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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Our first and most important project was to make a safe and comfortable place for our dogs to ride. We spent the first weekend we had our Ridge designing and building this deck.

We'd spent enough time at the dealer crawling through the trucks on their lot, that I realized making something sturdy and level would be tricky. That's when the inspiration came to me to buy the underseat storage to provide the back end support for the deck. We made the front legs fold to make it easier to get the wood planks in and out of the back.

The front area of the floor space isn't level either, so we had to make the outside leg slightly longer than each inside leg. We used half inch plywood for the plank.

I also insisted that we make this in two pieces, allowing for the split seat to operate by taking out one or the other of the planks. That way if we want to give a person a ride, I can sit in the back with the dogs requiring minimal effort to rearrange their dog bed to stash the smaller plank under their cushions.

The plank behind the passenger seat is longer because I have shorter legs, so my front seat is pulled forward. There's no reason besides this to make it a different width than the piece behind the driver's seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
After we got this far, we had to go back to the design table. The front legs fold back under the plank and they collasped under the dogs on our test drive. We still wanted the hinges there, and a brace would have compromised the access to the small storage area from the doorway.

I had a bright idea: Drill a hold and drop a bolt down the center. That works great, it keeps the legs solidly in place. You can see it on the top of the carpet. We glued on a large washer and attached a chain to keep it handy. Next we had to secure the back a bit to keep it from slipping forward. We made a small wooden "L" that snugs right up to the corner of the underseat storage. Just for good measure, I added a velcro strip on the inside edge where the boards meet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The end result is a very sturdy, cozy accommodation for our furry children. They are content and happy in their new truck.

You can see in one of the pics that I have the small seat down for a passenger. I've riden there and it's not bad. The girls love me being in back with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sure. Does your dog carrier go in the cab or the truck bed? Just as long as they get to go, most dogs love rides.
 

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I can't believe you make your dogs ride on that harsh, uncomfortable carpet. What kind of dog lover installs carpet without padding? The NERVE!

Just kidding, great job, it looks very nice! My dog is small, so I think she will fit nicely on the floor in front of the seats. But it gives me an idea for how to handle those long, cross-country trips!
 

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Truckin', what do you have on the armrests? You've got a good idea there...we put our two Whippets in the back--they loved it except they couldn't look out the windows.
 

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Couldn't you just as easily build support for the rear, rather than buy a storage system? I'll have to look when I pick mine up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SSquire said:
Couldn't you just as easily build support for the rear, rather than buy a storage system? I'll have to look when I pick mine up.
The floor at the back of the seat area is not level. I looked at building legs back there, but it would have been tricky to get them right. It also would have taken up valuable storage area that the underseat system allows us to use. We have a lot of stuff stashed under the seat and the deck boards.

F6Hawk, oh silly you! This is merely the deck for their cushions and blankets to rest upon. My dogs rarely lay on the carpeted floor in my house. It's the couch or the waterbed for these girls.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
nwdiver said:
Truckin', what do you have on the armrests? You've got a good idea there...we put our two Whippets in the back--they loved it except they couldn't look out the windows.
The armrests were another necessary project to protect our poochies and our interior.

We took our girls on our test drive. We covered the seats with a pet cover and blankets and washed the dog slobber off the windows before we took the truck back. We had to make sure it was going to accommodate our family.

We just started up a mountain pass when I realized they had opened the back window all the way by standing on the armrest and the window button. OOPS! That will never do. We still want to control the up and down of the windows from the front, so we came up with the idea of armrest covers.

This took teamwork and ingenuity, but we made very inexpensive covers that work marvelously. They lift right out but they sit snuggly without wobbling when they are in place.

We got some scrap styrafoam at Lowe's, in the tub surround area that ended up being ideal for our project. At first we started with two pieces to go into the armrest recesses, but found that it was more level using a full piece. Hubby did a great job of carving it to fit perfectly. We added about an inch more styrafoam to the part that sit down in the recesses to make it more stable. Before we did that, sometimes we would knock them out accidently.

We bought a strip of that fake wood moulding trim to put on top of the styrafoam to make a rigid surface and then put carpet on top of that. We used contact cement for all of the gluing. I scored the top of the fake wood to give it a rougher surface for the carpet to be glued onto. I finished it off by gluing ribbon around the edges with contact cement. That was the most time consuming and tedious part, but I like the finished look and it covers the scratchy edges of the carpet.
 

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Truckin, You've done an excellent job on the doggie deck. I may have to copy your handy work... if you don't mind.

BTW, LOVE your dogs!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you very much. You're more than welcome to copy, that's why I posted in such detail. You just as well learn from our trial and error method.

If you get one made, be sure to post your results. I want to see your dog(s) too.

Our girls are pretty special. Weims are not for everyone, but we adore them.
 

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Truckin, At this time, we don't have a dog. We had to put our 16 y/o lab to sleep a few months ago. (Sad time) We are going to look at a dog this weekend. We've had our eye on a white Husky mix at the dog rescue center.

As for the Ridge, I don't have one of those either... yet. I hope to get one by the end of the year. The truck has been in my crosshairs for a month of so. It certainly beats the Avalanche in many ways. Gas is $2.34 a gallon up here and I don't want a vehicle that gets 8 mpg. I've only seen a few around town but they sure catch my eye. I've gotten some major neck cramps twisting around to see them. :D My Chevy Blazer has grown too small.

Thanks again for posting pics of your handywork and your great looking dogs.

Dogs Rule!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yooper said:
We had to put our 16 y/o lab to sleep a few months ago. (Sad time)
Yooper, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear lab. That is by far the hardest thing about loving dogs. Any dog you get will be a lucky dog.

I hope you get your truck soon. Have you decided on a color and trim level? This truck is a joy to ride around in. Our dogs are so content in it. They love to go, even if it's just to the grocery store. That's out of the question right now as it's gotten too hot. We have a grand tour of the Canadian Rockies coming up at the end of summer and it's going to be a dog vacation. I can hardly wait for that to get here.
 

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Truckin, I am torn between the Silver and the Blue. I love both. I like the silver because it looks so good with the various black accessories. however, the blue looks so classy. With the blue and the chrome/silver accessories, it is one sharp looking truck... like yours.

I also like the black and the white Ridges, but I don't like the interior colors.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Thats agood idea, my youg adopted dog enjoys to ride, but cannot see out of the windows without sitting on top of our soft cooler. Are you able to stow the dog bed in the truck when not in use, or do you just stor it at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
rogerstruck said:
Thats agood idea, my youg adopted dog enjoys to ride, but cannot see out of the windows without sitting on top of our soft cooler. Are you able to stow the dog bed in the truck when not in use, or do you just stor it at home.
I will bring it in the house to wash it occasionally, but it's a semi-permanent feature of our truck. I made the deck in the split seat dimensions in case we needed to give someone a ride while we had the dogs. I could shift everything to one side, or stow part in the back now that we have the tonneau cover. I can sit in the back with the dogs. We've only done this once so far. It makes a good platform to carry groceries home when we don't have the dogs with us.
 
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