Last updated on May 9th, 2023 at 08:12 am
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There’s nothing better than hitting the road with your family, including your canine companion coming along for adventures in your RV. But does your dog struggle with the steps of your RV, whether it be your dog’s age, anxiety, or familiarity with using steps?
Perhaps a ramp for your dog is the answer, allowing for easy access to and from your rig. Your dog is a part of your family, and they deserve the same comfort as you! Let’s take a more in-depth look at the value of dog ramps in your RV and some ramps that we recommend.
But if you want to jump ahead and take a look at our favorites you can see them here:
- Easy to set up and store
- Rated for up to 300 pounds
- High-traction surface and side rails
- Specially designed, high traction surface
- Very lightweight
What is an RV Dog Ramp?
A dog ramp is exactly what it sounds like; a ramp for your dog (or you) to use when entering and exiting your RV. Most dog ramps are made with only the weight of a dog in mind, but some ramps can bear more weight than others.
Dog ramps usually attach to the doorway of your rig or perhaps your RV’s existing steps and extend down to the ground at an even pace. This means that your dog does not have to contend with the existing steps or the big jump they would have to perform to enter and exit your RV.
Why Do I Need an RV Dog Ramp?
The question of needing a dog ramp comes down to your dog’s own unique needs. You may not need a dog ramp for a young, healthy dog who is fully grown and experiencing no hip or leg issues. My two-year-old mutt leaps out of my rig every single day without fear or pain, so a dog ramp is not necessary for me at this time.
However, if you have an older dog that still loves to travel, or perhaps an uncoordinated puppy, or even a dog with short legs, a ramp may be something to consider. Ramps allow for easier access to the outside world as well as to the interior of your RV.
Your rig’s steps may seem easy for humans to operate, but your older pup may be undergoing daily pain jumping up and down from such a height. Hip troubles plague many dogs, and dogs are known to hide their pain from humans to not worry them. Just read this article by PetMD, discussing how your dog might be in pain and what you can do to help!
Again, you may find that your dog is healthy, fit, and happy to use your RV’s standard steps. But for those of you concerned about the age and health of your most likely older pup, a ramp may be a great choice to make before your next camping trip!
The Benefits of an RV Dog Ramp?
Dog ramps have many benefits, both for you and your pet. While not all dog ramps are made for people, no matter what, you and your dog will benefit from less strain on your knees and legs. Older dogs most likely will have arthritis or be susceptible to other injuries, so a ramp can make things easier and relieve some pain.
Besides the health of you and your pet, ramps may also prevent future injury. Both my partner and I have slipped stepping out of our rig because our RV’s step is notoriously unreliable. A ramp would solve our problem, right away!
At the end of the day, the main benefit of a dog ramp is the happiness of your pup. Easing their anxiety should they be fearful of metal steps is something every dog owner should aspire to. A dog ramp is a necessity in my book for any dog that struggles up and down stairs. Your dog will be in less pain and live a happier life, and all it takes is a portable ramp! Well, snuggles probably help too.
What to Consider When Purchasing an RV Dog Ramp?
Some considerations should be on your mind before your eventual dog ramp purchase. Here are some of the top features and considerations you should contemplate before shopping!
1. Weight of Your Dog
The weight of your dog matters for some of these ramps. While all ramps have a listed weight limit, some dog ramps are only rated for small dogs. The last thing you need is for your Great Dane to have a tiny ramp break underneath him!
Make sure you know your dog’s weight before shopping, and if more than one dog is going to use the ramp at a time, make sure your math is right!
2. Weight of the Ramp
Dog ramps are there to be convenient for your dog, but are they also convenient for you? Given that RVs are usually on the move, having a lighter-weight ramp capable of being packed up and moved around frequently seems like a smart idea. A big, sturdy dog ramp might seem like a good idea unless you can’t lift it!
3. Foldability and Compactness
Much like the weight of the ramp needs to be considered, you should also consider the foldability and compact nature of the ramp. RV space is often at a premium, and an RV dog ramp needs to fold or collapse in some way so that you can store it, no problem. Some ramps will be bigger than others, so make sure you have the space for one should you be set on purchasing one!
4. Do You Want to Use the Ramp Too?
Most dog ramps are made for dog use only, designed for four legs and 150 pounds or less. This is where a dog ramp can become tricky: are you comfortable moving it out of the way of your rig’s door anytime you need to enter or exit the RV? This can get old fast, especially if you’ve got a busy family.
Some dog ramps are rated to support humans as well as dogs, but not the vast majority of them. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving the ramp out of the way, you’ll have to find a ramp that can support human weight too! You may still need to add support to these ramps to assist in their longevity, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Materials and Construction
RV dog ramps can be made from a range of materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. Depending on how complicated you want to get, or where you plan on camping, some ramp materials might be better than others. Aluminum seems to be the ramp material of choice, often being lightweight and strong, perfect for hitting the road! However, make sure the material can support your pups, first and foremost.
6. Steepness of the Incline
Depending on the ramp design and the height of your rig, you may have some trouble finding a long enough ramp that provides a steady incline rather than a steep walkway.
Your pup may experience just as much pain walking up a steep ramp as they do taking the steps. The incline matters, both to your and your pup, so keep this in mind before you make your final purchase.
7. All Weather Protection
If you plan to leave your ramp outside for the majority of its lifetime, consider the weather. Rain, ice, and snow can make any surface hazardous, especially ramps. Some dog ramps are coated in nonslip materials as well as carpet or astroturf. This may be something to consider, especially if you plan to camp in inclement weather. Dogs can slip too!
8. Supporting the Ramp
While this may or may not be an included feature in the dog ramp you eventually choose to purchase, supporting your ramp underneath can only help extend its life. Much like stabilizers or trailer jacks support your rig, you may consider an additional support purchase beneath your dog ramp.
While this could be something as simple as a milk crate or piece of wood, it’s always a good idea to further support your dog ramp. If you plan to purchase a ramp that supports humans as well as dogs, supporting a ramp from underneath may prove necessary. These ramps, ultimately, are designed for dogs, and dogs are much lower to the ground than humans.
Many taller people who have used dog ramps report unsteadiness and even bowing and bending on the ramp! Supports are your best bet for fixing this issue, which means both you and your dog can enter your rig safely!
7 Best Dog Ramps for Your RV
Have you weighed your dogs and determined how much ramp you need to support them? What about your budget and material preferences? No matter what, your dog can’t wait to have your love and support, so let’s dive right into some of the best dog ramps for your RV!
Best Overall: PetSafe Happy Ride Extra Long Telescoping Dog Ramp
- Easy to set up and store
- Rated for up to 300 pounds
- High-traction surface and side rails
This PetSafe ramp checks a lot of boxes in my eyes: it’s a lightweight ramp, can support up to 300 pounds, and maintains an extra-long and easy incline for pups. The longer length and extra wide features of this telescoping ramp are standout features for me, as they allow pets to get in and out of vehicles with steeper inclines far easier, such as long RVs.
This particular ramp measures 47-87 inches long with a 20-inch width, perfect for my friends and family to use, and the extra width is an important factor for me as it means there’s less chance of someone accidentally falling off! This ramp is the Extra Large version (42% bigger) of PetSafe’s Deluxe Telescoping Ramp, with the extra size providing a gentler climbing angle and additional walking space to help pets reach high elevations.
I like that the ramp is made from a mixture of aluminum and plastic, creating an ideal combination of lightweight strength and dependable durability, especially since it’s been tested up to 300 pounds! I try to keep weight to a minimum in my rig, so this ramp weighing just 18 pounds when stored is a big bonus, and with a convenient carrying case available to purchase, I know I can keep it in the best condition possible, and for longer.
Another big draw for me is the high-traction surface and side rails, as I often worry about slipping and falling over, especially in wet weather conditions. This ramp, however, lets dogs confidently walk up and down the ramp without tumbling off the side – a crucial factor for all dog owners. I also find the ease of storage helpful, as the ramp can be stored conveniently by simply sliding it in and locking it with the safety latch to prevent it from opening during travel.
While it is only recommended for dog use, the weight rating of this ramp should allow for human use as well, a useful feature if, like me, you want to avoid moving the ramp around constantly throughout the day to enter your RV. I think it’s wise to add some extra support for the ramp from below for times when friends, family, and their furry companions come to visit, as the lightweight materials of this ramp would benefit from the extra reinforcement and help with the load.
You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Traction: Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp with supertraX Surface
- Specially designed, high traction surface
- Very lightweight
I love a company keeping an eye out for pets’ safety, and this Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp with supertraX Surface is no exception. While it has a lot of great features, I am particularly impressed by the supertraX surface, made specifically for pet’s paws to ensure they have adequate traction, no matter the weather!
SupertraX is being utilized in the pet industry as a removable mat that can be used on ramps and stairs where traction is a concern, and one of the most important features of supertraX is that it allows for “pressure-activated gripping”. This is a game-changer as it means the more pressure a pet puts on the mat, the stronger the grip is achieved.
I like the lightweight nature of this ramp, weighing just 13 pounds and folding up compactly – something I always look for with any addition to my RV as it means the ramp isn’t an eyesore in the middle of my rig! It also has a substantial weight capacity of 150 pounds which may tick the box for some pet owners, but I would suggest considering a different ramp if your pup is on the larger, heavier side!
There’s no doubt this is a fantastic piece of kit, but I wish it was a bit longer, as it only measures 66 inches which may be too steep an incline for pups that are getting older and stiffer. The traction feature of this ramp is hard to beat, however, and if you plan on RVing year-round, even in winter, it’s a wise investment to make life for you and your pup easier.
You can learn more and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Senior Dogs: Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide Portable Pet Ramp
- Heavy duty
- Long and wide
Safety is of paramount importance to me, and I want my rig to be a safe space that loved ones and their four-legged companions can enjoy; that’s why I had to add the Pet Gear Tri-Fold Ramp 71 Inch Long Extra Wide Portable Pet Ramp. Not only is this ramp extra long and extra wide, but it’s also reflective, I huge benefit in my eyes, as it means dogs won’t have any issues using the ramp in the dark, making toilet time at night a whole lot easier!
It’s easy to see Pet Gear has carefully designed this ramp with dogs at the forefront with this extra-wide piece of kit. The tread is skid-resistant, even when wet, keeping pets steady and safe even on the wettest of days, and the side reflectors help increase the ramp’s visibility when in use. Rubber grippers on the bottom of the ramp help it maintain a stable position, a big relief for RVers like me who always worry about their dogs, and as the ramp is 72 inches long, it has a gentle incline for senior dogs too!
It also doesn’t take up too much space, as it has an innovative folding design, reducing the storage room needed significantly. I particularly like the carry handles as when it comes to packing everything down and moving onwards to a new location, I can lift the ramp up and fold it away without any hassle, especially since it only weighs around 25 pounds!
This ramp is rated for 200 pounds, so it may suit human use, but I always think it’s best to be safe rather than sorry and take all the precautions necessary! The compact storage capabilities, as well as durable materials, make this ramp a great addition, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the material, as some RVers have mentioned it can get slippy over time.
I know this is the second Pet Gear ramp I’ve added to this list, but they are well worth considering, and with many different products available, it’s not hard to find exactly what you need for life on the road with your dog. You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best on a Budget: COZIWOW 62” L Heavy Duty Portable Folding Dog Ramp
- Easy to store
While this COZIWOW ramp doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles as others on this list, such as innovative traction, I think it’s a great budget option that’s worth considering.
This ramp is made of all-weather plastic, making it easy to clean and maintain, a big benefit in my eyes when the rest of the RV needs to be tidied too! Although the plastic construction is lightweight, I would personally prefer some metal in the construction for added durability, but all in all, this is a tidy and affordable ramp.
A fairly basic sandpaper layer covers the ramp’s surface, giving dogs a bit more traction than normal, but certainly not as sufficient as some of the other ramps listed, so I would advise taking extra care and caution when using this COZIWOW ramp! Easy to fold and operate, this ramp isn’t the most compact of the bunch, but it’s arguably the most simplistic as it simply attaches with side latches.
I wouldn’t recommend this ramp for human use, however, as it only has a 200-pound weight capacity, and the plastic materials won’t perform well under human weight. It also might not fit the bill for larger dogs, as the width is on the smaller side measuring only 16 inches, but it may be perfect for smaller dogs who don’t require too much space.
Like any dog ramp for your RV, I find it best to ensure the steepness of the incline isn’t too much, as it can be difficult and daunting for dogs to use. As it only measures 62 inches long, my younger dog would have no problem bounding down the ramp, but older pups may work better with a less intense incline.
If you’ve got a budget to stick to, and a small furry friend, this ramp should do the job! You can check out the latest price and read more reviews on Amazon by clicking here.
Most Compact: ALL FOR PAWS Portable Foldable Dog Ramp
- Handle and locks included
I find nothing beats an RV product that folds up and can be stored away easily, and the ALL FOR PAWS ramp does just that, folding up into a neat little 15-inch box after use. I also find it easy to transport as it has a handy carrying handle, something that makes my life considerably easier, especially if I’m juggling 10 things all at once!
This ramp is rated for up to 200 pounds, perfect for almost all dogs, although I wouldn’t recommend it for humans unless you want to risk falling through it and onto the floor! The non-slip surface, paired with raised side rails, provides optimal traction and secure footing, something I want my dogs to have when they are getting in and out of my RV, but the 61-inch length may be too steep for older pups.
I’m sure all dog owners would agree that pups can be sensitive to what they walk on from time to time, and the texture of this ramp may not be to the taste of all dogs. To help make dogs feel more comfortable, I think it’s a good idea to throw a beach towel down on top of the ramp, making the material softer and more user-friendly for dogs.
Nothing is more frustrating when I’m driving down the road in my rig and something comes undone or gets loose and starts crashing around in the back of my RV! Therefore, I’m grateful for the plastic buckles this ramp comes with that prevent the ramp from unfolding when it’s stored away. All in all, this is a great dog ramp for your rig, especially if you don’t have a sizeable class C RV and instead your camper is on the smaller side.
You can read more about this compact ramp and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best for Large Dogs: PetSTEP Folding Pet Ramp
- High weight limit
- Sturdy rubber surface
- Folds flat
Rated to withstand a staggering 500 pounds, I had to include this ramp in our list, as it can accommodate even the largest of dogs! The PetSTEP Folding Pet Ramp is made from high-quality plastic materials, making it sturdy and durable, things I look for in a dog ramp. The ramp has several safety features including a unique non-slip ridged surface that is not found on other ramps, a stand-out feature for me as the last thing I want on vacation is any injuries with my dog!
This surface is soft on pets’ paws and helps pets maintain grip and traction, so I don’t need to worry about my dog slipping or feeling uncomfortable when entering or exiting my RV. A soft but heavy-duty rubber universal non-slip grip is found on each end that fits vehicles and edges, and there are additional accessories available to purchase which is a game-changer for RVers like me who often have a more permanent setup.
The ramp is easy to use as I simply have to unfold the ramp and prop one end against my RV, making the setup quick and simple. With its sturdy structure and rubberized surface, the ramp helps reduce arthritis and dysplasia pain, lowers the chances of injury, and cuts down on back strain, something I try and do every day for my pup.
PetStep has some great training tips as shown in the video below if your dog is a little nervous using it for the first time.
This lightweight, portable ramp weighing just 18 pounds, can be folded in half and I particularly like the molded ergonomic handles built-in on each side, which makes it easy to carry and store. Easy to set up and low on maintenance, this ramp can be cleaned with soap and water, a big bonus if like me you prefer to avoid using harsh chemicals.
I wouldn’t recommend this ramp for human use, but its 500-pound weight limit is encouraging but you may want to support it from below. Like many of the dog ramps I’ve mentioned, older dogs can struggle with steep inclines, and as this ramp measures up to 70 inches long, it may not suit all dogs, especially those who are stiff or struggling with old age.
Overall, if you have a big dog (or perhaps a desire to leave your ramp set up for human use as well) this may be the best ramp for you! You can read more reviews and see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Best All-Round Option: WeatherTech PetRamp Folding Dog Ramp
- Suitable for young and old dogs
- Good stability due to feet end grips
- US-designed and manufactured
- Compact size when folded
Where possible, I always think it’s good to support brands based in the US where the product is both designed and manufactured in-country. That’s why I’ve added the WeatherTech PetRamp Folding Dog Ramp to this list! Made in the US, this ramp is convenient for a variety of dogs, and even my big furry pal can use it as it’s rated up to 300 lbs.
I like that this durable ramp is pretty sizeable when unfolded, measuring 67 x 15 inches, but folds away to a compact 33.5 inches. I live in a small space, so the last I want is a bulky dog ramp in the middle of my living area! Moving this ramp around isn’t too much of a struggle, but at 16 lbs, I wouldn’t want to be carrying it around for too long.
Living and traveling full-time on the road, I tend to experience all different kinds of weather conditions from scorching sun to icy snow. Therefore, the soft rubber material and feet end grips are a big draw for me as they improve traction and overall stability for dogs, something I think is particularly important for an RV dog ramp.
As I’ve said before, I live in a tight space, so naturally, I like to keep things packed away neatly when not in use. Weathertech does offer a sleek storage bag for this ramp, ideal for keeping it in the best condition for longer. The storage bag is, however, an additional purchase, increasing the total spend for this dog ramp, this is frustrating as RVing already tends to cost a lot! It’s something worth considering though, as the heavy-duty handles make transporting the ramp around a breeze.
Training Your Dog to Use Your New Ramp
Is your dog unused to ramps or perhaps nervous about using one? It may seem strange, but dogs can develop anxiety or display confusion when faced with a ramp. I had a pup that refused to walk over any metal grates on our morning walks. Living in a city made this difficult, and you may find your pup struggling with your new dog ramp at first.
Training your dog to use a ramp may be easier than you think. Make sure you have lots of treats, and make sure you’re ready to praise them. You can teach an old dog new tricks, especially if there are treats involved! Ramps are always strange to dogs to begin with, as they have only ever jumped into your rig in the past.
Laying the ramp flat on the ground is the ideal way to train your dog to fully use the ramp when you first bring it home. Let your pup smell it, explore it, and get used to it while it is flat on the ground. Then, using treats, lead them down the ramp from beginning to end, until all of their feet are off the ramp.
Reward them, should your pup complete the ramp from beginning to end. Practice until you think they understand it, then attach the ramp to your rig and try again. The main goal is to keep your dog from bailing on the ramp halfway down. And there’s no doubt they can do it, especially with some treats involved!
RV vacation feels complete when the whole family can come along for all the fun, and that includes any furry companions you may have! I feel incomplete without my dog at my side, and the addition of an RV dog ramp makes things a whole lot easier for my pup to enter and exit my rig.
Whether you have a young, bouncy pup who can race around everywhere with ease, or an older dog who is a bit slow and stiff, there’s a perfect dog ramp out there for you!