There are lots of benefits to vacationing in an RV over tent camping, but there are even big benefits over staying in a hotel for some, especially if you are a pet parent. Heading off on an RV adventure means that you can bring your pup – or pups – along for the ride too. At no extra cost – other than their food – and without hassles of trying to keep their calm and quiet, so they don’t upset other guests.
If you do have a canine pal to accompany you on your RV adventures, it’s really only fair that they, like the rest of the family, have a spot of their own to sleep in at night and to chill out in during the day. A built-in dog kennel would seem like the perfect solution, but is that even a possibility in an RV?
The good news is that yes, adding a built-in dog kennel to your RV is perfectly possible, and not as hard, or as expensive, as you might think, especially if you are willing to get creative and do a little DIY work. Pet parents who are also RV fans have come up with some wonderful ways to add a built-in dog kennel to their RVs, and it’s their ideas, along with some great built in dog kennels pros can help you with, that we are going to showcase here today.
7+ Built In RV Dog Kennel Ideas
1. simple RV Dog Kennel Conversion
A standard dog crate is probably the first thing you think of packing up when taking your pup on the road, but if yours is a larger pup, that crate is going to eat up a lot of floor space, something that is usually at a premium in most RVs.
Here an adventurous RVing couple got creative and turned their pup’s standard crate into an attractive, and very useful, IKEA inspired table, one that offers their pup a safe sleeping spot and an extra place for humans to eat at the same time. The only additional supplies required were a DIY table-top and a few simple tools, so this is certainly an easy DIY RV dog kennel you could try building yourself!
2. Creative In-Built RV Crates for Multiple Pups
If you travel with more than one dog, having a crate for each one will offer a great way to give them all the space and privacy they need while also helping them stay secure – and out of the way – when you are driving to your next destination.
But how would you fit multiple large dog crates in a small space like an RV? Here, Thundering Herd demonstrates how, by removing an unused bench seat and doing some simple woodworking, they managed to add SIX large dog crates to their RV for their husky pack and still enjoy a space that looks neat, tidy and welcoming. As it’s unlikely you have six pups to accommodate, trying out this DIY RV dog kennel idea might be even easier for you!
3. Double Doggie Bunk Conversion
The built-in bunks that are already in place in your RV are prime candidates for RV dog kennel conversion, and you can even create a built-in dog kennel that’s roomy enough for two pups, even if they are big boys (or girls.)
Here, a member of a popular RV forum showcases the clever way he converted the bottom bunk in his RV bedroom into a cozy kennel for his pups, complete with nightlight and soft comforters. Most impressive of all perhaps is the fact he states it took just 15 minutes, and some very basic pet store supplies, to complete!
4. A Happy Home (Away From Home) For a Smaller Pup
To create this great built-in RV dog kennel, the guys from Probably This created a built-in sleeping space for their petite pup by making clever use of the open space beneath a dining nook bench in their vintage camper. It’s not a very complicated set up, but the addition of a big furry dog bed certainly makes it look like it’s a very private and cozy one, the perfect place to take a quick nap or sleep safely at night. You could hack a similar set up underneath any bench in your RV, even if it is not enclosed in the way this one is.
5. Under Bed DIY RV Dog Kennel
If your pooch is used to sleeping in your bedroom at home – and lots of dogs do share sleeping spaces with their pet parents – they may get very unsettled at the idea of being shut away when you are on vacation in your RV.
One solution to this problem is to make use of the space underneath the bed in your RV to create a sleeping space that will allow your dog to share your bedroom, but will still keep him safely secured so that you can get some sleep!
Here, some clever pet parents who didn’t mind canine co-sleeping made use of their dog’s existing crate and some basic woodworking supplies to create a very good-looking, comfortable and discrete RV dog kennel in the space underneath their bed that didn’t steal any floor space or make the room look messy! Get more photos and how to build it here.
6. RV Kitchen Cabinet Built-In RV Dog Kennel
If there is a kitchen cabinet in your RV that you really don’t make a lot of use of, and the few supplies it might contain can be easily relocated elsewhere, you could make use of it as a built-in RV dog kennel instead.
As demonstrated on their blog, this can be a process that is as simple as removing the existing cabinet door and then getting creative with some basic pet supplies to hack a dog kennel that will be as easy to set up every trip as your human kids’ sleeping spaces are! You can see more images and read about the owner did it and the materials he used on their blog.
7. RV Dog Kennels You Can Buy
If DIY really isn’t your favorite thing, or you just don’t have the time to undertake a big crafting project before your next trip, or even if you simply don’t want to make any modifications to your RV right now, there are still some great RV dog kennels you can buy that will be lot more attractive – and functional, than just squeezing a regular dog crate into your home away from home on wheels.
If you head to Amazon, there are a number of different ‘pet furniture’ options that might be suitable, but we particularly like this slimline, lattice style dog crate that can double as an end table you could place wherever you had the space in your camper. It might make an especially good addition to the living area, as by doing, so you’ll add an extra usable surface at the same time.
We also love the neutral trim – it will match any RV decor scheme – and the fact that the kennel portion can be locked, helping to ensure your pup is safely secured when your RV is moving.
Finally, if you love buying cute stuff for your pup to enjoy, it does not get much cuter than this small dog teepee, a bed that might really help your pup get into the camping spirit!
Top Tips for Safe RV Travel with Your Dog
Now that you have some great RV dog kennel ideas, we should take a moment to discuss just how you can help your pup get used to the idea of life on the road. If you have never taken your fur kid RVing before, here are some things to keep in mind that will help make it a safer, more pleasurable experience for everyone.
Take The Time to Introduce Them to Their New Home on Wheels
Start slowly and use a lot of incentives while introducing your dog to the RV. Some dogs may be nervous about this new environment, so encourage them to smell around outside with treats to gain confidence. Then place some snacks on the stairwell, open the door, and throw some snacks inside.
Practice this for a few days, and don’t force your dog to do anything she doesn’t want to do. You can give her breakfast and dinner outside the RV while she gets used to it, then bring her inside when she’s ready. It’s a brand-new experience for her, and it’s up to you to convince her that it’s enjoyable!
Pack The Right Canine Gear
Spend a week before your travel date preparing a list of everything that you make use of to care for your pooch. Add to your list whenever anything new comes up. When it’s time to leave, get out the list and collect everything you’ll need for your trip.
Add things to the list that you wish you had brought and check off items that you packed but didn’t need during your vacation. Your updated packing list will make preparing for your next vacation much simpler!
Make sure to bring your dog’s veterinarian records, immunization certificate, and a recent photo of him in case he wanders off while you’re away.
Keep Your Pup Buckled Up When On the Move
Because an RV seems like a home, it may seem normal to let your dog run around while you’re travelling. It’s actually rather dangerous… for both you and your pet, as well as everybody else on the highway.
This keeps your dog safe in the event of an accident. It also prevents them from causing a collision by distracting the driver.
Make a Plan for Keeping Tabs on Your Pup
Even though most dogs love being on vacation with their human family, they may become confused by all the new stuff going on around them and get lost. To help keep tabs on your pup, and locate her fast if she does wander away, attaching the Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker to her collar is an excellent idea well worth considering.
Safe travels and remember the best kind of pet is an RVPet 💙🐾!