RV Travel Tips for Pet Owners

Attention pet lovers: recreational vehicles and pets are a perfect match.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Traveling in an RV gives you the ability to bring your family pet along for the fun. With the company of your animal companion and without the anxiety of boarding your pet or asking a neighbor or friend to pet-sit, you can enjoy your camping trip with the entire family.

More and more RVers are traveling with their pets and finding it makes RVing even more enjoyable. Recreational vehicles and pets are, in most cases, a good mix. If your pets enjoy riding with you in the car, they’ll also enjoy traveling in the RV.

According the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), more than 50 percent of RV travelers bring pets on their travels. Among these pet owners, 78 percent bring dogs, 15 percent travel with cats, and the remaining pet owners travel with birds or other small pets.

The RV industry’s suppliers and manufacturers have made an effort to accommodate mobile pets, from collapsible pet window cages to special tie-downs for dogs built into RVs.
More and more campgrounds and RV parks now welcome pets and an increasing number are becoming pet friendly.

Plan your trip with pet-friendly destinations in mind. Contact the campground ahead of time to determine their policies on pets and then plan accordingly. If your lifestyle or your pet’s lifestyle cannot adapt, find a different campground or change your destination. Only as a last resort, reconsider taking your pet.

Bring copies of vaccination records with you, as you never know when you might need them.

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Ensure your pet is properly identified. Also, obtain identification with the address of your destination.

Carry a photo of your pet. You’ll be glad you did if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of making, photocopying, and posting “lost pet” notices.

Bring along your pet’s bed and favorite toys so it will feel comfortable and at home on the road. If traveling with a feline friend, think through the cat-box arrangement. Having extra litter, a covered litter box, plastic bags for disposal, scoop, and baking soda to cover the bottom of the box will keep mess and odor to a minimum.

Your dog feels as cramped as you do after hours of traveling. It’s important that you walk your canine pet when you take rest stops. If your pet is a cat, walks aren’t an issue, but plenty of stretching room is.

Upon registration request a site away from other campers, shady if it’s hot, sunny if it’s cool. Check about leash rules, dog-walk areas, “poop-scooping” policies, and local dog parks.

Once you make camp, abide by the camp’s pet policies. No-spill food and water bowls make the experience even easier. Keep water within reach and keep any possible entanglements out of the way.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Never let your pet wander. Portable enclosed pens will enable your pets to enjoy the outside with you. Always clean up after your pet. Be a quiet and considerate neighbor—nothing ruins a camping experience for others like a constantly barking dog.

In selecting its list of Top Pet-Friendly RV Parks for 2014, Good Sam chose RV parks and campgrounds that feature amenities, special services, and events tailored to owners of pets.  These parks offer facilities ranging from dog runs to pet washing areas, and some hand out free treats and toys to canines upon check-in.

A number RV parks feature fenced-in dog runs on their property—a boon to travelers seeking a place to give their furry passengers a place to run after idle travel time. Also offered in some parks are trails for pet walking.

Among the most luxurious pet amenities are fenced-in dog wash stations, with stainless-steel sinks, soap, and warm water available to wash pets.

The American RV Park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, not only receives high Good Sam rating for its facilities but has something to offer every member of the family from its heated swimming pool for the kids, a spa for the adults, and a dog park for the family pet on board.

Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Pet friendly amenities at Bentsen Palm Village in the Rio Grande Valley include dog agility course and pet parade. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A favorite with Winter Texans, Bentsen Palm Village has 5.5 miles of onsite hiking and biking trails as well as numerous organized activities and workshops, from couples dancing to gourd painting, and Swedish blanket making to water color painting.

Pet friendly amenities include dog agility course and pet parade. The dog park became so popular that the owners recently added a second park so that guests could have separate running and play areas for big dogs and small dogs.

Happy camping to you and your four-footed friends. Most of all, have fun with your pet! After all, it’s a ruff life being a dog!

Worth Pondering…

We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.

—M. Facklam

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Top Pet Friendly RV Parks

An estimated 60 percent of RVers travel with their pets, according to recent studies.

Good-Sam-Club-logo-300x259When it comes to selecting a campground, these travelers seek out RV parks that offer a wide range of pet-friendly amenities, from dog runs to trails for dog walking to flexible rules that allow their particular breed of dog.

To assist pet owners find campgrounds and RV parks that open their arms to canines and other travel companions, Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory has compiled a list of the Top Pet Friendly Parks of 2013. Featuring RV parks from across North America, the list is tailored for RV travelers seeking facilities that welcome pet owners.

Fortunately, many RV parks throughout North America welcome travelers’ four-legged companions with perks ranging from dog runs to pet-friendly policies.

The operators of these parks realize that dogs need more than collars and leashes when they go camping. They require wide-open spaces to run and pet rules that allow owners to take their animal friends for walks around the campground property.

Travel blog Gradling.com reports that pet owners in the U.S. spend $47.4 billion annually on their pets. Among the pet owners who take their animals on the road, 78 percent bring their dogs, 15 percent travel with cats and the rest brings birds, reptiles, or fish.

Traveling With Fido

petsMany RV parks set aside large areas where dogs can frolic after being cooped up in an RV for extended periods of time.

A fenced-in dog run enables canines to run around leash free at Deer Creek Valley RV Park in Topeka, Kansas.

“Dog owners appreciate when you provide facilities for their animals,” says Todd Denius, owner of Royal View at Royal Gorge Campground in Colorado half-acre is set aside for pooches.

“For many people, pets are like their children.”

The park also boasts three miles of trails suitable for dog walking, although a leash is required for dog walking on the trails.

“It lets dogs burn off some energy after a long day of traveling,” added Denius, who owns three dogs.

Denius requires pet owners to review the campground’s policy regarding pets when checking in. They include requirements to clean up after the animal and avoid leaving barking dogs inside vehicles for prolonged periods of time.

Garden Of The Gods Campground, Colorado Springs, Colorado, allows up to three dogs per site but bans pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Dobermans.

Pet experts say that although traveling with pets can be fun and rewarding, RVers should consider a number of factors. Travelers should make sure their rig is large enough to accommodate an animal, and the pets should have up-to-date tags with contact information. Owners should always make sure their pet has the necessary immunization shots.

The Good Sam RV Travel Guide’s Top Pet Friendly Parks of 2013 are:

Good Life RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Sun Life RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona
Sunflower RV Resort, Surprise, Arizona
Circle RV Resort – Sunland, El Cajon, California
Rio Bend RV & Golf Resort, El Centro, California
Garden Of The Gods Campground, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Royal View at Royal Gorge Campground, Canon City, Colorado
Ocala Sun RV Resort, Ocala, Florida
Deer Creek Valley RV Park Llc, Topeka, Kansas
Evergreen Park R.V. Resort, Mount Eaton, Ohio
Horn Rapids RV Resort, Richland, Washington

Details

Good Sam RV Travel Guide

02-Feb-Pet-87801544In the listings found in the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, pet restrictions are indicated by breed (B), quantity (Q), or size (S). If pets are prohibited, “No Pets” will appear.

The 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory combines two of the RV industry’s most popular and respected brands—the Trailer Life Directory and Woodall’s Campground Directory—into one comprehensive volume. The guide contains detailed information on more than 14,000 RV parks across North America; each campground is personally inspected and rated by the Good Sam’s consultant teams.

The guide also includes lifestyle features, regional trip guides, and essential travel facts. Readers can get vital tech tips, learn about must-see points of interest in all of North America’s states and provinces, follow a meal and fitness planner, and get Road Ready with a special products section. Also included are guides to RV-related state laws and information needed for trouble-free trips into Canada and Mexico.

For more information about the 2013 Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory, click on goodsamcamping.com.

Worth Pondering…

Animals are such agreeable friends—they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.
—George Eliot

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