #3 Along the same lines, when you are planning to leave, do almost everything backwards, pick up your keys, wallet, put on your shoes, then make breakfast, walk your dog, etc. I’m sure by now you get the gist. Dog psychology…This really works. Even if it doesn’t ‘cure’ your pup it might considerably lower his anxiety level of you leaving – be creative. Good luck. and Happy Rv’ing to you and your pup!

  29. We will be bringing our 2 labs with us this summer. We had a pop up and upgraded to a travel trailer. You mentioned you leave your dog up to five hours. Many campgrounds we have looked at allow dogs but the fine print says not to leave unattended. What do you do ? We thought we could leave them with air or fans on for a few hours.

    • Hi Jenn! Congrats on the upgrade to a travel trailer and hope you and the pups have a great summer. As for the campground policy, I’d recommend clarifying with the manager. Most of the campgrounds we stayed at does not allow dogs to be left outside unattended.

    • Hi Matthew. We haven’t stayed at any campgrounds that didn’t allow Leo. There was one campground that required management approval for large dogs and they approved Leo without any issue. We have seen rules where certain breeds are restricted.

  30. Hi!
    We bought a motorhome about 7 weeks ago.
    We plan on traveling in January and February with 2 big dogs. What are your thoughts and recommendations in regards to a first aid kit for dogs?

    Thank you!!!

    • If you have one at home, we’d suggest just bringing that along with you and getting the contact of a local vet when you arrive at your different locations. Many campground provide contact numbers on their info sheet that they give you when you check in. We never put one together for our dogs, we just grabbed the stuff we had around our house and brought it with us.

  31. Sorry for the loss of your boy. There are few words to honor such a loss.
    I couldn’t help but notice the traffic lanes in the background of the photo where Duke is looking out window. I hope that’s not carpool lane…. fyi to save you from a hefty ticket in most states with carpool lane options you are Not allowed to drive an RV no matter how many people are inside. And in all states with carpool options you are Not allowed to tow anything in that lane. Save yourself the money before you get stopped.
    Happy trails

  32. Traveling to Colorado, any state or national park favorites? We have three dogs and they love hikes as much as we do!


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