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Can You Leave Pets Alone in an RV?

These days more and more people are discovering the joy of traveling in an RV. And like most of our favorite adventures, we like to take our pets along for the ride. Why not take your furry family members along with the rest of them? 

However, there’s a big problem you might not think about until you’re already on the road:

Can you leave pets alone in an RV?

Not every activity is pet friendly. Sure, you can take your dog on a hike, nature walk, and to a slew of pet friendly attractions. But can you take them to that local restaurant you’ve been dying to go to? Unlikely. At some point, you’ll be faced with a dilemma where you have to choose between staying in or leaving your pet alone in the RV. 

Is it Safe to Leave Your Pet in the RV Alone?

Like with any other family member, safety is at the top of your mind when it comes to your pet. Your RV might seem secure, but a good lock won’t necessarily keep all the dangers at bay. In fact, that might be the least of your worries when it comes to leaving your pet alone. 

What are the major concerns you should have?

Weather

The climate can have a big impact on the interior of your RV, whether it’s hot or cold weather. When it comes down to it, both can be just as dangerous to your pet. Even if you have a good heating and cooling system, you can’t always rely on it to keep your pets safe. Cold weather can bring on hypothermia and a plethora of stress and health issues if your heating goes out while you’re away. Extreme heat, and humidity, can bring on plenty of health issues too. 

It’s a known fact that vehicles heat up to dangerous levels in very little time without air conditioning. Of course, this brings on plenty of concerns for your pet, including heat stroke, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even death. 

Power outages

One of the major reasons your climate control can fail is a power outage or power surge. Remember, a power problem while you’re away is much different to one when you’re present. When you’re there, you can fix it or get yourself and your pet into a more suitable location until it’s fixed. However, if you’re gone, you likely won’t know if or when the power surges or goes out. 

Of course, without power, your climate control systems simply can’t work. Inevitably, you’re dealing with a situation where your pet is alone in the RV, and their health is subject to the whims of the weather. What can you do? Make sure you have a backup power source, such as a generator designed for RVs. 

Equipment problems

Equipment issues in older vehicles and residences aren’t a big surprise. However, if you plan to take a long trip, and want to take your pet with you, you need updated and reliable equipment. While you might not be surprised to hear that older systems can experience frequent malfunctions, there are things you need to know about modern gear too. 

Our best example is the newer ventilation fans that have sensors. Basically, these sensors close air vents when they sense precipitation. That’s a great idea when you’re around, and it can even prevent water damage. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these sensors won’t reopen the vents once the wet weather passes. That can create a poor environment for your pet inside, especially if it’s quite hot outside and your air conditioning fails. Before you leave your pet in the RV, make sure you disable the sensors if your ventilation system has them. 

Precautions That Create Safety for Pets

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From the above sections, you might be hesitant about leaving your pet alone in your RV. Nobody wants to risk losing their companion because of preventable issues. The good news is, a lot of these issues are truly preventable. But, you need to have the right systems and backup in place to keep your pet safe. 

First, keep a backup power source available, and make sure you have it connected so it turns on if there’s any issue with your main power source. It doesn’t require a local power outage or severe storm to take out your power. Another traveler in a nearby RV can accidentally disconnect your power. 

Make sure you check your ventilation system for closing sensors. If it uses them, turn them off when you leave your pet alone. It doesn’t take long to enable them again as soon as you return. 

If you’re in an area with hot weather, consider leaving the windows open, or at least cracked until you come back to the RV. However, don’t shut off the air conditioning. Yes, it might seem like you’re wasting power, and you certainly are using more. But it also helps ensure that should something happen to your cooling system, heat can escape the RV. A closed up vehicle of any size turns into an oven, and allowing fresh air in might save your pet’s life if the cooling fails.