Could Ford’s All-New F-150 Pickup Be an Ideal Overland Rig?

On Thursday evening Ford revealed its all-new F-150 full-size pickup truck. Not surprisingly, it’s been blessed with new looks, cutting-edge powertrains, and heaps of technology.

Now there are plenty of places to read about the niggling details of America’s best-selling truck. Rather than dig through all the minutia, we thought we’d quickly touch on a couple new features that we think might make the F-150 a really compelling overlanding rig.

Built-In Generator

The first thing we want to discuss is the new built-in generator that the blue oval’s engineers in Dearborn have developed for the F-150. It’s called “Pro Power Onboard.” Despite its slightly hokey name, it’s functionality is anything but.

On available gas engines, the Pro Power Onboard puts out 2.0 kilowatts of power. Step up to the PowerBoost engine and that power output climbs to 2.4 kilowatts. You can further option those PowerBoost engines to supply as much as 7.2 kilowatts of power in generation mode.


The Pro Power Onboard’s in-bed outlets. | Ford Motor Company

The Pro Power Onboard’s in-bed outlets. | Ford Motor Company

You can plug your devices in to outlets in the cabin or to of four 120-volt, 20-amp outlets in the cargo bed. The 7.2-kilowatt version has a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet, too.

Let’s put that into perspective. That’s enough energy to power 28 average refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes, or more than enough to power a substantial overland campsite.

Hybrid Power

After long last, the F-150 now offers a hybrid powertrain. It’s based off of the 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6. Ford isn’t talking power or specific fuel economy yet. However, it will divulge that it’s aiming to have the new hybrid powertrain deliver more torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup.


It’s said to tow more than 12,000 pounds. | Ford Motor Company

It’s said to tow more than 12,000 pounds. | Ford Motor Company

In spite of the heaps of power, Ford is aiming for a 700-mile range per tank. What’s more, the hybrid will be able to tow “at least” 12,000 pounds. Certainly, you won’t see 700 miles per tank when out on the trail or when towing your adventure trailer. Still, it’s good to know that you won’t be nervously watching the gas gauge when on an extended excursion.

Little Extras

Designers added some little extras as well that round out the interior. Buyers that step up to an XLT High trim or above receive a 12-inch center-dash screen that is running SYNC 4, Ford’s infotainment system. This display can be split in order to show different functions simultaneously. 

Another 12-inch digital gauge display is located in front of the driver. This can show more than the digital instrumentation. It can also display off-roading data.


The optional 12-inch center-dash screen can split to display multiple functions. | Ford Motor Company

The optional 12-inch center-dash screen can split to display multiple functions. | Ford Motor Company

There are comfort features, too, which may also come in handy on an overland trip. Take the optional Max Recline Seats that roll nearly 180 degrees backward. Ford ostensibly created this for contractor clients so that they can rest in between jobs. However, we see it as a cool feature that may come in handy on a journey.

Ever been stuck in your driver seat for hours waiting on, for example, a ferry? Imagine being able to lean all the way back and catch some shuteye for four hours. Pretty great, right?


The shifter now folds down into the center console. | Ford Motor Company

The shifter now folds down into the center console. | Ford Motor Company

Lastly, the shifter has been relocated from the column to the center console. In order to prevent it getting in the way of work, it can electronically fold down. This allows the driver to deploy the optional Interior Work Surface. It folds out of the center console creating a table-like surface.

We’ll admit that the new F-150 is more of a tech-y luxury truck than a traditional hardened overland 4×4. But given the amount of aftermarket support, and all the keen new features of the truck, we could see an argument for it finding a place as an overlanding rig in the years to come.


Header image credit: Ford Motor Company

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