Portable Dog Fences for Outside the RV
There are tons of reasons to bring your dog camping.
You don’t need to get a sitter, you get to enjoy nature with them, and they help you feel safer at night.
Related Product: Doggy Door for Screen Doors (click to view on Amazon)
While we all love dogs there are a few things to think about before you bring them camping or RVing.
First, you are probably going to be somewhere totally new and unfamiliar to your dog. If they get out, it’s going to be harder to find them.
Also, campers are much smaller than homes, they might get a little restless being in a confined space for longer than they’re used to.
The best way to make sure your dog is safe when camping is to keep them on a leash, but not every dog is used to that, especially if you plan on camping for a long time.
One way to make things easier for you and your dog is to bring an outdoor portable dog fence.
Foldable/portable dog fences are very versatile for camping. They can be used as playpens or be set up as a dog fence around your RV so they can go in or out of the RV freely.
In this review, I’ll go over some of the best portable dog fences for camping. They can all be used as playpens or fences for outside the camper.
Many companies have fantastic options that are different heights to accommodate both small and large dogs. There are also optional shade covers for many of them that I’ll talk about in each review.
Just as a warning. Because they are portable RV dog fences are made with lighter materials than permanent dog kennels.
If your dog isn’t used to fences or playpens and they are constantly trying to get out, the portable fence option may not be the best fit.
Good For Closing Off Under RV
Best Portable Dog Fences Reviewed
All Dog Sizes
The MidWest portable dog fence is one of the best out there. It’s simple but effective and there are lots of different height options for different sizes of dogs.
Starting with the build, the panels are made with thick 9 and 11 gauge steel wire. The 9 gauge is used for the sides and bottom of each panel and the thinner 11 gauge makes up the wire mesh part.
It’s thick enough for most dogs, but as I mentioned before, a large determined dog will probably not be stopped by any portable dog fence for RVing and camping.
The wire is covered in a thick e-coating that can be either black, blue, or pink. There’s also a version with a gold zinc finish you can get. The finish on the wire makes it rust resistant and helps it hold up against the elements.
Even with the weather coating, it can be used both indoors and outdoors.
There are 5 height options; 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 inches. The tallest option is advertised for dogs that are up to 30 inches tall.
No matter what height you get each panel is 24 inches wide. There are 8 panels included in a pack, and this version also comes with a dual latching door.
If you use it as a playpen your dog will have 16 sq. ft. of space, which is more like a kennel than a large play area.
There’s also an 8 panel pack available that doesn’t have a door. If you want more panels you can get the door and the non-door options together to make a bigger fenced area.
There are also individual panels for sale in the different height options (click to view on Amazon).
An 8 pack of the smallest option weighs only 18 lbs and the tallest is just 32 lbs.
That’s actually very lightweight compared to some of the other portable dog fences in this review and if you travel a lot it’s a great choice.
Included with the panels are also ground stakes you can use to secure each panel for added security.
One of the unique things about the MidWest dog fences is they can be used with some of their other popular accessories.
Because they are made with the same materials you can connect the MidWest iCrate (click to view on Amazon). It counts as another panel that increases the size of the playpen and gives your dog a second room.
If you set up the portable dog fence in a 2×2 panel square that’s 48 inches long and wide there’s an optional mesh sunshade (click to view on Amazon) you can get, or even a wire roof (click to view on Amazon) if your dog is a jumper.
The MidWest Portable Dog Fence is well built, very portable, and perfect for RVs and camping.
MidWest offers more accessories and additions for its foldable dog fence than any other company. You can use a combination of the different panel heights to make a fenced patio area outside your RV or even create a large portable kennel.
With so many options and a durable but lightweight build, this is one of the best portable dog fences available.
- 5 Height Options
- Multiple Color Options
- Additional Covers & Panels Available
- Works with MidWest iCrate
- Included Ground Stakes
- Only 8 or Single Panel Options
- Thinner Wire Not Good For Larger Dogs
The Yaheetech portable dog fence uses a sturdy design with a thick metal tube frame around each panel and a 10 gauge mesh steel wire that is painted for rust and weather resistance.
It’s one of the more heavy duty options in this review and perfect for RV parks and extended stay campers.
There are 3 height options; 24, 32, or 40 inches. Each panel is 31.5 inches wide no matter what height you get.
There are packs of 8, 16, 24, and 32 panels available. Each pack includes one panel that has a latching gate.
If you go with the 8 panel pack and set them up as a playpen your dog will have around 27 sq. ft. of space.
Because of the 31.5 inch wide panels, you get a lot more area coverage per panel but that also means more weight and they can be trickier to store in a camper if you get the taller options.
The 24 inches tall 8 panel option weighs around 31 lbs and the 40 inch tall option weighs around 44 lbs.
For 8 panels neither option is insanely heavy and it’s especially easy to store these in a truck bed if you have a travel trailer but it’s something to think about if you’re a weekend camper or a full-time RVer who travels a lot.
If you want a shade cover for this camping dog fence when it’s set up like a playpen you can get this universal cover for 32 inch wide panels (click to view on Amazon).
Some of the things I like about the Yaheetech Indoor/Outdoor Dog Fence for camping is the thick frame and heavy duty wire.
It’s going to be able to hold larger dogs better than the more lightweight options in this review and the weight will help it stay put better.
The weight could also be considered a downside if you are on the edge of your RV’s weight capacity but it’s something to consider.
- Heavy Duty Frame & Wire
- Optional Shade Cover
- Wide Panels Cover More Area
- Options With More Panels
- Secure Panel to Panel Connection
- Heavy & Less Portable
- Only 3 Height Options
- No Ground Stakes
Amazon Basics has its own portable dog fence available, but as the name states, it’s very basic.
The panels are made with thin steel wire that’s coated for protection against the elements and rust resistance. It uses the same size of wire for everything, which means the frame isn’t thicker like on the other RV dog fence options in this review.
The extra thin wire is a downside for large dog owners but an upside for smaller dog owners who are looking for a steel dog fence that’s lightweight and very portable.
There are 5 height options; 24, 30, 36, 42, and 48 inches.
Even though there’s a tall option that’s technically for bigger dog’s I think it’s better for older calmer dogs who don’t get over excited and try to leave break out of fences or playpens.
Each panel is 24 inches wide and there are only 8 panel packs available. One pack will give your dog 16 sq. ft. of space when used as a playpen.
The good news is they have gated and non-gated sets which means you could combine the two to get a large 16 or more panel portable dog fence.
The shortest 8 panel pack weighs only 16 lbs and the tallest only 32 lbs.
There are ground stakes included that should always be used since the panels are so light.
A good shade cover you can use when this is set up as an 8 panel playpen is the YGCase Universal Dog Playpen Mesh Cover (click to view on Amazon).
So, what and who do I recommend the Amazon Basics Foldable Dog Fence for?
Because it’s so light it’s a great RV dog fence for small dog owners.
But the best use I can see for it is as a secondary dog fence for closing off the area underneath your RV. You can use a more heavy duty dog fence around the patio area and put this lighter one against your trailer.
- Very Lightweight
- Lots of Height Options
- Most Portable Metal Option
- Great for Fencing Gap Under RV
- Thin Steel Wires
- Too Flimsy For Large Dogs
- Only Sold in 8 Panel Packs
The Best Pet portable dog kennel will be the hardest dog fence to transport but it’s the most secure and best option for big dogs. It’s also something you could use at home as well which is a plus.
Made with thick steel tubing and wire the Best Pet is very secure.
There are two height options 48 or 72 inches. The 48 inch version includes 8 panels, one of them has a gate, and the 72 inch has 12 panels.
The panels are 24 inches wide. That means the 8 panel version gives your dog around 16 sq. ft. and the 12 panel version around 36 sq. ft.
Both versions come with a tarp you can secure over the top when using it as a kennel/playpen.
The smallest version weighs 57 lbs and the largest 108 lbs.
That’s a lot of weight to take camping but if you live in an RV park most of the year and want something more secure than the others for outside your camper this is the best way to go.
While it’s heavy and durable I still don’t recommend this for big dogs who are not used to being in a kennel or behind a fence. Big dogs can break out of most portable dog fences.
The good news is you most likely won’t have to stake this to the ground for small and medium sized dogs.
The Best Pet Portable Dog Kennel is in this review for RV dog fences because it’s technically still portable and I wanted a good option for large dogs or a very secure choice for smaller dogs.
It can be set up as a fence or a kennel. The only downside to using it as a fence is you only have the option of getting 8 or 12 panels and there’s no non-gate option available.
- Most Heavy Duty in Review
- 72 inch (6 foot) Tall Option
- Cover Included
- Thick Metal Tube Frame
- Best Choice For Large Dogs
- Good for Home or RV Use
- Not Easy to Transport
- Time Consuming Set Up
- Only 2 Size & Panel Options
- No Non-Gated Sets
Small Dogs Only
I’d say 70% of the RVers I’ve seen have small dogs that are pretty easy to fence in.
The metal wire options are the most secure way to go but there are some fantastic very portable and lightweight options made with other materials as well.
I’ve included a plastic RV dog fence and a fabric playpen as well for campers who have small or very calm dogs that don’t require a heavy metal fence to stay contained.
Made in the USA the Iris plastic portable dog fence is something you can use both inside and outside your RV when camping.
It’s not for big dogs but for puppies and small pets it’s the perfect lightweight option for travel and camping.
Made with a molded polypropylene resin, this fence is extremely durable against water and weather and strong enough to hold small dogs.
There are 3 options available. Sets of 4 or 6 panels that are 24 inches tall, or a set of 8 panels that are 34 inches tall.
Each set comes with a panel that has a small gate that is secured via two twist latches.
The smallest set weighs only 16 lbs and the largest only 21.5 lbs.
Each panel is around 35 inches wide. That means the 4 panel version has about 9 sq. ft of space inside, the 6 panel about 18 sq. ft., and the 8 panel around 36 sq. ft.
The panels snap together and you could get more than one set to increase the length of the fence or size of the playpen.
There’s even a shade cover available for the 4 panel version made by Loobani (click to view on Amazon).
On the bottom of each panel are rubber feet to help it stay in place. This feature is great for indoors but for outdoors you will need to get some U ground stakes (click to view on Amazon) to secure it in place.
The IRIS USA Plastic Portable Dog Fence is the most lightweight option in this review, but it’s only good for small dogs.
If you travel a lot and want something that can be set up and packed away quickly this is the RV dog fence for you.
- Very Weather Resistant
- Very Lightweight
- Easy to Store
- Great for Indoors
- For Small Dogs Only
- Must be staked to ground when used as fence.
- Limited Size & Panel Number Options
If portable dog fences and playpens are too heavy and take up too much storage space in your RV then another option is to get a cloth playpen that folds up into a small case and weighs very little.
The Ruff’n Ruffus portable dog playpen cannot be turned into a fence so you won’t be able to use it to fence in your camper’s patio area.
What it is good for is letting your small dog or even cat spend some time outside without having to worry about them running away.
It’s also great to use as a large indoor kennel.
Made with thick and durable nylon fabric and metal wire reinforced mesh, it will be strong enough to hold most small dogs. The mesh is on every panel and even the roof to allow for great airflow.
The nylon fabric covers the top and bottom edges and also some of the roof for shade.
There’s a zippered door on one of the panels and you can also open the top.
The bottom is a durable fabric that will help keep your dog clean, but it also means they won’t be able to do their business while inside.
There are three size options available that all have 8 panels. The medium is 17 inches tall and 29 inches in diameter, the large is 23 inches tall and 36 inches in diameter, the extra large is 23.5 inches tall and 48 inches in diameter.
I recommend the largest size since that will give your dog the most space to enjoy but it all depends on what you are going to use it for and the kind of dog you have.
The portable playpen folds up easily and is stored in an included carry case. The smallest option weighs 2.4 lbs and the largest only 4.5 lbs.
Because it’s so lightweight you should definitely stake this down when using it outside and even weigh it down when inside.
I’ve seen videos of dogs using smaller versions of these like hamster wheels so be careful how you use them.
If you go with the Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Dog Playpen you are limited in what you can do with it but you get extreme portability.
It takes up hardly any space when folded down, it’s super fast to set up and pack away, and the extra large size is just as big as some of the portable dog fences in this review.
- Super Portable
- Quick Setup and Takedown
- Keeps Dog Clean
- Very Small When Folded
- For Small Dogs Only
- Fabric Floor Doesn’t Allow Dog to do its “business”
- Can be Broken Out of by Determined Dog
- Least Secure Option
What to Look for in a Portable Dog Fence
No matter what size of portable dog fence you want or need the weight is going to be a factor.
While they’re made to be lighter than permanent dog fences, the portable options can still weigh quite a bit. Especially if you get a lot of panels to cover the entire front area of your camper.
If you spend your winters in RV parks and the outdoor dog fence will be set up for months it’s going to be more worth it to get a lot of panels and something that’s more heavy duty.
If you are just going camping for a weekend a fence with fewer panels is going to be easier to set up and transport.
In this review, I’ve included the weights for the shortest and fewest panels and the tallest and most panels a company offers.
Compact Folded Size
Most companies offer lots of different height options for their dog fences but the panels are normally the same width no matter what height you get.
If you plan on storing the panels in one of the outside storage compartments of your RV make sure you measure the width as well as the height to make sure everything will fit.
Set Up Style
Portable dog fences and playpens are really the same thing.
When used as playpens the panels are hooked together in either a circular or square shape. It’s a great option for a quick set up but the space for your dog will be pretty small unless you get a ton of panels.
One way to maximize the size of your dog’s play area with the fewest amount of panels possible is to build the fence from your RV in the front patio area.
Many RVers use portable dog fences this way so they can spend time with their dogs inside the fenced in area. If you have a calm dog it’s also a way to let them outside in the morning without having to go out yourself.
If you go this route you will also need something to cut off the area under your camper. One way to do this is to get a shorter dog fence that matches the clearance of your RV.
Doing this still saves on weight and it makes the play area for your dog much larger.
Height vs Dog Size
The height of a portable dog fence or playpen depends on the size of your dog and its temperament.
Many dog breeds can jump pretty high in the air and if your dog is a jumper you are going to need a taller fence to keep them contained.
Most companies that make portable dog fences have height recommendations for different sizes of dogs, but only you know your dog’s capabilities.
In this review, there are shorter fences for small dogs and tall fences for big dogs. I’ve even included a portable kennel that has a tarp roof for dogs that are really good at jumping out of pens.
The kennel option is the heaviest and hardest to set up option. But if your dog requires it you might have to settle for that if you want to be able to let your dog outside without a leash when camping.
Best Overall Portable Dog Fence for Camping
A portable dog fence for camping needs to have the best of both worlds, durability, and the lightest weight possible.
MidWest’s RV dog fence checks both of those boxes. It’s made with fairly thick steel wire that will be able to stop most dogs from getting out, and it’s very lightweight.
All of the different options are nice as well and if you also get the iCrate you can make a pretty awesome dog fence outside your camper.
Have any questions about portable dog fences for camping and RVing? Leave a comment below.