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But what about your pets?
Of course they must come with you to enjoy the RV lifestyle as well!
The minor adjustments required to keep your pets with you on the road is nothing compared to how you would feel turning them over to someone else.
Believe me, cats and dogs travel just fine in an RV.
When my wife and I headed out as fulltime RVers, we had 2 middle aged cats and a small dog. They were never a burden and many times they were the life of the party — creating many memorable occasions, thanks to a number of adventures and misadventures that they seemed to always fall victim to.
Pet RV Safety Tips – Indoors
In a motorhome there was never an issue when traveling with our pets.
As long as we were in the motorhome with them and they had the freedom to move around, then they were content. Driving never bothered our cats or the dog. The cats would curl up wherever and the small dog liked standing on the wide, flat dashboard with his nose glued to the windshield. Always afraid he would miss something, he picked the spot with the best view.
When we traveled with RV trailers it was a different picture. We did try letting the 2 cats have the run of the fifth wheel while driving one time. But we found them hiding on top of the slide-out when we stopped to check on them. They didn’t seem traumatized by the experience, but I don’t think they were very happy alone in a moving trailer.
To remedy this situation we purchased a folding metal pet crate that allowed us to keep the cats confined to the back seat of the truck. Callie and Shadow would never remain still when they were loose, but by being slightly confined they quieted down and slept the day away. Rascal, our Pomeranian/Yorkie mix always sat between us on the front seat.
Pet RV Safety Tips – Outdoors
When it comes to stopping, extreme care must be taken to make sure your pets don’t get away from you.
With our cats, for example, we always carefully checked the location of the cats before opening the door — because they would jump out if given the opportunity. If that happened, they would be quite difficult to round up! The outside world seemed appealing to them, but we never gave them the chance to experience it.
Dogs on the other hand must be walked. Outdoor exercise is a must and they should always be leashed, tethered, or otherwise confined (like in a pet playpen) when outside. We learned the hard way that a dog can slip away in a moment when loose!
Rascal walked off one evening in Tucson and we spent hours driving through the neighborhood looking for him. The next morning we found him sitting under the steps of our fifth wheel after a hard night’s adventure doing who knows what in the desert. He looked weary and had the saddest look in his eyes as if saying, “Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to do it.”
From then on, we tied a rope to our RV, passed it through the handle of his retractable leash, and secured the other end of the rope to a tree. This gave him the freedom to walk around enough that he was satisfied. We never left him unattended, and we always had water and food under the shade of a tree for him.
Many of our best memories of our times on the road are centered around our pets. The whole experience would have been different — and probably not as fun — without them. Whatever modifications, changes, or accommodations you need to make in order to include them on your adventure is worth it. Just do it. You’ll never regret it.
More Tips For RVing With Pets
- 6 Million Dogs Travel With Their RV Owners
- Tips For Traveling in An RV With Cats
- RVing With Cats – Make A Space For Them
- Traveling With A Cat In An RV
- Camping World’s Tips For RVing With Pets
- RV Parks & Camping With Cats
- How To RV With Your Pet
- Tips For RVing With Dogs
I’ve been involved in RVing for over 50 years — including camping, building, repairing, and even selling RVs and motorhomes. I’ve owned, used, and repaired almost every class and style of RV ever made. I do all of my own repair work. My other interests include cooking, living with an aging dog, and dealing with diabetic issues. If you can combine a grease monkey with a computer geek, throw in a touch of information nut and organization freak, combined with a little bit of storyteller… you’ve got a good idea of who I am. To date, I've shared my RV knowledge in over 300 articles here at The Fun Times Guide!