We just completed this 3500+ mile loop from central MO to Bar Harbor, ME and then back through Quebec and Ontario into MI and then home. The rig, both truck and camper worked very well. I continue to be impressed with the F450 and so happy that we found this used truck. The original owner had it fully equipped with every option Ford had available for this Lariat edition, snow plow package, camper package, 5th wheel and goose neck option, step bumper and handle tailgate (which have been removed for our use), up-fitter switches, and moon roof. These options provided both front and rear sway bars and heavy duty shocks. I do have upper stable-loads on order which will help with the rear squat when loaded.
We have had problems with the camper since purchase with battery drain. We do have solar keeping the batteries charged whenever there is sun and most of the time have been hooked to shore power so expected the converter to also keep them charged, that wasn't happening. The solar was working except at night when the furnace fan would drain the batteries down. I first replaced the cheap batteries that our dealer had installed with group 27 Interstates. On this trip I found that the 120V circuit in the storage area where the converter is plugged into a GFI outlet was popped and not providing power to the converter. A reset of that GFI put everything back in good working order. Now the CO alarm doesn't go off in the middle of the night indicating low battery.
When we first started to look at a TC to replace our 5th wheel (we have been traveling in 34-37 foot 5th wheel trailers for the past 17 years) we were looking at the Host Mammoth knowing our then F350 SRW short bed truck would need to be replaced. While looking at the Mammoth the dealer wanted to show us this Rainier SB that with modifications to our suspension could be carried by our then current truck. We bought it and carried it home without problems. Knowing that when fully loaded with supplies and tanks partially or totally full we needed to upgrade our wheels and tires. I ordered 19.5 wheels to do just that and waited 5 months and still hadn't received them. There were trips planned that we wanted to take so I found this 2015 F450 with 38,000 miles, traded, and canceled that order for the wheels.
The wife and I thought that now we could haul the Mammoth so I worked with Randall to put together a build sheet which I sent to three dealers for a price quote. I knew that we would take a beating in depreciation by trading now but also thought the Rainier would never be worth any more later. The first dealer's reply thought that a 50% depreciation was appropriate for our trade-in. The second dealer was a bit better but still thought 30% depreciation would be okay. I have never heard from the third dealer after three different emails of request. I guess they just don't want our business and frankly we have decided to keep and enjoy what we have. We have the same bedroom and bathroom as the Mammoth. We just don't have the comfortable seating. After a couple of trips we are finding ways to make that work for us.
It's nice to have the extra storage area between the cab and the camper plus it gives us access to the areas ahead of the wheel wells, a nice location for bag chairs.
Details from this trip with a few pictures can be viewed at http://fredandjo-onthego.blogspot.com/