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?’s: new Hallmark pop up / options / Everest or EXC

Hallmark Everest EXC

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#1 LosAngeles

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 02:44 AM

?’s: new Hallmark pop up  / options / Everest or EXC
 
Up to today I was fairly sold on Four Wheel Campers (a Grandby slide in)
 
but a *new* Hallmark Everest (or a Hallmark EXC shell with a bunch of options) would have quite a few advantages (for a higher cost, granted)
 
We would get a Ford F350 with 8’ bed. Biggest cab. 4x4. Custom ordered for sure, with the most payload possible from the factory. Gasser. 
 
We almost definitely would never tow. We hate towing. (so a 9.5’ pop up slide in would be fine)
 
No hard core offroading, but yes desert washes, bad Forest Service Roads, dry river beds, rough roads, etc. 
 
Mostly south west USA camping, but would see some snow and freezing temperatures for sure. 
3 people in our family… Me, mom + our kid.
 
Questions:
 
one) For Hallmark owners - have you been happy with quality / fit / finish / warranty support / etc…. ?
 
two) Does anyone make a similar 9.5’ long *pop up*?  
 
three) In the very slim chance we wanted to tow something (like a small U Haul trailer) is there a way to safely and legally tow with a hitch extension (with a 9.5’ Hallmark on the 8’ bed?
 
Four) other than cost, any advantages of the FWC that I have overlooked? 
Yes these options add weight, but i think with a custom ordered, max capacity Ford F-350 … and how we travel… we’d be fine. 
 
Five) Generally speaking - if I got Shovel/Axe Kit and Sand Ladders & Bracket Kit - would they be lockable to diminish the odds of theft? (yes I know bold cutters work wonders)
 
Six) anyone using the ALU Cab Shadow 270 degree legless awning? Looks awesome. I read great things about it. $1,500 plus installation.
 
Seven) would I want (for $1,200) the Mylar Insulated Soft-Wall option (a Mylar 4th layer to the soft wall) ?
 
Eight) Hallmark offers a 4.5, a 6 gallon and a tankless (!) water heater. Various prices. Anyone using a tankless? 
 
Nine) Hallmark offers a Grey Holding Tank PVC Truck Tank (not in the camper) 
 Any downsides? Yes I know it could freeze.
 
* * * Hallmark advantages:   * * * (as far as I know)
 
Hallmark has a fiberglass (Marine Gel Coat) exterior, with 4 flex joints that use flexible caulking to seal, and plastic board behind, so even if a bit of water got in, no problem. (plus I would be diligent about watching those caulked seams)
 
Hallmark uses molded fiberglass composite exterior panels. I think this would transmit less cold into the interior, plus Hallmark has more insulation overall (insulation in floor, and a 3 layer insulated pop up fabric … where FWC lacks those things, for example)
 
Hallmark can be 9.5’ long, no problem. Thus more space in dinette, counter space, etc.
 
Hallmark offers 3 different bathrooms…. we’d likely get the 1/2 sized (very small) stall with Port a Potty, for the occasional indoor shower plus a bathroom. Yes I know moisture builds up when you take a shower inside, but I do very fast ‘on / off’ showers, and moisture is much less of an issue in Southern California and area.  ;-)
 
Hallmark can be a fixed (no moving parts) north south cabover bed, unlike FWC. This is a huge plus for us.  it is an extended nose. 16”  $2,000 extra 
Our beds almost always stay beds (including the dinette) We are outside most of the time, and if need to, simply sit on the edge of the bed.
 
Hallmark often does Lithium batteries and they do it at a fair cost. Over time Lithium batteries last 5x as long as AGM, and are very tough, so that would have advantages. Yes I know it needs to be a special controller. 
 
Hallmark would be willing to put in a bigger (side by side Novacool 7.2 CU foot side by side fridge freezer, and an inverter. FWC will do neither of those things. 
I think this is the model:
Nova Kool RFS7501 7.5 CU FT AC/DC Side By Side Refrigerator & Freezer
 
Matt at Hallmark seems extremely nice, passionate, smart, and very willing to make customizations that are possible. Prices seem fair. About a 5 month wait time.
 
Thanks for any and all thoughts.    :-)
 
J.

 


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#2 klahanie

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 08:13 PM

...
but a *new* Hallmark Everest ...
...
 
Four) other than cost, any advantages of the FWC that I have overlooked? 
Yes these options add weight, but i think with a custom ordered, max capacity Ford F-350 … and how we travel… we’d be fine. 

 

You've hit on the big one, base is $39K vs 19.7 according to their sites. The Granby will also be a bit smaller, mostly by height, and lighter.

 

To their credit, FWC has stuck pretty well to their original concept and form, with some progressive changes to materials and mfrg process along the way. I think Hallmark has allowed their campers to evolved further, if you will, into something else.

 

Tough to argue against all those features you've listed, if the few cons are acceptable.

 

btw Hallmark also offers a compact, hand crank up as well as power roof lift, IIRC.

 

The important thing is to get something you like, use it and be happy with it.

 

Good luck !


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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.


#3 LosAngeles

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Posted 21 December 2018 - 08:17 PM

You've hit on the big one, base is $39K vs 19.7 according to their sites. The Granby will also be a bit smaller, mostly by height, and lighter.

 

To their credit, FWC has stuck pretty well to their original concept and form, with some progressive changes to materials and mfrg process along the way. I think Hallmark has allowed their campers to evolved further, if you will, into something else.

 

Tough to argue against all those features you've listed, if the few cons are acceptable.

 

btw Hallmark also offers a compact, hand crank up as well as power roof lift, IIRC.

 

The important thing is to get something you like, use it and be happy with it.

 

Good luck !

Thanks. :-)

 

I took the Hallmark EXC and loaded it up with pretty much option *we* would want (including two lithium batteries, solar, etc etc) and it came out to $44,000.... but from what I have read there would be far fewer condensation issues, in real cold, just as one example, compared to a FWC.

 

Yes I know air flow is key to reduced condensation... but more insulation all around + non metal exterior helps too. :-)

 

Fun doing the research.... we will rent a pop up soon, to try out. 

 

Happy Holidays

 

J.


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#4 Vic

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 03:45 PM

Hi - we have a 2015 Hallmark Everest and happy to answer a few questions - I put my responses below:  
 
No hard core offroading, but yes desert washes, bad Forest Service Roads, dry river beds, rough roads, etc. 
 
This is about what we do and its a good match.  It doesn't feel top heavy on my Ram 3500.  
 
 
 
Questions:
 
one) For Hallmark owners - have you been happy with quality / fit / finish / warranty support / etc…. ?
 
Absolutely - no warranty issues to deal with but very happy with the quality, fit and finish.
 
 
three) In the very slim chance we wanted to tow something (like a small U Haul trailer) is there a way to safely and legally tow with a hitch extension (with a 9.5’ Hallmark on the 8’ bed?
 
I think as long as its minimal tongue weight, you'd be fine.  I use a 36" extension to flat tow my Jeep Wrangler and no issues.  
 
Five) Generally speaking - if I got Shovel/Axe Kit and Sand Ladders & Bracket Kit - would they be lockable to diminish the odds of theft? (yes I know bold cutters work wonders)
 
Up on the roof rack?  We also have the metal work boxes which are a nice place to store things.
 
Eight) Hallmark offers a 4.5, a 6 gallon and a tankless (!) water heater. Various prices. Anyone using a tankless? 
 
We have a 4 gal and its fine - we mostly dry camp but its nice to have hot water at the tap for bird baths.  
 
Nine) Hallmark offers a Grey Holding Tank PVC Truck Tank (not in the camper) 
 Any downsides? Yes I know it could freeze.
 
We have this - hasn't been an issue.  It does hang off the back fully exposed - I guess you could through a little pink rv antifreeze into the tank if you were in really cold weather.
 
* * * Hallmark advantages:   * * * (as far as I know)
 
Hallmark has a fiberglass (Marine Gel Coat) exterior, with 4 flex joints that use flexible caulking to seal, and plastic board behind, so even if a bit of water got in, no problem. (plus I would be diligent about watching those caulked seams)
 
Hallmark uses molded fiberglass composite exterior panels. I think this would transmit less cold into the interior, plus Hallmark has more insulation overall (insulation in floor, and a 3 layer insulated pop up fabric … where FWC lacks those things, for example)
 
Hallmark can be 9.5’ long, no problem. Thus more space in dinette, counter space, etc.
 
An extra foot and a 1/2 in a truck camper is like an extra bedroom in your house.  
 
Hallmark offers 3 different bathrooms…. we’d likely get the 1/2 sized (very small) stall with Port a Potty, for the occasional indoor shower plus a bathroom. Yes I know moisture builds up when you take a shower inside, but I do very fast ‘on / off’ showers, and moisture is much less of an issue in Southern California and area.  ;-)
 
This is the option we have.  Its great.  It's not too tights and also has room to store wet boots & Waders.  We have the curtain and not the folding wall.  
 
Hallmark can be a fixed (no moving parts) north south cabover bed, unlike FWC. This is a huge plus for us.  it is an extended nose. 16”  $2,000 extra
 
and a TON of storage underneath.  
 
Matt at Hallmark seems extremely nice, passionate, smart, and very willing to make customizations that are possible. Prices seem fair. About a 5 month wait time.
 
A first class operation.  I'd buy a Hallmark again.  
 
Thanks for any and all thoughts.    :-)
 
Good luck with your search.

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2014 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel & Hallmark Everest.  (Former Rig - 99 Ram 2500/ 2000 Sunlite Eagle pop-up)


#5 LosAngeles

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 05:48 PM

Thanks much Vic for the detailed reply... very helpful.  

 

A loaded up FWC is just under $30k and a loaded Hallmark (with more nice stuff that we would like, with more interior space) is about $44k..... so a big ticket item either way, when you add the truck we dont have. 

 

Happy Holidays

 

J


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#6 ntsqd

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 08:48 PM

Answers within.

 

?’s: new Hallmark pop up  / options / Everest or EXC
 
Up to today I was fairly sold on Four Wheel Campers (a Grandby slide in)
 
but a *new* Hallmark Everest (or a Hallmark EXC shell with a bunch of options) would have quite a few advantages (for a higher cost, granted)
 
We would get a Ford F350 with 8’ bed. Biggest cab. 4x4. Custom ordered for sure, with the most payload possible from the factory. Gasser. 
 
We almost definitely would never tow. We hate towing. (so a 9.5’ pop up slide in would be fine)
 
No hard core offroading, but yes desert washes, bad Forest Service Roads, dry river beds, rough roads, etc. 
 
Mostly south west USA camping, but would see some snow and freezing temperatures for sure. 
3 people in our family… Me, mom + our kid.
 
Questions:
 
one) For Hallmark owners - have you been happy with quality / fit / finish / warranty support / etc…. ?
 
two) Does anyone make a similar 9.5’ long *pop up*?  
 
I believe that Outfitter does.
 
three) In the very slim chance we wanted to tow something (like a small U Haul trailer) is there a way to safely and legally tow with a hitch extension (with a 9.5’ Hallmark on the 8’ bed?
 
If you opt for the Torklift double rear receiver hitch and camper tie-down extensions they also offer a receiver extension that has a decent tongue load rating and is triangulated for lateral loadings specifically for use with extended slide-in campers.
 
Four) other than cost, any advantages of the FWC that I have overlooked? 
Yes these options add weight, but i think with a custom ordered, max capacity Ford F-350 … and how we travel… we’d be fine. 
 
Five) Generally speaking - if I got Shovel/Axe Kit and Sand Ladders & Bracket Kit - would they be lockable to diminish the odds of theft? (yes I know bold cutters work wonders)
 
Six) anyone using the ALU Cab Shadow 270 degree legless awning? Looks awesome. I read great things about it. $1,500 plus installation.
 
Seven) would I want (for $1,200) the Mylar Insulated Soft-Wall option (a Mylar 4th layer to the soft wall) ?
 
I don't think that you can have too much soft wall insulation. Maybe at some point it starts to not fold nicely, but I've not seen that yet.  Is the cost worth it?  That's something only you can answer.
 
Eight) Hallmark offers a 4.5, a 6 gallon and a tankless (!) water heater. Various prices. Anyone using a tankless? 
 
Nine) Hallmark offers a Grey Holding Tank PVC Truck Tank (not in the camper) 
 Any downsides? Yes I know it could freeze.
 
Our new to us Hallmark Cuchara XL's grey water tank is outside across the rear of the camper aft of the truck's rear bumper. So it can freeze too. Frankly I'd rather have it located in the space where the spare used to reside because then the weight would be closer to the rear axle.
 
* * * Hallmark advantages:   * * * (as far as I know)
 
Hallmark has a fiberglass (Marine Gel Coat) exterior, with 4 flex joints that use flexible caulking to seal, and plastic board behind, so even if a bit of water got in, no problem. (plus I would be diligent about watching those caulked seams)
 
Hallmark uses molded fiberglass composite exterior panels. I think this would transmit less cold into the interior, plus Hallmark has more insulation overall (insulation in floor, and a 3 layer insulated pop up fabric … where FWC lacks those things, for example)
 
Hallmark can be 9.5’ long, no problem. Thus more space in dinette, counter space, etc.
 
Hallmark offers 3 different bathrooms…. we’d likely get the 1/2 sized (very small) stall with Port a Potty, for the occasional indoor shower plus a bathroom. Yes I know moisture builds up when you take a shower inside, but I do very fast ‘on / off’ showers, and moisture is much less of an issue in Southern California and area.  ;-)
 
Look into the PETT toilet and various Wag Bag options. Much easier to deal with than a PortaPotty.
 
Hallmark can be a fixed (no moving parts) north south cabover bed, unlike FWC. This is a huge plus for us.  it is an extended nose. 16”  $2,000 extra 
Our beds almost always stay beds (including the dinette) We are outside most of the time, and if need to, simply sit on the edge of the bed.
 
Hallmark often does Lithium batteries and they do it at a fair cost. Over time Lithium batteries last 5x as long as AGM, and are very tough, so that would have advantages. Yes I know it needs to be a special controller. 
 
Hallmark would be willing to put in a bigger (side by side Novacool 7.2 CU foot side by side fridge freezer, and an inverter. FWC will do neither of those things. 
I think this is the model:
Nova Kool RFS7501 7.5 CU FT AC/DC Side By Side Refrigerator & Freezer
 
I've come to have a serious distaste for 3 way fridges. I'm not even going to give the one in our new to us camper a chance to prove itself. I've already started looking for a 2 way compressor fridge to fit the opening.
 
We've never needed an inverter, but I carry a loose (as in not hard-wired) 1000W unit just in case.
 
Matt at Hallmark seems extremely nice, passionate, smart, and very willing to make customizations that are possible. Prices seem fair. About a 5 month wait time.
 
Thanks for any and all thoughts.    :-)
 
J.

 

 


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Thom

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#7 LosAngeles

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 09:10 PM

Thanks Thom - awesome. :-)

 

Yeah I can see how a 4th layer of Mylar might be handy in sub zero temp camping. 

Does Mylar reduce thermal transfer, or just radiation transfer? I can't remember...

 

I'll look into PETT toilet... they offer a free trial kit - just pay $3 for shipping. Neat

 

http://www.cleanwaste.com/products#pop

 

(Thom wrote) "If you opt for the Torklift double rear receiver hitch and camper tie-down extensions they also offer a receiver extension that has a decent tongue load rating and is triangulated for lateral loadings specifically for use with extended slide-in campers."

 

anyone here using a setup like this? 

 

thanks. 

 

J


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#8 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 11:28 PM

I used the Tork Lift with camper tie downs on my previous Super Duty, 48”(?) hitch extension. Excellent product.
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#9 klahanie

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Posted 22 December 2018 - 11:28 PM

I took the Hallmark EXC and loaded it up with pretty much option *we* would want (including two lithium batteries, solar, etc etc) and it came out to $44,000.... but from what I have read there would be far fewer condensation issues, in real cold, just as one example, compared to a FWC.

 

Yes I know air flow is key to reduced condensation... but more insulation all around + non metal exterior helps too. :-)

 

Fun doing the research.... we will rent a pop up soon, to try out. 

 

Happy Holidays

 

J.

 

J, sounds like that  would be a really nice camper !

 

I forgot to mention Hallmark's optional ceiling cabinets, also a nice feature.

 

Won't argue with added insulation, I think I've made my position clear on this subject. :)

 

And that fridge sounds great. Excellent choice with the brand. It will be heavy tho, and maybe take out the rear closet (?) In fact the hold thing is going to be heavy, thanks to the extra size and storage within. But that would help justify the price differential, to me.

 

I like your idea of a porta potti instead of a built in cassette or composting in the small bath area. Would give you more room for showering and also storage options. btw  we're happy with having both a PP and a folding seat/bag arrangement, as opposed to having either/or.

 

Sounds like you'd already have a decent house battery sys for that big fridge but if you go with anything but a small inverter (say going 1K and up), consider ordering the truck with an remote start and wiring the truck to camper so as to be able to (help) power the inverter with the alternator without having to climb out of the camper. You'll already know with Ford you can order an extra, extra, extra HD alternator ^_^

 

To go back to #5, I see in the HMK options gallery a couple of pics showing examples of shovel & axe holders. Looks like they have provision for padlocks. Makes sense, would be foolish to basically hand a bad guy the tools to break in ...

 

Finally, good call on a rental first. Like you say, it's fun to research but for $44K + truck you know there are other RV options out there. If you can, would be best to see if a pop up turns your crank, before pulling the trigger.

 

~David


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~David.  2010 F350 C&C w camper deck. 1997 Granby, orig owners.


#10 smlobx

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Posted 23 December 2018 - 12:54 AM

I'll try to chime in on my iPad and go over a few of the items you mentioned.

First I have an Everest which is 8.5 feet long on my long bed F-350 srw and it handles very well.

The North/South bed its the best thing since sliced bread. Definitely worth the coin.

We have a cassette toilet and for us it works great. We opted not to have an interior shower due to potential moisture issues but understand your reasoning.

The soft wall is actually three layers and much warmer than the FWC single layer. The wall are also better insulated. I don't feel the Mylar fabric is worth the cost.

When we were comparing FWC to Hallmark once you added everything up the price difference wasn't much given the advantages found in the Hallmarks.

We are upgrading to the Battle Born Lithium battery based on Matts suggestion and I agree over the long term it will pay for itself.

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Eddie

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