One of the best benefits of RV living is that you can take your pets with you whenever you decide to relocate. Wherever your RV vacations take you, your furry companions are right there along for the ride. The only problem with having pets in an RV can be how quickly a small space gets dirty when they’re running in and out, especially if you’re camping in a wet or dusty RV park.
Because there’s a lot less delineation between living, eating, working, and sleeping space in an RV, it’s even more important to keep things clean. In this article, we’re going to examine how to keep the interior of your RV clean when traveling with pets.
We know some of you love cuddling with your pets at night, even if they’re a bit on the dirty side. Fortunately, sheets and comforters can always be washed, but you should also take the extra step to protect the longevity of your mattress.
A protective mattress cover will stop pests, pet dander, and unwanted odors from passing through sheets and getting into the mattress. As an added bonus, these covers are easy to remove and run through the washing machine once you get back from your trip, or on the next Laundromat stop.
Carpet and pets simply don’t mix. Carpets hold in odors, fleas, dust mites, pet dander, dirt, and so much more you don’t want inside your RV. If your RV currently does have carpet, we highly recommend replacing all carpet with laminate flooring.
This gives you a surface that is easy to wipe or mop with disinfectant or an antibacterial cleaning solution when it gets dirty. Once you do this, you won’t have to worry about your pets tracking in dirt and it’ll be much easier to clean up those accidental human spills that inevitably occur in a confined space.
While the best-case scenario is that your pets are well trained NOT to hop up on the RV sofa for a nap, we know this isn’t always the case. If you do allow your pets to get comfortable on your RV sofa, we highly recommend placing a sofa cover over it before allowing them up.
This gives you a protective cover that’s easy to remove and wash when it gets dirty. If you purchase two, then you’ll always have a backup to throw on the sofa while the other goes through the washing machine. Best of all, now you’ll be able to cuddle with your pets on the couch without worrying about ruining it.
An Outdoor Eating and Drinking Station
Some pets can be absurdly messy eaters. If this sounds like your pet, I’m sure you’d prefer not to have food and water all over the floor at least once a day. When camping with your pets, set up an outdoor eating and drinking station to keep the mess outside.
If you decide to do this, be sure to still store your pet food inside the RV in a sealed container. This will help you avoid the presence of unwanted pests. An added bonus is that you can keep your pets outside while you eat inside (if that’s your preference) and, in doing so, eliminate them begging for scraps at the table.
Pets have an uncanny knack for finding the one mud puddle within a square mile radius. When camping in dirty or muddy environments, you’ll want an easy way to clean your pet’s feet before allowing them back inside the RV.
Set up an outdoor foot-washing bowl just outside your RV door for easy access. The handle on your RV door also serves as a great place to hang a pet towel to dry them off. Even something as simple as this foot-washing basin (originally designed for dishes) can be a great solution for a foot-washing station!
Utilize Rest Areas
Your pets (and you!) will have to get off the road for a pit stop every now and then. While it might be tempting to avoid the other travelers by skipping rest areas, they’re actually a great place to stop when traveling with pets in an RV.
The reason for this is that they (usually) give you a relatively clean place to let your pets out for a little relief. Gas stations can be riddled with trash and broken glass. Other stops may be dirty or muddy and necessitate a more thorough cleaning than you’d otherwise like to do on just a quick stop.
While not all rest areas are created equal, they are generally cleaner and easier when it comes to a quick pit stop for your pets. Plus, rest areas always have the added bonus of potentially meeting fellow travelers that share insights you can’t get from any guidebook or website!
Pet-Safe Cleaning Products
If you’re a conscientious pet owner, you probably already have these products around your house, but their importance is heightened when you live in the close space of an RV. Messes and accidents are bound to happen, so you need the right cleaning products to be prepared when they do.
That said, make sure the cleaning products you choose aren’t going to be harmful in any way to your precious pets. As a good rule of thumb, antibacterial cleaners are going to be the best way to eliminate the germs and bacteria that your pets track in. Just make sure whichever brand you go with doesn’t include any ingredients that could cause any harm.
The magic of RV travel is very real! Having your pets to share in the special moments you’ll find on the road only enhances them. We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to keep your RV clean when traveling with pets, and we wish you the best of luck on your next trip!