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Old 20th November 2023, 13:15   #1
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DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

We adopted Rumi way back in May 2008 when she was 2 months old. A friend's female lab had given birth to 7 puppies and we were lucky she chose us as her pet parents. Life has been much brighter with her around.

Rumi at 2.5months
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-img_20180517_072037.jpg

Rumi is a happy 5.5 year old dog now.

Ever since then we have made it a point to take her along almost every where we go. So road trips saw an increase and we started picking up offbeat pet friendly places so that she get to run around offleash and have a gala time. We started enjoying offbeat stays close to nature more and have since then altogether avoided hotel stays and always preferred homestays and Air Bnbs.

As we started travelling, I started realizing that the pet seat covers that were in the form of hammock were claustrophobic and the space offered by them was pretty minimal. I was always looking for some DIY solutions that would act as a seat extender or create a flat space in the area right from the start of rear seats to behind the front seats that would make long road trips very comfortable for Rumi.

That idea got more wind when we thought of having long annual road trips of 12-16 days duration from this year on and include her always on such trips. After replacing our Ford Aspire with the new Slavia last month, a plan for a 16 day road trip down south from Mumbai to Kanyakumari was finalized. Along with this came the plan to finalize a bed cum seat extender for Rumi.

We researched a lot of ideas regarding the same online and came across lot of options related to making a bed with wooden/iron rod legs that reside on the floor area and makes the whole space in the rear seats a flat bed area. Attaching a reference picture for the same downloaded from Google.

DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231108_120958.jpg

However, we thought of avoiding the same as in extreme unforseen cases, these iron rods/wooden legs would pose a risk to car passengers. So this idea was shown the door. I wanted to customize the rear seat area in a way that can be used with different combinations of people sitting along with Rumi. We thought of making a foam cushion of different sizes to fit the exact rear space. For the same a comfortable front passenger seat position was fixed and the driver seat was adjusted according to a comfortable driving position for myself. This way the foam cushions would get a snug fit and once we put a comfortable thick blanket over the whole rear space it would be one single flat rear seat space.

Trying rear cushions at a nearby mattress shop led to the realisation that these cushions were quite soft and were compressing a lot when a decent amount of pressure was put. We suggested to put a thick and good quality thermacol in these blocks to give it some firmness. Finally the ratio was set at 80 percent thermacol and the rest 20 pc foam over the top to provide comfort.

Thermacol ones were cut according to the sizes finalized leaving the 20 percent area on the top for foam fixation. There were 3 blocks decided as the area in the rear space differed for the space behind the passenger seat as well as the driver seat. The third block would require to have a completely different size as the floor hump along with the ac vents has to be considered to fit the same. Attaching pictures below for reference.

Rear leg space measurements were taken for 3 seperate areas
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231120_124528.jpg

Thermacol trial to finalize the fit
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231115_191901.jpg

I finalized a cover for these cushion blocks and waited for couple of days to pick them up. Finally picked them up 2 days back and I am pretty happy with the outcome. I am attaching the pictures below.

Rear seat space without cushions with just the pet seat cover
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231119_085631.jpg

The 3 cushion blocks
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231119_112610.jpg

Rear seat space with the cushion blocks fit in
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231119_090156.jpg

First trial (Happy Dog)
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-20231119_092822.jpg

These cushion blocks will ensure that Rumi can lie down facing us too rather then horizontally across the rear seats. This will also minimize motion sickness for her as she will be lying down in the direction of the motion as against sideways direction prior to getting these blocks made. Now we are looking forward to the taking her along for long road trips across India given that she will be comfortable over long distances.

Last edited by AlokSharma : 20th November 2023 at 13:32.
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Old 21st November 2023, 06:00   #2
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

Wow! Great work here, hope she finds it comfortable, it's nice to have your pet accompany you on these journeys, moreover, you don't have to leave her at home, and can always be by her side, even on those long trips.

I have a pet dog myself and the look on her face when we leave home just for a couple of hours breaks my heart, so considering long trips, your solution is just wonderful.

PS: I think you got a type in there, you mentioned 2008 in the post whereas I am sure it is 2018
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Old 21st November 2023, 09:42   #3
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Love the DIY!

Awesome DIY. Why don't you replace the foam supports with some storage to elevate this design? Can maybe carry Rumi's toys or food etc.

I have the below car mattress that I use on long trips when I want to take a short nap. I've had this for a very long time now and is quite useful as none of the other air mattresses that I use for camping fits in the car. This could also be a good alternative for you.

DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-car-bed-1.jpg
It looks exactly like this. Fits my Isuzu and E350 perfectly. Does not leak air either.

DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-car-bed-2.jpg
An important aspect for me was that the support is a separate inflatable system. So that I can store luggage underneath if needed. Have never had to do that except for my in-cabin ice-box as the Isuzu has a ton of space to store luggage.

Last edited by Tassem : 21st November 2023 at 09:56.
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Old 21st November 2023, 10:02   #4
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

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Originally Posted by bijims View Post
Wow! Great work here, hope she finds it comfortable, it's nice to have your pet accompany you on these journeys, moreover, you don't have to leave her at home, and can always be by her side, even on those long trips.

I have a pet dog myself and the look on her face when we leave home just for a couple of hours breaks my heart, so considering long trips, your solution is just wonderful.

PS: I think you got a type in there, you mentioned 2008 in the post whereas I am sure it is 2018
Hi,

Thank you. It is very difficult indeed to leave them behind. We have decided to do annual road trips from here on and take her along. Unfortunately, they have a short life. My endeavour will be to make her experience different terrains like beaches, mountains, forests and even snow. After all your Dog's life is as large as you can make it.

Yes. We adopted her in 2018. That is a typo. Thank you for pointing it out.
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Old 21st November 2023, 10:58   #5
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Re: Love the DIY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post
Awesome DIY. Why don't you replace the foam supports with some storage to elevate this design? Can maybe carry Rumi's toys or food etc.

I have the below car mattress that I use on long trips when I want to take a short nap. I've had this for a very long time now and is quite useful as none of the other air mattresses that I use for camping fits in the car. This could also be a good alternative for you.

An important aspect for me was that the support is a separate inflatable system. So that I can store luggage underneath if needed. Have never had to do that except for my in-cabin ice-box as the Isuzu has a ton of space to store luggage.
Thank you.

These airbeds are definately good but had some shortcomings for my use. Let me elaborate.

Firstly these cushions blocks allow me the flexibility to accomodate a 3rd person who can sit besides Rumi. In this case I can remove one block and the 3rd person can sit comfortably. Secondly, the rear space behind the front two seats differed in length, so customising it was the only option.

The foam adds some comfort to the firmess of the solid thermacol blocks below. Adding some space beneath these blocks would have involved fitting it with either wooden or metal legs and we wanted to avoid it for safety purposes.
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Old 21st November 2023, 11:03   #6
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Re: Love the DIY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post
I have the below car mattress that I use on long trips when I want to take a short nap. I've had this for a very long time now and is quite useful as none of the other air mattresses that I use for camping fits in the car.
Would you happen to have a link to this air mattress Tassem?
I have been looking for one for a long time but unable to zero in on one that is good.
Since you have been using it for a long time, i would prefer to go with the same brand.
Thanks!
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Old 21st November 2023, 11:22   #7
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Re: Love the DIY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassem View Post

I have the below car mattress that I use on long trips when I want to take a short nap..
I have this one, bought from Amazon, been using since 2 years. My wife, toddler, two indoor dogs and me often go to Jabalpur from bhilai 2-3 times a year in my Baleno. I inflate this bed everytime for a journey of 7 hours.
Wifey gets comfortable but my dogs get a bit imbalanced because their legs just go through the cushion, as the cushion is filled with air and tends to get too soft and feels springy.
One time my father climbed up on it but he was pushed out because air cushion sprung back on his weight. He succeeded in second attempt though.
My dogs have learnt to lie down or stand and rest their sides on backrest of seat.

All in all, itís a good product to use for a bit better comfort for your journeys
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Old 21st November 2023, 12:46   #8
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

Excellent DIY. Looks like I've my next DIY project cutout for my Oreo.
Btw, just a thought, if instead of those foam blocks something else that can use that space for storage as well? May be like those hard fabric storage containers?
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Old 21st November 2023, 14:11   #9
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

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Originally Posted by stantheman View Post
Btw, just a thought, if instead of those foam blocks something else that can use that space for storage as well? May be like those hard fabric storage containers?
You can keep small bags which doesn't contain anything that can break on load, like clothes, which you'll carry with you anyway if you're going on a trip
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Old 21st November 2023, 16:47   #10
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

I generally stuff the small bags in spaces behind the front seats and the rear hump, and keep a cushioned blanket as a cover. My lab mostly is impatient for the window every 30 mins so she is never static unless there is someone sitting with her, wherein she prefers laps to rest part of her body and hang her face on the window sill, or cuddle herself to sleep on the lap itself. This desi jugaad has worked for me over countless 500 to 3000kms trips with my dog

Last edited by SidharthaN : 21st November 2023 at 16:49.
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Old 21st November 2023, 17:40   #11
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

Quote:
Originally Posted by stantheman View Post
Excellent DIY. Looks like I've my next DIY project cutout for my Oreo.
Btw, just a thought, if instead of those foam blocks something else that can use that space for storage as well? May be like those hard fabric storage containers?
So reinforcing these blocks would require using something solild like plastic/wood/metal in the corners of these blocks to create some storage space in the middle. I wanted to avoid this altogether. We have enough space in the boot for 3-4 people when we travel. So there will be ample space for us 2 humans and our furry kid.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SidharthaN View Post
I generally stuff the small bags in spaces behind the front seats and the rear hump, and keep a cushioned blanket as a cover. My lab mostly is impatient for the window every 30 mins so she is never static unless there is someone sitting with her, wherein she prefers laps to rest part of her body and hang her face on the window sill, or cuddle herself to sleep on the lap itself. This desi jugaad has worked for me over countless 500 to 3000kms trips with my dog
That's great. We used to completely fold a cotton mattress and put it in the rear seat leg space and cover it with a thick blanket. That used to be a little uneven sometimes.

These blocks are firm yet confortable and cover the whole leg space area evenly which should ideally be much more comfortable. I will update the experience after our 3500-4000kms trip starting this weekend.
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Old 21st November 2023, 22:16   #12
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

I have been struggling a lot on this.

My pet Labrador and I have travelled almost 15k+ kms and while she eventually lies down when my wife is there with her on rear seat, I have been looking for a more self-sufficient solution.

I 1st tried with the inflatable bed which my pet loved. But problem is getting in and out for her, which I think puts strain on her joints. I tried to teach her to get in via front door and then go back, but she struggled when doing it frequently for bathroom breaks during long drives.

I then tried with a cotton mattress but I think it is too soft and easily compressible. Advantage is it leaves some space on side where she can climb in. But I don't think it is a solution for long trips.

I am now thinking to get a dog car stair to get her in and out from back, fold rear seats and put something below folded seats for comfort. But given that she has not used the dog ramp I bought sometime back, I am unsure if dog stairs will be used.

This thread is so close to my struggles. There was one thread which the BHPian had used cartons in Jeep Compass front seat for Ladakh trip. Maybe I should try that in rear seat?
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Old 21st November 2023, 23:05   #13
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

Glad you started this thread!

This was a big problem for us and our fur baby, Casper, was not comfortable at all during car trips. He is a 2yr old Golden Retriever.

I explored a DIY like this and those inflatable mattresses, but finally settled on this contraption which works beautifully on my XUV300.

Sorry for the dirty cabin, this was after our roadtrip and our boy obviously created a mess!
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-img_4663.jpeg


Here’s him lying down facing us which wouldn’t have been possible earlier. This factor alone made him settle down faster and make him feel more safe.
DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets-img_4288.jpeg

This works by latching on to the front headrests, My worry was if this adds additional load and damage the headrests in future. But after some research and experimenting, I thought it is worth the buy because:

1. The bed has a solid wooden platform using a thin 2” MDF board. For cushioning there is a couple of layers of foam sheets. Since the wooden platform mostly rests on the back seat (>80% by area would be on the back seat) not much load is transferred to the headrest.

2. Our usage is anyway limited and we thought it is worthy to take the risk. The headrests can be replaced if required. But we just couldn’t travel anywhere long with him because there isn’t enough space for him to sit properly.


There are definitely improvements that can be made to this though.

Link to Amazon: Allextreme Cb-S05 Back Seat Car... https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0BG5S1GJ7?...p_mob_ap_share

Disclaimer: I’m in no way connected to the above product. The opinions expressed are my personal based on our experience using it for a Bangalore-Goa road trip.
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Old 22nd November 2023, 10:04   #14
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidban85 View Post
I have been struggling a lot on this.

My pet Labrador and I have travelled almost 15k+ kms and while she eventually lies down when my wife is there with her on rear seat, I have been looking for a more self-sufficient solution.

I 1st tried with the inflatable bed which my pet loved. But problem is getting in and out for her, which I think puts strain on her joints. I tried to teach her to get in via front door and then go back, but she struggled when doing it frequently for bathroom breaks during long drives.

I then tried with a cotton mattress but I think it is too soft and easily compressible. Advantage is it leaves some space on side where she can climb in. But I don't think it is a solution for long trips.

I am now thinking to get a dog car stair to get her in and out from back, fold rear seats and put something below folded seats for comfort. But given that she has not used the dog ramp I bought sometime back, I am unsure if dog stairs will be used.
We had somewhat similar trouble with Rumi when she was 6 months old. Unfortunately the first few trips in the car were to the vet. So she started associating the car with the vet visit. She used to get nervous, not lie down initially and vomit sometimes too. After continuous effort, she became comfortable. To make her comfortable, we kept her toys in the car and started giving her treats whenever she used to jump in the car to give positive reinforcement. Eventually she settled in. When we got a new car in early 2019, the first few trips for her were to the dog parks and farm houses to make her associate the car with happy and playful things and she was never nervous then. She is now always eager to jump in and with the new set up lies down as she has more space and the ac vent is right in front of her face . She also sleeps instantly.

May be you can try keeping her favourite things in the car. Or one of you can first sit inside along with her toys and ask her to climb in. And first few trips should be to happy places for her.

I don't know your pet's age, if she is not old, then definitely she may be nervous to get inside the car. If she has issues in her hips/joints, then getting a portable dog stairs will be one of the solutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krishnakumar View Post
Glad you started this thread!

This works by latching on to the front headrests, My worry was if this adds additional load and damage the headrests in future. But after some research and experimenting, I thought it is worth the buy because:

1. The bed has a solid wooden platform using a thin 2Ē MDF board. For cushioning there is a couple of layers of foam sheets. Since the wooden platform mostly rests on the back seat (>80% by area would be on the back seat) not much load is transferred to the headrest.

2. Our usage is anyway limited and we thought it is worthy to take the risk. The headrests can be replaced if required. But we just couldnít travel anywhere long with him because there isnít enough space for him to sit properly.
Thank you.

This was my 2nd best option. It gets the job done and allows you some space also in that rear leg space area . But I avoided it for the above DIY customized solution as I wanted to avoid anything wooden and also the possible issues that can crop up with the front seats and headrests after prolonged use.

But for short road trips these are a great option as it gives more space for our pets to lie down.
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Old 27th November 2023, 14:21   #15
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Re: DIY - Rear seat car bed/seat extender for pets

One of the reasons I went for C5 Aircross is I could immediately get how I am going to take our pet with us.
C5 Aircross boot is flat and all rear seats are individually collapsing so he can be on any part of the car. In addition to it there is a stowing ring which provides more safety for hooking on his belt.
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