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2021 Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper Grandby shell


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#1 ramblinChet

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 06:45 AM

After much research and debate I have placed an order for a 2021 Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper Grandby shell.

Here is a list of the options I selected along with a brief explanation for each:

MODEL:

2021 - Very easy choice since there are virtually zero FWC campers available let alone a Grandby Shell.

Four Wheel Pop-Up Camper - This was a long and difficult decision since over the past few years I have explored a number of options. Even up until recently I was still considering Arctic Fox, Lance, Palomino, etc. although I continued to come back around to FWC. My big turn offs were the interesting interior layouts and the excessively long waiting list which is now at 52-56 weeks. The value that I see in FWC is they have a mature product, a great reputation and can be ordered in a shell configuration which will permit the owner to customize. The fact that the top collapses to save on height is beneficial to my requirements since much of my exploring will be done off-road so impact with branches, low center of gravity, etc. all matter much to me.

Grandby - This was an equally difficult decision since many owners are quite happy with a slightly shorter option. When I finally decided to design this system using a 2021 RAM 3500 Tradesman regular can 4x4 8' box the solution was obvious - a Grandby it would be. My though was that for full time use the additional space in the camper shell would be much more valuable when compared to the additional storage offered by the crew cab. On those rainy or otherwise unpleasant days where I decide to spend time indoors the additional room afforded by the Grandby will be nice.

Shell - Although FCW has a number of options available for their interior layout I just was not terribly impressed by any of them. It is only my opinion but there is much to be gained by involving a professional with designing the interior. My goal is to perform additional research and solicit input from professionals who have more knowledge in this particular area. Again, I believe the current interiors in the FWC lineup is OK but it seems improvements are possible.

OPTIONS:

Fabric: Dovetail Greystone

Powered Roof Vent Fan ($310) - Although I have spent the past 2.5 years sleeping outside every night in a James Baroud hardshell tent and have no problems with the warm or cold weather, I have not spent a single night in a FWC. The powered roof vent fan seems like a very common option and since it involves wiring and it a reasonable cost I decided it was a good idea. I requested that the fan be mounted above the bed but was told it is commonly mounted above the stove. Since I do not have a stove I do hope this can be accommodated.

Rear Floodlights LED ($295) - A close friend recently had his FWC camper delivered and I was able to experience these rear floodlights firsthand. When pulling to camp late and setting up these seem like they would be a great benefit and at $295 I consider them a reasonable cost. If they were not LED I doubt I would have purchased them and that would have left me to select lights and perform the wiring myself. I am glad this was an option.

Thermal Pack ($750) - Initially I was not going to order this since I have slept in an unheated tent at near zero degrees Fahrenheit for a few days. I reasoned that in the FWC with a heater, the Thermal Pack would not be as valuable but then I began to consider fuel use, being out in austere conditions for weeks or even months, etc. and I easily justified the additional expense. One feature I do not like is the lack of sunlight when using this type of Thermal Pack. I do wish there was a heavier clear window they were able to use for this application.

King Bed Slide-Out on Cabover Bed ($500) - Although I enjoy sleeping N-S I was willing to sleep E-W. After thinking about it and reading posts by several others who either wished they had the king bed option or had it and loved it, I decided this was worth it. My plan is to sleep mostly N-S but we will see. If I have company the king bed option will be even more valuable. Another consideration is that the king option includes four pillows whereas I believe the standard option only included two - I may be wrong on this though. Those four pillows will provide me with additional options when configuring the interior since they may be used in other applications unrelated to sleep.

Smooth Siding, Black ($895) - This is all about looks and with a Granite Crystal Metallic paint on my truck black seemed like the best choice. It would provide some contrast but again be dark enough to blend well. I had considered the Metallic Charcoal color for my camper but was unable to find any pictures which clearly showed the RAM paint and FWC paint together. Black will be fine though and although the smooth siding will be more likely to show scratches, dents and dings all will be fine.

Since I do plan to install solar up top I am already planning to use forty pound struts in the front and rear. What will be most exciting is selecting the individual components and building out the interior once the camper arrives.

Cost of base camper: $13,295
Options: $2,750
Documentation fee: $65
Destination charge: $775
Installation fee: $595
Grand total: $17,480

 


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#2 longhorn1

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 02:22 PM

Congrats. When we got our 2014 Grandby we got the fan over the bed and a plain vent over the kitchen area. Fast forward 6 years (and after the smoke detector would go off all the time, even with the window open). This past fall we had a number of upgrades done at Juniper Overland (RMFWC) in Colorado and had a MaxxAir Fan installed over the kitchen. It has a cover so we can use it in the rain and not worry if we leave it open by mistake. Hopefully FWC will give buyers a choice of MaxxAir over the Fantastic Fan. Night and day difference.
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Ford F-250 Long bed, 2014 Grandby

 


#3 RicoV

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Posted 30 January 2021 - 07:30 PM

It looks like you did your homework, Chet;  your decisions on FWC model and options are well-reasoned.  I think you'll find the Grandby Shell very much to your liking, as my wife and I have for the past 10 years.  Please keep us posted with pics & text about your future custom add-ons when they happen.  I see you have a year-long wait ahead of you . . . rumor has it that patience is a virtue.

Rico. 


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2011 FWC Grandby Shell on a 2011 Nissan Titan King Cab SV 4WD

#4 ramblinChet

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Posted 31 January 2021 - 04:17 AM

Thank you all very much - I have been considering various configurations for the past few years and have concluded that for my specific application and Grandby shell would best meet my requirements. I do like the general layouts that are offered by the factory but since I spend much time cold-weather camping I decided changes to the heater, batteries, etc. would be beneficial for me.

 

Now that I finally have my vehicle and camper selected I can begin finalizing details for my interior. I will be happy to post pictures and updates along the way and listen to helpful suggestions. I just can't wait to spend the first of many nights in this luxurious camper!


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#5 Merika

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 01:16 PM

I have a 2019 Ram 2500 with the same Metallic Charcoal paint. I too couldn’t find pics with that exact paint and the FWC smooth Charcoal.  Trying to do an eyeball comparison from my truck parked outside RMFWC to the camper in their showroom made me think the colors were off just enough to bug me.  So I thought I’d go with the smooth black like you did. Would be awesome.  But then, the dealer told me that I could get the black diamond plate used on the Project M.   SOLD !  It is still not listed on FWC website. Both my brother and I have ordered it for our Grandbys that we pick up this June.  I thinks it’s going to give it a cool rugged look and be much more receptive to the inevitable pin-striping.  —-Mary


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#6 ramblinChet

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 12:21 AM

Form follows function - ordered.

gallery_11029_1446_106194.jpg


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#7 ramblinChet

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 12:23 AM

Torklift frame-mounted rear tie downs D3112 mounted today. Install took about an hour and used basic hand tools to include calibrated 30-250 lb-ft torque wrench. Instructions called for three main outboard bolts to be torqued to 200 lb-ft with the single inboard bolt torqued to 75 lb-ft. The rear mount is effectively an extension of the existing frame and is solid beyond question.

 

Picture under driver's side rear quarter showing part of frame and OEM receiver hitch per-install:

gallery_11029_1446_915945.jpg

 

Same area post install with part number D3112 installed:

gallery_11029_1446_71776.jpg

 

Lowest part of rear tie down is 2" below bottom of rear bumper. Outermost section extends 4.25" from widest part of truck.

gallery_11029_1446_1101183.jpg


Edited by ramblinChet, 21 April 2021 - 09:12 PM.

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#8 ramblinChet

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 12:28 AM

I have a 2019 Ram 2500 with the same Metallic Charcoal paint....I thinks it’s going to give it a cool rugged look and be much more receptive to the inevitable pin-striping.  —-Mary

Thank you for confirming what I had suspected that the paint colors just were not close enough. Since black goes with everything and we have the same color trucks I will be excited to see pictures of your rig especially with the black diamond plate - that is going to look great!


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#9 Merika

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 01:30 PM

I will definitely post pics here.  Cheers


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#10 jsduty

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Posted 13 April 2021 - 09:33 PM

Hi all, New to what is turning out to be a very informative forum, I'm about to pull the Triger on a new GRANDBY. Merika do you remember if there is an up charge for the Black diamond siding? THANKS


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