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Dave Erickson

Aluminum topper a mistake?

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Dave Erickson
7 minutes ago, markbrit said:

I had the aluminum topper on my trucks for years, worked fine to stop the wind and dogs were warm in varikennels. Really... wind is the killer, not the temps in my opinion.

 

Only thing I did not like about the topper was after years of taking it on/off, it started to flex and crack from the man handling. It did not hold up.

 

I too had the same idea of wanting to use my truck bed for mulch, etc. I bought an aluminum dog box which blocks the wind. Dogs are comfortable in Winter and Summer.

 

It works for me, good luck in your search :)

 

 

Thanks, Markbrit. A while back I bought a very pricy Northstar Plastic double dog box with the extra expense of double walls and insulation and it was actually worse than my Ruff Toughs with Mud River insulated jackets. The minute I would start moving the temperature dropped to the outside temperature. The first year I had it I rolled into Kimball, South Dakota in November. Outside temperature 26, temperature in my insulated dog box 26. The company wouldn't even listen to me or consider a refund. Maybe the aluminum boxes fair better, but I'm going back to a topper.

 

 

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IMG_0618.jpg

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markbrit
4 minutes ago, Dave Erickson said:

 

Thanks, Markbrit. A while back I bought a very pricy Northstar Plastic double dog box with the extra expense of double walls and insulation and it was actually worse than my Ruff Toughs with Mud River insulated jackets. The minute I would start moving the temperature dropped to the outside temperature. The first year I had it I rolled into Kimball, South Dakota in November. Outside temperature 26, temperature in my insulated dog box 26. The company wouldn't even listen to me or consider a refund. Maybe the aluminum boxes fair better, but I'm going back to a topper.

  

 



 

Good looking Pups! I really do not think my aluminum box is heavily insulated. But the doors and vents are tight and no major drafts. Usually with temps in the 20's I put an old sleeping bag or load up the box with straw. Dogs have always been OK.

 

Good luck with the search!

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Dave Erickson

Thanks. The boys were pretty tired on that first picture and got some well deserved time off after that weekend. 

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Tim Frazier

IMG_7959.thumb.JPG.0274994e6dba736fee746097c1fad9fb.JPGIMG_7955.thumb.JPG.479b255a55d922c1f0a11d063cc52e73.JPG

 

I really like this cap but it's a bear to get on and off.  I have a system but it would really be nice if there was a 100lb option vs this 400lb behemoth! 

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Dave Erickson

Max headroom! 

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Chukarman
31 minutes ago, Dave Erickson said:

 

... A while back I bought a very pricy Northstar Plastic double dog box with the extra expense of double walls and insulation and it was actually worse than my Ruff Toughs with Mud River insulated jackets. The minute I would start moving the temperature dropped to the outside temperature. The first year I had it I rolled into Kimball, South Dakota in November. Outside temperature 26, temperature in my insulated dog box 26. The company wouldn't even listen to me or consider a refund. Maybe the aluminum boxes fair better, but I'm going back to a topper.

 

I built a topper using a standard ARE FG topper, 3/8 birch ply, Line-X, and kennel doors from WingWorks. This topper allows the dogs' body heat to warm all 4 boxes, which are insulated with 1" styrofoam. When nested in lan armload of grass hay the dogs are very snug and warm even in Montana in November. I also have a 'standard' FG topper for general use. I swap them out as needed.

Dog-Topper.jpg.0a1f5f2bff940da7674815699fa68143.jpg.

 

1867135030_TommyinBox.thumb.jpg.0406dd05826e1bc03e0fb6d9e6b6ce87.jpg

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Mike Connally

I used an aluminum topper on a F-150 for 9 years. I took it off every summer and never had a leak. On and off was an easy two man job of about 20 minutes, including the clamps. 

I’ll  do it again on my next truck. 

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bigdog MN

I had an Aluminum topper with side windows on a late 80's GMC P/U. Had it until 2000 and did not have any trouble with leaks in the 12 or so years. Put sealing foam tape on the bottom edge of the topper and installed tinted window film myself. Built a lift system in the garage and would remove it for summer months.

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Don Steese

I'm surprised by the fact that with both the Mud River covers and the insulated dog boxes the temp went down to the same as the outside temp as soon as you started moving. I would have thought that the dog's body temp in such a  confined space would have kept them nice and cozy.  I don't doubt your word at all but I just find it surprising. Apparently they don't break the wind like I supposed they would. Anyhow, the truck I recently purchased has one on similar to what you're thinking of. No insulation but I probably won't need any given where I plan to be hunting this fall.20180513_143817.thumb.jpg.234be6c4fddcfe4c4a878ec7cc55b06a.jpg

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Tim Frazier

It's just occurred to me the dogs would only heat the box if they were loosing body heat.  If they wrap themselves up in the bedding they may loose very little and thus not affect the temperature in the kennel.  One phrase I always remember is that cold rarely kills a dog...heat often does.

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Chukarman
33 minutes ago, Tim Frazier said:

It's just occurred to me the dogs would only heat the box if they were loosing body heat.  If they wrap themselves up in the bedding they may loose very little and thus not affect the temperature in the kennel.  One phrase I always remember is that cold rarely kills a dog...heat often does.

 

True, but dogs recover from heavy exercise faster with a warm, dry place to sleep.

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bill

Little info ref traveling with hunting dogs. When use my dog trailer I never put hay in boxes reason beening it gets wet over time and it can cause mange and other skin irritationsI have rubber mats for bottom and when put in for night a cheap horse blanket on top of the mat then a good dog pad if real cold another dry horse blanket they sleep snug and  when dogs work hard day well rested for another day. IF in real windy country try park trailer and truck on lee side of of the wind. My topper is only big enough hunting during the day and big dog would have trouble fitting in it. Dog needs place where they can stretch out after hard days work. When just had camper topper on truck only had 1 or 2 dogs just had good size dog kennels kept in while hunting then night fixed them good bed in back outside kennels locked the camper shell slept well would let u know if varmint or somebody came prowling around. Really need a good 6 hole trailer now with having 5 dogs good ones are high

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Dave Erickson

I have a remote thermometer in each crate. It's crazy to watch. When I slow down to 25 in a small town you can see the temp start to very slowly rise. If I pull into a gas station for 10 minutes the temps will be back up to 35-40 and rising when I take off again only to plummet right before my eyes as we get back up to speed. I even thought it might be the coldness of the crate wall itself driving down the temperature and giving a false read, so I put 1/2" styrofoam under the thermometers and it didn't make a bit of difference. 

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Dave Erickson
8 hours ago, Don Steese said:

I'm surprised by the fact that with both the Mud River covers and the insulated dog boxes the temp went down to the same as the outside temp as soon as you started moving. I would have thought that the dog's body temp in such a  confined space would have kept them nice and cozy.  I don't doubt your word at all but I just find it surprising. Apparently they don't break the wind like I supposed they would. Anyhow, the truck I recently purchased has one on similar to what you're thinking of. No insulation but I probably won't need any given where I plan to be hunting this fall.20180513_143817.thumb.jpg.234be6c4fddcfe4c4a878ec7cc55b06a.jpg

 

Don, it doesn't make sense to me either. What you can't see in my picture above is how I have the front half of the crates are wrapped from top to underneath and side to side with two layers of that heavy vinyl to block the wind before it hits the Mud River covers. I'm not knocking the Mud River covers, they are great. I've just come to believe there needs to be ample dead air space around a dog compartment. 

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Jakeismydog2
8 hours ago, Chukarman said:

 

I built a topper using a standard ARE FG topper, 3/8 birch ply, Line-X, and kennel doors from WingWorks. This topper allows the dogs' body heat to warm all 4 boxes, which are insulated with 1" styrofoam. When nested in lan armload of grass hay the dogs are very snug and warm even in Montana in November. I also have a 'standard' FG topper for general use. I swap them out as needed.

Dog-Topper.jpg.0a1f5f2bff940da7674815699fa68143.jpg.

 

1867135030_TommyinBox.thumb.jpg.0406dd05826e1bc03e0fb6d9e6b6ce87.jpg

 

 I have always liked the design you came up with. I have never been bold enough to copy it... but I have thought about it quite a few times.

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