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Here it is with a 36" Midwest crate in the back: Another 36" will fit sideways in front, ... needs to be in a freakish color. I think Solo and the orange kind of clash. Or maybe they match.[/nq]
I actually kind of like the orange color and I'm very impressed with the amount of space you have in there. From the outside these things don't look that roomy.
I hope you plan on keeping a journal of some sorts of your drive. It should be interesting to read about other's preceptions of a cross country drive with 3 dogs. So far I don't believe anyone here other than me has done that.
Also, you may want to consider setting yourself up with a good AAA traveling package before you start out. No matter which routes west you take there will be areas along the way that it will be hours and hours of desolate areas in between gas stations. We got the Gold AAA plan and they sent us maps and big books for every state we planned on traveling through. We discovered a chain of truck stops, Petro, that had a very good area to pull into with our rigs. They have showers, laundry facilities, fairly good food and always had easily accessible outdoor water spigots. We always felt fairly safe in the parking lots due to a lot of people and activity.
That particular chain only began to appear after Nevada and ran all the way throughout our route until we got to the Texas/Oklahoma border.
Terri

Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns;
he should be drawn and quoted.
- Fred Allen
Here it is with a 36" Midwest crate in the back: Another 36" will fit sideways in front, but crooked. I think I would prefer a 32" here. With the seats out totally this would not be an issue.[/nq]
Right On! I don't think I would need to leave the seats in, maybe one, but not
both. It's primary purpose will be Dog Car.
Is there A/C vents in the back? I've looked at a couple with a sun-roof as well.
And, did you get the 2wd or the 4? (I've looked at a couple of used 4wd models, but
can't find the need for it).
Before, I thought I liked green, but really, a car this weird looking needs to be in a freakish color.

I like the green & the burnt orange (like yours). I've seen dark blue popping
up here & there, and I love the black model. However...I live on a gravel road
and currently have a very dark colored metallic plum-colored car. Bad Move.
The green would hide dust well, as would the champagne, but I want red. I thought that I've seen red out here...I will wait a bit for the color I want.
I think Solo and the orange kind of clash. Or maybe they match.

I think it's just orangey enough that it would match Coda almost perfect! With the
black dogs it doesn't matter...
Thanks for the report, especially the photos!
Shelly & The Boys
I hope you plan on keeping a journal of some sorts of your

drive. It should be interesting to read about other's preceptions of a cross country drive with 3 dogs. So far I don't believe anyone here other than me has done that.

We just went from Oregon to Wisconsin, 3 Belgians crated in the back of my friend's pick up (with canopy on top) to our National Specialty. It was a bit exhausting, but fun. I'm still debating whether I'll drive or fly for
next year's in Oklahoma, however!!
A friend of mine & her husband moved out here from NC several years back w/
2 cars, 2 people & 4 dogs (1 Sheltie, 1 Smooth Collie & 2 Goldens). Ithink the 2 cars were
helpful...it's hard to ride THAT long with any one person! ;-)
Also, you may want to consider setting yourself up with a good AAA traveling package before you start out. No ... We discovered a chain of truck stops, Petro, that had a very good area to pull into with our rigs.

I have decided that Oregon has about the worst rest stop facilities this side of WI,
only outdone by the occasional nasty ones in Washington state. And Wyoming (at
least where we went) and Minnesota have the BEST. AAA sent us a travel guide/
trip planner plus discounts in a couple of the hotels we stopped in along the trip.
And the maps w/ the rest stops marked were a godsend. Shelly & The Boys
Here it is with a 36" Midwest crate in the back: [/nq]
The crate in my van is the 48" Midwest, though it's only 6" wider than yours. Luckily, Rocky and Friday don't mind sharing. I still have room for an extra large airline crate and two human passengers.
Another 36" will fit sideways in front, but crooked.

It's a little late now, but did you consider crating Solo and Fly together?

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Right On! I don't think I would need to leave the seats in, maybe one, but not
both. It's primary purpose will be Dog Car.
With one seat out, the sideways crate would not be crooked. It's just the seats in the way.
Is there A/C vents in the back?
No.
I've looked at a couple with a sun-roof as
well.
It's a sort of weird thing. It's a skylight, and it doesn't slide open it pops out. And it's in the back. Mine doesn't have one they are only on 4wd models. It would have been cool to have a real sunroof in the front. My Integra had one and I LOVED it.
And, did you get the 2wd or the 4? (I've looked at a couple of used 4wd models, but
can't find the need for it).
I got the 2wd. In California I don't anticipate ever needing a 4wd for that matter, I've never needed a 4wd anywhere I've lived. I don't believe in off-roading, so that point is moot (and if I wanted to off-road I would have gotten a different car anyway). It will be embarrassing if I ever drive into a field for a sheepdog trial and then get stuck in the mud without 4wd, but it wasn't worth an extra $2000+ to me to hedge for that rare occurrence and besides, there are always people there with really giant trucks that can pull me out! The 2wd gets slightly better gas mileage because it weighs less.
The green would hide dust well, as would the champagne, but I want red. I thought that I've seen red out here...I will wait a bit for the color I want.
There is red. It is a very sharp, nice red and has black trim. I liked that one too, but ultimately I liked orange more. The red ones seem to be rare I've never seen one out on the road. The "champagne" is actually a yucky flat khaki color. To hide dust I'd go with silver myself. My silver Integra never showed dust even when she was filthy.

Thanks for the report, especially the photos!
You're welcome! Let me know if there's anything else you want to see.

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
It's a little late now, but did you consider crating Solo and Fly together?
It's not late. I could buy a bigger crate. I have two 36" already (not to mention two of the 34" Cabana Crates) and I have thought about crating Solo and Fly together. I guess ultimately I like to be able to give them each their own space. On the other hand, they are already used to sharing a tiny back seat in the Integra so maybe they won't care.

A 40" crate would actually fit sideways in the back if the seats were out.

Melanie Lee Chang > Form ever follows function. Departments of Anthropology and Biology >
University of Pennsylvania > Louis Sullivan (Email Removed) >
Congrats on the new ride! I love the bright orange! It looks like your dogs will be very comfy in there and I see they've already claimed it is their own, so all is as it should be. :-)
Brandy
Say goodnight Gracie... Goodnight Gracie
I think Solo and the orange kind of clash. Or maybe they match.

I actually kind of like the orange color and I'm very impressed with the amount of space you have in there. From the outside these things don't look that roomy.

Orange is highly visible, too, and high visibility is a good idea, especially in a small car. (I drove a bright yellow Honda civic for three years after being rear-ended in a dark red Rabbit. The emotional jolt wore off a long time ago, though, and my cars are now silver and boring beige.)
I hope you plan on keeping a journal of some sorts of your drive. It should be interesting to read about other's preceptions of a cross country drive with 3 dogs. So far I don't believe anyone here other than me has done that.

Last June Hubster and I drove from NJ to NM with four dogs in a Highlander.
Also, you may want to consider setting yourself up with a good AAA traveling package before you start out.

An excellent idea! Or, if you have a laptop in your car, ***'s Streets and Trips has good trip-planning software. But of course, they don't come rescue you if your car breaks down, so AAA is probably a better option.
It's also a good idea to look in advance for dog-friendly motels along the way, unless you plan to camp. We found that they were easier to find than we'd expected, though all charged a bit more for having the dogs in the room.
FurPaw

"Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning."
- T. S. Eliot
To reply, unleash the dog
It should be interesting to read about other's preceptions of a cross country drive with 3 dogs. So far I don't believe anyone here other than me has done that.[/nq]Nope - I've done it twice: Seattle to New York with 2 dogs in 1995, and Seattle to Boston in 1998 with 4 dogs, one of which was a 6-month-old puppy who was staying with me for socialization. Both were round trips that also involved longish side trips to see friends and as much back-roads driving as was feasible. I camped all the way both times, though I did stay at hotels at my destinations (national specialties, of course).

The first time I was driving my old Aerostar, and it turned out to be pretty uncomfortable and cramped. By the second trip, I'd wised up and bought an elderly conversion van for overnight trips - beautiful she's not, and we needed to make an emergency side trip to a mechanic at one point - but she did get us across the country & back.
Some of the highlights of those trips (in no particular order): - eating dinner at a truck stop in South Dakota while watching the most beautiful lightning storm I'd ever seen
- letting the dogs romp free on the grass at Sunnybank in New Jersey (and if you don't know what Sunnybank is and why it's a doggy shrine of sorts I have to pity your impoverished childhood ) - driving into Chicago from the south, and being amazed by miles and miles of factories
- sleeping all snuggled up with Patience (she is the only one that liked sleeping on the bed in the van)
- the kind mechanic that saved our butts in Wyoming, and fed the dogs cookies too
- trying to find a place to camp on a very dark and foggy night in Minnesota
- having a chance to meet friends from rpd.* face-to-face - a night spent in a really nice state park in Kansas - winning High In Trial with K.C.
- grabbing a random tape and sticking in the player as I crossed the state line into Montana (land of no speed limits :-)) and having it turn out to be "Born to Run"
- visiting the AKC library in NYC
- having Patience throw herself into a pond after a duck (she was pretty surprised)
- getting lost in Montreal (yes, it was funny, OK?) - spending the night in a rainstorm in a state park in Kentucky - trying to handle Patience in herding with a fierce margarita hangover (yes, I called time on myself pretty quickly ) - and many many walks with the dogs in strange and wonderous places.

One of the funnier things about those trips was the reaction I tended to get from non-doggy friends: "You're going to drive across the country all by yourself?!" Well, DUH.. I was taking three Briards and an OES with me, for Pete's sake - how could anybody possibly consider that as being alone?
Dianne
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