Today’s topic, the RV pet monitor, is of critical importance to anyone who travels in an RV with pets. After all, one of the great benefits of traveling in an RV is the ability to bring along ALL family members, furry ones included. And although we don’t happen to travel with pets ourselves, we have many dear friends who do, and we care about their pets – and yours. That’s why we’ve often acknowledged the extraordinary importance of pet-safe travels on this blog.
RV pet monitors are important for a variety of reasons, especially because the interior of an RV heats up dramatically in hot weather and drops dramatically in cold weather – and dangerous temperature extremes can happen very quickly.
So whether you’re running into a grocery store, having lunch in a restaurant, or catching a movie on a rainy day, it’s a good idea (and great peace of mind) to be able to monitor your pet’s activities and the internal temperature of your RV. But, even if you swear you’d never leave your pet inside the RV alone for even half an hour, remember that there are sometimes unforeseen circumstances or emergencies that may demand exactly that.
We know pet owners well enough to know that they like to be prepared because their pet’s safety is a priority. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at a couple of RV pet monitors that have various features and which may fit various budgets.
- 1) What Is an RV Pet Monitor?
- 2) Why Might You Need an RV Pet Monitor?
- 3) Can You Leave a Dog in an RV? (Should You?)
RV Pet Monitors: How Do I Monitor My Dog in an RV?
- 4.1) Waggle RV Pet Monitor
- 4.2) Nimble RV Pet Monitor
- 4.3) RV Whisper Pet Monitor
- 4.4) SensorPush HT1 Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android
- 4.5) Temp Stick Wireless Remote WiFi Temperature & Humidity Sensor
- 4.6) MarCELL Cellular Temperature, Humidity & Power Monitor (Verizon)
- 5) Can I Leave My Pet in an RV Without Air Conditioning?
- 6) Have You Used a Pet Monitoring System in Your RV?
What Is an RV Pet Monitor?
There are a couple of different types of RV pet safety monitors. (And actually, a third type that’s simply a combination of the first two.)
RV Pet Camera Monitor
An RV pet monitor with a camera gives you access to information related to the condition and activities of your pet when you’re away from your RV.
Typically, an app allows you to connect with the camera in your RV. Good cameras offer as much as 1080p (HD) resolution as well as live-streaming through a subscription via a cellular network or via your RV’s WiFi network. All of this allows you to monitor your pet’s activities in real-time. (If you want the video to work in the dark, you’ll want a pet monitor that offers infrared vision.)
Most RV pet camera monitors include a microphone so that you can hear if your pet is whining or barking. However, the microphone is also useful for hearing any alarms (smoke, propane, carbon monoxide) and to help confirm whether your air conditioner is running.
Some RV pet monitors even offer two-way audio, giving you the ability to communicate with your pets from your phone to calm them, if needed. Or, just to say you miss them! 🐶
There are even pet camera monitors that will toss your dog a treat!
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- REALTIME 2-WAY AUDIO & COLOR NIGHT VISION - Seamlessly hear and speak with family members and pets at home, and adjust volume in-app for crystal clear...
- Your Furbaby’s Always in Frame: Check in anytime with pet tracking technology that automatically follows your dog or cat for 24/7 care. Your pet...
- See Every Adorable Moment in HD Detail: Capture your furbaby’s cuteness in stunning HD day or night with powerful night vision. Watch in real-time...
But in general, RVers tend to be most concerned about the temperature in the rig where their beloved pet is relaxing while they’re away from the RV temporarily.
This is where pet temperature monitors come into play.
RV Pet Temperature Monitor
An RV pet temp monitor allows you to keep an eye on the temperature (or even temperature and humidity levels) in your RV when you’re away from the rig. This is critical to the safety of your pet, particularly when the temperature and humidity levels rise (i.e. summer), regardless of whether or not you leave the A/C running.
Power outages happen. Weather happens. Unexpected things happen all the time, and there’s no guarantee that the comfortable temperature in which you left your beloved pet will remain comfortable. This is why it’s so important for pet owners to have the ability to monitor the interior temperature of the RV any time a pet is left without a human caregiver.
Why Might You Need an RV Pet Monitor?
There are many places where pets either aren’t allowed or where it’s unsafe to bring a pet. So, in addition to unexpected emergencies (as we mentioned earlier), let’s take a look at some of the places and activities which may not include your pet.
Some State & National Parks
Many state parks and national parks don’t allow pets on hiking or nature trails regardless of whether they’re leashed or not.
Locations & Events
Restaurants, movie theatres, museums, stores, visitor centers, tourist attractions, and many other businesses rarely allow pets unless the animal is a certified service dog.
If you’re a biker, unless you tow a pet trailer, you’re unlikely to bike with your pet, so your bike rides are a time when your pet may be left alone in your RV.
When you visit quaint villages and downtown areas, it can be challenging to walk your pet along with you especially if it’s a very busy area or if you intend to pop in and out of shops as you go.
Beaches & Pools
Many beaches prohibit pets, as do swimming pools in RV parks, community centers, and other locations.
Can You Leave a Dog in an RV? (Should You?)
All of the pet owners we know are extremely careful with their pets and value them as the beloved family members they are. Whether or not you should leave a pet in an RV is a personal decision, and the age, health, and personality of the pet are sure to come into play.
More importantly, though, the amount of time a pet owner intends to be away from the RV deserves very serious consideration, as does the weather.
Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study measuring the rise of the temperature inside a parked car on a sunny day. Now, we do understand that an RV is different from a car. But hear us out:
If the ambient temperature on a sunny day is around 85℉, for example, the temperature in a car with the engine off and the windows cracked open can reach 102℉ in just 10 minutes. That’s not long enough to make a quick run into a grocery store before Fido is beginning to roast.
After just 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120℉. Not only will your pet be extremely uncomfortable, but at 110℉ pets are in danger of experiencing heat stroke.
And regardless of ambient temps, the interior of a car parked in the sun will rise more than 30 degrees per minute. This means that the temperature can become lethal in a very short period of time.
Stanford’s research measured the temperature inside a parked car on sunny days. High temps on those days ranged from 72℉ to 96℉. Results showed that a vehicle’s interior can rise by an average of 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) within an hour, regardless of the temperature outdoors.
That’s right – regardless of ambient temperature, if the sun is shining the interior temperature of a vehicle will rise dramatically. Not only that, but 80% of that rise in temperature will occur within the first half-hour.
Life-threatening temperatures can occur more quickly than you may think, even in an RV.
In fact, due to what is essentially a greenhouse effect, the sun can warm a vehicle’s interior dramatically even on cool days. This is because the sun heats the air mass trapped under the glass.
Regardless of the fact that these studies weren’t conducted using RVs in particular, we all know how quickly an RV’s interior can heat up. Those of us who’ve been in our rigs, regardless of their size, understand the power of the sun to quickly heat the interior.
And this is why a device that monitors the temperature inside the rig and alerts you to changes is very important for many RVers.
RV Pet Monitors: How Do I Monitor My Dog in an RV?
Let’s take a look at a variety of pet monitors and how they work to keep your pet safe in your RV.
Waggle RV Pet Monitor
Waggle’s pet monitor uses built-in 4G Verizon cellular data to monitor the interior temperature of your RV and alert you via the Waggle app, text message, or email about changing or unsafe conditions.
Waggle monitors your RV’s interior and offers real-time alerts on any changes in temperature and humidity, as well as power outages.
There are a couple of important things to understand about how Waggle works.
Does the Waggle RV pet monitor require WiFi?
No. Waggle doesn’t require WiFi to function. However…
Do you have to have Verizon to use the Waggle RV Pet Monitor?
Yes. This is very important to understand. In order to use Waggle’s RV pet monitor, you’ll need cell service provided by Verizon’s network. This means you’ll need a Verizon cellular plan. Without Verizon, the Waggle pet monitor won’t be able to communicate its data to you.
- ◆SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED◆: Waggle Pet Monitor Cannot Be Used Without A Subscription. The Subscription is for Cellular Service with Verizon's...
- INSTANT ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE: Get Alerted - Not Alarmed. Keeping An Eye On Your Dog’s Safety Is Now Easy With Waggle. Get Real-Time Alerts On Your...
Waggle Pet Monitor Pro offers a bundle with the monitor and a camera:
- 📲 INSTANT ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE: Get Alerted - Not Alarmed. Keeping An Eye On Your Dog’s Safety Is Now Easy. Get Alerts On Temperature/Humidity...
- 💸 ◆SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED◆: Get Instant Alerts On Temperature Changes, Location Tracking And More By Subscribing To Waggle Plans. Half-Yearly To...
The Waggle Pet Monitor is also available from our partner, TechnoRV (see it here), where you can use the following coupon code to save 5% (so be sure to shop pricing to get the best deal):
TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity...Show More
TechnoRV.com is a supplier of leading RV technology products that are designed to enhance your RV lifestyle. That includes items like LevelMatePRO, Viair portable air compressors, connectivity equipment, and more!
Use the Promo Code "RVGEEKS" to save 5% on your entire order at TechnoRV.Show Less
Nimble RV Pet Monitor
All you need to know about Nimble is that it was purchased by Waggle in July of 2020. So, Nimble is now Waggle! (See above for details.)
RV Whisper Pet Monitor
The RV Whisper pet monitor supports up to 20 sensors and logs its sensor data every 5 minutes. In addition to protecting your pets, RV Whisper can monitor your RV’s battery, shore power, propane, fridge temperature, water bay in cold winter weather, and more.
RV Whisper can also log data from other RV wireless devices such as the Hughes Autoformer Power Watchdog Surge Protectors and several other compatible devices.
This monitor comes with four sensors and the monitor station runs on the 12V power in your RV.
NOTE: A reliable WiFi connection is required for the RV Whisper pet monitor system to work. You’ll need to provide that network and ensure it has a reliable internet connection for the system to work as intended.
- PET SAFETY EARLY WARNING. The included wireless battery voltage sensor detects shore power loss BEFORE it gets hot in the RV.
- Unlimited text and email alerts
SensorPush HT1 Wireless Thermometer/Hygrometer for iPhone/Android
The SensorPush HT1 Wireless Thermometer/Hydrometer isn’t specifically an RV pet monitor but is meant to monitor conditions in any of a number of situations – from an RV, to a baby’s nursery, to a guitar case, to a refrigerator, to a greenhouse – you name it.
The WiFi gateway uses Bluetooth sensors to monitor conditions.
You purchase the number of sensors you want according to what you want to monitor, as well as a WiFi gateway to transmit data and alerts to your Apple or Android cell phone. (You can use the sensors alone and download data for 20 days, but in order to remotely monitor conditions in real-time to keep a pet safe, you must also purchase a WiFi gateway/hub.)
WiFi is required to use the SensorPush HT1 to monitor the conditions in your RV and access the data and alerts when you’re away from the rig.
- Accurate: Premium sensing component with accuracy of ±3%RH, ±0.3°C / 0.5°F. Professional-grade components, assembled into devices you can trust....
- Versatile: With its small, attractive design, the HT1 is at home just about anywhere: in a refrigerator, freezer, greenhouse, humidor, wine cellar,...
Temp Stick Wireless Remote WiFi Temperature & Humidity Sensor
The Temp Stick wireless remote sensor system monitors temperature and humidity 24/7 and is capable of sending alerts to your Apple or Android phone via Temp Stick’s apps.
The system requires a connection to a WiFi network and sends text messages and email alerts about important changes in temperature or humidity. It will also alert you if the WiFi connection is lost or when batteries are low. You can view and manage the system from any smartphone, tablet or PC.
The Temp Stick is battery operated (two AA batteries), and no gateway device or subscription to any service is necessary.
- Remote WiFi temperature and humidity monitor with NO MONTHLY FEES. 3 year warranty; the last sensor you need! MADE IN AMERICA.
- Sends Unlimited TEXT MESSAGE, EMAIL & PUSH ALERTS for High/Low Temperatures, Humidity levels, WiFi connection loss and low battery alert. All Features...
MarCELL Cellular Temperature, Humidity & Power Monitor (Verizon)
The MarCELL temperature, humidity, and power monitor runs on Verizon’s cellular network and requires a subscription plan available through them. (Plans start at $8.25/month.)
MarCELL can be used wherever there’s a Verizon cellular signal and, thanks to its built-in lithium backup battery, will continue to operate in a power outage sending you instant alerts via text, email, or cell phone call when temperature and humidity levels reach dangerous levels or when power is lost.
Once you register the MarCELL device, it can be plugged into a standard wall outlet to work. It then automatically connects to Verizon’s 4G cellular network and begins recording temperature and humidity. The system will alert you in real-time if an issue occurs.
- Best Value – MarCELL Subscription Plans for as low as $8.25/mo, nearly half of what our competitors charge. A MarCELL Subscription Plan is necessary...
- Cellular Advantage - MarCELL can be used anywhere there is a Cellular Signal and continues to operate in power outages, unlike Wifi Devices
Can I Leave My Pet in an RV Without Air Conditioning?
Never, ever leave your pets alone in an RV without the benefit of reliable climate control (and then only for short periods).
If you’re camping with your pets in summer, and you are right there and your pet needs to get out of the sun, then the RV may be a good place for them, provided there is cooling provided.
You can run your roof vent fan(s) with an open window in the rear of the rig to keep air circulating.
Always provide plenty of fresh cold water for your pet to drink.
Dipping paws in cool water or using your outdoor shower to wet down their paws and legs can also be helpful to keep dogs cool in summer.
Frozen treats are another way to help keep dogs cool in the summer heat, as do fans and pet cooling beds.
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- ELEVATED COOLING DOG COT: Raised cooling dog bed helps pets stay cool in warm spring and summer months with its refillable coolin' center keeps pets...
- INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE: Lifted pet bed with coolin' center is great for indoor and outdoor use. Slip resistant rubber feet provide protection for indoor...
- Breathable mesh fabric helps keep pets cool by allowing air to flow
- Elevates pets more than 7 inches off the ground
Again, though, you should never leave your pet unattended in an RV that cannot keep your pet sufficiently cool (with air conditioning in summer) or sufficiently warm (with heat in winter).
If you leave a pet unattended with the benefit of climate control and an RV pet monitor system in place, please do so only for short periods of time.
PRO-TIP: Micro-Air EasyTouch Thermostat
Without realizing it, and without having pets ourselves, we have a built-in pet monitoring system in our RV now. We installed a Micro-Air EasyTouch thermostat (discount available below), which gives us the ability to remotely view and control the temperature in our RV when we’re away from it.
As long as our rig has internet connectivity, we can use the EasyTouch app on our smartphone to control the heat & air conditioning on our RV. So now, if we get a pet, we already have a pet monitor in place!
Looking to add some "smart home" features to your RV? How about a new color touchscreen, programmable thermostat? Even better, how about one that allows you to control it (even remotely) using a...Show More
Looking to add some "smart home" features to your RV? How about a new color touchscreen, programmable thermostat? Even better, how about one that allows you to control it (even remotely) using a smartphone or tablet? That's what the Micro-Air Easy Touch RV thermostat does.
Save $15 on each EasyTouch RV Thermostat when you buy direct from Micro-Air.Show Less
Just be aware that the EasyTouch thermostat, and its parter app, do not provide you alerts if the temperature exceeds a specific level… you need to manually check the app to view the readings.
Have You Used a Pet Monitoring System in Your RV?
If you’ve ever used an RV pet monitor in your rig, we’d love to hear about it. We’re especially interested to know if you’ve found a particular system to work especially well, because our readers – and their pets – may benefit from the information you have to share.
Geek Out with Us Every Week
Join our newsletter to learn about all things RV-related. Every week we offer free tips, tricks, product reviews, and more to our online community of RVers. So, whether this is your first time on the road or you’re a seasoned expert, we’d love for you to geek out with us!
Wednesday 3rd of August 2022
I am looking at purchasing the Waggle system but I don't understand the option of LITE or Geofencing. Is Geofencing really an upgrade?
Wednesday 3rd of August 2022
Hi Becky. The "LITE" version offers all of the pet monitoring features, while the GPS version also provides tracking of your location (not sure why you'd want/need that) and a Geofencing option that will alert you if the vehicle the Waggle is installed into is moved (i.e. stolen). The Geofencing, at least, could provide some peace of mind if you store your RV and want to be sure it isn't stolen from the storage location. But if all you need/care about is the pet monitoring features, the LITE version should be just fine for you (and it's $100 cheaper!).
Wednesday 6th of July 2022
We’ve been using MarCell for a few years now and are quite satisfied. I read with interest the descriptions of the other options and I still believe that for us it is the best alternative, because after the initial outlay, the monthly cost, which we pay annually, is way less than the cost of the extra cell line or Wi-Fi required by other systems.
Which brings me to a question: You made several references to Rv Wi-Fi. I thought that wasn’t an option unless you are stationary. Can you please explain? If that subject is covered in another newsletter, please redirect. Thanks.
Thursday 7th of July 2022
Hi Ed. Glad to hear the MarCell has been working well for you! On your question... "RV Wi-Fi" is really just a generic term for having internet connectivity available in your RV, so the various units can connect. There are a number of ways you can achieve that: using WiFi at the RV park or parking location, or using cellular to provide the internet connection for a local Wi-Fi network in your RV (like with the hotspot function of a smartphone or a dedicated device like a JetPack). We go over the differences in our article "RV Internet Options: The Difference Between Cellular and Wi-Fi"... and you can see the system WE'RE using in our article "Our RV Internet Solutions for 2021: Upgrading Our Tech Cabinet".
Hope that helps explain things!
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
We travel with 3 small Bichon Frise dogs in Texas. We were uncomfortable leaving the dogs in a closed coach. After research we decided on using a Temp Stick to monitor the temperature and humidity in the coach.
The Temp Stick was the right choice for us as we travel with a portable hot spot, there is no subscription fee for the Temp Stick reporting. The Temp Stick is only on WIFI when it needs to upload a report, then it disconnects until it's next scheduled report time, so the WIFI usage is very low.
The report interval is selectable, we use 15 minute updates while away. You use a phone app to monitor the temperature remotely. You can also set alerts to get email at preset high or low temperature readings. We have used it for 3 trips so far and it has taken the worry out of being away from the RV.
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
Glad to hear the Temp Stick is working for you (and your dogs), Jay!
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
We do dog shows with our class A and have the MarCELL; love it! For the few times we are not dog showing but camping - we will only travel as far as we can get back if the power goes out. Serious lesson learned once was not being able to get back. A car hit the power pole outside the campground and knocked out the power. We were driving back and the emergency crew would not let us pass due to the downed pole & wires. We explained we had dogs in the RV without AC. It was only the fact I was an electrician and understood downed line that they let me walk in. A second time we went out to eat and came out to a dead battery. We returned to the RV four plus hours later! Good thing it was cool and the power was on. I am very nervous leaving the dogs alone in the RV unless it's 60 degrees outside!!!
Gay Travel Enthusiast (Jason)
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
Fascinating article. I don't own any pets. I don't own any dogs or cats. How about you and John? I agree with what it says regarding keeping animals comfortable. If you're too warm, it's even worse for animals.
Saturday 2nd of July 2022
Nope, Jason... no pets here (we travel away from the RV, often internationally, too often... so it wouldn't be fair to a dog/cat). But we hope to have one, someday!