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Smart car ramps question


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Soooo, my bed height with the bags aired down, looks to be 42-43". 12' ramps are appropriate to 40". Higher than that, the break at the top is too much for clearance of the Smart.

Discount ramps has ramps for Smart cars and HDT, and they have been helpful...but... they only have 12' lengths that fold.

Here's my thoughts and/or questions:

- Are there other sources for ramps that might fit the bill? (14' foldable that carry 2k lbs)

- Will the 12' ramps work if I build a brace to the ground at the hinge point to force an arch in the ramp? Their motorcycle ramps have a 12* arch. The Smart car ramps do not have an arch.

Thoughts and suggestions welcomed.

 

 

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Robert, to change the hinge angle, you can put one side of a 1”x1” steel angle in/on the top of the hinge. Bed frame material works. It has the effect of reducing the deck break over angle.  
 

On the 19” Discount ramps, I cut and removed the last splined traction rod which increased the clearance and eliminated rubbing in our old 451.  Not sure if it would be necessary for 453 smart. 

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I believe my bed height is closer to 46" and when I load slowly by cable, I have about a 1/2 inch clearance.  Picking your area for loading has the most effect on clearance, if needed, place a 2x6 under the bottom of your ramps and or that piece of angle iron at the hinge of the ramps.

I do get into the car and drive it off.  Adds a couple hundred pounds, but doesn't touch bed.

'

Edited by HERO Maker
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The edge of my deck is 44 inches and I use twelve foot ramps.  I sometimes use 2 pieces of 2x8 about 20 inches long on the deck about a foot from the edge for the wheels to climb over.  That will make a huge improvement  in the break over.  
 

Nigel

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We have nearly a high a bed as yours. and 10' ramps.  We put a 2x12 at, not under, the base to give the car a little head start so the air dam doesn't drag.  Wife drives the car on/off.  If I try it, the suspension sags enough to drag the bottom of the car at the breakover point.

So, some things to consider:  Putting something in the hinge can reduce the angle of the breakover, at the expense of increasing the approach angle at the bottom.  Forgetting about the hinge, the RaceRamps mentioned by Darryl solves both issues.  That's the direction I'll take.  About 6" high and 2' long should work nicely.

Edited by rickeieio
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Been using the 12’ , 19” big boys ramps for 11 yrs no rub as long as use an offload area with bit higher on load side. 
 

Even if a rub it’s minimal no issues. Mostly with me in car driving off. Almost never winching on. 
May bed is a bit high with ramp storage under bed top of frame. 

Edited by billr
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Still waiting to see someone build a rack on the deck to haul the car at an angle, that matches the angle of the load ramps.

This would overcome the breakover angle issue and provide some storage below the car on the deck for storage.

Build it right and you could do oil changes and minor work under the car while on the deck.

Would also get the car within the deck width, making it fit in the width requirements.

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27 minutes ago, Parrformance said:

Still waiting to see someone build a rack on the deck to haul the car at an angle, that matches the angle of the load ramps.

This would overcome the breakover angle issue and provide some storage below the car on the deck for storage.

Build it right and you could do oil changes and minor work under the car while on the deck.

Would also get the car within the deck width, making it fit in the width requirements.

There was a gentleman about 10 years ago by the name of Russ Barnes  from Tennessee who had a side angled smart deck on his bed with storage underneath.   He also designed a swing out spare tire carrier for the back of his smart.  Smart man.

Edited by SuiteSuccess
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7 hours ago, Parrformance said:

Still waiting to see someone build a rack on the deck to haul the car at an angle, that matches the angle of the load ramps.

This would overcome the breakover angle issue and provide some storage below the car on the deck for storage.

Build it right and you could do oil changes and minor work under the car while on the deck.

Would also get the car within the deck width, making it fit in the width requirements.

That is how I carry a Subaru Crosstrek lengthwise.  The ramp angle is carried all the way up.  I load a RZR under the front of the car with the roll bar removed.  It also has a 100 gallon fresh water tank and a 100 gallon waste tank under the ramp structure. The Volvo has a 42" cab that is low enough that the front bumper of the car is over the cab but the slope keeps the overall  height a couple of inches less than 13'.  It isn't a Smart but it works for us.

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Randy, we ran into the exact same problem.  I built 3' extensions out of wood.  I drilled two small holes at the end of each ramp with corresponding holes on the extensions.  I slide/drop in two bolts, to lock the ramps to the extensions.  Works like a charm.  Once in awhile, I find a spot where the ground rises significantly and we don't need the extensions...just drive off on the 12' ramps.  You'll figure it out, where there's a will, there's a way!

 

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9 hours ago, Randyretired said:

That is how I carry a Subaru Crosstrek lengthwise.  The ramp angle is carried all the way up.  I load a RZR under the front of the car with the roll bar removed.  It also has a 100 gallon fresh water tank and a 100 gallon waste tank under the ramp structure. The Volvo has a 42" cab that is low enough that the front bumper of the car is over the cab but the slope keeps the overall  height a couple of inches less than 13'.  It isn't a Smart but it works for us.

👍

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12 hours ago, Randyretired said:

That is how I carry a Subaru Crosstrek lengthwise.  The ramp angle is carried all the way up.  I load a RZR under the front of the car with the roll bar removed.  It also has a 100 gallon fresh water tank and a 100 gallon waste tank under the ramp structure. The Volvo has a 42" cab that is low enough that the front bumper of the car is over the cab but the slope keeps the overall  height a couple of inches less than 13'.  It isn't a Smart but it works for us.

Are there any threads where you show off your build?  I have a waste tank solution, but still looking for tool box and fresh water option.

 

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I contacted Russ Barnes.  He sent a photo of one of the few times he actually loaded the Smart before health issues that caused him to forego full timing.  He reports that the issue in now under control but they are staying close to known medical care.  He sold the truck to someone in TN.


[URL=https://i.imgur.com/TbVm3AI.jpg "target=new"][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/TbVm3AIl.jpg "border=0"[/IMG][/URL]
 



 

Edited by NeverEasy
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1 minute ago, NeverEasy said:


[URL=https://i.imgur.com/TbVm3AI.jpg "target=new"][IMG]https://i.imgur.com/TbVm3AIl.jpg "border=0"[/IMG][/URL]
[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/m3zZPvb.png[/IMG][URL=https://i.imgur.com/TbVm3AI.jpg "target=new"]Click For Full-Size Image[/URL].


Chet:

You need to use the add media tool, add URL and remove the [img] code from the front and back of each image for them to show up. Ya, had someone help me with this as well. It's a real 'doh' kinda moment.
 

 

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22 minutes ago, NeverEasy said:

Thanks, Bob.  Posted lots of pictures before and never had to do anything but cut and paste.  I will give it a try.

Russel Barnes' slanted deck load.

TbVm3AI.jpg%20%22target=new%22

 

Thanks Chet.  If I recall, did he not enclose that angle for storage?  Russ was a great help getting me started into HDTing and an extremely smart and creative man.  Sad he is not more involved here but truly wish him well.

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Carl:

I did not try to pry more information from him.  His email and phone number are on a post that he submitted when stuff went on sale following his decision to quit the RV life.  I hesitate to repost such info but will PM you.

Since I have you on-line, we will attempt to make the ECR.  Deb's mother is now 90 and needs more attention than in the past.  The lady who could watch out for her if we needed to get away a few days came down with COVID.  We will not attend the ECR if we have not been vaccinated and have someone to care for mom.

 

 

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1 hour ago, NeverEasy said:

Carl:

I did not try to pry more information from him.  His email and phone number are on a post that he submitted when stuff went on sale following his decision to quit the RV life.  I hesitate to repost such info but will PM you.

Since I have you on-line, we will attempt to make the ECR.  Deb's mother is now 90 and needs more attention than in the past.  The lady who could watch out for her if we needed to get away a few days came down with COVID.  We will not attend the ECR if we have not been vaccinated and have someone to care for mom.

 

 

No problem.  Understand.

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