RVing without Dogs, a Confession about Pros and the Cons

Not a day goes by when I don’t miss our crazy Wyatt Ray Dawg. But lately I’ve come to accept that RVing without dogs isn’t always a bad thing. The last eight months have been the first time in 12 years that Jim and I have been without a canine co-pilot. Here’s my confession.

My urge to find us a new Tripawds Spokesdog is growing. But I need to remind myself of the pros of RVing without dogs.

Rene Agredano Jim Nelson hiking 14er Handies Peak
We hiked a 14-er without worrying about a dog at the RV

Long day hike? No problem when you’re RVing without dogs.

We tackled our first 14-er mountain today, Handies Peak. We were gone over 7 hours. Despite coming to Lake City since 2008, which is surrounded by five of Colorado’s 14-ers, we’ve never tackled this bucket list adventure hike. We just wouldn’t leave Wyatt alone by himself for that many hours, and taking our Tripawd on the trail was not an option (don’t get me started on my feelings about hikers who drag their four-legged dogs onto those 14-er hikes). 

We can sleep in our tiny backpacking tent a lot more comfortably.

RVing without dogs
A tiny tent without a German Shepherd is way more comfy.

We’ll do it again next week when the Perseids Meteor Shower puts on a show.

Workamping without a dog is much easier.

workamping with dogs
Workaming with dogs adds more worry to the job.

I can go to my job without feeling guilty for leaving him at home, or wondering what he might eat while we are away.

And we can go to any RV park.

RV park breed bans
Austin and Wyatt say RV park breed bans are ignorant and unfair.

We spent lots of time worrying about stupid RV park breed bans that label my German Shepherd as “aggressive” (but disregard the fact that small breed dogs can be just as “vicious”)–especially on the East Coast. It’s something you always think about when you have a bigger dog.

There’s a lot to appreciate about RVing without dogs.

RVing and dogs pros and cons
We never would have left our dog alone for the 7.5 hours we were here.

I forgot what this freedom felt like. I feel a little bad for enjoying it right now.

But here’s another confession: when I see someone walking their dog, my heart does a flip-flop.

RVing with dogs pros and cons
Dogs bring us closer to our adventures and make us better people.

Seeing a dog and their human reminds me how much I miss the bond you share with a non-human creature who depends on you for their comfort and quality of life.

I miss learning new things with my dog, while communicating to each other in a way that transcends the English language. Animals bring us so much closer to nature, the essence of our being.

Seeing the world through a dog’s eyes, and their constant reminder about how to Be More Dog, is something I miss too.

At times I’ve wondered if this freedom is something we could get used to.

Hiking Lake City Colorado
This was another long hike that we never would have done with a dog at the RV.

But the answer is, not a chance.

Despite the drawbacks of RVing with dogs, I know the trade-off is worth it. I’m pretty sure Jim feels the same way, even if he’s not ready for another dog yet.

There’s no doubt about it, our life is much more colorful and interesting when Dog is our Co-Pilot.

8 thoughts on “RVing without Dogs, a Confession about Pros and the Cons”

  1. Glad you guys knocked off a 14er, sorry that it doesn’t look like I’ll make one with you. As far as having or not having a canine companion, maybe you need to make a bucket list of all the things you can’t do if you have a dog and then go do those things. For example, National parks no longer allow dogs on trails. Hiking in Glacier National Park is spectacular.

    After you complete your dog free bucket list, you will either be ready for a dog or not. Life is about experiences. Maybe this is your time to experience travel without a furry companion for a few years. You can always change your mind and as someone else said, your dog may find you.

    • I know Larry, total bummer you can’t do one with us this year! There’s always next time.

      Honestly I don’t know how you and Nancy went all those years without a dog! I’m sure that when our right dog comes along we will know and we’ll keep having fun for sure. But until then, those experiences just don’t seem quite as shiny or meaningful to me without seeing them through the eyes of a pointy-eared pup.

  2. It’s something that has definitely affected where we have traveled. We have a 17 & a 14 year old. We promised them we would take them to as many states to see squirrels as possible. They especially liked the chipmunks at Vickers.

    • Hah Andy I heard you guys had a ton of skwirels last year! Eeeek! Very entertaining for the dogs I’m sure. That’s awesome you are giving them the dream life, senior dogs are the best! Hope we get to meet them some day.

  3. Hi Rene and Jim
    Your Canadian friend Gord still lurking.

    Not to worry my friends, I firmly believe, If you are to have another dog in the future, the dog will find you.

    Keep well.

  4. As Jack gets older and his health declines I have the same internal discussion. He is the best dog I’ve ever had and we have a strong bond. I’m not sure what I’ll do when the time comes.

    • Pattie, love that boy up. I’m so glad Jack is still doing pretty well. Treasure him and focus on today. It’s never enough time with them, is it?


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