153 Photos - Jan 28, 2013
Photo: Our website is http://www.jackdanmayer.com/ where you can find additional info on HDT's.

There is a presentation on truck electrical modifications here:

The website for truck conversion by RV Haulers is here:

On the smart dimensions I recommend that the space be increased to 75" for the car space to account for the "anticipated" width of the newer smart cars.

The website for the hitch is http://ethitch.com/

On the bed design, if you are ever considering pulling a semi-trailer RV (like Spacecraft and Forks RV build) then make sure that the hitch plate-to-deck measurement is at least 8". Do NOT build the body up level with the hitch plate as shown in this body.Photo: The finished  truck with the smart loaded.Photo: Truck and trailer in Mayo, FL.Photo: The truck after conversion from a commercial carrier to a single rear RV hauler. Finished pictures with the hauler bed on it are nearer the end of the album. The body build is in the middle of the album. Project pictures of various modifications are after the finished hauler bed pictures (at the end of the album). A list of parts and sources is here:


An interior video tour of this truck is here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N19j2uNgxoPhoto: There is a thread on this conversion  in the Escapees HDT Forum  - here is the link, which may or may not work over time.


Finished bed/truck dimensions are on the first picture in the album.Photo: The rear after "singling" to 230" wheelbase, but before the hauler body is built.
 This truck was singled "mid".Photo: The rear fairing steps will be removed when the body is added.Photo: Photo: Notice the bug guard on the hood. Not only does it help keep the windshield clean and looks "kool", but it makes it easy to identify where the front of the truck is. This is a Volvo part - and it is not cheap....Photo: I believe that the graphics and other "trim" work was done by Fontaine when the truck was new. The graphics are vinyl.Photo: Before singling - notice the rear is still tandem.Photo: This hauler body was built by Larry Herrin at:

I highly recommend Herrin Haulers - they have more experience at building "smart hauler" bodies than anyone else, and have been building hauler beds "forever"....so they know what they are doing. Experience DOES COUNT.

The beginning of the hauler bed build. We decided to remove the steps. It is hard to use them with a wide body on the rear, and it gave me 6" more room in the side storage box with them gone.Photo: This hauler body will be configured to carry a smart car side-loaded behind the cab. The car is loaded with ramps and a winch. This is the beginning of the ramp storage under the center of the car. The car is loaded backwards, from the drivers side of the truck.Photo: Hitch trial fit...extended the frame about 5".Photo: Photo: View of ramp storage area from drivers side. Car will load rear first from this side. Ramp storage door will be on drivers side. Winch on passenger side.Photo: Access to the fuel tank cap is always an issue. We also want to be able to remove the probe in the tank....The drom will go slightly over the tank probe, but there will be a hole in the floor for removal, if required.Photo: Hitch is in and the height is correct. My target is 48", which is the level position of the hitch plate on a New Horizons in the middle set of  hitch holes.Photo: Note the new leveling valve sitting there. I blew out the leveling valve on the way home from picking up the truck. Gregg is paying for a new one - this shows you his "way" of conducting business.Photo: Photo: Body is off the truck. View is from drivers side looking at the ramp storage area. It "just fits". We went by the published measurements...the ramps had not yet arrived.Photo: Notice the ramps are taken apart - which is required to fit them into this space. With the hinge pin in it makes the ramps too thick. In order to keep the deck low, for clearance with the 48" hitch requirement, this is what we had to do. It is simple to pull the pin and handle the ramps this way.Photo: Notice the box in the center of the bed, behind the ramps storage. It is 48" long, and will extend under the car.Photo: Photo: View of the center box from drivers side. This is a huge box. The square represents where the car will be. The door will lift up from the rear, and be to the rear of the deck - right in the picture view. To the left of the square will be decking that the car will be partially on. We will not cut the door size until we have the car laid out exactly - in order to maximize the door opening.Photo: Photo: A box will go in this space.Photo: Photo: Photo: Passenger side view looking toward front of truck. (Standing at right rear of the bed)Photo: From the passenger side.Photo: The winch box.
 (Standing at right/front of the bed.)Photo: From the front looking rearward.Photo: This is a Mile Marker SEC8 8,000lb winch. The steel cable will be replaced with synthetic. A wireless remote will be used. This winch was chosen for its price, and the fact that Mile Marker makes a wireless remote for their product.
 This is a physically large winch. I would recommend  something smaller that had a remote, if you could find it. Warn makes a 4.5K ATV winch that comes with synthetic. This is as "small" as I would go, though, on pulling power.Photo: Notice the double dovetail. The sides come "in", and the top comes "down". This is effective for clearance, and also pleasing visually.Photo: The section under the hitch containing the running lights will be cut out and "recessed". The gladhands will be on the right, and the two 7-pin connectors on the left.Photo: Space for the wheels and storage box.Photo: Decking is on. View is from the hitch area looking forward.Photo: Note the ramp storage  box is divided in two. There are drain holes in it as well in case water should infiltrate. Protecting the metal in there is an issue...You can not get a paint gun in to spray it. I'll prep it with POR metal prep and then put two coats of POR 15 (silver) on it. POR is so hard it should hold up well. I'll have to use a small roller to get in there.Photo: There will be two doors here. A regular door with rainguard on the bottom storage compartment. The top door will drop down. The door is going to be tricky for the ramp storage. The height of the deck requires compromise on the door construction. There is not enough room at the top for a normal rainguard.Photo: This is the drom. 18" outside depth. 7.5' high and 68" wide - which is the  max width available between the tank fill spouts. There will be a ladder and tall-storage on the left. And shelves on the right.Photo: Sides are tacked on.Photo: Sides are tacked on. Notice the double dovetail on the corners. The side/top edge detail was originally going to have a 1" wide edge on top. Now they are a smooth, but I will put L track (airline track) along the edges.Photo: Winch is mounted. There will be a piece of angle under the winch so if I have to take it out there is something to rest it on....it is heavy. The chalk square above it is where a receiver tube will go for the pulley bracket. We are trying a single bracket. Originally I wanted it hidden in the compartment, but that would cause everything to be lowered and I would lose too much space...the layout just did not work. I'll use a cover on the tube to dress it up.Photo: The piece of C channel on top of the deck is tacked on to keep things smooth and in the same plane. It gets removed when everything is tied together.Photo: Left rear. The chalk mark will be the box door. Notice it wraps around the dovetail. The actual box will be bigger than the door outline. There will be a "saddlebag" box above this box, with a gullwing door opening on the top of the deck. It will be 8" deep and extend from about the chalk smudge above the tire cutout to where the dovetail starts.Photo: Photo: This strap works like a seatbelt. It pulls out of the base, over the tire and ties to a hook in the deck. The single bolt in the base can attach to the truck bed or be attached to a chock - the chock would then be attached to the truck bed.Photo: Here the integrated "seatbelt" ratchet/strap is compared to a short conventional ratchet. The hook would be removed from the ratchet and it would be through-bolted to a bracket on a chock. It is about 2" shorter than the upper one.Photo: This is L-track,  sometimes called airline track. It will be screwed to the deck edge. The rings can relocate to any hole.Photo: Photo: The bracket contains two pulleys with (2) keepers around each pulley to keep the line retained. I'll put up better pictures when we get the design finalized. The cable will be replaced with synthetic line.Photo: The major work on the bed is done. Just details now. The boxes on top - what I call saddlebag boxes - are 8.5" deep. They are as far forward, towards the wheel wells, as they can go. Notice on the side boxes how the door wraps around the dovetail. I'll add my own shelves.Photo: Door detail. Strong arm opens the door a little beyond 90*Photo: Lots of space in these rear boxes.Photo: These "saddlebag" boxes are 8.5" deep.Photo: The lift tabs on the saddlebag boxes. I specifically chose not to have locks on these boxes. They lift easily by the tabs, but not so easily they will bounce open. If that becomes a problem I will drill a hole through the lid side and "pin" them to the box rim. I don't care about a lock - in 10 years I've never locked my current truck boxes.Photo: The ramp storage door worked out quite well. It does not have the space to have a rainguard, so it may leak a little. It has drain holes inside and is isolated from the box below it.The upper edge of the door wraps around the top of the deck.  If I had built the deck higher we could have resolved that issue, but I'm pushing the height for clearance to my trailer already. This is a tradeoff I'm willing to make.Photo: The edges will have gaskets but they will still leak a little. We have drain holes to manage any water. Inside of box will be treated with POR-15.Photo: The ramp storage worked out quite well. The compartment sits below the center of the car.Photo: Notice the wheel cut-outs have 1.5" "fenderettes" on them. These will be LineXed. This brings the bed to full "width". They look better than having nothing there, IMO.Photo: The rear step bumper is complete. The area cut out below the hitch will have a recessed area for lights, gladhands, and the trailer plugs. This will offer them some protection.Photo: 4" step  bumper.Photo: The winch bracket. This is sized to fit neatly in the winch compartment. As you can see, it is stoutly built. We added an extra set of opposing "line keepers" to each pulley.Photo: Added a piece of trim under the side box. This carries the fairing line across to the hauler body. I specified the height of this bed to be as it is. This  gives you enough clearance in the rear, and allows a tapered detail as shown.Photo: You can see the side piece under the box, here. The ramp is in it's approximate location.Photo: Photo: Testing the winch before it is wired....I wired this with 1/0 cable with both +/- tied directly to the battery. There is a 300A Class T catastrophe fuse on the positive line at the battery.Photo: The bottom skirting trim you saw on the other side of the truck is not on this side yet. You can see the fairing bracket below the forward part of the body. This is the location of the old steps. The box on the side of the bed by the tire is the wireless remote "control" box with an on/off switch. The remote itself is on the deck just above the tire.Photo: The body fits well to the tank  fairing line. No trim is needed there.  The black cab fairing  extenders will be cut to fit.Photo: Clear LED marker lights will be used. Everything on this truck will be "clear LEDs". I'll likely run a string of them across the front bumper trim extension - just because....Photo: The cutout for the fuel filler will be enlarged. The drom comes to the edge of the plate over the tank.Photo: This is the drivers side of the body. You could get a nozzle in there now, but we are cutting a half moon "expansion" in to make it easier. This is a problem area on any truck bed build.Photo: Almost ready to load. They are making the insert for the hitch on the car. Rocky is making sure his car will not fall off :)Photo: Going up. Rocky is watching closely. After all, it is his car. That is Larry in the background. Notice he is staying away from that winch cable ;)Photo: Loading always draws a crowd. I have the wireless remote in my hand, though. We have stopped here to "check things out".Photo: Well, at least it fits....Photo: The car is in its "final position" and there is plenty of room in front for chocks. The chock bolt hole location will also bolt down (or pin) the ramp, so it will be dual purpose and eliminate a hole.Photo: This is about how much is going to "stick off" the drivers side. More sticks off the passenger side. Don't want to tempt any LEO's.Photo: Here is a chock... it is straight on the back - the curved edge gives an optical illusion. The flange is for the bolts to tie it to the deck. The lashing  winch will be attached to the back of the chock about an inch up.Photo: View is from the passenger side. The "deck" box in the center is finished.This door is about half of the size of the box - the rest goes "under" the car.Photo: The winch arm with the double "keepers" added. Impossible for the cable/rope to jump out now. The cable will be replaced with synthetic rope.Photo: Recessed light  and hookup area added to the tail. Two holes on left are for the two 7-pin connectors. License plate is drawn in the center. On the right will be two straight gladhands. The boxed area is inset 2". The bottom is sloped to drain water. This is the kind of detail that you get with a Herrin body.Photo: You have to be careful where the gladhands go, or you will not be able to attach the airlines......Photo: The chocks are tacked into their final places for set-up purposes. Bolts into the deck plate will hold them into place - all four chocks will be removable.. The lashing winch will be attached directly to the chock back. Custom wheel nets will secure the car on all four tires. The chocks have two bolts each and will be easily removable.Photo: We decided to pull from a crossbar in the tow eyes, and NOT from a riser in a hitch. That means the cable just skims the deck edge. Where you see the car here is where it clears the deck. I'll put some plastic on the deck edge as a rub strip, but probably just back the car up the ramps a little before starting the winch process. The deck is 47" with the truck aired up, and we are on unlevel ground here. The end of the ramps are quite a bit lower than the truck and still no issue with breakover angle. The belly is clearing by about 1-1.5"Photo: Rocky drove the car off. No problem. Bumper cleared the ground at the bottom of the ramp by at least an inch. The drom box is 7.5' high. I'm going to change to clear LED lamps.Photo: Things are pretty much done. Just some wiring  and odds&ends to finish up. The truck is really dirty from the drive in snow...it is almost white on the fairings. The winch compartment is large enough to easily store the pulley block against the wall as well as the four removable chocks. The drom is 18" deep and fits well within the fairings.Photo: I'm going to replace all the colored lenses with clear. I think it goes with the silver "theme" better. Also, notice the dovetailed and angled rear treatment. This is a sophisticated design detail. Larry Herrin's shop does great work.Photo: This is an ET Sr. with Super Binkley head, built by Henry Szymt. We LineX'ed the back plate. You would not want the gladhands any higher...there is "just" enough space at the top to attach with a handle on the hose. The second 7-pin is for cameras and aux functions from the trailer. Notice the "steps". Bottom bumper, a ledge above the lights, and the ET plates on the left/right. There is an assist "grab pole" that is not shown.Photo: Clear stop/turn/marker Super LEDs at the top of the drom. The center is wired to marker and brake only. I used the brake line from the trailer umbilical BEFORE it went into the Jackalopee light controller (which outputs a combined stop/turn to the RV standard). So the center is brake and marker only.Photo: 8.5" deep.Photo: I'll be adding shelves later. Notice how the door "wraps" around the angled tail.Photo: Finished deck height is 47" with suspension aired. Lots of breakover clearance on the car. The body could have been higher and worked for loading the car. Chocks and lashing winch for securing the wheel nets are totally removable for a clean look.Photo: This ramp storage compartment is about 1/2" too low (height-wise) to hold the smart ramps when hinged together. So you have to unhinge them to store them. If we had made the deck higher we could have accommodated folding ramps, instead of separating them. But I wanted the deck as low as possible....it turned out to be unnecessary from a loading perspective, but a higher deck would start interfering with my clearance space for the trailer. So in the end, the 47" is probably a good thing for us.Photo: This box will have a shelf in it. Once I build it :)Photo: Notice how we arced out the deck to accommodate the fuel filler access. It works well. You do not want any LESS space than this for fueling.Photo: Cab suspension travel requires the arced cutout of the fairing extenders. Most trucks do not have fairing extenders. In my case the advantage of the extenders  is that the 18" drom is totally behind them. Extenders are easy to add - they just tape on.Photo: Body is 99" wide. It sticks out beyond the tank fairing only slightly. The edge is linex'ed. Amber lens will be replaced with clear.Photo: The bottom trim detail This is sloped up for looks, but really it is sloped so that you can slide under the truck. There is enough space so that you can slide right under the back part on a creeper. Barely.Photo: The "working side". 8K MileMarker winch. The synthetic line has not been put on yet. The winch "arm" is in the bracket against the right side...it does not take up much space. Wheel nets are custom made for a smart locally. More detail on them and the chocks later. I'll put a half shelf in there to organize it better.Photo: The drom box is 68" wide x 18" deep x 7.5' high. The ladder section is 6'2", sized for a 6' ladder. There is a divider wall between the compartments.Photo: The top shelf is continuous across both sides. The two middle shelves are sized to accept stacked 10 quart Rubbermaid storage containers. The bottom section is 3' high. It is sized to hold a 40 lb. LP bottle (which is 30" high).Photo: These lights are fantastic. They look great, are REALLY bright, and help the truck be visible. I like them so much I'm going to run them down the vertical fairing edges as stop/turn/marker.Photo: See the grab bar? You can grab the bar, step on the bumper, then the plate above the license plate, then onto the deck or the plate at the hitch. Same thing getting off. Quite easy and safe.Photo: Custom made wheel chock with integrated lashing winch. There are four of these that are identical. The lashing winch is bolted to the chock so that when removed the deck has a "clean" look. These are bolted to the deck - there is  weldnut under the deck. Very strong, but still a single point of failure. I'm not worried - they are very strong and there are four of them.Photo: Photo: Custom made for the smart. Right end goes into the lashing winch for tie-down. This is 2" webbing.Photo: Photo: The winch line riser stores against the wall in the right/front compartment. It is sized to not take up extra space.Photo: The winch line riser in place. Note the "line keepers" on the pulleys. You HAVE to have two line keepers on each pulley or it WILL jump off....(ask me how we know). I will say it is "exciting" when the line jumps off while winching. Especially if it is Rocky's car.Photo: A simple weld bead keeps the bracket in place. It really is not needed - friction keeps it in place...but we added it for safety.Photo: Line keepers keep the winch line from pulling out of the pulley. They are REQUIRED!Photo: Gregg Shields at www.RVHaulers.ca found and converted us a very good truck. Larry Herrin built us a fabulous body. I think the combination turned out great.Photo: This truck was singled "mid". It is a 230" wheelbase. IMO, it looks perfectly balanced.  The bed is built so that the back overhang avoids hitting in dips. Rather than drop the entire front down lower we used a trim strip to dress it up. I lost perhaps 2" of box space by not dropping the boxes, but this looks better in my opinion.

Finished Dimensions:
LOA: 29' 3"
BOC > tip of receiver hitch = 162.75"
BOC > Center of kingpin = 145.25"
BOC > Face of drom = 20.75"
BOC > drip edge of drom = 21.5"
Drom face > centerline of kingpin = 124.5"
Drom face > box lid = 70" (car space)
Kingpin center > box lid forward edge = 53"
Trailer clearance to car = (about) 58"Photo: Our smart is silver. Plan?  Or luck?Photo: The drom is about as high as is practical at 7.5'.Photo: Drom is 18" deep, 68" wide and 7.5' tall.Photo: Notice that the drom is just slightly "bluer" than the rest of the body? Some of that is the angle. But it is a different color silver than the body...first match of the body did not match the cab "quite right", so Larry repainted the body. He would have done the drom as well but I told him not to bother. You really do not notice it.Photo: This truck looks great and is a pleasure to drive. The I-Shift is a great transmission, and the truck rides great.Photo: Photo: We still have a few projects to complete: shelving, video cameras, rewiring shore power and inverter, sink installation, some more stainless trim, and "trick" lighting. But the truck is basically done at this point.Photo: May 9, 2013 at Diamond Campground, Woodland Park, CO. We had 8"-1' of snow....Photo: This next series of pictures is details of the door construction. I've gotten a number of questions on this.Photo: This rear door has a "wrap" detail.Photo: The doors and boxes are all custom. They are a simple design, easy to build, and NEVER leak with the rain guard over the top/front. My 610 had these same doors and in 10 years they never leaked a drop unless I hit the edge of them with a pressure washer.Photo: The rear doors follow the lines of the double dovetail rear.Photo: Simple foam weatherstrips work exceptionally well, and are easy to replace.Photo: Photo: Hinge is welded on, then the weather guard is added. The weatherguard is simply steel welded on at an angle.Photo: No leaks. Simple design that works better than recessed doors. Although I will admit that the recessed doors really look nice.  Herrin can do recessed doors as well. They cost far more, and WILL leak at some point.Photo: Photo: The first load of "our" smart. All building and testing was done with Rocky's smart. Poppy is keeping an eye on things....Note the pull point...we use a crossbar attached to the tow hook eyes. I think this is better than attaching to a hitch riser. It is far more stable. In our case, the winch size means it is offset from the center of the car. The crossbar method is far better for this situation.Photo: Ready to winch. The cable drags just a "little" on the deck, so as a temporary measure I put a piece of cardboard under it. The ultimate answer is a pallet corner guard used to strap down loads.Photo: Getting there. Roger & Debbie Rauch came over to help....any excuse for a "party". There is just over an inch of clearance under the car. And that is with the end of the ramps well below the level of the truck.Photo: The bottom of the ramps in this location are 4-5" lower than the truck itself. No clearance issues loading. In my opinion a tilt deck is  never needed.Photo: The lashing winch bolted to the chock works quite well. A 1 1/8" socket is used on the nut to tighten the nets down. The "flaw" to this system is the single point of failure on the bolts holding the chock to the deck. If they fail, the wheel is free. An alternative is to mount the lashing winch to the side of the body. Not only does this ruin the look, but the truck would then be legally "overwidth".Photo: These are custom wheel nets. The chocks and wheel nets worked out very well. The chocks are removable - which was a design goal. The wheel nets do not interfere with any of the cars brake lines (on the inside).Photo: The car is on the bed and tied down - well, tied in the back, anyway.Photo: Aligning the ramps to be parallel is the biggest "issue". You HAVE to get that right with 12" wide ramps. This is where the 18" ramps are better....but I do not like the flex in the 18" ramps.Photo: These ramps are the version of the 12" smart ramps with the "flange". Our body is 47" high, and although the ramps say they are limited to a 44" high body, they work just fine up to 50". The outer-most bolt hole for the chocks is used to retain the ramp. The second hole in the ramp is located over a white paint mark on the deck - this ensures the ramps are parallel to each other.Photo: First load of "our" smart. We used Rocky's smart for the bed build.Photo: I decided to add some lights I already had to the top of the drom box - these serve as additional backup lights and are tied to a switch in the cab. The lights are small driving and fog lights from WalMart. They are not the best lights in the world...but, hey, I already had them.....Photo: I mounted the lights to some 1" aluminum tubing (that I also had) with stainless screws and put end caps on the tubing.Photo: The light "bars" are held to the top of the drom with VHB (very high bond) 3M tape. One light bar above each of the stop/turn/markers. I already had some backup lights tied to a separate switch on the dash - these were on the rear steps when I bought the truck. So I tapped that circuit.Photo: Truck with car...ready to go.Photo: The rear pull-bar in place. I take it off once the car is loaded. I drive the car off.Photo: I had some requests for details on the pull-bar for winching the car to the deck. The next series of photos shows the bar in detail. It is attached to the rear  tow  points on the car.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: