IRIS Exercise Panel Pet Playpen with Door – 34 Inch

One of the most asked questions we get is what we use to contain our dogs while camping.

We use pet exercise pens around the front of our travel trailer for our dogs. The brand we use is Iris, and we purchased them online. We have 3 sets (8 panels each) of their taller pens attached. This video shows how we set our pen up, as well as the necessary modification we needed to make on it: how we covered the hole under the steps, how we had to shorten panels around the door, and how we made a people-sized door.

We have the containment area around our front door of the camper, so the dogs can come in and out as they please. There are many benefits to using exercise pens while camping.

1. Safety: We feel that the pens are a much safer alternative than your typical tie-outs. First, you never have to worry about your dog running out the door and getting loose. If they get out of the camper, it acts as a second ‘safety net’ to contain them. Second, we don’t have to worry about them or us getting hurt or tangled in tie-out lines. I’ve seen a lot of dogs run to the end of their lines, and almost getting flipped when they hit the end. I’ve also seen people get tripped, or hurt badly on their ankles on tie-outs. And, not only does it keep our dogs contained, but it keeps other dogs out! We encounter a lot of off leash dogs while camping; some are friendly, some are not. If your dog is just on a tie-out, any dog could come up to yours. Having them in the pens keeps other dogs away.
2. Dog Comfort: The pups enjoy them, because they can enjoy the heat or air conditioning inside if they want to, or can just come outside to hang with us.
3. We enjoy having a space that we can hang out with them. Some people use exercise pens off to the side to just contain their dogs. We do ours in a way that we can sit outside with them.

Disclaimer: In no way are we sponsored by or affiliated with Iris; we just really, really like their product. Also, exercise pens are NOT for every dog. Your dog should be trained not to jump over or on the pen sides. Otherwise, they are unsafe.

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  • AWESOME Ideas!!
    The Fence, the sheppard's hooks, the rods/metal plates and the gate. I am ordering two eight foot sections right now!!
    Thank You so much!
    This is Wonderful!

  • it looks great. I would need to double the high for my dog…he would jump that in one breath…he had jumped our 6ft fence twice…do they have really tall ones?

  • Thanks for sharing this information with us.
    This makes a really sweet set up…!
    I’ve been trying to come up with something for our
    3 mid sized Fur Babies and I think you’ve just given
    me the answer…!
    Thank again.

  • There is an app it lets you know if your power has gone out! It’s only for Android but even if you got a cheap android phone from Walmart you only need WiFi to run the app if you don’t have service! It can send the notification to any phone! We love it because we have a dog and worry about him when we leave him behind to go get food. Now we know if we need to get back to our rig ASAP!

  • Tooooo much work. We just bought pet folding fence from groupon. Two sections 25.00 each. Comes in various heights. Two min. setup. Many RVs copy this

  • Thank you so much for putting this together it has helped so much. (And Iris needs to give you some $$ credits because now I am planning to get their product)! Also think I will add some metal rods to a few other places along the fence as well … including adding some shepherds poles for decorative accents. Thank you again !!! PS that campsite looks great too 😀

  • I've got two sets of 8- 30 wide by 40 tall metal gate and one set of the plastic 8 panels like you used, I'm gonna use the plastic for the skirting and the metal for the outer fencing. Great tips for the construction, thanks so much for posting this

  • PLEASE! PLEASE! Don't drive a steel rod into the ground until you are sure where the utility's are located. In warmer climates and especially on private lands, such as RV parks. Hydro and water lines can be located inches below the surface. Driving a steel stake into a hydro line could be disastrous.
    Great video!! Just be cautious.

  • Thank You! Great Video! I have a question. I want to put together the panels as a FENCE BETWEEN 2 houses that are 19 feet wide on asphalt to keep dog from running down the driveway. The dog has plenty of grass to roam on too. It looks like I can secure one end of the panel to a steel post. Can I attach the heavy metal plate to secure the other end of the panel to hold up the fence? The metal plate would stand next to the other house. Would this give enough support to hold up the fence? I have a small dog. If I wanted to make the door I would need 2 more heavy metal plates and attach to the panels. Would the fence hold up?

  • Hey guys great video. I'm currently writing an article about RVing with dogs on my website. I'd love to feature this video in that article but I wanted to get your permission first. I can also link to your website or social media in the article if you like. Let me know and thanks so much, Will from Bad Dog U and K9 Nation. Here is my URL so you can check it out for yourself to make sure my site is in line with your values.

  • This is absolutely an awesome set up! I have 2 black labs that I would love to take with me as I begin to consider full-time living in an RV. Because of your helpful video, I'm feeling more confident about getting my dogs the freedom to play and stay contained. Thanks again for sharing your tips and tricks!!