Many RVers have the pleasure and privilege of taking some very special companions along for the ride when traveling in their RVs. In fact, RVs are a fantastic way for pets to travel with their people. They’ve got their own little domain carried along with them wherever they go. And that’s where the RV dog ramp comes in.
RVs can be difficult to get in and out of because they sit relatively high off the ground. Smaller or older pets, for example, may need a little help with their RV entry and exit. And even younger, more agile pets can get hurt trying to jump up into an RV using the steps.
While we don’t travel with pets, we have many friends who do, and we love their pets (and our friends), so today we’re focusing on a great way to give your four-legged bestie an easy entrance and exit to your home-on-wheels.
- 1) What is an RV Dog Ramp?
- 2) What to Look For When Buying an RV Dog Ramp
- 3) Some of the Best RV Dog Ramps for Your Best Friends
- 4) Your Thoughts?
What is an RV Dog Ramp?
An RV dog ramp provides a gentle slope from the ground to your RV to give your pet(s) a safer, more reasonable way to enter and exit the rig.
In general, most cats can be easily carried into and out of an RV, and the same is true for very tiny dogs. But a great many dogs in particular benefit from a good ramp that allows them to enter and exit the rig without struggle (for the dog or you).
A ramp is easier on every dog’s joints and on tendons that are easily torn with a misstep when using the RV steps to jump in and out over and over again.
Older dogs in particular really need gentle assistance. Their joints may be achy and, while they’ll do anything to please us (including jumping in and out of the rig at the beck and call of their people), not only is it easier on them and safer for them, but nobody wants their canine companion to struggle unnecessarily.
Smaller dogs often have difficulty navigating the steps of an RV. And even if they’ll do it, jumping down from that last step is a hit to those little joints and, over time, the effects can add up, causing them pain and even injury.
An RV dog ramp is a ramp that’s portable so it can easily be stored and carried from destination to destination. Wherever you travel, your dog ramp can be quickly set up and ready for your precious pup to get into and out of his home-on-wheels with ease.
Some dog ramps are foldable, some have multiple sections, and others simply lay flat. All must be easily navigated by paws, however, so that means attention to things like traction (for paws in particular) and gentle inclines.
So, let’s take a look at some of the features of an RV dog ramp that are important to consider when you’re shopping for your pup’s “red carpet” entrance to and exit from your RV.
What to Look For When Buying an RV Dog Ramp
There are a number of things to take into consideration when shopping for an RV dog ramp, the following five features being most important.
First, your RV dog ramp should be constructed of high-quality materials that can sustain the various weather elements you tend to encounter in your travels. Not only does construction need to be sturdy, but it also needs to be easily handled and maneuvered from your storage bay or trunk.
No matter the size of your pet, you want an RV ramp that’s solidly constructed of lightweight materials, and you also want to make sure the design of the ramp doesn’t hinder the safety of your pet in any way.
For example, if you buy a ramp that folds in sections, you want to be sure that the ramp is well designed so that your dog isn’t likely to trip on anything that might be related to the sectioned areas. And you also want a ramp that won’t slip or slide while your 100-pound baby is lumbering up or down.
That brings us to another essential feature of a good RV dog ramp…
A ramp on which your pet slips and slides while navigating the incline/decline is not only useless, it’s a real hazard. The same is true for traction components that hurt or scratch your dog’s paws.
A good RV dog ramp will not only provide solid traction for your pet’s safe entry and exit, but the type of traction should be easy on the paws. This is a balance that can be difficult to achieve, but there are dog ramps out there that do provide the right balance and it’s important to find them.
In our research for this post, we uncovered many reviews of cheaply-made ramps that cut or scraped paws badly. We even read reviews from folks who said that after a few times up and down a particular ramp, their dogs would stand in front of the ramp hesitant to use it (dogs tend to be smarter than we are).
So careful attention must be paid to the traction of the dog ramp you buy for your pet to use over and over again on tender shoeless paws.
This may be blunt, but we’re not sure how else to say it: a dog ramp that has a very steep incline is a dumb idea. A gentle incline is an essential part of a ramp that’s good for your pets. Climbing or descending a steep incline/decline isn’t your pet’s idea of a good time. It challenges them to adhere carefully to the traction provided by the ramp, and it’s hard on their joints and tendons.
Just imagine Fido’s perspective standing at the top of a ramp with a steep decline. He’d probably rather jump out before you extend the stairs. Look for a ramp with a gentle, steady slope into and out of your rig to give your pet an easy transition between inside and outside.
Those of you traveling with a Brussels Griffon, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, or Maltese have some graceful, diminutive best friends. Their RV dog ramp can have a lower weight rating than a ramp intended for a full-grown Golden Retriever, for example.
And those of you traveling with an English Mastiff, St. Bernard, Great Dane, or Newfoundland – well, you’d better pay very close attention to the weight rating of any dog ramp your bestie will be using (and hopefully you also have a very large RV!).
Be sure to consider weight rating when shopping for an RV dog ramp. This is a feature you can’t afford to overlook because a ramp that’s not constructed to bear the weight of your dog could result in serious injury. Which is the very thing we’re trying to avoid by purchasing a dog ramp in the first place.
Portability and Storability
Speaking of weight, not only do you need to consider the weight rating of a dog ramp (meaning the amount of weight the ramp is designed to sustain), but you’ll also want to consider the weight of the ramp itself. This is for your benefit as you’ll be the ones carrying, deploying, and storing the ramp.
And speaking of storage, you’ve only got a certain amount and size of storage area on your RV. This varies widely from rig to rig, and only you know what’s available on your particular RV. Keep this in mind as you shop, because you’ll need a place to store the ramp when it’s not in use and you’re traveling from place to place.
Some ramps fold into a smaller package. Others don’t. Some ramps require a long, thin storage area, while others fold to require a shorter but wider storage area. Look at the fully collapsed measurements of the dog ramps you’re considering, and compare them with the measurements of the areas you have available for ramp storage on your rig.
Remember, you want a ramp that’s designed for portability while also having good, sturdy construction.
Some of the Best RV Dog Ramps for Your Best Friends
With all of the above notes in mind, let’s take a look at five of the best RV dog ramps out there. Before we do, though, here’s a quick note about how we intend to present the ramps we highlight in this post:
As with any other product, there will be a minority of negative reviews. Due to the nature of the product we’re investigating in this post (an item that’s intended to keep your dog safe and comfortable), we want to be clear in our statements about all of the dog ramps we highlight here and include common notes from negative reviews despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews for all of these ramps.
It’s important to consider the ramp’s construction in tandem with your own personal application, including the weight and type of dog you have, how far you’ll need the ramp to extend, and how high you’ll be placing the ramp for your dog’s incline and decline.
Personal use factors often account for negative reviews of any product, so be sure to consider how the ramp was being used as you read reviews -vs- how you intend to use the ramp.
PetSafe Happy Ride Extra Long Telescoping Dog Ramp
PetSafe is a brand that has endured the rigorous scrutiny of loving pet owners for nearly 30 years, and over that time the brand has earned the trust of pet owners all over the world. This telescoping dog ramp appears to be no exception with 86% 4- and 5-star reviews from Amazon buyers.
Rated for animals up to 300 pounds, the ramp itself weighs 18 pounds and extends as far as 87” if necessary. With that said, there are reviews that state that when fully extended, the ramp bows under the weight of dogs weighing well under 200 pounds (there are also several negative reviews that claim that the purchaser tested the ramp and it bowed under his weight as he walked up the center of the ramp. But remember – the weight of a two-legged human is distributed differently than that of a four-legged dog, so this isn’t necessarily a fair test).
When fully closed, this ramp is 47” long and 20” wide – so bear this in mind when considering it as you’ll need to have room to store it. At 18 pounds it’s portable for most users, but may be heavy for some.
This ramp has an aluminum frame with side rails and a high-traction surface according to the manufacturer. While most reviewers found the design and quality of this ramp excellent, several of the 1-star reviews complain that the traction surface was hard on their dogs’ paws, causing abrasions. This seems limited to heavy dogs, but these were also dogs that fell well under the 300-pound weight limit for this ramp. Still, several reviewers referred to the texture of the traction pad as “sandpaper-like”, and noted that their dogs’ nails left scratches on the walking surface.
Positive reviewers found the ramp to be among the widest and sturdiest they’d found, and they appreciated the extendable length of the ramp, which allowed them to provide a gentle rather than steep incline/decline for their pets’ comfort and agility.
- CONTINUE ADVENTURES TOGETHER: Use the telescoping ramp to help your best friend get in and out of your tallest truck, car, minivan or SUV all by...
- EXTRA LONG ADJUSTABLE SIZING: Longer length and extra wide telescoping ramp allows you to help your pet get in and out of vehicles with steeper...
PetSTEP Original Folding Pet Ramp
Petstep’s folding pet ramp is constructed of composite plastic and is rated to hold up to 500 pounds (though the manufacturer clearly states that this is for animal use only, so again pet owners… don’t use this ramp for your own entry/exit from your RV). The plastic construction means that the ramp won’t rust or corrode in the elements and can be cleaned with soap and water.
The walking surface of this ramp is noted to be a “soft non-slip rubberized” surface that provides “superior traction in wet or dry conditions”. The manufacturer specifically notes that there is no sandpaper or carpet as part of the traction piece.
This ramp folds in half for storage and has molded handles on both sides for portability.
84% of Amazon reviews for this product are positive (4- and 5-star), with multiple verified purchasers referring to this ramp as the best ramp they’ve found, with others stating that they highly recommend it for owners of large dogs.
One verified purchaser states that he rescues and rehabilitates “giant breed dogs” and with 23 years of experience using dog ramps, he recommends this ramp over others. His dogs range in size from 100 to 200 pounds. Quoting from his review, “The surface is a unique rubber-like compound that is the easiest on a dog’s paws I have ever seen, while still providing excellent traction. The ramp itself, as well as the hinges, are extremely sturdy, well and thoughtfully designed, and well built. The ramp folds and unfolds easily and safely.”
Most negative reviews state that the ramp isn’t as wide as it needs to be for large dogs, especially larger senior dogs. Multiple negative reviews state that the ramp cracked under the weight of the human purchaser, but again… this is an indication of an owner using the ramp for other than its intended purpose. Still, many of the negative reviews note that the ramp is heavy for them to carry at 18.5 pounds, so bear this in mind when considering this ramp.
Dimensions of this ramp when open are: 70” long x 17” wide x 2.5” high. Folded for storage the dimensions are: 36” long x 17” wide x 5.75” high.
Of note, this Petstep Original Folding Ramp has a 5-year warranty.
- Unique soft non-slip rubberized walking surface. Superior Traction in wet or dry conditions. No sandpaper or carpet making it soft on paws
- Universal non-slip grip fits all vehicles and edges
WeatherTech PetRamp, Folding Dog Ramp for Large Dogs to 300 Pounds
WeatherTech’s excellent reputation appears to extend to this folding dog ramp. Designed for large dogs under 300 pounds, this ramp is made in the USA and weighs 16 pounds.
Extended (unfolded), this WeatherTech rubber ramp measures 67” long and 15” wide, and folds to a length of 33.5”.
89% of the 4- and 5-star Amazon reviewers note that the ramp is stable and sturdy while in use by their large pets, and several mention that the side rails have made a difference in their dog’s willingness to embark on the journey up or down the ramp as compared with other ramps they’ve tried.
A number of reviewers mention the difficulty of moving a 16-pound ramp, so this is something to consider if you might have difficulty managing a relatively long object of that weight.
Several reviewers mentioned that after purchasing this ramp for their vehicles, they bought a second ramp for their home steps based on their high level of satisfaction with the product for their dog.
Among the complaints of the 3% of one-star reviewers is the ramp being too narrow at 14.5”, the walking surface being slippery (even when dry), and the ramp itself requiring caution when closing so that it doesn’t slam closed on fingers.
WeatherTech provides a limited lifetime warranty on these dog ramps.
- Pet, Cat, Dog Ramps for Any Size Animal. Pet Ramp Safe for Small, Medium, Large, Young, Old Pets!
- Easy, Simple, Light & Strong. Compact Ramp is 16 lbs. Pet Stairs for Durable 300 lbs. of Support. Pet Ramp measures 67 inches long unfolded and 15...
Pet Gear Travel Lite Ramp with SupertraX
Pet Gear’s Travel Lite ramp is a tri-fold ramp with a weight capacity of 200 pounds. We should note right off the bat that this ramp weighs 27 pounds, a factor that could inspire a number of folks to scroll on to the next highlighted ramp.
Most reviewers mention the sturdiness of this ramp, and at 27 pounds we’d hope it would be sturdy. At 19.5”, this ramp is quite wide as compared with others we’ve investigated, and this is a high point for many reviewers looking specifically for a wide dog ramp. We should note here that Pet Gear makes a similar version of this trifold ramp that weighs only 16 pounds, but it loses 3.5” in width.
Pet Gear makes a wide variety of dog ramps, in fact, so it may be worth investigating their other products, many of which are available via Amazon, if these don’t work for your particular situation.
Unfolded, the Travel Lite ramp we’re highlighting here is 71” long x 19.5” wide x 4” high. This extra-wide tri-fold ramp with “superTrax”. Pet Gear refers to superTrax as allowing for “pressure activated gripping” which they define as meaning that the more pressure the pet puts on the mat, the stronger the grip. The superTrax surface resembles an artificial turf that most reviewers state achieves a safe grip for their dogs.
Reviews for this ramp are overwhelmingly positive, with only 2% giving wholly negative 1-star reviews. The two complaints we noted most frequently were that the ramp is too heavy to lift and move (we’re referring to the extra-wide 27-pound ramp here), it lacks any type of side rail, and the pads on which the ramp rests at each end (on the RV or vehicle and on the ground) aren’t thick or grippy enough to keep the ramp from moving.
We noted a few ramps that broke, but the purchaser wasn’t using the ramp correctly. One example is a gentleman who complained that the ramp broke while he was teaching his dog to use it by walking him up and down the ramp several times. Once again, dog ramps aren’t intended for two-legged human use. Weight distribution is entirely different, so please note that if you walk up and down an RV dog ramp yourself, you might break it!
A final note – one reviewer noted that the superTrax surface covering pulled away from the ramp as her dog was using it, causing her dog to slip. She suggests checking the adhesive and reinforcing it if necessary.
Overall, this is a very popular dog ramp for folks seeking an extra-wide ramp for their dog’s comfortable use.
- SupertraX mat is soft, protecting pets' paws and auto interiors; removable for easy cleaning
- Pressure activated grip allows for pets' paws to easily grip into the mat, providing sure-footing
PetSafe Happy Ride Deluxe Telescoping Pet Ramp
This PetSafe adjustable telescoping ramp extends in length from 39” to 72”, and is 17” wide and 4” high. Rated to support up to 400 pounds, the ramp itself is the lightest of all the ramps we’re highlighting here, at only 13 pounds.
PetSafe suggests that your pet is unlikely to slip on their “high-traction surface”, however, several reviewers stated that the surface was harsh enough on their dogs’ paws to cause cuts and abrasions. Other reviewers refer to the surface as “sandpaper” (which appears to be a theme for PetSafe ramp surfaces). However, one reviewer who loved the ramp and bought it despite the rough surface complaints used spray adhesive to glue rubber shelf liner to the ramp’s surface, noting that the ramp has served his 80-pound Golden Retriever well with this modification.
The ramp slides inward on rails and locks with a safety latch for storage.
This ramp has many positive reviews with photos from verified purchasers with large dogs, including a 158-pound Great Dane.
- CONTINUE ADVENTURES TOGETHER: Use this telescoping ramp to help your best friend get in and out of your car, minivan or SUV all by themselves
- ADJUSTABLE SIZING: The adjustable telescoping ramp allows you to help your pet get in and out of different size vehicles; ramp measures 39-72 in L X...
Everyone who has ever been a pet owner knows how precious these beloved family members are. We’re not traveling with a pet, so our suggestions are based on our typical RVgeeks feature research.
If you’re traveling in your RV with a pet or pets, we’d love for you to share any great experiences you’ve had with your RV dog ramps for the benefit of those who are still looking for their optimal ramp. So leave a comment below!
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Friday 17th of December 2021
The absolute best ramp, IMO is this one: https://amzn.to/3dZwBST We use it for years with 4 labradors. Its light weight, sturdy and the proper dimensions
Friday 17th of December 2021
Thanks for the addition, Hans.
Friday 17th of December 2021
Are the RVgeeks looking to get take on some four-legged travelling companions?
Friday 17th of December 2021
You'll have to stay tuned to find out! 😁
Friday 17th of December 2021
Our Lab and our little dog would not get on the ramp no matter what. We tried everything. I should have thought of this since the guy I bought the ramp from said his dogs would not either. Just a heads up.
Friday 17th of December 2021
Sorry to hear, Stephen, but thanks so much for the additional input and heads up.