Our Top 10 List Of Frugal, Easy Tips For RV Camping With Dogs

When we started fulltime rving in 2009, without a clue as to what we were doing, rv camping with dogs was the least of our concerns! We assumed we would figure it out as we went along. Yeah…well four years later, here we are still learning as we go…

But we have learned a few things about rving with pets. We have a crazy, domineering, extra large, sassy cat on board who we talk about quite often. In fact, Spot has his own blog and created his own top 10 list! However, though we just have our Hannah (doggie) now, we had two large dogs with us four years ago (our old yellow lab, Clementine, had to be put to sleep in 2011)…so we kinda have some experience in this area!


No Spill Water Bowl

  1. TRAVEL WATER BOWL – Honest, do I need to explain this rv travel with dogs tip? Have been using the same one for 4 years. When on the road it’s a lifesaver, and we use it outside for Hannah when staying put. Just try to use an open one that rocks and rolls while driving…you’ll see!
  2. RUBBERMAID TUB FOR DOG FOOD – To be a frugal rver, we have to buy the gigantic dog food for Hannah…but where to put the food where we don’t have to look at it daily? We have found, if you take it out of the stiff bag and place in a garbage bag, it will fit in a bin. We can store it in the truck, outside if no small critters will get into it. or even in the shower stall, closet, etc. The point is the big bags of food are a pain. It also stays fresh and dry in there.
  3. THRIFT STORE SHEETS – You can never have enough of these, honest. On a rainy, muddy day, throw them all over the living room carpet. They wash easy and they are ugly so do we care about aesthetics? Nope. They are perfect in the car, on a couch (if your dog’s allowed on it). Can’t get enough of them.
  4. MY DIY DOG BED – I’ve had so many people comment on my “high tech” (sarcasm) invention for a diy dog bed with no sewing. So I finally wrote my homemade beds for dogs instructions in a detailed article. It is cheap, takes minutes to “make,” stays clean and doesn’t attract hair…what else can you ask for??
  5. Hannah LOOKS Innocent

    Hannah LOOKS Innocent

    IF YOU HAVE AN ALPHA DOG LIKE WE DO – I know there are times it can’t be helped, believe me, but when you rv with dogs who are alphas you are not going to have fun in a cramped rv campground. Hannah loves people, but detests other dogs…really, really dislikes them. RVers tend to travel with little yip-yapper dogs, and she dislikes them even more! Once one little chihuahua named Pepe pulls into the site next to you, your dog, the one acting like she is going to eat the small dog, will have to be cooped up in the camper. Try to find less populated rv parks if you have a dog like Hannah.

  6. KEEP YOUR PET RECORDS IN AN EASY TO FIND PLACE – We’ve had to take Hannah to a vet, 2000 miles from home, twice in the past 1 1/2 years. Every time they want to know her vaccination dates, treatments, etc. Just keep it all in one place so you can grab it easily when rving with dogs OR cats.
  7. WET DOG ODOR – Hannah is a clean girl, honest…but that wet dog aroma can make us all want to run out of the rv on a hot, humid day. But it isn’t safe to keep burning candles or incense if you aren’t around. We discovered hanging a GOOD SCENT car air freshener here and there (you can be discrete and put it under the table, behind the shower curtain) helps fight the aroma. We like earth scents, so consider Pier 1 Asian Spice or Yankee Candle Midsummer’s Night if you’re like us. If too strong, put it in a cabinet or under the couch…it still works.
  8. DOLLAR TREE POOP BAGS – I don’t need to explain this, but campgrounds aren’t happy if you don’t pick up after your rv dog. The best, yet cheapest, bargain we’ve found are the tiny bags on a roll at Dollar Tree. They come in blue, white or pink…but does it really matter? Ick!
  9. MY DIY DOG TRUCK RAMP – I know this won’t help some rvers, but we discovered my cheap, homemade truck ramp worked as a pet ramp on the 5th wheel, too, when rv camping with dogs! Again, my crafty and frugal little self created the ultimate dog ramp for pickup trucks, so I wrote an article on how to make these ramps in minutes, for next to nothing.
  10. FINAL TIP – KEEP TAGS ON AT ALL TIMES – This isn’t a humorous one, but it is super important for rv travel with dogs. You will be going from place to place, and even if your trained dog listens and comes when called (we envy you, honest) you never know what can happen. There is no permanent home except in the recreational vehicle, so if your dog took off on a chase or got off his/her tieout, your pet could be too disoriented to find “home.”

So there you have it…our top 10 tips for rv camping with dogs. Hope you got something out of them, including laughs. It is really a great experience to travel in rvs with pets. It may seem difficult, but you will invent your own tips (which I hope you’ll share with us here) to make it smooth sailing for canines, cats and humans.



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