Since time immemorial, the blue oval has been a constant fixture of the hundreds, if not thousands of campgrounds that can be found across our great land. Generations of adventure seeking North Americans have relied on the combustion-driven muscle of the steadfast F-Series to deliver them safely to the periphery of civilization (and back again), providing families the opportunity to enjoy nature in all its pristine glory.
But times change; much like the recent evolution of the Detroit automaker’s flagship truck, the Ford F-150, the role that Ford has heretofore played in outdoor adventure is going through its own metamorphosis, and turning heads along the way.
Aluminum-Clad Ford Branded Campers
Ever since Ford announced the 2015 Ford F-150 would be built using an aluminum alloy frame and panels, the automaker has seemingly made itself at home pushing the boundaries of the status quo. You may recall competitors frothing at the mouth as they looked for their shot to discredit Ford’s aluminum truck, claiming (before any kind of head-to-head testing mind you) that there was no way that the F-150 could perform at the same level as their own daily driver, nor would it be able to stand up to the same amount of punishment. Turns out, those competitors were wrong on both counts.
Perhaps exceeding all expectations has ignited a passion in Ford’s elite; since then, they’ve introduced a number of exciting products (see the 2016 Ford GT, which consequently, has given Ford it’s first foothold in the luxury sports car market) that have seen the automaker break out of its comfort zone and embrace new sales opportunities.
Hence, Ford recently partnered with camper builder Livin’ Lite a division of Thor Industries, making the blue oval the only manufacturer to offer OEM slide-in campers and camper trailers for their trucks. Granted, camper conversion units may not make up a sizeable portion of their overall sales strategy (Ford has built a reputation marketing their trucks as a worker’s best friend), Ford’s brass has acknowledged it’s desire and intent to market new products to their adventure-minded buyers.
Following in the F-150’s footsteps, the campers being built by the Ford/Livin Lite co-venture are produced using aluminum alloy paneling, which not only makes them lighter and more efficient to haul, but also envelopes them nicely within Ford’s aluminum strategy. As for the trailer’s interior, they certainly give new meaning to the phrase, ‘home away from home.’ Each unit is made of fine wood paneling, high-end fixtures, leather interiors, and borrow a few subtle visual elements of the F-150’s persona, giving it a unique appearance from the generic trailers we all grew up with. What’s more, there are a number of available options available, so customers will find it easy to choose the design that is right for them.
After the last economic downturn, which saw automakers and private citizens alike facing hard times, it’s nice to see the brand offering a product line that is dedicated solely to the enjoyment of the world at large – reminding all of us that every once in awhile, it’s important to take a step back. After all, exploring the splendors of nature is a big part of life on this side of the pond, so it comes as no surprise that Ford would want to entrench themselves as part of that experience.
According to Ford, partnering with Livin’ Lite was easy because when it comes right down to it, both companies share a vision of quality. While the Ford campers aren’t a proprietary venture, it was important that the line of recreation vehicles embodied the same high standard that the customers that make up Ford Nation have come to expect from the automaker.