Dvd region stuff

i want to rip dvds to divx, i have a bunch of region 1 dvds from the us but i now live in another region (south america). i was wondering if i went out and rented dvds if i could use smartripper to rip the vob files without having to change my region on my dvd drive. i dont want to play the files from the dvd just rip them and rencode them as divx.