The Ultimate Dog Camping Guide for Safe RV Road Trips

RV Lifestyle | Family Friendly | Pet Friendly


Embarking on an RV road trip with your furry friend can be an unforgettable adventure. However, ensuring the safety and comfort of your canine companion amidst the excitement of the open road requires careful planning and consideration. 

This comprehensive guide will explore essential tips and tricks for a safe and enjoyable RV camping experience with your dog. From inside the RV to outdoor adventures, we'll cover everything you need to know to make the most of your journey together.

Preparing Your RV for Your Dog Camping Trip

Before hitting the road, it's crucial to prepare your RV to accommodate your four-legged travel buddy. Here are some essential steps to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for your dog:

Secure Space

Designate a cozy area inside the RV where your dog can relax and feel secure during travel. Consider using a crate or harness to prevent them from wandering while the vehicle is in motion.

Temperature Control

Maintain a comfortable temperature inside the RV, especially during hot summer months. Ensure adequate ventilation and consider installing window shades or fans to regulate airflow.


Remove any hazardous items or substances that could pose a danger to your dog, such as toxic plants, chemicals, or small objects that they may ingest. Secure cabinets and drawers to prevent access to potentially harmful items.


Make sure your dog wears a collar with up-to-date identification tags, including your contact information. Consider microchipping as an additional safety measure in case they become lost during your travels.

On-the-Road Safety Tips for Dog Camping

Traveling in an RV presents unique challenges when it comes to keeping your dog safe on the road. Here are some essential tips to consider:

Rest Stops

Plan regular breaks during your journey to allow your dog to stretch their legs, relieve themselves, and stay hydrated. Research dog-friendly rest areas or dog parks along your route in advance.

Securing Your Dog

When the RV is in motion, ensure your dog is safely restrained to prevent injury in the event of sudden stops or accidents. Use a well-fitted harness or seatbelt attachment designed for dogs.

Motion Sickness

Some dogs may experience motion sickness during RV travel. Consult with your veterinarian beforehand to discuss potential remedies or medications to alleviate symptoms.

Outdoor Adventures: Exploring Nature with Your Pup

One of the highlights of RV camping is the opportunity to explore the great outdoors with your dog by your side. Here are some tips for safe and enjoyable outdoor adventures:

Leash Etiquette

Always keep your dog on a leash while exploring hiking trails, campgrounds, or other outdoor areas. Respect posted leash regulations and be mindful of other campers and wildlife. Be sure to clean up any dog waste when walking your four-legged friend on your next camping trip. 

Water Safety

If your RV camping destination includes lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water, take precautions to ensure your dog's safety around water. Invest in a life jacket designed for dogs, especially if they are not strong swimmers.

Wildlife Awareness

Be aware of potential wild animals, such as snakes, bears, or coyotes, and take appropriate precautions to keep your dog safe. Keep them close and avoid off-leash activities in areas with known wildlife presence.

Essential Dog Camping Gear

When it comes to RV camping with your furry friend, having the right gear can make all the difference in ensuring their comfort and safety on camping trips. Here are some essential items to consider packing for your canine companion:

Portable Water and Food Bowls

Hydration is key, especially during outdoor adventures. Collapsible bowls are lightweight, compact, and easy to pack, making it simple to provide your dog with fresh water and meals on the go. Look for bowls made from durable materials that are easy to clean and resistant to spills.

Dog Bed or Sleeping Pad

Just like you, your dog deserves a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploration. Invest in a dog bed or sleeping pad designed for outdoor use, preferably one that is waterproof and insulating to provide warmth and cushioning on hard surfaces. Opt for a bed or pad that is easy to roll up and store when not in use.

Interactive Toys

Keeping your dog entertained during downtime is essential for their mental and physical well-being. When camping with your dog, pack a selection of interactive toys that stimulate their mind and encourage physical activity. Consider toys that are durable and resistant to chewing, such as treat-dispensing puzzles, fetch balls, or chew toys made from natural materials.

Leash and Harness

A sturdy leash and harness are essential for safely exploring outdoor areas with your dog. Choose a leash that is long enough to allow freedom of movement but short enough to maintain control in crowded or unfamiliar environments. This way, your dog can be around other dogs and fellow campers at the campground. Opt for a harness that fits comfortably and securely, distributing pressure evenly to prevent strain or injury during walks and hikes.

Doggie Backpack

If your dog family member is fit and healthy, consider equipping them with a doggie backpack to help carry their own supplies during hikes and outdoor adventures. Backpacks designed for dogs typically feature adjustable straps and compartments for storing essentials such as water bottles, snacks, and poop bags. Be sure not to overload the backpack and distribute weight evenly to avoid discomfort or injury.

First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen, even on the most well-planned adventures. Be prepared for minor injuries and emergencies by packing a pet-specific first aid kit containing essential items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers for removing ticks or splinters, and styptic powder to stop bleeding from minor cuts or scrapes. Familiarize yourself with the contents of the first aid kit and how to use them effectively in case of an emergency.

Doggy Sunscreen

Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned, especially on exposed areas such as the nose, ears, and belly. Protect your dog's skin from harmful UV rays by applying a pet-safe sunscreen specifically formulated for dogs. Look for a sunscreen with a high SPF and ingredients that are safe for dogs to lick off their skin.

Doggy Life Jacket

If your RV camping destination includes activities such as boating, swimming, or paddleboarding, consider investing in a doggy life jacket to keep your furry friend safe in the water. Choose a life jacket with adjustable straps and a sturdy handle for easy lifting and maneuvering in case of an emergency. Ensure a proper fit by measuring your dog's chest girth and referring to the manufacturer's sizing guide.

By packing these essential items for your canine companion, you can ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable RV camping experience for both you and your furry friend. Whether you're hiking through the wilderness, lounging by the campfire, or exploring new destinations together, having the right gear on hand will help make your adventure memorable for all the right reasons.

Cruise America’s Dog-friendly RV Rentals

Going on an RV road trip with your dog is a fantastic way to create lasting memories and strengthen your bond. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience for both you and your canine companion. From preparing your RV for travel to spending time outdoors together, there's no limit to the adventures you can share on the open road. 

Luckily, Cruise America offers pet-friendly RV rentals so you and your furry friends can go camping together. View our lineup of RV models and reserve an RV rental today!