Can your rabbit live with you in an RV, or is that a hare-brained idea?
Rabbits are small, sweet, full of personality, and often overlooked by campground pet policies. So a rabbit may seem like the perfect companion to live with you in an RV.
But travel can be very stressful for rabbits. Bunnies don’t respond well to noise, sudden motion, or a changing environment. They need reliable routines, personal territory, and lots of exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.
So if you’re only planning to rent an RV for a couple of weeks, it’s best to leave Bun-Bun with a caretaker. But if you’re truly called to life on the road, your rabbit can go with you. You just have to create a habitat and routine that meets your bunny’s needs.
The bunny experts at Fuzzy-rabbit.com are here to share the 9 top obstacles to traveling with a rabbit in an RV with a rabbit, and how to hop over them successfully.
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1. Rabbits Don’t Like Change.
In the wild, most bunnies stray no more than a mile from their birthplace. Waking up in a new place every day won’t excite a rabbit the way it might a dog. The key to making nomadic life possible is to create a safe, reliable environment within your RV as your rabbit’s home base.
Then, if they know they have a safe home to return to, some bunnies will actually get the bug to explore.
2. Rabbits Need Attention Every Day.
Pet rabbits need care every single day. Unfortunately, you can’t fill up their food and water bowls and head off on a three-day backpacking trip. Rabbits don’t require a lot of time each day – feeding, watering, and cleaning a litter box only takes 20 minutes or so – but they can’t go more than 12 to 24 hours without someone checking in and letting them out to play.
3. Rabbits Need Breaks from Travel.
Rabbits are grazing herbivores; their digestive systems are designed to be constantly moving roughage. Going more than a few hours without food or water can cause life-threatening GI problems!
Since many rabbits won’t eat while in a moving vehicle, you may need to take frequent breaks so your bunny can settle and have a snack. You might find, however, that as your rabbit adapts to travel, it grows comfortable eating while moving.
4. Rabbits Can’t Take the Heat.
Heat is the biggest threat that travel poses for rabbits. Did you know that rabbit coats are warmer than sheep’s wool? A rabbit traveling in a vehicle can suffer heat stroke if it’s in direct sunlight, even if the air temperature in the vehicle doesn’t feel warm to you. Outside, temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit are dangerous for bunnies.
If you plan on traveling with a rabbit, they must always travel in a climate-controlled vehicle, and never in a trailer RV that’s towed behind a car. If you’re leaving your rabbit in a stationary RV for a few hours, take care to park in full-day shade. Make sure there is lots of ventilation or leave the air conditioning running.
5. Rabbits Need Personal Space.
Most bunny owners who live in an RV train their rabbits to use a litter box and let them have some run of the RV floor. But at night or when you’re gone for the day, your rabbit needs an enclosure to keep it out of trouble. You can create your own enclosure using modular wire panels to fit whatever open nook you can find in your RV.
Traveling with a rabbit? Get a comfortable small animal rabbit carrier like the Petsfit Rabbit Carrier to keep your bunny safe and comfortable during your trip. Great for a plane, RV, or other road travel the carrier has 16 large ventilation holes in front and back, and two anti-bite mesh windows on both left and right sides to ensure fresh air and airflow for your fur-buddies.
You’ll also need to “bunny-proof” your travel home. Bunnies love to gnaw, so your cabinet corners, mattresses, electrical wires, and soft PVC pipes will quickly acquire chew marks if you don’t protect them. Be sure to block any tiny hiding-hole entrances as well – like that tiny space between the linen cabinet and the water heater!
6. Rabbits Need Exercise.
It’s essential – and so rewarding – to let your bunny out to play as often as you can. Rabbits romp, scuttle and jump with such joy that you’ll be amply rewarded for the trouble of keeping one in your RV.
But rabbits and linoleum don’t mix. Most bunnies are so afraid of sliding on hard floors that they would rather stay in their cages than risk it. You can lay foam moats over your floors to create a rabbit-safe surface.
Remember, letting a rabbit play outside in a campground isn’t safe, even in an exercise pen or on a leash. Dogs, hawks, cars, or sudden noises could throw your rabbit into a panic. It’s better to outfit your RV for indoor bunny play, despite the modifications you need to make.
7. Rabbits Make a Mess.
Rabbits shed – though less than other pets! – and their feed and bedding can spread across the floor. You can cut down some of the mess by feeding compressed hay cubes instead of loose hay and using puppy pads in the litter box.
Do rabbits smell? Well, yes, they have an aroma of sorts. Honestly, it seems to bother some people and not others. But potty-training your rabbit, cleaning daily, and using absorbent wood-based bedding will make your RV smell pleasantly like hay and aspen shavings instead of rabbit urine.
If you find your rabbit does smell, you want to get a portable HEPA Air Filter like the Munchkin® Portable Air Purifier, 4-Stage True HEPA Filtration System
It’s small, it’s portable, and it will eliminate 99.7% of the micropollutants (i.e. BAD SMELLS) in your RV or trailer.
8. Rabbit Vets are Hard to Find.
Unfortunately, most veterinarians don’t have experience with rabbits, and a good exotics vet can be hard to find even at home! Before you hit the road, pack an extensive rabbit care first aid kit, because you may have to treat an emergency on your own.
If you do need help finding a rabbit vet, you can follow these steps to locating a vet while out on the road.
- Use the search function on the House Rabbit Society website to find a rabbit-savvy vet near you. The House Rabbit Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about the proper care of domestic rabbits.
- Contact the local veterinary association to get a list of vets who specialize in rabbits or small animals.
- Check with local animal hospitals, clinics, or veterinary offices to see if they have a veterinarian who specializes in rabbits.
- Check online directories such as the American Association of Housecall and Mobile Veterinarians or the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians to find a mobile veterinarian who can come to your RV or mobile home.
If you are unable to find a rabbit vet in your area, consider contacting a veterinary school or teaching hospital for guidance.
9. Some Bunnies Don’t Like Adventure – But Some Do!
Sadly, many rabbits that grow up in cages never have a chance to develop their personality and taste for adventure. But bunnies that have been loved and handled all their lives will have trusting and curious natures!
When you’re ready to adopt, ask the shelter workers to introduce you to a rabbit that loves to play and explore – even one that’s a bit feisty! This sort of bunny will handle stress well and adapt smoothly to life in an RV.
Final Thoughts On Traveling with a Rabbit
You can successfully live in an RV with a rabbit if you have the right expectations, get the proper equipment, and find a rabbit with an adventurous personality. To learn more about the risks and rewards of road-tripping with rabbits, check out the Fuzzy-Rabbit guide to rabbit travel.