2015 Ford F-150: Powers Lighting for Pit Stops
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on September 22, 2015
A couple of weeks ago our 2015 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 pickup joined up with our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado at the Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) to support Josh's efforts in the Gorman Ridge Rally.
As we saw before, the Colorado was a spare that mostly sat idle in case we needed to dash off and deal with unforeseen problems. Meanwhile, the F-150 did that bulk of the heavy lifting. It towed the car, hauled the extra tires and spare parts, and brought the fuel. And when darkness fell, its 400-watt, 120-volt outlet provided power for the area lights that we needed to perform the final service and refueling stop of the event, which was scheduled to run into the night.
Some might wag their fingers at my use of an extension cord. They would be correct if we were drawing anything close to the outlet's capacity, but our setup was nowhere near the limit. Outlets in the F-150's competitors aren't good for much more than powering a laptop, but Ford's outlet and its 400-watt capacity is good for cordless tool battery charging equipment and other medium-load items.
My LED floodlight rates a mere 25 watts. Despite the unimpressive look of the early dusk photo above, it threw out plenty of light when it counted.
The truck's engine has to be running throughout, of course. But an idling 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 probably pollutes less than a Briggs & Stratton generator, and the service and refueling stops are strictly limited to 15 minutes.
It wasn't perfect, though. People thrashing around under the car tended to cast shadows that made it difficult for those working at the back to see well without headlamps. Next time I'll rig up two of these lights to reduce the likelihood of bothersome dark spots.
That would bring the total load up to 50 watts, which the F-150 can easily handle even if I add the necessary splitter. We'll find out how it all works soon enough when we travel to Prescott, Arizona in a couple of weeks for the season finale.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 19,048 miles