CAMPER IS SOLD! Loaded 2018 FWC Grandby and lithium setup and 94 F350 4x4 crew cab

MotoMind

New member
*CAMPER SOLD, truck available* We are now willing to sell camper and batteries and truck separate! Camper is $26k, batteries $1k, and truck...make me an offer.

I am listing this truck with a heavy heart, but we are moving overseas and can't bring it with us. That said, I'm mildly proud of what we've built and I hope to find a buyer who will appreciate it as much as we did and use it as intended. In my possession, the truck and camper were well cared for, improved, and used and maintained with the anticipation that I wanted to hand off a quality product to the next person someday.

Brevity is not my strong suit so I will try to break this ad up into multiple sections, and will update/add details as time allows.

The concept behind this modest build was to have a comfortable, spacious yet cozy camper for our family to enjoy an extended adventure on rough, unmaintained or difficult roads and through uncertain or inclement conditions. We wanted to achieve this on a reasonable budget and avoid any risk of costly, complex, long or dealer-only repairs. As a result, we made the perhaps unusual choice of purchasing a top of the line pop-up camper and putting it on a solid old truck. To increase the feeling of comfort inside the camper, we purchased nearly every option and further improved the interior decor beyond the drab gray sold by the FWC factory. To ensure that everything "just works" we outfitted the camper and truck with lithium batteries that charge effortlessly off the alternator, obviating the need for solar except for fixed stays longer than 1 week. The truck was further equipped with various minor accessories to improve life on the road, which I am willing to include with the sale.

Photos
Exterior of truck and camper
Interior of camper
Interior of truck









Truck
1994 Ford F350 XLT 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed
7.5L/460 EFI Gas Engine
Automatic Transmission
Aftermarket Rims w/ 32" Tires
JVC Stereo w/ Sony Speakers & Slim Subwoofer

I purchased in 2018 with 150k miles and it currently has 161k. The cosmetic condition is fair to good considering the age, but presents well. In the photos you'll find imperfections in the paint, such as some pinstriping and a few spots where the topcoat was eaten by Berkeley seagulls shitting battery acid. I bought this truck because I felt it was clean and well kept, but not so nice that I'd feel really bad whacking it with pine branches. Previous owner owned it since the later 90s and was a retired police officer in Livermore, CA who used it for summer vacations (boat tow) and light yard work. It seemed that he kept up on regular maintenance like fluid changes, did logical wear items like ball joints, and told me credibly that the transmission had been rebuilt in the past few years. I am mildly obsessive about my vehicles so upon purchase I gave a mechanic a blank check to make it adventure-worthly. I subsequently took it to another mechanic for further inspection and improvement, who has again inspected it for me pre-sale and blessed it as ready to roll. Maintenance list is extensive but was focused on critical systems:

AC compressor (truck is cold on the hottest days)
Radiator, hoses, fan clutch
Power steering pump
Steering box
Entire braking system (rotors, pads, hoses, MC)
Rotor cap/distributor and plugs
Full alignment
Upgraded 3G 130 amp alternator

The full list is much longer, the extent of the work was a combination of me getting taken for a ride on some things (e.g., the PS pump) and being OCD about others (e.g., the steering box). Naturally, fluids have been changed before sale and the truck is ready to go. On initial and final pre-sale inspection my mechanic identified a few things that I decided to leave alone. Mostly these are common issues on the 460 motor or F350 chassis. Please understand this is an old truck and I am not a vehicle restorer. The truck is a bit seepy and weepy. If you have questions, please ask, but the value of the truck is a small part of the sale.
 
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MotoMind

New member
Camper
2018 Four Wheel Camper "Grandby"

The camper is fully loaded with nearly every option:



We further improved the camper and alleviated the drab gray feel of it with custom cushion covers from Sunbrella (colorway 'Echo Sangria'), custom curtains, and a solid walnut hardwood tabletop made by Turner Custom Furniture. We kept the original table, curtains and cushion covers. There are some added hooks and a paper towel holder attached with double sided tape that can come off if desired. Mounted on the F350, the camper has very ample space in the bedsides for hoses and a lot of equipment. The tailgate also fits on (but does not close), making a great step, porch, and table.

The interior is cosmetically great and well treated, and was cleaned by my German wife before, during, and after our travels. The exterior is in good condition but has a bit of light pinstriping and a couple small spots were paint rubbed off on the back due to some rubbing from a stepstool. There are zero issues with the camper.

Accessories
Despite the crew cab and long bed camper we needed extra space for things like a screenhouse, EZ-UP and chairs, so I installed a simple roof rack over the cab and a rear cargo basket. The cargo basket is useful as a step as well. I have two large RV cargo bags which fit the roof rack and cargo basket. While traveling I had a front hitch carrier installed, and I would recommend one for carrying a bicycle or even a dirt bike, as well as for vehicle recovery/tow. I decided to remove the one I had installed (cheap thing from CURT), and no front hitch parts are included with the sale.

Power
4x 130Ah Valence Group 24 LiFePo4 lithium iron phosphate batteries (390Ah usable, 130Ah charged cold spare)
Heavy duty 4 gauge wiring from upgraded alternator to camper batteries
Triple fused (at alternator, at underhood battery, at camper batteries)
Manual heavy duty marine disconnect
Voltage meters in battery box

1x 150w portable polycrystalline solar panel
20ft 10ga solar panel wiring w/ SAE plugs for exterior connectors
PWM charge controller

It might be odd to have a modern battery solution in the middle of a rig that is fundamentally stuck in 1980s tech, but it was critical for the two-way refrigerator. A large 130L two-way fridge will suck down one or even two AGM batteries in a warm weekend, and leave them dead. Ask me how I know. Solar is great for houses but pointless for sane people who like parking in the shade or camp on cloudy days or who don't want to spend all day chasing the sun in the trees with a portable solar panel (ask me about this too). After our first weekend I decided that a tremendous amount of battery power would be needed to solve the problem, and I and bought four lithium batteries. I installed one under the hood, two in the camper battery box, and one as a cold spare under the dinette seat (never needed). A manual disconnect allows the camper batteries to be fully drained while leaving juice in the underhood battery to start the truck, but I leave them connected all the time since I never discharge the system sufficiently to matter. Crucially, instead of spending gazillions on solar panels to keep the batteries charged while driving a truck with a massive powerplant under the hood (a strange thing if I ever heard one) I upgraded the truck alternator and wiring back to the camper, so voltage drop is minimal and the alternator sends big amps back to the batteries while the truck runs.

Long story short, this system just plain works. If you plan on staying more than a week somewhere, deploy the panel, but otherwise you can keep it tucked away.
 
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MotoMind

New member
Price & Location
We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

2018 Grandby: $26K.
Batteries & Electrical: $1K
Truck: Make me an offer. If you get the package, you can fly-n-drive.
 
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gdaut

Member
Nice setup.

What is the total height when the camper top is down (how high a garage door opening do I need)? Not including the roof racks. Looks like maybe the awning is the high point.
 

MotoMind

New member
Thanks for the positive feedback, devero4 and HellsAngler!

Also happy to answer general questions if anyone is curious, buyer or not. I will try to get around to a review/build thread eventually.

gdaut, I knew I was forgetting something, I will get all dimensions tonight or tomorrow. We will see but if it is marginal, smaller tires could yield another inch or two...even more if deflated, just keep a compressor at the door. :) Awning fortunately is not a high point, just a slight wide point up high. Gotta watch out for trees when doing a 12-point turn on trail!
 

MotoMind

New member
You can definitely sleep in the back with the top down and the dinette flipped down into a bed for one or two. Sitting not really, you could squat on the floor though. Sink is hard to reach with the top down, but it is accessible. Fridge is accessible as are most of the cabinets except one that top opens. Stovetop not usable with top down.

In sum, “stealth camping” overnight possible with blackout curtains added, quick midday snacks while driving too, but not comfortable living.
 

MotoMind

New member
Nice setup.

What is the total height when the camper top is down (how high a garage door opening do I need)? Not including the roof racks. Looks like maybe the awning is the high point.
Dimensions are 252” long from head to haunch, not including tailgate or cargo basket / 77” edge of tire to tire or 90” including mirrors and awning / and 94” high including fan lids as the high point.
 

MotoMind

New member
I mentioned in my ad that there were some minor things outstanding with the camper after our travels, which I was going to address on Nov 5th. Well I had it serviced at the factory today and those have been addressed or improved under warranty. The big job turned out to be a broken drain valve knob on the hot water heater tank, inside the cabinetry. It seemed like a trivial thing (just replace the knob or valve), but apparently the whole valve design was not ideal since there wasn't enough clearance from the cabinet floor (cause of knob failure), which risked cracking the valve down the road. They have an upgraded design now which they installed on my camper at no charge. Top notch customer service from FWC.

As a bonus, while filling the two propane tanks near the FWC factory, the gas shop had two more propane tanks that some FWC owner probably left behind and they offered them to me for free. I was too happy to get stuff for free that I forgot that I didn't actually need them since I'm selling the camper. So with this camper you now get four propane tanks for your longest, coldest excursions!
 

MotoMind

New member
I prepared a bunch of videos documenting the condition and features of the camper.

Exterior (no talking):

Exterior close-ups (no talking):

Exterior camper features:

Camper interior appearance:
 

MotoMind

New member
UPDATED AD! I'm working to speed up the sale of the camper, so I'm now listing things separate. $26k for the camper, $1k for the batteries and misc electrical, and make me an offer for the truck if you want it.

I'll put up an ad in the campers section, but if anyone wants the package deal or have truck questions, ask me here.
 
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