So a couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to attend, and participate in, a demonstration of the new Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature that is available in the 2016 Ford F-150. Now I’ll be honest, there was a time, not that long ago actually, that the idea of trailer back up technology would have have next to no appeal to me. I mean I drove a Ford Escort for most of my driving career so there was not trailer pulling happening here. But things change. And now, well this technology is completely relevant to me and to my family. Three years ago we decided we were going to be a camping family. We went out and bought all the stuff. An awesome tent, sleeping bags, the whole nine yards. And our first trip out it poured rain. Seriously poured. By the next weekend we had bought ourselves a cozy little 18 foot camping trailer and we haven’t looked back since. Well except for the backing the trailer into camp spots part. Now to my husband’s credit, he’s actually pretty good at it. In fact, pulling and parking trailers is something he does on a regular basis with his work. But even the most proficient driver can struggle with trying to get the trailer just perfect in that camping spot. As frequent campers I can’t tell you how many times we’ve not only experienced but witnessed the frustration of couples trying to park their trailer. Those can be tense moments!
This is where the Ford Pro Trailer Backup Assist comes in. It’s so used friendly that even I successfully backed up and parked a trailer. And that’s something I never thought would happen. I find the whole process rather intimidating. But this cool feature makes it measurably less scary. So how does it work? The first thing you need is this sticker.
The manual tells you exactly where to place the sticker on your trailer (you can register up to 10 trailers into the system). Once the sticker is placed you have to take a few measurements to enter into the system in the truck.
The system walks you through every measurement so it’s really quite easy.
My husband did all the measuring and I entered them into the system although you could easily do it by yourself. This is my view from the back up camera. Once you have all of the measurements entered (there are only 4 of them so it doesn’t take long) you are told to drive straight for a short distance (with the trailer attached) while everything is calibrated. And that’s it. You are ready to go and you only have to do this process once.
Now the backing up part! I love this. I’m one of those people who gets thoroughly messed up when I know the trailer needs to go a certain direction but you have to steer the vehicle in the opposite direction. With the Pro Trailer Backup Assist you don’t have to worry about that. You just activate the system and take your hands off the steering wheel. Yep that’s right no hands!
Ok well the truth is you do need one hand when it comes to actually turning the trailer. There is a separate control knob that you use to turn the trailer. And you actually turn it in the direction that you want the trailer to go. And you can see everything very clearly using both the awesome side mirrors on the F-150 and the onboard view from the back up camera.
I’ve got a little video demo for you that I took at the Ford event. Some of you might recognize the fabulous Kathryn from Mommy Kat and Kids.
The Pro Backup Assist is available on any 2016 Ford F-150 as part of the $925 trailer tow package so if you are a frequent tower this is money well spent.
After the demo at Ford I jumped at the chance to take this gorgeous F-150 King Ranch for a few days. And it just so happened that we were heading out camping during that time so it was perfect. As you can see this truck was the perfect match for our little trailer.
So we’ve talked about the Pro Backup Assist but I also have to point out a few other awesome features that this particular King Ranch has that truly does make it King. Things like this sweet tailgate step. The other cool feature the tailgate has is a remote, hands free opener.
And then there’s this. This alert came on as we were driving to the camp ground. Just to be clear, I took the picture and my husband was driving. And no he wasn’t falling asleep. When it first came up on the screen we weren’t sure what was going on so I had to look it up. What you see here is the Ford driver alert system in action. And the reason it came on was because we were driving on one of Saskatchewan’s awesome secondary highways where you have to do a little bit of swerving to avoid the various hazzards. So the truck thought someone was getting tired.
Some of the other features that this truck has:
- The amazing twin panel moon roof
- Massaging front seats (my husband’s favorite)
- Front seats with both heat and cooling options
- Dynamic Hitch Assist makes positioning the truck to hook up the trailer a breeze
- 360 degree view uses four exterior cameras to give the driver a bird’s-eye view
- There is an amazing amount of room in the back seat
I’m pretty sure there are plenty of other features in the F-150 King Ranch that we missed. It seemed like every time we got into the truck we discovered something new! I might have to try and get my hands on it for another week. We had an awesome time testing out this truck and trying out all of the amazing features. The King Ranch is a dream to drive. It handles beautifully and is luxurious both inside and out. We were all sad (and especially my husband) to see it go at the end of our little adventure.
You can find out more about the F-150 King Ranch and the entire F-150 line up at Ford.ca.
Disclosure: We did not receive compensation for this post. We were given the Ford F-150 King Ranch to use for a few days so we could share our thoughts with you. All opinions are 100% our own.