With all the talk over the last year or so about Fords new option, Pro Power Onboard, contractors and campers galore have been asking themselves is this an option that is right for me. The right answer to this question depends on your needs at the jobsite but the answer may be yes, and no.
When Ford announced the release of the Pro Power Onboard Generator many truck owners’ ears perked up immediately. Camping, job sites, tailgating, how many times have you lifted a generator in and out of your truck bed to power all of those electrical items that you wanted to power. Thoughts of the last time the generator did not start was also on the minds of those people. Finally, a system that would be able to putt out more than the normal 400 watts and provide vehicle owners with a source of easy-to-use electrical power.
What is Pro Power Onboard?
If you haven’t heard of this system yet, it is an on-board power system that allows users to tap into electrical power in the convenience of the box of the truck. Pro Power Onboard comes with 3 different configurations depending on the engine and configuration of your F150.
The 2.7L, 3.5L and the 5.0L V8 engine can be equipped with a 2.0-kW system. This system costs $995 as this article is published and provides owners with two 120 volt 20-amp outlets at the rear of the truck bed.
The F-150 Hybrid comes with two different options, standard with the hybrid comes a 2.4-kW system. Depending on the vehicle configuration the 7.2-kW system comes as standard or as optional equipment. The 7.2-kW system provides vehicle owners with four 120 volt 20-amp outlets as well as the addition of a 240 volt 30-amp outlet.
The systems function similarly but the hybrid option does have differences that set it apart from the 2.0-kW standard system. The hybrid uses an onboard 1.5-kWh battery, once this battery is drained to a certain level the vehicle automatically starts to generate power ensuring seamless power supply to the user.
The 7.2-kW system has enough potential to power everything that you need in a large camper. From the fridge/freezer, tv for the kids, and the most dreaded camping device for camper owners, the air conditioning unit.
How long does the system run?
Depending on the system that your F150 is equipped with and the amount of power you are using the runtime will vary dramatically.
The hybrid 2.4-kW system, Ford claims a run time of 84 hours running at 2400 watts with a full fuel tank. The 7.2-kW system will run for a claimed 32 hours. We can only imagine that these numbers will vary significantly if the vehicles heat/cool systems are functioning while using the generator system.
How do you control the Pro Power Onboard system?
The system is controlled with an intuitive app called FordPass and it includes a few features that are unique with vehicles equipped with Pro Power Onboard. Users of the app can control the Pro Power system right from their phones. Also possible with use of the app is the ability to lock the doors of the vehicle while it is idling, this is a great function for campers who may be using the system while camping.
Is Pro Power Onboard Generator right for me?
After all this is the question that you are all here for. First depending on the option that your F-150 is equipped with you have a lot of power to run various systems.
As you can see depending on what you are doing with the vehicle you will need to ensure that you spec out your F-150 with the correct options. If you are a contractor, the 7.2-kW system would be required to ensure that you could use multiple tools simultaneously. Campers will rejoice with something as simple as the 2.0-kW system unless they require air conditioning.
Things to be concerned about.
The biggest drawback of the Pro Power Onboard Generator system is how it functions. Unless it is running off of the hybrid battery pack, supplying power for the system relies on the fact that the engine must be running. If you are a contractor that is on the job site for 10-12 hours per day your trucks engine is going to be running all day long. Depending on the drive to your jobsite you could be putting 14+ hours per day on the engine of your truck.
This results in a significant number of hours building up on your trucks engine very quickly. While this system is new, people may not realize that when they buy a used F-150 mileage may be low, but the engine could have thousands of hours from idling to power the on-board generator. For current owners that use the system, this may decrease the trade in value or resale value of the truck that you currently own as well.
If you use the generator consistently it would be suggested that you change your engine oil based on engine hours instead of mileage to ensure that your vehicle is getting the best possible preventative maintenance.
As you can see there are many positive features about Pro Power Onboard. It can make the life of a contractor easier and can make the life at the local campsite more convenient. But you will need to make sure that you weigh these pros and cons when you are looking at purchasing your next dream F-150.