Wednesday, November 29, 2023


This RV setup is seriously big!

By Chuck Woodbury

I found this fifth wheel trailer and tow vehicle at the Indian Campground in Buffalo, Wyoming. The campground bills itself as having the longest pull-through sites in the area. Good thing, because this setup needed every foot.

What struck me was the Smart Car atop the big rig Volvo truck. You don’t see something like this every day.

“We’ve been full-timing for eight years,” the owner told me. He said that for the first two years he and his wife traveled “she’d use the truck to go to the grocery store.”

He said a ramp lowers from the truck bed to allow Smart Car to easily drive off.

##RVT808 ##RVDT1353


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Dick and Sandy now home near Buffalo, NY (@guest_81527)
3 years ago

We have also seen one of these rigs a few years ago while camping at the Tampa East RV Resort just east of Tampa, FL. The breakdown for camping and the setup for travel with the electric car are a sight to be seen.

steve P (@guest_81517)
3 years ago

We saw three of these traveling together in Alaska a couple years ago! Nice setup.

Gene Bjerke (@guest_81511)
3 years ago

I may have seen that rig, or at least the tractor portion, in a campground in Port Orange, FL last year (or was it the year before, they kind of run together).

Sink Jaxon (@guest_81499)
3 years ago

Wouldn’t you need a CDL to drive that? and keep log books (ELD’s)??? not for me!

Steven Noyes (@guest_81533)
3 years ago
Reply to  Sink Jaxon

Depends on the state. Texas for example requires a special endorsement if you tow vehicle has over a certain GVWR. They register these trucks as an RV so they don’t have to do all the normal “trucker” stuff. It has quite a following with rallies and everything.

Glenda Alexander (@guest_81483)
3 years ago

I’m a resident of Escapees CARE, where many duties are performed by volunteers. Last year one such volunteer couple were here with their rig like this. I asked her for a “tour” of the inside. Not only did she give me the tour but she also took me on a little joy ride into town. What fun! When they were getting ready to leave, I watched the process of attaching the ramp and driving the Smart Car up it onto the back of the truck. They had everything down to a science! They even have little car seats for their three dogs.

Randy (@guest_81482)
3 years ago

Not that unusual. We have two in the Escape park we are in now that look just like this set up. I have seen them on the road several times over the years. Not always a Smart Car but something like it. Fiats are used most of the time.

Nanci (@guest_81477)
3 years ago

We saw this setup in our travels last year!

Donald N Wright (@guest_81474)
3 years ago

I think I would prefer a cab forward truck for a shorter wheelbase, and a little 4WD truck

Bob p (@guest_81479)
3 years ago

You wouldn’t like the ride of a cab over truck and you won’t find a little 4WD that will fit on the semi, the Smart car is 8’ long therefore it fits.

Glenn (@guest_81470)
3 years ago

We had two of these rigs pull into Sunset Campground in Death Valley while we were there in February. They each had a Smart Car behind the cab. Quite a sight to see! I sent a picture of them to a camping friend of ours. She runs doubles for UPS. She was very envious.

billyd (@guest_81467)
3 years ago

Saw a rig like this at Mayberry Campground in Mt. Airy, NC, May 22 – 23, 2020. A little much for two people; and you just don’t park anywhere you chose.

Bob (@guest_81464)
3 years ago

One other thing about this rig is that you can put guests in the sleeper cab.

txtrekkers (@guest_11818)
6 years ago

We met the owners of this rig a couple of years ago at Lake Wright-Patman Rocky Point COE campground. Wonderful couple and because we pull a Smart car behind our Safari Trek, we had some great stories to share.

rvgrandma (@guest_11809)
6 years ago

The summer of 2008, the RV park we were working in had people come in twice with similar. One was the truck with the smart car and they had solar panels on their 5th wheel. The other they had a ‘trike’ motorcycle instead of a car.

Guess if you have the money, why not!

George B (@guest_11780)
6 years ago

I test drove one of these pick ups on steroids and they do not have a ride that matches or even comes close to my one ton dually. They are more difficult to climb into as you get older and are so much noisier than my 6.7L diesel in my Ford

George B (@guest_11778)
6 years ago

No hotels for me. I haven’t heard much about bed bugs lately but the concern stays fresh in my mind. I also like to sleep in “my own” bed and have everything at hand versus packing all my necessities into a hotel every night and then worry about my vehicle parked out in the parking lot and being damaged or broken into.

John Koenig (@guest_11762)
6 years ago

LOTS of folks are starting to realize that HDTs (Class 7 or 8 Heavy Duty Trucks) are an excellent way to tow today’s larger 5th wheel trailers. Years ago, 5th wheels rarely hit 12,000 pounds. Today, many 5ers exceed 20,000 pounds (with some being MUCH heavier) so, a pickup truck just doesn’t have what it takes to SAFELY handle today’s big loads. A good used HDT can be had for substantially less money than what you’d spend on a beefy pickup. Because HDTs were made for professional drivers (who usually spend 10 hours of hard driving every work day) they are MUCH more comfortable than even the best pickups. The bigger engines found in HDTs don’t have to work hard because the RV loads we place on them is much less than what they pulled when in commercial service. That means that HDT fuel economy can equal or exceed what you’d get from a big pickup. The Escapees RV Club have GREAT forums for both HDTs and MDTs (Class 4/5/6 Medium Duty Trucks).
There are at least two HDT Rallies every year. EVERYBODY is welcome at HDT Rallies. These rallies are a GREAT place to get a good education about using an HDT when RVing. There’s also an HDT Resource Guide available to help anyone interested in HDTs. Here’s a link to the HDT Resource Guide:

Bob p (@guest_81481)
3 years ago
Reply to  John Koenig

One small correction truck drivers can drive 11 hrs per day.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_11750)
6 years ago

Yeah, this is a bit ‘much’. But then, to each his own. They probably wouldn’t appreciate our boondocking RV style.

BadBmw (@guest_11738)
6 years ago

I think if I had the means to support a rig like this, I would travel in a luxury car to the best hotels across the country rather than try to find campgrounds equipped to handle this monster!

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