Home 2013, The Third Season Junction City KS, Spring 2013 F550 Systems Testing
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As with any new vehicle and associated systems, there were a lot of things to learn and a few glitches. The new GPS in the F550 was totally different from the F450. Most of the same functionality but a totally different user interface. This new one is all screen touch, no buttons. It also has an SD card with all of the databases (maps, POI’s, etc) that loads at startup, rather than all stored on a hard drive.

The RV camera monitor worked perfectly the first time we backup up to the rig and connected the umbilicals, as did turn signals and brake lights.

Dashtop storage and video inputsThe backup camera was another matter. The F450 had a backup camera mounted in the tailgate, which displayed on the dashboard monitor when you shifted into reverse. As getting a chassis cab from Ford, there was no backup camera. Utility Bodywerks installed a backup camera on the light column and connected it to the dashboard monitor. The choice had been between using the 4th camera input to the RV monitor or the dashboard. I wanted to have the backup camera display on the dashboard; a) because that was what I was used to and b) I didn’t want to be looking down to the RV monitor. When backing, my eyes flick from drivers side rear view mirror to dashboard to passenger side rear view mirror. Having to look down would be taking my eyes off the road. Well it turns out that Ford in their infinite wisdom, has dictated that any auxiliary input (dashboard input) to the dashboard monitor (i.e. something they didn’t install) could not display while the truck was in motion, saying something about Federal regulations. The rule of course was meant to pertain to DVD’s and entertainment, since their backup cameras display when the vehicle is in motion. In any event, the backup camera display would cut out once I started moving in reverse. An issue to be resolved!!!

The new hitch seemed to work just fine, the only difference being that rather than having a button on the hitch itself to inflate, there is a gauge and button on the center console at the drivers knee that needs to be pressed.

Utility Bodywerks also installed backup sensors in the rear bumper, to warn of objects in my path. The F450 had that as part of the backup camera that displayed grid lines so that you could see and gauge how far you were from those objects. The F550 just beeps at you. Once the backup camera setup is functioning, we’ll see how they work in concert.

One of the new features of the truck was an air chuck, connected to the air tank of the air ride suspension. The one compressor/tank system feeds both the air ride and the hitch. Adding an air chuck, now allows me to connect a hose and inflate truck and RV tires more easily and quicker than my 12v direct air compressor. Good thing to, as on the new truck, the rear tire valves point in, rather than out, and my little compressor can’t connect to those inward pointing valves.


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  Junction City KS, Spring 2013  
  F550 Systems Testing  
  First 500 Miles  
  Oakley KS  
  Rough Plans  
  Goliad TX Spring 2013  
  Kerrville TX and NHOG 2013  
  Fredericksburg TX  
  Sanger TX Spring  
  Guthrie OK, Spring  
  Junction City KS, Spring 2013  
  Colorado and Woodland Park  
  Early Summer 2013  
  Yellowstone 2013  
  Late Summer 2013  
  Fall 2013  
  From Research to Leaving Home  
  2011, The First Season  
  2012, The Second Season  
  Our Triple D Adventures  
  Natashas Excellent Adventure  
  2013, The Third Season  
  2014, The Fourth Season