I am so proud of my husband!!! Look what he and his friend did!!!

Yes, I am  very proud of Kent and our friend Phil as they tackled something that I could only be sooo awestruck about. What am I talking about? I will tell you!

Our RV is a big fifth wheel towed by a BIG truck. In fact our truck is a old Walmart Semi truck. When we bought it we had some modifications made on it to make it easier for us. Now Kent had been thinking for several years about doing a serious modification on our truck! He wanted to do this with our friend that we have known since we lived in Alaska, Phil. So Kent has been researching for years to learn much about this. He wanted to lengthen our truck’s frame and move the axel back to make room for a small car on the truck…and only one small car would fit and that was the Smart car.

So for you to realize how big of a project this was..let me show you what our truck used to look like.

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Now you can see the truck and small platform and the boxes and bikes etc as it was before any alteration. This was the way it has looked the past 8 years.

We have some dear friends that live in Oregon. Phil has been a welder and has a shop for this kind of project. He also has engineering abilities and ideas to help as well as connections in his town with like minded people that could help.  Jeannie was kind enough to feed Kent lunch throughout this process even while she had 2 family deaths and surgery herself. THANKS Jeannie!!

The first thing for us to do was to trade in our little Suzuki for a Smart car, because only the SmartforTwo is short enough to do this kind of a carry on our truck.  We did that in December..and here is the Smart. Also here is the little car “talking” to the BIG truck.

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So in moving to Oregon I drove our SmartCar all the way up from Phoenix. Not a problem, it drives great.

Now for the mechanics that see this…I am NOT a mechanic and so this explanation will be from my perspective not that of a mechanic. IF after you see this blog and you have Questions…you would have to contact Kent.

First the guys took everything off the truck frame, Kent’s aluminum boxes for his tools, air compressor and miscellaneous things he needed. Also our bikes were on the truck  and the trucks fenders.  All of these things are here waiting to be put back on.   Here is all the stuff sitting next to the truck … and also the truck frame empty and ready for the work. Note our friend Phil’s wonderful large shop area where the truck could be worked on in the shade or out of the rain.

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So after stripping the truck of all the stuff, they could get to the project. They had to add 3 feet to the truck’s frame, which also meant adding 4 feet of drive line because of moving the axel back 4 feet as well.  This was when it was all apart and for me, looking a bit scary… BUT I did trust Kent and Phil to put it back together…

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Here you can see the new driveline laying on top,  getting ready to be installed.  And Phil and Kent conferring on the next steps to do.

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Then they made a platform for the car to rest on as we travel down the road. Here Phil is measuring for the car platform  with the ramps laying alongside.

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Here Phil’s backhoe holds the platform as they are getting ready to check to see if is was ready for the painting.

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This they also painted and then placed it on the truck and bolted and welded it on. Here Phil is painting the car’s platform and (Kent is behind the camera here), and then the platform is ready for attaching to the truck.

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Here is the truck with the additional frame attached. They also have the platform on the truck at this point.

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On the passenger’s side of the platform,  they made tire chalks to keep the tires from moving when riding on the back of the truck.  They made “holders for the tires as well.

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They had to put on a reciever to put the winch motor in. The winch is that part that is sticking up ,but the winch motor would be stowed in one of the boxes when going down the road. They had to make a hitch for the winch to pull the car up. Yes it is a little bump on an additional rod that is attached to the car’s bumper. Notice you can see where the winch motor is attached to the car’s bumper.

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The ramps for the car we had purchased to hold a bit more than what our car weighs, 1800 lbs. So the ramps can hold 2,000 lbs each. So plenty of strength there.  They also had to re-bolt/re-attach all the parts that they had taken off. They had to remake some of the boxes to fit in new places. They also changed where some of the bigger boxes were so some of that needed some adjustments. You can see some of the boxes back in place here.

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Next they had to figure out where to put the ramps when going down the road… and to keep them from moving around so as not to scratch anything. Here they are stowing the ramps under the car. Kent then uses bungie cords to hold them in place.

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Here is the car on the truck for the first time. Now they had to figure out if there were any problems to be worked out. If any it wasn’t many. Great job guys!!

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And every time something didn’t work they way they thought..they would go back and look at it and try to figure out a new way. Both of these guys have an engineering mind and it was amazing to watch them work out these things.

Finally they tried the whole thing out.  Watch this video to see how the first test went. I must say it was EXCITING and Scary all at the same time!!! You have to go to Vimeo to see the video.

Here is the link:  https://vimeo.com/134805717

Here is what we look like all hooked up with truck and Rv and car.

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I just stood there amazed at how it all had come together… But I am very proud of Kent and Phil too for this is quite an engineering feat!

Love, Jan for the Roaming Reimers

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4 Responses to “I am so proud of my husband!!! Look what he and his friend did!!!”

  1. N. Moseley Says:

    That is an incredible feat!

    Nick

  2. Normand Legault Says:

    Wow guys, first-class modification! Looks great, well done.

    • RoamingReimers Says:

      Norm, It was an incredible feat that Kent and our friend did. Amazes me still, we are 4 feet longer now, though and that has made a significant difference for backing and turning…so we look for much wider spots that we had to before..but otherwise we would not trade this!!!

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