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Old 10-29-2014, 04:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 73shark View Post

It's hard to make a 1 1/4 ton chassis ride like a limo.

Thank you.

Trying to make it something it will never be seems an exercise in frustration.

Take the bad with the good, get out there and enjoy it.


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Old 10-29-2014, 06:21 AM   #16
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Suggestion: Take her in on a lead, then turn around and take her outside. Do this a number of times, staying inside longer and longer each time. I train dogs in my retirement, mainly abused (dog fighters or bait dogs) and neglected dogs at a local dog rescue we started last year. One thing to now keep in mind, you are anticipating that she will not like the confined space, so she picks up on your feelings, she does not know why you feel the way you do or what it is about, but it's negative and she may not act "normal". Give it some time, FunWaggins idea is a great one as well.

Travel Safe

Bud
Yes, dogs pick up on feelings. I am the ultimate Dog Whisperer junkie, currently with 89 episodes clogging up our family DVR (I like to watch repeatedly). What we have noticed is that while conditioned behaviors can be modified, instinctual behaviors are partly beyond the reach of good pack leadership. An example with our dog is noise extremes. It would not matter what feelings I project or how much work we did, she will never become totally comfortable with subtropical thunderstorms. The dog is wired by nature to avoid thunder and lightning. Now, I can (and do) take her on The Walk during a thunderstorm and she will conform to the needs of the situation by walking without incident, but she'll never be calm submissive while doing so (submissive yes, calm no).

This is relevant because part of the issue with the Interstate is noise. When our 2007 encounters rough roads, it's LOUD. One of the worst-case road scenarios is concrete blow-outs. In other areas of the country, these types of things are called "pot holes", but as any southerner will attest, that's too mild a term for what happens when concrete (rather than asphalt) undergoes near-catastrophic disintegration. My husband and I quickly learned that the Interstate is incompatible with even small blow-outs, to the point where we will have two pairs of eyes scanning the road ahead if we suspect we are entering a section where they are likely to occur.

But as with pot holes, hitting the occasional blow-out is inevitable, and I know that there will be limits to the dog's ability to adapt to the thunderous results.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:28 AM   #17
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Thank you.

Trying to make it something it will never be seems an exercise in frustration.

Take the bad with the good, get out there and enjoy it.


Maggie
Could be. My husband is a mechanical engineer and looks upon these types of things as welcome challenges. He has been working on a long-term Mustang restoration and actually hired people to machine certain items for it. I may humor him on the suspension thing.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:31 AM   #18
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One of the worst-case road scenarios is concrete blow-outs. In other areas of the country, these types of things are called "pot holes", but as any southerner will attest, that's too mild a term for what happens when concrete (rather than asphalt) undergoes near-catastrophic disintegration. My husband and I quickly learned that the Interstate is incompatible with even small blow-outs, to the point where we will have two pairs of eyes scanning the road ahead if we suspect we are entering a section where they are likely to occur.

But as with pot holes, hitting the occasional blow-out is inevitable, and I know that there will be limits to the dog's ability to adapt to the thunderous results.
Since "blow-out" refers to a tire explosively decompressing, you may want to call concrete potholes by their engineering term: "spalls." Spalls can cause blow-outs in under-inflated tires.

Spalling is when internal or external pressure causes concrete to fracture in such a way that chunks come loose.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:34 AM   #19
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Here's a pic of our first seating assignments....Attachment 225284


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Nice! I don't have the aisle measurement for your younger AI model but it looks like it might be a tad bit wider than our 20 inches. Every inch counts. Our dog is very attached to her crate, which is 24 x 36 inches (she's a Saluki mix and despite her long body, she's only 45 pounds, so a medium crate works well). That additional 4 inches makes a huge difference in her perception.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:49 AM   #20
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Yes, dogs pick up on feelings. I am the ultimate Dog Whisperer junkie, currently with 89 episodes clogging up our family DVR (I like to watch repeatedly). What we have noticed is that while conditioned behaviors can be modified, instinctual behaviors are partly beyond the reach of good pack leadership. An example with our dog is noise extremes. It would not matter what feelings I project or how much work we did, she will never become totally comfortable with subtropical thunderstorms. The dog is wired by nature to avoid thunder and lightning. Now, I can (and do) take her on The Walk during a thunderstorm and she will conform to the needs of the situation by walking without incident, but she'll never be calm submissive while doing so (submissive yes, calm no).

This is relevant because part of the issue with the Interstate is noise. When our 2007 encounters rough roads, it's LOUD. One of the worst-case road scenarios is concrete blow-outs. In other areas of the country, these types of things are called "pot holes", but as any southerner will attest, that's too mild a term for what happens when concrete (rather than asphalt) undergoes near-catastrophic disintegration. My husband and I quickly learned that the Interstate is incompatible with even small blow-outs, to the point where we will have two pairs of eyes scanning the road ahead if we suspect we are entering a section where they are likely to occur.

But as with pot holes, hitting the occasional blow-out is inevitable, and I know that there will be limits to the dog's ability to adapt to the thunderous results.
Lily is the exact same way, and I just try to comfort her a bit.

She hates thunderstorms and those excessive road noises. Looks at me like "did you hear that!!??", like she needs reassurance she is safe.

In the Interstate, when there are thunderstorms or hail (very loud in there), she gets as close as she can without getting under my skin.....which I think she would do if she could.

I always attributed it to her Louisiana upbringing, because it can rain down there.


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Old 10-29-2014, 06:51 AM   #21
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Since "blow-out" refers to a tire explosively decompressing, you may want to call concrete potholes by their engineering term: "spalls." Spalls can cause blow-outs in under-inflated tires.

Spalling is when internal or external pressure causes concrete to fracture in such a way that chunks come loose.
You are correct, but here is one limitation with that: TxDOT Houston District and our local news media have begun to adopt "blow-out" to the point where the term has become entrenched in local vernacular. Spalls can propagate VERY rapidly (minutes to hours) such that, in certain circumstances, they literally become crash hazards before road crews can get there to deal with them. If TxDOT tweets or marquees "blow-out", everybody gets it. If they were to say "spall", some folks might think it was fixin' to rain intensely.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:52 AM   #22
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Nice! I don't have the aisle measurement for your younger AI model but it looks like it might be a tad bit wider than our 20 inches. Every inch counts.
Same width, between the microwave and the widest point of the bathroom. It's just so close to the plane of the image that it's hard to tell.
Quote:
Our dog is very attached to her crate, which is 24 x 36 inches (she's a Saluki mix and despite her long body, she's only 45 pounds, so a medium crate works well). That additional 4 inches makes a huge difference in her perception.
One fellow here on the Forumsó whose name escapes me at the momentó removed the second-row passenger seat behind the driver to make room for a dog's travel carrier. That might be viable for you, too. The travel carrier needn't be any wider than the seat it replaces. Plus with the carrier directly in line with the side door, loading and unloading the dog becomes a lot easier.

Traveling with the dog in a carrier is safer for the dog in the event of a panic stop, and the carrier being right behind the driver's seat allows for companionable proximity to keep the dog calmer.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:16 AM   #23
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Lily has spent many thousands of miles, over 4+ years, in our Interstate and I can tell you for certain that dog nails do not harm the ultraleather. I trim hers myself, too, so they are not super-short.

I suspect your dog will adapt to the Interstate, motivated by a driving need to be with you. I doubt she is actually claustrophobic, is simply reacting to the change or maybe thinks she has a choice to ride in it or not.

Leaving one bench down is a good idea, or just encourage her to jump on the other bench and turn around or stretch out. Show her what to do.

Lily prefers to ride up front, either in the passenger seat or on a soft area we made for her between the two. She will walk to the back to stretch her legs, but always returns within a minute or two. Yours may also prefer the passenger seat.

Good luck!


Maggie
Good to hear the confirmation from yet another source about the ultraleather. I can cover our seats but it is additional complexity that I would prefer to avoid if it's not necessary.

Our dog also prefers to ride up front between the seats at least some of the time. As soon as I get my photos complete, I will be publishing a blog post on how to DIY a custom-sized dog bed that will fit both this area and the area under the table for those of us who have longitudinal couches. The front area is a little narrower and irregular by virtue of the parking brake which abuts the area, but with a little squishing, one bed will fit both spaces.

I took on that project immediately because our dog is crate-oriented and bed-oriented. She may ultimately choose one of the seats or couches during travel, but she will register a custom floor bed as "I belong here". This summer during our minivan travels we stopped in Manhattan for three days and it seemed a little ridiculous to ask the Park Avenue bellhop to port her crate from the car up to the 23rd floor of the hotel (Leona Helmsley's old place because - surprise - Leona may have passed away but they still accept dogs, for a price, of course), but our dog was absolutely overjoyed. Not just some random nylon portable crate but HER crate, the same one she uses at home, in Manhattan - she could not have been happier. We took a video of her coming unhinged with excitement as we unpacked it.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:23 AM   #24
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Yep, they certainly become attached to their "things".....security blankies for dogs, I think.

The area between the seats is irregular, which can be a bit of a dilemma for something firm and structured.

We solved two problems by folding the thick, cushiony, mattress pad into an oversized pillow cover, and laying it there with a rug over the top.

She loves it, and can be scratched and/or lay her head on my knee while I drive....in comfort.


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Old 10-30-2014, 07:29 AM   #25
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...One fellow here on the Forumsó whose name escapes me at the momentó removed the second-row passenger seat behind the driver to make room for a dog's travel carrier. That might be viable for you, too. ....
I think I saw that post when I was doing global Interstate / dog-related searches - he did a beautiful custom job of stacking crates for his two German shepherds. Is that the post?

Not an option in our case because we are blessed by NOT having the second-row of seats. The 2007 AI mid-bath has only the driver and passenger seats and then the sofa in the rear. The lav is literally three inches behind the driver's seat. We did not like the off-the-shelf configs of the newer AIs - too much camping potential sacrificed for unnecessary seats, resulting in less storage and no counter space at all (someone did a very nice post a few days ago about adding slide-out space - we don't have to worry about that kind of thing).
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #26
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LOL - 7 year old Lab...

Another 'dog' note is that the automatic step concerns him; he isn't sure if it will be there or not as sometimes the van is running when we open the door (stopped of course) and there is no step; and sometimes it is not running so there is a step. I think once or twice I started the van while the step was out & door open, but he & the wife were not completely loaded - so as he was trying to get in van - the step retracted.

(another got to fix that: make van step retract when door closed, and extend when door open - even if engine running). ...

Just in case this thread gets read by someone who has not yet configured their Interstate, I HIGHLY recommend running boards if they are still available as an option.

I have the original window sticker for our 2007 which we bought as a used vehicle, and they were a pricey option back then - three thousand bucks, or about the same as the generator (!). I don't know what they would cost these days.

My husband thinks that they look a bit tacky, and I probably agree, but the convenience factor overrides appearance. They just make life soooo much easier for kids, dogs, and small women. Love 'em.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:56 AM   #27
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Just in case this thread gets read by someone who has not yet configured their Interstate, I HIGHLY recommend running boards if they are still available as an option.

I have the original window sticker for our 2007 which we bought as a used vehicle, and they were a pricey option back then - three thousand bucks, or about the same as the generator (!). I don't know what they would cost these days.
Running boards are not an option on the Sprinter 3500-chassis Airstreams. In place of running boards we have "effects molding" that extends the lower edges of the sides far enough so that all of the dangly bits underneath (tanks, generator, hose reel, macerator pump, etc.) can't be seen. The effects molding also provides a place for the retractable step by the side door, and the steps by the driver and front passenger doorsó and those front steps were absolutely wretched ankle-breakers that were way too narrow on models before 2014.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:12 AM   #28
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This one falls squarely into the "never would have predicted that" category... Did they get more accustomed to the long, narrow configuration over time?

Thanks
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Leaving this update here in case any dog owners search this thread in the future -

Chapter 2 in the "never would have predicted" category is the fact that our dog is now an Interstate enthusiast. First we couldn't get her into it, and now we can't get her back out of it.

See the body language in the attached pic. My ears are raised - I am listening to you - but my stance is defiantly firm and my eyes are narrowed, letting you know that, no, as a matter of fact, I am not coming out without a fight. I am prepared to sit here for as long as it takes you to come to your senses and join me inside.
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