The quest for a decent dog cage, without forfeiting an arm AND a leg...
It all started with Bar-jo, who were quite amusing! When I pick up my email from them, from School, i will post it here...
Hi from Dave @ Barjo Eng Ltd
Thank you for your enquiry. We can make to order the cage dimensions you have supplied. The price for this would be from £697.00 inc vat. However we do carry in stock a range of light van cages the dimensions are 39" deep x 42" wide x 32" high this will fit into a escort van. The cage is a VK6XD and the price is £488.75 inc vat and the price for delivery is £14.00.
For further information on the above or other Barjo products, please contact one of our sales staff on 0118 9890240
Kind regards from
Dave @ Barjo
|A couple of quotes down the line, I figured that the only options was to got with Hamster Baskets, as they would make exactly what I ordered, and their price was lower than anyone anywhere else.|
|So I set to designing. The scale, 3d diagram took me an evening to prepare. If you click the iamge to the left, you can get a full version of the design. If you drive a mark IV or mark V escort van, then this will be useful to you.|
I set out with the design in mind to allow me to have 12" of storage space at the front of the van load space, in order to store all my rescue gear.
Pictures of the cage in situ,
To follow shortly when they have been 'worked'
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|This is how I sang the praises of the cage when it finally reached me...|
|Well. What can I say. Dog cage duly received, and apart from slight distortion of offside rear corner of the floor, no obvious courier damage...so a good start there!
I must admit that it took us a while to actually get the whole unit assembled, but generally no major difficulties...
Having put the removable partition to one side, we were confused as we couldn't find the door catches. it might be worth mentioning early on in the assembly that the door catches are on the division.
I haven't found the angled piece mentioned for closing the doors without the division, so i wonder whether as the packaging was open, it might have dropped out. Not a major problem, but interesting to know either way.
But as for the cage its self. What can i say.
I have spent four hours setting things up around the cage, and lifting it in and out, on my own. I am absolutely delighted with the workmanship, quality, and accuracy.
What with my (obviously) perfect (!) measurements, the cage fits with millimetres to spare, and sits delightfully between the wheel arches. The height of the pitching of the angles to allow the roof to come in is spot on, and as i hoped allows for maximum width and height. Obviously the square load capacity of the escort van makes this a bit simpler, but none the less I am really please with the combined effort's results!
I love the mechanisms and systems for building and assembling the cage. It is all open and flexible to the extent that I can see many further development opportunities.
I have changed the escape hatch hinging to be central hinge and outer catches, rather than top hinge, as the front seats in escort vans simply fold forward, 3door car style, so in order to use the hatches they need to open into the cage, and most easily is sideways.
This particular cage allows approximately 16" play at the floor level at the front of the van, assuming that it is as far back as possible. For me this allows tools and rescue gear to be held, securely, but also accessibly. If the cage were pushed as far forward as possible, with seats right back, there would be about 12" floor space across the width of the back of the van.
Possibly suitable for food/drink or other quick access bits, or for dogs who don't like going in through the hatch straight away.
I have lined the floor with medium pile carpet, but also have placed on top rubber backed, nylon carpet, upside down. The combined effect is damp resistant (not waterproof tho!) soft, cool wipe clean bedding!
Though for fussy dogs, pound stores often sell pillows and cushions...i have found them very useful!
Pictures, designs and comments, with measurements will shortly be available at
www.stuartjohnson.org.uk/dogcage if these are of any interest or use to yourselves or future customers, please make use of them.
Many many thanks,
PS it may amuse you to know the BarJo quote for the same cage was over £700, for which I would have built it myself!!!!!!