One of our containment set ups for the dogs while camping is the exercise pen that we use to surround the trailer door. We use this for our dogs because there is no chance that any one of them will try to escape between the steps of the trailer.
It’s important to note however, that smaller dogs could easily exit this set-up and/or someone else’s small dog could easily come into the space while your dog(s) is in there. This could obviously cause all kinds of issues.
It is likely a good idea to put some grating or some kind of solid material behind the steps of the trailer to prevent that if it ever should be possible. Sometimes in campgrounds, people do let their dogs off leash and can’t get them to return. Dogs will sniff out other dogs or food, or even people and that is when bad situations happen.
To secure the ex-pen, the ends of the pen are tucked in right beside the door on either side. The edges of the pen butt right up against the trailer steps and make it impossible for anyone to escape. We also trust our dogs to not do anything silly like try to escape. If a dog has no reason to take off, he most likely won’t. We are always there when our dogs are in the ex-pen and barring any intruder which could be another dog or even small rodents, we never expect any issues.
There are spaces between the steps but these are too small for our dogs to escape through. Like I already mentioned, smaller dogs could easily do that.
We find this set up works really well for us to prevent door dashing in case a small furry animal runs by😉 or a child on a bike, which actually has happened.
A second ex-pen could be used to extend the area even more but it is important to make sure the ends are all secured together properly. We use what is known as a “leash clip” but without the leash. That is the standard connector for ex-pens and they can be bought at most home building centres or department stores.
This set-up could be modified in many ways and is safer for dogs than using a tie out, which I discuss HERE.