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Smart bed steel


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What size steel is everyone using for the smart beds?

 

I am just going to build a platform 98 wide x 87 long (that way I can keep my existing fenders on). May add to it later on as time and money allows.

 

Would 2x2 steel (3/16 or 1/4 thick) every 12 inches be overkill?

 

What size plating on top? 1/8 ok?

 

Also, winches? Been looking at a 10,000 one at costco for $399, but there is a 3500 atv going on sale here thursday for $99. Would the 3500 be too weak for it? And likely the 10,000 is overkill right?

 

Thanks

 

 

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Here is an great page for winch information and it gives some charts based on angles.

 

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-electric-winch.aspx

 

Note that the weights are based on a single wrap around the drum, As you get the close to the winch you will have more wraps around the drum, maybe around 3-4.

 

I would be worried that a 3500 winch would be just adequate. For safety factor and to help extend the life of the winch, try going to a larger one if you can. We use an 8000# winch to load a 6000# vehicle with and you can tell it is working hard when the angle becomes steeper. We bought a 12000# from Harbor Freight for the HDT to load the same vehicle on it, mainly because the angle will be much steeper and it was cheaper that smaller ones. Haven't had to use it yet, in fact I may put in the trailer and use it there in place of the 8000# one.

 

December's add for Harbor Freight shows a 3500# for $145, a 5000# for $200, a 9000# with remote for $300 and a coupon for the 12000# with remote for $295. We consider these throw-a-ways as they are inexpensive but probably cost more than the a new one to repair. Our 8000# is a cheap brand and we have used it for almost 7 years and it is just starting to act up on occasion.

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  • 1 month later...

Been doing the price difference on the steel I am thinking of doing..

 

option 1 is:

 

2x3 tubing stringers across the bed on 16 o/c sitting on 2x3 rails laid flat on top of the existing truck frame. Then finished around the outside with more 2x3 or 2x5.

 

Option 2 is:

 

do the same, but use all 2x5 tubing.

 

Option 3 is:

 

2x2 tubing stringers on top of the frame back to the wheels, then cutout and humped up around the wheels. (benefit would be 3" lower when loading the smart car).

 

Option 4 is:

 

same as option 2, but use 3/16" channel iron vs the 2x5 tubing.

 

 

 

All would have 1.5" angle bracing different places in them.

 

The bed would be about 8ft x 13.5 ft.

 

As far as price difference on the steel, would 1/8" be solid enough or would I need at least 3/16? I want it strong enough, but don't want to go overboard on it if its not needed and just wastes extra $$.

 

It will be used to haul a smart car and likely just a platform with no sides at this time. Making up standalone boxes for the sides and decided to bolt the hitch under the bed (thanks Quinn)

 

Thanks

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I would stick with 3/16 in any size tubing, if you go to 1/8 you would have to bring spacing between tubes closer to have the same rigidity, so you gain nothing because you will need more tubing.

Option one is the easiest, I've done it both ways, 1 and 2.

C-channel (I've done that two) is easy to weld to the flat side and a pain in the ass welding to the flanges.

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phoenix2013, on 01 Jan 2015 - 5:55 PM, said:

I would stick with 3/16 in any size tubing, if you go to 1/8 you would have to bring spacing between tubes closer to have the same rigidity, so you gain nothing because you will need more tubing.

Option one is the easiest, I've done it both ways, 1 and 2.

C-channel (I've done that two) is easy to weld to the flat side and a pain in the ass welding to the flanges.

Thanks. Sounds like a plan. I will stick with 3/16

 

The reason I considered the channel, is if I put the outside rails with the "C" on the outside butted up against the stringers, I could put hooks and running lights into the recess and safe from breakage.

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I'm not sure i understand option #3 could you put a drawing of what you are thinking? cutout and humped up around the wheels. (benefit would be 3" lower when loading the smart car).'"

 

It would be helpful to see what you are saying.

 

Thanks Kent

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I'm not sure i understand option #3 could you put a drawing of what you are thinking? It would be helpful to see it.

 

Thanks Kent

Trust me, you do not want a drawing from me lol

 

Pretty much have a lower platform from the cab to the front of the rear wheels, then cutouts for the fender clearance. The fenders would be raised above the flatbed. I have no plans on rear loading anything.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Something like this with a 8' wide platform back to the wheels, then cutout around them and continue on.

 

Would make it 3" lower for easier loading of the smart car and also lower the center of gravity a bit. I plan on putting 4-5 foot long drom boxes on each side underneath.

 

Borrowed from the bed pictures

davelinde_bed.jpg

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So with thoughts of an 8 X13 bed, you are planning on a deck all the way back to the 5th wheel? Are you going to taper it down to the frame or step down? earler you mentiond not a full bed just a platform for the car. what changed your mind on that?

 

Thanks

Kent

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There is no issue with loading a smart on most bed heights, so I would not obsess about it. I load at 47.5" without dumping the air, and I have never hit the ground with my bumper - either loading or unloading. And I have unloaded on some pretty irregular locations (meaning the end of the ramp was on a lower plane than the truck - which is the worst case). I've gotten close to the ground in some of the more extreme unloading terrain, though. But I NEVER dump my air, and that is always an option. What I'm saying is that you should not let the bed height drive the design unless you are really high - like over 50". Then you have to look at things more carefully.

 

I like the stepped bed design like Henry has. It has a lot of advantages for flexibility of trailer pulled. For example, I cannot pull a semi-trailer RV with my bed design. But with a stepped bed I could. Most people would not care, though.

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There is no issue with loading a smart on most bed heights, so I would not obsess about it. I load at 47.5" without dumping the air, and I have never hit the ground with my bumper - either loading or unloading. And I have unloaded on some pretty irregular locations (meaning the end of the ramp was on a lower plane than the truck - which is the worst case). I've gotten close to the ground in some of the more extreme unloading terrain, though. But I NEVER dump my air, and that is always an option. What I'm saying is that you should not let the bed height drive the design unless you are really high - like over 50". Then you have to look at things more carefully.

 

I like the stepped bed design like Henry has. It has a lot of advantages for flexibility of trailer pulled. For example, I cannot pull a semi-trailer RV with my bed design. But with a stepped bed I could. Most people would not care, though.

Thanks! I thought lower would be better but its good to know it can be unloaded safely even not 100% level.

 

Semi trailer RV - If we ever did something like that, could it be hauled with the ET?

 

So with thoughts of an 8 X13 bed, you are planning on a deck all the way back to the 5th wheel? Are you going to taper it down to the frame or step down? earler you mentiond not a full bed just a platform for the car. what changed your mind on that?

 

Thanks

Kent

 

I was originally planning on just a pad, but realizing I needed extra weight, I think I need to go all the way back.

 

I likely would do a step down.

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I had my bed built by a local truck shop, they used light weight I beam material on a 1X3 tube. Elected to have a 1½ T&G deck that has 1½ " clearance when aired down. I do not use a winch to get the Smart on board. The only time I have difficulties is if I load on a side hill from the low side but that can usually be avoided as I can load from either side,

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A semi-trailer RV can be hauled by an ET - with some limitations.

 

It has to be within the weight ratings. On the upgraded airbags the pin weights can be much higher - approaching 9K. What is optimal and supported I'll let Henry whisper in Phoenix's ear. Maybe they will post.

 

My plan has always been to go to a semi-trailer and I'm targetting 8500 pin weight. The axles will be in the RV position to attain this.

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Thanks guys!

 

Jack, Our plan is sometime to customize a 53' trailer. Wifey wants at least 6 slides. I used to build houses and also had a large workshop to fabricate wood stuff so I would have no problem fabricating the inside up. I once built myself a 5x10 foot CNC machine for wood and aluminum. Sold that and everything else from the shop when we went fulltiming.

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