RV Road Trip – Tips for you and Your Dog

Every dog owner knows that as soon as you start your car or RV the dog knows and wants to be apart of the trip. In my experience, as soon as we start packing a cooler for a road trip or excursion our dog will go outside or sit in the RV so he won’t be left behind. He will sit in the passenger seat until we are done packing and ready to go. He knows we’re going on a trip and as a member of our family he needs to be with us.

Our black lab / golden retriever mix loves camping, the woods, the plains, all the outdoors, and above that he loves getting away from our same-old-same-old suburban fenced in backyard. And come to think of it, it’s important for my wife and I too to get away from the daily grind at least once a month when the weather is permitting. These small escapes are what keeps our sanity in check and our spirits high!


What Do I Need to do to Bring My Dog RVing?

But flashing back to when we first adopted our little puppy it took awhile for him to understand the purpose of our road trip vacations. He loves fresh air and the great outdoors, so staying in an RV while we drive for 8 hours was something that took getting used to.

When we’d hop into our first RV for our annual three week cross country road trip, our poor puppy couldn’t grasp why we’d always want to be in the vehicle or confined to a leash at different RV parks. He wanted to run around and smell the smells of the wild nature.

As we move closer to today, my wife and I started looking for ways to keep our annual trip and our dog happy both getting to and at our final destinations. The goal was, and still is, to ensure our dog is safe, comfortable, entertained, and to keep our annual trip going.

As we grew accustomed to stopping at more open and dog friendly stops, and as our puppy learned to adjust, he grew into the dog that won’t leave the RV if he sees us packing. He comes to enjoy both the RV excursion and the visits to various parks and RV parks throughout the Midwest.

So without further adieu, here are some of the most useful tips that my wife and I developed over the years to improve the RV experience (drive and destinations) for us and our dog.

Don’t use a crate or a kennel during the drive – use a child proof gate when necessary

After much whining, confusion, and maybe a puppy accident, we decided that using a kennel during our rides was one of the main stressors our dog was feeling. Instead we purchased a cheap baby gate that we set up so he can’t get into the driver cabin. This allows him to roam around the back and even sit on his favorite blanket, or even stick his head out the window to smells the smells. We know that there is an element of safety to be considered here and that animals are most likely to avoid injury if they are placed safely in a harness. So if you decide to take a more cautious approach, we certainly understand. But looking at what makes our dog happy we decided it was the right thing to do. This is something each owner should consider individually and make the decision right for them and their pet.

Make Frequent stops

During our three week annual excursion, we were never in a tremendous hurry after we got on the roads, so we’d do everyone a favor and allow for frequent stops for our dog to run around and take a “potty” break. In our case Sam gets restless after sitting for 4-5 hours and will start whining. So we plan accordingly to stop at rest areas with a nice lawn. We typically use google satellite view on rest areas when planning to make sure that there is enough space for him to walk around for a while.

Bring Toys

At a glance this might seem obvious, but we found that it is what helps the most. By brining elements that our puppy is used to on long trips makes him feel more at home and less out of his safe zone. Therefore, our packing list always includes his favorite blanket, chew toys, and even a tug-o-war rope.

Pack a comfortable dog bed

For everyone’s best interest, we bring our puppy’s dog bed to sleep or otherwise lay down. While this won’t keep him from sticking his head out the window, it will provide a familiar setting for him to get comfortable and relax. Another bright idea would be to bring blankets to cover the RV furniture. This can keep the dog hair to a minimum and cleaning easy.

Pick a Dog Friendly RV Park

Do your homework up front when selecting an RV park. Check out the google map satellite view of any potential RV parks you are considering.  This can give you an idea of the size of the RV spots, the common area, and any extra space for your dog to roam free. Most parks have a leash policy, so be sure to reach out to them or find out what that is in advanced.

Best RV Resorts in Michigan

Map of Michigan
Map of RV Resorts in Michigan (Top 3)

One of our readers, Jason, asked us to compile a list of some of our favorite RV resorts in Michigan, and because I spent about 3 years living in Michigan, I am happy to help one of our readers out.

So during my stint as a general contractor, I was working in various parts of Michigan, where I frequently traveled between Hopkins, Manistee, and Mount Pleasant. All of these places had a gorgeous RV park, where I stayed and worked.  While I was at each of them I rated them based upon how well the restrooms and showers were, the overall facility and surrounding area, and lastly, a fudge factor I call appeal.  The appeal factor is more of less how apt I am to visit the parks again.  So keep reading to see how these parks stand up against each other.

Top 3 RV Resorts in Michigan

Number 1: Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park in Mount Pleasant Michigan

While I was working there, the bathrooms and shower facilities were absolutely stunning.  They all had automatic soap dispensers for both body-wash as well as shampoo.  Throughout their 67 RV campsites, there were common areas every quarter mile where other campers would have pick-nicks, small fires, and snacks.  The community is fantastic and always changing because it is a very popular vacation resort as well. They boats swimming pools and hot tubs for their guests.

For the best RV experience I highly recommend the Soaring Eagle Park.  They describe themselves the following way:

The Soaring Eagle Park describes itself on its website as:

“The Soaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park includes 67 RV lots. Each has water, sewer, and electricity hook-ups as well as concrete pads, fire pits, picnic tables, and free Wi-Fi access. The park is situated on a 42-acre lake that is perfect for water activities and fishing. Plus, visitors can enjoy a clubhouse, walking trails, convenient laundry facilities, and a playground. Access to the Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel’s hotel pool, steam shower, hot tub, sauna, fitness center, Nbakade Restaurant, and Cyber Quest arcade is also available (indoor waterpark admission not included.)”


Number 2: Hidden Ridge RV Resort in Hopkins Michigan

I only had a brief stay in Hopkins, and that is perhaps why this park is ranking second, because I haven’t had the emotional attachment like I did in Mount Pleasant. This park is as gorgeous as anyother place in Michigan.  I came to this area to do some window repair work, and never had the opportunity to enjoy their heated pool, but I hear it is wonderful.  I have however; played basketball at their private courts and at night I would enjoy the beautiful lake view.

The Hidden Ridge describes itself on its website as:

“Hidden Ridge RV resort offers the best in privacy and comfort with first-class amenities at your fingertips.  Regardless of your passion or pace, our resort has something for every family member from child to grandparents. Located at 2306 12th Street in Hopkins, MI. Hidden Ridge RV Resort is a seasonal campground, open from April through October, with premium amenities and accommodations that families simply cannot find elsewhere.”


Number 3: Little River Casino Resort RV Park

Little River, is by far my favorite campground to visit, because on occasion I enjoy a bit of gambling.  So this RV resort outside of a reservation is a great place to enjoy some low stakes games and a wonderful dinner. I will say that the restrooms when I was there were out of toilet paper and I had to bring my own.  Aside from that this is both an RV resort as well as a hotel/casino.  If you are looking for a RV resort which has wonderful restaurants and a nightlife, this is for you.  However, I often find that the most serene campgrounds are the ones which have the attractions outdoors, for its guests to explore and adventure.  Nevertheless, this is a beautiful resort which I highly recommend.

How to Choose the Right RV Resort

Consumers often heavily anticipate the ability to travel and see as many different places as possible in their efforts. Many people find that driving is one of the most effective means of being able to see as many of the sites available in their particular points of interest which is usually faced with specific planning and decision making efforts. By looking at the accompanying 11 angles, you have an excellent shot of picking RV parks or campgrounds that will fulfill the necessities of you and your family for the length of your visit.

Photo from: elusiveelements.com of silver sands RV resort

1. Individual Preferences

A portion of the principal things to consider are the prerequisites for your RV. You will require a campground that has locales sufficiently substantial to suit the measure of your apparatus. Additionally, on the off chance that you require a 50-amp shore control association, remember that it is not accessible at all parks. In spite of the fact that you might have the capacity to get by on less for a night or two, would you truly like to run out and reset the breaker each time it gets stumbled day and night?
Next, consider the necessities of your gathering. Is it accurate to say that you are going with youngsters or pets? For kids, play areas and another child well-disposed entertainment territories are attractive. Likewise, parks have different directions concerning pets. Some have breed, size, or amount limits. Others charge additional for your textured companions. It is additionally essential to know whether the recreation center has a pet walk or off-rope territory to protect your pet glad and.
At long last, what pleasantries do you seek? On the off chance that you don’t have a satellite dish, digital TV may be decent. For a few, Wi-Fi is a flat out need. Do you require clothing offices, a group building, or a warmed pool? These are everything to consider while picking RV parks.

2. Moderateness

When you have your list of things to get characterized, take a gander at your accounts. Figure out what you will spending plan for the cost of the campground. If you intended to participate in exercises primarily at the recreation center, you might need to pay more for the additional comforts. Assuming, be that as it may, you intend to take a few day outings to the encompassing territories, you will need to factor those into the general cost. It might be prudent to analyze the enhancements of every campground in the range. At that point, pick the one that offers the most at the least cost.

3. Area

Consider area. If you expect to invest the majority of your energy at the RV stop, you likely need the peace and very offered from a satisfying stylish found in characteristic surroundings far from society. Then again, if going to different locales, shopping, or eating out are on your schedule, you may need a recreation center nearer to those destinations, or a close-by city or town. The more noteworthy the separation to the closest foodstuffs or other the provisions, the additional time and fuel you will consume to acquire them.

4. Online Presence

You can decide a considerable measure about a campground from its site. To this day, having a far reaching site is ordinary and a normal for an effective business. Not exclusively does it furnish potential customers with important data, it advertisers inadvertently, perhaps the measure of consideration the campground proprietors or supervisors provide for the recreation center. The line of thought is that if the recreation center focuses on points of interest on their site, they will probably give careful consideration to different parts of their visitor’s encounter.

5. State Parks

While considering remaining in a state stop, there are advantages and restrictions. For a normally wonderful condition, you frequently can’t show improvement over a state or national stop. They are additionally typically sensibly evaluated, once in a while offering exercises like climbing, boating, or horseback riding. Those are the advantages.
The restrictions incorporate the area and enhancements. State parks are frequently found far from stores or towns. They once in a while offer conveniences like Wi-Fi or link, and numerous don’t have water or sewer snare ups at singular locales. Besides, most confine visits to two-week time frames. To take in more about state parks look at a site, for example, Americas State Parks.

6. Client Reviews

If all else fails, check client surveys. Many locate these instrumental in picking a campground, and also an eatery, handyman, technician, or some other administration. There are a few techniques for checking audits and evaluations. Aides like Trailer Life and Woodalls are printed yearly and can be found at neighborhood libraries or available to be purchased at book shops. These alternatives rapidly end up plainly outdated and regularly appear to support campgrounds that take into account clubs like Good Sam. For online surveys look at locales like RV Park Reviews, Compendium, AllStays, Tripadvisor, and Yelp. They give client surveys and appraisals and also a rundown of enhancements and other apropos data about the recreation center. These are additionally more inclined to stay a la mode.

7. Solid Services

Many individuals require solid remote Internet while at an RV stop. Regardless of whether it is for working from home, exploring the territory and climate conditions, or entertainment purposes, a frail, moderate, or no flag can be more than a burden. Other helpful administrations incorporate having an on location store with basic supplies, propane, and kindling available to be purchased. Parks with an occupant RV repairman can be a simple approach to have a touch of work managed without leaving your apparatus in the shop.

8. Snail Mail

For full-clocks or even most-clocks, being able to get individual mail is a need. Individuals who move around consistently frequently do a great deal of internet shopping to guarantee they approach similar organizations paying little heed to where they are. Regardless of the possibility that you have a private address when you are away for quite a long time or months on end, it is important to have your email sent to your transitory area. P.O. boxes regularly require a 6-month duty and can be expensive, so picking RV stops that get mail for their visitors is genuinely need.

9. Group

Picking RV stops that fit your social inclinations can make your stay charming as opposed to awkward. A few people need a campground that gives protection where visitors concentrate individually plan. Maybe, they will be probably cooperative with nature or visit the neighborhood destinations on their schedule.
Others like the social condition gave by numerous RV parks. They appreciate chatting with their neighbors and expanding their system of similar companions around the nation. These individuals visit the clubhouse and go to each social even the recreation center gives. Make a legitimate evaluation of precisely why you are heading off to a campground and look for one that is well on the way to satisfy those requirements.

10. On location Laundry Facilities

Contingent upon to what extent you mean to remain at a campground, and what exercises you intend to take part in, a clothing office might be an unquestionable requirement. While staying at a recreation center long haul, having the capacity to do clothing nearby is something other than a comfort.
A decent office has more than one working washer and dryer onsite. Ideally, the machines are as often as possible adjusted to guarantee they don’t demolish your dress. An awesome office has no additional charge or is very close to the neighborhood Laundromat. You don’t need to pay additional for the comfort of washing nearby.

11. Development

When you have limited your decisions to maybe a couple, it is a smart thought to contact the recreation center through a telephone call. Verify that the data you have accumulated is right and avant-garde. For instance, here and there rates change with the seasons. Despite the fact that the site specified clothing as an administration, discover how much a normal load costs. If Wi-Fi is desirable, always ask if it is a paid service. Possibly discover somewhat about the encompassing zones, for example, what shops are adjacent or even neighborhood fuel costs.

In Conclusion

Regardless of whether it is only for an end of the week or a whole summer, finding an incredible campground to stop your RV can appear to be overwhelming. With these 11 contemplations, you can guarantee that your stay is agreeable and noteworthy for the correct reasons. If it’s not too much trouble share this with your companions and any relatives who go to enable them to maintain a strategic distance from the traps that can demolish a decent outing. They are certain to thank you for it.