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Transporting dogs in a VW camper!

(21 Posts)
MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 14:48:02

Hi all!

Possibly a stupid question, but, we have just bought a 1979 T2 VW camper. We have 2 ds's (9 and 6 y.o. respectively, so still in car seats) and 2 dogs (a whippet and a whippet/greyhound lurcher).

We're having three point seat belts fitted in the back for the ds's, but getting a bit unstuck with ideas as to where the dogs would best be secured.

Obviously if they go right behind the back seat there is the possibility that it will get very hot because they will be right over the engine, but I'm not sure how safe it is to have them on harnesses in the (large space) in the middle of the van between the ds's on the back seat and us in the front confused. I don't want to end up with a child getting squashed by harnessed dog in the case of an accident!

Has anyone else done this and what solutions did you come up with? (The dogs will have to travel in the camper at some point, since our other car is an old rear-engined VW beetle that the dogs never travel in!)

Thanks thanks.

tabulahrasa Wed 11-Jun-14 14:58:32

Is there room for crate/s that could be secured down?

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 14:59:55

There is room for crates, but I'm not sure how I'd ensure that they were secured down

tabulahrasa Wed 11-Jun-14 15:07:15

I don't either, it was just the first thing I thought of, screws, no more nails? lol

I know you get companies that will build things to be secured in cars, but I'd think they'd be quite pricey.

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 16:10:57

Thanks. Iirc we looked at the custom built things previously but they were quite pricey. Are dogs in harnesses safe if travelling with children behind them rather than next to them iyswim?

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 16:15:03

We're on our 5th Type 2 (also a 1979, by coincidence) - well actually we're about to sell it and get a T4, as we simply don't fit in a T2 Tintop anymore. sad

All our dogs have been fine crated above the engine bay - they don't get hot at all, in fact they're cooler in there than they would be in the back of a modern car, as there's no sloping glass to get superheated and you can pull the curtains round to shade them.

Our crate is secured using those octopus/bungy things people use to secure their luggage and we've never had one move in over 22 years. I'm not sure you can screw them down over the engine bay (I will ask dh when he gets home) but you could screw one to the floor in the main floor space. Of course if you did fix one above the engine permanently, you wouldn't be able to use the r&r bed.

Lurcherboy and Pip travel in one large crate that's sited with the end facing the rear hatch and just hop in and out themselves with no trouble at all. (Well actually they did until we had the respray done, now dh faffs about with draping a rug down the back then half lifts them in! hmm) That leaves plenty of room alongside the crate for packing the rest of our holiday stuff.

If you are wanting something fixed and permanent, have a look at these people as they will make something bespoke and are cheaper than the likes of Barjo and Lintran etc.

Will you be bringing it to Ireland this Summer? We've been over in one ouf our T2s every year since the Mid 90s, up until last year, when we had to leave the current one at the garage having some work done. sad We won't be in it this year either, as we're hoping to have sold it by then and won't be buying a T4 until the Autumn.

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 16:24:05

OK, cool. A big crate above the engine looks to be the thing then!

We're bringing it to Ireland in the summer (in a moment of madness we sold our only modern car and replaced it with the T2, so this is now our sensible "family" vehicle hmm). So, if you see a noisy rabble with 2 sight hounds and an old camper van, it'll probably be us - come and say "hi!"

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 16:55:27

You'll be easy to spot - you'll probably be the only people around there with a T2, we usually are - they're pretty rare in Ireland and most people that take them over on the ferry head straight towards the West Coast.

Do you have a pop-top? The coast road that leads from your cottage has quite low height restrictions, iirc we couldn't get our Westy under them, but our tintop can get through. It's not a major problem though, just a bit annoying, as the carparks are all accessible from the road, so you can just miss out the the bits where you drive behind the sand dunes and there's no height restrictions up at the top end where you can do a great walk up through the forest and come out on the beach. smile

Just trying to think if I have a photo of the dogs in ours, but don't think I have on this computer. Will have a rummage around and see if I can find one.

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 16:56:50

Oh - and we'll be the noisy rabble with two scruffy sighthounds crammed into a Citroen Xsara Picasso - but again, we'll probably be the only other people with sighthounds, unless the Greyhound trainers bring some of their dogs down for some beach training.

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 20:26:18

It's a tin top, but with a full length roof-rack on top so I'm guessing we might have to take a bit of care with height restrictions, I don't fancy trying to manhandle the roof rack off!!!

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 21:09:37

Oh my dh would be so jealous. One thing he's always wanted is a roof-rack for his van, but we never got around to buying one.

He doesn't think we did used to get under the height restrictions with the Westy roof, so you probably won't get the roofrack under either. As I said, it's not a major issue though, it just means you have to nip around the road way if you want to go up to a more distant part of the beach by vehicle.

How bizarre that we both have 1979 tintop T2's - it hasn't got twin sliding doors as well has it!

We're all so sad that we are selling ours, but it's just getting so costly to get the parts for them these days and with 3 dcs and two dogs, we really need something with more sleeping space. T4's just aren't the same though. I keep trying to get interested in them - and failing. sad

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 21:41:52

It does have twin sliding doors!

We're lucky with parts to have an excellent garage close by which specializes in old VW's and now we have both the bug and the van we get good rates.

We did consider a T3, briefly, but had the same - couldn't get into the idea of one, but the T2 was a completely different matter grin.

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 22:03:36

You're kidding! grin

Dh just said, if it's Neptune Blue then the locals will think you are us - so don't be surprised if the occasional person wanders up to your van, looks confused, then wanders off again. We've had this van for 11 years now, so they're used to us being around every summer in it. grin

We have a really good, longstanding relationship with a local VW repair place, but even he is saying he's not happy with the quality of parts coming through and decent ones are getting harder and harder to source, which is making his life really difficult and forcing him to put his prices up.

I have a feeling we won't be T2-less forever. I suspect dh will be after another project before long, but he adamantly refuses to admit it at the moment and we're both trying to keep our sensible heads on about it.

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 22:11:48

It's nothing like as tasteful as blue! Think 1970's colour schemes...

moosemama Wed 11-Jun-14 23:07:10

Ah - we're not quite VW twins then.

All but one of our other campers have been orange - which is dh's favourite colour. He loves all the 70's colours though. He's a big ol' hippy at heart. grin

MagratGarlik Wed 11-Jun-14 23:27:05

Me too. Besides, dp has veto'd me having it re-sprayed in pink grin (I'm joking).

I feel very old to be looking at 1970's fabric (for curtains, seat covers etc) and saying, "ooo, we had curtains like that; I had a quilt cover made in that fabric" etc.

moosemama Thu 12-Jun-14 10:27:53

Dd wanted ours sprayed pink, but as he is called Cowboy, we didn't think it would suit him! grin

Ours has denim seats and curtains and a tie-dye denim back seat - we are definitely ageing hippies. wink

MagratGarlik Thu 12-Jun-14 13:03:29

Ours is a boy too. I think we're going to go orange flower power with him though.

moosemama Thu 12-Jun-14 13:26:31

We had flowers on ours before the respray - and a sticker in the back window that I had made for dh saying "Flower Powered!" grin Now he's just boring shiny blue. sad

Just had a look for a photo of it with the flower stickers on, but can't fine a good one. Here's one of him not long after the respray though.

MagratGarlik Thu 12-Jun-14 13:41:13

He's beautiful! It must be heart-wrenching to see him go. I'm looking forward to starting some work on ours and I'm spending far too much time searching the internet for bits and bobs for him! (I have a feeling we are going to be perpetually poor from now on)

moosemama Thu 12-Jun-14 13:50:52

Yes, you will be, but the fun will more than make up for it. grin

The year we had ds1, dh and I completely renovated a Westy from rolling shell to complete using entirely new-old-stock and making sure everything was perfect and original. (I know, we were young and foolish in those days.) Many a happy day spent scrubbing odd bits of camper on the driveway and trawling through auto-jumble at shows then painstakingly cleaning and restoring various parts. We loved every minute of it, but decided to sell him (he was Charlie) as with three dogs, one baby and one on the way we wanted something we wouldn't be precious about when it came to sand, mud, dog fur etc. We needed to be able to just sling everyone in the back of and shoot off for a fun day out without worrying about paintwork/trim etc. He's more than fulfilled that over the past 11 years and it was definitely the right decision for us.

Hope you have a fantastic first summer, with lots of fun days out in your new family member. grin

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