Aging backcountry enthusiasts in northwestern Montana, the wife and I just learned about FWC a week ago and bought a 2013 Grandby several days ago. Picking it up next week and have some questions. Plus you folks know about things that we haven't even thought of yet so any advice/input is appreciated. We want to spend some time in the FWC and either (1) keep and modify the Grandby, (2) go back to a Ford F250 to carry it, (3) sell the Grandby and get a Hawk shell and modify to our needs, or (4) something else.
We'll start with the Grandby on a 2012 Tundra (double-cab, 4x4, tow package) with 6.5' bed, meaning the camper will extend 1.5' beyond the bed. Reading through this forum, it sounds like half of you would leave the tailgate on and half would remove it. Thinking of leaving it on at least for the drive home. Truck tires are new 10-ply Michelins. Having the Boise FWC man install 3-way plug and eye bolts in truck bed, and adding progressive springs to the rear axle. The FWC man in Bozeman recommended these helper springs over air bags, so we're taking his advice. Truck is listed at 7,100 lbs GVAW with maximum of 4,150 lbs in the rear.
How are we doing so far? Will this combination drive home just fine, or will the Grandby squash my Tundra like a bug? Also, I'm a minimalist and the wife's a maximumist — will I ever be able to convince her to go to a smaller FWC after she's camped in the Grandby? Oh yes, we travel with a large border collie and a medium shepherd mix, and I often end up as the 4th priority for sleeping space.
We spend most winters camping around southern Arizona, and get out in the backcountry when we can during Montana's short summers. Besides recreation, I still work as a wildlife biologist and landscape photographer (intermittently during COVID), so I need a work camper that isn't afraid of rocks, branches, hail, locusts, plague, etc.
Any thoughts are appreciated!