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4x4TruckLEDs.com

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So I wanted to take a moment and detail the last few years of my F150 ownership.

I actually started with a 2015 F150 XLT back in 2015/2016. This was my first entry into the Ford world and I loved the truck. You really got a lot for your money (back then when prices were more reasonable). This was a great truck and I did a LOT of modifications to it. 6" lift, bumpers, chase rack, roof rack and even a ProCharger. This let me actually to my 2018 F150 Raptor acquisition when I blew the motor in my 2015 and while that was being replaced, purchased the Gen2 Raptor.

So the Raptor was a great truck. It was a street queen but Ford built it to tackle off-road trails as well. A great truck. Loved it. My wife loved it. My kids loved it.

Ford F-150 Lightning My Journey | Gen2 Raptor - to F150 Lightning - to F150 XLT z- Raptor


We took it from NY to FL and back. Took it hours away on trips to see family, just a rock solid truck with plenty of room and comfort.

Then the big announcement for the Lighthing came and I signed up day 2. I was in the 2nd tier of people getting to place an order and placed mine 3 weeks after they opened up the order banks.

Ironically enough, I received my Lightning 3 weeks earlier then I should have and became one of the first people in the country to take ownership of one.

I purchased a Lariat ER in Star White with a spray in liner. Everything else was AS IS so my sticker was $80,659.

I always told myself "I'll give it a year, and decide if I want to sell the Raptor or not". For me, trucks are a business expense since we sell accessories for them.

I threw some new wheels/tires on her and said "nothing else needs to be done to it, she's perfect as is"

Ford F-150 Lightning My Journey | Gen2 Raptor - to F150 Lightning - to F150 XLT Wheels2


I wound up ONLY driving the Lightning. Being that we already had a Bronco I decided it was time to sell the Raptor. I made some money off developing products for it and selling accessories and it was time to let someone else enjoy her. I was enjoying the Lightning so much I didn't need it anymore. So up for sale it went and it sold a few months later.

Since that time, I've not regretted that decision one bit. The Lightning has proven to be a terrific truck... WITH some hiccups of course, which is why i'm selling it and moving to an XLT again.

So some of you may have followed our journey from NY to FL and back on Instagram. We documented the trip and let others see how the experience was. It started off great, almost a novelty but quickly that novelty wore off. We have 2 kids under 4 and stopping every 3 hours proved to be VERY annoying. I decided to stop every 3 hours because being a new EV owner I wanted a 100 mile buffer so I could get to the next fast charger with PLENTY of spare range (and we did have to do that a few times). Plus, we didn't have to charge that long at each stop.

BUT, a 15 minute charge turns into 30 minutes when you have 2 kids and you're going into wallmart to keep them occupied. So an 18 hour trip turned into a 24 hour trip. Coming back was easier, but still just as annoying with charging.

OKAY, so that's not going to happen often, and it's the only time I had to rely on public charging. I commute 10 minutes to work so I charge at home once a week. And the only other time I had to charge was visiting family 2 hours away. I only had to charge because it was the middle of winter and I didn't want to risk running out of juice on the way home but i MIGHT have made it in the summer.

But... that's the other issue I have. As wonderful as that screen is it's also REALLY annoying to use. The fact we HAVE to use it to control HVAC is really annoying and dangerous. You have to take your eyes off the road to make adjustments. The novelty of saying "Alexa, lower the temperature" wore off after week 1. Having to go through a few menus to get HVAC to work was a pain.

And of course with my winter trip to family over the holidays, I was using the HVAC controls often and it was annoying.

BUT after that trip I decided... let's see what else I can do to the Lightning. I wasn't caring about range anymore so it was time for an "overland" build. I threw a roof rack on it, a truck bed rack on it and even a tent. A few light bars and away we went!

Ford F-150 Lightning My Journey | Gen2 Raptor - to F150 Lightning - to F150 XLT 1684547975968


The truck doesn't even look like a Lightning anymore. In fact, when I wave at other Lightning trucks they don't wave back because they don't realize I'm "one of the clan".

But as much as we can modify the Lightning for overlanding... I still can't use it. See here on Long Island we fish on the beach. It requires a 4x4 permit and you drive on and fish. We take the Bronco out but I really want to take our F150 out. BUT the fear of taking such a HEAVY vehicle and possibly getting stuck worries me. It's NOT a light vehicle to dig out or tow out if the "SHTF". So I never got to really use all that cool overlanding gear on the truck.

Then there's the aftermarket world. SURE most F150 accessories fit BUT when it comes to lighting (i mean that's our business) we couldn't do much. Nobody makes headlights or tail lights and fog lights don't exist. We need to market those products to sell them and the Lightning just isn't a good vehicle for those.

In fact, because there are still so limited Lightnings using one as a demo truck is honestly pointless. SURE we've sold a bunch of bed covers and what not in the community, but again.... the Lightning is a small portion of the whole F150 world.

So while this is a VERY comfortable truck we made the decision to buy a 2023 F150 XLT. It's what most folks are driving and the sky is the limit as far as accessories go. Most of the accessories are cross-compatible (with the exception of some lighting and engine items).

Ford F-150 Lightning My Journey | Gen2 Raptor - to F150 Lightning - to F150 XLT 1684548205015


Do I regret buying an F150 Lightning. NOPE! Is it a great truck? YOU BET! Is it for me... EHHHH SORT OF!

For a regular commuter vehicle/business man vehicle/family vehicle it's awesome. For OUR needs to visit family 1,000 miles away AND not have to worry about WHERE we can take it... an ICE is what we need.

Ford did a killer job with this vehicle bringing her to market, but I don't think society is QUITE ready for it when it comes to longer trips. Tesla had the same issues early on and it took years to get their network out there. Everybody else will get there soon. EV's are still new to the market (not counting Tesla) and I believe in a few years charging networks will REALLY expand.

But for now... It's back to a 3.5L Ecoboost for me. Ohh and I chose an Ecoboost over a V8 because you honestly get more power/torque from an ecoboost. I do love the sound of a V8 but i've been there. I plan to use this to visit family so better MPG will be nice (plus I have another vehicle that has a V8 for my "VROOM VROOM" sounding needs lol).

We'll still be around on this forum of course as a supporting vendor because we were one of the first to get a Lightning and one of the first to build it up as have (with ALL bolt-on parts too!)

Ford F-150 Lightning My Journey | Gen2 Raptor - to F150 Lightning - to F150 XLT Trucks4
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AZT9

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Great write up on your experience! Thanks for the support. I have to agree with your personal assessment as well. It’s an amazing truck! I have but one regret with it, and it’s not technically fords fault but as you said. We simply are not and will not be for a long time ready for “mass market” EV adoption in this country. As much as I love my truck, when asked if I would recommend a Lightning or any EV for that matter, I have to say “not yet” there is simply too many manufacturers pumping out too many EVs too quickly for the current charging infrastructure. I completely understand that “long trips” are a small percentage of most people’s travels but all it takes is one road trip on a holiday weekend for the horror story’s and regrets to set in. For me, it’s the perfect truck for my long commute to work (410 miles round trip)
 

eric16l

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So I wanted to take a moment and detail the last few years of my F150 ownership.

I actually started with a 2015 F150 XLT back in 2015/2016. This was my first entry into the Ford world and I loved the truck. You really got a lot for your money (back then when prices were more reasonable). This was a great truck and I did a LOT of modifications to it. 6" lift, bumpers, chase rack, roof rack and even a ProCharger. This let me actually to my 2018 F150 Raptor acquisition when I blew the motor in my 2015 and while that was being replaced, purchased the Gen2 Raptor.

So the Raptor was a great truck. It was a street queen but Ford built it to tackle off-road trails as well. A great truck. Loved it. My wife loved it. My kids loved it.

z- Raptor.jpg


We took it from NY to FL and back. Took it hours away on trips to see family, just a rock solid truck with plenty of room and comfort.

Then the big announcement for the Lighthing came and I signed up day 2. I was in the 2nd tier of people getting to place an order and placed mine 3 weeks after they opened up the order banks.

Ironically enough, I received my Lightning 3 weeks earlier then I should have and became one of the first people in the country to take ownership of one.

I purchased a Lariat ER in Star White with a spray in liner. Everything else was AS IS so my sticker was $80,659.

I always told myself "I'll give it a year, and decide if I want to sell the Raptor or not". For me, trucks are a business expense since we sell accessories for them.

I threw some new wheels/tires on her and said "nothing else needs to be done to it, she's perfect as is"

Wheels2.jpg


I wound up ONLY driving the Lightning. Being that we already had a Bronco I decided it was time to sell the Raptor. I made some money off developing products for it and selling accessories and it was time to let someone else enjoy her. I was enjoying the Lightning so much I didn't need it anymore. So up for sale it went and it sold a few months later.

Since that time, I've not regretted that decision one bit. The Lightning has proven to be a terrific truck... WITH some hiccups of course, which is why i'm selling it and moving to an XLT again.

So some of you may have followed our journey from NY to FL and back on Instagram. We documented the trip and let others see how the experience was. It started off great, almost a novelty but quickly that novelty wore off. We have 2 kids under 4 and stopping every 3 hours proved to be VERY annoying. I decided to stop every 3 hours because being a new EV owner I wanted a 100 mile buffer so I could get to the next fast charger with PLENTY of spare range (and we did have to do that a few times). Plus, we didn't have to charge that long at each stop.

BUT, a 15 minute charge turns into 30 minutes when you have 2 kids and you're going into wallmart to keep them occupied. So an 18 hour trip turned into a 24 hour trip. Coming back was easier, but still just as annoying with charging.

OKAY, so that's not going to happen often, and it's the only time I had to rely on public charging. I commute 10 minutes to work so I charge at home once a week. And the only other time I had to charge was visiting family 2 hours away. I only had to charge because it was the middle of winter and I didn't want to risk running out of juice on the way home but i MIGHT have made it in the summer.

But... that's the other issue I have. As wonderful as that screen is it's also REALLY annoying to use. The fact we HAVE to use it to control HVAC is really annoying and dangerous. You have to take your eyes off the road to make adjustments. The novelty of saying "Alexa, lower the temperature" wore off after week 1. Having to go through a few menus to get HVAC to work was a pain.

And of course with my winter trip to family over the holidays, I was using the HVAC controls often and it was annoying.

BUT after that trip I decided... let's see what else I can do to the Lightning. I wasn't caring about range anymore so it was time for an "overland" build. I threw a roof rack on it, a truck bed rack on it and even a tent. A few light bars and away we went!

1684547975968.png


The truck doesn't even look like a Lightning anymore. In fact, when I wave at other Lightning trucks they don't wave back because they don't realize I'm "one of the clan".

But as much as we can modify the Lightning for overlanding... I still can't use it. See here on Long Island we fish on the beach. It requires a 4x4 permit and you drive on and fish. We take the Bronco out but I really want to take our F150 out. BUT the fear of taking such a HEAVY vehicle and possibly getting stuck worries me. It's NOT a light vehicle to dig out or tow out if the "SHTF". So I never got to really use all that cool overlanding gear on the truck.

Then there's the aftermarket world. SURE most F150 accessories fit BUT when it comes to lighting (i mean that's our business) we couldn't do much. Nobody makes headlights or tail lights and fog lights don't exist. We need to market those products to sell them and the Lightning just isn't a good vehicle for those.

In fact, because there are still so limited Lightnings using one as a demo truck is honestly pointless. SURE we've sold a bunch of bed covers and what not in the community, but again.... the Lightning is a small portion of the whole F150 world.

So while this is a VERY comfortable truck we made the decision to buy a 2023 F150 XLT. It's what most folks are driving and the sky is the limit as far as accessories go. Most of the accessories are cross-compatible (with the exception of some lighting and engine items).

1684548205015.png


Do I regret buying an F150 Lightning. NOPE! Is it a great truck? YOU BET! Is it for me... EHHHH SORT OF!

For a regular commuter vehicle/business man vehicle/family vehicle it's awesome. For OUR needs to visit family 1,000 miles away AND not have to worry about WHERE we can take it... an ICE is what we need.

Ford did a killer job with this vehicle bringing her to market, but I don't think society is QUITE ready for it when it comes to longer trips. Tesla had the same issues early on and it took years to get their network out there. Everybody else will get there soon. EV's are still new to the market (not counting Tesla) and I believe in a few years charging networks will REALLY expand.

But for now... It's back to a 3.5L Ecoboost for me. Ohh and I chose an Ecoboost over a V8 because you honestly get more power/torque from an ecoboost. I do love the sound of a V8 but i've been there. I plan to use this to visit family so better MPG will be nice (plus I have another vehicle that has a V8 for my "VROOM VROOM" sounding needs lol).

We'll still be around on this forum of course as a supporting vendor because we were one of the first to get a Lightning and one of the first to build it up as have (with ALL bolt-on parts too!)

Trucks4.jpg
Great write up. I also went from a Gen2 Raptor to the Lightning. I have only taken 1 road trip, but it was with older kids, so the stops didn't matter as much.

I am curious what light bars you put on there and how you wired them up. I added multiple light pods and a light bar to my Raptor and I'd like to do some of that to the Lightning, but not sure where to start without pre-wired switches already installed.
 
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4x4TruckLEDs.com

4x4TruckLEDs.com

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Great write up. I also went from a Gen2 Raptor to the Lightning. I have only taken 1 road trip, but it was with older kids, so the stops didn't matter as much.

I am curious what light bars you put on there and how you wired them up. I added multiple light pods and a light bar to my Raptor and I'd like to do some of that to the Lightning, but not sure where to start without pre-wired switches already installed.
Im running a Rhino-Rack Pioneer Rack on the roof. So I have 2x Baja Designs 40" S8 Bars mounted up. One for the front and back. Routed the wire through and under the Pionee Rack, then down the back window, under the truck up to the frunk where I have an AuxBeam switch panel setup/distro block. Inside my sunglass holder is a switch panel
 

eric16l

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Nice. I'll look into those. It was great having the OEM upfitter switches in the Raptor.

Did you just wire the lights to the 12v battery just like in the Raptor?
 

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Nice. I'll look into those. It was great having the OEM upfitter switches in the Raptor.

Did you just wire the lights to the 12v battery just like in the Raptor?
Yes the switch panel is wired to the battery.

We stock Baja Designs and Rhino-Rack Products.
 

Ajjra

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Will you be parting out the accessories from the truck or selling it as is.?
 

Maquis

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The HVAC controls after 4.2.x are vastly improved. Not perfect, by any means, but everything most commonly used is now a tap and maybe a dial twist away.
 
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Will you be parting out the accessories from the truck or selling it as is.?
No everything moves to the new truck.
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