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oneguynick

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Find the original here: https://geekyschmidt.com/personal/travel/tech/ev/lightning/2022/06/30/Camping.html

TL;DR
  • Solid headwinds and gradual climb = 1mi/kWh on the way there
  • Downhill with light winds and modified driving habits = 1.4mi/kWh
  • Charging networks were more than sufficient to get us there and back.
  • The chargers were positioned so that the truck and trailer could fit.
  • The winds were so destructive in Cadillac that a buggy took off in the Meijers parking lot and rammed the back of the Airstream…grumble grumble
  • Ford PR reached out to try and repair our failed navigation system, but alas, nothing. We had to rely solely on Google Maps through Android Auto.
  • The Pro Trailer system randomly forgot the Airstream after calibrating a few weeks ago and then randomly remembered it when we got home. Fun.
  • BlueCruise worked with the trailer connected, which seems odd. It was helpful but made me nervous, given the ping-pong between lanes that BlueCruise does. I found myself turning off cruise control to avoid it engaging.

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b10
Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b11

Pregaming with the Airstream & Lightning

Our first long trip with the Airstream and Lightning begins! Given our experience driving the empty truck to Mackinac Island, we modified our planning and assumptions:
  1. Assume a 90-mile range on the truck
  2. Find nearest 60kw+ chargers on PlugShare
  3. Assume that you can skip one if the charging station is broken or not functioning
  4. Look at photos posted by users on PlugShare
  5. Go to Google Maps and see if satellite view provides any indication of issues
  6. Add to PlugShare trip and do it all again for the next one
Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b3


We added one additional stop to meet our Solar and Battery installer, CBS Solar. They have a Tesla Destination Charger that we can top off before arriving at the campground. We have met many of their installers through our installation but never met in person, so this serves two purposes.

The trip statistics on the way there are pretty standard for Michigan as we head up and back down to the coastline. This means we will be towing against a slow, steady climb. We can consider this the worse part of the trip than the last, where we are purely on the downhill.
  • 3 Charging Stops with an additional hour of travel time​
  • Total Distance: 249km (155 mi) - About 2 hours 51 mins​
  • Total Time Including Waiting: About 3 hours 51 mins​
  • The altitude hits a peak of 455 meters (1453 feet)​
  • Altitude: ⬆ 587m (1,926 ft) and ⬇ 554m (1,818 ft)​

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b1

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b2

The Actuals

We ended up 1.0mi/kWh on the way there doing the speed limit and mostly on back roads. The headwind was pretty incredible and probably the worst-case scenario. Given the Airstreams shape and weight distribution, I am guessing for a trailer of this size; this is your best-case scenario with a strong headwind, hill climb, and the Lightning.

Due to the kiddo being sick, we skipped our CBS Solar stop and went straight to the camping site. We ended up with 100 miles left on the tank when we pulled in.

On the way back, I continued to follow backroads and speed limits. I began to understand better the brake capture and how to utilise it to limit battery impact. I was surprised to see my 1.0mi figure climb to 1.4 (and 1.5 for some portions of the road trip) throughout the return journey.

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b9

It’s electric…

One of the most fantastic things about the truck practically for us, is it charges at the campsite. Any site with full hook-ups will likely have a 100amp pedestal (20+30+50 connections), so we were more than able to power the Airstream as well as the charging of the truck.

Even at rustic sites with just a 20amp (or hopefully a 30), we can power the Airstream and truck. We modified our A/C on the Airstream to be able to use the basic 20amp service to turn on.

This is a game-changer for us because many campsites in northern Michigan are at the edges of current charging networks. In essence, it gives us a connection in an area that otherwise would not have one.

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b16


Charging Stations

After a ton of research, we could have some comfort we could charge without disconnecting the trailer. It is doable, but you must be patient as some will be blocked.

Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b5
Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b6
Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b7
Ford F-150 Lightning 300 Mile Trip to Frankfort with the Lightning - Thoughts and Stats with the Airstream in tow f150-b17
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vandy1981

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Fantastic write-up. Glad to see that trailering with the Lightning isn't all gloom and doom. I'll hopefully be able to add another data point with a 22' Micro Minnie very soon...
 

Griddlez

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Great write up!

I agree, the approach to using the 20 amp service will work with most trailers that have a single A/C unit. I have ran the A/C and 12v fridge in our RV many times on a 110v 20 amp circuit with no issues. Just don't turn anything else on lol.

Seems like all in all if you assume 90-100mile miles between charge stops or destination I feel like you'll never go wrong in the lightning (just as you said!). Awesome.
 

jerock

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Thanks for the write up. Looking forward to the day I get to try it myself. Remind me the length of your Airstream! I'll be pulling a 28' Minnie.
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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Thanks for the write up. Looking forward to the day I get to try it myself. Remind me the length of your Airstream! I'll be pulling a 28' Minnie.
23fb Flying Cloud
 

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ftms

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What is the weight of your trailer? My bass boat i believe is a little lighter at 5,000 lbs. Defiantly less wind resistance but at back road speeds i am not sure how much it will make a difference vs weight. I am hoping to get 150 miles on a charge, realistic yet to be determine.
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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What is the weight of your trailer? My bass boat i believe is a little lighter at 5,000 lbs. Defiantly less wind resistance but at back road speeds i am not sure how much it will make a difference vs weight. I am hoping to get 150 miles on a charge, realistic yet to be determine.
Around 6000lbs. If I can get the 1.4/1.5 as I did on the way back then 180 miles is doable on a charge
 

Firestop

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Find the original here: https://geekyschmidt.com/personal/travel/tech/ev/lightning/2022/06/30/Camping.html

TL;DR
  • Solid headwinds and gradual climb = 1mi/kWh on the way there
  • Downhill with light winds and modified driving habits = 1.4mi/kWh
  • Charging networks were more than sufficient to get us there and back.
  • The chargers were positioned so that the truck and trailer could fit.
  • The winds were so destructive in Cadillac that a buggy took off in the Meijers parking lot and rammed the back of the Airstream…grumble grumble
  • Ford PR reached out to try and repair our failed navigation system, but alas, nothing. We had to rely solely on Google Maps through Android Auto.
  • The Pro Trailer system randomly forgot the Airstream after calibrating a few weeks ago and then randomly remembered it when we got home. Fun.
  • BlueCruise worked with the trailer connected, which seems odd. It was helpful but made me nervous, given the ping-pong between lanes that BlueCruise does. I found myself turning off cruise control to avoid it engaging.

f150-b10.jpg
f150-b11.jpg

Pregaming with the Airstream & Lightning

Our first long trip with the Airstream and Lightning begins! Given our experience driving the empty truck to Mackinac Island, we modified our planning and assumptions:
  1. Assume a 90-mile range on the truck
  2. Find nearest 60kw+ chargers on PlugShare
  3. Assume that you can skip one if the charging station is broken or not functioning
  4. Look at photos posted by users on PlugShare
  5. Go to Google Maps and see if satellite view provides any indication of issues
  6. Add to PlugShare trip and do it all again for the next one
f150-b3.png


We added one additional stop to meet our Solar and Battery installer, CBS Solar. They have a Tesla Destination Charger that we can top off before arriving at the campground. We have met many of their installers through our installation but never met in person, so this serves two purposes.

The trip statistics on the way there are pretty standard for Michigan as we head up and back down to the coastline. This means we will be towing against a slow, steady climb. We can consider this the worse part of the trip than the last, where we are purely on the downhill.
  • 3 Charging Stops with an additional hour of travel time​
  • Total Distance: 249km (155 mi) - About 2 hours 51 mins​
  • Total Time Including Waiting: About 3 hours 51 mins​
  • The altitude hits a peak of 455 meters (1453 feet)​
  • Altitude: ⬆ 587m (1,926 ft) and ⬇ 554m (1,818 ft)​

f150-b1.png

f150-b2.png

The Actuals

We ended up 1.0mi/kWh on the way there doing the speed limit and mostly on back roads. The headwind was pretty incredible and probably the worst-case scenario. Given the Airstreams shape and weight distribution, I am guessing for a trailer of this size; this is your best-case scenario with a strong headwind, hill climb, and the Lightning.

Due to the kiddo being sick, we skipped our CBS Solar stop and went straight to the camping site. We ended up with 100 miles left on the tank when we pulled in.

On the way back, I continued to follow backroads and speed limits. I began to understand better the brake capture and how to utilise it to limit battery impact. I was surprised to see my 1.0mi figure climb to 1.4 (and 1.5 for some portions of the road trip) throughout the return journey.

f150-b9.jpg

It’s electric…

One of the most fantastic things about the truck practically for us, is it charges at the campsite. Any site with full hook-ups will likely have a 100amp pedestal (20+30+50 connections), so we were more than able to power the Airstream as well as the charging of the truck.

Even at rustic sites with just a 20amp (or hopefully a 30), we can power the Airstream and truck. We modified our A/C on the Airstream to be able to use the basic 20amp service to turn on.

This is a game-changer for us because many campsites in northern Michigan are at the edges of current charging networks. In essence, it gives us a connection in an area that otherwise would not have one.

f150-b16.jpg


Charging Stations

After a ton of research, we could have some comfort we could charge without disconnecting the trailer. It is doable, but you must be patient as some will be blocked.

f150-b5.jpg
f150-b6.jpg
f150-b7.jpg
f150-b17.jpg
Nick, thank you for again taking your time to provide a useful and well written summary of your experience driving your Lightning. You’ve been generous to this forum.

Given your recent camping/travel experience, what would you recommend for items/adapters to put into a “Mobile Charge Kit” for a Lightning in addition to what comes standard in the truck with the Ford Mobile Charger?
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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Nick, thank you for again taking your time to provide a useful and well written summary of your experience driving your Lightning. You’ve been generous to this forum.

Given your recent camping/travel experience, what would you recommend for items/adapters to put into a “Mobile Charge Kit” for a Lightning in addition to what comes standard in the truck with the Ford Mobile Charger?
GREAT QUESTION! Our Airstream uses a 30amp RV plug; I carry an extension cord for some campsites. I needed to park the truck in a specific way to reach the 50amp circuit that the FMC includes. If I had a 30-to-50 converter, I could have utilised my existing extension cable. I usually carry only a 50-to-30 and needed the inverse. I ordered it soon as we got home.

That was really about it. The NEMA 14-20 it includes, and the 14-50 are more than sufficient for most, but if your RV uses a 30 instead, you might be missing some converters.

I can detect a pile-on about to happen about the amperage and safety. Maybe, but I am also hopeful Ford will add the ability (like Tesla) to select your amperage for charging to avoid miscommunication.
 

Firestop

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GREAT QUESTION! Our Airstream uses a 30amp RV plug; I carry an extension cord for some campsites. I needed to park the truck in a specific way to reach the 50amp circuit that the FMC includes. If I had a 30-to-50 converter, I could have utilised my existing extension cable. I usually carry only a 50-to-30 and needed the inverse. I ordered it soon as we got home.

That was really about it. The NEMA 14-20 it includes, and the 14-50 are more than sufficient for most, but if your RV uses a 30 instead, you might be missing some converters.

I can detect a pile-on about to happen about the amperage and safety. Maybe, but I am also hopeful Ford will add the ability (like Tesla) to select your amperage for charging to avoid miscommunication.
Thank you! Yep, I expect you’re right and, I hope Ford does too. It will be interesting to see if @OutofSpecKyle and/or @tommolog covers any significance of this issue in their tests/videos about (non-network) charging🤔

Again, thanks!

Mike………..
 

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ftms

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Around 6000lbs. If I can get the 1.4/1.5 as I did on the way back then 180 miles is doable on a charge
That is good to know. Most of my lakes are about 120 round trip. Anything else is over 100 one way but with charging options on the way to top off. Thanks for the info.
 

2wheeltraveler

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Is it possible / would it make sense to plug the truck into the 30/50amp circuit at the campground and let it pull full power, while running the RV off the truck vs load sharing at the pole?
 
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oneguynick

oneguynick

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Is it possible / would it make sense to plug the truck into the 30/50amp circuit at the campground and let it pull full power, while running the RV off the truck vs load sharing at the pole?
My gut says I would avoid putting the strain on the inverter and battery if I could avoid it
 

V8BoatBuilder

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Too bad you can't plug the trailer into the Pro-Power 240v, and then plug the truck in.

Picture this: Set the truck to the wall outlet amperage, and the truck can sense load being drawn from the receptacle in the bed. That way, when the trailer's air con is pulling what it needs, the truck throttles down. When the air con shuts off (t-stat satisfied), the truck can pull more current.
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