We ended our 2015 local camping season at Anchor Down RV Resort in Dandridge, TN. As we were leaving, the friendly owners and staff joked that opening day was only a couple months away. They insisted that we return and last week we took them up on their offer.
It was a chilly but, beautiful, opening weekend at the park and there only a few other campers around. We counted a total of 4 RV's on the lower level including us and handful of others on the upper level. We wanted relax and enjoy the views, but also give our new Ford F-350 Platinum a test run with the Airstream in tow. More on that later. Anchor Down is a wonderful place to visit and kick off another exciting year of travel.
For our first getaway in 2016, we picked Site #41. It's our favorite site and the same one we had in the fall. It includes a beautiful stone fireplace overlooking nearby Douglas Lake with spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The sunsets from Site 41 never disappoint.
Thanks Anchor Down for a great start to 2016. See you on closing weekend in the fall.
Once again I find myself excited about a tonneau cover. When I ordered the new Ford F-350 Platinum to replace our 2013 Ford F-150 Platinum EcoBoost, there was no need for discussion on the bed cover. My new truck would have a Silver Ingot Metallic Tonneau Cover by UnderCover from Ford Accessories just like the one I had on the F-150.
UnderCover bed covers from Ford Accessories allow owners to lock the cover and tailgate for trunk-like storage, look fantastic and do an excellent job of protecting the bed from the elements. Not a single drop of water found its way into the bed of the F-150 the entire time I owned the truck. The painted cover includes LED lights and a lock that uses the truck key. A separate key for the tonneau cover is not required. Sweet.
The Silver Ingot Metallic paint matches the F-350 Platinum perfectly. The design of the Hard Painted Tonneau Cover by UnderCover mimics the lines and contours of the hood and top of the truck to give it a factory look. It also includes Ford logo's on both sides that further enhances the factory appearance.
Overall, the new tonneau cover gives our already beautiful F-350 Platinum a more finished look and provides a large, dry and locked storage area while traveling with the Airstream.
After passing the recommended 497 mile (800 km) break-in period, we hitched the Airstream to our new 2016 Ford F-350 Platinum for the first time. It was a moment we had been waiting to experience and it did not disappoint.
The Ford F-350 includes an extremely helpful trailer information display that allows you to customize the current trailer connected or the option to select other trailers that have been connected to the truck. The display screen includes an option for customizing the name for the trailer, trailer brake control gain setting, brake output and Accumulated Miles on the current trailer. Our 2013 F-150 Platinum EcoBoost had a similar display that never missed a beat during our time with the Flying Cloud 25FB.
Since picking up the new F-350 in early February, I've been waiting patiently for the total miles to reach the recommended 497 miles (800 km) before towing. It took a couple weeks of easy driving during the break-in period but we finally connected the first time at 565.8 miles.
Now to find out how the Ford 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel performs while towing an Airstream International Signature 27FB.
After holding the big Ford 6.7L back for 565.8 miles I'm guessing it will be good.
Owning and driving a pickup truck without tinted windows is just not acceptable. Our new 2016 Ford F-350 Platinum was back at the dealer the week after delivery for window tint on the front driver and passenger windows and a set of Ford Super Duty rubber floor mats to keep the interior looking like new.
The friendly folks in the Accessories shop at our local Ford dealer did an excellent job applying the Tennessee approved 35% window tint to the front driver and passenger side windows. The tint color was selected by Ford to match the factory tint and makes our already beautiful Super Duty look even better. It's a Silver Ingot Metallic and black beast of a truck. Two thumbs up!
I also picked up a set of Ford rubber floor mats that I had ordered from Ford when we traded the F-150. If you're in the market for well made, heavy duty rubber floor mats for your Super Duty, check out All-Weather Thermoplastic Rubber, Black Crew Cab, Part No: DC3Z-2613300-A on the Ford Accessories website:
- The deep grooves and raised ridges in these heavy-duty mats catch and hold snow, slush and mud, while protecting the vehicle carpeting.
- Nibbed backing and driver-side positive retention help keep mats in place
- Front mats (featuring Super Duty logo) available for Regular Cab; 3-piece kit available for Super Cab and Crew Cab.
The all-weather, heavy rubber mats makes it a simple task to keep the crew cabin looking like new. They fit perfectly and include Super Duty lettering to give it a finished, factory look.
The new window tint and heavy duty rubber floor mats were a great addition to our F-350. Next up is the Ford Painted Tonneau Cover by Undercover. Watch for a follow-up post soon.
The F-150 Platinum EcoBoost was easily one of the most enjoyable and best vehicles I've owned. For daily driving, it was quieter and more comfortable than most luxury cars. It was a beautiful truck in Silver Ingot Metallic with high-quality black leather interior and every option imaginable. The 3.5L EcoBoost engine was smooth as silk and plenty capable of pulling our International Signature 27FB with ease. But there's more to towing than how easy the tow vehicle will pull a trailer. People are involved and people like stuff. Lots of stuff. After all, your house is following you so why would you not want to bring along stuff that helps make the #LiveRiveted life so enjoyable?
With the F-150 hitched to the Airstream and the bed loaded with a toolbox, grill, bikes, blankets, hoses, cables, cords, rugs, lawn chairs along with a cabin full of cameras, laptops, power cords and of course Gadget with all her toys, we were always near the rated payload capacity and constantly trying to decide what to leave behind. So, we did the unthinkable. We ordered a new 2016 Ford F-350 Platinum with enough payload capacity for us and 25 of our closest friends. Not that they would fit, but the F-350 would easily carry them if space were not an issue.
To get off the tow vehicle merry-go-round, I ordered the F-350 Platinum with the 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel engine. This thing is a beast that goes about its business of moving mass with ease and does so very quietly. Inside the cabin, the powerhouse diesel engine produces a very low hum at idle and is not much louder than the EcoBoost under throttle. At crusing speed, it's eerily similar to the F-150 in comfort and quietness. Everything you've read about the quiet cabin in late model Ford trucks is true. They are incredibly powerful, quiet and comfortable.
We loved all the features and luxury of our F-150 Platinum and wanted similar amenities in the F-350. Climbing up and into the driver seat is certainly different due to the height, but once seated it all feels familiar. The dash is almost identical with the same layout, blue LED tipped gauges and a Sony/Sync/Navigation system that actually sounds better than it did in the F-150. All the knobs and controls look like they were taken right out of our F-150. Everything in sight is familiar with the exeption of the ride height. In the F-350, you're almost eyeball-to-eyeball with semi drivers. When traffic stops there's no guessing at what lies ahead. Peer through the SoundScreen windshield and you can see for miles. It's a very cool view of the road.
For anyone questioning the logic of a 1-ton truck, the answer is yes. The Ford F-350 6.7L V8 Power Stroke with 440 horsepower, 860 lb.-ft. of torque and 3800 lb. payload capacity is overkill for towing an Airstream 27FB International Signature. If you're like us and want to bring along your toys to make an Airstream adventure truly an enjoyable road trip, the F-350 makes perfect sense. Pile them in the truck, fill up every tank, nook and cranny in the Airstream and off you go in style. No more porpoising down the interstate with your hands glued to the steering wheel concerned about payload.
The F-150 was a fantastic truck and will always be remembered as one of my favorite vehicles. For the most part, it was better than any car we've owned. However, if you enjoy the Airstream life and love road trips as much as we do, the F-350 is a major step forward that will bring a smile to your face each time you climb into the driver seat. This is a serious driving machine that fits perfectly with the #LiveRiveted lifestyle.
Go big or go home? Go big.