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FS/WTT '97 Ram 2500 Cummins 4x4 w/ FWC Grandby

grandby camper truck diesel ram cummins

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#1 rystjohn


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Posted 30 December 2015 - 04:21 AM

Hey friends!


My girlfriend and I are entertaining the idea of selling our beloved 1997 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD 4x4 named "Darlene" along with the FWC Grandby that we have on her. Before you read further, know why we are considering this sale: we LOVE our truck and camper. We have been living full time in our rig for 9 months and want to finish our year out, which will be 20 March 2016. However we want to see if there is any interest in what we have and if there is any interest in trades - after this long on the road we are reassessing our needs/wants for full time vagabond life and are considering a move to something smaller and "stealthier."


First - the truck: 

She has a 5.9L 12 Valve Cummins Turbo Diesel engine in her. She has a 47RE transmission that was rebuilt by the previous owner, although I have no paperwork to support this claim - but a transmission shop said they could tell it had been done. She has around 216K miles under her belt, the last 20K or so from us, and all those were highway miles carrying a Four Wheel Pop-up camper (roughly 800lbs). She has power steering, power windows, power locks and power mirrors as well as cruise control & ABS. It has a towing package, front and rear 2" hitch receivers, towing package, trailer brake control and a reversible gooseneck ball in the bed. There is no tailgate but everything else is there. It wasn't our intention, but she is LOUD because the previous owner removed the stock exhaust and installed a turndown exhaust from a dump truck. 

We bought Darlene over a year ago and have driven her all across the USA, living in the Four Wheel Pop-up camper on the back. After over 9 months of living on the road we've realized we don't need the size of truck that we have and would prefer something a bit smaller, or even a transition to a VW Vanagon or other camper van. 

She has held up incredibly well over the 20k+ miles that we've driven since purchasing her. She has a had a few hiccups along the way, and I won't lie to you about them, but they NEVER stopped us from getting anywhere. She always starts and always goes down the road. A lot of preventative maintenance has been put into the engine, transmission, body, etc. Since this is not only our vehicle, but also our home, we made sure to put the utmost care into her. 

EVERYTHING (well, except for the heater, which just crapped out) works on the truck. Power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless entry, 4x4, tranny, AC, audio, horn, brakes, blah blah blah. 

Since purchasing her, the following has been done:

  • Pioneer head unit w/ Pandora, USB, Aux ($100)
  • KDP tabbed. If you don't know what it is, you probably don't care but it keeps a serious malfunction from happening on these 12 valve Cummins. ($1,000 including the next 5 items)
  • Reese front hitch receiver @195K ($300)
  • New main seal @195K
  • New water pump @195K
  • Coolant flush/replace @195K
  • Transmission flush/band adjustment & filter @195K
  • U-joints replaced on drive line @195K
  • New batteries (2) @195K ($300)
  • New headlight bulbs and lenses buffed to clear @195K ($50)
  • New Felpro valve cover gaskets @195K ($20)
  • Lights added to front bumper ($40)
  • High-power air horn @195K ($30)
  • K&N Air filter installed @195K and cleaned/oiled recently ($75+)
  • New front & rear diff oil @195K ($20)
  • New lift pump @204K ($150)
  • New serpentine belt @204K ($30)
  • New belt tensioner @204K ($65)
  • Feed/return fuel lines at engine replaced with marine-grade biodiesel-compatible hose @204K ($20)
  • New fuel shutoff solenoid boot, FSS cleaned, new relay @204K ($25)
  • Starter rebuilt @204K ($110)
  • 5 new tires, rotated every 6k since, barely can tell they've been used. They are LT265/75R16 DISCOVERER AT3. Spare is matching and brand new too! @204K ($1,000)
  • New shocks x4, front shock rubber mounts are already worn out on the top, so they will need to be replaced if I don't get around to it first. @204K ($100)
  • New steering damper @204K ($30)
  • New U-bolts on rear axle (over leaf spring) @204K ($60)
  • New brake lines (not all, just some of the corroded-looking ones) & fluid flush @204K ($200)
  • New door speakers @207K ($60)
  • New front brake pads @210K ($50)
  • Fuel heater delete @211K
  • Fuel heater to lift pump hose replaced @211K ($20)
  • New fuel pre filter @211K ($20)
  • New overflow bypass valve @211K ($25)
  • New remanufactured brake hydraboot @213K ($1,300 including the next four items)
  • New remanufactured steering gear @213K
  • New remanufactured power steering pump @213K
  • New vacuum pump @213K
    power steering fluid flush/replaced @213K
  • New throttle position sensor @216K ($130)
  • New engine speed sensor / crankshaft speed sensor @216K ($140)
  • New transmission speed sensor @216K ($20)

    I also have a new transmission fluid filter, governor pressure sensor ($80) and transmission solenoid ($100) that I have yet to have time to install - there are no current issues but I'm being pre-emptive since I need to replace the fluid anyhow (every two years or every 24K). I've changed the oil every 6-10K miles depending on how she has been driven and the oil used - I try to stay synthetic but have used conventional a few times. Fuel filter is replaced every two oil changes or so, was done last @216K. 

    Rather than list what is working, I'll list what isn't: the heater. Boom. That's it. Our heater core sprung a leak the day after Christmas of this year (2015) - it was a belated gift of coal. I temporarily disconnected the hoses leading to the heater core and looped the lines from the engine so that coolant continues to circulate. I need to pull the dash back in order to replace the heater core (which is ~$60) but need to find a place to spend the day doing so. 

    Almost all the work has been performed by myself, but fear not, I know what I'm doing. Anything I couldn't do I had performed at professional mechanics with the tools I lacked. 

    We've put over $5,000 into maintenance, upgrades, and repairs on this truck so you don't have to. It runs great, starts up every time and has never left us stranded. I want to be as transparent as possible and have no problem admitting that some issues arose, but nothing that would be out of the norm for an 18 year-old vehicle. The interior is in great condition, no major tears or rips, a few scuffs and scrapes all around, but nothing out of the ordinary. Paint looks brand new. A few small spots of rust, but nothing structural or major. 

    The camper:

    Our FWC Grandby is a 2007 shell model that has been custom built up. I purchased it originally from a WTW member, Mitch, who will probably chime in here at some point. There is a roll-over couch, cabinets, an extra fantastic fan (2 total), roof rack, and probably some other things I'm missing. Photos will tell a better tale. We've taken good care of her - put 303 protectant on the vinyl, no tears/holes/rips/mildew or anything like that. The roof is slightly bowed in, but it doesn't seem bad and we only noticed it because we're anal over things like this. We installed a solar panel on the roof, a solar controller, and two deep-cycle marine batteries as well, but they won't be included unless the price or trade is right - we need them for the next vehicle!

    We welcome any questions or comments. We are on the West Coast at the moment (Bay Area more or less) but for the right trade or offer we'll travel just about anywhere!

    We're asking $16,000 for both, or the best offer. I know this may be high for some people's opinions, but we both feel this is a reasonable price for what we have put into our rig, and that it is turnkey. Of course we're open to debates and offers. 

    **I can't get many photos to load, so if you want to see more just head over to Traveling-Trio.com and peruse around - we have loads of photos. 

    Our number is 828 712 2616 and email is howdy@traveling-trio.com


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A man, a woman and their dog. Traveling the Americas living in a 1997 Dodge Ram with a Four Wheel Camper Grandby in search of a new American dream. Promoting overlanding, sustainability, enjoying life and following your dreams. Tag along with us as we traverse the continent in search of adventure!


#2 Mickey Bitsko

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 02:18 PM

Still considering sale or trade ?

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#3 rystjohn


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Posted 08 March 2016 - 08:33 PM

We are not, sorry. We were talked into keeping our ol' gal and making her better!
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A man, a woman and their dog. Traveling the Americas living in a 1997 Dodge Ram with a Four Wheel Camper Grandby in search of a new American dream. Promoting overlanding, sustainability, enjoying life and following your dreams. Tag along with us as we traverse the continent in search of adventure!


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