With college football in full swing, tailgate specialists are doing their best to keep themselves and their 20 closest friends well fed and full of fluids. During a heated debate about how many different uses there are for a pickup truck, it occurred to us there are many ways to enjoy what both traditional and nontraditional trucks offer.
A vehicle like the Honda Ridgeline and many other versatile vehicles serve as great party platforms for passionate football-loving truck owners. We’ve listed some the best we know of right here, with the Ridgeline at the top of our list. But don’t think this is all their good for.
1. Honda Ridgeline
With a unique dual swing-out/dropdown tailgate can act as a comfortable seat, or it can swing out to the side for easier access to the hidden in-bed storage bin. We’ve seen quite a few master tailgates turn the bed trunk into an open king-size cooler. Apparently, the trick is not to load the bin too high with ice so that the melting ice gets into the spare tire or slide-out tool tray.
2. Chevy Silverado Hybrid GMT800
Although the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrid aren’t big players in the hybrid world (a big price premium for relatively small mpg gains), there is still plenty of value here for those looking to run a few electrical appliances in the parking lot. Earlier GMT800 (previous-gen) Silverado and Sierra Hybrid models did offer in-cab and in-bed 120-volt outlets that were engaged with a simple dashboard button. With these outlets, the truck’s engine can be used as a generator as it powers blenders, coolers and hot plates.
3. Ram 1500 Outdoorsman
For whatever types of food and drink you like to bring to your favorite home game, the Ram Outdoorsman’s RamBox will act like a portable pair of ice coolers for beverages or storage cabinets for loads of chips and meats. Each box is lockable — offering almost 4 cubic feet of cargo room — and each has a light and a drain plug inside. Dump the ice and keep the sodas cold for hours.
4. Chevy Avalanche
Although nowhere near as large as the RamBox, the Chevy Avalanche was the first to offer integrated storage into the bed-sides. The Avalanche offers a drop-down midgate that makes the entire length of the vehicle open to the outdoors, allowing for easy pass-through from passenger seating to bed. In addition, you can lock in the hardened bed cover to create an “upstairs” sun deck for looking down on inferior barbecue grilles.
5. Ford F-350 Super Duty King Ranch
Sometimes the biggest statement you can make about what kind of fan you are is to have the biggest vehicle around to fly your team’s colors. And it doesn’t get much bigger than a Ford F-350 (or F-450) Super Duty King Ranch. The heaviest and most expensive full-size pickup truck sold in the U.S. will draw attention — and probably have your rivals asking if you’re overcompensating for something. Still, new Super Dutys also have a convenient three-prong plug and inverter to allow you to run all sorts of lower wattage appliances.