I tested five products and found the PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Pet Ramp to be the best overall dog ramp for RV campers.
I grew up RV (that’s a recreational vehicle — like fifth wheels and towers, pop-ups and motorhomes, etc.) camping with my mom and dad, and it’s a tradition that I have loved carrying on with my own husband and kid. We live near a huge lake — a Great one, in fact — so opportunities for camping in my area are abundant.
My beagle enjoying a little sunshine in the RV by the lake (Photo credit: Cara Suppa)
Growing up, my parents had 80-lb old English sheepdogs, while I currently have one medium-sized beagle and a tiny little chihuahua. So our dog gear needs are very different, yet the best dog ramp for RV campers should be versatile enough for many breeds, RV models, and lifestyles.
This is why I like the PetSafe ramp so much. I had to pick it for the Best Overall, because it is so dang versatile, not only in terms of its length, which can be adjusted, but its weight, width, material composition and even price.
This isn’t to say that another, different ramp might suit your needs more closely. You know your dog and your RV better than anyone, so if you think your pup would like stairs better than one long ramp, then I have you covered. If your RV’s front door sits super high, I’ve got you there, too.
Let’s break down these five top-notch doggie RV ramps and find one that suits you and your family pet to a P (for the paw, of course).
As I mentioned, the PetSafe Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp has a lot of features that make it a great choice for pretty much any dog owner. At 17 inches wide, there is enough surface width for even bigger dogs, certainly more than some models which clock in at only 15 inches wide — that extra two inches make a difference!
It has lightweight, anti-rust aluminum and a plastic frame, which means not only will it stand up to rain and other inclement weather, if you go to the beach on vacation, as my family did, the salty sea air won’t corrode it, either.
Another thing I love is that the PetSafe ramp can hold up to 400 lbs. of dog. Yet the ramp itself only weighs 13 lbs., and because it’s retractable, it’s easy to transport and won’t take up too much room. You just slide it out to use it and then slide it back in when you’re packing up. Easy peasy.
Finally, the length is great. At 72 inches long when fully expanded, even the higher-set RV doors won’t create an unsafe angle for your dog. So it’s great for bigger dogs, but it’s also a nice option for smaller guys like my chihuahua, or even short-legged pups, like corgis, English bulldogs and dachshunds.
Don’t sleep on the Goplus Dog Car Ramp, either. If your RV is extra high up or your pet has health issues that make steeper climbs undesirable, the Goplus is an extra safe, extra-long option.
It extends to eight feet long (that’s almost an entire foot longer than the best overall), and it also features a sturdy and light aluminum frame. With the extra length on this model, however, comes extra heft; it clocks in at 18.5 pounds, so it’s not ideal for owners with mobility issues.
Even still, with a 250-lb. weight capacity, plus a convenient built-in handle for carrying, if you’ve got the muscle and your dog needs the gentle slope, make this your next great investment.
The GOHORA Portable Dog Steps are the best of the doggie “staircases,”, in my opinion. You might go with this option if your pup is none too sure about the slope of a ramp; most dogs are quite familiar with steps, after all.
What I love about this product, which is less than 10 lbs. but can hold up to 200 lbs. of weight, is how gradual and secure the steps are — no crazy bounce, even if your dog is the bouncing sort, with a grippy, durable surface.
It’s also so compact when it’s folded up. You can use it with your RV, but also with your car or even in your home, if you want.
This isn’t going to be the one for people with multiple big dogs, or dogs with mobility issues, but it’s a great choice if you and your pup find the familiarity of steps appealing.
The WeatherTech Pet Ramp is a highly rated, heavy-duty ramp that can withstand up to 300 lbs. at once. It has a nice 18-inch wide surface, unfolds to 68 inches long and is made of a proprietary material singular to WeatherTech.
If you love your multiple big dogs and can’t imagine a camping trip without them, this ramp can take a beating. It does stand to reason that something this durable might be a little heavier, and so it is: at 17 lbs., the WeatherTech model isn’t the lightest, but if you’re used to walking 120-lb. dogs, you can probably handle this ramp with aplomb.
My final option for the camping set is this Pet Gear Free Standing Ramp, because there is something appealing about a ramp that doesn’t have to rely on two other surfaces for its stability.
Its ability to handle 300 lbs. of dog, while clocking in at over 19 inches wide, is pretty impressive, and the compact way it closes up when not in use is perhaps even more so. Talk about versatility! You could easily use this indoors, too, and tote it around wherever your pup needs an assist.
One caveat, though — it isn’t terribly tall (only 23 inches high), so this is probably best for shorter RVs, like pop-ups.
Buying Guide: What You Need to Know
I’ve presented five ramps that I think are great for a variety of RVs, camping lifestyles and dogs, but I can understand if you’re still not sure which one to pick, or if you should even buy one in the first place. So here are some things to consider as you make your choice.
Age, size and overall health of your dog
If dog is man’s best friend, then man must surely be dog’s advocate when it comes to their health and safety.
Even if your dog is still relatively young and still jumping around like they did when they were a puppy, that jumping is hard on their healthy joints and even harder on the joints that have already started to deteriorate.
We can assuredly show our older dogs, who are already showing their age, a little extra love with a ramp or steps made especially for them when they come along on camping trips.
Size is another important factor. Smaller breeds or breeds with short legs will also benefit from a ramp. The higher those dogs have to jump, the harder it is on their little bodies, no matter what age. Larger dogs aren’t exempt from the stress of the jump, either; their bigger size puts them at higher risk for joint damage over time.
Overall health is important, too. Overweight or obese dogs tend to have difficulty walking, let alone jumping, so it’s far better to give them an assist, rather than let them struggle with RV fold-down steps (let’s be honest, those don’t always feel so stable even for human use).
Injured and recovering dogs might temporarily require a ramp while they accompany their humans on camping trips, but my guess is that once they’re used to the safety and stability of walking on them, everyone will want to keep using it.
Age & health of the owner
I swear, once you hit 30 it’s all downhill from there — everything starts hurting!
I used to lift my 30-lb. beagle fairly easily, but a series of random back pains and injuries (including slipping on ice on a flight of steps — twice — and pulling something a few times now) has made me much warier of picking up this guy.
That’s why I made the decision to get a ramp for our camping trips. It wasn’t going to be fair to (or pleasant for) my family or my dogs if I hurt myself trying to pick him up.
I remembered how my parents used ramps for their big sheepdogs, as well. While they don’t have dogs anymore, sometimes we visit them at their permanent campsite, and it is always so handy bringing the ramp along.
Older owners might feel perfectly healthy and strong, but you never know when the act of bending over will pull something. It’s best not to take a chance on it. Owners who already have established mobility issues will find ramps to be a lifesaver when they go camping with their furry friends. In some cases, a ramp might make all the difference between bringing Fido along on the adventure and leaving him behind all by himself.
Picking the ramp for you
As you saw, there are a few different styles of ramps: telescopic, folding, steps and standalone. Except for the standalone type, ramps will grip both the floor of the doorway of your RV and the ground. Some offer extra stability features, like a carabiner on a strap you can connect to something to hold the ramp more firmly in place.
The style tends to correspond to how much space it requires for storing. If you’re really pressed for space, the step-style, which contracts like an accordion, offers maximum portability.
Always pay attention to the weight limits given, especially if you are the owner of multiple larger breed dogs. It is usually one of the first things the manufacturer will advertise.
Different types of RVs have different entrance heights, so pay close attention to that measurement and how high the ramp will reach or how long the ramp is. A shorter ramp with a taller RV could create a dangerous angle.
The traction on your ramp makes a huge difference in whether or not your dog wants to use it. If he doesn’t feel safe on it, he’s going to avoid it like the plague.
The options I selected all have excellent traction, in slightly different ways. Rubbery or textured traction is best; you absolutely do not want a smooth plastic surface, or your pup will slip and slide (and that’s before it even rains).
Another popular surface is a kind of Astroturf, which has good “grippiness” and even helps wipe off your pet’s paws as they climb.
Whether you are a new or longtime dog owner, you know this to be true: pets are a special kind of expensive! But they are so, so worth it.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to spend an entire month’s paycheck on a ramp for your next camping trip. While we’d all like to be able to afford the Cadillac of ramps for our pampered pooches, there are plenty of budget-friendly options that will do what they need to.
If you liked one of the ramps on my list, but it was too expensive, try one of the less expensive models that still fits your needs. They are all worthy, durable, versatile ramps. You don’t need to break the bank over it.
I stand by my choice of the Petsafe Deluxe Telescoping pet ramp as the best dog ramp for RV camping adventures.
While mine hasn’t seen any hard, rough usage, I’m certain that only means it’s going to last even longer for me. It took me a while to find one that met all my needs and made my dogs feel safe and secure, but it was worth every moment of research and trial/error, and every penny spent, too.
You can find the Petsafe model here.