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Old 06-02-2022, 12:27 PM   #1
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Camping with Dogs - Doggie Bed Extensions

Greetings all - been a while since I posted a mod...couple years in fact.

My first one was putting a super sweet stereo system in our brand-new TT. You can revisit that one if you want here:

https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...od-214172.html

So...quick sob story - literally a week or two after I completed that project, and after having been able to camp in that TT for a total of maybe like 6 nights, we had a hail storm go through and that TT...along with our cargo trailer, horse trailer, truck, 2 SUVs, my brother's truck and our buddy's truck and trailer who were visiting, all got hammered.

Out of all our units, only our truck wasn't declared totaled by the insurance company. And had to get new roofs on every building on the farm too. So...pretty much immediately after I got that first mod done, I then had to rip it out of that TT so I could swap it into the replacement. Luckily we were able to get the same exact model trailer again...but actually one model year newer. Very very minor differences. But anyway...I basically had to do that project twice There was a lot of swearing involved. And beer.

AAAaaaaannnnyhoo, on to the new "mod" which is the subject of today's post. Technically I don't think this rates as a mod, since as you'll see this doesn't actually modify anything in the TT...but I think this is where it goes.

One of the reasons why we decided to buy a TT was so that when we went traveling, we could bring our 3 largish dogs with us - flying to a beach resort someplace is great of course, but it was a bummer always having to leave the dogs at home. Now, amongst the reasons why we chose the specific TT model we did was that it had a king-size bed (the mattress for which we immediately replaced with a memory foam unit) - because naturally the dogs want to sleep on the bed with us at night.

Granted our 3 dogs are all fairly sizeable (smallest is ~60 pounds, largest is ~100 pounds), even on a king-size bed you run out of real estate real fast. Because of a lack of space, primarily we found that our "old girl" was getting left out, and would wind up sleeping on the floor...and occasionally try to get on the bed to join her family, but firstly couldn't find space when she did get up there, but also had trouble trying to get up on the bed in the first place (bonus mini-mod for that as well).

Clearly I had to do something about this. In our TT, like most, there's just enough room around the bed to walk around it - not much space, but it occurred to us that it would be useful space if we could "expand" the size of the bed to use that space, to give more room for the dogs. The downside of which, naturally, is that then there's not room to walk around to the other side of the bed...so now you just kind of have to jump right up on the bed once you walk in the door, but no big deal there.

After dreaming up this idea in my head, and taking some measurements, I set off to Menard's to buy some stuff. Luckily they actually had some pre-finished shelf stock that's pretty close to the same color as the stuff already in our trailer...not that you're really going to see it. At the time I built these they didn't have extra edging tape in stock for that color to finish cut edges, so I just put some crappy wodgrain duct tape around my cut edges just so they weren't bare

Essentially the idea was to cut sections of the shelving to fit in the space on either side of the bed, allowing for like a 1" overlap when the storage space lid was down - just to make sure there was no chance that a doggie foot could slip through a crack. As you can see I framed up each unit with some 2x2s, stained with a quick attempt I made to mix up a kinda-sorta similar stain color with some stuff I had laying around... I bought pre-made chair legs at Menards and their associated screw-in mounts...actually had to trim the legs a bit to get the things at the right height, but as shown when setting them up you just screw the legs in and place the units on the floor. I chose to put a 5th leg in the middle of each unit just to make sure there was no chance they'd sag with our bigger dogs on them - realistically I could sleep on these things and they're perfectly strong and stable.

We also bought a 4" memory foam mattress topper off of Amazon, and used that to cut apart to make the custom pads...along with some fabric bought from the discount rack at Jo-Ann So, by putting 2 layers of the mattress topper in those custom pads, it was really close to the same level as the actual mattress.

Finally, as shown, you can easily break them down and store them under the bed when not needed. Takes very little effort to set them up and take them down. The one thing probably that I might change next time would be maybe trying to find some slightly stiffer foam to make the cushions with...they're super-comfy, but the dogs will sort of sink into them, and then it's a bit more work for them to get back up. But...all in all, the mission was successful!

As for the bonus mini-mod, the last bit struck me while we were at Jo-Ann...I was contemplating having to build some stairs for our 12-year old husky to make it easier for her to actually get up onto the bed...and then I noticed these cheap wooded "crates" they had there...I put that in quotes because these are just decorative...you couldn't actually use them as crates, but for this purpose they were just about perfect. I got 3 of them - attached two of them together with brass buckles which you can barely see in the photo, and put a couple carpet squares on them so that our elder doggo could get good traction on them. She took to them immediately...although it's kind of a tight squeeze width-wise for her between the wall and the mattress, but she was so happy to be able to easily get up on the bed...and then have room to lay down as you can see in the photo. The other two dogs also started using them...even though they could jump right up on the bed, it's a lot easier for them too.

So there you go - lots of pictures here. Hope this might be some good hints for other campers-with-doggies out there!
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Old 06-02-2022, 12:28 PM   #2
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More photos...
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:11 PM   #3
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That must have been one heck of a hailstorm. Sorry for the damage.

That's a nice mod. Does the dog actually stay on that bed? Usually they manage to move onto the bed during the night. Ours would sleep in the center of the bed and one of the adults would find themselves clinging to the edge when they woke up.
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:12 PM   #4
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...and since a moderator moved this from Mods to Pets, here's a quick photo of the whole crew
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
That must have been one heck of a hailstorm. Sorry for the damage.

That's a nice mod. Does the dog actually stay on that bed? Usually they manage to move onto the bed during the night. Ours would sleep in the center of the bed and one of the adults would find themselves clinging to the edge when they woke up.
So, the husky will tend to stay directly on one of those pads at all times - I think she likes the fact that then she's able to be leaned up against a wall too.

There is one dog, the black & white shorthair, that HAS TO sleep directly between me & my wife, no matter what - so that's always where he is. The Rottweiler will alternate between sleeping on whichever pad the husky isn't on, in part or whole, or trying to snuggle in closer. All told though, the extensions there seem to provide enough room for everybody.
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Old 06-03-2022, 09:57 AM   #6
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Stella approves wholeheartedly and is jealous
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Old 06-04-2022, 05:44 PM   #7
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As long as she'd play with Khonshu, our Rottie, I'm sure he'd let her try it out
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Old 06-13-2022, 04:11 PM   #8
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nice mod. I built an extra step for our dogs to get up on the bed. (also useful for me as I'm short and not getting any younger - the one step into bed was really high) As an added bonus the top of the box "step" I built is hinged and we store shoes inside.
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Old 06-19-2022, 10:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverse_snowbird View Post
That must have been one heck of a hailstorm. Sorry for the damage.

That's a nice mod. Does the dog actually stay on that bed? Usually they manage to move onto the bed during the night. Ours would sleep in the center of the bed and one of the adults would find themselves clinging to the edge when they woke up.
That's what happens to us. Dogs in the middle... and then there might be some spot at the edges left.
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