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How to Find Pet Friendly Campgrounds Across the USA


If you’re worried about finding a pet friendly campground for your next van trip, you don’t need to. It’s reported that 70% of U.S. households (around 90.5 million families) have a pet as of 2022. Of that number, plenty of pet lovers own campervans and need to find ways to ensure their beloved family dog or cat is welcome wherever they go. Despite the massive numbers of pet owners, not all campgrounds welcome our furry treasured friends.

There is a tight-knit community of pet owners that are recreational travelers, so the information for the best campgrounds for your furry friend is out there… it’s a matter of finding the best, most updated, and most comprehensive sources available. That’s why we’re here. We want to help you enjoy every aspect of your van lifestyle, especially if you have a beloved pet or two you want to take with you on your adventures. Let’s explore what makes a pet friendly campground and how you can find the right one for you anywhere you travel in the U.S. Check out all the details on vanning with your pet below.

What to Look for in a Pet Friendly Campground

If you’re like many—maybe most—van travelers, bringing pets along is not negotiable. They’re coming, and that’s that. But you want to make sure campgrounds welcome pets and have features and amenities to make their stay as pleasant as yours. Here are some things we think pet owners should look for in a pet friendly campground:

A List of Rules for Pet Owners

It’s easier to ensure your pet behaves and stays safe when you know the campground pet policies before making reservations and ahead of arrival. Ideally, you can find a list of rules on the campground’s website to determine if there are any dealbreakers for you and your furry friend. It’s also helpful to have the rules permanently posted around the campground as a reminder during your stay.

Here are some rules you might encounter:

  • Some campgrounds might enforce breed restrictions or size and weight limitations.
  • Dogs and cats must remain on a leash outside your vehicle, or you must set up a pen or tie-out.
  • You need to be outside when your pets are outside.
  • You may not leave pets unattended in your RV if you leave your site for an event outside the campgrounds.
  • A list of areas off-limits to pets, such as the swimming pool, lake, or picnic area.
  • Additional fees and charges.

Pet-Focused Areas in the Campground

You know you’ve struck gold if a campground has a dog park. It’s always good to know you’ll have a secure, penned section where your dog is welcome to run around, play with other dogs, and do its business.

A List of Local Pet Friendly Businesses

Serious pet friendly campgrounds go above and beyond to learn about local cafes, hiking trails, and beaches that welcome pets and share them with guests.

5 Ways to Find Pet Friendly Campgrounds Your Whole Family Will Love

Now, you’re probably wondering how to find these fantastic, pet friendly campgrounds. Our team understands what it means to ensure our family pets are welcomed and accepted anywhere RV and campervan travelers go.

We want to offer you the five best resources to help you find pet friendly campgrounds across the USA.

1. Mobile Apps

Our smartphones are handy tools for nearly everything, including finding the best pet friendly campgrounds. We found a mobile app called BringFido, available on Apple iOS and Android. The app helps you locate campgrounds, hotels, attractions, events, and restaurants that welcome your pet. As long as you have a general idea of where you want to camp or your ultimate destination before leaving home, BringFido can help you map everything out.

While other apps are listed, most are in beta or don’t provide the feedback we need to recommend them, but BringFido looks great!

2. Websites

Fortunately, many websites cater to RV lovers who love their pets, helping pinpoint the best destinations to keep everyone safe and happy.

Here are a few of our favorite websites:

  • Pet Friendly Travel. The name says it all! Pet Friendly Travel offers various tips on traveling with pets, especially finding a safe place for everyone to rest and enjoy each stop and destination. At the bottom of this page, you can locate pet friendly campgrounds by state.
  • Getaway Couple. Getaway Couple is a website chronicling a couple’s RV adventures and sharing insights, including traveling with pets. They discuss strategies for finding pet friendly campgrounds, such as calling ahead, checking campground websites, and asking fellow RV travelers who have pets. Here, they recommend the five most dog-friendly campgrounds in the U.S.

3. Community Boards

Community boards remain popular and are a great way to communicate with fellow RV travelers. In these communities, you can ask nearly anything about RV travel safety and fun, including pet-related questions.

Here are some community boards you might visit to ask friendly community members about the most pet friendly campgrounds across the U.S.:

  • RV Forum. The RV Forum community features a full section on RVing with Pets, so you can go directly to that section. However, it’s worth checking out the rest of the forum to get acquainted with your virtual RV traveling companions. They might offer more advice in various sections.
  • iRV2 Community. The iRV2 Community features a subforum dedicated to traveling with pets called RVing with Pets. You can discuss pet friendly campgrounds and anything else you need to know about traveling with pets, such as care and calming strategies for dogs and cats.
  • RV Network. Also known as the Escapees Club, the RV Network has an avid community of RV owners who live, breathe, and love the lifestyle and community. You’ll find subforms for part-timers, full-timers, technical tips and tricks, RV Housekeeping, and of course, RVing with pets.

4. Reach Out to Campgrounds Near Your Destination

If you know your destination and do a preliminary search of the campgrounds in the area, you can visit their website or call them directly. Most businesses welcome direct inquiries to avoid confusion or disappointment for either party. This way, you’ll know what to expect before you leave home or your current pet friendly campsite.

Do You Need Help Planning Your RV Trip?

If you are searching for safe and welcoming campgrounds for your dog or cat, our team at RecVan can help. We’ve done our share of traveling. We also know plenty of RVing pet lovers happy to share insights and help you get the information you need.

When you become part of the RVing community, you’ll never need to worry about finding the best spot where your pet is welcome and has plenty to do to stay active and happy during their stay too.