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Best Portable Dog Fences for Camping with Your Canines

Raise your hand if a portable dog fence will make your camping experiences even better! We get it: you want to give your fur baby a little space off-leash. A camping dog fence can make for relaxing outdoor time.

We’ve found the best options on the market for you, so keep reading for our top five picks. 

What Is a Portable Dog Fence?

A portable dog fence, also known as a playpen or playard, is a fence system that’s not permanently attached to the ground. They vary in size but are small enough to put up and take down quickly. 

They’re an excellent weatherproof option for dog parents who enjoy camping. The portable fences fold up flat and can typically fit in the basement storage area of your RV.

two dogs using portable dog fence for rv camping

Benefits of a Camping Dog Fence Over Tie-Outs

Have you ever tripped on a dog tie-out? Has your dog ever gotten his tie-out so wrapped up in the picnic table he was stuck? Have you ever untangled your dog, only to have to untangle him again 5 minutes later?

Tie-outs are simple, cheap, and effective means to keep your dog at your campsite. However, this doesn’t mean they are the best way to hang out with your dog outdoors. It also depends on your dog and whether they “get” tie-outs or not.

Choosing A Tie-Out Attachment Point

The tie-out needs to be attached to something. Wherever it is attached, you have to think about what the dog can reach and what it can get tangled on. You won’t want to give them access to get tangled on that sewer hose!

If you have two dogs, this can also get complicated if both dogs need to access the same water bowl, yet stay apart so they don’t get wrapped up in each other’s line.

A portable dog fence will allow your dog(s) to move around freely and ensure they stay out of reach of anything you don’t want them in.

Tripping Hazard

Between the tie-out line itself or the apparatus it is tied to, there are now several tripping hazards present in your campsite! No matter if you’re a kid or an adult, a fall isn’t a fun experience. Whether your dog is attached and moves it unexpectantly or if it’s just laying across your path, you must be vigilant around your camp spot when tie-outs are used.

camping dogs with tie-outs and stakes
Watch out for those tie-outs and stakes!

Camping dog pens will eliminate the potential of tripping with their dedicated placement and bulk. These aren’t going to suddenly move on you!

Knocking Over Camp Furniture

Doggy brains don’t always understand the concept of being “tied up.” They often follow their attention directly, with no thought to the angle of the line they’re dragging or what’s in their way!

An excited dog on a tie-out can easily knock over camp tables, chairs, propane fire pits, and more. To avoid spilling your food, beverages, and other items, a portable dog fence might be a better solution.

Depending on your set up and fence choice, you may even be able to get enough fence to encircle your site so Fido can roam from person to person.

Tips on Campground Pet Etiquette 

Be sure to know the pet policies at any campground you visit. Never leave your dog unattended in a camping dog fence. And always pick up after your dog right away. 

Most campgrounds have a dog policy that requires dogs to be on a six-foot leash when outdoors. If it’s unclear whether your site allows a portable dog fence, contact the campground office to ask permission.

Pro Tip: Read the 5 Rules for RVing With Pets before you hit the road!

dog in outdoor playpen

The 5 Best Portable Dog Fences

We dove into the research for our favorite camping dog fences. Check out our five suggestions for keeping your dog safe and secure at your campsite.

#1. VIVOHOME Foldable Dog Fence

About: The VIVOHOME portable dog fence comes with eight or 16 panels and a gate with two latches. It’s made of weatherproof and rust-resistant black powder-coated metal tubes and panels and comes with anchor stakes to keep the fence sturdy. The multiple panels allow for adjustable shapes to fit your space.

You can also combine multiple fences together to build a larger pen area for your canine companion.

What Sets It Apart: Having multiple panels to create various shapes/sizes creates significant versatility. This camping dog fence also comes in a 40″ tall version meaning it works for larger dogs!

VIVOHOME 40'' 8 Panel Heavy Duty Metal Pet Fence...
  • PREMIUM MATERIAL - Crafted with high quality black powder-coated...
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL - With 8 individual panels, you can shape this...
  • SAFE & SECURE - This pet barrier is designed with round edges and...

#2. Zampa Foldable Playpen

About: The Zampa Foldable Playpen is a portable dog fence made of durable and water-resistant materials with mesh windows on each panel. It has a mesh top and door that zips on and off.

It’s available in four sizes and colors and folds flat into a carrying case. There’s no assembly required; it pops up once you take it out of the case.

What Sets It Apart: Being lightweight and having a mesh roof option sets the Zampa apart. This is an all-in-one unit with a floor (so you will still have to leash walk your dog for a potty break).

Zampa Dog Playpen Large 61"x61"x30" Pop Up...
  • Quality: Pet playpen with protected seams and reinforced corners...
  • Design: Our stylish 8-Panel puppy playpen is designed with a...
  • Measurements: The size of this pop up playpen is 61 inches...

#3. Pet Trex Exercise Playpen

About: The Pet Trex camping dog fence is a wire playpen with a protective satin black electro-coat finish. It comes with ground anchors and corner stabilizers. The door has double latches to keep your dog secure and safe. It’s foldable and comes in two different sizes.

It’s available in 24″ tall and 30″ tall versions, which the company says can be used for dogs up to 40lbs.

What Sets It Apart: For a wire portable dog fence, it seems to have the most stability.

Pet Trex 24" Exercise Playpen for Dogs Eight 24" x...
  • ►Includes 8 panels measuring 24 inches wide by 30 inches high.
  • ►Easily Sets Up & Folds Down
  • ►Durable, Satin Black Electro-Coat Finish Provides Years...

#4. Petmate Exercise Pen

About: The Petmate Exercise Pen is made of wire panels and comes with anchors to stabilize them. Its door has double latches. You won’t need tools to set it up, thanks to the snap-hook design.

This portable dog fence comes in five different sizes (heights), and you can use it indoors or outdoors.

What Sets It Apart: It’s similar to the VIVOHOME but costs less due to less-robust construction. It is available in the widest variety of sizes and one of the largest of the 5 discussed here, for dogs up to 65lbs.

Petmate 48-Inch by 24-Inch 8 Panels Exercise Pen...
  • WIRE EXERCISE PEN: Wire, solid-hinge & and double-door latches...
  • QUICK ASSEMBLY: Features a snap hook design that requires no...
  • KENNELS & HOUSES: Crate & kennel training is vital for dog safety...

 #5. Advantek Pet Gazebo 

About: The Advantek Pet Gazebo is a stylish portable dog fence. It’s made of durable metal and has an umbrella roof frame, available in four sizes. It includes a weather-resistant polyethylene reversible cover and a drop-down window for easily retrieving and replacing food and water bowls inside the pen.

What Sets It Apart: The rainproof and UV-protected roof sets it apart as well as the spring-loaded safety latch. Available in sizes up to 8-feet, this is the highest-end model we’re looking at in this article.

Advantek 23220E Pet Gazebo Portable Easy Setup...
  • 4 FOOT DOG KENNEL FOR PETS UP TO 100 LBS: The perfect safe place...
  • FAST & EASY ASSEMBLY WITH NO TOOLS NEEDED: This portable covered...

Other Options for Keeping Your Pets Safe While Camping

A portable dog fence lets you keep your dog in a secure area close to you. But there are other options for keeping your dog safe while camping.

The aforementioned tie-outs are still a standard option for your campsite. A cable or rope tied to your RV or a stake in the ground will work in many situations.

E-collars are another option. However, many campgrounds require dogs to be on a leash or in a portable fence. So while an e-collar will keep your dog within your safe zone, it may not meet your campground’s requirements.

Leash walking your dog is also a great option. It not only keeps you and your dog active but it can also easily be combined with all of the above ways to keep your pets safe while camping.

Pro Tip: Losing your furry friend while camping is a terrifying experience! If you’ve lost your pup while RVing, Here’s How To Find Them.

dog laying in portable camping dog fence

Enjoy Safe Camping With Your Dogs

No matter which option you choose, remember that your pet’s safety is essential. A portable dog fence can help you relax, knowing your dog is secure and within your sightline. Your dog will also be able to relax and move freely without getting tangled in a tie-out!

If you purchase one of the five fences we recommend, let us know what you and your dog(s) think of it! 

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

Believe it or not, she is rather camera shy, though she co-hosts the Mortons’ personal videos and The RVers TV show.

Caitlin’s passion lies in outdoor recreation and with animals. Some of her favorite things to do are hiking, biking, and getting out on the water via kayak, SUP, or boat.

She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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Dalton Bourne

Sunday 5th of September 2021

Love this Nova Microdermabrasion RV Kennel fence! This product is working perfectly for keeping my new little pup inside the yard, especially with it getting cold outside. It’s made from sturdy metal and contains a coated black vein finish for rust-resistance. Its design features rounded edges or rubber feet to make sure any sharp edges don’t poke my dog. With versatile 16-panel design, I was also thrilled to see this model was capable of being folded for easy transport and storage.

Dalton Bourne

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

It’s time to dive into the task at hand and locate a perfect dog fence for your favorite puppies. Let’s find a safe containment area capable of ensuring they don’t cause any mischief on the campground.