Dog Friendly Campervan Hire
We are very happy to be able to offer pet-friendly campervan hire from our base in Hampshire. Where you go from there is up to you but you can certainly take your dog on a campervan holiday with you!
Type 'Dog Friendly Holidays' or "Pet Friendly Holidays" into a search engine and a plentiful array of holidays appear in just a few seconds.
They all have one thing in common, a single destination. Whilst that may be suitable for some, we at Southampton Campers love variety, which is just what you’ll find if you book a pet friendly campervan holiday with us!
Just how much do we love dogs? This infographic of data from the pdsa paw report 2020 shows that our love affair with our pets is only on the increase. We are seeing it too, with a sizeable proportion of hires taking their dogs with them.
We are dog lovers ourselves; the owner has a cheeky little Cockerpoo and the rest of the team either have dogs themselves or grew up with them, so you can be sure that we know just how important your dog is to you and your family.
We have wipe-clean seats, external shower attachments to wash off muddy paws, and plenty of room for you and your dog to have an amazing campervan holiday.
Can we bring our Dog in a Campervan?
Absolutely you can! We often get asked if dogs are allowed in our campervans, it’s great when everyone can join in on the fun; no worrying about choosing the right kennel, the fees that can be considerable, or worrying will your dog be looked after?
Will they be okay away from their owners? Not to mention the guilt of leaving them behind! Well, now you can take your dog in a campervan and all holiday together with a clear conscious.
And that is just the nearest of many others to choose from in Hampshire alone! Fancy somewhere further afield? No problem, especially with our unlimited UK mileage you can travel as far or as little as you like!
How about Europe?
Even the EU is possible with the correct paperwork and the green light from us of course, we need to insure the campervan for European travel so you’ll need to check with us first before leaving the UK.
Dogs in a camper while driving
How do you travel with a dog in a van? Keeping the family and your dog safe whilst driving is not a problem in our campers as long as they are properly restrained.
Best not to let them travel on the front seats or allow them to stick their head out of the window, however amusing that looks! The Highway Code has this to say,
"When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, carrier, cage or guard are ways of restraining animals in cars"
How can I secure my dog in a campervan?
Depending on the car safety harness you have, it should be easily transferable into our campervans. There are seatbelt points on the rear bench seat or the normal lead-type designs can be looped around the head restraints or over the arms of the captain seats.
Just be sure that the lead allows enough movement for your dog to get comfortable but without causing any mischief whilst driving.
Plenty of Room for Crates
Depending if your dog normally travels in a dog crate then feel free to bring it with you. There is also plenty of space on the rear parcel-shelf or on the floor of the main living area to accommodate it.
Please do bear in mind that when the bench seat is pulled forward to make the lower bunk for bedtime it does reduce the floor space available. In this situation maybe transfer the crate into the boot and your dog can keep your tootsies warm at the bottom of the bed.
We know how dogs love to get messy and your campervan is built to be suitable for them. From the robust, durable flooring to the waterproof seat coverings, we’ve made it easy for you to wipe down muddy paw prints without stressing too much about the upholstery.
Some of our campervans even have a shower attachment so you can rinse off those muddy boots and muddy dogs! Even for those campers without the shower head, you will find some anti-bacterial spray provided to keep the place spic and span.
All of our campers come fitted with a powerful blown-air heating system so after a quick doggie adventure involving water, the BEST kind, you can dry your pooch! It’s even useful for keeping the humans warm during the winter!
Where Can Dogs Sleep in a Campervan?
We all like to take a little piece of home with us when away, and the same goes for our pooches! Dogs love their beds, it’s their safe space. We recommend using a soft bed, as this is easier to store when not in use.
If your pet is used to sleeping on your bed at home they can do the same in the camper, however, this is only allowed on the bottom bunk, no doggies in the top bunk, please. It’s dangerous and the pop-top is only meant for two-legged friends.
Just like any traveller, your dog will need to bring some of their own stuff; lead, food, bowls, frisbee, ball etc, etc. Lucky then, that your campervan has ample storage for it all. There are plenty of places to store everything they need; two under-sink cupboards, a wardrobe and you can also use the drawer under the back seat.
It’s easy to reach position, means you can access it from the side of the camper without the need of actually getting into the vehicle, perfect when reaching for that doggy towel!
Keeping Your Dog Comfy and Happy in a Camper
To help settle your dog in their new campervan environment it might be an idea to bring their blanket or a favourite toy, just a little familiar piece of home to help settle them into their new home.
A comfortable dog is a happy dog and for those summer days be sure to take advantage of the wind-out awning. Extending this will increase your living space giving you and your four-legged friend a nice area to relax in but be shielded from the suns’ rays.
Be sure to keep them hydrated often with plenty of water, available with the lift of a lever from the sink. The 32-litre tank should be enough to keep everyone happy.
If your pet has fresh food, do not worry about storage as the 42l capacity fridge will keep all food and drinks nicely chilled!
Getting into and out of the campervan in a pet-friendly way should be easy. The step into the camper is not too high, making it easy to enter and exit, however big or small, to hop in and out unaided.
Some of our campervans feature an electric sliding side door so you can open the vehicle up from a distance with a press of the key-fob without constantly getting up to let your dog in and out. Especially convenient for those times when they can't quite make up their minds; inside-outside-inside...you get the idea…or is it just my dog that does this!?
When you first set off, drive gently. Both you and your dog need to get used to this new vehicle. The campervan will typically have a higher centre of gravity than your own car so adjust your driving style to accommodate for it.
Days Out for Dogs
If you are heading for the beach consider how far away the car park might be. Ideally, you’ll want to be parked close by so that you can nip to the camper for any supplies and to top-up Fido’s water regularly. Where that is not possible then take a bowl with you, preferably the collapsible kind, and top this – up.
Try to bring a sunshade if you can or if that is not possible then a large umbrella, opened and laid on the ground makes a great makeshift sunshade to lay under. Just make sure that it is secured to prevent it blowing away!
Dog Friendly Beaches and Walks
If you have decided to go on holiday in Hampshire then the following beaches allow dogs:
If country walks are more your thing, Hampshire has a lot to offer:
Top Tips for a Dog Friendly Campervan Hire Holiday
1. Check campsite rules
Most campsites will insist that dogs be kept tethered when outside unless in a dedicated exercise area.
To give them some freedom but still being able to control their movements, we recommend a tether that is staked to the ground with a spring tensioner.
This makes it more comfortable for them when they quite literally reach the end of their tether! It doesn’t jar them too much and acts as a gentle reminder of their boundary.
2. Dedicated doggy days
Plan for some dedicated doggy fun days. It's their holiday too so why not plan some activities around what they like to do? Maybe they love the woodlands or the sandy beach?
The campervan will give you the flexibility to travel to these places and more.
Be sure to check for any local guidelines around what your dog can and can't do whilst visiting and remember that some places, especially beaches, have different rules depending on the time of year.
3. Boosters and treatments
It's a good idea to ensure that all of your pet's vaccinations are up to date. If you haven't seen your vet in a while it could be worth checking that any boosters aren't required.
It is also an ideal time to adminstrer any flea or worming treatments. Ticks are of particular concern and most fleas treatments also help protect against these.
Your dog will be in new environments and possibly mixing with other dogs so it makes sense to protect them as much as possible.
4. Check their recall
How is your dog's recall and response to your commands? There will be lots of new exciting sights, smells and experiences that your dog may find distracting.
Maybe have a little refresher course with your dog to ensure that you can quickly get their attention for when you need it.
Always have some of their favourite treats on hand for when you need their attention quickly, but they are being stubborn!
Your dog might not be used to potentially spending so much time with other dogs in close vicinity.
Try and acclimatise them to spending more time with other dogs by taking them on walks with the sole aim of meeting other pooches on their home turf.
This will help them get used to meeting other dogs but in an environment they already know and with you close at hand to manage any situations.
6. Leaving a dog in a campervan
We know you don’t like doing it but for those rare occasions when you do need to leave your dog in the vehicle unattended briefly, the campervan has some clever features.
You can set the alarm to arm only the doors but not the internal movement sensors by either pressing the button on the ‘B-pillar’ just behind the drivers’ seat or a quick double press on the key-fob will do the trick.
You can also pop the roof up and push the ceiling up out of the way. This allows for all the warm air to escape through the vents in the canvas.
We have occasionally done this ourselves on warm sunny days and it regulates the inside vehicle temperature perfectly to match the outside, you can even make use of the built-in blackout blinds if you need to.
We obviously don’t recommend leaving them unattended for long periods but this is a great option if you need it.
It’s worth leaving a note visible explaining that the inside temperature is nice and cool just in case any well-meaning member of the public is thinking of calling the RSPCA.
7. Take Pictures
Take pictures, lots of them. Time with your dog is precious just like any other family member so be sure to record your trip. We’d love to share in your adventures too so be sure to tag us in on your favourite social media platform.
Essential Travel items for your dog
With so many campsites welcoming dogs to choose from, what’s stopping you from fitting in as many stop-offs as you like? If you have a longer break planned and your pet has a passport, why not consider travelling further afield? There are plenty of welcoming European campsites just waiting for you and your dog to visit. We strongly recommend checking the latest government guidance for information on returning to the UK with an animal. The rules can be quite complex regarding returning from some countries with an animal, it may even require a local Vet to provide some paperwork before being allowed to return to the UK, so it’s really best to check well in advance.
We can’t help you with any of the paperwork for your European travel unfortunately, but we can certainly handle the vehicle paperwork. If you are considering travelling abroad, please do let us know at the time of your booking. We can then request the required international travel documentation and arrange insurance and breakdown cover for travel within Europe.
Any questions? Please do contact us . We look forward to welcoming you all, on your family campervan adventure!