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Need more than a Smart Car


Powerstroke

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I've been looking to upgrade to an HDT, but I have a few nagging questions I can't get over. I see everyone loading Smart Cars on the back of the tractor.... I have a family of four and need something bigger. What is the next best solution with a back seat and how would it get loaded? Obviously it won't go on sideways, but what implications are there with loading from the rear and having a much longer truck? Are any tractors easily converted in the sleeper area to allow passengers back there? I'm kind of partial to the International Lonestar, but I see Volvo being the truck of choice on most forums.

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I was thinking a Jeep would be fun, but I also saw a Scion iQ which is only 18in longer than a Smart, but has a small back seat that I could probably get a couple car seats into. I guess I'm just concerned with overall length, and getting the tractor so long that some of the benefits of it's decreased turning radius would be negated.

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I have a 1999 Isuzu Vehicross. It will carry 4 pretty easy but it's not fun getting in the back seat. Had a Mini Cooper before that and again getting in and out of the back seat wasn't the most pleasant.

 

The Isuzu Amigo is possible along with the two door Geo/Chevrolet/GMC Trackers or the Suzuki Samari. I built my toyhauler with a 14' 6" garage and it works well with the VX. a vehicle with less ground clearance may be more difficult or require longer ramps. My truck was singled long and a 5' stinger was added before I got my latest trailer. I had a 14' box on the truck that carried the Mini and VX before the new trailer.

 

You will find that something will look real good until you use it for a while and they you will discover some things you want to change. At least that's how it's working out for me.

 

Rod

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I like Jack's idea. You could also just consider using the hdt for the errand running and sight seeing. There is a family around here that has 4 kids and full times in their hdt pulling a 5th wheel. They use the hdt for all their driving.

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It can be done..... Just think outside of the box.....I did and I can carry my jeep cj5 on the big truck and the wife's smart car in the back of our 40 foot ALFA toyhouse the big truck bumper to bumper is 24 feet long which gives us a total length of 65 feet I would post a picture but PHOTOBUCKET is sucking right now.

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We carry a Subaru Forester loaded length wise on our Volvo with the small 42" sleeper. The ramps continue at about the same incline all the way up. This loads the car on an incline with the front foot or so of the car over the flat top sleeper. There might be room in this sleeper for seats but the addional stuff to make it a MH would be difficult at best. Colorado lets us register as a recreational vehicle without additional modifications. We also carry a RZR, generator and 2 100 gallon water tanks in 30' overall length. The height with the car is 13'. We have used this setup for 9 years and it has met our needs.

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Consider a Kenworth with the sofabed in the Aerodyne sleeper? The sofa has 3 pt seatbelts for outboard passengers and windows for gawking at the countryside.

 

I am not sure if other truck makes have passenger seat belts in the sleeper for seated passengers?

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We haul my off-road rig that has a 118" wheelbase or our Jeep Wrangler with a 94 inch wheelbase. The Freightliner is singled long with a 12 foot flatbed + 3 foot dove tail.

 

20141214_093016_zpsmilz5es9.jpg

 

20141019_101137_zpshkzdsz0r.jpg

 

We've also modified the sleeper to accommodate two car seats.

 

20140901_082534_zps6efurwcg.jpg

 

 

This setup works very well for our family.

 

Things we would change or seek in our next truck

  • air ride cab
  • shorter wheelbase or single mid
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I would like a better turning radius in the future but I would have a difficult time justifying the cost (especially to my wife) for driveline work and having the frame drilled.

 

We managed to get our rig into Bullards Beach Campground in Oregon without too much trouble. A longer spot would have been nicer, although my in-laws had the same challenges with their 40' Diesel Pusher. Just remember this setup pivots in the middle! B)

 

20140917_134445_zpsntnrhnki.jpg

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We just added about 5' of frame and left the tandem axles alone. It handles great and turns much tighter than our F250. In fact it will turn circles inside the tightest circles the F250 can make. With the hitch behind the rear axle backing is also much more responsive. The HDT is longer than the F250 and that is the only draw back.

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The hitch behind the axle makes the trailer very responsive. It does not take much wheel movement. My truck is not singled and is still 228" wheel base. Honestly I find getting in to a tight spot easier with the HDT than I ever did with the p/u due to how responsive the trailer is due to hitch position. The biggest thing I have to watch for when backing in is the swing of the front end of the truck. The difference of the response of the HDT vs P/U does not seem to make since due to vehicle size but once you start using the HDT it becomes very noticiable.

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In Korea, they had a little 4 door called a Matiz. Would handle 4 Koreans with no issue. Have also seen them in Europe, but they might not pass US crash tests. I see it is the chevy spark. Scion also makes some small bread truck looking things.

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Or you could just have someone drive the car. We have a 4 door hatchback. Wife drives the car. She figured it out one day on cost of driving it, Total. $2,300. in 6 years and 5 months.

 

You don't know my wife very well!!! She likes to be driven.....

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