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Super Duty





Lighting Buyers Guide 15

Tire Safety & Winter Maintenance 40

The 2017 Ford Super Duty has arrived! 10

2017 Winnebago Fuse 23A 48

Winter Tire Guide 34

Purchasing a Truck

We give you some tips on how to buy a new pickup truck at a discount 28

Showdown The Nissan Titan goes up against the Toyota Tundra 22


Fresh Tracks---------------------------------- 4 Bed Extender Buyers Guide---------44 Gearing Up------------------------------------54 Stuck Trucks---------------------------------62 OCT/NOV 2016 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE 


2017 Ford Super Duty Features Largest Fuel Tank in Segment


he 2017 Ford Super Duty is set to feature the largest fuel capacity in its segment by offering a 181-litre tank on long-box Crew Cab configurations for both gasoline and diesel applications. The tank is a 22-percent improvement over the diesel-equipped 2016 Super Duty and a 37-percent increase over the gas-equipped outgoing model. Due to the all-new long-box Crew Cab’s longer wheelbase and wider track, the new tank fits between the frame and driveshaft. The new tank along with lightweight materials used such as high-strength military-grade aluminum alloy allow the Super Duty’s range to increase significantly. Also adding to the increased range is a larger diesel exhaust fluid tank for the Power Stroke-equipped trucks that sees it go to 28.4 litres, up from 9.5 litres. Additionally, an improved fuel filter and water separator filter allow for longer change intervals to minimize maintenance.

Nissan Announces Pricing for the 2017 Titan Gasoline Models Recently, Nissan unveiled the Canadian pricing for the all-new 2017 Titan Crew Cab half-ton pickup that will be powered by the company’s new 5.6litre Endurance V8 engine. The Titan Crew Cab S will start with an MSRP of $44,650, while the top-of-the-line Titan Platinum Reserve Crew Cab will begin at $65,800. The Titan half-ton model boasts the same aggressive styling as the Titan XD, but is built on a different chassis with about a foot shorter wheelbase, and overall is about 14.7 inches shorter. The trucks share the same cabs as well as an innovative interior, bed and driving aid features. The new 5.6-litre Endurance V8 engine is entirely brand new and boasts an impressive 390 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, and will be paired to a heavyduty 7-speed automatic transmission that is tuned exclusively for the Titan. Titan and Titan XD gasoline-powered models are on sale now.  Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Volume 9, Issue No. 5

October / November 2016 STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS

Publisher: Dean Washington Associate Publisher: David Symons Managing Editor Jordan Allan Distribution Manager: Brenda Washington Copy Editor: Gerry Frechette Advertising Sales: Elaine Fontaine Contributing Writers / Photographers: Jordan Allan Howard J Elmer Russell Purcell Albert Vandervelde CONTACT INFORMATION

TRUCKS PLUS Magazine is published six times per year by RPM Media Inc. MAILING ADDRESS: 2460 Kingsway Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada V3C 1T4 TELEPHONE: (604) 629-9669 FAX: (778) 285-2449 TOLL FREE: (888)-500-4591 EMAIL: WEBSITE: Second Class Mailing Agreement #40050183

 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

GMC Canyon to Offer Two New Models for 2017 and New Engine The GMC Canyon mid-size pickup has been a success ever since it re-entered the market for the 2015 model year, and for 2017 will build on the success with a couple of new models as well as a new 3.6-litre V6 engine. The Canyon Denali will be the new top-of-the-line model and will feature the Denali-signature chrome grille as well as 20-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels with painted accents. Inside of the Denali is a Jet Black interior that features leather-appointed heated and ventilated front seats along with a unique instrument panel and console trim, plus a number of standard features such as 4G Wi-Fi hotspot and a Bose premium audio system. The other new model in the Canyon lineup will be the off-road-inspired All Terrain X that builds on the All Terrain package offered on the SLE model and adds Goodyear all-terrain tires and all-weather floor liners. In addition to those features, the X features an off-road suspension, a body-coloured grille surround, sprayon bed liner, and 3-inch diameter round step bars. The new engine, that will be offered in both the GMC Canyon and its Chevrolet twin the Colorado, will be a 3.6-litre V6 that will be paired to a segment-first 8-speed automatic transmission. The new engine offers stronger acceleration and boasts 308 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque.

Pushing the Limits with Concept Distributing  It’s been over a year now since Al McBeth of Concept Distributing Canada set the last distance jumping record on a UTV. In May 2015, Al broke the record in his Polaris RZR XP 1000, touching down at 198 feet. “We’re always looking for ways to push these UTVs” says Al. “And going to these extremes is a great way to prove the quality of our products.” Being the owner of Concept Distributing, Al profiles the company as manufacturing and selling the  highest  performance UTV / SideXSide products in the industry. With countless race wins in Short Course, Ice, and now Desert Racing, huge airs and multiple record jumps, Concept Distributing is proving its legitimacy around the globe. This year’s record jump took place in Mission BC, Canada. Al was driving a 2016 Polaris RZR Turbo with a custom chromoly chassis built by Concept Distributing. Holz Racing suspension, custom Walker Evans shocks and DWT custom wheels are just some of the upgrades on board the UTV. “We only work with the best, and having companies like these that we trust on board  helps a lot with the mental preparation for a jump like this,” says Al. On Friday September 16th, Al touched down at 213 feet, landing himself again in the record books. “That actually happened on a practice jump” he says. “We’re gonna make a statement this year on what we think world records are all about, so stay tuned!” Follow Al and Concept Distributing at to see what limits they can push the UTV world to this year!


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Ram to Introduce Special-Edition Night Package for 2017 Ram 1500

Volume 9, Issue No. 5

October / November 2016 ADVERTISER INDEX

Anzo USA ---------------------------------- 21 Arrow Truck Caps ------------------------- 61 Bak Industries ----------------------------- 47 Bak Industries ------------------------------- 7 BOLT Locks -------------------------------- 56 Bright Source ------------------------------ 19 Bully Dog - --------------------------------- 63 Dee Zee --------------------------------------- 5 Dick Cepek --------------------------------- 31 Dominion Sure Seal ---------------------- 45 Eibach -------------------------------------- 26 Enthuze ------------------------------------- 41 Extang -------------------------------------- 25 Husky Liners - --------------------------16,17 HyperTech - ---------------------------------- 9 Interior OffRoad --------------------------- 43 LMC Truck --------------------------------- 23 Lordco Auto Parts ------------------------ 55 Mickey Thompson ------------------------ 37 National Tire Wholesale ------------------ 59 Pro Comp ---------------------------------- 35 ProRYDE ----------------------------------- 60 Retrax -------------------------------------- 52 Rigid Industries --------------------------- 11 Rugged Liner ------------------------------ 57 SEMA Show ------------------------------- 51 Smittybilt ----------------------------------- 64 Steelcraft Automotive - ------------------- 13 Summit Racing ---------------------------- 53 SuperBee ----------------------------------- 61 The Gear Centre --------------------------- 54 Toyo Tires ---------------------------------- 39 TrailFX -----------------------------------32,33 Truxedo - ----------------------------------- 29 UnderCover ----------------------------- 2, 49 Vision X ------------------------------------ 58 WeatheTech -------------------------------- 27 West Lake Tires --------------------------- 30

Ram has announced that it will be offering a new special-edition Night package for the 1500 model that will be based on the Sport model and adds blacked-out features including wheels, grille and badging. The package is available on Regular Cab, Quad Cab and Crew Cab 1500 Sport models in both two- and four-wheel drive with either the 3.6 Pentastar V6 or 5.7 HEMI V8. The Ram 1500 Night begins with key Sport appearance cues like body-colour fascia and rear bumper with dual chrome exhaust tips, and adds a black grille surround, a RAMstamped tailgate with blacked out lettering, a flat black Ram 1500 door badge, 20x9-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, and black sidewall all-season tires, just to name a few. The interior of the Night package will carry over from the Sport model and features high-back heated cloth bucket seats, power-adjustable pedals, and auto temperature control with dual-zone climate control. It will be available in Bright Silver Metallic, Bright White, Brilliant Black, Flame Red and Granite Crystal Metallic, and is expected to go on sale this fall.


Ford Teams with FOX Shocks for the All-New F-150 Raptor Ford has recently announced it has teamed with FOX to jointly develop a purpose-built setup that will be exclusive to the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor. The new 3-inch FOX shock adds in a base valve piston that enables lower gas pressure which results in a better quality ride on the road while the internal bypass in both the front and rear shocks have nine distinct zones that manage shock forces which allow for harsh off-road driving. The final zones of the shocks act like hydraulic bump stops to send fluid through the top of the piston while the shock is fully compressed which prevents the truck from bottoming out. The Raptor’s front and rear shocks have grown from 2.5- to 3.0-inches from the previous model and feature almost two additional inches of suspension travel. The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is set to hit Canadian showrooms sometime this fall.  Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016


The Wait Was Long, But Well Worth It


ity is that further weight savings could have been engineered into the truck’s design, but instead, Ford decided to reinforce the truck’s chassis architecture, which ensures durability and allows for the platform to deliver unmatched hauling capabilities. All Super Duty models feature a fully-boxed, high-strength steel frame which has been enhanced by up to ten cross-member reinforcements to maintain both strength and stiffness.

This latest iteration of Ford’s heavy duty (HD) pickup truck now features a “military grade” aluminum body just like its smaller sibling, the F-150 half-ton, a move that has allowed the design team to cleave several hundred pounds from the vehicle (159 kilograms). The real-

The Super Duty and F-150 share the same basic cab structure and interior design, which is a good thing, as the latest F-150 is regarded as having one of the most refined and ergonomic passenger compartments in the segment. There will continue to be three cab sizes available - Regular, Super Cab (6-inches longer than previous model) and Crew Cab (3-inches longer), with seating for three to six adults.

Story and photos by Russell Purcell (@RoadTestRuss) t has been a long time coming, but Ford has finally delivered an all-new Super Duty pickup to its lineup. The Super Duty is a truck engineered for those individuals who need a vehicle that has the capability to tow or haul enormous loads whether it be for work, or play, and still deliver a level of passenger comfort and overall refinement to ensure that the passengers arrive rested and ready for action.

Overall, the look and feel of the cabin is unsurpassed for a truck application, and depending on trim, some may say the overall environment puts that of many luxury cars to shame. Ergonomics have been optimized as has the amount of space for passengers, cargo and the various chattel we carry with us in our daily lives - including a host of storage cubbies, a deep centre console, a full arsenal of cup-holders, and two glove boxes. And speaking of gloves, the designers were careful to ensure that the majority of controls and buttons can be readily used when sporting a pair. There is a new instrument panel and dash layout that places all the controls within easy reach of both hand and eye, and the available oversized LCD Productivity Screen that takes centre stage on the centre stack is one of the sharpest in the automotive world. 10 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016






Say Good-Bye to blind corners wit RIGID’s new D-SS, Dually Side Shooter LED pod. Perfect for any application that requires a wide spread beam, including A-Pillars, Fog Lights, and motorcycle applications. The D-SS pod incorporates the same powerful optics and legendary LED technology as RIGID’s popular D-Series lights but with the added benefit of additional LEDs aimed to the side for a much broader beam. The D-SS fixtures boast up to 120-degrees of horizontal lighting coverage when used in pairs or when used in the single light applications.





LUX Graphs represent single light applications. Consult your Rigid Industries’ installation manual, the Rigid Industries’ website and any local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations to determine whether your particular application/installation is authorized for use on a public highway. Rigid Industries, Rigid, D-SS and Dually are registered and/or common law marks owned by JST Performance, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company d/b/a Rigid Industries.

Under the enormous plateau of a hood you will find either a 6.2-litre gasoline powered V8 engine or a stump-pulling 6.7-litre Power Stroke turbo-diesel. The gasoline unit produces 385 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, while the diesel generates 440 horsepower and 925 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a very efficient, and smooth operating, six-speed automatic transmission which can be shifted manually via small buttons located on the column mounted shift lever. Having spent some time behind the wheel of a host of test units (both gas and diesel), I came away impressed by how strong the power delivery was, how smooth the ride was, and how quiet the cabin remained. The TorqShift transmission never struggled or seemed to hunt for the proper gear, and acceleration was smooth and linear. Lastly, the hydraulicallyboosted steering rack helps to provide very communicative feedback for a truck application. Heavy-duty pickup owners tend to tow trailers, so this latest Super Duty has been engineered and equipped to excel in this discipline. Ford literature claims that the big dog diesel F-450 can tow as much as 32,500 pounds with a gooseneck trailer, 27,500 pounds (12,474 kg) in a fifth-wheel set-up, and an impressive 21,000 pounds (9,526 kg) in standard spec. A new hitch design negates the need to employ a weight-distributing unit, and will allow buyers of F-250 and F-350 Super Duty trucks to pull as much as 18,000 pounds without much effort, and with very little stress on equipment. The modern automobile is loaded with technology, and the product planners at Ford are well aware that truck buyers are looking to have the same, if not greater, levels of safety and comfort goodies in their pickups. An innovative adaptive steering system makes the steering ratio variable, which means that the driver has to put less input into the steering wheel to complete a turning manoeuvre. On the slalom handling course this was a revelation, especially whilst pulling a trailer, and at higher speeds it reduces vehicle sensitivity to steering inputs. There is also a new adaptive cruise control system which has the impressive ability to hold a desired speed while towing a trailer. This system has been integrated with the transmission and the trailer brake, and also utilizes the engine brake of the Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8.

12 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Towing a trailer (or even just driving a truck as large as the Super Duty) can rattle the confidence of even the most experienced drivers, so you can now spec your Super Duty to include a full arsenal of up to seven cameras, including one that can be placed on the trailer itself. Trailer Reverse Guidance is a new smart towing assistance suite that will reduce operator stress by utilizing a series of cameras to provide visual cues to help with backing up and manoeuvring a trailer. There is a dynamic steering wheel icon displayed on the dash screen which informs the driver which direction they need to turn the wheel to keep the trailer moving in a straight-line, as well as alerts to warn against jackknifing. Other available driver assist technologies include a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and Lane Departure Warning. The BLIS system will alert the driver if there is a car in an adjacent lane and has been utilized in many other Ford products, but for this application it incorporates trailer coverage and is able to adapt to trailers ranging up to ten metres in length. The Lane Departure Warning system will readily warn the driver when the truck is drifting outside the boundaries of the lane of travel by using cameras that monitor the road markers. Both of these systems will prove invaluable for those users who tend to haul big loads. Another handy feature is the fact that the Super Duty’s tire pressure monitoring system can be set up to monitor the pressures of your trailer’s tires. Having this extra safety net on board will help make the trailering experience a little less stressful. Other cool new features are located throughout the truck, including a lockable storage bin underneath the rear seat on Crew Cab units, a rubberized button on the cargo bed wall to operate the handy box-mounted LED lighting system, and side mirror-mounted spotlights. 14 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

During our two day evaluation experience just outside Denver, Colorado, we managed to put the Super Duty (in a number of configurations) through its paces on the pavement and off-road, and one thing became immediately evident - the new Super Duty has been engineered to perform. The all-new Ford Super Duty is more powerful, more efficient, and more refined than before, and the focus on the vehicle’s handling dynamics is evident as soon as you get behind the wheel. This latest iteration of the venerable rig is cutting edge in many departments - especially with regards to both passenger safety and comfort, and with an equipment catalogue as extensive as that offered by Ford, it is very easy to order the perfect machine to help you get the job done. Official pricing has yet to be announced, but expect a base unit 2017 F-250 XL to start around $34,000, while a similar F-350 will begin around $38,000.


BUYERS’ GUIDE AnzoUSA Ford F-150 Projector Plank Style Switch Back Headlights Description: The all new F-150 Plank Style Projector Headlights with switch back function are computer-designed for innovative trend-setting style using the latest in C.A.D technology and equipment. They are great for quickly changing the appearance of your stock headlights, with simple installation that utilizes your truck’s stock mounting locations and hardware. Specifications: OE quality product, meets/exceeds DOT and SAE standards, comes in either a chrome housing or black housing with a clear lens. Applications: 2015-2016 Ford F-150. Website: AnzoUSA Chevy Colorado Projector Plank Style Headlights Description: Using the latest technology and innovation we have come out our new Chevy Colorado Plank Style Projector Headlights. With a unique design you and your vehicle will stand out above all others. Manufactured to be a direct plug and play system with your OEM wire harness no modifications required. Specifications: OE quality product, meets/exceeds DOT and SAE standards, comes in either a chrome housing or black housing with a clear lens. Applications: 2015-2016 Chevy Colorado. Website:

ARB Intensity LED Driving Lights Description: ARB’s Intensity LED light range has been designed to meet the demands of off-roaders and produces a white light that is the closest possible imitation of sunlight. It features a polycarbonate lens that is shatter resistant, and the LED lights do not require time to warm up. Offered in either spot or flood beam. Specifications: Submersible up to 10 feet. Applications: Universal products. Website:

Bright Source SFB HID Kits Description: Bright Source’s SFB (Spheroid Focused Beam) models are unique to Bright Source and feature a Spheroid Arc Glass Tube which helps ensure thermal stability and extends the overall life of the bulb. The design also restricts glare and produces a more effective and efficient light output. Specifications: Output colour is 6000 Kelvin. Applications: Visit website for complete listing. Website:

Bulldog 20 Double Row - Light Bar Description: The Bulldog 20-in. light bar makes for a great front bumper light because of its compact size, while producing 11,800 lumens. It will fit most vehicles with little modification and comes in spot, flood, and combo beam patterns. With such a powerful light, you can mount it in the grille or bumper for a more slimline look, and still have superior performance. Specifications: Voltage Input: 9-48v, Life span: 50,000 hours, powdercoated Aircraft Grade aluminum, Gore breathers for optimal moisture performance, IP68 waterproof rating. Applications: Universal product. Website: OCT/NOV 2016 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE 15

Cap-it LED Cube Light Description: Cap-it’s LED Cube Light is a spot pattern light that produces excellent light output from its high-efficiency long-life LEDs. They produce a low power draw and feature tough and durable weatherproof housing that is sure to keep them safe and intact. Specifications: Lights include wiring harness. Applications: Universal product. Website:

Enthuze LED Light Bars Description: Enthuze LED light bars are made with premium Osram LEDs with speciallydesigned reflectors for superior performance. Aluminum proprietary housing provides side or bottom mounting options with heat dissipation and a pressure relief vent to minimize condensation.  Specifications: Flood / Spot combo beam for 8 to 32 in., Extended Flood/Spot beam for 42 & 50 in. Applications: Universal product. Website:

Enthuze LED Work Lamp Description: The new Enthuze LED work lamp features three brightness settings that can illuminate your work site or off-road adventure with portable power lasting 3 to 12 hours. The bright 10w LED, designed to remain cool to the touch, produces 780 lumens making it a convenient lighting solution for easy mobility in many locations.  Specifications: Comes with a power adapter and car charger included Applications: Universal product. Website:




Extang e-Light 500-Rechargeable Truck Bed Utility Light Description: Extang’s e-Light 500 is a lighting system that mounts to your truck bed cover and fully illuminates the entire bed of the truck with its 500+ Lumens power. The e-Light 500 has been developed by Rigid Industries for Extang and has been designed to work from any location inside the truck bed, and can be recharged on the go. Specifications: Quickly and easily detaches from mountable cradle turning into a flashlight and can be attached to any magnetic surface with its magnetic base. Also waterproof. Applications: Universal product. Website:

GE H4 Rally Halogen Headlamps Description: The H4 Rally halogen headlamp bulbs from GE (General Electric) are a specifically high-wattage lamp that is meant for off-road use due to their intense light. They are double-filament forward-lighting halogen lamps that have 60-140 watts depending on the application, and 12-24 volts. Specifications: Double filament forward lighting halogen lamps. Applications: See website for complete list of applications. Website:

Hella Rallye 4000 LED Description: Hella’s Rallye 4000 LEDs are ideal for off-road racing in even the most extreme terrain as they provide long distance night vision from their three high-performance LEDs. The housing is finished in a matte black powdercoat, and the light features an optics-free glass lens for a modern design. Specifications: Housing, reflector and mounting bracket made of die-cast aluminum. Applications: Universal product. Website:


clearance for oversized tires. Anti-Spray™ Micro-Grooves™ funnel the rain, mud, rocks & debris back down to the road.


Go to or call 800.344.8759 to find which Mud Flaps are right for your truck.


ICI RT Step Light Description: ICI’s RT Step Light kit will allow users to add lights to their truck steps and the ability to add colours for a customized look. Each kit comes complete with a wiring harness to wire into a 12-volt power source and come pre-taped to mount to the included mounting tab. The tab extends from the RT step plate for an easy installation. Specifications: Made for use with Magnum RT steps. Applications: Trucks or Jeeps. Website:

Performance World 5800LM Canbus High Power LED Headlights Description: Performance World’s 5800LM Canbus high power LED headlights have a new sixth-generation design and are fanless and driverless, which allows them to go on instantly with no warm-up time. They are plug-and-play compatible for most applications, offer five colours to suit your driving conditions, and have a canbus error cancelling design. Specifications: High quality aluminum construction. Applications: Available for most vehicles. Website:

Performance World Single Row LED Light Bars Description: Performance World’s new Amber/White LED light bars’ amber lenses drastically reduce the blindness and loss of depth perception caused when driving with standard white lights in dark driving conditions. The 16-inch and larger bars come with a standard 3-way switching harness which allows the user to select amber only, clear only, or all. Specifications: Sizes available between 6- and 32-inches. Applications: Universal product. Website:

PIAA SAE-Compliant LED Lights and Light Bars Description: PIAA offers an extensive line of SAE and ECE-compliant LED lights that are sure to brighten up your drive. The lights feature PIAA’s Reflector Facing Technology (RFT), a design that was engineered to precisely control the beam pattern on the road, while maximizing light output to offer the performance drivers demand. Specifications: Features some of the lowest power draw figures on the market. Applications: Universal product. Website:

Pro Comp Explorer Series LED Light Bar Description: Pro Comp’s Explorer Series LED Light Bar feature a 50,000+ hour life span and ultra-high lumens/watt lights that are housed in a waterproof and shockproof 6063 extruded aluminum case. The innovative design of the bars provides increased visibility in even the darkest of driving conditions, and features 80 CREE LED lights. Specifications: Light comes with wiring harness, switch, relay and two sets of mounting brackets. Applications: Universal product. Website:

Putco Luminix Light Bars Description: Putco’s Luminix LED light bars are made of aircraft-grade aluminum and feature 15-degree optic lenses. They are one of the thinnest light bars in the world and are available in curved and straight, as well as various sizes to allow for ideal functionality for your vehicle. Specifications: Available in 3.5x4.5-inches, in up to 70-inch lengths. Applications: Universal product. Website: 18 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Rigid D-SS Dually Side Shooter Description: Rigid Industries’ D-SS Dually Side Shooter LED pod is perfect for any application that requires a wide spread beam including A-pillars and fog lights. It uses the same LED technology as the D series lights with added LEDs aimed to the side for a much broader beam. The fixtures boast up to 120-degrees of horizontal lighting coverage when used in pairs or in single light applications. Specifications: Available in pairs with three-side shooting LEDs on one side of each fixture or in single applications with a pair of side-shooting LEDs on both sides of the fixture. Applications: Universal product. Website: SBx H Series Slim LED Light Bars Description: The new Slim Series single-row light bars are great for mounting in tight locations. A height of only 1.88-in. makes them ideal for bumper applications or other tight confines. Specifications: Available in 8, 14, 20 and 32-in. long. Featuring 5-watt Cree LEDs. IP67 waterproof rating. Operate on 10 to 30 Volts DC. Stainless steel mounting hardware. Applications: Universal product. Website:

TrailFX LED Lighting Description: TrailFX offers a full line of LED lighting that includes single- or double-row light bars, work lights, cube lights and tailgate light bars. All options add a unique and custom look to your truck or Jeep and are made with high-quality products that will be sure to provide great light and remain durable. Specifications: Light bars range from 6 through 54 in. Applications: Universal products. Website:

Truxedo B-Light Description: Truxedo’s B-Light is a flexible, easy-to-use, waterproof lighting solution that can be used just about anywhere. B-Light comes equipped with a 5-minute auto shutoff feature, and installation is fast and easy with the flexible LED strip and 3M adhesive backing. Available in 18- and 36-inch lengths, the B-Light can be placed in closets, toolboxes, truck beds and much more. Specifications: Powered by 3 AA batteries; 18” or 36” lengths; 3M adhesive backing. Applications: Universal product. Website: Vision X Optimus LED Halo Lights Description: The Optimus Halo Series features an immensely bright LED Halo around the outer edge of the long-range IRIS Reflector. This 3.0” pod shines up to 693 feet of usable light while pushing out 1,052 lumens each. You’ll be able to wire the Halo as a daytime running light, additional indicator lighting, or anything else you can imagine. The Optimus Round Halos feature a full line of available beam & color changing covers. Available in Square or Round styles. Lifetime Limited Warranty Specs: Square 3” and Round 3.75” Aluminum Housing, 10 Watt LED, Halo Ring, 15 degree IRIS Reflector. 1052 Lumens. 0.83A draw. Applications: Universal, Available Individually or in Two Light Kit with Wiring Harness, Relay & Switch. Website: Westin Automotive Swivel LED Work Light Description: Westin Automotive’s Swivel LED work utility light features a pivoting magnet base as well as a 12-volt vehicle connector. It features a rubber-sealed design that is made to protect from dust and moisture getting inside, and has a shockproof, shatter- and scratchresistant polycarbonate lens. Specifications: Available in 5.7 x 4.7 in. diameter. Applications: Universal product. Website: 20 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Battle of the Full-Size Imports

Story and photos by Albert Vandervelde

be in any of the five half-ton trucks currently offered in the market.


Nissan Titan 5.0-Litre Cummins Diesel We will kick off with the new kid on the block – well, new to the full-size diesel market, that is. I have not spent a lot of time in Nissan vehicles, and my first impression stepping inside and hearing that solid Cummins sound was – wow, they have finally come to the game with a ringer. The inside was excellent, comfortable and

his issue, we get to pit the two full-size import truck offerings in North America against each other – the Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra. Both have come a long way in their development over the years. The Titan came straight into the market in 2003 with a standard 5.6-litre V8 with 317 hp. The truck has remained relatively unchanged until the 2016 model year where, alongside the standard 5.6 V8 engine, a Cummins 5.0-litre turbo diesel was added, producing 310 hp and 555 lb-ft of torque. Along with the new engine came a host of upgrades, transmission and rear axle size, towing ability and a redesign both inside and out. The Toyota, on the other hand, started back in 1993-1998 as the T-100. This was prior to Toyota giving its trucks real names. The T-100 design wasn’t a very large truck; in reality, the new Tacoma is much closer in size to the T-100 than the Tundra platform is today, and it has generally gotten larger, as well, over its production run. The Tundra kicked off in 2000 with a pair of V6 engines and one 4.7-litre V8. When the truck grew in size in 2006, so did the engine offerings, ranging from a standard 4.0-litre (dropped in 2012; the truck is just too heavy for this engine) to a 381-hp 5.7. In 2010, the Tundra got fresh bodywork and interior changes and I can say both the Titan and Tundra today feel very much on par with their North American cousins, to the point that if you did not see the badges, you really could 22 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

well laid out. Pulling away from the curb, this truck felt planted, as in five-ton truck planted, and I have owned diesel light trucks in the past. Right out of the gate, it feels like you can stuff a full trailer behind this truck and haul to your heart’s content. But let’s be honest; if that’s your game, you’re going for the heavy-haul big-three diesels, as towing, power and ability are much higher, all at a very close price to a fully loaded half-ton. Planted also has a little drawback. My wife felt that that for her, it was a no-go as a daily driver. The steering was just too heavy in tight parking lots, and she drives a Ram half-ton every day, so not a biased car driver here. She just got tired of sawing at the steering wheel in parking lots. This truck could benefit from some low speed steering boost; I also found it a little much after a while, and these trucks will be daily drivers – not construction site haul rigs. Another slight downside is turbo lag; from a standing start, I was finding myself waiting for large gaps in traffic to pull out. It just felt a little slow on launch and I was not confident that darting across busy lanes was a good choice. One other little peeve came from transmission shift points, tow/haul mode or not – the trans just felt slushy and slow to downshift, which makes the truck feel as if its underpowered, which on paper, it is not. When slowing to a light, the downshifts felt hard and very noticeable. Diesel exhaust fluid is needed like all other modern diesels, and fuel consumption was a little disappointing. When you factor in the Ram EcoDiesel’s miserly under-10L per 100 km economy, the Titan was working in around the 14L per 100 km, and when factoring the other big-three full-displacement diesels getting in the 12L per 100 km range, this truck is pretty thirsty for a diesel. Maybe there was some break-in time needed here still, as our tester had a mere 900 kms on the clock when we picked it up. Inside you get everything that’s expected in a fully loaded half-ton, excellent finishes, loaded with technology, everything in easy-to-

24 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

reach places, and a very quiet cabin, despite the diesel under the hood. Out back, the box is filled with hooks, rails, boxes and towing stuff from in-bed ball hitch, to rails on the sides and bottom of the box – but keep in mind, if you shovel some rocks or sand in the back, you’re going to fill those tracks and be spending a lot of time cleaning. If that’s your game, skip a lot of the hooks and gadgets. Overall, a very pleasant truck that needs some transmission tuning and a variable power assist steering rack for tight slow speed manoeuvring to elevate it to excellent. Toyota Tundra 1794 5.7-Litre V8 While not a fully new model, enough styling changes have taken place here to really impress me. I’ve always found Toyota trucks a little underpowered, and a little lacking in tech and styling compared to other options in the market, and with a lack of owner design choices that the Big 3 seem to have wrapped up. That said, this

I had a chance to haul around some Jeep frames on my 16-foot flat deck with the Toyota and it handled all very well, but a complete absence of tow mirrors was a little unfortunate. Thankfully, they are optional, and you will want them. With recent test drives in most of the big three’s trucks, I found this Tundra to also be on the thirsty side in this segment. Where the other manufacturers are working hard to bring down the fuel consumption numbers in a market that sees trucks as family haulers and daily drivers, Toyota and Nissan seem to forgo these concerns to make their trucks feel and compete more fully as “trucks” in North America. Some better fuel numbers are needed for commuting. Both of these trucks are worthy contenders, but I’m still not sure if Titan is going to swing a Ram Cummins owner into their truck, and still not sure if Toyota is going to lure a lot of F-150 buyers into theirs, but they will keep their true buyers very happy with some great iron to haul family, trailers and gear around.

fully loaded Tundra is the closest in feel inside and out to a North American truck as it ever has been. Strange words, as many have always felt that imports from all over trump North American cars in fit, finish and style – but not so in the half-ton truck market. This truck feels much different than the Titan. Where the Titan felt solid and planted, the Tundra feels nimble and more “sporty.” The throaty sound of the TRD exhaust has a nice rumble, which is a big part of this feel, and it has a good, solid transmission that shifts quickly and takes advantage of the 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. I had to look up the 1794 moniker; it really didn’t make much sense, but the truck was fun and enjoyable to drive, so I didn’t really care. For those of you who do, here you go: “The Toyota Tundra plant sits on land that Toyota purchased from the oldest working cattle ranch in Texas. 1794 refers to the year that this ranch was established by Spanish colonist Juan Ignacio de Casanova.” Can you say, targeting the King Ranch, Laramie and High Country segment?

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26 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

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How Do You Buy A Great Truck At A Discount?

Story by Howard J Elmer, photos courtesy of manufacturers


ore than half of all new RVs purchased in Canada this year will be of the fifth wheel variety. That means those buyers have, or will need, a pickup truck. In fact a great many other RVs, like travel trailers and pop-ups, are also towed by pickups. Knowing this, and knowing how expensive trucks can be today, I thought it might be advantageous to the readers of Trucks Plus to share some of the knowledge I’ve accumulated reporting on the automotive industry as it relates to buying your next truck. So, right off the bat, the question everyone asks - Is there such a thing

as a good time to buy a truck? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that to find that buying sweet spot on the calendar you’ll have to have timing. The trick, though, is that the right time can be any time, so you have to know what to watch for. For instance, what about sales – are they for real? Some buyers swear that all sales are just bogus hype to get people in the dealership door. And while there is a grain of truth in this statement, most sales are a direct reflection of what’s going on in the automotive world. Knowing (from independent sources like the web, newspapers and business news) what’s going on with the manufacturers you’re interested in is the best way to judge how good a sale really is. How well are models selling? How is the economy in general? How easy is it to get credit? What are interest rates like? All these factors influence the price on the showroom floor – often by thousands. What are the key influences of prices at the dealer? First, is something called the pipeline. This is the number of vehicles that are on a dealer’s lot, the number on order and the number of days of production the factory is ahead (or behind) on filling orders. If the pipeline number is high (say, above 90 days) prices will come down. If it’s fewer than 40 they will stay up. The other more common figure given monthly in the news is sales – this year vs. last. So, looking at just these two numbers, what do you want to see. A sales drop and a full pipeline means the dealer is much more likely to cut you a deal. If this trend continues into month two or three, that’s when you will see manufacturer incentives start up. It’s all about moving inventory – trucks that sit cost everyone money Model year change-over; is that a good time to buy? Yes, with a “but” attached. Each year brings some small

28 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016


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editions. And, sometimes you just want what you want – fine. Just be aware that manufacturers make the bulk of their money on those single-item ordered options. The simple fact is that the best dollar-fordollar value in a truck comes in the base model the factory offers. All around, it has the least profit built into its price - for the builder and the dealer. Yet, few of us want a stripped truck; that’s just not what we want, right? Luckily, this is a fact that dealers are very aware of. So, many negotiate a package of options (knowing full well what their local buyers like most) with the factory, then offer it as an all-inclusive deal on a batch of trucks they order and have on the lot. Using the dealer’s bargaining power to your advantage is good business, which brings me to my next point.

incentives; but the best deals come with generational changeovers. In the truck world, this usually comes along every five and seven years. Incentives and deals are deepest as the new trucks are arriving; dealers (and the manufacturer) want the late models off the lot so as not to muddy up the new business coming in. News of gen changes are widely published and usually come at least nine to 12 months ahead of the introduction; this gives you time to plan and watch for the incentives. If you’re lucky enough to catch this change up while the market is down, too, that’s a winning hand. How else can I keep new purchase costs down? When you leaf through the shiny brochures (or click through that website) it’s easy to get excited about the options, add-ons and special

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If you can buy off the lot – do it. The simple fact is that vehicles age on a dealer’s lot. Each day they are worth just a little less – and each day the dealer has to pay a carrying cost to the bank on his inventory; so his deal is always going to be sharpest when he has a chance to move an existing truck off his asphalt today. Trade-in or not? If you can, sell your old truck yourself – it will keep the new deal cleaner and leaner. Not to mention, if you’ve cared for the old workhorse, you’ll generally get more from a buyer who can see and appreciate the condition of your current ride. So, yes, you can get a sweet deal on a truck - just follow the formula. Watch the auto and business news. Know when the market changes. Plan your purchase around the sales those changes bring. Take cash to the dealer, not trades, and buy the best truck on the lot. Good Luck.


BUYERS’ GUIDE BFGoodrich – Winter Slalom® KSi

State-of-the-art looks and the ability to take you where you want to go throughout the winter make the BFGoodrich® Winter Slalom® KSI Key Snow & Ice the RIGHT tire for all types of cold weather adventures. The KSI features winter regenerating compounds, which are micro-pores that provide grip mechanism for continued traction on snow and ice. The optimized sipe configuration offers better block stability for improved handling and wear, plus enhanced cornering and braking on snow, ice, slush, wet and dry roads. More hydroplaning resistance and deep snow traction come from full lateral grooves and increased tread voids. BFG’s Etec System, or equal tension containment system, is available on most sizes which basically provides a consistent footprint and maximum tread contact under any speed, giving you better control on the road no matter what the weather.

Bridgestone – Blizzak DM-V2 The Blizzak DM-V2 is Bridgestone’s best winter tire engineered for drivers of SUVs, crossovers, and pick up trucks who want confident performance during demanding winter driving conditions. The tire delivers enhanced traction and stopping power on snow and ice and increased handling on snow - and better overall control in winter conditions.

Continental – WinterContact SI Continental introduces the all new WinterContact SI with PolarPlus+ Technology for ultimate grip in snow, ice & wet conditions. Traction Grooves improve snow-on-snow traction and grip. Also features an Alignment Verification system with short sipes on both shoulders of the tire which visually alert the driver of any misalignment before the tires are ruined. +Silane additives in the compound enhance grip on slippery roads and reduce stopping distances.

Dick Cepek - Fun Country Developed using unique technology and engineering to deliver excellent off-road traction, a quieter ride and superior durability for today’s light trucks and 4x4s. A unique tread pattern and design, circumferential grooves, stone ejector ribs, and a tough shoulder and sidewall design make this tire one of the best all-terrain tires in the line.

Firestone – Winterforce UV The Firestone Winterforce UV is “siped and studdable” for good winter performance. Its directional, computer-modelled tread design helps to deliver confident snow, wet and ice traction. The Firestone Winterforce is designed to deliver a quiet and comfortable ride to get you to your destination regardless of the weather conditions. Its directional tread pattern optimizes wet and dry performance and its high sipe-density three-dimensional tread pattern makes for confident snow, ice and wet traction. Also being pinned for standard studs provides additional traction potential for severe conditions. The Firestone Winterforce UV is designed for light trucks, SUVs and CUVs to deliver a quiet and comfortable ride to get you to your destination - regardless of the weather conditions. General – Grabber Arctic A strong, innovative light truck studdable winter tire with outstanding low-temperature traction in snow, ice and wet conditions. DURAGENTM Ultra High Strength Technology provides a robust cut- and chip-resistant compound combined with ultra high-strength steel belts and a broad contour, promote confident stability, even wear, excellent braking and responsive handling. Meets the severe service requirements of both RMA and TRAC. All sizes are pinned for optional stud application for those that desire the added ice grip winter studs provide. Raised ridges in the grooves provide additional grip during cornering, accelerating and braking in deep snow for when you need it most. Angled, interlocking sipes reduce squirm and block deformation, providing stable handling, and strong braking in dry and wet conditions with exceptional snow and ice grip. 34 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Goodyear – Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT / SUV Goodyear improves on its already impressive winter lineup of the Ultra Grip SUV with the Ultra Grip Ice WRT (Winter Reactive Technology) SUV and WRT LT. The WRT Series is available from commuter cars to light trucks and SUVs and crossovers, featuring two-dimensional blades in the centre zone which offer enhanced stopping and starting power on snow and ice, and three-dimensional tread lock technology blades in the shoulder zone which offer enhanced wet and winter traction as they lock together for confident grip in turns. The directional tread pattern helps channel water and slush away from the tire for enhanced winter traction and handling.

Kumho - WINTERCRAFT SUV ICE WS31 The WinterCraft SUV Ice WS31 provides excellent performance by optimal stud arrangement on icy and snowy roads. The WS31 features improved traction and braking performance through asymmetrical sipes, and better ice control performance by applying the latest compound mixing technology. Optimized pattern design on SUV and crossover vehicles. Application of 3D sipes to strengthen the block rigidity and handling/ ice braking performance. Optimized groove to strengthen snow and wet performance. Improved brake performance due to turbine blade quickly discharging dust and ice powder from stud.

Hankook - Winter i*cept evo2 SUV Ultra winter performance tire for 4x4s and SUVs. Optimized pattern design helps effectively bite into the snow and improve the traction performance of the tires. Lateral ice axe-shaped grooves have a scratching effect on roads. Powerful snow performance by optimized lateral groove angle. High grip silica compound provides improved snow/wet traction and lowered rolling resistance.

Michelin – LTX® Winter The Michelin® LTX™ Winter commercial light truck tire provides excellent winter traction and grip through snow, ice, slush, plus dry and wet weather conditions, for safe driving winter after winter. The new 3-D Active Sipes™ , which include over 1,000 biting edges, optimized contact patch and MaxTouch Construction™ combine to deliver long lasting, reliable snow mobility. A state-of-the-art cold weather rubber tread compound called W/Max™ delivers optimized starting tractive grip and exceptional braking on ice, while providing firmness for wet and dry performance. Built with steel belts to provide puncture resistance and strength; and to handle large cargo loads in slush, snow and ice.

Mickey Thompson - Baja MTZP3 The Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ P3 is an incredible mud terrain tire that’s been specially designed for longer wear, enhanced wet weather capability, and superior cut and chip resistance. The sidewall is reinforced with Mickey Thompson’s PowerPly™ technology along with decoupling grooves for reliable off-road performance and reduced heat buildup. The proprietary SideBiters ® tackle irregular terrain with confidence and aggressive style. Five new sizes up to 40 inches in diameter are now available: 36X15.00R16LT, 36X15.50R20LT, 38X15.50R20LT, 40X13.50R17LT and 40X14.50R20LT.

Nexen – WinGuard Ice SUV Winguard Ice SUV has a dual V shape that enhances grip and braking. There are four grooves and two small semi grooves that drain snow, slush, and water. The Winguard Ice SUV’s shoulder stiffness enhances durability and its 3D block prevents abnormal wear. 

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Nokian - WR SUV 3 A non-studded tire for SUVs that is used in demanding and varying conditions. Offers excellent handling on all driving surfaces. The Nokian WR SUV 3 is a sturdy, high-performance non-studded winter tire that remains logical and safe even at the grip limits. The snow claws designed on the longitudinal and diagonal grooves of the tire’s tread blocks ensure exceptional winter grip. The snow claws effectively grip their surface when driving in soft snow and on other soft terrain types, providing high-class grip on snow and ice. Durability and protection for surprising situations. The sidewall compound that is exceptionally durable and puncture-resistant contains extremely strong Aramid fibres. The same material is utilized by the aerospace and defence industries. The Aramid fibre strengthens the sidewall rubber to withstand external impacts and pressing against the wheel flange.

Pirelli – Scorpion Winter Scorpion Winter has been designed to fit modern SUVs and CUVs, with a special focus on the high-end segment, and provides an important contribution to the driver’s safety as it guarantees maximum stability and control in snow, wet and dry conditions. Featuring best-in-class on-snow braking, handling and traction, excellent braking and handling in wet and dry conditions at low temperatures, and lower noise and rolling resistance, the Scorpion Winter was rated highest overall in terms of braking, handling, traction in snow conditions, compared with its main competitors. A directional and symmetrical tread pattern, modular block geometry, enhanced sipe layout and circumferential grooves allow this tire to achieve such a high rating.

Pro Comp - A/T Sport The A/T Sport’s unique all-terrain rubber compound is a result of Pro Comp’s years of all-terrain tire experience and specially formulated for the perfect balance of on and off-road use. The Side Holder Lug Technology not only provides aggressive looks, when combined with the chip and cut resistant rubber it also increases traction and puncture resistance. The A/T Sport uses proprietary Sweeping Groove Technology that is designed with tire “in-motion” to maximize traction in off-road and foul weather conditions removing dirt, rocks, debris, rain, snow or just about any obstacle nature can create. Combined with channeled grooves, the A/T Sport is a perfect partner in practically any conditions.

Toyo – Open Country C/T The Toyo Open Country C/T light truck tire is designed for on-off-road winter driving conditions, combining winter performance with commercial durability and traction. The Open Country C/T delivers optimum traction in all off-road conditions including dirt, gravel, mud and snow, while providing a quiet, comfortable highway ride. The tire features a brand-new compound that balances cut/chip resistance with improved winter performance. This was achieved without sacrificing durability, tread life and wet/dry handling, while delivering a quiet, comfortable ride that you would not expect from an all-terrain light truck tire.

Rakla CR857+ Bold, off-road attitude combined with exceptional on-road performance. Staggered centre blocks create more biting edges helping improve off-road performance. Studdable for outstanding traction and braking performance on snow and icy roads.

Yokohama – iceGUARD iG51v The new iG51v is the latest addition to Yokohama’s iceGUARD family line. Designed with the latest developments in winter tire technology such as micro diagonal slush and lightning grooves, 3D sipes and a high-density reinforced compound, this tire has an aggressive performance-oriented tread pattern, making it ideal for Canadian winter driving conditions. The tire’s unique compound and construction delivers not only great handling but also unexpected long term durability, more even tire wear and improved fuel consumption.

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Tire Safety and Winter Travel Maintenance

Story and photos by Howard J Elmer, additional photos courtesy of the manufacturers


ires are the main support for your RV or tow vehicle, or both. Yet, as important as they are, they tend to be overlooked when it comes to maintenance. Never mind the condition of the rubber – most people don’t even keep the proper inflation in them. Seems strange, doesn’t it, considering the alternative. Most every one of us has experienced a tire failure. We know that everything comes to a stop – often in very dangerous locations (traffic-wise). Tow trucks, blown travel schedules – anxiety and expensive roadside repairs – these are all part of the blown tire experience. A major headache, yet we still tend to neglect our tires. Human nature, I suppose. Well, for our part at Trucks Plus, we take this opportunity to remind our readers of something that is as important as our very own feet. You are going nowhere without those, and your RV isn’t moving without decent, well-maintained tires.

The first and simplest bit of advice is to remember that air pressure is very important. Keep your tires inflated to the factory prescribed pressures. Check them regularly and remember that too much can be just as dangerous as too little. Weather, temperature and altitude will affect this. Keep that in mind as you move from cold to warm locations on your travels. Make checking tire pressure part of your regular circle check. Tire tread is also important but so is age. Like us, tires age – and not well. Don’t be fooled into thinking that low mileage on an old tire means it’s still safe; tires do dry out and become brittle. This can lead to tread separation and the potential for blowouts. Rules for basic tire inspection: • Check tire pressure cold, before your trip and during (always cold) • Check for uneven tread wear (this can tip you off to other potential mechanical problems that are wearing the tires, such as misaligned or worn suspension components ) • Look for cracking in treads and sidewalls • Hand check lugs, for tightness and wear, every time you check the air pressure • Touch the centre cap during travel looking for heat. This will often be the first sign of a wheel bearing that is starting to fail.

So, while the most valuable tire evaluation comes from regular visual checks, a great deal more can be learned about a tire from the information it carries on its sidewalls. Example: Size Designation P185/75R14 The letter ‘P’ or no prefix identifies a tire intended for passenger cars. A ‘T’ prefix is for “temporary use” as a spare only. ‘LT’ stands for Light Truck . ‘ST’ indicates a trailer tire. 185 - Cross-section width: (in millimetres). 75 - Aspect Ratio: The ratio of the tire height to the tire width, expressed as a percentage. R - Construction type: R = Radial; B = Bias Belted; D = Diagonal 14 - Rim Diameter (in inches) that the tire must be mounted on. 40 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

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you can now quickly and accurately check when your tires were made. I bring this up because buying new tires is no guarantee that they haven’t been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for perhaps years before sale. Imagine buying tires today and finding out that they were made two, three, even five years ago. It has happened. Now, armed with the knowledge of the DOT Code, you can choose to not accept those out-of-date tires. So, while I have you. When starting out on your snowbird adventures, remember that our wintery climate is going to put extra stress on your RV combination. Here are just a couple of other things to keep in mind. Each of these will help prevent premature wear and possibly even roadside failure.

This information will assure you that you are running on, or buying, the right tire for your RV or vehicle. But there is another sidewall code that is as, or even more, important. That is the DOT Code that reveals how old a tire is. Example: DOT Code CCTU9JW458 All tires carry a Transport Canada approval code that identifies the tire manufacturer, plant, tire make and model, as well as the date of production. In this example all you really need to know comes from the last three or four digits. In this example the tire was built during the 45th week of the 8th year (2008). The DOT code is particularly useful when evaluating the fitness of trailer tires. Often, this rubber appears to be in good shape because of little use, but remember, rubber does age and become brittle. The older a tire is, the more likely it is to have cracks in between the treads and on the sidewalls. But, you can’t count on these telltale signs – sometimes they don’t exist. A few years ago, in the wake of the Explorer tire problems, Ford Motor Co. issued a statement in regards to tire failures. Ford officials said the move came in response to a growing body of research that suggested tires deteriorate as they age and can experience tread separations and other failures, even if they looked robust. A spokesperson was quoted in the Detroit News as saying “Tires degrade over time, even when they are not being used,” Ford’s warning reads. “It is recommended that tires generally be replaced after six years of normal service. Heat caused by hot climates or frequent high loading conditions can accelerate the ageing process.” This all has to be considered good advice; however, the DOT Code also has one other very important use. When you buy new tires 42 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

RV and truck undercarriage: Out of sight, out of mind. This is how many owners treat undercarriages, but it shouldn’t be. Because of the way a ladder-frame is constructed, it gathers more dirt, grime and corrosive salt residue than a unibody car. So get in there with the power washer and use the soap and degreaser – pay special attention to the cab and box separation and the engine cradle. The trailer can also absorb that nasty salty brine in its underside. Wash it out when you get down south. The Hitch: Have you used your hitch since last summer? Was the ball left in? Now, when you need it, can you be sure it isn’t rusted into place? This is the surprise many owners encounter when they go to hook up. In advance of travelling, clean and lubricate all parts of the hitch receiver, ball and pins. Check for corrosion damage at all welds and bolt heads where a hitch is attached to the frame – nobody wants to see their trailer in the rear view mirror disappearing into the distance as you roll down the highway. Fifth-wheel hitches deserve just as much love. Electrical hookups: Winter grime and corrosion is probably toughest on electrical lines and connections. Get a tester – check for current in all sockets. Clean the sockets and lubricate with light lithium grease. Pay special attention to ground wires – they are always the first to rust right off the frame. Clean and lubricate as you go. Now that you have prepared for the worst, head out and have a great time down south.



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BUYERS’ GUIDE Amp Research BedXtender HD Max Description: Amp Research’s BedXtender HD Max is a lightweight and super strong pickup truck bed extender that is constructed using 6063 T6 aluminum alloy tubes and uses rugged glass-reinforced nylon composite uprights. It is easy to install or remove and is finished with a durable black or silver powder coat finish. Specifications: Adds up to two feet to the length of your truck bed. Applications: Available for GM, Ford, Nissan, Ram/Dodge, and Toyota pickups. Website:

Bedslide Classic Description: The Bedslide Classic features a capacity of 1,000 lbs evenly distributed, and has a ¾ extension out of the truck bed. The Weaterdeck is a composite lightweight decking material that is durable in all elements, and the slide itself features multiple locking positions for safety and convenience. It has a 32-inch-wide grab bar for easy access from either side, and heavy-duty cam-follower bearings and hard latch system. Specifications: Has Bedtrax with D-ring tie-downs for cargo management. Applications: Available for GM, Ford, Dodge/Ram, Toyota, and Nissan Pickups. Website: Decked In-Vehicle Storage Systems Description: The Decked In-Vehicle Storage System allows you to have full access to your truck bed while providing a place to keep tools and gear secure and out of the elements. The top has a true 2,000 lb payload while each drawer allows for a 200 lb capacity and slides out at waist height for easy access. Specifications: System is customizable with locks, trays, dividers, CoreTrax, and TTracks. Applications: Available for Dodge/Ram, Nissan, Toyota, GM and Ford pickups. Website: Erickson MFG Big Bed Junior Description: The Big Bed Junior comes in two pieces that simply lock into each other, which are a two-inch support tube along with a 48-inch cross beam, while a 3-hole adjustment up or down helps line up with the floor of the truck box. It fits only two-inch receivers and adds four feet of box length. Specifications: Supports up to 350 lbs and has anchor rings that are positioned properly for use with tie downs. Comes with a black powder coat finish. Applications: Available for trucks with 2-inch receivers. Website: Erickson MFG Big Bed Senior Description: Erickson Manufacturing’s Big Bed Senior pickup truck bed extender boasts a patented folding design that simply folds up or down quickly and easily and has a carry handle that works as a tie down point. It will work with a 48-inch wide sheet of plywood and has tie-down points that are strategically positioned, as well as a three-pin adjustment up or down to line up with the floor of the truck box. Specifications: Fits two-inch receivers only and supports up to 400 lbs. Applications: Available for trucks with two-inch receivers. Website: 44 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

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Ford Accessories Black Bed Extender Description: Ford Accessories Black Bed Extender is made of rugged black fibreglassreinforced polypropylene that flips out and extends over the tailgate to provide 18 inches of extra cargo space. When the tailgate is closed, the cage flips inside the bed and helps protect cargo from moving around within the truck bed. Specifications: Easy to install and remove when not in use. Applications: Available for 2009-2014 Ford F-150. Website:

Mopar Bed Extender Description: Mopar’s Bed Extender attaches to the rear of the bed and pivots in and out for added storage security when the tailgate is up, and bed length extension when the tailgate is down. The extender features two molded-in grocery bag hooks or hangers, and uses straps to engage the tailgate latches to secure the system. Specifications: Made of tubular aluminum. Applications: For 2011-2017 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500. Website:

ReadyRamp Bed Extender Description: ReadyRamp’s Bed Extender encloses your truck’s lowered tailgate and adds serious capacity to your truck bed, which is important when hauling ATVs, UTVs or motorcycles in trucks with shorter beds. It folds flat when not in use and can be used in reverse when the tailgate is closed to control cargo. Specifications: Connects to the stock tailgate hardware. Applications: Two sizes fit most trucks on the road. Website:

Top Line Fold Down Bed Expander Description: Top Line’s Universal Fold-Down Bed Expander has a telescoping design that allows it to fit any tailgate, and mounts directly to it using stainless steel hardware. It does not attach to the truck bed itself and folds down flat on the tailgate. It disappears when the tailgate is folded up and takes up only about 5 inches of cargo space. Specifications: Unit is easily removed with two release pins and extends bed of your truck 10 square feet. Applications: Fits any pickup truck tailgate. Website:

X-Treme Gate Slide-Out Truck Bed Extender Description: The X-Treme Gate Slide-Out Truck Bed Extender adds up to 10 extra square feet of truck bed space and is able to deploy or stow away in under 10 seconds. It is fully compatible with tonneau covers and with drop-in and spray-in bed liners and is made from a patented blend of ABS and high-strength polycarbonate. Specifications: Features a bolt-in design to prevent theft. Applications: Fits all full-size pickups from 2009 and newer and any full-size pickup with a tailgate opening of at least 58-3/8 in. Website:

46 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016




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A New Breed Story and photos by Howard J Elmer


he Winnebago Fuse is a Class C (or arguably a B-Plus) motorhome built on a Ford Chassis. Nothing new there – right?

Actually, there is a lot new with a back story worth telling right out of the gate. A story that is as much about Ford as it is about how Winnebago has built its new Fuse. North American commercial vans with gas engines, built by Detroit, have been the chassis of choice for the majority of Class B and C motorhomes for decades. However, several years ago the Mercedes diesel-powered Sprinter came to these shores and started a whole new trend. Quickly adapted by most RV builders to the needs of Class B’s in particular, the Mercedes chassis and powertrain outshone the old-style offerings from Ford, Chevy and Dodge. The reason for this history lesson is to introduce the new generation of van chassis that now make up the majority of frames that support the newest Class B’s and C’s. In many ways, we have Mercedes to thank for this transformation as it really was the arrival of the Sprinter that showed up the domestic vans as truly ancient technology. Since then, Ram and Ford have imported their own European vans, (in the case of Ford they are now built in America), both with diesel engine offerings. So, are they really better? Yes, in every possible way. To date I’ve driven them all as commercial models and also tested the Ram ProMaster as the chassis for a Class B. However, till today, I had not had the chance to try the Ford Transit van chassis under a motorhome. First Impression. Driving the Fuse is easy and fun. Not something I’d say about any of the old style Class C’s. It carries its load with a stable and firm controlled ride. No doubt, the Fuse is an RV you could do long trips in without fatigue or road anxiety. This alone makes it a truly new breed of Class C. Among the Transit’s design traits is a slightly set-back front axle with gives it a tight turning radius which responds quickly to low-speed parking situations. Visibility is excellent, as the nose drops away, and the long windows make for clear sightlines. This translates to easy city driving. As for body-roll, there is virtually none, and for high-speed safety, Ford offers the Transit with standard AdvanceTrac and Roll Stability 48 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Flexsteel Fold N Tumble love seat that opens for overnight accommodation. More importantly, this small slide (which also houses the refrigerator and a microwave above it) opens up the centre of the unit making the kitchen feel much bigger. The sense of space also comes from the pass-through to the twin beds, so the entire length of the motorhome is open right back to the bathroom. Speaking of the bathroom, the full-width design is spacious, it makes room for a built-in wardrobe, and a nice feature is the rear window that admits natural light along with the skylight in the shower. Ample storage, a nice medicine cabinet and unique sink with some counter space make this an ideal setup for longer trips.

Control. Both of these electronic systems monitor and correct any out-ofline events caused by rough road conditions. Transit uses a unibody chassis and is available in various wheelbases (129.9 to 156-inches), single or dual rear wheels, and three roof heights (83.2, 100.8 or 110.2-inches). The engine is front-mounted and it’s a rear-wheel drive setup. The Fuse uses the chassis-cab, dual-rear wheel setup. Power is supplied from a 3.2-litre Power Stroke turbo-diesel. This is an inline five-cylinder design that makes 185 hp but much more torque. This is obvious during start-up acceleration. You’ll never have a problem merging with this engine. This power runs through a six-speed automatic transmission which has a manual shift mode and also a tow-haul setting. The Fuse can be equipped with a Class IV trailer tow package. The Fuse is built with two floor plans, both quite different. My tester’s unique features – in the 23A - are twin beds and a full-width rear bathroom. Each of the floor plans incorporates a slideout. In the 23A it houses a

50 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

As I mentioned, there is another floorplan (23T) which has a passenger-side slide that houses the head of the Queensized bed near the rear of the unit – for those who prefer the larger Queen-bed option. However, I’d like to throw my support in for the twin beds. These are each 32x80 inches in size. The driver’s side bed also comes with a flip-up extension if you are really tall. So while each partner is accommodated with this setup, the choices continue. Located between the beds is a post hole for a pedestal table. Obviously, this can be used for dining (a second post hole fits the same table in front of the love-seat) but it can also be the support for a Flex-Bed system that fills in the aisle way for a much larger 60x87-inch King-bed. I like choices, particularly in smaller units where varying numbers of occupants/guests creates different daily accommodation demands – like leaving the aisle open for bathroom access. Interestingly, the flat-screen television location over the driver’s cabin can easily be seen from any place in the Fuse. A second TV hung on the dividing wall between the kitchen and bed almost seems unnecessary because the central viewing position of the main screen is so prominent. As for sound, the coach has an AM/FM, CD/DVD player that also features Bluetooth with input jack and even an alarm clock. It also comes satellitesystem ready.



Length: ...................................................................................24' Exterior Height: . ............................................................. 10'2" Exterior Width: .................................................................. 7'6" Exterior Storage: (cu. ft.).................................................. 23.1 Awning Length: ...................................................................16' Interior Height: .................................................................. 6'8" Interior Width: . .................................................................. 7'3" Freshwater: .....................................................................27 gal Water Heater Capacity: ................................................6 gal Black Water: . ..................................................................43 gal Gray Water: ......................................................................41 gal LP Capacity: ....................................................................13 gal GCWR: . ........................................................................ 13,500 lb GVWR: . ........................................................................ 10,360 lb Wheelbase:......................................................................... 156"

and diffused A/C unit. This is in addition to the heat and cooling offered by the chassis. Lighting throughout is of the flush-mount LED variety. Several decor packages are offered – each with nice materials and attractive colour combinations. I know I’ve devoted a lot of this article to the driving aspect of the Fuse and it occurs to me that perhaps the best example to offer of how good it

Suggested Manufacturer’s Base Price: ........ $97,326.00 Price with Options: ............................................ $106,153.00

Prices shown are in U.S. dollars Test Unit supplied courtesy of Forest City Motorhomes, London, ON

The flooring in the unit is a hard-wearing vinyl that has the look of tongueand-groove hardwood. Storage is ample with cupboards on each side of the coach running its full length. Below each of the twin beds you’ll also find pull-out drawers. Outside there are several, lockable storage spaces – not large, but no doubt useful. The various shore connections are nicely arranged and accessible. The plumbing in particular is grouped together with city water hookup, wash station, sewer hose, coiled water hose, sprayer head and lighted pump switch all in the same location. Outside speakers, 110V plugs and a powered awning complete the outside camping potential. Inside, HVAC is split between floor vents for heating and a roof mounted

is would be the fact that this vehicle was designed for drivers who typically spend 8-hours or more daily driving a Transit. That’s why features for the driver are so well thought out and comfortable – this is, after-all, first-andforemost a work vehicle. For instance, the shifter position is at mid-height on the dashboard, making it convenient for intensive forward/reverse manoeuvres; the driver’s seat has armrest, fixed lumbar support, adjustable head restraint and multiadjustable recline/slide functions. The Fuse has a colour rear-view monitor; cruise control; power steering with tilt; low step-in height; wide swinging doors; power door locks; powered/heated outside mirrors; sun visors; cabin window privacy panels and heavy rubber matting. If you like the Fuse layout – you’ll be inspired to drive it – a lot.





Play Dirty.

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d cost service an Choose landed fees ce an ar s, and cle all duties, taxe ipped sh rts pa ck to -s are included. In ered same day, deliv , or do ur to yo fees. with no hidden Questions? ils available Complete deta rvice section Se er om in Cust, in of SummitRac /7. , or call us 24 at Ch ve Li talk via

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Call by 10 pm EST: In-Stock Parts Shipped That Day! 1.800.230.3030 • Tech: 1.330.630.3030 Int’l: 1.330.630.0230



Map Your Own Way

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GEARING UP Bully Dog BDX Performance Tuner

UltraBlack Bull Bar from Dee Zee

The BDX flash-and-go handheld tuner from Bully Dog combines sleek design with always-current functionality. The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to download the latest tunes and firmware, while a full-colour screen and push-button interface make it easy to track key data and adjust for peak horsepower and performance. Additionally the BDX allows you to display onscreen digital gauges, has space for 10 custom tunes, reads and clears DTC codes and is able to run gas or diesel tunes all on a single device. Performance tune files are available for most 1996+ Ford, GM, Dodge, Toyota and Nissan vehicles.

Dee Zee’s UltraBlack Bull Bar is manufactured from 3-inch-diameter mandrelbent rugged 18-gauge steel and creates a strong-yetsubtle appearance to the front of your truck. The bar comes with a protective black powder coat finish and features a removable skid plate for additional protection for your vehicle. Additionally, the bull bar comes with pre-drilled holes from the factory to give you the option to install auxiliary light accessories.

For more information please go to

For more information please go to


For a Location Nearest You, Call: 54 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

















TECH: NEW PRODUCTS Aries Automotive Introducing All-New VersaTrac Mounting System

Lund Rhino Linings Rocker Guards Lund’s Rhino Linings Rocker Guards are made to help you avoid scratches to your Jeep’s paint caused by rocks and flying debris. The side panel guards are made from duable Rhino lined polyurethane and are custom made to fit each specific application to ensure that not only will your vehice’s rocker panels and lower doors will be protected but they will also improve the appearance. Additionally, the guards are available in a universal trim-to-fit kit which allows you to add them to any vehicle you’d like.

Aries Automotive’s new VersaTrac mounting system utilizes a single set of vehicle-specific brackets that allow a variety of side bar and running board options to be installed or swapped out easily whenever desired. It eliminates the need to purchase and install a new set of mounting brackets with each sidebar or running board. The system is currently only compatible with Aries’ AdvantEDGE side bars and RidgeStep running boards, but more products are currently being developed to feature the VersaTrac system.

For more information please go to

For more information please go to

56 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016



Premium Rollup Tonneau Cover Removable Cargo Light

Front Release Knob

Quick Release

Vinyl Tensioner

Front Clamp

Rear Clamp


Rails mount to inside of bed for low profile appearance Easy installation - some tools required z Vinyl tensioner adjusts to weather conditions z Drive with the cover in the open or closed position z OEM tailgate lock can provide additional security z Sleek appearance & improves gas mileage z Removable nighttime cargo light included z z

Patents Pending Warranty Limited Lifetime

Premium Net Pocket Bedliner


Tough Affordable Protection

Optional - Cargo Net Divider (Organize Your Cargo)




Rear side storage pockets with red nets included Keep small items from sliding around z Optional - short or tall bed net available in red zMade of durable, high density polyethylene to protect your investment. z z

Patent No. 6,827,385 Warranty Limited Lifetime

TECH: NEW PRODUCTS Travel Trekker Auxiliary Fuel System from Titan Fuel Tanks

Titan Fuel Tank’s new Travel Trekker Auxiliary fuel system is made from military grade, cross-linked polymer which is tougher than steel and will last longer than aluminum. It features a 50-gallon (189-litre) capacity and can be installed in most truck beds without interfering with most in-bed hitches and tonneau covers. With just one touch, the Titan Electronic Controller transfers fuel from the Travel Trekker to the vehicle’s primary fuel tank until it is automatically stopped by the controller or is manually stopped by the user. For more information please go to

58 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016


0WFS 0''30"%5*3&4 */450$,  





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TECH: NEW PRODUCTS BedRug’s BedTred Pro Series Truck Bed Liner Bedrug’s BedTred Pro Series provides the bed of your pickup truck with a rugged work surface that is made to withstand dents and dings while protecting cargo from sliding around the bed. The liner isn’t permanent and causes no damage to your truck. It is a 5-piece zipped liner that installs with hook and loop fasteners and features a material that is both fade and UV resistant. The ¼-inch-thick foam will not absorb water, resisting mold and mildew.

Bestop Sunrider for Hardtop Allows for Open Air Experience

For more information please go to

The Sunrider for Hardtop from Bestop allows hardtop Jeep owners instant access to an openair driving experience without having to deal with the bulky factory Freedom Panels. It is available for 2007-2016 Jeep JK Wrangler models with factory hardtops, and directly replaces the factory panels with no drilling or modifications necessary. The top will provide you with yearround functionality, and allows you to choose from 30-oz black twill acrylic fabric or 28-oz black sailcloth fabric. For more information please go to

Rampage Products One-Piece 3D Grille for Jeep The One-Piece 3D Grille for Jeep from Rampage Products is a single-piece formed grille that is specifically designed for the Jeep factory grille shell. It features a heavy-duty steel construction with either a protective powder coat or clear finish for the ultimate protection. Two finishes are offered for the grille including a gloss black powder coat or a dual colour black powder coat with polished clear coat highlights. It attaches to the underside of the grille for a secure installation and is available for Jeep Wrangler TJ and 2007-2012 Jeep Wrangler JK. For more information please go to 60 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

ICI Magnum Bumpers Now Available for 2015-16 Ram Rebel

ICI has recently made its popular line of Magnum Bumpers available for the 2015-16 Ram Rebel pickup. The Rebel already features a tough, off-road, rugged look and when you add a Magnum bumper, this only improves. The bumpers are made from premium heavyduty carbon steel and go through a three-stage coating process, and boast a matte black finish. Some models are able to accept up to a 16,500-lb. winch and have bolt patterns for either a 4-way roller or hawse fairleads. For more information please go to

OCT/NOV 2016 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE 61

STUCK TRUCKS Hopefully nobody was desperately waiting for those drugs.

The always precious “her first mud pit” photo. Not a truck, but we thought this was worth including.

Someone better get shovelling.

What on earth was he even doing in there?

He might need a little bit of help pushing this one out. We’re sure that most of you have had the misfortune of getting stuck while out on a weekend adventure. So send us your photos of your adventure to and if we use your photos we’ll send you a cool Trucks Plus hat! 62 Trucks Plus MAGAZINE OCT/NOV 2016

Bully Dog’s new BDX handheld performance tuner gives you the edge you need, whether you’re tackling tough terrain or pulling a heavy payload. Its sleek design, fullcolor display and customizable gauges help track and adjust powertrain performance to deliver more horsepower and torque when you need it most. Cloud-based tune delivery over built-in WiFi means that your BDX will always ILY\UUPUN[OLSH[LZ[[\UPUNHUKÄYT^HYLZV`V\Y]LOPJSL WLYMVYTHUJLYLÅLJ[Z`V\YKYP]L[VL_JLS




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SHOP ONLINE Free Shipping at A full list of vehicle applications available at All vehicle make/model names and vehicle manufacturer names and related marks are trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with Derive Power, LLC (“Derive”). These trademarks of other manufacturers are used solely to identify the vehicles of those manufacturers with which Derive’s products may be used. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT LEGAL FOR SALE OR USE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA ON POLLUTION CONTROLLED VEHICLES.