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Electric Warming Mat in Dog Crate for Winter Travel -- Will It Work?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by ChukarBob, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:26 PM
    #1
    ChukarBob

    ChukarBob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OK, the setup is that I have a 12 year old Lab, Remy, who probably won't see her 13th birthday. Every year she and I have taken a November hunting trip to North Dakota. For most of these trips, she's ridden in a plastic dog crate, with an insulated cover, in the bed of my trucks, all of which have had canopies for winter-time travel. Even with the canopy, crate, and cover, it can be damned cold back there in the bed of the truck. A couple of years ago, the morning I left ND to return home, it was -19F.

    Remy is a little more cold-intolerant in her senior years, but she's still a trooper and would much rather be cold than left behind (my supposition, but who knows?). But she has always been a dog that traveled better in a crate than in the cab of my trucks, where she's way too anxious. Now she's a dog that can hunt upland birds for 2, maybe 3 hours in a day; in her prime she could go all day. No known physical ailments, although there's an undiagnosed loss of weight over the past 3 months.

    We're leaving for North Dakota in a couple of weeks and I've got the unusual setup: DCLB with a canopy; plastic dog crate, and insulated cover over the crate. I also have a neoprene dog vest, but it's not Remy's favorite attire.

    So my question is -- What about using some kind of electric heating pad in her crate, powered off the outlet in the bed? Obviously I don't want to electrocute Remy or expose her to heat stroke. But what other issues should I consider if I wanted to try this?
     
  2. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:28 PM
    #2
    T4RFTMFW

    T4RFTMFW Well-Known Member

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    I think they have beds for this exact purpose.
    They’d likely be a lot safer than an electric blanket for humans to use.
     
  3. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:35 PM
    #3
    wilcam47

    wilcam47 Well-Known Member

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  4. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:39 PM
    #4
    Spackler

    Spackler Well-Known Member

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    I'd go in cab this time.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:50 PM
    #5
    mutely

    mutely Well-Known Member

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    If she prefers the crate, what about putting the crate in the cab?
    House 110v electric blankets are very safe, but they consume a ton of power, so you may find you don't have enough juce back there unless you've done the mod to allow full power while driving to the inverter. But i'd be worried about not being able to set it to the correct temp without stopping every 5 mins. You may make the trip very uncomfortable for her if you get it too hot or too cold, or it trips the fuse for some reason. I'd probably want to setup a baby cam monitor as well.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:56 PM
    #6
    black coffee

    black coffee A is A.

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    Familiarize yourself with Ohm’s Law.

    The outlet is rated for X watts (400?) and anything with a heating element is going to vonsume power.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2017 at 7:58 PM
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    wilcam47

    wilcam47 Well-Known Member

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    pra4sno, SOSC and jmaack like this.
  8. Oct 26, 2017 at 1:36 AM
    #8
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    There’s a thread here somewhere (you get to search) about engine oil or coolant-powered space heaters designed for RV’s and horse trailers- should look for that... it would solve the electric issue. Not sure how well that 12v system will heat, that would take a million gigawatts at 12v to heat up anything as low as below 0 degrees F.

    Have you considered the back seat bench mods also mentioned here? Or maybe put wifey and the kids in back and let the dog ride shotgun! :)
     
  9. Oct 26, 2017 at 3:43 AM
    #9
    beers@1600

    beers@1600 Well-Known Member

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  10. Oct 26, 2017 at 6:19 AM
    #10
    NoDak

    NoDak Well-Known Member

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    flip the seats and put the crate in the back or just put the crate on the back seats. then you don't have to worry about the correct temp or spend money.

    edit : high today is 38F and its snowing. wind chill is worse since we have about 25+ mph winds today. think low is 20F.
     
  11. Oct 26, 2017 at 7:23 AM
    #11
    ChukarBob

    ChukarBob [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, all, for your ideas and recommendations. I know my XL crate won't fit in the back seat area, but maybe my L crate will. Love my dog, but her anxiousness when not in a crate in a moving vehicle just doesn't work for me -- she pants, she paces, she drools, if in the cab she tries to get into the front seat, sometimes the driver's seat. Not sure what I'll do.
     
  12. Oct 27, 2017 at 3:43 PM
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    Spackler

    Spackler Well-Known Member

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    I guarantee you can get a crate that fits your dog in the back seat.
     
  13. Oct 27, 2017 at 4:03 PM
    #13
    vuTron

    vuTron Well-Known Member

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  14. Oct 27, 2017 at 4:27 PM
    #14
    RIDERED67

    RIDERED67 Well-Known Member

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    How about a space heater for the truck bed?
     
  15. Oct 29, 2017 at 7:50 AM
    #15
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    This is a good idea- then use a 12v fan in the window to move some of the cab heat back to the shell. I’m not sure though how hot it would have to be in the cab for it to work well enough. I imagine that combined with good insulation in the bed and shell would help.

    One could make a heat exchanger mod like a heater box on a VW bus to heat air using exhaust pipe heat and safely pipe that into the shell - it would be rather easy with the plastic bed right above it - in fact, you could heat coolant that way too - just wrap a long length of copper flexpipe coils tightly around the exhaust pipe, and cover the coils with metal heater duct tape, add a 12v water pump and plumb it through a JEGS heater in the shell-

    http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS-Performa...3q2gSQikDwKtJWZ2ix9Pd4tzQWLR7ELxoCR8YQAvD_BwE

    it will heat up the back cab very well using waste heat from the engine instead of tapping into the engine directly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
  16. Oct 29, 2017 at 8:02 AM
    #16
    OnHartung'sRoad

    OnHartung'sRoad -So glad I didn't take the other...

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    I hear you there- I was bringing my friend’s three golden retrievers on a two-hour freeway drive to visit her, and just when I hit the 70mph speed zone area, the largest of them, at over 100 lbs, decided to jump over my seat from the back into my lap! :0
     
  17. Oct 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM
    #17
    BigWhiteTRD

    BigWhiteTRD Official thread killer (only crickets remain)

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    This is the one we use for our medium sized dog in Florida. https://www.amazon.com/Manufacturin...qid=1509292328&sr=8-3&keywords=pet+bed+warmer

    It's 15"x25" but only 22 watts, so I don't know if that's really enough power for your job. I will guarantee it's better than nothing. We keep ours under the tray in the crate, so it's basically impossible for the dog to damage, but that does insulate it more. It's Amazon, so try it and see how it does at home, if you don't like it ship it back...
     
  18. Oct 29, 2017 at 9:01 AM
    #18
    Wallbright

    Wallbright Well-Known Member

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    For the winter I bought one of those back seat covers and then a harness and seatbelt attachment. She stays secure in the back and the harness keeps her from being able to jump up front. I also picked up one of the bed rug platforms for underneath. It leaves a little room to store stuff on top of the platform and then all the space below in the foot wells.

    For summer I have a Gunner Kennel for the bed.

    I just don't think its worth it to risk putting her in the back in super low freezing weather. I will if its a little cold as the gunner kennel acts as insulation but not when its in the 20s and I'm driving on the highway. Just my two cents.
     
  19. Oct 29, 2017 at 9:09 AM
    #19
    TWTaco

    TWTaco Well-Known Member

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    I would let her ride in the cab with you if you think this is her last trip make it special for her and you, you wont ever get this time back! Make the back seat all nice and cozy for her just spoil the hell out of her! She sounds like she deserves it! Whatever you do make her as warm and cozy as you can! Older dogs cannot regulate there body's as well as they can when younger!
     

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