Congrats on your new puppy. I was surprised how easy the road trips were when I got Wilson and then Emma. We drove 5 hours one way for Wilson and then 14 hours one way for Emma and drove straight back with her. I found that a small doggie bed really help because I was able to put that on my lap and she could sleep and sit in it. We brought a crate but never ended up using it. Bring a light weigh blanket too to keep them snuggly warm if needed.
36" for a crate would be width/length. Make sure you can an open crate and not one of those plastic ones with closed in sides. Bullies tend to get warm easily and those aren't great for air circulation.