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Hallmark Milner with 2014 Tundra driving to Argentina

Tundra Hallmark Milner Toyota PanAm Americas Argentina

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#1 John D TruckCamper

John D TruckCamper


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Posted 26 March 2016 - 06:58 PM

Hello all,


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



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#2 smlobx


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Posted 26 March 2016 - 07:48 PM

Congratulations on your choice of truck and camper. It is obviously working out for you and that is what's most important!

I'm also very happy to hear of your satisfaction with Hallmark as we have ordered one (Everest) and hope to pick it up in a few weeks.

I don't think there will ever be a clear choice of which truck is best for all. It is clearly a very personal decision. For us and the fact that our camper will probably be 400-500 pounds more than yours I'm happy with our decision to use a F-350 SRW and stay under our gvwr. Since we have a diesel the truck will still have a great range of probably over 500 miles per tank depending on the road conditions.

I'd love to hear more of your adventure when you get a chance!
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Travel light. Travel far. Travel safe.

#3 Bigfoot


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Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:38 PM

A fine travel blog with interesting observations and photos. I will add it to my news reader. 


A couple of comments about your setup. We also went with Hallmark and are generally satisfied with the camper but have found their customer service to be fair at best and nonexistent at worst. Part of it is that I'm a thousand miles away and they do not work well over the internet and phone. I would probably get better results if I could come to their factory. BTW, how is your camper attached to the truck? I don't see any tiedowns. 


I, too, researched weight and payload ratings until I got tired of the subject. I even talked to truck engineers. I found that the manufacturers will not say exactly how they calculate the ratings and that there are many inconsistencies among them. The ratings appear to be equal parts engineering, regulation, legal CYA and marketing. For us truck camper owners I think experience is what counts the most. Good to hear that your setup has worked well for you. 


Happy adventures! 

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2014 Ram 2500 Laramie 4x4 CTD, Crew Cab, 8' box, Hallmark Guanella 


#4 enelson


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Posted 18 May 2016 - 03:20 AM

John has internal tie downs in the bed / frame.  There are some pics of loading on the Hallmark Facebook page.  This set up works best when the truck is left on the truck most (or all of the time).  


We are about a 1000lbs over GVWR when fully loaded for a vacation with our K2 on a regular cab / long bed Tundra.  Suspension mods and TRD sway bar work really well.  The Tundra is pretty flexy but does have plenty of power and braking.


The suspension mods, sway bar, and E load rated tires added around 400lbs of weight to the truck.  My truck had a 1910 lb payload capacity before mods.

Edited by enelson, 18 May 2016 - 03:25 AM.

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