What to Look for in a Dog Friendly Campervan

It’s time to upgrade your vehicle to one that can accommodate the whole family – but how do you know exactly what to look for in a dog friendly campervan?


Introduction – Dog Friendly Campervan

Every dog owner knows that vacations are better when your pup can join in on the fun. Heading out together on a road trip is no exception.

The easiest way to do this? The faithful RV.

Whether you’re an experienced RV owner looking to upgrade your vehicle, or a first-time user trying to narrow down your hire options, selecting the perfect RV for you and your dog can be tricky. Here are all the key features to look for when choosing a dog-friendly campervan for your next road trip.

What Makes a campervan Dog Friendly?

There are many different styles of RV available in [2022].

Some are specifically designed with dog owners in mind, with features like built-in kennels and dog bowls.

Others just happen to work well for dog owners. These include pet-friendly RVs with larger floor plans, low-set windows, and simple access points. While they aren’t designed for dogs, they certainly make traveling with them that little bit easier.

The first step to choosing your new pet-friendly RV is deciding which features you and your dog will need for a comfortable trip.

This will vary from dog to dog, so think carefully!

dog friendly camper van
Selecting the perfect RV for you and your dog can be tricky – but don’t forget there are hire options

Deciding Which Campervan Will Work for You

Dogs are very adaptable to their environments, especially when they are surrounded by their pack (in this case: you!).

This means that there are not many RVs on the market which won’t be suitable for you and your dog. However, some will certainly be more comfortable than others.

Whether or not a certain RV will work for you depends on a few key factors.

Age and Mobility

Is your dog entering the golden years of its life? Or do they perhaps have a mobility issue, such as arthritis, that makes taking the stairs a little more difficult for them?

If the answer is yes, you will need to consider their age and condition when making your purchase. You will want to avoid an RV that is stair access only, or where your dog will need to jump up to join you in bed.

Number of Dogs

Consider how many dogs you can reasonably expect to join you on the road.

If you’re traveling with a pack of pooches, you’ll need a more spacious RV than someone with only one dog.

Keep in mind that the size of your family may change. Even if a second or third dog isn’t on the cards for a little while, it’s better to plan for that in advance than be stuck with a too-small RV later on.

Many RV owners would probably agree, when traveling, bigger usually is better. You can always utilize any unused space as storage.

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Five Great Features to Look for in a Dog-Friendly Campervan

1. Vinyl Floors

Whether you’re purchasing an RV or looking at pet-friendly RV rentals, choosing the right flooring is essential. While it might not seem important, it has the potential to make or break your trip!

Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong on the road. Even if your dog is perfectly toilet trained, a new location or change to their routine can lead to accidents occurring. Longer journeys might also prompt bouts of car sickness for your dog.

While carpet floors might be softer underfoot, they aren’t ideal when there are pets on board. They are designed for comfort, not muddy footprints or toilet training accidents.

Vinyl floors, however, are quick and easy to clean up. You won’t need to worry about being stuck with any stains, marks, or unpleasant smells.

2. A Shower/Tub Combination

You’ve spent a long day tackling the hiking trails with your pooch. The mud and rain weren’t exactly pleasant, but it sure is nice to be back at the camper van!

Except… you’re now stuck with a muddy dog and only a tiny shower to clean them off in. Not fun!

A shower and tub combination gives you plenty of space to rinse off your dog without dripping water through the whole RV.  

3. Sturdy Stairs or Ramp

The narrow entrance of an RV can be tricky for dogs. Many feel nervous about open-air stairs and will prefer something a little less rickety.

Instead, look for staircases with closed-in rails and larger individual steps. Some RVs will come with these sturdier entrance stairs as a part of their base model, while others may require you to purchase and install them as a separate upgrade.

A fold-out dog ramp can also be installed if necessary. This is a great way to accommodate older pets or those with mobility issues. This will need to be done as a private customization, but is well worth the money if you have the room in your budget.

dog friendly camper van
Dogs are very adaptable to their environments, especially when they are surrounded by their pack (AKA: you!)

4. Built-In Dog Kennel

Built-in kennels are a relatively new feature that are being included in some RVs. They provide a safe, space-conscious alternative to carting along your dog’s bed or crate.

Unfortunately, these handy inclusions are predominantly aimed at smaller dogs. Be sure to check the size of the kennel before making any commitments!

If you’re only an occasional traveler or are operating within a strict budget, many pet-friendly RV rental options can offer vehicles with inbuilt kennels.

5. Dog Bowl Drawers

As RVing with dogs becomes increasingly popular, more vehicles are being built with a dog bowl drawer included in the design.

Securing items, such as bowls and pet food, inside of an RV can be difficult. Things move around on the road, and it’s best practice to pack away any loose objects before hitting the road. Having the dog bowls built into the vehicle itself means you won’t need to worry about setting them up every time you stop.

While they’re more of a ‘nice to have’ than a necessity, they will certainly make a difference to your trip.

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dog friendly camper van
there are not many RVs on the market which won’t be suitable for you and your dog.

Conclusion – Dog Friendly Campervan

Investing in a dog-friendly RV unlocks so many new and exciting opportunities for you and your pet to share. Just remember, if you’re choosing the RV rental options, there may be a cleaning fee or a pet fee involved, after use.

Now that you know what to look for in a dog-friendly RV, it’s time to start shopping! Van life together is just around the corner. Now, where do you want to go?

Author: Jenni Chandler from Dogsplorer {https://dogsplorer.com/}

dog friendly camper van
Jenni from Dogsplorer.com

Jenni Chandler has traveled extensively across the US and Australia since 2016 but since becoming a proud dog mom to 6 furry friends, she loves to share her epic outdoor adventures with her dogs. When she’s not exploring with her dogs, she can be found growing vegetables, devouring novels and helping out on her family-owned ranch.

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