Could also have something to do with where the crate is in the room, the room the crate is in, or even the orientation of the crate. Dogs are particular about where their crates are located, at least that has been my experience.
Is the crate in a corner with a line of sight to the door? Some dogs like that, others want the crate hidden.
I would not feel bad about crating. As some one else mentioned dogs are den dwellers and usually like confined spaces for sleeping and resting. Dogs also feel secure and safe in their crates. When my dog injured her neck badly, yelping in pain, etc she went into her crate and stayed there for several days. Safety and security.
Make sure the crate is sized appropriately for the dog and not positioned near air vents or in direct sun light while you are away. Have the blinds closed as well. If the dog is fighting the crate it is usually an environmental factor.
Most of my dogs prefer a crate, and feel safe in there. Most have preferred the crates be in our bedroom. I only close the doors when we are away or have guests. But they all seem to use them like a bedroom. DR
I had a problem with my rescue chewing up stuff, everything from a holster to caps off gatorade bottles and one day discovered it "snowed" in my bedroom:confused: then I noticed my comforter was pretty flat,I invested in about $100 of rawhide chew sticks and put them everywhere,she now doesn't chew anything she isn't supposed to
You can use some hose clamps from any auto part store.
Have you tried to cover the crate with an old blanket. Cave like.