The 2021 F150 Has A Hybrid Model And A Built-in Generator
The new 2021 Ford F150 has a lot of good things going for it. Along with offering a full hybrid V6 model, the series has a built-in generator. This is great news for RVers.
For many, taking a travel trailer or a truck camper outside of RV parks means you also have to carry around a generator. A truck with a built-in generator is groundbreaking for sure. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the new system can help RVers.
Pro Power Onboard
The new onboard generator comes in three power options, depending on the engine choice, a 2-kW, 2.4-kW, and a 7.2-kW option. The 2-kW version is available in all gas models, while the 2.4-kW system comes standard with the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid. The generator can run for up to 85 hours on a full tank of gas.
The large 7.2-kW option can run a small construction site, and it can run for 32 hours on a full tank. To put it into terms useful to RVers, it has the power to run three 10,000 BTU RV air conditioners at once. Though it would not be a good idea to put three ACs on one of the truck’s 20 amp outlets, the generator itself produces the power to do so. That is more than enough power for most boondocking RVers, tent campers, and any other types of campers you can think of.
The generator feeds power to outlets in the cabin as well as the bed of the truck. The smallest 2-kW option has two standard 120V, 20-amp plugs in the truck bed, while the other two options have four. The 7-kW version has an additional 4-prong twist-lock NEMA L14-30R 240V 30-amp outlet. It is important to note that you can not plug your 30-amp RV into that plug because it puts out 240 volts. RVs are intended to run on 120 volts. At this moment you can only plug into the standard 20 amp outlets.
Since multiple outlets are available, it is possible to power other things outside the RV, like TVs, projectors, blenders, speakers, or charge electric bikes and other devices. A built-in generator is not the only new feature the 2021 F150 is offering. Check out the video below to learn more.
Having a generator built into your truck has many advantages. It is possible to power or charge up your RV while boondocking or dry camping. For most boondockers, the 2.4-kW is more than enough to keep your travel trailer or fifth-wheel appliances running.
Provided you install a SoftStartRV on your air conditioning unit, you could run that off of the 2.4-kW option with no problem too. Truck campers and many popup campers would be able to easily get by with the 2-kW size as well.
Truck campers may not be a perfect fit for the built-in generator. You could have trouble accessing the plugs in the truck bed while your truck camper is in the truck. Then there is the issue of fumes.
Since the exhaust pipe is under the truck, it will also be located under the truck camper, still on the bed of the truck. Imagine opening the window of your truck camper on a nice day, only to have exhaust fumes from your generator blow in. That scenario is not only annoying but dangerous. Once the truck camper is taken off the truck, it doesn’t pose that problem.
Gordon White, a writer for Truck Camper Magazine, had the following to say when answering whether a built-in generator makes sense for truck campers.
“The answer is yes, for the right truck and camper combination, and/or people who have a truck camping lifestyle that calls for it.
Would I want a truck with a built-in generator? Given our current set-up, no. However, my truck camping lifestyle and requirements are not yours. Perhaps if we winter camped in the cold. Perhaps if we towed lithium-powered golf carts, bikes or ATVs. I am positive some of you are thinking, “Heck yes!” and dreaming of what 7.2-kW of power could do.”
For those looking to buy a new truck to tow their travel trailer, fifth-wheel, or truck camper, it’s hard to beat the gas mileage of the F150 Hybrid. It is rated at an impressive 24 mpg while still having 430 horsepower and 570 pounds-feet of torque. That rivals both the diesel options and the 5.0-liter V-8. Having a built-in generator is just icing on the cake of this already attractive truck, but it will cost you.
A 2021 F150 Hybrid truck is probably going to cost you between $40,000 and $50,000. Some of the trucks in the 2021 F150 lineup start at around $70,000. If a generator is the only thing you are after, you are probably better off getting a portable generator.
It’s not built into your truck, but the Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt generator is portable and powerful.
For example, a Champion 3400-Watt Dual Fuel RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator costs about $1000. That generator can power anything in your RV, including the air conditioner/heat pump.
If you are not interested in hauling a 100 lb generator around, you could go with the lighter Honda EU2200i 2200-Watt generator for $1,100. The EU2200i only weighs 40lbs, but again you would probably want to install a SoftStartRV if you wanted to run your AC/heat pump off of it too. If you are looking for a new truck to pull your RV, though, you may want to take a look at what the 2021 Ford F150 has to offer.
Want to know what other RVers are using to tow their rigs? Are you a long time RVer who wants to help out the RV community with your knowledge? Talk shop and get all of your questions answered by the RV community by checking out iRV2.com.
You may also like these Best 2021 Trucks For Towing A Travel Trailer
Levi Henley is a freelance writer and has also been full-time RVing with his wife and pets since 2015.