America’s top-selling pickup for the past 26 years, the Ford F-150 carries a well-deserved reputation as a workhorse. The F-150 is also one of the most popular tow vehicles ever welded together, which is why the company’s announcement that it spent nearly $2 billion to re-create the truck from the frame up for 2004 was cause for curiosity among travel-trailer enthusiasts. What, with the possible exception of the 2003 version’s ladylike sheet metal, was so out-of-kilter with the F-150 as to warrant such a radical overhaul?
Apparently, quite a bit. After pairing the all-new F-150 with Keystone’s Outback 28RSS for a romp in the woods, we couldn’t find one area in which the new F-150 didn’t dramatically improve upon the old version. It has more horsepower, more torque, twice the torsional rigidity, a higher payload and far greater towing capacity than the 2003 model. It’s also bigger, heavier and, by all accounts, more masculine looking than its predecessor.
With the new Ford redefining the way we think about light-duty trucks, it was only natural to hitch it up to a travel trailer that epitomizes the current trend toward comfortable camping. Though it’s listed as a 28-footer, the Outback 28RSS grows on you — literally. Campside, the unit sports a rear-bedroom slideout that increases overall length to an impressive 33 feet.
However, that is just the first of many surprises this trailer offers. With both the manual bed slideout and streetside sofa electric slideout fully extended, the living space increases dramatically and makes meal preparation and service a lot easier.
For the money, it’s hard to think of how a family of six could escape from one residence to another as comfortably. Pick up the December 2003 issue of Trailer Life for full test impressions and details on the F-150 & Outback 28′ — then subscribe to Trailer Life — so you can stay informed on the latest tow vehicles, tests, previews, and technical and RV-lifestyle information. Keystone RV Company, (574) 535-2199, keystonerv.com.