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Old 05-25-2013, 12:00 PM   #1
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Mike's/Jim's Wonderbed

Since you guys know by now that living on Social Security has very little appeal to me here's the next "project" along the pathway of "flunked retirement".
The challenge is how "Smarterize" and "Dromatize" Mike's Wonderbed.
Here's the starting point.






Having "midwifed" this bed to some extent before Mike built it, let's say I'm somewhat familiar how it went together.


The challenge is to make it to do this,

and still function properly as a puller with all the necessary clearances.
As in the past, comments, "suggestions", "tips" and "sage advise" are welcome and will be incorporated if they make sense. It's always more fun if it's a "community project".

hjs
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hjsdds View Post
Since you guys know by now that living on Social Security has very little appeal to me here's the next "project" along the pathway of "flunked retirement".
The challenge is how "Smarterize" and "Dromatize" Mike's Wonderbed.
Here's the starting point.






Having "midwifed" this bed to some extent before Mike built it, let's say I'm somewhat familiar how it went together.


The challenge is to make it to do this,

and still function properly as a puller with all the necessary clearances.
As in the past, comments, "suggestions", "tips" and "sage advise" are welcome and will be incorporated if they make sense. It's always more fun if it's a "community project".

hjs
HEY HENRY...MISS YA BUDDY !!!
Cheers,
HD (Bob)
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Miss you too, Henry. Come back....

This should be an interesting "mod". How much room for improvement is there. (In other words, is the budget not necessary to discuss?)
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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Jack, we do have "initial budget".
Here's also "initial" project plan for those who would like to follow the progress:

1. Convert dual stacks to weed burner.
2. Forward deck modifications:
a) fill-in back in-steps
b) drom anchoring
c) winch anchoring
3. Smart loading modifications:
a) ramps anchors
b) chock anchors
c) straps anchoring
4. Fabricate:
a) four chocks
b) cable fairlead
5. Lengthen truck frame (rails)
6. Re-mount ET further back (upgrade ET)
7. Re-mount bumper further back
8. Extend deck framing and deck
9. Paint and rubberize deck
10. Build drom
11. Mount drom

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Old 05-26-2013, 02:34 PM   #5
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Looks like a good project for you, Henry. Keeping the elevator I hope.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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Bob, the elevator is still in the truck. Heard from Mike that it was "cranky" last week, but Mike got it "happy again". Apparently there is a operational sequence that it requires.
So far I have no "commission" to deal with it, nor do I wish to expand my "jurisdiction".

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Old 05-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
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This may be my first post on this forum. My wife and I bought Mike Council's 770 and will deliver it to Henry on Tuesday. I am really looking forward to working with Henry and even more exited about going full time. We do plan to keep the lift. The following outlines what what I am looking for:


Must haves:
  1. Must carry, load, and unload Smart safely
  2. Must pull heavy 5th wheel safely
  3. Smart and 5th wheel must not collide when turning including in dips
  4. Safe – nothing falls off
Wants:
  1. Dependable, durable, practical, and easy to use
  2. Maximized storage capacity
  3. Maximize maneuverability (keep short wheelbase)
  4. Build it so it will last and not require costly repairs down the line
  5. Minimize cost where possible – every dollar spent delays our full time adventure
    1. Reuse as much of existing bed as possible
    2. Does not need to win best of show - simple and functional is fine - but I am very open to innovation
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Jim
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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"Maximize storage capacity"...

Even tho' we have H rated 17.5 tires on the RV, I move as much RV "stuff" as possible into/onto my big truck to de-load the RV wheels/axles. The big truck, for our use is only limited by available storage space, not weight of stored goods...if I had more storage, I could de-load even more. Most of my tools are in a 2x2x5 "jobox" mounted to the frame rails behind the cab.....which also de-loaded the cargo trailer. Love to have a bed like on the green truck in the photo...I just have stock deck plate.

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Old 05-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #10
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Jim and Cathy, would it be not too far out of the way to stop in Harrisburg, PA, and take a good look at Jeff and Cindy's truck? I know there are lots of pictures of it on the 'net. But, having a nice going over and talking to them about it and actually touching it might be worth a bit of a drive. I would bet they would be very happy to host you for such a visit.
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:08 PM   #11
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Bob,

I am bringing the 770 to leave with Henry tomorrow and flying home. I can't stop in Harrisburg this trip. I am new to this forum and don't recognize Jeff and Cindy. I would like to search for photos of their bed. Where would I look?

Jim
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
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Bob, I should have searched better befoer I asked. I am familiar with the Sonshine Express from folowing Henry's work. Thanks.

Gemstone, Good advise on maximizing the storage on the HDT. I expect to keep the HDT a long time, so it may pay to spend a bit more now to expand the storage while I am at it.

Jim
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:31 PM   #13
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Jim made it to northern New Hampshire. I haven't seen Mike's truck recently but once I saw its back, I knew I needed to approach it with respect.


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Old 05-30-2013, 07:47 PM   #14
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The drom can be fairly close to the back wall, 2 inches, the cab does not sway back. Side to side it's a different story the cab sways a lot sideways, got to stay away from the strakes by several inches.
The cut in the deck to expose the top step will have to decked over, Smart tires will reside there, bit that mod can be made quite thin to still allow for a good foothold to climb upon the deck.

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