2015 F-150 Adventure Rig

BretEdge

Adventurer
Last month I picked up a 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew short bed w/ the 3.5 EcoBoost as the platform for my family's newest adventure rig. We've been a Toyota family for twenty years but last year I was issued an F-150 at work and fell in love with it. Toyota hasn't done much to compete in the truck segment and as loyal as I was to the brand, I just couldn't justify purchasing one at this point.

At any rate, I picked up the F-150, whom we've named Betty White, and over the next few months we'll build her out into the ultimate (for us) adventure rig for mountain biking, hiking, backpacking and car camping (that's what we called it for decades until 'overlanding" became trendy). We live in Moab and spent nearly every weekend either exploring around here or in the mountains of Colorado, especially the San Juans. We need a rig that can manage the mountain and desert roads and get us out to spectacular campsites and/or trailheads. Pretty soon, Betty will be just such a rig.

PHASE 1: COMPLETE

Betty came with stock suspension and a cheap leveling kit in the front. I immediately yanked the stock wheels and tires and replaced them with 17" Method 701's wrapped in 295/70/17 Nitto Ridge Grapplers. Stock suspension is still in place but will soon be replaced, as per phase 2.

PHASE 2: IN PROGRESS

I've spent way too much time researching suspension options but after agonizing over it for far too long, I've decided on the following set-up:

King 2.5 Coilovers up front
Icon Delta Joint UCA's
Bilstein 5160's in the rear w/ stock leaf pack
Firestone air bags (see phase 3)

I went w/ the Bilsteins to save some money and unless they're stellar, I'll eventually replace them w/ Kings in the rear. I may also replace the stock leafs with Deaver's at some point down the road. All of the suspension components have been ordered but we're getting ready to leave for a 24 day trip to the PNW so the install will have to wait until August.

PHASE 3: IN PROGRESS

We ordered a 2019 Four Wheel Camper Raven a couple weeks ago and it's due in on or around September 26. Options include:

Smooth aluminum siding, silver
Silver Spur Interior
Flush mount sink and stove
130L fridge/freezer upgrade
Forced air furnace
(2) Powered roof vent vans
Rear LED flood lights
King bed slide-out
Dual 6 volt battery upgrade
Back-up camera relocation

PHASE 4:

It's all about the armor. At this point we'll add off-road bumpers front and rear with a set of rock sliders to replace the crappy factory running boards. Will likely have the sliders custom fab'd here in Moab as I'm not finding anything I like online. There'll be LED's in both bumpers to help us find campsites at night. I've searched the interwebs and am having a hard time finding a quality bumper that doesn't belong on a bro-dozer. Recommendations appreciated. Not a fan of tube style bumpers.

Truck has factory skid plates but will likely replace them with a set from RCI Off-Road.

Unsure what I want to do for light switches but will definitely look for a switch bank rather than random individual switches. Maybe an S-POD?

PHASE WHENEVER I GET AROUND TO IT:

1 Up 3 bike rack with a RakAttach swing away to carry the mountain bikes. Currently using a Saris MTR. It's...eh, but it works fine for now.
Husky floor liners to replace the factory ones
Cold air intake
LED headlight conversion, or at least some LED bulbs

I'm probably leaving a few things out but that should cover the major upgrades. Enjoy the first couple of photos of Betty, and stay tuned to this thread for status updates on the build and our adventures.
 

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kerouac

Member
How is the weight of the Raven? Will you be at capacity for payload (especially with all the other accessories)?
 

BretEdge

Adventurer
Thanks, everyone.

A little bit more about my history with rigs. My first real "adventure truck" was a 2001 Tacoma Crew Cab. I put a shell on it, built a platform in the back and did an OME lift w/ 33's. I put 170,000 miles on her before trading in/down to an FJ Cruiser in 2007. I modified it pretty extensively w/ a Radflo lift, Ultra wheels and 33's, sliders, bumpers, winch, LED's and a roof top tent. Drove it for 10 years before selling it to buy a 2006 Tundra. Had it for a year and decided I wanted something else so sold it and went vehicle-less for a few months before picking up this F-150. First real full-size truck but with a small family and a dog, full-size felt like the way to go. So, here we are.

Answers to questions:

How is the weight of the Raven? Will you be at capacity for payload (especially with all the other accessories)?

Raven we ordered is 1,273 lbs. dry. Add ~160 lbs. of water, 200 lbs. gear and 225 lbs. of bikes and rack, and we're at 1,858 plus three passengers. The front and rear bumpers I'm looking at weight roughly the same as the stock bumpers so the weight difference won't be appreciable. Sliders will probably add 100 lbs. According to Consumer Reports the max payload is 3,180 lbs. for the 3.5L EcoBoost. We should be well under that.

Truck looks good. I like the wheel / tire sizing. It suits it.

Thanks! I definitely didn't want it to be a jacked up, bro kind of truck. All about the function. Should have plenty of ground clearance with this setup.
 

BretEdge

Adventurer
Yesterday we took Betty on her first mini-adventure, a quick trip into the La Sal Mountains. We live in Moab and it's amazing that we can leave town in 95 degree temps and 30 minutes later it's 30 degrees cooler. We tried driving over Geyser Pass but got turned back by a significant snow drift blocking the road on the back side of the mountain. We didn't see so much as a squirrel the entire time we were up there. Those mountains are crawling with black bears but we never seem to see them. We stopped at the Castle Valley Overlook, which is one of those views that always seems to knock me off my feet. I've seen it and photographed it dozens of times but...da-yum! There were downed trees everywhere, including several partially blocking the road. The attached photos are just quick snaps from my iPhone.

I probably won't post much for the next month as we'll be on the road in our motor home but I'll get an update posted as soon as the suspension is installed, sometime in August. The posting pace will really pick up once the Raven is installed. We're picking it up in either Bozeman or Jackson, and then will take 3-4 days returning to Moab and camping along the way. We've got a short trip to Red Bull Rampage in October, a week-long Arizona trip planned over Thanksgiving and another two week trip over Christmas, probably to California to mountain bike some of the hot spots along the coast. There'll be lots of little trips mixed in, too.

Hope y'all enjoy the photos and mini trip report!
 

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bknudtsen

Expedition Leader
Love Moab! Been down 5 times now. We’re due for another visit. Hopefully, we can make it happen next year.
 

Amp34

Member
Sorry to put a massive hole in your plan but your Lariat supercrew is not going to have a 3,100lb payload. Check the yellow sticker on the side of your drivers door. Likely payload is about half that (around 1,500lb)! Max payload package may add another 500 lb to that if you got it. The 3,100lb payload is for the regular car XL.

You’re going to be way over payload unfortunately.

May be worth looking into a Go Fast or Vagabond camper (when the latter release their full size).
 

mnwanders

Member
Sorry to put a massive hole in your plan but your Lariat supercrew is not going to have a 3,100lb payload. Check the yellow sticker on the side of your drivers door. Likely payload is about half that (around 1,500lb)! Max payload package may add another 500 lb to that if you got it. The 3,100lb payload is for the regular car XL.

You’re going to be way over payload unfortunately.

May be worth looking into a Go Fast or Vagabond camper (when the latter release their full size).
According to this, payload should be 2,020 if I got my facts straight from the previous posts.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

BretEdge

Adventurer
Sorry to put a massive hole in your plan but your Lariat supercrew is not going to have a 3,100lb payload. Check the yellow sticker on the side of your drivers door. Likely payload is about half that (around 1,500lb)! Max payload package may add another 500 lb to that if you got it. The 3,100lb payload is for the regular car XL.

You’re going to be way over payload unfortunately.

May be worth looking into a Go Fast or Vagabond camper (when the latter release their full size).
Yeah, I just quickly Googled it when I looked at the payload ratings. The other two campers aren't an option. I considered both but am not a fan of them. Too basic and too small for the price. The Four Wheel Campers get installed on Tacoma's all the time and they have even lower payloads. I'm not super worried about it, especially with the airbags. No massive hole in our plan...onward and upward! ;-)
 
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