Saturday, March 12, 2011

Fun with 2x4s

When I was shopping for an Equinox, the obvious question was, "Does it have enough room for the Belgians' crates?" As you can see, the back seats fold over but they don't fold flat, which really impacts cargo room. This could have been a deal breaker.

Our local Chevy dealer let me take an Equinox home to make sure my crates fit. In order for this to work, one crate would open out the driver's side back door and one would open out the hatch, so I needed a crate with a door on the end, like normal, and a side door crate. 

Of course I had both (remember my crate to dog ratio is 12:2).Yes, I could get 2 26" tall General Cage crates in one. But I couldn't get the door open on the one behind the driver's seat! See how the door frame slopes down? Crap!

So I went shopping on line and found a 25" tall metal crate made by Mid West Crates. Phoenix doesn't really need a 26" crate. He has an inch to spare and that inch made all the difference. Whew. (Now my crate to dog ratio is 13:2.)

When we bought R2, I told the Farmer I needed him to build me a crate-holder-upper thingy to level out Phoenix's crate and keep him from riding at a slant. I'm the first one to admit both Phoenix and I may be a half bubble off center at times but let's not encourage that sort of behavior.

The Farmer gave me The Look. He had no concept of what a crate-holder-upper thingy was, having never been asked to make one before. All my previous vehicles had back seats that either came out or politely folded flat.

While I was originally thinking of some kind of platform or shelf, it turned out that strategically placed 2x4s did the job. The first one balanced Phoenix's crate.

The second two balanced Jamie's crate. Yes, Jamie's crate could have just ridden flat in the back but that would have left a lot of wasted space between the two crates.

Then I hooked the crates together with these handy-dandy little metal attachy gadgets. (Yes, that's another highly technical term - attachy gadgets).

The hardest part of the whole construction process was finding clean 2x4s. We have a lot of scrap lumber around the place but the Farmer and I do not share the same definition of clean.


  1. They just dont make car insides flat anymore. Even my van,with the seats out, have all these raised spots. So I have rolled up throw rugs under the crates to balance them and then they are tied down to the metal hooks that usually hold the seats in place. Im glad it worked out for you.

  2. I'm insanely jealous. I wanted a proper dog car when I moved to CH, but our garage is soooo small, we couldn't even get a normal stationwagon or a small SUV (tall) in it because the garage is short on both the height and the length! the only thing we could do is get ANOTHER minicooper... i had a mini in the states. this time we got the clubman and the seats really do fold fairly flat. i'd say there's about a 1% incline possibly...not noticiable. anyway... i still have dog car driving issues. driving one dog is fine, driving both is a nightmare because Loki gets overly excited an can't contain himself (hence why i need a crate). i probably can get the wire crate in the car, but it wouldn't leave any room for my second dog, juno.

    love the 2x4's... that's something Mr. Wild Dingo would have figured out too... I'm so lucky he's so mechanically inclined! maybe i should make him solve my dog car driving issues for real now...

  3. Well done!! Now both boys have their spots!! And, I'm awfully glad you found CLEAN 2x4s!!

  4. Ah... ummmm... hmmm... You DO know Phoenix's crate is upside down, right??? LOL

  5. LOL! Yes, it is upside down on purpose. The door opens easier that way. Shhh . . . I haven't told Phoenix he's upside down. But he probably wouldn't care. He'd probably like it.

  6. My Rav4 seat folds flat and even with the back. The back seat also slides forward or back so I can leave a gap between front and back that folded crates slide into. I think it is much smaller than your new beauty tho - two crates pretty much fills the whole back. You have given me a few ideas tho - I never thought of putting the crate in upside down. Looks great!