Check Out Ford’s Awesome, 3.5-Ton Dummy Truck Camper For Anti-Roll Testing
You’ve never seem a slalom like this.
The Super Duty Series trucks are the bruisers in Ford's pickup fleet. (Not that the F-150 and its 10,800-pound towing capacity is feeble...) Like many work-oriented vehicles, the Super Duty trucks can go a while between updates, but 2017 will bring a whole new (aluminum) set perfect for breaking in, dinging up, and wearing out. One of the tests the prototypes are undergoing is aimed at the squadron of folks who like to camp out of the back of their pickups (looking at you, Zach Bowman) and so install thousands of pounds of metal, fiberglass, and GORP in the bed. You know, campers.
Because of their particularly high-riding nature, slide-in campers can alter an entire vehicle's center of gravity, sometimes to a dangerous degree. In order to assure that the F-250 and F-350 will perform safely and reliably even with a ton or two of camper in the bed, Ford strapped in a 7500-pound steel frame to a Super Duty prototype...and then gunned it for the slalom at the company's Arizona Proving Grounds. Precautions were taken in the form of two huge roll-prevention bars bolted to each bumper, and a helmet for the test driver.
The driver drives hard. From what we can see, the Roll Stability Control works, as every so often a single front or rear wheel will go up in smoke, righting the rig.