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Thread: Need some advice for hauling dogs up Alcan in March (dog box)

  1. #1
    Member ProHunterAK's Avatar
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    Default Need some advice for hauling dogs up Alcan in March (dog box)

    I am building a dog box tomorrow for my dodge Ram but wanted some insight from this lovely group as I am sure you are more familiar with transporting your packs in colder temps. The dog box we are building is for our 4 dogs (husky, lab, lab husky mix and our odd ball boxer). All 4 dogs get along great and will be housed in a spacious enclosure from NC to AK with rest stops and walking breaks every few hours along the trip. we are constructing the box out of 2x4 and plywood with 2 side windows and the main entrance at the tail gate of the truck.

    My biggest concerns are keeping the dogs warm going through colder temps. We plan on insulating the box with straw/hay and changing it out every day or 2 to ensure its fresh and clean plus not wet. The box will be fully enclosed and sealed to keep the moisture levels down but my next thought was to install a small heater and power it off a power inverter.... Have any of you done something like this or would it be wise to steer away from this (due to overheating etc.)

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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    This is just an idea, but might look at some type of heat pad (similar to what people use on beds). Maybe set it up to cover some portion of the bottom so if it did end up being too warm for one or more of the dogs, they could move to the other side that would be cooler. Probably better than a single point source heater that would likely be a much hotter single spot. Some 2" rigid insulation would do a lot to keep in heat and keep out the cold.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    I would make sure the exhaust fumes coming out of the muffler aren't seeping into the dog box. A lot of mushers have the muffler extended up and above the dog box.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member ProHunterAK's Avatar
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    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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    Still have to paint, add side windows and frame them out as well as the water and food dish holders inside.

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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    I think you should be fine, although without good ventilation you'll find condensation (and icing, in cold weather) inside the box from the dogs' breath. Good straw and each other's body heat and they should be good. You didn't say what time of year you'll be coming up - after February or so cold is likely to just not be an issue at all.

    I'd definitely avoid heat pads.

    Might want to stick a wireless remote thermometer in there and carry the display in the cab with you - heat can be as much or more of an issue, especially if it's sunny.

    When on the road, if you see some nice straw, buy a bale or two. It can be hard to find in a lot of places and frankly the price of straw up here could gag a maggot. Also, you might think about adding eye bolts for drop chains, so the dogs can spend time outside of the box without you holding a leash.
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    Member ProHunterAK's Avatar
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    Yes we are still adding 2 windows today to the box (if the weather cooperates) as well as the eye bolts. We are going to be running up to Alaska with 6 bales of straw (we get bales for around 3-4 per bale). We are due to be running up north beginning of March.

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Beginning of March, no problem. Throw some straw in there and they will be fine. As been said, you main concern would be if you are idling and the exhaust getting in there. Also I second having some bolts for a drop chain, so they can hang out outside while you are in having lunch somewhere.
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    1stimestar we got everything buttoned up have 6 bales of straw in the trailer plus a half bale in the box for the dogs. We also have drop chains ready for them I built some into the trailer so we can let them walk around a bit when stopped then just have them jump back into the truck box when we are ready to leave. Thank you all for the words of wisdom.

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."

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