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One of the greatest joys of traveling in an RV or car camping is being able to bring the dogs along. We loved every moment of our time on the road with our pups and this is a list of our essential dog travel accessories and camping gear along with recommendations from fellow dog owners.
Essential Dog Travel Accessories
The video below of our must have dog gadgets was filmed when we had a Class A RV towing a Jeep Wrangler. Even when we downsized to a ProMaster Class B RV most of these dog travel accessories made the cut. To learn more about traveling in an RV with your pups, check out our Guide to RVing with Dogs.
It’s worth mentioning the dog camping gear and dog travel accessories were tested and approved by our traveling dogs: Duke, the Belgian Malinois mix and Leo, the white Siberian Husky. Big or small, these camping essentials for dog are great for all sizes and breeds.
1. Kong Extreme Dog Toy
Having a good dog toy to keep the pup entertained is especially helpful on travel days and makes it a great dog travel accessory. As first time Siberian Husky owners, we had no idea how strong and destructive Leo could be. He destroyed countless dog toys that claimed to be sturdy enough for a Husky, until we found the Kong Extreme. Not only is this toy sturdy, but it was a good mental workout for our dogs when we filled them with treats.
2. Ruffwear Web Master Harness
One of our favorite dog camping gear items is this harness. It was especially handy when we would go on a hike with Leo to help lift him up and over obstacles and he didn’t have any problems walking with the harness. There are different sizes so it’s important to get the right one for your dog. When Leo got older, the handle on the top of the dog harness allowed us to give him a lift when he needed it. Check out our Web Master Harness Review.
3. Air Tight Pet Food Storage Container
An air tight pet food storage container is essential when camping and traveling with your dog. This pet food container is pest-proof and good for keeping dry dog food fresh with an airtight sealing system. We used this to store the 40 pound bags of organic grain-free dog food that we would buy from Costco. Since our dogs have passed away, we gave our Vittles Vault to Joe’s mom and she uses it for Charley, her yellow Labrador Retriever’s food.
These dog food containers come in all sizes so make sure to get the right one that fits in your RV.
4. Collapsible Waterproof Dog Bowl
A good collapsible dog bowl will make your camping and RVing trips much more enjoyable. Whether staying put in the camper or going out for a hike, we always carried Leo’s collapsible water bowl with us. It’s light weight, easy to carry and dries quickly making it one of the best dog traveling accessories.
5. Dog Pack for Camping and Hiking
Leo’s dog pack served as a storage bag and adventure pack. When we would go on a long hike that required Leo to carry some gear, we would put the dog pack on him. When it wasn’t in use, it was a great storage pack for his toys and other essential dog camping gear. Since the Adventure Dog Pack we had is no longer available, the Ruffwear Approach Pack is a good alternative.
6. Hammock Seat Cover with Harness
Protect the inside of your vehicle with a good seat cover for dogs. Plus, your dog will appreciate it too! In the hammock configuration, Leo was more than comfortable in the back seat of our Jeep Wrangler. We often found him passed out in the back seat once we installed the seat cover. The version we used is no longer available, but this back seat cover is recommended by fellow RVers below.
We are Shane and Deanna, also known as DnSAdventures on YouTube and social media. We were full-time RVers for a couple years but have since transitioned to part-timers in 2020. We tow with a 2012 F350 and live in a 2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 Series 273MK 5th Wheel while traveling around the country. Blaze is a greyhound who retired from racing after about 3 years on the track.
One of Blaze’s favorite hobbies is sleeping, so keeping him comfortable while we travel is very important to both him and us. Our favorite dog gadget for the truck is his hammock that keeps him safe and secure on the backseat of our F350. It is easily cleaned and most importantly keeps him from slipping down in front of the backseat when he is resituating or during any quick stops.
7. Heavy Duty Nylon Dog Leash
It goes without saying that a quality leash is an essential dog travel accessory. We used this heavy duty nylon dog leash for Duke and Leo. What we loved was the neoprene lined handle that made it very comfortable to hold.
Dog Travel Accessories Recommended by Fellow RVers
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this section of essential dog travel accessories and dog camping gear.
8. Pet Temperature Safety Monitor
Hi! My name is Sarah Kuiken. I’m a freelance writer traveling in a Grand Design Imagine travel trailer with my Siberian Husky, Orion. You can contact us or follow our travels at flourishwriting.com.
There are two dog gadgets that are absolute must-haves for me when Orion and I hit the road:
One is a pet temperature safety monitor. I’ve mounted a sensor inside my travel trailer, and the unit will alert me via a mobile app if the temperature inside the trailer gets too high. I’ve heard horror stories of power outages or failed air conditioners, and never want to put my dog at risk, so this monitor gives me peace of mind.
The dog safety temperature monitor relies on a cellular signal from AT&T to communicate with my phone, though, so if we’re outside of reliable cell range, I keep a close eye on the weather and never leave Orion in the trailer unattended if it will be a hot day. (Also, the best part about RVing with him is taking him with me on adventures!)
9. One-Piece Roto-Molded Dog Kennel
We are Jason and Emma Walsmith. We are a married couple who share a spirit of adventure and enjoy incorporating travel into our entrepreneurial lifestyles. Jason is a career musician and photographer and Emma is the founder and CEO of Tikly, an online ticketing company. We spend 1/2 the time on the road traveling in a Storyteller Overland MODE 4×4 Sprinter van, which we named Falkor inspired by the luckdragon from the movie The Neverending Story. When we are home, we use our van as a daily driver. We have 2 dogs. Pepper, she is a 10 year old Gordon Setter and Potter who is a 3 year old English Setter. We are “Setter people.” You can find us on Instagram @Falkorvan.
We recently upgraded to two Ruffland “backseat” Kennels. Previously we were traveling with standard plastic dog crates. The Ruffland Kennels are made in the USA (South Dakota) and while they are much more expensive than your standard dog crate they are also a big upgrade in safety and build quality.
The features that we appreciate are the kennels one piece, roto molded construction that adds rigidity and strength as well as efficiency of space. We chose the backseat model that are designed to sit back to back in the backseat of a vehicle but fit perfectly and free up space in our van’s garage. The kennels feature a rattle free/reversible door that works well for packing strategies. The kennels are sturdy so we feel comfortable stacking bags and gear on top of them.
10. K9 Cube Doggie Go-Bag
Matt & Lara – We’re both healthcare professionals with a passion experiencing the outdoors. From skiing/snowboarding to hiking and mountain biking we’re into it. Anytime we can include our pup on adventures with us, we bring her. Currently traveling in a 06’ Honda Element AWD with Westfalia style Pop-Top made by Ursa Minor. Our dog is named Cima, she’s a three year old female Samoyed. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @cima_the_samoyed.
Think of this as a doggie go-bag. Any trip we have all of our pup’s things ready to go on a moments notice in here. Makes for a simple solution to declutter a small vehicle and bring 1 thing for her. Has a food grade storage container, collapsible bowls attached, room for toys, first aid kit, poop bags, etc. This is also what we grab if she’s having a doggy sleepover at a friends house. Additionally it’s great that Mountainsmith is a local Colorado company, with rad people based in Golden where we live.
11. Wireless Temperature & Humidity Sensor
Hi, We are Kenny & Sabrina and for the last four years we have been traveling full time in our Winnebago Vista LX 27N Class A RV. We travel with our Mt Feist dog Belle and you can find us on Instagram @movingforwardadventures.
Temp Stick is a small wireless device that measures the temperature and humidity in the RV and can send us alerts to our phone wherever we are. We like that it allows us to connect to any of our hotspots, because we use two Verizon and AT&T hotspots depending on the area we are in and the Temp Stick has no service fees. Sabrina is a pulmonary/critical care physician doing locum work which means we travel based on her work, this puts us in hot climates in the summer and having the Temp Stick in the RV gives us the peace of mind needed that Belle is safe in the RV and that our cooling system is working properly.
Hope you found this list of essential dog travel accessories helpful!
5 thoughts on “11 Essential Dog Travel Accessories and Dog Camping Gear”
Do you leave AC run when you leave in van?
Hello, I have been following you for awhile and have been fascinated with the anchor device used for Leo’s leash when relaxing outside. I have looked and cannot find anything like it. But, I also wonder how it keeps him from running off since it does not look heavy at all. I have a large dog (80 lbs.) that when focused on something has selective hearing. He can be difficult to control and I need a very heavyweight, portable restraint system for him. Would love to know more about what you use. Thanks!
Hey Lynn – we use a 10lb kettle bell that you can find at any store that sells exercise equipment. If Leo really wants to he can take off with it, but it slows him down more than enough for us to grab him.
The dog you had with you on the hc1 video is a gorgeous dog. What’s the breed? Thanks, Linda 9725229626. I love your work.
Hi Linda. Not sure what breed the pup is. You can always contact Happier Camper and ask them. The pup belongs to the owner of the company.