Pet trailer dog house

Courtesy of Straight Line Designs Inc.

It’s rare that a doggie abode fills us with such instant joy, but these super-cute houses do the trick (All together now: “Awww!”).

They’re from a line called Pet Campers designed and built by Judson Beaumont and his company, Straight Line Designs. Until a few years ago, Beaumont, a trained sculptor, was known for designing quirky children’s furniture — until he bought a dog for his daughter.

“I was reluctant to build her a dog house at first,” he says. “I didn’t want it to be stuck in our living room or yard, and be unable to vacuum or cut the grass around it. So the idea of a house on wheels made sense.”

He came across photos of vintage camping trailers from the 40s and 50s, and knew he’d found something special. Shrunk down to dog-size, and decked out in bright colors and creative details (right down to interior finishing, “propane tank” food dishes, and customizable license plates), these rolling houses are undeniably eye-catching.

“They touch a nerve,” says Beaumont. “Even young people seem to recognize and get excited about the old campers.”

Starting at $800, the made-to-order, handmade houses aren’t cheap … but anything for Fido, right? Beaumont is exploring options for a lower-priced line in the future, but until then, these smile-inducing photos are enough to tide us over.

Courtesy of Straight Line Designs Inc. Courtesy of Straight Line Designs Inc. Courtesy of Straight Line Designs Inc. Courtesy of Straight Line Designs Inc.

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Photos: Courtesy of Straight Line Designs

Lauren Piro Senior Web Editor Overseeing all things home for and, Lauren swoons over midcentury design and employs tough-love approach to decluttering (just throw it away, ladies).

There’s nothing better than sharing traveling adventures with the ones you love, but what happens if the one that you love most has four legs and a tail? Sharing the camping lifestyle with Fido, Bowser or Rover isn’t as difficult as it may at first seem, as long as you prepare and adapt accordingly.

We’ve always favored large dogs – setters, Labradors, Rottweilers and now a standard poodle. When we purchased our Airstream trailer, however, we didn’t think too much about space for a dog. If we had, there might have been a few more feet added for their comfort. Instead, we’re learning to live with a large dog in a small space normally occupied by two humans.

When we bought the trailer we had a black Rottweiler. It was soon evident where he liked to lay – under the table – as the rug had a ring of black hair that resisted every removal effort by our vacuum cleaner. We soon realized the cream-colored rug, or the dog, had to go. We replaced the rug with some engineered wood flooring, which we wrote about in Trailer Life some years ago.

Now we have a standard poodle, a breed that is welcomed just about everywhere, and he does not shed. Realizing that our new puppy, Harper, was going to be a constant road companion, we started his training early.

We wanted Harper to have his space and go there when commanded to “find your bed.” We also placed some emphasis on making potty stops on command. The command, “Harper, go potty,” usually produces the desired results. Well, most of the time. As he matures the results are growing more consistent.

Taking Harper for a walk around the Nevada County Fair Grounds RV Park Lake.

Traveling often brings many distractions, noises and unusual situations; the more your dog is exposed to these situations as a puppy the easier he’ll adjust. We found that taking Harper with us on short trips in the truck has helped him adapt to new situations when we are on the road for a long RV trip.

Harper has two beds, one in the truck and one in the trailer. When it’s not possible for him to be in the truck, such as when it’s being repaired or serviced, we take his bed into the waiting room and he knows that is his space.

We are fortunate that the back seat in our crew cab pickup folds flat and makes a nice platform for Harper. He has a harness and we clip it to the hard points the manufacturer provides for baby seats. This keeps Harper safe in the back seat during hard stops yet allows him to come forward for some love and attention.

After a long day on the road, Harper looks forward to some exercise. While a walk around the RV park is good for both dogs and owners, we are finding RV parks with dog runs a most welcome addition to the parks’ amenities. The opportunity to run off-leash is a big benefit for large dogs in need of exercise. On a recent trip across the country, we discovered one of the nationally known RV parks to have recognized the need for fenced-in dog runs.

Heat can be an issue for dogs when traveling, especially when a 30-amp power source is not available for the RV air conditioner, or the tow vehicle engine breaks down. We have a small Stanley shop fan that can be directed toward the dog’s bed in the trailer. We also discovered a raised bed called a Coolaroo, which allows airflow under Harper, keeping him much cooler. In damp and muddy campsites it also gives him a dry place to lie. This is a real blessing for the dog, especially when the only other place to lie is on the blacktop or concrete in some campsites in the summer.

The Steele family trailer.

Organization is another essential element of living comfortably in small spaces with a large dog. Harper has his own monogrammed canvas tote bag, which includes a collapsible water dish, a bottle of water, small towel, brush, spare leash, bags for potty stops, treats, a 25-foot plastic covered cable with snaps on both ends and, if need be, a screw-in auger for anchoring him on a grassy spot while we picnic. During cold and rainy weather we include his raincoat in the tote bag, along with several days’ supply of food in resealable plastic bags in case we get stuck somewhere.

One concern we had was the availability of restaurants that accept dogs. Everyone likes to eat out occasionally, and we hoped traveling with a large dog would not preclude that enjoyment. We were pleasantly surprised to find a number of eateries with decks and patios that welcomed our dog. We recently ate dinner on the deck of the Boathouse Cantina in Salida, Colorado, overlooking the Arkansas River, where four dogs lay quietly while their owners enjoyed a meal al fresco.

Many families travel with their dogs, and restaurants and hotels are becoming more accepting of pets. One of the reasons so many families have RVs is because pets are part of the family and must be considered when traveling.

There’s nothing like hitting the road in search of adventure, but why go that far when you can park these cute little dog campers in your backyard?

Judson Beaumont, whose Vancouver, B.C., company Straight Line Designs Inc. custom-makes these pet trailers, says they can be parked everywhere, from the living room to the backyard, but make sure to bring them in at night and out of the rain.

The pet campers are made of fibreglass, aluminium and stainless steel — even their hubcaps are custom-made from aluminium and stainless steel. They also have wheels but Beaumont advises against pulling them around. If your dog needs a bit of light, the campers have LED lighting inside, which can actually make them double as a source of light in your home. While there’s no furniture inside the campers, Beaumont says, “I’ve put in hardwood floors, carpet, done tile and plastic laminate. Basically, you put your dog’s blanket inside and they’re happy to go in there.”

Doors are large so the dog can get in and out easily. And because every pooch needs to keep an eye on squirrels in the backyard or who’s opening the fridge door, there are windows on all four sides.

Dog dishes at the front of the camper resemble propane tanks.

COST: The campers start at $800 up to $2,000-$2,500. Says Beaumont, “Everybody goes crazy until they hear the price.” Beaumont hopes to be able to mass produce them so he can bring down the price.

DOG MOTHER: New Yorker Aria Ashton, who works near the neighbourhood of Chelsea for a technology marketing company, owns a pet camper for her dog Izzie, a seven-year-old rescue Chihuahua. Co-worker Brenda Fogg suggested they buy it for Izzie after spotting it on the Internet. Fogg says, “We were preparing to move into a new workspace. We typically have a pet-friendly type of office. One of the pets we often visit with is Aria’s dog and we thought wouldn’t it be amazing to have a camper to surprise Aria and Izzie with on our first day in our new space.”

Fogg says Straight Line has been fabulous to work with in terms of customization and colour palette. “We agreed on something neutral that went with the décor (red, black and grey) of our new space. We had a work team emblem painted on the top. The hitch has stainless-steel water and food bowls. The floor is wood laminate.”

The camper stays pretty much at work because it’s too big to take back and forth on the New York subway.

DOG METER: Ashton says, “Izzie’s pretty accustomed to making herself at home in crates and things of that nature, so when I pointed out the camper she went straight in. She does hang out there. When she comes to work she wants to wander around and say hello to everyone. I say, ‘Go lay down’ and she does but she looks like she wants to be out. Other times she just curls up and naps for hours. I put in one of her dog beds that has her smell on it already so she feels comfortable hanging out there.”

SPECIAL TOUCHES: Custom licence plates, which Beaumont is happy to tailor to the province your dog calls home. Izzie’s licence plate reads IZZIENYC.

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Camper aficionados who have full-sized mobile lodgings of their own can now have a matching miniature version made just for their pets. Designer Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs, who typically makes surrealist anthropomorphic furniture, got the idea when his daughter asked him to build a doghouse for their puppy.

The Pet Camper is available in four different versions, or you can order a custom version in any materials, size, color and style that you like. They’re made to be used indoors as a kennel or for brief periods outdoors as a place for pets to get out of the sun.

The designer also made an Airstream-inspired dog house trailer for a modernist look, if that’s your preference. It’s not really made of metal, though, so don’t worry about your pup overheating inside.

The trailers are made for small dogs weighing under 20 pounds, though larger models suitable for bigger dogs may be on the way, and the trailers are appropriate for cats, too.

It’s easy to imagine these adorable mobile canine lodgings sitting outside the larger versions owned by the tiny occupants’ human companions.

“Judson’s approach to design was primed by an instructor in art school who challenged Jud to do whatever he wanted for a sculpture project. This turned his mind inside out: until then, Judson had believed that in order to design and build anything, you had to get a set of instructions from a book or a magazine. He had always assumed that someone else had to come up with the ideas and then he was supposed to build it that way.”

“I wonder if that instructor had any idea what kind of delightful insanity he was unleashing into the world? A man who turns furniture into whimsical companions; creates artistic pieces that provoke laughter and astonishment; designs rooms that are a child’s dream realm. Judson’s joy is to take a crazy idea and make it happen – to make it possible.”

It is difficult not to notice the increased appeal in pet furniture and pet-related projects worldwide. In today’s post we would like to show you this instantly-endearing dog trailer design, envisioned by Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs Inc. The Pet Trailer Series includes four unique dog-sized trailers made from environmentally-friendly materials, including recyclable aluminum, plywood and plastic. Colorful and pretty, these “accommodation units” are not just functional, but serve a decorative purpose as well, adding aesthetic value to contemporary courtyards.

Each of the pet trailers is fully customizable. According to the official description provided by the designer, various finishes can be used for interior wall colors and flooring, such as hardwood, carpet or tile, and there’s always the adorable personalized license plate. For an added bit of comfort and luxury, the pet trailer can even have a lighted interior and wireless speakers. Unfortunately, we could not find information regarding the cost of the trailers, but you can contact the designer directly if you have any further questions.