Discount Ramps Folding Dog Ramps: The Perfect Kit for Overlanding in the 5th Gen 4Runner with an Older Dog
If you are like me, your dog is not just a pet, but its’ a part of the family. They head out with you when you go overlanding, camping, hiking and snowshoeing. For twelve years, my dog was a constant companion on all my outdoor adventures. She’s gone now but my daughter’s black lab has taken her place when I get into the 4Runner and head out to explore.
But, she’s getting older, as well, and while she can keep up on for four to six-mile hikes, she’s tired when returning to the truck. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to get her into and out of the vehicle at the trailhead?
We found it in the Discount Ramps 6’ Long Pet Ramp that I’ve added to my gear collection. Could this be a game-changer for your four-legged companion?
Find it online:
- Discount Ramps Lightweight Portable Folding Aluminum Dog Ramp: Check Price
The box with the ramp arrived safely at my front door and I was immediately impressed with just how well the ramp was packed. Not only was the ramp wrapped in plastic, but it had also cardboard secured at both ends and the box was padded on the inside with foam on all six sides. Unless King Kong is working at the courier distribution center, tossing boxes to and fro, this ramp should arrive in perfect condition.
High-Quality & Light-Weight
Once unpacked, I could see that this was a robust piece of kit that would definitely serve its intended purpose. Discount Ramps is not kidding when they say, lightweight.
The ramp weighs in at 14 pounds, yet the high-strength, lightweight aluminum can support pets up to 250 pounds. That would be a mighty big dog! No worries with a seventy-pound black lab.
Setting Up the Dog Ramp
A pair of short bolts with washers and nyloc nuts hold the two halves of the ramp together. They are just loose enough to allow the ramp to pivot easily when opening it up for use.
High Traction Surface
The ramp surface has a full-width grip tape traction surface. This is just about perfect, allowing for not only some incredible traction, but even when it is raining or snowing, or after a particularly muddy walk, there is absolutely no issues or concerns that our lab will not be able to climb the ramp safely.
When folded, the ramp is held shut by a strap that slots into a metal clasp, firmly holding the unit closed. And when closed, it is compact fifteen inches wide by three feet long and a small five inches thick. It slides in easily on the floor in the backseat. The ramp includes a large carry handle making moving it a breeze.
Opening and Closing the Dog Ramp
Opening the ramp, one thing I did notice was that it doesn’t fully open. I assume the idea is when the ramp ends sit on the vehicle and ground, it will hold itself in position. But there is a slight bounce as our lab walks up which could easily scare some dogs.
And, while not in the path of the dog’s feet, there are some edges underneath that are just a wee bit sharp. I’ll likely file those down a bit when I have a chance. The aluminum around the traction surface and the sides of the ramp are nice and clean so overall, there are no issues for pets ascending and descending the ramp.
That said, the ramp is tapered at the bottom to allow it to have a bit of ground to spread itself over when open and at the top, a small lip allows it to sit on the ledge in the rear cargo area or on the floor in the back seat, depending on where your dog travels while out and about.
The welds on the ramp look robust and the rivet install is clean. There is an additional aluminum channel running the full length of each section underneath, adding more strength to each of the two halves.
The ramp comes with a one-year warranty; plenty of time for any issues while in use to come to light.
Multiple Size Ramps
I went with the six-foot model which has an easy enough angle when placed on the rear of the 4Runner to allow our lab to make it up without worry.
That said, Discount Ramps offers two additional sizes, a 6’10” and 8’ model. A longer version might be better suited to those using this on the back of a pickup truck tailgate or even accessing the door of a tractor-trailer cab.
I can see this ramp not only working for travel but also around the home as our lab continues to get older. It will make it quite easy for her to get up and down the three steps from our garage to the house without falling.
It will also allow me to pull a wheelbarrow full of wood up to the backdoor instead of having to carry a handful at a time up the stairs and over to the door. Hey, just like the dog, I’m getting old too!
For those who have a rooftop tent and find it challenging to get your dog up into the tent at night, one or two of these ramps might just be the perfect solution, one from the ground to the hood, one from the hood to the tent. There might need to be some modifications to make them secure, but if you must have your four-legged companion in the tent with you, these ramps are worth looking into. Unfortunately for my dog, the first time she stretched and pushed the door material out and almost fell 6+ feet the ground, she was set up in the backseat at night!
Discount Ramps have a number of different pet ramp solutions including a wider version of these ramps at 18.5”, what appears to be a slightly less robust folding ramp in six, seven, and eight-foot lengths, pet loader steps, and a “Load-a-Pup” boat platform for getting your pooch onto a boat.
Rounding out their pet items, they have dog strollers for attaching to a bicycle and a portable dog pen (best used with small breeds).
The reviews are all positive so Discount Ramps must be doing something right. If your dog is getting older but still wants to explore with you, check these ramps out, it just might be the perfect solution.