Ford Lightning Towing Range: How Far Can You Go?

The Ford Lightning is taking the automotive world by storm. This highly anticipated truck was the first commercially available EV pick-up on the market. RVer’s immediately wanted to test the Ford Lightning towing range.

There are a lot of questions to be answered before you purchase one as the tow vehicle for your travel trailer. The biggest question out there is, what is the Ford Lightning towing range?

In this article, we will take a closer look at using the Ford Lightning as a tow vehicle. We will cover the basic towing details and we will answer some of those burning questions. The big one being, what is the Ford Lightning towing range and capacity.

How Much Can The Ford Lightning Tow?

The Ford Lightning is the electric version of the highly popular, Ford F-150, half-ton pick-up. The Lightning is the first pick-up to hit the market as a full EV option. It became pretty popular with travel trailer owners.

The most attractive feature of the Ford Lightning for travel trailer owners is its large towing capacity. This half-ton pick-up has a GVWR of 6,220 pounds on the Lightning Pro trim model (this is the base trim for the Lightning). The GVWR is about half of the towing capacity available on the gas F-150 but is enough to pull many bumper-mount travel trailers. 

The towing capacity increases with higher trim levels, with the SLT and Lariat models offering up to 10,000 pounds of total towing capacity. However, this does require the extended-range batteries and the Max trailer tow package.

One thing to keep in mind about using the Ford Lightning for a tow vehicle is that you can only tow bumper-mounted trailers. The batteries for the Lightning are stored under the bed. This means that you can not mount a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch inside the bed of this truck.

How Much Can The Ford Lightning Tow?

What Is The Ford Lightning Towing Range?

As with gas or diesel trucks, the towing range for the Ford Lightning really depends on a number of factors that you need to be mindful of.

  • Trailer Weight – Your towing range with the Ford Lighting will be better if you are towing a small, lightweight trailer. As the size of your trailer increases, you can expect the Ford Lightning towing range to decrease.
  • Weather – If you are driving in wet, snowy, or windy conditions, you can expect that your towing range will decrease. These weather conditions add friction to the road and add drag on your vehicle and trailer. This requires the electric motors to work harder, thus decreasing the towing range.
  • Type of Driving – Are you planning a trip to the mountains? Well, expect to have a much lower towing range from your Ford Lightning. Driving on hills takes more energy. The same is true for city driving with lots of stopping and starting at traffic signals. 
  • Location of Charging Stations – You will need to stop and charge your Lightning, just like you would need to stop and fill up with fuel on a standard truck. You’ll need to know where charging stations are located along your route so you can stop and charge as needed. If there aren’t charging stations, your Ford Lightning towing range is going to be significantly shorter.

MotorTrend performed one of the most extensive tests of the Ford Lightning towing range. They found that the Lightning Lariat with the extended range batteries and the Max towing package had a towing range of 90 to 115 miles using four different-sized trailers.

Ford Lightning owners experience anywhere from a 30% to a 70% reduction in range when towing a travel trailer.

What Is The Ford Lightning Towing Range?

Are There EV Charging Stations For RVs?

The biggest issue with towing a travel trailer with your Ford Lightning is finding a place to charge your truck. This is a common challenge with an EV, however, when you have a trailer in tow the challenge becomes greater.

The unfortunate news for those wanting to pull a trailer with their EV Ford Lightning is that pull-through charging stations are few and far between. This doesn’t mean you can’t charge on the road, but you will need to give yourself time and do a bit of extra work.

In most cases, if you need to use a fast charge charging station while traveling with your Ford Lightning, you will need to find a standard charging station. This means you might have to park your trailer and disconnect it from the truck while it charges. This can be a big inconvenience, but if you are in a pinch, this is your best option.

If you are at your campground, you can charge your truck at your campsite. However, this means that you will have to disconnect your trailer from shore power and use the shore power outlet to charge your truck.

This is not a fast charge option, so your Lightning will need to be plugged in overnight. If the campground is not full, you can inquire about using an open space to charge your Ford Lightning.

How Much Does The Ford Lightning Cost?

The Ford Lightning is a bit more expensive than its gasoline counterpart. The base model Ford Lightning PRO has a starting MSRP of $49,995, while the base model Ford F-150 XL gasoline truck has a starting MSRP of $33,835.

If you really want the best towing capacity and range from the Ford Lightning, you will want to invest in the Ford Lightning Platinum. The starting MSRP for this model is $91,995.

Keep in mind that these prices are the list prices on the Ford Lightning website. The actual price of the vehicle will depend on where you purchase the vehicle. The actual purchase price will include state taxes, dealer services charges, and other fees that are not included in the MSRP.

Are Electric Vehicles Worth It?

This is a tough question. The value of electric vehicles really depends on your personal preference and how you intend to use the vehicle.

Since the technology is pretty new and is still being developed, the EV may not be the best fit for towing your travel trailer. If you want an EV it may be a better choice for a daily commuter vehicle than a towing vehicle.

Other things that are still not widely considered by consumers who are purchasing an electric vehicle are things like the cost of replacing the battery packs, and the added cost to your electric bill and insurance.

Electric vehicles seem to be the way of the future, so eventually, we will all make the switch. However, if you are considering one right now, you may want to look closely at all of the pros and cons as they pertain to your personal circumstances.

Are Electric Vehicles Worth It?

5 FAQs About The Ford Lightning Towing Range

  1. How much can it tow?

The towing capacity of the Ford Lightning ranges between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds depending on the model.

  1. How far can it tow?

The Ford Lightning towing range depends on many factors including weather, trailer size, and the availability of charging stations. In general, however, you can expect the towing range to be somewhere between 30 and 70 percent less than the average range of the vehicle.

  1. How much does it cost?

The listed MSRP for the Ford Lightning ranges between $49,995 and $91,995 depending on the model. This price does not include other costs such as taxes, dealer charges, and other fees.

  1. Will It charge your RV batteries when you’re driving?

This is the biggest difference between the Ford Lightning and a gasoline or diesel vehicle. When you are driving, the Ford Lightning will not charge your RV batteries. The only way you can charge your RV batteries when towing with a Ford Lightning or any other electric vehicle is with shore power.

  1. Can it be charged while hooked up to your travel trailer?

Yes, you can charge your Ford Lightning when the travel trailer is connected.

Final Thoughts About The Ford Lightning Towing Range

The Ford Lightning is a great new option when it comes to towing vehicles. For the well-informed buyer, the Ford Lightning towing range, though reduced from the standard range, may not be an issue. For many travel trailer owners, the idea of an EV for pulling their camper is a great idea.

However, the vehicle may not be the best choice for all travel trailer owners.

So, before you run out and buy an electric vehicle you need to do careful research. Electric vehicles like the Ford Lightning are a big investment. Knowing exactly what you are getting, will save you from potential buyer’s remorse.

For the ultimate electric RVing experience, we now have the option to combine an electric travel trailer with an electric tow vehicle. Are EV tow vehicles the future of RVing? They are gaining popularity, however, a complete takeover seems far down the road.

Related Reading:

How Much Travel Trailer Can A Ford F-150 Tow?

All Electric Travel Trailers – What Are They?

How Big Of A Camper Can I Pull With A 1/2 Ton Truck?

15 Best Travel Trailers For Half-Ton Trucks

About the Author:

Jason Gass is a full-time freelance writer and part-time RVer whose goal is to share great stories around a campfire with good friends.

When he’s not working, he spends most of his time camping, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.