Links to the items discussed are in the titles if you wish to get more information or to go shopping.
In the Truck
The Pet Tube was the best option for a "kennel" that I had to put in the back seat of my Tundra. Since my back seat isn't full depth there is limited space. I didn't want separate kennels that required me to figure out how to stack and point doors. I also wanted something easy to get out if I wanted to use the back seat and that would be compact when not in use. This fit the bill perfectly, it squishes down flat when I'm not using it but it also squishes partially down if I don't need the full length for dogs. I don't use the straps because trust me - it is not moving back there. All of my dogs understand that soft kennels are not to be pawed at so this is great. It also comes in 2 sizes (we have the large). My dogs are also all seasoned travelers and for the most part settle in and sleep when we are on the go, not getting on each other's nerves (usually!). We have had up to 6 dogs at a time in it (small dogs of course but not chi small).
I had to ride the 3 (now 2) big dogs in the back of the Tundra. The Kargo Glide I found online looking at gun dog kennels. It is made in the USA and these folks were AWESOME! They also have actual kennels but I'd have had to have custom done for the size of the poodles. (PS. I did get the big kennel made by the same company for the back of the Tundra and ADORED it. Since the poodles now ride in the back of the cab in the new Ram truck, I have that kennel in the house - just can't give it up).
You can see below that Paqui's (may he RIP) soft crate is strapped in but has a side entry that is now used by Sterling. There was then just enough room on the end of the glide to put my "truck box" that has tow strap and the like on it. I also have been able to strap my "perfect chair" and our portable soft crates up top of these while still being able to slide it in and out of the topper.
I use these in my cars for travel as well as in the trailer. Love them and so do my dogs! I've tried other "no spill" water bowls that just didn't work - most didn't fill fast enough or dispense enough water for dogs to actually drink it.
On another dog related note.....travel often makes upset tummies and this is an item I've used for years with my dogs (and for me) and highly recommend. All natural and it has always worked well for us. It is a staple (along with a number of other things) in our canine medicine box.
Dog Ramp and Step Setup
Setup #1 - Season 1
I have small dogs, even more so I have OLD small dogs that have issues with steps into the trailer and the height. I knew going in that I'd have to get a ramp of some sort for the dogs to be able to get in and out to go potty. I needed something somewhat narrow (the doorway is only about 24") and wanted it to be light. I have 1/2 ramps on the steps at home but with the height of the trailer those were too steep. This expanding ramp is what I ended up with and really like as it stores in 1/2 the length, is lightweight and long. After the failure of my original step solution I decided to figure out a way to utilize the actual trailer step that pulls out instead of trying to have a new type step and the ramp. I put a short gated barrier behind that to prevent escapes and hook the expens too. Needed something that would actually HOLD the top of the ramp (didn't want to be moving it every time we wanted to close the door. Some super simple woodwork was all that was required. There are two rubber feet on the underside of the top of the ramp that hold the ramp into the holes on the top of the little step brace below.
Setup #2 - Season 2
As my older dogs had more and more trouble negotiating setup #1 I decided I wanted to use something that not only could they use but so could I. A human cannot walk on the ramp above and the little bit of step that was left to get in and out was getting harder and harder to negotiate, not only for me but my elderly Mom when she came with. So on to design #2. Habour Freight got these aluminum folding ATV ramps on sale just before Christmas. I knew I could make this work!
I made an insert for the slide out step, bolted it on to the step (and it wasn't going anywhere), unfolded the ramps, drilled two holes in the top that I could slide pins into and secure it to the insert and we were golden. All came apart and the ramps then ride flat in the back of the truck or the trailer. I then could run a short little fence around the step that would hook into our expens to keep sneaky and blind old dogs from wandering under it and escaping. When we needed more traction (small light dogs had trouble with this aluminum - I just added a yoga mat on to the top, pinned it in and rolled it out.
I still have the option of the above setup (for my dogs as they get older) but I have also invested in a new set of steps for the trailer (2 steps) so that the single slide under step is no longer in play with those and makes it easier for the dogs to get in and out.
Dog Containment Inside and Out
You have heard me mention my expens and you all have seen those at any store with dog products. I show dogs, I have expens - lots of them and use them all the time. Portable yard fencing and when you have as many dogs as I travel with it is not at all effective to try to potty them all on leash somewhere. This keeps them at the trailer, contained and picked up after. They relax, I relax and they are only able to be out in the pens if I or someone else is there with them. I just make a yard like area for them and they can then go in and out at will just like at home. Since I have lost one of my big dogs I also cut back from 3 expens together to 2 but this gives you the idea. I also now will binder clip Dollar Store plastic table cloths to the pens if I need to keep the dogs from seeing (and possibly barking) at things that walk by. Sliver Mesh shade cloths are also in our arsenal for both the trailer, the awning and the truck.
Inside I do sometimes need a way to keep the dogs in one spot or another (or out of a spot). It's all about the management people! LOL I have a small folding pet gate that is trifold (so it free stands) and wide enough to use across from the shelves, fridge or bathroom wall or door. It is similar to this one below but mine has cute paw prints in it instead of bars (make sure your dogs or children can't get heads through the bars). It rides along with the tables bungeed to the shelving unit for travel and storage out of the way, using vertical space again instead of floor space.
Dog Crates in a Small Trailer
My small dogs sleep at night in crates in the trailer. The two big ones are loose (okay so is one little one usually). I specifically designed my shelving unit so that it would hold soft crates now and as I have fewer little dogs would then afford me some storage. Makes great use of vertical space and the soft crates I used allow more space and ventilation than some of the hard sided ones and some flexibility if needed (that wire wouldn't allow). They love them and I love the size (for my chinese cresteds and xolo). The very bottom now also has one and is used by 2 of the smaller dogs together and if it is really cold there is also a heated crate pad that goes under it that I can use (cold settles, heat rises) and they like that for the old bones.
Still have and use the soft crates but have two youngsters now that totally rip them to shreds so we are back to wire crates in the trailer.