Planning a trip with your furry friends?
When it comes to travel, RVs are probably the most comfortable way to go on an adventure with your pets. You’re free to take breaks and let them get fresh air, you can stay with them for the duration of the trip, and you can set up a cozy corner of the RV for your pets to feel safe in.
It’s no secret though, RV’s can be expensive. However, if you’re planning on making an investment in one, you’ll be able to use it numerous times a year and is generally deemed to be more cost-effective than a vacation that requires you to catch a flight.
If you’re planning your next trip and want to make sure that your RV is ready to go, or you’re on the hunt for a pet-friendly RV, we’re here to help. In this article, you’ll find tips, tricks, and plenty of information on what all the best RVs for traveling with pets should have.
What is an RV?
The term ‘RV’ is actually short for American-Style Recreational Vehicle (but for the purpose of easy reading, we’re going to be sticking to the abbreviation!) Rvs are widely used throughout the world, and are deemed to be the luxurious alternative to a campervan, which is considerably smaller.
RVs offer all the comforts of home, which is why they’re such a popular choice for families traveling with their dogs or cats. They have tons of storage and plenty of room to enjoy a comfortable living environment.
Some RVs can have as many as ten berths, which is enough for a well-sized kitchen, bathroom, and more than one bedroom (including a master bedroom).
The most luxurious types of RVs have what is known as ‘slide-out’ sections which allow you to expand your living space and the best part? RVs usually come with TVs, sofas, washing machines, and fully-furnished kitchens, so you can set off on the road almost as soon as you’ve purchased one.
When it comes to choosing an RV that will be just as comfortable and convenient for you as it will be for your pets, there are some distinguishing features that set them apart from other types of RVs.
Luckily for us, RVs are specifically made to feel as though they’re a second home, so it’s pretty easy to pet-proof an RV.
However, to make sure that your home on wheels actually feels like your home away from home (for both you and your pets) we’ve listed some features to keep in mind below:
What should I look for in an RV when traveling with my pets?
Even the biggest RV is going to offer limited space to move around in. So, instead of worrying about purchasing the biggest RV there is on the market, we suggest putting emphasis on other factors that can help to keep your pets well exercised and comfortable for the duration of your trip both to and from your destination.
If you plan on traveling with cats, many experienced RV pet owners recommend training your cats to be able to walk on a leash.
This means that, when you do decide to take a break and stretch your legs, your cat can join you and you aren’t running the risk of losing them, especially as they’re going to be in unfamiliar surroundings.
If you plan on traveling with a dog, we strongly recommend making sure that they have a comfortable bedding area and that you stop every hour or so to allow your dog to and, of course, have a bathroom break!
You’re only going to be on the road for a prolonged period of time while driving to your vacation destination, so the main factor is keeping them comfortable until you arrive.
An Air Conditioning System
This is one of the features that your RV should have, especially when it comes to traveling with pets. Some RVs have sun-roofs which you can open while driving to allow air to come in, but this is not always sufficient enough to keep air circulating on the inside of the RV.
While sat up front in the driver and passenger seat area, it can be easy to overlook how fast the living area of an RV can heat up, especially if you’re powering down the freeway with the windows wide open.
As your pets are likely going to be curled up in the living area of the RV, it’s vital that you make sure your RV has an air conditioning system that will keep them cool, otherwise, your pets could become severely overheated and dehydrated.
Avoid Carpeted RVs
We know what you’re thinking: ‘But I have a carpet at home!’ This is all good and well, but when you’re on the road, the last thing you want to have to do is clean a carpet full of dog and cat hairs!
Of course, you will have to clean your RV from time to time, but the point of a vacation is to relax, so you want to make sure your trip is a fuss-free as possible.
Lots of animal owners recommend selecting an RV that has an easy to wipe tile floor. Whether it be animal hair or your pet accidentally has an accident, you’ll be able to quickly and easily mop the floor to clean it.
Easy and Safe Access
Regardless of how young or old your pets are, safety should always come first. However, this is certainly going to be more of a concern for those who own older dogs, in particular.
Ideally, your RV should be super easy for your pet to get in and out of by themselves.
If the step is too high up, you’ll have to help them every time, which could cause you to experience back and neck problems. We recommend choosing an RV that offers wide access, which will allow you to walk next to your pets as they enter the RV, rather than have to jump up into the RV, which could cause animals of all ages and abilities to get injured.
The importance of this feature is going to heavily depend on what kind of pet you have. Cats aren’t likely going to be interested in looking out the window at the world around them, as for dogs?
Whole other ball game! Fun fact: being in a car emulates the feeling a dog gets from running in a pack, which is why you’ll often spot dogs with their heads sticking out of car windows!
Besides feeling the wind in their fur, dogs are also highly inquisitive animals that love being able to analyze their surroundings.
So, if you do have dogs, it’s worth making sure that your RV has big windows that they’ll be able to look out of to pass time.
Best RVs for Traveling With Pets
Thor A.C.E. 32.3
When it comes to pet friendly RVs, the Thor A.C.E 32.3 is one of the best! Besides stylish exterior graphics and sophisticated interior details (not to mention a Triton V8 gas engine for a smoother than smooth ride), it is the built-in animal-friendly features that set this RV apart from the rest.
Your pet will be able to watch the world go by thanks to the Bird’s Eye Window, which is located just under the co-pilot’s footwell.
What’s more, Thor has specifically designed this space to be big enough to allow a small dog or cat to lay on their bed without causing any discomfort to the co-pilot.
The built-in Kibble Station drawer with an FDA-approved bowl liner will conveniently pull out from under the shower so that your furry friend can tuck into their favorite food.
Plus, when it’s time to get some fresh air and soak in the sun, the Thor’s Pet-Link tie-down feature will allow you to safely secure your pet when you want to bring them outside with you.
There’s a reason so many pet owners call this RV their home away from home!
Fleetwood Flair 34J
If you have more than one pet or you’re the owner of a bigger dog, the Fleetwood Flair 34J is a medium to large-sized dog-friendly RV that will offer you all the space you and your four-legged friends need.
The Flair 34J boasts a multitude of windows and plenty of floor space so that your pets will never get under your feet.
The jackknife sofa will give you and your little buddy plenty of room to kick back and relax while you catch up on some TV, while the Bilstein Steering Stabilizer System will ensure a super smooth ride that won’t cause distress.
If you let your pet sleep with you, the private bedroom is big enough to place a dog bed next to the bed. However, the bottom bunk in the central area of the RV will double up as a great makeshift dog bed and, if you have any children, will be able to keep them company during the night!
We also love the ducted A/C system which will distribute cool air throughout the unit evenly, so you can be confident that your pets will stay nice and cool.
Highland Ridge RV Silverstar Limited Fifth Wheel SF335MBH
The SF335MBH is the shining star of Highland’s ‘Pet-Friendly’ catalogue.
Besides offering all the comforts of home, this RV features a variety of useful features made with pets in mind, so it should come as no surprise that it’s a popular choice for dog owners.
For starters, the entirety of the RV contains vinyl flooring, which is ideal for pets as you’ll be able to quickly clean away any accidents or pet hair.
Just like the A.C.E 32.3, this RV features a food and water station that you can pull out whenever your pet gets hungry, and conveniently close away when they’re done to free up space.
When it’s time to take a break from driving or you want to bask in the sunshine, the handy tie-down feature will allow you to safely secure your pet while outdoors.
As if it couldn’t get any better, this RV even comes with a MyPillow dog bed made of the plushest materials to ensure that your pal can travel in style and comfort.
Should I take my pets’ RVing with me?
If you’re still unsure on whether or not your furry friend should come with you on your annual trip to the lake, or you’re unsure as to whether your pet will be a hindrance on your vacation, many pet owners love to make memories with their pets, so it’s only natural that their four-legged friends accompany them on their trips!
Here are three reasons as to why vacationing with your pets is a good idea:
Many Campsites Allow Pets
If you’re traveling in an RV, chances are you’re also a lover of the great outdoors and plan on spending your vacation on a campsite or similar kind of outdoor pitch area.
Now more than ever, more and more campsites allow animals to stay on their sites, so you don’t have to worry about hiding your cat or dog for the duration of your stay.
Your Pets Will Love Joining You
Animals, particularly dogs, are highly sociable creatures that love to be around their families, aka you! If you leave them behind for a few weeks, chances are they’re going to miss you and may even experience separation anxiety, not to mention you missing them right back!
Your pet will be overjoyed to keep you company.
They’ll Keep Your Children Busy
If you have a big family, we’re sure that vacations can all too often feel just like everyday life: stressful and busy!
When you’re on holiday, sometimes all you’ll want to do is take some time out for yourself and put your feet up in the sunshine, which is where your pooch will come in handy!
Your kids will be able to go exploring and play with your dog while you take some much needed time out to go for a swim or chat with your newly made friends. Aaah.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about what features the best RV’s for traveling with pets should have! Besides being a second home for you and your pets, your RV should be a comfortable space that will make them feel safe, especially when driving.
After your RV is pet-proof and you’re ready to go on an adventure, make sure that you take regular breaks, keep your pets hydrated and remember to bring along their favorite cuddly toys and chews. Happy road-tripping!