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Thread: Let's talk dog boxes

  1. #1
    Senior Member augunner's Avatar
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    Default Let's talk dog boxes

    Alright, I just can't get away from the idea of building my own dog box. It's just not in my nature to buy something that I feel I can build for myself. I've been doing some research on heat transfer coefficients for different materials. The info I found puts Aluminum at 205, Stainless Steel at 16, and Fiberglass at 0.04. I have a good amount of experience with fiberglass work, and I talked to one of the best fiberglass guys I know today. This man builds some of the best looking additions to yachts not to mention he is the one who did a large portion of the fiberglass for Disney World. I think we came to the conclusion that fiberglass is what I will be using. I am planning to frame it with a structural foam, I will be able to shape it how I want, then fiberglass over the foam. What is everyone's opinion on this plan?

    While we're on this topic, where can I get a fan to mount on the top of each kennel? And how do you securely mount your kennel into your truck?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wayne Nutt's Avatar
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    Go to a hunt test or field trial and look for fiberglass dog boxes. I doubt if you will see any. I think I have seen a few a while back. It doesn't appear to be a very popular material. I am talking about two hole and up units.
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    Senior Member John Kelder's Avatar
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    do those yachts have a retriever hell bent on getting out ? And if I was a PETA or HSUS wacko ,and had a sledge hammer, could I bust it open and steal the dogs ? Or take a look at some photos of wrecks involving dog trucks... Truck is mangled , dog unit a lot of the times in better shape than the truck . I just don't see fiberglass being the best option to secure your dogs during travel . Good luck whatever way you go
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    Senior Member augunner's Avatar
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    That's my biggest concern is the chance of being in an accident. But I really don't stt the dog trying to get out as being an issue. If a cheap plastic kennel will keep the dog in, there is no doubt in my mind that the fiberglass would. As far as someone stealing the dog, that is a possibility.

    I understand these boxes aren't the "norm" at hunt tests. But being in college makes it very difficult to fork out $2,500 for a box.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sundown49 aka Otey B's Avatar
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    I have a 5 hole fiberglass topper. It is probably 20 years old. It has fans and worked very well until I got a different truck and a SS trailer. Never had a dog get out but did have one chew a small hole in door but louvers fixed that. It needs a bit of TLC but will still work good now. Fits a long bed full size P/u.
    My Dad said to me ."Son, a man just needs three things to be happy....A good dog, a good gun and a good wife.....Thank God I have all three
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    Member Rusty Champion's Avatar
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    In my opinion, you need to weigh the costs of building a fiberglass box against a plastic crate setup. As has been said, fiberglass boxes just aren't that popular. The reason being primarily is that fiberglass doesn't offer the protection that your stainless/aluminum boxes do. That being said, I would consider a fiberglass box top of the line plastic crates. Would building a fiberglass box for yourself be a long-term solution or would you purchase a stainless/aluminum box once the finances became available? I'm sure a fiberglass box could potentially offer better heat transfer and protection against the weather than a plastic crate setup, but I made it through college (in Auburn, Alabama just like you) with a plastic crate and a junk yard radiator fan hanging on the door. By the time I graduated I had 2 dogs and that same setup. There's alot to be said about a $15 radiator fan you bought from a junkyard and wired up, I know mine would move some air through those crates. I had them wired to pull air from the box or vent (the way most dog box fans are wired). That is exactly how radiator fans are pitched so they worked perfect.

    With all that being said... If you have the glassing experience and friends to help, you could probably mock up a pretty sweet looking custom box out of fiberglass.
    Rusty Champion

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    I know what the numbers say but the reality is that they don't take into account the ability of shiny metal to reflect. I had a FiberPro box for a while that was camo and looked sweet. It turned a lot of heads but I was not a fan of it in the summer. At the time I had that box with a fan from the manufacturer and an old Jones aluminum box with no fan. The aluminum box with no fan stayed a lot cooler because it reflected more of the heat from the box. JMO but I don't think you will be happy with fiberglass in the summer.
    As far as durability it has held up well. I still have it and do like it in the winter because it is warmer. It is now basically my hunting box.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tater 7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Marshall View Post
    I know what the numbers say but the reality is that they don't take into account the ability of shiny metal to reflect. I had a FiberPro box for a while that was camo and looked sweet. It turned a lot of heads but I was not a fan of it in the summer. At the time I had that box with a fan from the manufacturer and an old Jones aluminum box with no fan. The aluminum box with no fan stayed a lot cooler because it reflected more of the heat from the box. JMO but I don't think you will be happy with fiberglass in the summer.
    As far as durability it has held up well. I still have it and do like it in the winter because it is warmer. It is now basically my hunting box.
    The way I look at it Tony is that if you put a gel coat on the fiberglass like on boats the heat will be greatly reduced. Think about a white fiberglass boat. I've been on a lot of boats in the blaze of summer and never stepped on one that had a white gel coat and thought it was extremely hot. Fiberglass is great when it comes to dissipating heat. I have touched some aluminum and steel and thought I just burnt my hand off though. Structurally, Fiberglass can be strong(not as strong as steel or aluminum) but if I'm in a wreck that's bad enough to break a well built fiberglass dog box, then the impact is still probably going to injure the dogs regardless whether they are in aluminum or a steel box. I like the idea of a fiberglass box because you can shape it how you want when your building it instead of just buying what out there. I no there are some NICE boxes out there that I personally could never build, I am also like augunner in the fact that its much more pleasing to have something that you made yourself that of decent quality.

  9. #9
    Senior Member augunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Marshall View Post
    I know what the numbers say but the reality is that they don't take into account the ability of shiny metal to reflect. I had a FiberPro box for a while that was camo and looked sweet. It turned a lot of heads but I was not a fan of it in the summer. At the time I had that box with a fan from the manufacturer and an old Jones aluminum box with no fan. The aluminum box with no fan stayed a lot cooler because it reflected more of the heat from the box. JMO but I don't think you will be happy with fiberglass in the summer.
    As far as durability it has held up well. I still have it and do like it in the winter because it is warmer. It is now basically my hunting box.

    I feel like the biggest issue you were facing there was the use of dark colored paint. My box will not be a dark color. I am planning on white or light tan. Any material will absorb more heat when it is painted a dark color. The light color paint, like the shiny aluminum or stainless steel, will reflect light and not absorb it as heat. I can do this project fairly inexpensively, as compared to buying one, so I think I'll do one and run some tests comparing inside temp data with and without the fan on. If it turns out that the box just stays too warm, I'll do like you said and use it solely in the winter.

  10. #10
    Senior Member augunner's Avatar
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    The idea I keep coming back to on heat transfer is tested in fish boxes on boats. I've kept tuna on ice for 3 or 4 days in a row in a fiberglass fish box that is built onto the back deck of the charter boats I've worked on. The lid had maybe 2 inches, at most, of insulation. This is in direct sunlight all day during the hottest days of August.

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