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Discussion Starter #1
Finished-up this little project a few weeks ago, though I'd share.

I removed the rear seats and replaced them with 3/4" plywood wrapped in outdoor carpet.























Works really well, and keeps most of the fur somewhat contained.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Looks great. How about securing him in case of an accident?
I used to have an Impact XXL crate that I used in the car, but I sold it just a few days ago. That crate is the only one on the market that was large enough (48") to fit my dog comfortably, but the downside is that with the length comes a large height, and the unnecessary room really doesn't help the safety aspect. Plus I have a ton of other concerns about Impact crates, and simply don't trust them to keep my dog safe in an accident.

I like the theory of crating a dog for vehicle safety, but in practice there's next to nothing out there that I believe will actually make a positive difference (short of keeping broken glass away). Even everyone's favourite Variocage has numerous downsides. The only crates I actually like are GunnerKennels, but their largest size is much too small; their contacts told me they'll have new sizes coming this year, so perhaps something will be released that'll work for us, but I'm not holding my breath.

Plus, you can't just put a crate in the vehicle and call it "done;" the crate has to be securely tied down, and that requires tie-down spots that many vehicles (including my current one) simply don't have. Without being tied down, the benefits of the crate are largely gone. The platform I built is attached to six of the original seat-mounting holes/bolts, and I could (theoretically) come up with some metal brackets to attach to similar locations for use as tie-down spots, but it really won't be a fool-proof end-result.

At the end of the day, neither cars, nor air-bags are designed with the dog in mind. No solution will ever come close to the protection an adult (with a seatbelt & air-bags) has, and every approach will have both benefits and inherent risks.

I removed the seats (rather than fold them down + platform on top) in order to have the dog lower in the car, and put up the front divider/panel (the one with towels) to prevent her from flying forward in case of a hard stop or forward collision. She's always in a down when in the car, specifically because it's safer for her. An additional benefit is that this room will be her sleeping area when we're out camping and adventuring (which we do a lot). Having a crate in there would seriously impact her comfort, or force me to have her sleep elsewhere, which I don't want. I think there has to be a reasonable balance between keeping the dog safe, and having an enjoyable life. For the time being I'm comfortable with this setup.
 
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