Spring is finally arriving here in Minnesota and the dogs and I are excited to begin another camping season. We have some really fun trips planned for this year, several of which include weeks spent living out of our travel trailer. Last summer we purchased a dog playpen from Amazon and it was a game changer for us at campsites.
No longer were the dogs on tie-outs, getting tangled with each other, chairs, and tables. Instead, they had a dedicated area where they could relax while we were outside of the RV/travel trailer.
There were just a couple of problems with the playpen that we had purchased. The sides were a little too tall for us to lean over and reach anything on the ground inside. And the gate wasn’t very easy to operate, as it required 3 latches to be opened and closed.
So when FXW reached out to me this winter, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their dog playpen, I jumped at the opportunity.
(*FXW provided the playpen for this review. This is also a good time for me to mention that I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn from qualifying purchases. This blog post contains links to Amazon.)
The snow melted this month, so we have finally been able to set up and use the playpen. And I can officially give this product a great review. If you are looking for a high-quality, versatile playpen that is portable and easy to take along on your adventures, this review is for you.
FXW Pet is one of the top playpen brands on Amazon, with 4.8 stars over thousands of organic reviews. Their products are developed with unique designs that are intended to protect dogs whether at home or in the outdoors.
Their mission statement states that they “believe that the relationship between pets and humans is powerful. Therefore, FXW is inspired to create a more exciting outdoor adventure for the two parties to strengthen the relationship.”
The Play Pen Fencing
FXW playpens come in six different sizes, so they can be purchased to fit into anyone’s backyard, campground, and especially RV camping sites.
I was offered the chance to review either the 32-inch or 40-inch Rollick Space Playpen. I chose the 32-inch height, as one of my main dislikes with our original dog pen was that it was slightly too tall for me to lean over and reach the ground inside the pen.
Our first playpen was the Amazon Basics Foldable Metal Pet Dog Exercise Fence. That pen came in heights of 24, 36, 42, or 48 inches. The 24-inch pen was too short for me to feel safe leaving Glia in. As a result, we had purchased the 36-inch, which is the one that was a little too tall. Perfect for us is about 30 inches, so FXW’s 32-inch height works better for us.
FXW sent us 16 panels (essentially two 8-panel sets). Each 8-panel set comes with 7 regular panels and one gate. The fence panels arrived in good shape with just one small dent in a single panel.
The fence panels are made out of metal that is powder coated to help protect against rust. The panels are fairly lightweight and easy to move around. One of the regular side panels with a single pole weighs approximately 3.25 lbs, while a gate section with one pole weighs approximately 5.25 lbs. Added together, the 16 panels weigh about 56 lbs.
They come as individual panels that then need to be connected with a pole/rod. These poles have rounded tips at the end so they are safe to use inside on flooring. However, they are pointed enough that you can poke them into the dirt to secure the fence at a campsite.
Having even a few of these secured into the ground adds a lot to the sturdiness of the playpen. A big dog could probably still knock it over, but it is a lot more secure than a playpen without these poles/posts.
The individual panels are nice as they are light enough to easily carry and set up by yourself. But they do have to be fully taken apart in order to fit them back into the storage compartment of your RV or travel trailer.
In comparison, the Amazon Basics fence we had previously purchased stayed together and folded in sets of 8 panels. Although it was nice to keep the panels together, it was heavier to lift and carry. Personally, I prefer the ease of lifting each panel individually.
Additionally, the fact that each panel is added individually to the pen during setup means that you have a lot of flexibility in how large you want the enclosure to be. Have a space that works perfectly for 10 panels, not 8 or 16? No problem.
And the biggest benefit of the FXW playpen compared to our previous playpen is the gate!
The gates are super easy to use and have an automatic gravity-action door latch. Much easier than threading three latches like many of the other dog playpens out there.
Just make sure you step over the lower part of the fence panel that doesn’t open. I tripped over that a couple of times until I got used to it.
Below we have some photos of the fence in use inside the house as a barrier between the dogs and the open door while we were moving some items. In these photos, you can see the lower piece of the gate panel that doesn’t open. The fence worked great as a barrier and we were able to set up just the amount of panels needed to go from one wall of the room to the other. I love that this fence is so versatile and worked just as well inside as it does outside.
My only small complaint (which is a concern with all of the dog playpens I have looked at so far) is that if you want to set it up so you can step right out of your RV, there is a gap underneath the stairs that is easy for a small dog to fit through.
Now depending on the size of your rig, you may be able to slide a fence behind your steps, like is shown in this video from Brazen Brits. But otherwise, you may have to create a smaller barrier out of a plastic fencing cut to size and attach it to the panels.
Overall, this is a great playpen fence from FXW. It is fairly lightweight, easy to set up, is secure, and the gate is easy to open.
With all of these great features, this is the playpen fence that will be coming with us as we finish both our national parks journey and our goal to visit all of Minnesota’s State Parks this year.
I am excited to put this fence to good use, even if Sasha doesn’t think a fence is any good unless her humans are inside of it also. Below Sasha just wants out while I take pictures – both of our new FXW fence and last year in our old fence while we camped in Porcupine Mountains State Park.
You can purchase the FXW Rollick Dog Playpen for your dogs on Amazon. And check out the nice carrying case that has been designed for this fencing. We haven’t tried the carrying case out yet but might need to add that to our camping supplies wish list.