The Waggle Pet Temperature Monitor is a Game-Changer for Van Life: Here’s Why

Living van life with a pet can be a little scary. What if you need go to out to a restaurant or grocery store? With Waggle, you’ll always know what the temperature is inside your van to keep your pet safe.

woman and her dog in a campervan

Living in a van can get hot and toasty for humans and pets, especially when you don’t have air conditioning (like me). Although I try to stay in high-elevation areas and states like Colorado to keep cool (and make sure my cattle dog, Willow, is comfortable), there have been days when the outside temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. 

Due to the greenhouse effect, the temperature inside a van can be 20-30 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Sunlight enters the van through the windows, gets absorbed by surfaces, and converts into heat. That heat gets trapped inside the van, causing the interior temperature to rise.

This can pose life-threatening risks for pets left in rigs like camper vans and RVs while their owners are out and about, unknowingly putting their pets in danger. 

I want to ensure Willow is safe when temperatures start soaring in the summertime. This is especially true when I leave her alone in the van to run errands like laundry or grocery shopping. Aside from doing these tasks early in the morning, I like to have the extra peace of mind that she’s comfortable in the van and isn’t overheating. And that’s where my Waggle Pet Monitor comes in handy.

For this review, I tested out the Waggle Pet Monitor Pro+, which pairs with the Waggle Pet App, to monitor the temperature in my van with my dog inside. I’ll dive into the features, pros and cons, how it works, and my experience with the product. 

What is a Waggle Pet Monitor?

woman holding a Waggle in front of her campervan
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

A Waggle Pet Monitor is a 24/7 temperature monitor you can use at home or while traveling in your camper van or RV. It uses temperature and humidity sensors to notify you in real-time of changes to your rig’s internal temperature.

If you travel with pets like dogs or cats, a Waggle monitor keeps you updated on the interior temperature to ensure they’re comfortable and safe while you’re away. You can check the mobile app for the current temperature reading, humidity, and heat index.

The Waggle Pet Monitor sends you an instant alert via text or email according to your preferences when it detects changes in your vehicle’s environment and low battery power. You can use the app to set the minimum and maximum temperatures you want to be notified if reached. 

As a van lifer or RVer, having a Waggle Pet Monitor means you never need to worry if your pets are getting too hot (or cold). You’ll have peace of mind knowing your pets are safe.

Waggle Key Features

woman holding a waggle pet temperature monitor
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

The Waggle Pet Monitor Pro+ includes the pet monitor, charging AC adapter, USB cable, mounting bracket, reset pin, car mirror decal, and a pet tag. You don’t need wi-fi to use the device because it runs on the built-in Verizon network with GPS tracking. 

The monitor has a digital display showing the temperature, humidity, and battery life. It’s a simple design with one button on the front that you press and hold for five seconds to turn the device on and off.

To use the Waggle Pet Monitor, mount it to your rig with the peel-and-stick mounting bracket. It’s quick and easy to install and detach the monitor as needed for charging.

the waggle app

You’ll also need to install the Waggle Pet App. The app is free to download, and you register your monitor by scanning the QR code on the back of the device and choosing a subscription plan that best fits your needs.

Once you’ve mounted the monitor, installed the app, and activated your subscription, you can receive instant alerts from the device’s real-time monitoring. You can leave your fur baby in your rig feeling confident and assured that Waggle is tracking your pet’s environment every second and will instantly notify you of potential risks.

My Experience Using Waggle

woman and her dog in a campervan
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

I live in a converted Sprinter camper van with my husband, Tom, and our dog, Willow. Since starting van life a year ago, Tom and I have always hesitated to leave the van with Willow inside, fearing she might get too hot or cold, depending on the time of year.

We don’t have air conditioning, so we are especially cautious during the summer. We have two Maxx-air fans and slider windows, but we aren’t entirely confident that they’ll keep her cool enough when we’re away. 

In the past, we took turns doing things like running errands and exercising so she wouldn’t be left in the van. That way, if it started to feel too hot, the person who stayed back could make adjustments as needed.

Since we received the Waggle pet temperature monitor, we’ve felt so much more at ease leaving Willow in the van during our travels. Even when the weather conditions suddenly change (which happens frequently in Colorado), I like how I can just pull out my phone and look on the app to check the temperature and humidity inside the van.

I’ve found the Waggle’s temperature reading to be extremely accurate. I’ve tested it inside an apartment to compare its reading to the thermostat and found it to match it exactly or be within 1-2 degrees of the thermostat. 

Due to its accuracy and ease of use, Tom and I have felt comfortable leaving Willow in the van while we eat in a restaurant or run an errand together. We like that we no longer have to take our food to go or have one of us stay at the van when we both want to experience something together. 

We still try to stay close to the van if we receive an alert that the interior temperature has increased. I’ve configured my Waggle to send an email alert when there’s a significant temperature fluctuation or the temperature hits my designated max temp.

So, what does Waggle cost?

waggle and its box
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

Waggle provides users with options for the temperature monitor and the subscription plan.

There are three different Waggle Pet Monitors: the Waggle Lite+, Waggle Pro+ (which I tested), and Waggle Pro+Air. 

The Waggle Lite+ is the cheapest option at $249. It offers real-time temperature alerts, RV power loss alerts, power recovery alerts, and humidity and heat index information. The device has a rechargeable battery plus a big digital display.

At $349, the Waggle Pro+ offers all of the features of the Lite+ and GPS tracking and geofencing alerts. 

The Waggle Pro+Air is the most expensive temperature monitoring device at $369. It has the same features as the Lite+ and Pro+ and an added air quality sensor.

No matter which of the three monitors you choose, you can pick from three subscription plans: half-yearly, yearly, or 2 years.

The half-yearly plan is $129 for 6 months, while the yearly plan is $199 for 12 months. The best value is the 2-year plan, which costs $299. You can switch or cancel your current plan at any time.

Pros of the Waggle

dog sleeping in a bed in a campervan
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

My favorite thing about the Waggle is that it accurately reports the temperature of my van. I also like how easy it is to use and that it doesn’t require Wi-Fi.

Works as advertised

The biggest pro of the Waggle is that it works exactly as it’s supposed to and notifies me in real time about temperature and humidity updates. I like how the monitor continuously monitors the interior temperature and alerts me if the van loses power. 

I fully trust my Waggle to keep me informed, which allows me to worry less when I’m away from Willow in the van.

Ease of use

The monitor and the app have simple interfaces that are easy to use and navigate. 

There’s only one button on the monitor (the on/off switch), so I don’t have to worry about learning how to use it or accidentally hitting the wrong button. In the app, I can immediately see the temperature, humidity, and heat index on the home screen as soon as I open it.

No wi-fi needed

I appreciate that Waggle does not need Wi-Fi to operate. The Waggle Pet Monitor has built-in Verizon 4G data (and this cannot be changed).

We have Starlink but don’t often set it up as it draws battery power. If we needed Wi-Fi to use the Waggle, we probably wouldn’t be able to use it nearly as often as we do.

While this is a pro for us (we already use Verizon and prioritize campsites with a signal to use our hotspot data), it may be a con for others who like to camp in areas without service or rely solely on Starlink.

Cons of the Waggle

dog sitting inside a campervan
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

I’ve found only a few cons with the Waggle: the price, the battery life, and the limitation of it only working in areas with cell service.


The pet monitor itself is an investment. Waggle has occasional sales when you can purchase one for a substantial discount.

The ongoing investment of the subscription plan is where the costs add up. 

In short, you will always pay to use this device. While this might not be a problem if you only plan to travel in your rig for a year or so, these costs can add up to thousands of dollars if you plan to travel for years. 

I also wish there was an option to pay for a monthly subscription. This would be convenient for those who only travel one month of the year or during the summertime.

Battery life

The battery charge on my Waggle monitor only lasts 2-3 days maximum, even when it’s not in use. Although it’s rechargeable, charging the device so often while traveling is inconvenient. 

It also takes hours to recharge the device back to full. This is important to note, especially if you’re hoping to recharge it quickly in a public place like a coffee shop, or if you want to charge it in your rig but already struggle with budgeting your battery power.

Requires cell signal

Depending on where you are and how you plan to use Waggle, it could be a con that the device requires a cell signal to use it. For example, using Waggle in places like national parks or off-grid boondocking campsites is challenging because cell service is often limited or nonexistent.

I don’t find this much of a con for my lifestyle because I’ve never needed to leave my dog in the van while boondocking. I could see this being frustrating, though, if you were hoping to do a hike that wasn’t dog-friendly and monitor the temperature of your rig while you’re away.

Do I need a Waggle?

Dog laying on a campervan bed
Photo Credit: Kaylin Zittergruen

The short answer to this question depends on whether you have a pet, the set-up of your van (such as whether you have air conditioning), and how often you plan to leave your pet in your rig alone.

If you are a solo van lifer or RVer who often needs to leave your pet alone out of necessity, the Waggle is practical and worth the investment. However, you probably don’t want to venture too far away from your rig in case you receive a notification from Waggle that the temperature has gotten too hot or cold inside.

If your rig has air-conditioning that you can turn on and run while you’re away from your van, you might not need a Waggle if you’re confident your pet will be kept cool. The same goes for running a heater in the wintertime.

As a couple who is probably overcautious when traveling, Tom and I still like to take turns hanging back at the van whenever possible to protect Willow and our possessions in case of a break-in. For this reason, we haven’t used Waggle as often as we thought we would.

Thanks to Waggle, though, we feel more comfortable doing things together away from the van like getting drinks on a patio and using it to monitor the temperature for Willow. 

If you’re like me, pets are family, and you’ll do whatever you can for their well-being, safety, and comfort. If you’re on the fence about it, I recommend trying out a Waggle Pet Monitor and paying for the half-year plan to see how it works for your lifestyle.

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  1. Norm PHEIL (file) says:

    I’m looking for info on incinerator toilets.

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