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Posted : 7/17/2008 5:28:23 AM
I bought a 2008 RAV4 this past March. So far, I absolutely LOVE it!!! Of course, I've added several things to it to make it as dog friendly as possible. The dogs also seem to really enjoy it since it's so easy to get into and get out of. Plus, the AC is superb! I've had the windows tinted dark for temperature control and privacy.
The gas mileage is pretty good for an SUV, and I even have the V6 model!!! It's about the size of a CRV, but you can get two 21" wide crates next to one another in the cargo area!! I couldn't do this in my hubby's CRV! I usually only carry around one or two dogs. If I need a third crate, I can set it up behind the passenger side seat. BTW, my hubby made me a crate platform which gave me a little extra room. Here are some photos:
This photo shows all the room in the RAV4 and how the rear seats fold down. I really like my hubby's CRV, but the rear seats fold forward and take up space.
These rear seats can still go up or down even with the crates and platform in the cargo area!!! I still have room to fasten in another crate if I need it!
Here's the crate platform DH built for me. I added my feminine touch (dog material). I can still see some out of my rearview mirror since the crates are wire. Above the crates are some agility items I use at the trials (extra fans, Cheyenne's crate, and a chair). Cheyenne's crate is the one that I can set up behind the passenger'sseat if I need to. These items are fastened to the top of the crate. The crates and platform are all secured to the RAV's cargo rings.
Here are the wire trays I use to hold all those extra things that would wind up all over the place. Yes, I added baby bumpers to the inside of the crates. I have a little OCD.
It's so easy for my trio to jump in and out of the RAV. There's a nice bumper ledge they can use (unlike with my DH's CRV). I added a rear bumper protector (black item their feet are on). This keeps them from scratching the bumper. Then I added safety tape to the protector so that the dogs have some traction.
Posted : 7/17/2008 6:54:22 AM
Posted : 7/17/2008 9:10:33 AM
That's awesome. The Rav4 was top on my vehicles to buy this year. I have finally settled on an 09 Escape because they revamped the engine to give it more power (and better gas mileage). I do love that Rav4 though. And I've never heard a bad work spoken about it.
Posted : 7/17/2008 9:20:32 AM
I have a 2000 Rav4 and I love it. Has 140,000 miles on it and still runs great. I can fit two portable crates in the back with the seats down although they have to go in sideways. There's room for 2 cat crates on top of those and that's it. I have a rule I can only have as many animals as I can fit into my vehicle for emergency evacuations. I want to get one of those Thule car top carriers because there's no room for luggage! I'll have to snap a few shots of my set up to share.
Great set up you have there and you still save gas with the Rav4 which is always a plus!
Posted : 7/17/2008 9:24:23 AM
Nice! I like the Rav4 a lot, but with two GSDs and an ever larger mutt, I think I'll be going with some sort of wagon or even a minivan b/c I hate large SUVs.
Posted : 7/17/2008 11:49:02 AM
I have an 07 RAV4 & I lovelovelove it. I agree that it's a great dog mobile plus I just love the car. I've done a ton of dog transports in my car & crates fit perfectly.
Posted : 7/18/2008 2:19:00 PM
Ohhh, that is great.
I am in love with your platform! Does your DH have any secrets for that. I would love to build one for my Pilot, but DH and I are both terrible at that sort of thing!
Posted : 7/18/2008 6:55:00 PM
Wow I love it. I have an S10 with a utility shell. Work truck. No windows to take the boys in it. Have to take Hubby's truck and its a gas hog. I might just have to keep this in mind. Gotta try to hold out at least one more year before a new vehicle but that will definately be on the list. I haul a lot of plants and garden things in the spring, looks like plenty enough room for that too. BTW, if I get one will you come get me organized, lol
Posted : 7/18/2008 8:23:36 PM
Here's my older model RAV4 and how I manage with portable crates.
Empty cab and older style fold up back row seats:
Woobie's crate first. I typically turn it so the door faces me, put him in it, zip it and then slide it in place sideways.
Indie's crate next. I like that I can collapse them quickly and stack groceries on them without having to remove them completely.
I have to hold the larger crate at a diagonal and Indie jumps in. Then I zip it closed and slide it in place also.
All ready to go!
If I need to let Woobie out and leave Indie crated, I can exit Woobie out the side door. It's a pain, but it's doable.
The thing I like about the portable crates are their weight. Once I get Indie out, I can still hold onto him and his leash with one hand and lift out his crate with the other hand in order to access Woobie and his crate. Same goes when I'm loading them up. I can keep two of them on leash in one hand, lift out Indie's crate and get Woobie into his with one hand.
My RAV4 has been a dream to own. I got it when it was 2 years old, had about 56,000 miles on it and it's gotten me up and down a mountain in the winter 2 years in a row for skiing and it gets great mileage because it's only a 4 cylinder front wheel drive.
Posted : 7/21/2008 9:38:58 AM
LiesjeNice! I like the Rav4 a lot, but with two GSDs and an ever larger mutt, I think I'll be going with some sort of wagon or even a minivan b/c I hate large SUVs.
I love large SUV's......our Ford Excursion might suck gas like crazy, but, the space is there to haul 5 large dogs and dual air conditioning is a severe plus in the South.......trust me.....
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