Friday, March 24, 2023


Best dog exercise pens: How to safely contain dogs at your RV site

By Cheri Sicard
As the new adoptive mother of an Australian Cattle Dog rescue who needs lots of exercise and mental stimulation, this video was of particular interest. But I bet it will be for anyone who RVs with a dog or dogs. After all, even with small dogs, an RV is a small space. With larger dogs that space shrinks. I know my Benito and I are constantly doing do-si-dos in my travel trailer’s narrow living space. A dog exercise pen could be just what we need.

The RVing pet experts from Paws to Journey gave me a probable solution in this video. In it, they show their favorite brand of pet enclosure (they did not sponsor the video, it is just an unbiased recommendation) along with how they use them to safely contain multiple dogs while RVing.

The Iris brand dog playpen they recommend has some advantages over others: 

  • They are lightweight
  • Made of plastic, they can’t rust
  • The shape and size of the pen is customizable panel by panel. Have a lot of space? Make a bigger pen. Crammed into a tiny spot? Make a smaller pen.

I liked how they set up the space so the dogs can go in and out of the RV at will while creating an outdoor living area that humans and dogs can share. And I like that this plastic fencing seems lightweight.

They also showed how they modified their dog fencing to not only fit around the RV door but to block the space under the RV steps where your dog might be able to squeeze out.

They did another modification to their fencing to build a swinging gate that stays closed with the help of some bungee cords. This allows people to go in and out without having to dismantle the whole set up. It even closes automatically! They have versions of this handy mod for when you are on grass or asphalt, too.

This setup takes a little time. But it can greatly add to your and your dog’s RV experience.

However, know that exercise pens are NOT for every dog. Your dog should be trained not to jump over or on the pen sides. Otherwise, they are unsafe.



5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim Johnson
1 month ago

Obviously the future owner of such fencing will have to determine if they have the space to travel with it…

But as a heads up, read campsite rules and regulations or check with the office before you erect your fencing. At our winter campground [and others have similar requirements] such fencing must be removed at the end of each day and re-erected the next day. [the goal is to prevent any ‘permanent’ fencing from hindering park maintenance or pets repeatedly wearing the same area] AND the area MUST be kept completely free of pet waste.We seasonal residents have seen more than one weekly or monthly resident asked to leave for not keeping their site clean or not regularly relocating fencing.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
1 month ago

Nice idea. Room for improvement as the situation warrants, but a great starting point.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.