By Emy Marier on the Rooster Road Trip 2018
If there's one thing I’ve learned with vehicles, it’s that they are going to cost you money one way or another. And the only way to soften the blow to the wallet is to love what you drive. The hunter’s secret to loving what you drive: Drive a truck. For this hunter specifically, drive an F-150.
My own Ford is a 2006 F-150 Super Cab. For Rooster Road Trip we’re driving a Ford F-150 Platinum SuperCrew Cab courtesy of Apple Autos — a conservation-supporting dealership based in Apple Valley, Minnesota.
“It’s loaded” was the first thing I heard about the rig. And they weren’t kidding – leather heated seats, navigation, topper, 4x4, long box – the works! But none of that really matters for us unless it adds value to the hunt. We didn’t drive to South Dakota to sip champagne and toast to the high life. We drove to South Dakota to celebrate 100 years of upland hunting tradition. There’s going to be dirt, blood and feathers.
So, here are the top hunting trip-enhancing features in the 2015 Platinum F-150 SuperCrew Cab compared to my basic rig:
EcoBoost V6 Engine
The classic snarl of a V8 is hard to beat. But the combination of power and fuel economy in the EcoBoost V6 engine just might do it. Getting behind the wheel of the Road Trip truck, the smoothness is noticeable, and I was smiling when I got to test out the rig’s get-up-and-go when merging onto highways and passing to get to the next hunting spot. Another smile came when hitting the gas station: The loaded Platinum truck with the V6 gets 23 miles per gallon on the highway. That beats my truck’s 17 mpg any day. And when you’re putting on miles like we are the Rooster Road Trip, that matters.
Truck Bed Lights
We’ve got a Golden Hour theme running so far for the trip. That means its beyond sundown when we get back to the trucks to put away shotguns, unload game bags, do tailgate checks on dogs and clean birds. The truck bed lights on the Ford have proven to be very useful in helping us knock out these after-hunt tasks quickly.
Does the Super Cab versus SuperCrew Cab make a difference for a hunting trip? Yes. The entire backseat in the SuperCrew folds ups and can fit two kennels – one large, one intermediate – if needed. It’s early season now, but that’s a late season victory when needing to keep dogs warm and happy.
My rig’s got cloth seats, but leather seats are where it’s at, especially when they can help regulate body temperature post hunt. For South Dakota’s opener we can’t hunt until noon, and it’s been consistent that I’m using the air-conditioned seat feature following the afternoon hunt and the heated-seat feature after the evening hunt.
Alright, these are extras and not hunting-critical, but they’re worth highlighting: 360 backup cam, running boards that expand and tuck away, blind-spot warnings, and satellite radio that works in the middle of nowhere. For Rooster Road Trip specifically, the truck has everything we need to run our mobile command center: outlets galore and Bluetooth connectivity.
Falling in love with a Platinum F-150 is easy, but what makes this Apple Autos Ford F-150 stand out is the fact that Apple Autos is a dealership group that supports conservation. They’re hunters themselves and supporters of Pheasants Forever, and have been an influential contributor to Pheasants Forever’s Build a Wildlife Area
program – a program dedicated to conserving critical wildlife habitat and creating areas for public recreation.
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