Prep for our first road trip in the F-150 Lightning

3 minute read

It made big news yesterday, but for the sake of posterity, we are the first F-150 Lightning Owner in the world at this point. The timing was great as we have a long-ish road trip today to visit the beautiful Mackinac Island.

This meant practically moving a car seat, all the junk in the current truck, and getting the suitcase and bikes loaded before the following day. Yippie!

First Charge

At the dealership, I had to sign paperwork stating that I acknowledged that the fast charger would not come for some amount of time. How much time? No idea, but luckily we have the Tesla and Airstream, so we already have a NEMA 14-50 in the garage.

When we got home from the dealership, I plugged in the mobile charge to a NEMA 5-20 standard household plug and let it top off just to see how it functioned. No different than our Tesla mobile charger. I didn’t consider as we drove to dinner in Bay City with friends (I had to take the new truck, of course) that I was likely to need a full charge the next day. Whoops.

This meant trying to extend the mobile charger cable into the driveway to keep the Tesla in its spot. That, unfortunately, didn’t work, so at midnight there I was shuffling vehicles around the driveway.

With the 50amp connection in place, I started the charging process. I was surprised at a few things:

  1. There is no warning that charging to 100% isn’t great for batteries
  2. The charging speed is okay, but its SUCH a large battery pack compared to the Tesla that a few hours isn’t enough
  3. The mileage estimate is hopefully not a valid indication given this is 100% full, supposedly


If It Fits, I Sits

My little charging shuffle experiment allowed me to see how well the truck fit into our standard garage. The second bay is filled with a four-wheeler, yard trailers, and a Ducati that I need to rehome before both can park indoors.


Car Seat The truck is tight in our garage, but no different than any other full-size we have parked there. Compared to just whipping the Telsa in without much thought, I found myself highly reliant on the 360 cameras. Why did I put so much crap in the garage was my main takeaway as I navigated around my daughter’s stuff.


One of our key issues with the Tesla is that it cannot fit two large suitcases in the trunk without some healthy convincing. We would take our existing F-150 so we could toss a month’s worth of world travel luggage in the bed, but we always ran into the issue that some could not get wet. The frunk provided an exciting alternative!

You see here two-fold, the frunk open in the garage, which has plenty of clearance, and a full-size Briggs and Riley CX series sitting comfortably with space on all sides. We could likely fit our two computer bags and a few other items without issue.


Car Seat

Car Seat It pains me to put a car seat into the rear seat and ruin that new truck feel, but I am pretty attached to the kiddo. We use the back seat storage a good bit, so I generally try to place the car seat on the side that blocks the least amount of it. The large bench fold doesn’t lock when fully up, so I might need to get that fixed. It seems like a safety issue!

We use a Britax Marathon ClickTight for size reference. The latches are easy to find and attach to (unlike the Tesla) and made for a quick install. I am a little concerned about how close the latches bring the seat to the door, but I trust that Ford did sufficient study and engineering on this front.



The bikes fit just fine. Nothing to report here, and it is an F-150.


A few other thoughts…

App notifications

The notififcations are useful, but I hope one day we get the Sentry Mode from Tesla on the F-150.