Keeping the RV clean can be a challenge sometimes, not just visually such as sweeping and mopping the floor to keep up on the sand and dirt that inevitably makes its way inside, but also with regards to scents. Who wants to live or visit an RV that smells like dirty dishes from last night’s cookout?

If you travel with a dog or cat – which may be the whole reason you got into RVing in the first place – then you are presented with another set of challenges. You don’t want your RV to smell like a kennel or a litter box. You don’t need hair stuck to the furniture, the bed sheets, and making tumbleweeds in the corners. You don’t want anyone to find an unsightly hair in their food, especially a visitor.

Fortunately, the space in your RV is limited, so there’s less to clean. And when you need some fresh air, it’s just an open window away, which can make all the difference. The key is to keep up with keeping your RV, and your beloved pet, clean. Consider doing the following things on a routine basis:

Guard against pet odors from sinking into soft surfaces and pet dander getting into the fabric, such as bed mattresses, by adding protective covers. These covers will help preserve your mattress and make it last longer.

Nix the carpet. Pets can have accidents, plus fleas, dust mites, dirt, and more can lurk in the fibers. Area rugs are one thing. They can be rinsed off or thrown in at the campsite’s washing machine or local laundromat. Carpeted areas are another. Choose wood, laminate, or vinyl for flooring surfaces if you’re buying new, or replace carpet with one of these alternatives. It makes picking up pet accidents easier, plus they are easier surfaces to sanitize.

Add removable covers to soft living room furniture – and clean them regularly. Covers will help the longevity and appearance of your furniture. This is especially true if your pets are invited to share these comfortable spaces with you. You may want to consider upgrading furniture fabric to leather for an easier clean.

Have the right cleaning products on hand. Make sure all cleaning products, even ones specifically marketed and designed for homes with pets, are kept out of the reach of pets. You may need pet-specific solutions that contain enzymes to fight off some stains and smells. White vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda – typical kitchen supplies – can also be used to lift stains, deodorize, and clean.

Make sure you have good ventilation. There are the windows, of course, but you can’t always rely on the temperature or the breeze. You may want to consider installing a powerful ceiling vent fan if your RV didn’t come equipped with one. This can make a big difference in controlling pet odors, improving indoor quality, and managing the temperature inside your RV.

Clean your pet’s bedding areas. If you have a crate or carrier for your dog or cat, then wash it out with dish soap and water. Use white vinegar to deodorize by putting some on a hand towel and wiping the inside of the crate or carrier. Wash and air out all blankets. Spray down dog beds and clean them with a mild detergent. Allow all soft items such as beds and blankets to dry thoroughly before returning them to their original location.

Keep your pet clean. Groom your cat or dog regularly to keep the coat soft and healthy. This is also the best time to examine your pet for any abrasions that may not have been noticeable, including his feet for thorns or chipped nails. Purchase a garden hose or pet bathing tool that is compatible with a garden hose to give your dog a bath outside the RV with pet shampoo – and let him completely dry before allowing him back in the RV.