RVing With Dogs: 5 RV Sounds That Will Scare Your Dog

RV living with dogs is possible. Many RVers travel with their dogs. Whether you are thinking about an extended roadtrip or full-time travel, don’t let your furry friend stop you. Just be prepared. The RV will feel foreign to them and they will need time to adjust. Becoming used to the sounds of your RV is one of the biggest adjustments your dog will have to make. 

When we began RVing, we bought our RV sight unseen.  We also bought it without any RVing or camping experience whatsoever! So Remy and Sienna, our two dogs (and Wagner, our cat at the time), also had zero experience with RVing. Since taking delivery of our RV required a roadtrip, we weren't able to acclimate our pets to the RV slowly. The worst part for them was that on top of being in a new environment, the new environment came with scary sounds. (Truth be told, the humans didn't know what an RV sounded like either!)

So, if your situation allows, acclimate your dog to the scariest of the RV sounds before you head off on a long road trip or hit the road full time. But, if you can’t acclimate your dog ahead of time,  just knowing what these sounds are will help immensely. Read on for the sounds that Remy and Sienna voted the scariest for new RV dogs.

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1. The Water Pump

Okay, we were taken aback at how loud the water pump is when you turn on a faucet in your RV! Jon probably expected some noise, but I for one was shocked when turning on a faucet was not as quiet as it was in a house. Being that an RV is not a house, I don't know why I expected it to sound like one, but hey. Remy and Sienna did not appreciate how loud the water pump was. They paced the RV back and forth with furrowed brows and worried eyes when they first heard the water pump. Over time, they became accustomed to it. Now they don’t even notice it anymore.

RVing with dogs hasn't been the easiest. There's a lot about RVing that can be scary to dogs. Remy here at times worries about the noises he hears in the RV.

RVing with dogs hasn't been the easiest. There's a lot about RVing that can be scary to dogs. Remy here at times worries about the noises he hears in the RV.



2. The Generator

We have had both a portable generator and an on-board generator. When we had a Travel Trailer we bought a portable generator so that we could boondock (best decision!). Even though the generator was outside, you could still hear it inside when it was running. Dogs have much better hearing than we do, and so, to them, the generator probably sounds like a roaring monster is outside. There wasn’t much we could do but wait for it to become a normal sound to them. We would on occasion start running the generator while they were outside with us. That seemed to work out a bit better since they could at least see the source of the sound.

With our Class C we have an on-board generator. Our on-board generator starts with the push of a button inside the RV. We generally announce to the dogs that we are going to push the button and start it, but it doesn’t really seem to help. Although they have become used to it, Remy, the skittish one, still whines a bit during the first 20 seconds or so that the generator is on. After that, it’s smooth sailing. In fact, they're sleeping right through the generator noise as we speak.

It takes a little time, but pets can get used to RV travel. A quick snap of Remy and Sienna as they sleep through the generator powering my computer as I write this.

It takes a little time, but pets can get used to RV travel. A quick snap of Remy and Sienna as they sleep through the generator powering my computer as I write this.


3. The Toilet Flushing

The toilet seemed SO loud when we first began full-time RVing! Again, if it seemed loud to us, it probably seemed deafening to our dogs. Luckily, they became used to this sound the quickest. Out of all of the scary sounds this is the one they will likely hear the most, so it's the easiest one for them to get used to. For this one, just be aware that it will be strange to them at first. If you can, acclimate them to this sound before heading on the road, but this one will likely be the least nerve-wracking for them.


4. The Furnace

The heater turning on for the first time startled the dogs. More pacing and furrowed brows ensued. All you can really do is reassure them that everything is okay. We found that the furnace scared our cat the most. They hardly seem to notice the furnace any more. When we moved from the Travel Trailer to our Class C, the furnace scared them all over again, even though they had become accustomed to it in the Travel Trailer. Just be prepared and give your dogs time. They’ll come around.


5. The Slideout

Remy hates the slideout! Our girl Sienna, quickly became used to the sound, and is now mainly just stressed that her brother Remy is in such distress when the slide pushes out or pulls in. It’s a loud sound so we understand. We are baffled because Remy seems more scared of the sound now than at the beginning. Dogs are funny like that sometimes… We took the approach of trying to let them know the slide will be going out or coming in by always repeating the same phrase. Sienna seems to understand. Remy on the other hand, apparently thinks something's gone horribly wrong with his house when it expands or shrinks. I suppose if the walls of a building I was in, suddenly started moving I might feel the same. Luckily, Remy has parents that hardly ever use their slideout. 

These are the 5 sounds that have a high likelihood of scaring your dog (or cat!). When Rving with pets, half the battle is knowing. Anytime you can be confident and sure in a situation that your dog is unsure of, it will go a long way.

If you can park your RV in your driveway before a trip or heading out full-time and ease your dog into the whole RVing thing, that will make it easier on your dog. By no means should you avoid RV travel just because you have pets.


Pets in general feel uncomfortable in new situations, new environments, and around strange sounds. It’s unavoidable even in a regular house. RV travel, though stressful at the start for your pets, is by far more comfortable for them. They don't have to go through boarding, and they only have to get used to one new environment rather than several hotels. 

We can probably answer most questions about what it’s like to RV with dogs, and we can always ask our in-house experts Remy and Sienna. As always let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.