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Mountain Master Smart loader


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Has anyone checked this out. Seems a good solution for an existing deck without cutting it up. It is aluminum though. That has good and bad points. They state quick loading and video shows that also.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I have not checked out the Smart car loader they build, but Todd and Jerry of Mountain Masters have been building motorcycle loaders for a quite a while. They built the bed on my Volvo and added storage bins where the lead rear axle and tire had been. The bins have adjustable compressed air flows to keep them dry. They also added a Mountain Master hitch. The hitch works with compressed air and shock absorbers to greatly smooth the trailer's ride and seems to be the equivalent of the popular hitch many HDT owners favor. I have used a Mountain Master hitch on two trucks and have found them to be worry free and smooth.


Jerry does the design work and his son Todd runs the fabrication shop, a high tech operation. They have been turning out tow vehicles for years, mostly Freighliners. I can attest that these folks run a good shop and have been easy to work with. They also have the capability to customize every job. While not especially relevant, they have been Escapees members for years.

John McLaughlin

2010 Volvo 730, D13, I-shift, singled and decked

2014 Lifestyle 38' Fifth Wheel

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The electric model is speed way up. Notice the person operating the remote. I also didn't care for the final bang on that video with the hydraulic unit. Rocked that mdt badly. The electric seemed smooth. I am just driving mine up now and that lacks a lot to be desired. Can't really judge lining up. I have to back up and realign often. I getting better but still winching or loader would be a better mousetrap. I would love to loose the ramps. They are very bulky. I got the wider ramps and that is heavier/bulkier. And that electric unit is a bolt on. No, not flush mount like the custom units but don't have to cut up my bed.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I looked into them a few years ago. Landscapers use the dumpster set up offered.


The price started out around 3k then ballooned up to about 8k or more.

The biggest negative is the car would sit about a foot above the deck. Another downside was when loading, the unit dropped quickly the last little bit and hit the deck harder than I would like.


It was as though the hydraulics collapsed.



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Back a few yrs ago, I don't recall the electric one being available. They were just getting going on the car lifter and may not have been that serious at the time hence the jump from 3 to 8k ish. After that, they didn't return e-mails so that made me think they weren't really in the game.


If you wanted one of these lifters, you would need to have a long enough wheelbase to drop the deck fwd of the front most part of the front wheel and behind the fairings. I did have a pic of that type of deck configuration but it's lost somewhere.

Herrin and I went over this a few yrs ago. There was a lifter some guy used to load his trike. It wound up somewhere in Texas so based on the drop front deck, I bought it and had it shipped to Herrin. My deck couldn't be dropped due to the wheelbase and Larry was non to pleased with this lifter, it was a heavy pig of a thing and not long enough really to carry even the Gen 1 Smart. I think he built the thing initially but not sure now...Like Randy, I'm old and broken with possibly some brain damage to boot.


Anyway to Larry's credit, he offered me what I paid for the beast and deducted it from the cost of conversion for my Flattop.



He was going to keep it and not sell it ...By now it may have been cannibalized or cut up for scrap. He would not let it go into circulation again. Liability was also a concern on his part.


Aside from a few minor issues, the deck, loader, winch have worked fine. Some mods will need to be made to accommodate the new '17 Ragtop Smart when it finally gets here. I'd have no issues driving 2k miles to have him do another and wait 6 months for delivery.


As he said to me, "This is what we do and have become pretty good at it". No question about that.



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They actually spec it as a SmartCar loader and have a video of it. I'm not looking to do this soon. Not even sure about it. A winch works well but still have to content with ramps. I only weigh 175. Small by choice. Big guys suffer as welders. Would be nice to loose them. I bought the 19" wide ramps. Going to do the mini split units first. Also if I stay with current job I will not move for a year or more. Unit they have bolt to flat bed. I am singled mid.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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I'm 5'10 , 177 and a lot older than you. Also, I've had both wrists broken coming up on 3 yrs ago. If I can do , you can. My wrists only flex u 22 degrees and down the same so I'm limited in range of motion.


If you put a handle on the hinge end when they are folded double, that helps so you don't crush or pinch fingers also Velcro the other 2 ends together so they don't fly open when pulling them out.


My 12" ramps weigh 55 lbs so I'm told. I'd prefer 15's if available but the storage isn't wide enough. Herrin put a 2 ton Warn winch which even with a single direct pull was adequate...jerky but adequate. There was enough Kevlar cable to do a double purchase which smoothed out the pull and slowed it down so corrections in loading were easier do when the car was in motion.


These other guys who put on 8 and 10 k winches are wasting money. Herrin is no fool and knows his stuff.


Mine is singled mid with a 229 wb, don't know what yours is.


I use a 4500 lb marine pulley which clips onto the pull bar at the rear of the car. The pulley is stored in the winch compartment.


BTW, 175 lbs can get under the truck to do the Pretrip check. Those much heavier won't.





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Not complaining about weight. I purposely hold it there. I may go the winch route. Be lot less money. I going to put a drom box between fairings and that will make strapping down tires difficult. That what had me considering the loader

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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Sez who? Strapping down the tires will not be more difficult.


I reach alongside the outside of the tires to clip the hook to the 'D' ring on the inside then slip the basket over. The ratchet end is last. The deck mounted 'D' ring can be flipped up from the outside or under the car.


You can't get the car any closer to the fairings than the mirror sticks out plus clearance.


If I can do it with 2 messed up wrists, you should be able to.


You are getting misinformation.


At the very best the car would be sitting 6" above the deck. 6" if you can drop the deck 6"

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There is no real issue strapping down tires with a drom there.

Jack & Danielle Mayer #60376 Lifetime Member
Living on the road since 2000

PLEASE no PM's. Email me. jackdanmayer AT gmail
2016 DRV Houston 44' 5er (we still have it)
2022 New Horizons 43' 5er
2016 Itasca 27N 28' motorhome 
2019 Volvo 860, D13 455/1850, 236" wb, I-Shift, battery-based APU
No truck at the moment - we use one of our demo units
2016 smart Passion, piggyback on the truck
See our website for info on New Horizons 5th wheels, HDTs as tow vehicles, communications on the road, and use of solar power
Principal in RVH Lifestyles. RVH-Lifestyles.com

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Actually its the ramps that would make it difficult. I carry my ramps under the Smart. Most of you have a storage area. Had my bed built lower and no room for that. Been getting behind car and securing ramps. Can't reach that far without. That is why I was considering the loader.

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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Come to the National HDT Rally. There you will see many different smart setups. Different ways to load, unload, tie down, etc.


Steve & Gail

2000 Volvo VNL660 Autoshift Detroit 60 12.7 "Semi Crazy"

2016 smart "Lil Crazy"

2018 Space Craft 48' TT "The Nut House"



Volvo w SpaceCraft 1024.jpg

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I carry my ramps under my Smart also. My wheel chocks are raised 2" as you can see in the pic and I run the back wheels up on a couple of pieces of 2X10 tapered at both ends. Overall effect is to raise the Smart 2" off the bed which gives plenty of ramp clearance. Didn't want the car bouncing up and down on ramps. I concocted a couple of wheeled brackets that clip onto one end of the ramp and just wheel them up under the Smart and strap them. Works well for me cause I have no under bed ramp storage also. My chock welding is amateurish. Bet you could make something really nice that would be inexpensive.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"


"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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So you run a strap thru your wheel chocks

I could do that also. I had d rings on bed and was using them. Had not thought of that. Must be slipping. I would love to go to a rally but I'm always working it seems

2003 Teton Grand Freedom towed with 2006 Freightliner Century 120 across the beautiful USA welding pipe.https://photos.app.goo.gl/O32ZjgzSzgK7LAyt1

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There is another ramp storage area depending on the deck configuration. If we use Jacks rig pics as an example. He has a storage box aft on either side of the deck. Compartments are about 2' square and the same in depth. There is about 4' from back of storage box to back of other storage box. Truck frame rails and Herrins clearance makes up that 4' ish. If another compartment were to be made to fill in that space, fastened to the backs of the existing storage boxes then the bulk of the back of the existing boxes cut out, you would have lots of room to store the ramps transversely. Even on edge with a track like a roof gutter to capture them and some bungees or straps, Velcro to hold them upright. I asked Herrin about this but he didn't want to do it. The box would need to be made and slipped up underneath from the bottom. Some sort of gasket would be required on both ends to make it waterproof.


There, I've given the tinbashers something to dream up a solution for. Heck, it could even be made on some sort of pantograph hardware so the track could cantilever and swing out about 4'. I can see Randy drooling already. But it will take all night for him to plunk out a response with 1 hand and a left one at that.


Keep or sell the 19's and get 15's if available. There is a pucker factor when using the 12's. Your view of the dirt is 8' from the ground when driving the car off. Put a pce of 1/8' angle iron in the hinge to reduce the breakover angle. You may need raceramps or fabricate something ,easy enough, to put the dirt end of the ramps on to prevent the nose of the Smart from contacting the ground.


The idea of raising the car up a few inches when loading is a good one. I've used it when the car gets loaded on crooked and one chock can't be bolted down. Just make sure the rear chock is plenty high. It is scary when loading the car with the passengers side downhill and the car starts to roll backwards. Only the 'A' frame and the chocks stop it.


Best not mess up here or you can expect to find yourself on UTubes epic failures.


A tip. Don't talk to anyone or let anyone talk to you when loading or unloading or hooking or unhooking the rig. They will interrupt, distract you and it may throw you off your game and you miss something, goof and it generally costs lots of money to fix....Not that its happened to me.




I politely tell folks I don't want to talk when any of these procedures. Sometimes they get ticked but too bad, it's my rig.


What's the truck wheelbase?

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Glenn, you are the welder. You can't add a compartment to hold your ramps?

I have never seen your bed but even a primitive bed has room for adding to the back, into the open void between the end of the truck and the start of the trailer. Either a vertical or a horizontal box?


speaking of primitive, this was drawn in about 5 seconds using MS Paint so no funny comments :)

(The black line representing the existing bed). But a box with a compartment for each ramp and a door shouldn't be too difficult I wouldn't think, but then I'm not a welder.



~It's my tolerance to idiots that needs work.~

2005 Volvo 780 VED12 465hp / Freedomline transmission
singled mid position / Bed by Larry Herrin
2018 customed Mobile Suites 40KSSB3 

2014 smart Fortwo


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