Grandby on a F150 supercab 6.5 bed

Has anyone ever installed a loaded Grandby in a 6.5' shortbed 1/2 ton F150XL Supercab 145" wheelbase 4X4 V8 5.0L . The question is will it work? I'm having a difficult time figuring out if I can do this.
The GVWR is 7,350
The GCWR is either 13,500 or 15,100
The rear GAWR is 3,850
The front GAWR is 3,750
Rear axel ratio is 3.55
I'm concerned about weight and center of gravity. What should I do for suspension upgrades, lift, leveling kits? I also want a longer camper because I'm 6'9" tall and the rollover couch offers more comfort while stealth camping and more storage space. For now it's just me and the dog, but my adventures usually span two or more months and I like stuff. I do plan on traveling on rocky forest roads and not just the pounded pavement...
I will be purchasing E rated tires. The truck is a 2012 and the camper will be a 2015.

Or should I cut off my feet and get a Hawk, so I can possibly add a fab aftermarket spare tire swing out bumper. The Grandby upper bunk can be slid out to make a king sized bed too...... Back and forth....any helpful advice would be much appreciated. Thanks
 

escadventure

Adventurer
I'm sure you will get a lot of differing, and good, opinions on this. Here's how I worked out my set up: Subtract your actual truck wet weight (probably around 5k lbs) from the GVWR and that should be roughly your hauling weight.
Given your brakes, engine and frame are designed to handle the GCWR, it should be no problem the haul a load near the GVWR. The shtick is your suspension won't like it. It should be pretty easy to modify your suspension to safely and reliable handle the load. Basically you'll need to increase the load rating capacity of your suspension via new springs, or helpers or airbags.

In the interest of the safety of your fellow motorists, if you'll be hauling like that regularly, it woud be a good idea to upgrade other areas like brakes just to build back in, the margin of error that was intended in the original design.

If you drive while exceeding the trucks original GVWR, it's not that you can't fix the truck to handle it. It's that it might be an opportunity for litigation, should an incident occur.

Regarding your concern about a camper hanging too far out the back. That's kindof a different story. The more weight you hang off past the rear axle, the lighter you make the front end. This can create serious safety issues regarding the ability to control the truck in certain conditions. Setting up the rear suspension to not sag in that situation won't change the dangerous nature of it. It's probably not that it can't be done, but that it needs to be done smartly.

Good luck.
 

ripperj

Explorer
It has been done in the past, but you will be significantly over your GVRW loaded and wet , especially with the extras like the winch, heavy duty swing out bumpers ect.
 
According to FWC the Grandby only weighs 55 lbs more than a Hawk at least on their base models dry weight. I am concerned about overload, but I cannot get a longer bed or 3/4 ton truck at this time. What type of brakes should I upgrade to? There are four disc brakes on it now. What would be the best way to increase load bearing capacity; new springs, airbags, or helpers? If one, which, or would a combo of two be best and would it be sufficient? Thanks
 
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ripperj

Explorer
The problem is not really the camper , but the truck, what's the payload? 1500#?
People seem to run FWCs on tacomas all the time, but they too are way over weight usually.
 

ripperj

Explorer
All new vehicle have it on the drivers door jamb, should be a label ( think it has yellow on it) says something to the effect" the weight of all passengers and cargo not to exceed xxxlbs)
 

rvsixer

New member
A quick google shows your trucks no option payload at 1830 lbs. Subract trim level options and your added goodies, my swag you have maybe 1400-1450lbs left. Subtracting 1000-1100lbs for a wet/loaded camper, leaves 300-450 lbs for people/dogs/gear.

At least you will be less overweight than all those here loading these up on lesser 1/2 tons with only ~1400 lbs TOTAL payload capacity, and then adding six people in the mega/crew cab :Wow1: .
 

Just Jeff

Observer
I'd pay close attention to what escadventure said...it's about how much weight sits behind the rear axle (in addition to overall weight). If the payload's COG is behind the rear axle, the axle acts like a fulcrum and the lever action reduces the weight on the front (steering and braking) wheels. That's the big difference between the Hawk and Grandby on a shortbed...more weight farther behind the axle. Putting more weight forward of the rear axle (like a heavy front bumper, a cargo carrier mounted on the front, storing heavy gear in the cab, etc) can help reduce the impact, but obviously that comes at a cost of increasing overall weight...affecting maneuverability, stopping distance, etc.

The key is considering the COG of ALL of your payload (including passengers). The camper's COG is an important part of that, but your payload's COG will almost always be forward of the camper's COG (unless you also add a heavy hitch cargo carrier, tongue weight from a trailer, etc).

But this is really playing around with the margins of safety, and doing it in a way that you likely won't know how small your margin is until you need to make an emergency maneuver, stop quickly, are off-road, etc. When I visited the FWC showroom in Colorado, Chris(?) recommended against a Grandby on shortbed half-tons. He said a 3/4 ton should be able to handle it, but still mentioned being careful about balancing out the COG.
 
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Desertdave

New member
The shipping weight on my Grandby is 1379 lbs. That is without batteries, which I provided myself. With batteries and water only it is 1800 lbs. I carry it on a GVWR of 11400 F350, which scales out at 10320 fully loaded for a weekend camping trip. I strongly suggest you reconsider your plans.
 

rotti

Adventurer
I strongly suggest you reconsider your plans.
X2

My Hawk, dry and empty from the factory, was just under 1400 pounds with the jacks removed. Fully loaded i'm over a ton.
While some seem to be happy with a 1/2 ton and a Hawk, I think with a Grandby, your winch etc. you will be way over your max payload (my sticker was in the glovebox).

If you go forward at least add load range E tires. In an overloaded condition tires are usually the first thing to go bad.
I'll never forget this ride:

 
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tanglefoot

ExPoseur
I'm in the "you'll probably be fine" arena. Campers usually have their COG pretty far forward. It looks a little funny to have the rear axle closer to the front of the camper, but chances are the weight distribution won't be bad at all.

I have an 8-foot camper (heavier than an FWC) in a 6-foot compact truck bed. The weight distribution feels pretty good. It doesn't seem to be pulling weight off the front tires. Tires are load range C--haven't had any problems. I'm using some helper leaves on the rear packs.

I think what to change varies greatly in each example. Some trucks don't have much extra suspension support or braking ability. Others have plenty of both. You might consider loading it up and seeing how the combo feels, and then look into working on weaknesses, if there are any.
 

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