Bolting a cage to the interior...? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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Name: Lorena
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Bolting a cage to the interior...?

Yay, I just had my brand new 17' Casita SD delivered to my house!! Hello new home!

So I'll be living in this thing for a while, along with my dog, and, if possible, my 6 foot Redtail Boa. Here's my question: I want to build a custom cage for my snake, and bolt it to the underside of the storage area over the bed (directly in front of the back window). I was thinking I could use two or four heavy duty bolts and drill them directly from the inside of the storage area. The cage will be a little less than four feet long and two feet wide, made of plexiglas and lightweight wood.
Is this a terrible idea? If so, is there another spot that I could convert into a cage that I haven't thought of? Or a better place to bolt it down? Do people even bolt things to their fiberglass trailers or is that a no-no?

I thought about converting the closet, but I don't really want to "mess up" the trailer that much, thus affecting it's future resale value. A few bolts in the ceiling is less of a modification than tearing out the closet and turning it into a cage. Also, the lack of sunlight would make me sad for my boa.

Any thoughts on this craziness? Thanks.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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I bolt things on wherever I please in my trailer, so sounds good to me!

However...and please forgive this if it sounds busybodyish:

I hope you don't intend to transport the snake in the trailer. I don't know if they're subject to motion sickness, but even if not, trailers ride really rough and I can't help but think the snake (or any other creature) would be really uncomfortable when the trailer's under way.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:24 PM   #3
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I would go to the Casita forum and ask over there what the restrictions are regarding weight limits on the roof. The cage may weigh more than what the trailer is designed to hold up in that area.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Adding additional weight to the bottom of that shelf might not be a good idea as it will be at least 4X as heavy each time you hit a good bump. Also, Mr. Snake may not be to happy either, that's about the roughest place to ride in the trailer while under way.

And sorry, but the fact the a snake once lived in the trailer will be apparent to all potential buyers in the future, not from eyes, but from the nose....



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Old 03-28-2014, 07:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lorenaj View Post
Yay, I just had my brand new 17' Casita SD delivered to my house!! Hello new home!

So I'll be living in this thing for a while, along with my dog, and, if possible, my 6 foot Redtail Boa. Here's my question: I want to build a custom cage for my snake, and bolt it to the underside of the storage area over the bed (directly in front of the back window). I was thinking I could use two or four heavy duty bolts and drill them directly from the inside of the storage area. The cage will be a little less than four feet long and two feet wide, made of plexiglas and lightweight wood.
Is this a terrible idea? If so, is there another spot that I could convert into a cage that I haven't thought of? Or a better place to bolt it down? Do people even bolt things to their fiberglass trailers or is that a no-no?

I thought about converting the closet, but I don't really want to "mess up" the trailer that much, thus affecting it's future resale value. A few bolts in the ceiling is less of a modification than tearing out the closet and turning it into a cage. Also, the lack of sunlight would make me sad for my boa.

Any thoughts on this craziness? Thanks.
Everything I build is custom, and I get some odd requests. If you have any interest in a custom built ABS plastic cage for your snake I think this would be a most interesting project to work on - certainly something that would be fun to put up on my website. Appearance-wise, it would wind up looking something like the plastic kennels used to transport dogs on airlines - but I suspect you've already checked into that approach.

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Old 03-28-2014, 07:12 PM   #6
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If you have any interest in a custom built ABS plastic cage
Charly, I don't have a snake, but would be interested in a bird cage as soon as I order my Snoozy.
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Old 03-28-2014, 07:15 PM   #7
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Charly, I don't have a snake, but would be interested in a bird cage as soon as I order my Snoozy.
Not sure a plastic cage would be a good idea for a bird. The ones I had would probably have gnawed through it!

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Old 03-28-2014, 07:18 PM   #8
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I've seen a lexan one that he couldn't get his beak through. But it cost $800 - not part of the trailer package I was planning:-)
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Adding additional weight to the bottom of that shelf might not be a good idea as it will be at least 4X as heavy each time you hit a good bump. Also, Mr. Snake may not be to happy either, that's about the roughest place to ride in the trailer while under way.

And sorry, but the fact the a snake once lived in the trailer will be apparent to all potential buyers in the future, not from eyes, but from the nose....
Not to mention all that snake hair mixed in the rat fur......lol
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Old 03-29-2014, 06:40 AM   #10
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Best theft protection yet, a 6' long snake inside.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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A snake won't protect you. You need to feed it once a month. Why not leave it home?
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:54 AM   #12
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Snakes do not smell (except for a few particular species that use scent as a predator deterrent), provided their habitats are kept clean, as they should be. So I'm not worried about that.

The snake will have a transport cage that goes in my car, with a heat source. She will be in the trailer cage whenever we are parked, which will be for weeks or months at a time. Thanks for the heads up on the bumpy ride and possible stress to the snake- she would demonstrate her distaste for the ride by smearing poop EVERYWHERE, as snakes are wont to do when they're upset

I don't have a "home" to leave my snake in- the trailer will be my home starting mid-May. My mother is happily keeping my pythons, but she wants me to take the boa because of her size. My mom is not comfortable feeding her because she is so big.

I feed my snake pre-killed rats (as all snake owners should do for safety's sake), so messes from the snakes' eating habits are all but non-existent. (BTW, snakes should be fed once a week or every two weeks depending on species and size, not once a month- that's not usually enough!). Also, I'm not sure why feeding a snake is a problem on the road- people bring dogs traveling, and they eat a TON, every single day, compared to a snake.

Thanks for all the input, particularly for the go ahead on bolting things to the ceiling and the input on my snake's comfort level. After inspecting my trailer some more, it seems like it's going to work as that section is very sturdy! If anyone is interested, I'll post pics of the finished modification, and of the snake
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Old 03-29-2014, 11:08 AM   #13
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I don't think that you were actually given the "Go Ahead to bolt things to the ceiling".
One person said that they would do what ever they wanted to do to their own trailer.

And certainly you can also do that, but is it safe, will it damage your trailer, will it fall while travelling etc. Do you understand the stresses involved and the type, size and number of fasteners & reinforcements needed and what effect the weight of adding something will have on the existing structure and it's fasteners?

If you are just looking for a positive answer for your question, are you sure to always find that hereabouts, but it just might not be an answer to the question you are asking.



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Old 03-29-2014, 11:33 AM   #14
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My mother is happily keeping my pythons, but she wants me to take the boa because of her size
My mom is not comfortable feeding her because she is so big.

...And Mom's so little, right?

Sorry...couldn't help myself. You may tell Mom from me that I'm impressed that she's willing to feed the pythonssssssssssss!
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:02 PM   #15
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I'll post pics of the finished modification, and of the snake
Looking forward to the photos. I take care of my neighbor's snakes while she's on the road, so will have to show her your mod.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:07 PM   #16
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Haha, yep! My mom is the definition of a badass, for many reasons.
The pythons are ball pythons, though, which are docile and don't get much bigger than five feet. Female Colombian Redtail Boas can get up to 9 feet and can be aggressive. Mine has never bit me, but she has tried to bite my mom and brother. So she's going with me.
And yes, I'll definitely post pics!
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:19 PM   #17
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I'd be mostly worried about the cabinet attachment to the shell failing. I don't know that the manufacturer would have designed the cabinet to take that much weight. But it might be ok if you keep the cage on the bed while travelling and then reinstall when you're at your destination.

Also check with the park you want to stay at, because many do not allow 'exotic pets' like snakes.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the input, particularly for the go ahead on bolting things to the ceiling and the input on my snake's comfort level. After inspecting my trailer some more, it seems like it's going to work as that section is very sturdy!
I don't see where anyone has suggested the roof is sturdy enough to hold the tank..... in fact I see a lot of folks suggesting it may not be.

Your best bet is to talk to Casita directly about it as there have been fiberglass roof failures here in the past due to excessive weight on a roof not designed to take it. The added stress to the roof the added weight of the tank will create while bouncing down the road would be a big concern to me. Keep in mind although the roof of your trailer may have an AC on it that specific area that it sits is specially reinforced to hold that weight.... the rest of the roof is not reinforced in the same way.
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:41 PM   #19
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Excellent point, yes. Being able to take it down for transport is a brilliant idea, actually. I'll try and come up with a way to do that.
And I didn't know that about exotic pet regulations at campsites. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #20
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What you don't want is a rattled snake.
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