2018-08-03 Prototyping a dog bed

It’s been a while since I posted an update, so to get back into the swing of things, here’s something we’ve been working on over the last couple of months: a safe place for the dog to lie, especially when we’re driving.

Up until now, when we’ve been driving, we’ve had him upfront on the bench seat. But this isn’t safe for him, or us; so we tested him out on a few trips lying behind the drivers seat, tucked in behind the kitchen. He like to look out of the window, so we thought he wouldn’t be up for this, but he took to it surprisingly well, so we decided to work on something more substantial for this spot.

We want to use this space for storage, specifically for a large 80 x 60 cm plastic crate (more on which later), so we decided to try building a dog bed that sits on top of this.

It’s important that the dog is secure in the bed when driving, and also that the bed itself is secure in the van. Both of these things are tricky, as the dog also needs to be able to get into and out of the bed, and we want to be able to move the crate around. To make things more complicated, the crate, while large isn’t quite big enough for Loki to lie comfortably for a long time, so we need to build a short extension.

So the current prototype is a eurocrate with a lid, extended another 35cm with a ply box, also with a lid, and a wall along the passenger side, to stop Loki from falling out on that side. To the front, he’s held secure by the wooden bulkhead separating the van cab from the back. To the right is the drivers side wall. to the rear, the kitchen unit extends out about 40cm, and we’re planning to create a longer wall, which could be slid out further to stop him falling out that way.

To keep the boxes themselves secure, we plan to use bolts in the floor of the small extension box, to peg this into mating holes in the floor. We’ve then use some clips or velcro straps to tie the two boxes together and or fix them to the bulkhead.

The prototype pictured above works OK, so now I’m working on a nicer version, so we’ll soon see how that works.

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