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 What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?

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Teenager
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Male Join date : 2013-03-24

PostSubject: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 12:43 pm

We have a 2008 Toyota Sienna. We also have 4 big dogs, 5 cats, and 3 kiddos. We are the outdoorsy type, but don't travel often because we can't bring our pets with us. I'm hoping to remedy that by building wooden dog boxes for inside the back of the van. The cats can stay home, as they are pretty self-sufficient, and we would hire a cat sitter to check on them daily. But where I go, my dogs come with me! We have all sorts and sizes of dog crates, but there is no way to fit 4 of them together in the back of the van. We wouldn't be able to fit 2 larger ones either. So my plan is to build custom-sized dog boxes. Two larger ones for the bottom base for our German Shepherds, and 2 smaller ones to stack on top for the huskies. Depending on where we're going, if we don't need to bring all 4 dogs, I'd like to be able to remove individual boxes so we free up space for gear/luggage, whatever.

We were at Home Depot last night looking at wood. They had pre-cut panels that were all sorts of sizes, thicknesses, and types of woods. Some seemed sturdy, but were very thin. I'm not sure how I'd be able to put nails or screws into such thin material without them poking the dogs. Also, I knew to look for sanded wood to avoid splinters, but even the unsanded wood didn't seem to splinter at all as I rubbed my hand over it. We also have a power sander at home if I need to go over the portion that will be on the inside of the box.

Any suggestions?

I know to cut holes all around for ventilation. I will also put a hinged door on each box, so it will be similar to husky boxes on sled dog trucks, only my boxes will be for inside the van. I think it's nice for the dogs to see and smell their "brothers" and "sister" nearby for comfort on long road trips.

If you know of any blueprints or examples for me to get ideas, that would be great as well!

Thanks in advance.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 1:18 pm

Just a thought - what about harnesses and tethers for all 4 in the back of the van? Last month, we put 3 adults and Ami and Archer in a subaru WRX - both dogs had a harness and tethers to the childseat anchors on the backseat deck and I sat beside (under?) them.

I would worry about ventilation with 4 dogs in boxes in that small a space. There was just a story in our local paper about a dog transport where dog died and another one critical because the crates were packed to tightly. And this was a company that had being transporting animals for almost 40 years.
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 1:29 pm

Thanks for the thought, but they have to be in crates (which won't fit) or boxes. The dogs used to be allowed to travel in the back area free-roaming until they chewed through the seat belt straps that run into the walls. The estimated repairs are $600 for that, and we can't afford it. They get too bored, even with bones and toys and balls, so they become destructive. We would build the boxes with plenty of ventilation, and we would also keep the van cool inside with windows down or air condition on blast. I would also take them out for walks and potty breaks every time we had to stop for the children. We've travelled a lot with them so far, going from VA to OR and now to ID. We want to go up into Canada and other places with them.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 1:50 pm

Ahhhh. I understand.  Believe me I do - Ami gets impatient to get out of the car and paws at the door.  Vinyl door panel all gouged - if we repair, 1000.

I am coming up with a solution that might be adapted for your thing.  Lining the back doors with panels of vinyl covered wire grids.  I have a...thing, for better name, that is made of that material with vinyl cover "s" hooks to hang utensils.  Plan is to go to big box store and look at various options.  One thought for you might be to get an extra large crate, dismantle it and use the panels to surround the cargo area.  Line the floor with a sheet of luann plywood cut to order.

I like the wire grid idea because we could still see through the windows.  Another matieral I am considering is hardware cloth with the edges bound in fabric covered foam to protect the interior.

Damn dogs lol!

PS: I know the air conditioner on blast, too - I have to wear a jacket even in the summer for Mr. Dog's comfort
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HuskyMom09
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 6:51 pm

We build dog boxes, it's what we do Smile the only material I would ever suggest is FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plywood). They can't scratch it up, they can't chew it, if someone has an accident it doesn't absorb it so its very sanitary. You won't find it at Home Depot or Lowes though.
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Teenager
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 10:07 pm

@HuskyMom09 wrote:
We build dog boxes, it's what we do Smile the only material I would ever suggest is FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plywood).  They can't scratch it up, they can't chew it, if someone has an accident it doesn't absorb it so its very sanitary.  You won't find it at Home Depot or Lowes though.

Thanks. I'm looking it up now. So where do you buy it from then?
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HuskyMom09
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sat May 16, 2015 11:36 pm

We buy direct from manufacture FiberTech Industries Inc. in Spokane WA. There is also a branch in Cadillac MI and Washington Court House, OH.
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PostSubject: Re: What type and size of wood for building dog boxes for the van?   Sun May 17, 2015 1:49 am

@HuskyMom09 wrote:
We buy direct from manufacture FiberTech Industries Inc. in Spokane WA.  There is also a branch in Cadillac MI and Washington Court House, OH.  

Thanks! I was on their website earlier after you mentioned FRP. How do you put your boxes together? Any pics or blueprints so I can gather ideas?
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