Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dog Car!

Last year when I realized that I could not fit 2 200 size Vari- Kennels side x side into the back of my beloved Forester, I decided that it was time for a new rig. (I love calling it a rig.....even if it doesn’t have that Diesel shudder)
I went shopping. When I go shopping it becomes a second job. I am  an obsessive
 hunter and a gatherer and armed with facts, figures, a tape measure and a car full of empty crates I went from dealer to dealer ---with some joy---loading up the test vehicles and taking notes in an attempt to more fully meet the needs of a traveler whose primary ventures consist of loading up dogs and equipment and heading out to dog shows, dog class, dog events.
I had more information on the cars I looked at then the salesmen. I had diagrams complete with measurements from floor to ceiling at different points of the cargo are and widths from opening to opening.
I looked at A LOT of vehicles: mini vans, micro vans, station wagons, SUVs and I had a good laugh when it turned out that the 2010 Toyota Rav 4...the smallest of Toyota’s SUVs had more usable room for a dog person than the Highlander, the 4Runner, the CRV...even the Honda Element.  It is the boxy cargo area created by the forfeit of a spare tire under the floor that does it.

And then I decided to build a platform into the back of the Rav so that I could stow my crate dolly, grooming table, folding chairs IN the car safely.  Mark and I finally got around to it last week....

Turns out I can fit 2 200s on the platform and ALL the aforementioned junk UNDER the platform where it is neither IN the way nor in danger of becoming a flying object. The only problem is whether or not the height and footing are capable of being vaulted so that the shelties can get INTO their crates. I’m sure we can work that in.

And wooohooo....2 shelties in 2 200VKs, a days worth of show equipment all fit in the cargo area behind the middle seats. !!!

That means that if I fold the seats, I can get 2 paps and another sheltie in. Or a collie and a sheltie. Or a Collie and 2 paps.   Amazing!!! 

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