Full-time RVing with pets adds so much to road trips. For starters, their need for exercise, affection and care forces us to slow down and be present to unfolding adventures. Pets enhance RVing in many other ways, but, of course, drawbacks also exist. Want to know the real scoop on full-time RVing with pets? Here’s what we’ve discovered during our eight years of full-time RVing with dogs.
Many pets adapt to the road, but the transition can be rough. If your pet isn’t an experienced road tripper, take short trips in the RV to discover your animal’s emotional needs while traveling. Work with your vet to alleviate any issues and don’t give up—sometimes it just takes time to overcome them.
Pet fur gets everywhere in the RV. If pet fur bothers you in a conventional home, it’s really going to irritate you on the road. Fur gets on every surface from the kitchen counter to your bed. Get a high quality vacuum to keep your rolling home tidy. Our “German Shedder” requires us to vacuum about every other day if we don’t want his fur as a condiment with dinner.
Your pet will be on leash at least 95% of the time. RV campgrounds are tight confines with strict pet rules that exist for a reason. We’ve seen dog fights occur because irresponsible campers swear their Fido didn’t “need” a leash. If you want to avoid ugly confrontations, your pet will need to be leashed whenever you go outside together.
Many activities are off-limits. Dogs are pack animals who don’t enjoy being left alone, which makes them more problematic than cats living in RVs. Our full-timing friends without pets enjoy many day trips that we don’t because we have an emotionally-needy dog. For a dog to be happy it’s imperative to find dog-friendly activities wherever you roam.
The longer you live with pets in your RV the easier it is to overcome their challenges. In return, they bring us closer to nature and, after all, isn’t that what RVing is all about?