Best 2023 Heartland Models for Traveling With Pets
Dogs didn’t earn the nickname “man’s best friend” for no reason. Ever since cats and dogs were domesticated, humans have kept them close and treated them like family. Pets live with us, give us affection, and sometimes even sleep in our beds. So of course, it’s only natural that when we hit the road in an RV, we want to bring our furry best friends with us.
We’ve already shared some tips for dog etiquette at campgrounds, and there are tons of articles online about how to prepare animals for life on the road. You can also add any number of gadgets, tools, and accessories to make your RV more hospitable for your furry friends. But today, we’re going to focus on the best 2023 Heartland RVs for traveling with pets, and the features they have that make them pet-friendly. So if you’re in the market for a new RV this year and looking to travel with your cats or dogs, these models deserve a closer look.
The Best Models with Beds for Pets
You can buy a pet bed at any pet supply store in the world. But with floor space at a premium, there’s an easy way to kill two birds with one stone.
Many RV models have design details that provide comfortable, convenient places for your pet to sleep. For example, in the Landmark Chesapeake, there’s a cushioned bench in the master bedroom perfect for smaller pets. That means they could curl up close to you while you sleep, without necessarily sleeping in your bed.
Bunkhouses also make a wonderful place for pets to sleep. Since beds can be covered by sheets, you’ve got an easy way to clean up any fur they shed, keep your bunks clean and give your babies plenty of room to spread out. Bunkhouses also often include a door that closes, in case you need to keep your pets safely contained for a while.
The Best Models with Outdoor Showers for Dogs
If you’re an outdoorsy, work-hard-play-hard type, we’re willing to bet your dog friends get pretty dirty. Whether they’re joining you on a long, muddy hike, diving headfirst into dubious bodies of water, or rolling in unidentified muck, dogs can usually use a quick rinse before coming inside. Thank goodness that lots of RV models include outdoor showers or outdoor spray ports to make that task easier.
What’s the difference between an outdoor shower and a spray port? An outdoor shower comes with a pre-fitted hand-held sprayer and water taps that allow you to control the temperature of the water (as long as your water heater is hooked up to electricity and functioning properly). By contrast, a spray port is a tap where you can hook up a hose to a water supply. You can add a sprayer of your choice, and you may have access to cold water, hot water, or both. And because you can add your own hose, it may be a more versatile option, allowing you to determine the ideal length you need.
There are tons of Heartland models with outdoor showers or spray ports. Check out the North Trail 33RETS, Cyclone 4006, Trail Runner 199BHS, Big Country 3500SS, and Sundance 242RK to see a few of them.
The Best Toy Hauler Models with Pet Patios
Other than its ability to haul motorized toys weighing hundreds of pounds, one of the best things a toy hauler can do is give you fenced-in outdoor space. With a few quick changes, the garage ramp becomes a suspended patio with guard rails on all sides. It’s the perfect place to drink coffee in the morning, eat meals, do yoga – or let your pets get some fresh air in a contained space.
Most of our toy hauler models come with standard or optional patio kits designed just for each model. They contain rails and screens to secure the edges of your rear patio, so people, furniture, and pets can’t easily fall (or jump) off the sides. In models with a set of stairs coming off the rear patio, the kits include a patio gate, so you can come and go with ease. Some models also include rear power awnings, so you can provide shade for your furry friends and let them lounge safely and comfortably.
Patios are a wonderful option. But very small dogs, cats, or other small pets still might be able to fit through the gaps in the fence. In that case, consider getting a pre-fab cat patio (catio), portable pet pen, or large cage where your small friends can enjoy the fresh air without potentially getting loose and getting lost.
The Best Models with Panoramic Windows for Pets
Humans have big-screen TVs, surround sound, Netflix, video games, and live sports for visual entertainment. What do pets have? Windows. And there are no better windows than the ones inside your RV, where your dogs and cats can view all kinds of new birds, weird neighbors, crazy squirrels, other pets, and much more.
And sure, we know you give your pet as much freedom as you can. You take them hiking, swimming, and out for walks if they’re the kind of pets that can safely go outside. But for pets that live primarily indoors, or when even outdoor pets need a little time to rest, big windows are a huge plus.
Not all RVs have space for large, panoramic windows – especially smaller models that make the most of every square inch of floor space. But tons of Heartland models use oversized windows to let in lots of natural light, especially in the living room and RV kitchen areas. In other words, areas where your pets can find a comfy seat in front of a window and chatter or chuff at the birds for hours.
The Best Models with Heavy-Duty Climate Control for Pets
One of the best parts of taking road trips with your RV is getting to experience the many different landscapes, natural wonders, and climates the U.S. has to offer. Seriously, not many countries can provide access to both deserts and rainforests, beaches and mountains, plains and prairies, and much more within their borders. And on top of that, you can enjoy skiing in fresh snow, hiking in temperate weather, and swimming in warm waters with tropical fishes without even having to whip out your passport.
But to take advantage of all that variety, you’ll need the proper equipment – like climate control that can handle any kind of weather. And when you’re traveling with pets, that goes double. Because there may be times when you need to leave your cats or dogs behind in the RV while you run errands, visit a museum, go parasailing, and so on. You need to know you can leave your small RV family members alone without worrying about them freezing or overheating.
Luckily, we have RV models that provide comprehensive heating and cooling options, so you can feel confident stepping out on your own. Many of our models include heated and enclosed underbellies and furnaces that keep them warm in cooler weather, and one or more air conditioning units to keep them cool in warmer weather. But in addition to climate control, you should also consider getting an RV temperature monitor so you can get up-to-the-moment alerts on your phone if your heating or cooling isn’t working properly while you’re away. This means you can leave your pets alone with the confidence that you’ll know the moment anything goes wrong, so you can return and ensure they’re safe and comfortable.
If you’re looking for models with high-powered climate control features like heated and enclosed underbellies, a furnace, and multiple available air conditioning units, take a look at the Elkridge 37BBH, Bighorn Traveler 37RD, Torque 384, Fuel 362, and Landmark Lafayette.
More of Heartland’s Great Pet-Friendly Features
Some of our most useful features for pet owners extend across Heartland brands and models. For example, standard easy-to-clean, marine-grade, carpet-free flooring means it’s easy to clean up pet shedding, accidents, and mud tracked in on puppy paws. The floors are water-resistant, durable, and hypoallergenic, too. Your pets may not appreciate them, but we think you will.
The fabric we use on our furniture is also low-maintenance, durable, and easy to keep clean. Because we get it, pets can be messy. They track things indoors, knock things over (sometimes just for fun), and aren’t always in control of their bodily functions. Shouldn’t your surroundings make your life easier when it comes to keeping things clean and looking nice?
Most of our models also include awnings outside your door, so you can create a shaded patio space. That means your dogs (and adventurous cats) can lounge outside comfortably, choosing to warm up in the sun or cool down in the shade as they need to. Just make sure you follow any applicable campground rules for keeping your pets leashed or tied up when they’re outside.
And finally, if you’re looking for something special, check out the Milestone 333MB. Designed with pet lovers in mind, it includes raised pet food bowls built right into the kitchen island. Because the family that eats together stays together – and that includes our furry friends.