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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As some have guessed my avatar is my best bud and constant shadow, Ziggy-- an oversized Papillon. And yes, he's named after David Bowie, eye makeup and all. He's one of three small rescued dogs I travel with, two Papillons and a Maltese.

They generally travel well, but I have some design challenges ahead to accommodate them.

1.) Containment. When we drive the dogs are often hellbent to get near us or sit in our laps while we are driving. They aren't going to be happy about this, but I may have to put in some sort of barrier between the seats to keep them from getting too far into the cab. I have plans for this, but since the cab is lower and Ziggy's had some agility training, he may try to jump over it. Any guesses how I might solve this?

2.). Windows. Ziggy may need a window of his own, especially if there's a barrier. Part of the reason he wants to get in my lap while I'm driving is he can sit up and look out the window. The driver's side of my present design has a Murphy Bed and a wet bath. If it weren't for Ziggy and the need for ventilation when the bed is down, I might not put in windows at all. I'm considering a CRL or Motion window on the drivers-side rear spot. My rationale is that the mattress will insulate it when the bed is in the up position. And ventilate when the bed is down. I'm planning about a 23" water tank/ottoman behind the driver which is where I'm thinking Ziggy will want to sit. The problem is those aftermarket windows are much wider and would extend into the shower and I'm have to cover it or start charging for peep shows. The CRL rear windows are about the right size for this, but I'm not sure they would work with the contours of the van. If I used the normal windows in that position I'd like to me sure it would slide right to left so Ziggy could get some air. Can someone confirm which way the various sliders slide? Does anyone care to guess if a rear window might work on the drivers side front position?

3.). Doors/running boards, These are short dogs, so they may need better steps to get up into the van under their own power. They are presently fine with most cars. Can anyone recommend a product for this?

That's it for now, I'm sure dog bowls and beds will come soon enough. Thanks.
 

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Harbor freight makes a folding alloy stool that is really handy as a step up. I know my little bully mix appreciates it. About $20 when they are on sale. It'll bear 300 pounds, so it is sturdy. I just set mine inside the side hatch on the floor when not in use. When I camp, I leave it outside the side hatch on the ground.
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Back from Great Smokies Nat Park and the eclipse. Ziggy, as usual, is thrilled at my return.

I think I've found solutions to 1 and 2 above. Sometimes you need a little time away from the drawing board to find solutions.

Not sure if it was intense reading of too many refrigerator threads or my visit to Dollywood but I think I'm going to join the <ahem> *chesty* refrigerator club. I was all set to go conventional with a Truckfridge TF130, when I stepped back and realized that a chest fridge would fit at counter level where Ziggy was supposed to sit. So no need for a window on the driver's side.

And I'm looking into a sort of doggy porch that will sit between the front seats with fold up metal bar panels so the dogs can't get in the cab, yet can see and smell us and we can touch them through the bars. Hoping I can make it fold up and fit in the overhead storage.
 
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