Top Five Tailgating Pickup Trucks


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

2006 Sierra Hybrid plug button

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

RamBox Tailgater

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

Avalanche 2

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

Super Duty outlet

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. 



Let me post something for bob before he does. Ahem: "What? The Ford was at the end of the list and the Chevy was 2nd? How can this be? I thought Ford was the rootin-tootinest truck around? I guess it goes to show that the tried and true, 47 mpg 6.0 hybrid Silverado is better than the 3 mpg F350 King Ranch. Its better for tail-gating so its also better for towing, payload, and NASCAR. Ford still has the manstep tho. Ford boys must be crying right now because you heard it here: Hybrid Silverado>>>>> King Ranch, In-house 6.7 pos. I bet anything, Ford tries to copy GMs super awesome 6.0 hybrid here soon. Everybody knows Ford copys GM every chance they get. I mean its common knowledge that Larry Chevrolet and David Pontiac got together in 1749 to build the first ICE and put it in the first car. It was powered by a 5.3 carved out of a block of Oak. It made 250 hp and got 20 mpg. It didnt need any EGO boost bs! So it was written, So it was done! Finally, a whole segment devoted to GM! Its about time! Now watch as the Ford Boys try to turn this into a Ford thread when there was only one Ford mentioned here!"

Boy, kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel for articles here...and don't a lot of Tacomas have the inverter with the plug-in right in the bed? Seems like a better spot for tailgating than the Ford's in-dash plug, if you ask me.

^^^^^ LMFAO

@ Benchimus


um... yup... don't know how to argue that...

Ram Box wins by the way...

LMFAO @ Benchimus

I will take the RAM.

"...the Chevy Avalanche was the first to offer integrated storage into the bed-sides."

I've always wondered about the validity of this statement. I know I have seen 70s era Ford and Dodge trucks with locking storage bins in their bedsides. Was this an aftermarket add-on, or were they equipped from the factory this way?

Ford just go home regarding this competition!

Chevrolet Rules!


they finally found some use for a Ridgeline besides just driving. Load 4-5 people and go to the game. I wouldn't want much in the bed of one of them anyway. Flat tires can happen whenever, even with tires that are in good shape. So u get to unpack all that stuff. Last long trip I took I had an engine in the bed. So, go ahead and move that around to get to a spare. Not pratical. And the engine is lacking torque, so it's good for a small pop up or a lawn mower trailer.

@Benchimus - funny.

Was there a truck somewhere in the first picture. I never noticed.

@ Luke in CO Ford did have cargo boxes in the side of their traucks available in the early 70s. I had a '73 F-100 with one. Great place tho put things like recievers, etc. Also great for colleting salt & sand thus rusted quick! Was factory though.

Good article.

Anyone got any pics of the 70's F-150 with the side storage boxes?

Picture #3 is not a Ram 1500 Outdoorsman.

It is actually a 2500 Power Wagon. The; 4x4 Off-Road decal -In combination with the black lower body color, the fender flare, and the BFGoodrich All-Terrain tire are a dead giveaway.

@ Buy American Or Say Bye To America!

Yup, and the Ridgeline is not a truck!

@Buy American - good eye.
I bet Mark Williams must of had a hard time finding photos where there was only "soft" drinks in the coolers. This must be an official Ram press photo.LOL

@Luke in CO - you are correct. There were Fords and I'm not sure about Dodge that had side storage bins. Good idea in theory but they didn't hold up well.

@Jason H. - I wish that there was an inverter plug standard in my truck box. I have accessory "lighter" plugs in the cab, but useless for when I bring my electric cooler.

All those "pit lamping" hunters would love it too;)


I agree 100%. The Honda Ridgeline is more of a conversation piece than it is a pickup. It is like having a Swiss Army knife -Neat idea in theory but how useful are they really?

I love Mark Williams' statement of; the Ridgline being a pickup for people that hate trucks. That is classic!

This is a sign from God thats just goes to show how much better Chevy is when compared to Ford! GM wins again and again and again! These are the facts!!! Jesus drove a Silverado and hates Fords! The devil drives Fords! Evil!

Praise Jesus and the simpleton Silverado!

Jesus died, once, on the cross for our sins.

Chevrolet Silverado dies in sales; every day, month, and year (compared to the evil Ford F-Series) because it's looks, performance, and quality are sinful.

Man there sure are a bunch of manginas in here. Chevy has the most trucks in the top 5 tailgating pickups. Ford fans, you lose again to GM.

As for the man step, come on you guys know that man step is garbage. If the f150's bedsides weren't so high you wouldn't need it.

Just wait until GM'S all new half tons debut in early 2012 as a 2013 model. GM'S new trucks will be the benchmark in the industry and of course ford will have to follow suit and bring out a carbon copy of GM'S new trucks. Have a nice day now.

I heard McDonalds sells the most hamburgers for umteen years in a row. Does that mean they make the best burgers for tailgating or just the most? I say it's the most. Same as Ford, they make the most pickup trucks, but definitely not the best pickup trucks for tailgating!

How do I know? Because GM makes the best tailgating trucks in the world. I know it. knows it. We all know that. Even Ford fans know it, they just will never will admit that Chevy has the best pickups for tailgating.

"How do I know? Because GM makes the best tailgating trucks in the world. I know it. knows it. We all know that. Even Ford fans know it, they just will never will admit that Chevy has the best pickups for tailgating." Bob Johnson

You are correct! All of the FORD trucks are seen working in the fields while these GM pansies are seen at tailgate parties.

You are an epic failure!


" heard McDonalds sells the most hamburgers for umteen years in a row. Does that mean they make the best burgers for tailgating or just the most?"

You sure like to claim GM sells the most half-tons.


You made my day!

Jesus - would that be pronounced Hay-seus.
Hay-seus drives a Silverado because they are easier to steal. For some strange reason Chevy guys think OnStar will protect them.

The other Bob -
"GM makes the best tailgating trucks in the world"
For once I agree with you.
(Hack, cough, sputter)
Chevy's are the prefered truck of tailgate parties because the guys out there working are in Fords and Dodges.

always loved the versatility of the ridgeline I don't really care if its not the most capable its enough for me just could never get over how painfully ugly those slanted bedwalls avalanche style kinda are. also give its regular 4x4 I don't need to be nearly as capable as a half ton but I do need real 4x4 and half decent looking I hope the new Dakota is based off the journey w/ real 4x4

Anyone know if the bobs have their parents permission to be playing on the forums today?

@toycrusher84 - the reason why there are so many Bob's is based on math.
If you are a 1/2 wit, making 1/2 assed comments, it will take 4 times as many guys to offset the normal comment coming from a Ford or Dodge guy (and the odd sane GM guy).

Finally something to do with a Ridgeline I`ve always say it`s not a truck just a expensive cooler.

The best picture (above) is the very first one.

That dame is making my mouth water -The way she is handling her meat! She is mighty purty!

This use to be a webite that I came to more than 3 times a week. This article has proven that this is a once a week website. I really want to read more about trucks and what is around the corner with design in engiine and body from the manufacters. Just my two cents.

@ Buy American Or Say Bye To America!
That girl is 16 WTF!
Just messin' with ya.

@ Daryl -- Good comments. Will need more like that to know exactly what directions we'll be heading toward. The more specific you can be the more specific we can be about hunting those types of stories down.

@Mark Williams Mike Levine was adding new Vans as well to be introduced into the US, they were interesting as the Nissan and Isuzu(In a show report) US specific models do not exist outside the US. Isuzu makes Trucks and Pickups outside the US, not Vans it just released its redesigned version here.
Nissan makes a Euro Specific Van, the NV400 based on the Renault Master$file/Nissan_NV400_large.jpg?OpenElement

Why? Why do we need such huge, gas/diesel-drinking hunks of metal when a compact pickup could do just as much, at 1/3rd the price, at 3/2s the gas mileage and 2x the fun and agility?

Let me repeat myself. Bring back the compact trucks and leave these huge hogs to the professional haulers and contractors. The average driver doesn't need anything this big!

Pretty girl

Call me crazy, I like my old Ramcharger for tailgating. The rear liftgate gives a nice shady spot to sit, and the cargo area is carpeted, which makes it a little more comfortable than a bare metal bed or plastic bedliner. You may say it isn't a truck, but it's more truck than the Ridgeline.

@Mark Williams - how about truck accessories like canopies (caps), bedliners, bumpers and wheels.
How about a test showing how a tuneup and tire pressure can affect mpg.
Hypermiling or hypermodding stories.
Winter prep and safety.
Offroading gear.

@5.3 lol- Hey, if there is grass on the field, play!
@Vulpine-A small truck that costs 1/3 the price of a middle of the road half ton would be one pathetic truck. Would a 4 cyl, 2wd, reg cab ranger be 1/3 the price of an xlt F150? Even if it was, 2x the fun? I have driven Rangers and S10s like that, fun they are not. You sir have an odd take on fun. Playing xbox=fun
Going 4-wheeling with buddies=fun working out=fun driving a slow, weak, cramped, very incapable vehicle=not so fun

Daryl & Mark W.-

Stories like this are nice from time to time. It does not always have to be about; sales, specifications, or future predictions. I like having these; light-hearted, factoid/trivia, "history lesson" type stories from time to time.

Keep up the good work, Mark & crew!

Was there ever clarification if the 6ft Rambox would have the same inside dimensions or if it will be bigger?

I will say it just like my #1 employer would..........GM wins AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! Ford LOSES..........AGAIN.....whahahaha

@Bob's housekeeper - must be a hard job, all that time spent on your knees.

General Motors Corporation-

I hope that you are not embarrassed by your biggest fan(s), the Bob family. I trust that there are more sane, reasonable, and intelligent G.M. fans out there.

@ Mark Williams

I think you guys missed something here. The Tacoma has had a grounded (3 prong) outlet in the bed on EVERY TRD package since 2005 thats good for 400 watts at idle. The truck sits low enough to be useful as a seat and there are storage bins on both sides of the bed (small and dont lock) but could be used to keep some goods out of site. The bed material wont feel as cold (nor hot) to sit on as its not steel. I'm not saying the Tacoma should be # 1 but should be on the list.

P.S. My crew max tundra has a 115v outlet in the back seat too, AND the backseat reclines and the back window rolls down to make it easier to grab a cold beverage out of the cooler in the bed.

Just sayin............... :)

F-150 also has the outlet but its not on the list either. Stop whining.

@ tacoma lol

You see i had a point, it was the Tacoma has had that plug since 2005. NO OTHER TRUCK HAD A 115v outlet back then.

I really didnt think my post sounded like a whine. specifically i was simply stating another "subjective opinion" that i felt they may have overlooked. stop trying to start spats whoever you are (i'm thinking a coward who is afraid to say what they feel under their "real" screen name.)

The article states that earlier GMT800 (1999 to 2006) Silverados had it back then.

The Super Duty was listed was because it was the satement maker. The outlet was a less important reason.

The Tacoma is too small to make a statement and the outlet is not enough reason to make it into the top 5. Maybe top 7. I really wish Toyota would have put it in the cab, it would have been more useful if it was there.

the GMT800 chassis you speak of has nothing to do with the era and years the truck had a 115v outlet in it.

fact is the hybrid that was "extremely" limited at first in 2004 DID have the outlets in them. (i stand corrected) it was released before the tacoma, difference being they only sold a couple hundred of them, and the tacoma was much higher in production and likely the reason i thought i was released first. To GM's credit i wasnt aware that there is a total of 4 outlets 2 inside and 2 outside that are on a 20 amp circuit, (thats cool!) in comparison the tacoma is good for about 3.5 amps.

I love stupid brother loves GM....well buddy boy....I've got one thing to say.........Ford NEVER loses....GM ALWAYS loses......."Evil Laugh"

The comments to this entry are closed.