Dog Ramp - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-04-2006, 04:56 PM   #1
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Trailer: Casita 16 ft 1984 and U-Haul CT13 1985
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Steve has done a number of wonderful mods to our Casita, but the best by far is the ramp he made for our dog. Diagnosed a few years ago with severe arthritis, our dog's vet said that she needed to stop climbing stairs and jumping. Since she was used to getting up on our bed, we knew she would end up hurting herself unless we made a ramp for her.

The ramp was intended for our home, but we quickly discovered it's perfect for camping trips too. It does take up a fair bit of space in our 16' trailer, but we store things under it, and the top section makes a nice chair. We wouldn't think of camping without it.

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the ramp at home... and in our Casita

The basic measurements are 12" W X 20 1/2" H X 52" long. We built it out of pine and wrapped a piece of carpet around it for added traction. We added some raised molding along the sides of the ramp after she fell off it one night, and since then she hasn't had a problem.

Some things to note: 1) the ramp as we built it is a little unsteady, so when we're at home we use the bottom portion as a bookshelf to help stabilize it. When camping, a few duffles are all that's needed. 2) It's important to build it wide enough so that your dog is able to turn around on it in case he/she has a change of plans, and 3) the carpeting should be chosen to give your dog good traction, and it's a good idea to pick a color that will contrast well with your flooring, to help them stay on course in dim lighting.

This may seem like a silly project, but it can mean a world of difference to an aging dog!

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Old 04-04-2006, 06:27 PM   #2
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Not only does the dog ramp take up a lot of floor space in the trailer, but the dog takes up a lot of space on the bed!

Steve (I'm glad my legs are short)

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Old 04-04-2006, 06:35 PM   #3
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That seems to be about my ratio of alotted space on the bed too!

You sent me those pics a while back and I sure like the idea! My 13 can't do it tho.

I do my share of pushing the dog onto the bed.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:49 PM   #4
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What, dogs on the bed in a fiberglass trailer? It is just not right.

They were planning for the next day, and I just kept asking, just where do I take a nap?


P.S. If the fur baby needs a ramp, they deserve a ramp. Who else gives you so much unconditional love.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:50 PM   #5
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thats a great ramp for you doggie... what a cute fuzzy face furbaby..
Those are wonderful for older dogs.!
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:56 PM   #6
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:48 AM   #7
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Jeanne & Steve,
Since I put a shelf on the back seat of the Tundra to give the dogs more room, getting up there became a problem. Harbor Freight advertised a pair of ramps for $39.95 intended for loading ATV's in the bed of a pick-up. Each ramp is about 12" wide. After purchase I thought the holes in it might become toe-nail catchers so I covered it with wood which in turn was covered with carpet. The ramp was cut to a length which just fits on the back seat cross-wise. Since the pair of ramps were rated at 1000#, using only one, we now have a 500#+ rated dog ramp. Not the best when considering weight reduction as the ramp probably weighs 20#, but it is super stable when Destiny charges up or down it.
Initially, it took some coaxing to train Destiny to use it. With the front door closed, the ramp top plate resting on the door sill of the open back door, and me standing beside the ramp she followed pieces of kibble up the ramp and up on her "shelf". After a few times of coaxing she is using it of her own free will. She does a little dance to keep her feet out of the way when a slide it across her shelf and then she promptly seats herself on the ramp to get a better view out the windows.
I'm not inclined to allow a dog in bed with us and in fact prefer that she sleep in the Tundra. But it is winter, and warm in "Nuestra Casita", so Destiny has her blanket on the floor sort-of under the side table. We are remodeling our house and the bedroom no longer exists. Until completion, we are all sleeping in "Nuestra Casita". Since "Nuestra Casita" is winterized we are still using the kitchen and bathroom facilities in the house. Reminds us of the early years when we only had an out-house.
Well you had to mention the word "ramp" and trigger this thought process!
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:29 AM   #8
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Diane - what a wonderful photo! And I thought it was crowded sharing the bed with one dog!

Lee - we camped across from you and Paula at the 2004 Oregon Gathering, and have a wonderful image of Jade constantly carrying around her beloved stuffed duck (or platypus?) which was as big as she was! A very sweet dog.

Kurt - your dog ramp into the back of your Tundra sounds like a great idea. We have an extended cab Ranger, and like you devised a shelf to give our dog a more comfortable space for traveling. The shelf is wrapped in carpet and rests on rubber shelf liner (to keep it from sliding) which lays on 2 plastic stepping stools that we got at K Mart. The space under the stools is a nice storage area for small items.


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Old 04-05-2006, 12:18 PM   #9
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Our shelf rests on top of the rear seat. The rear seat is covered with a slip-cover from Cabellas and I had thick vinyl upholstery applied to the underside of the shelf as further protection for the truck upholstery. I cut 3 or 4 layers of scrap carpet for the shelf top for traction. Several layers in case a dog got sick on the road so they were disposable and not require cleaning (the carpet not the dog)! Two of our dogs had to be put down earlier this year and our lab has never shown any sign of needing the extra carpet but it also provides an extra amount of cushion. The front edge of the shelf has a 1"X2" on edge beneath the length of the shelf and 2 legs provide support behind the front seats. Leash, water bowl, a box of treats, etc. are stored underneath on one side and binoculars, extra maps and various other items on the other.
Isn't it interesting how we solve problems in such a variety of ways? The beauty of this site is that it works so much like a "think-tank". We can all benefit from each other's experiences and solutions.
Thanks for sharing about your multi-use ramp.
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 04-20-2006, 02:13 PM   #10
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Wow, that is a lot of work for a dog! But a nice job, nonetheless.

I opened this thread thinking it might discuss how to get dog odor out of the trailer (by "ramp" I thought you might mean "smell" or "mess") - the last owners must've had one because I can smell nothing *but* DOG in ours - yuck (probably wouldn't bother dog lovers but we hate the things!)!

Again, though, nice carpentry!
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