If you’re seeking an affordable, socially-distanced vacation, then a road trip in an RV or camper van might be the right thing for you.
Pet-friendly RVs and camper vans are a great way to get around the country, especially if you’re traveling with your dog. They provide space and comfort that a standard car just doesn’t have. It’s like renting a car and a hotel room in one!
Plus, a road trip is a great alternative to flying or staying in a packed hotel. It offers independence and flexibility that other types of vacations don’t.
So what are you waiting for? Grab a pet-friendly RV or camper van from one of the companies on this list and hit the open road.
RV vs. Camper Van: What’s the difference?
Not all vehicles are created equal, and while RVs and camper vans have a lot in common, they also differ greatly. Same same, but different.
Let’s start with their similarities.
Both RVs and camper vans offer travelers increased levels of comfort on the road. They’re both homes on wheels that are usually equipped with seating, a bed, storage and kitchen equipment.
Now their differences.
Camper vans are typically less expensive to rent, get better gas mileage, and are easier to drive. They’re also easier to park and will fit in just about any campsite. Camper vans can access places RVs just can’t go.
Recreational Vehicles, commonly known as RVs or motorhomes, provide more space, can fit more people, and are more comfortable to spend time in. They typically come with a shower and toilet, making social distancing and independence super easy.
Choosing between the two will depend on your trip and your needs. Choose the option that will suit you best, and go from there.
Questions to ask before renting an RV or Camper Van:
As much as I’d love to hand over a credit card and hit the road, in truth, it’s best to be prepared. Ask these questions before climbing into your rental, so you’re sure to have no surprises.
Pet Related Questions
- What is the pet policy?
- Are there any extra fees for bringing a pet, and if so, how much are they?
- Are extra fees refundable?
- How many dogs are allowed per rental?
- Are there any breed or size restrictions?
- What mileage is included? How much does extra mileage cost?
- How many passengers are allowed?
- Does the rental come with insurance?
- Does the rental come with beddings and kitchen supplies?
- Do you have any discounts or coupons?
- What are the generator fees?
- What are the pick up and drop off times?
- What is the cancellation policy?
Pet-Friendly RV Rentals in the USA
Location: There are 126 Cruise America rental centers in the continental United States, Canada and Alaska from which you can depart. These locations are spread across 33 states and five Canadian provinces.
Details: Cruise America is the nation’s largest RV rental firm. They offer four different RV sizes, and provide kits with supplies like towels, coffee cups, and more, for an extra cost. They have a free mobile app you can download to help you find destinations, campsites and troubleshooting issues.
Cruise America Pet Policy: Cruise America is pet friendly, and allows furry travelers at no additional charge. Be sure to clean up after your pet to avoid paying a cleaning fee at the end of your trip.
El Monte RV
Location: El Monte RV has 28 locations in 13 states.
Details: El Monte RV offers a large selection of RV sizes, as well as toll free 24/7 roadside support and free generators for all rentals. They have nearly 50 years of experience in the motorhome rental industry, so they’re a trusted name. They also offer a ton of specials on their websites ranging from free mileage to free nights, with good one-way deals, too, so be sure to check those out before booking.
El Monte Pet Policy: Yes, pets are allowed in El Monte RV motorhomes. There is no charge to bring your pet, however, a cleaning fee may be applied upon return if your pet has made a mess.
El Monte is so dog-friendly that they encourage dog owners to travel between dog shows in their RVs. They even list shows and locations across the country.
Location: They have RV rental listings in all 50 states in the US and Canada — with approximately 50,000 total listings currently on the site.
Details: Outdoorsy is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows you to rent local RVs directly from RV owners. Besides RVs, you can also rent out motorhomes, trailers and camper vans. They’re like an Airbnb for motorhomes.
Each rental comes with a protection package and 24/7 customer service.
Outdoorsy Pet Policy: Since Outdoorsy is part of the sharing economy, you’ll be dealing with each rental on an individual basis. Check the rules section of each listing to see if they’re pet-friendly. Outdoorsy makes it easy for pet travelers by listing their pet-friendly rental options together.
Location: RV Share has RVs available for rent in all 5o states.
Details: RV Share does exactly what their name suggests – they allow RV owners to “share” their RVs with the public – for a price of course. You can rent everything from affordable pop-ups to luxury motorhomes directly from their owners. They offer 24/7 emergency roadside assistance on every booking.
Bonus: Use their free trip planner to find the best RV rental options for you.
RV Share Pet Policy: Check the rules section of each listing to see if they’re pet-friendly. RV Share makes it easy for pet travelers by using a pet-friendly filter on listings.
Pet-Friendly Camper Van Rentals in the USA
Camper Van North America
Location: There are Camper Van North America rentals in Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle and Yellowstone.
Details: Camper Van North America offers five different camper van models, ranging in size. Their largest model, the Clanhauler, comes with a marine toilet and shower and fits five people. Their fleet averages 20 miles per gallon and are set up for low-impact camping. They rent out basic white, no-frills vehicles, so if you’re looking for simple and practical, they’re the right fit for you.
Camper Van North America Pet Policy: Pets are allowed, but there is a $45 one time fee for those traveling in the small van, and a $90 one time fee for any other vehicle.
Escape Camper Vans
Location: 13 rental locations across the United States and Canada.
Details: Escape Camper Vans offers five different van models, ranging from a Jeep camper to a truck camper. Each colorful camper van is painted by local artists and comes fully equipped. They offer bedding sets, kitchen kits, and other extras for rent for an additional fee. Their website is chock full of useful information, like itineraries, travel tips, and camper van living posts that are sure to be helpful when planning your trip.
Escape Camper Vans Pet Policy: They charge a $150 non-refundable pet fee and allow up to two pets per rental. There is no charge for service dogs with the appropriate documentation. No pets are allowed during the months of July, August or September.
Location: GoCamp vans are available for pick up at select locations in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
Details: GoCamp is just like Airbnb, but for camper vans. Every van on the GoCamp website is owned by an individual. Renters can choose from a variety of van options, with everything from new Sprinters to vintage VW buses. Plus, everything you need is included in your rental – bedding, kitchen and cookware, camp chairs and more.
GoCamp Pet Policy: Individual camper van profiles provide specifics on pets. Some van owners allow them, others do not. A standard $125 fee will be applied if pets are allowed.
Location: Lost Campers USA has two convenient locations for camper van hire, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Details: Lost Campers is a budget camper van rental company. If you’re looking for a practical, ad-free, well-equipped and cheap camper van rental to explore the western US and beyond, they’re a great option. Their daily rates include unlimited miles and they provide free bedding, free kitchen kits and free basic camping equipment (camping stove etc.).
Lost Campers Pet Policy: No pets are allowed (except designated service dogs) in the vehicles. Certain pets may be accepted with prior consent and with an additional pet deposit.
Have you traveled in an RV or camper van with your pet before? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.
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