Wahoo! We just got the notification that our new Smart Car is on a ship on the eastern horizon and headed to the port of Jacksonville, FL. for delivery on 2/18/2009. We have been holding our collective breath that our other two cars hold together until we get the Smart home. Today, only a few people know what bailing wire is (basically, the predecessor to duct tape) but it is literally the ties that bind the 93 Ford Aerostar van together.
To begin with, the Smart is only about 8 feet long and 5’ wide it can easily fit crosswise between the cab and the front of a 5th wheel trailer being towed without having to have massive modifications to the tow vehicle. Most small cars are over 10’ long including the Mini Cooper (12’). This helps to keep the overall length of our complete rig under 65 feet.
It has an advanced computer controlled traction system to give much better traction with varying road conditions (wet, snow, gravel, etc.) so even though it is not a four wheel drive vehicle, it has better traction and control than most other 2wd cars.
Another plus (for me) is that it is quite comfortable and I am not cramped at the shoulders or legs despite my 6’ 2” x 300lb frame. They stagger the passenger seats slightly so that we don’t quite sit shoulder to shoulder and can comfortably fit within that 5’ width.
Also important is that it can be loaded and unloaded from the tow vehicle without having to first disconnect the trailer. This should make it much easier to dismount to do some scouting when coming into an unfamiliar area or just to do some sightseeing, grocery shopping or visiting without having to first setup in a nearby campground.
There is a forum dedicated to using HDTs (Heavy Duty Trucks) as great tow vehicles for large 5th wheel trailers. There is a lot more great information in that forum about the Smart cars and adapting a truck to piggy back one for full time rving.
It is not an overstatement to say it is the most nearly perfect way to travel and live the fulltime RVing lifestyle for many people.