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 Post subject: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 10:40 
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Joined: 11 Jan 2013, 13:59
Posts: 168
Location: Reigate
We've just part-exchanged our knackered old Honda Civic for a much cleaner Ford S-Max and I wondered whether anyone else had one (or a similar MPV) and what you use to keep the boot area clean, and the dog safe.

I don't want a metal crate in the boot because it would have to be absolutely ginormous to be comfortable for him, and it would be a pain to store and lug in /out of the car when not in use. I've seen these "Dog Tubes"

http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php/car-accessories/pet_tube_large/Qx%40w%2C6M42VAwp3%40o9%60tNcpyc7%40UIPfL

but I think they're designed to go on the rear seats rather than in the boot.

At the moment he's pretty well behaved in the car but, knowing him, I think giving him more space will mean plenty more opportunities for trouble. And I worry that having him loose in the back isn't that great in the event of an accident.

Anyone have any suggestions??

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 10:47 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012, 22:56
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Location: Wirral
We have a 'Dogbag' which we got from the Roofbox Company and is made by the same people as the tube you linked to. It is great as it is taller than many crates so the dog can comfortably sit up and look out of the window. We have the small size for Poppy who is a miniature doodle. They do sometimes crop up on ebay secondhand. :D

We are also considering a boot divider now that we have the 2 dogs. The one we have seen is Vauxhall specific and consists of a dog guard to fit behind the back seats and a divider which divides the boot in two. Something like the link below although I am sure that I have seen them cheaper. :D

http://www.barjo.co.uk/products/dog-guard-and-dividers

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 11:15 
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Joined: 13 Nov 2013, 01:26
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Location: Southampton
First time I have seen the dog tube. I like the idea that the dog is free but secure with no constricting belts. Looking at the way its fitted it might work in the boot if the car has D rings on the interior wall or back seat headrests for attaching. Have googled images for your car and can't tell if they do or not. Ebay sell all sorts of boot interior mats might be worth a look.

I have a 4x4 and Wookie sits on the back seat with the children. We did have a trip to the mother in laws last month so needed the seat for her (putting her in the boot wasn't an option according to hubby, though I know he would happily stick my mum in the boot). Fortunately there were D rings on the side of the interior boot so we were able to secure Wookie by his harness and doggy belt to the D ring. He hated it. He likes sitting between the children.

Securing a dog in the car is a dilemma. I use a doggy seat belt but I am not happy with the fit or security. I have seen a boot dog guard and partition set which divides the boot space. Its what I would like but haven't the pennies for.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 12:12 
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Joined: 18 Aug 2009, 18:24
Posts: 333
Location: South Devon
Have a look at www.travall.co.uk

I've used their dog guards in my last two cars; they are built specifically for the model and are usually a lot cheaper then the manufacturer's accessory kit.

They do quite a range for the S-max.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 13:07 
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Joined: 07 Oct 2012, 15:22
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I'm not convinced by the pet tube. It's held on my the same sort of clip you do up a dog collar with - and you know how easily they can come undone. In accident forces? I don't think so. And nowhere does it say it's been crash tested.

There is no law about keeping dogs restrained for the dogs safety per se, BUT it is the highway code that a driver must have dogs restrained, so in away there is!

I was looking the other day and found this - which is apparently the only crash-tested restraining harness on offer in the UK.

http://www.fleecedogharnesses.co.uk/car ... ss-review/

(I just ordered one for Lola, as she is now in a seat which keeps her higher and nearer me, and I couldn't find a harness with a long enough clip this fulfils all eventualities!)

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 18:40 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2013, 05:01
Posts: 616
Location: Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
This subject has come up a few times. The points I'll make again are:

- restraining the dog may save YOUR life or the life of another passenger... not just the dog.
- very few restraints are actually effective... perhaps none are as effective as we'd like.
- the forces invoked in even a low speed impact (under 50 km/h) are extreme - much greater than you'd expect.
- never use a system that involves something around the neck!
- many screens/barriers between the back seat and cargo area aren't connected adequately to the vehicle and the impact of the dog would probably take the screen with it and hit someone in the front.

This is a good site to poke around: http://centerforpetsafety.org/research/

This document lists the main brands available and their results: http://centerforpetsafety.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2013_cps_harness_study_summary_final_rev101113.pdf

In general, people don't appreciate the dangers of an unrestrained (or inadequately restrained) dog in the car. The videos you'll find around the linked site are enlightening...!

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 22:13 
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Joined: 23 Mar 2013, 23:40
Posts: 1824
Location: Denham, South Bucks
I agree with Beeeerock about the dangers of dogs Ina car but I've not yet found anything that I think my two would cope with well. We have a ford C-max grand (the 7 seater version) and had the factory fitted dog-guard.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 22:55 
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Joined: 11 Jan 2013, 13:59
Posts: 168
Location: Reigate
Thanks to everyone for your sage advice. I think we'll probably go with the Travall dog guard and boot divider and... gulp... the boot mat as well. Its horribly expensive (£260!!!) but rather pales into insignificance in comparison with what we've just paid for the car. And since we will probably own it (and hopefully the dog) for many years it's probably a good investment.

I didn't really want a dog guard (those prison bars that go above the rear seats to stop the dog launching himself over the top) because Woody's been fairly good about staying in the boot. But there's not much point in having whiz-bang airbags in an accident if there's a 35kg dog flying through the air. Horrible to think about, but probably sensible, especially as there will usually be two small children in the back seat. I know Woody would love sitting between the boys (he certainly used to when he was little) but he's just too damn big and long to fit there now.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 23:23 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2013, 05:01
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Location: Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Roodlepippin wrote:
Thanks to everyone for your sage advice. I think we'll probably go with the Travall dog guard and boot divider and... gulp... the boot mat as well. Its horribly expensive (£260!!!) but rather pales into insignificance in comparison with what we've just paid for the car. And since we will probably own it (and hopefully the dog) for many years it's probably a good investment.

I didn't really want a dog guard (those prison bars that go above the rear seats to stop the dog launching himself over the top) because Woody's been fairly good about staying in the boot. But there's not much point in having whiz-bang airbags in an accident if there's a 35kg dog flying through the air. Horrible to think about, but probably sensible, especially as there will usually be two small children in the back seat. I know Woody would love sitting between the boys (he certainly used to when he was little) but he's just too damn big and long to fit there now.

If you go with the Dog Guard of some type, be critical of how it connects to the car (I don't know exactly how the one you propose fits). As you note, the air bags are a waste of time if 35 kg of dog hits you in the back of the head at 100 km/h... and if the guard can't resist that force either, you'll get hit with both! :shock:

Bodhi is 30 kg and growing. He sits on the back seat, even if there are two people in the back with him. The belt system prevents him from shifting too far into his co-passenger's space, but I'm glad it's not me back there... even in an E-class Mercedes, space is at a premium. He sits on a nylon-backed blanket and I wash the seats... regularly... how I wish they were black... :roll:

If I had a wagon of some sort, I'd probably ponder how to use the cargo rings with a cable or belt connected to a dog seatbelt harness. Perhaps with the cable strung between two rings to allow some movement, like a leash/pulley on a long clothesline if you know what I mean. Or if there is a third row of seating folded out of the way, there's going to be seatbelts available back there somewhere. That would eliminate the need for the prison bars. However, the dog is more likely to survive an accident if he doesn't tetherball around the inside of the vehicle on his restraint (or pinball around without any restraint at all!).

Having said all this, I'm not confident the harness we have for Bodhi would survive anyway. The site I linked above says it's functional for a medium dog, but I suspect he fits the 'large' category now, so all bets are off. I'm keeping my eyes open for a new and better product. Maybe I need to design my own... hmmm.... business start-up idea... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2014, 23:27 
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Joined: 28 Feb 2013, 23:52
Posts: 1055
Location: Orsett, Essex
I have a Travall dog guard in my Quashqai, and had one for my corsa before that. They are easy to fit and are made specifically for the vehicle. I also have a rubber, made to fit, mat for the boot space. I often have a full car of people ( I've a family of 5), so there is no room for Bella in the seat area, so there is no alternative but for her to travel in the boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 00:10 
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Joined: 11 Jan 2013, 13:59
Posts: 168
Location: Reigate
Thanks Beeerock - I watched a video of the Travall dog guard being crash tested which implied that it would absorb the impact of a large dog without breaking. I did notice, however, that the guard was firmly fixed in a test rig, rather than mounted in a car, so obviously it would only be as strong as the mountings. They do look pretty well-designed, though, and people say good things about them.

But... just to play devil's advocate.... in any "normal" accident I think the dog would most likely hit the back of the seats or the side of the boot rather than be flying through the air at headrest height. So perhaps for most eventualities it'd be fine. I really hope not to be testing its breaking force any time soon (especially since we've only just bought the car!).

I like the idea of the divider because A) it properly contains the dog so hopefully in a minor accident he won't have far to be flung and it'll be up against a flat surface. And B) we're going to be doing some more camping, and with a divider the dog can have his own "framed off" space and we can pile all the camping clobber up against the side of his space - something we can't do with a dog bag, which I also considered.

Before Woody grew into a donkey, he used to be in a seat-belt-attached harness between the kids, and I felt pretty confident that he'd be restrained - at least - if we had a crash. But, with a bulky car seat either side, he had to either sit bolt upright between them or lounge with most of his body practically between the front seats. Neither looked particularly comfortable or particularly safe, although he would have been well protected from side impacts!

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 00:21 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2013, 05:01
Posts: 616
Location: Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
I found a UK site for the Travall product and guestimated your model year, seating arrangement etc... to get an idea of how it is built.

Overall, it looks better than many guards of this type I've seen in the past. It looks like it would put up a good fight in a reasonable impact at the front of the vehicle. If you were driving in reverse at 80 km/h and hit something, it wouldn't be up to the challenge... but I'm fairly sure you just drive on the wrong side of the road over there, and not in the wrong direction too... :wink:

Hard to guess what would happen in a side impact. I wouldn't want it to fold up into a rear passenger... but cars don't crumple as much from the side as they did in the past, so it might not be too bad in that direction either.

The key to it working properly (safely) will be fitting it snugly against the rear door pillars. Those are the only two points that are likely to prevent the unit from coming forward in an impact.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 00:32 
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Joined: 12 Jun 2013, 05:01
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Location: Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Ah, I posted before seeing your last post!

If the dog is standing, I'd count on him going over the seat. Even if lying down... wouldn't want to guarantee he wouldn't. Often the back of the car rises on impact and that creates a bit of a catapult motion. If you go off the road first or roll or bounce, he could be airborne at impact too. The forces at play are more than we can usually visualize!

If you've got child seats to fit in too, you're definitely short of space for him on the back seat!

I'd say that system is probably going to be your best bet, given your constraints.

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 13:02 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012, 22:56
Posts: 460
Location: Wirral
Roodlepippin wrote:

I like the idea of the divider because A) it properly contains the dog so hopefully in a minor accident he won't have far to be flung and it'll be up against a flat surface. And B) we're going to be doing some more camping, and with a divider the dog can have his own "framed off" space and we can pile all the camping clobber up against the side of his space - something we can't do with a dog bag, which I also considered.!


We use the Dogbag in an estate car when we go caravanning. We carefully pack our kit around it, making sure that we put the heavier stuff on the boot floor and lighter kit above. We end up with a boot packed to the height of the Dogbag (we have a luggage guard across the back seat which is part of the car). The dog bag is pretty robust and the dogs are safe in there. If you pack carefully everything is stable. :D

We then use the Dogbag as a crate for Poppy when camping, as it is waterproof and can be insulated etc. :D She can open the zips on our awning and escape so we need to crate Herron I would never sleep at night! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Car travel equipment...
PostPosted: 08 Jan 2014, 13:03 
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012, 22:56
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Location: Wirral
Blumming ipad auto spelling :roll: I meant 'crate her or I would...) :lol:

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