I just posted this reply in the FWC forum. They were debating a Tundra vs 3/4 or 1 ton truck. (Someone mistakenly thought I had a FWC). I thought this might be of interest to some of you Hallmark owners and I think the debate about GVWR is always of interest. My thoughts and reply are below. All my personal opinion. And after living full time in our Milner for 16 months with my wife I can say we are BIG fans of Hallmark. We highly recommend Hallmark campers, the Ward family and everyone associated with this company. (and no, unfortunately I didn't get paid for this endorsement ) Thank you.....
I am John from www.ourbiggerpicture.com. I have a 2014 Tundra with a Hallmark Milner truck camper (www.hallmarkrv.com). I debated the Tundra vs the F-250 and other similar class trucks for months. I made spreadsheets with all the specs and researched how GVWR is calculated. I cannot say that my analysis is flawless but I chose the Tundra SR5 Dbl Cab to host the Hallmark Milner. I am way over the GVWR for the Tundra. That said, I made several modifications to the suspension system and upgraded the tires to class E's. (The mods are detailed on our page under 'Rig'). I know that these mods do not increase GVWR. I am anywhere from 1500-1800#'s over GVWR for the Tundra. That said, I am ~15,000 miles into a trip from San Francisco area to Ushuaia Argentina finishing in Buenos Aires. (We are currently in southern Ecuador). Many paved miles but many on bad roads, no road and 4wd roads. We have had zero issues due to weight and the power and stability of my set up is remarkable.
It is my understanding that there are several factors that go into the GVWR Calc, much of which is particular to how the powertrain can support the weight. The Tundra's statistics there are similar to the 3/4 trucks out there. From what I understand the main reason for the Tundra's lower GVWR is the axel - it is semi floating vs the fully floating axel of the F-250 (and similar). This means that the weight rides on the wheel bearings and not the axel itself. I have yet to notice any issues and I have an extra set of bearing with me for when/if I do. I have had the camper on the truck (and thus have been overweight) for 20,400 miles. (We didn't leave right when we loaded the camper onto the truck).
I am very happy with my set up and I am partial to Toyota in general. I have had this truck serviced along the way at extremely nice and proficient Toyota dealers in Mexico (twice as we were there for 7 months), Costa Rica and Quito Ecuador. Toyota is very prevalent in the Americas and that played into my decision.
I was alerted to this thread from a reader here on WTW and I thought I would give my opinion here. I plan to do a bigger writeup on the blog as to how everything has performed along the way for the camper and truck. Lastly, I also was close to buying a FWC Hawk. It is less expensive than the Hallmark and from what I saw a good camper (we visited FWC 5 times before we made the decision), but the Hallmark Milner offered us the features we wanted and the quality for our 2 year trip through the Americas. Please reach out to me on our blog if you have specific questions. I look forward to hearing more of this discussion. Good luck.....John