Off-Roading

Tremor Off-Road Package makes 2020 Ford Super Duty immensely capable

The new Tremor Off-Road Package makes the Ford Super Duty an even more capable off-roader.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2020 Ford Super Duty is one heck of a capable truck and with the freshly announced Tremor Off-Road Package, the model gets even more off-road cred.

Aimed squarely at the Ram Power Wagon buyer, the Tremor Off-Road Package is available for XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum F-250 and F-350 Super Duty models that are powered by Ford's new 7.3-liter V8 or 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel engine. It can be specified for 4x4 single-rear-wheel SuperCrew trucks with a 6.75-foot box. F-250 models also require the high-capacity trailer tow package.

The package equips the truck with 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires, the largest diameter tires available a heavy-duty pickup. Those are housed on 18-inch matte-finished black wheels. The truck receives a 2-inch front-end lift and a shorter air dam. The result is 10.8 inches of ground clearance.

Ford claims that the truck has a best-in-class 33 inches of fording ability. It also has a 31.65-degree approach angle and 24.51-degree departure angle.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2020 Ford Super Duty with the Tremor Off-Road Package

Additional exterior equipment includes off-road tuning boards that can be tucked, extended-axle vent tubes, and the same skid plates that are on FX4 models.

Underneath are progressive-rate springs, with the rear stabilizer bar tuned for a lower spring rate. There are also 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers, a locking rear differential with electronic shift-on-the-fly engagement, and a Dana limited slip front differential.

Drivers of trucks equipped with the package can take advantage of selectable drive modes: normal for around-town use, tow/haul for optimized performance under load, eco for enhanced fuel economy, slippery for icy conditions, and deep snow/sand for low-traction conditions. Unique to Tremor models is a new rock-crawl mode, which is optimized to operate in 4x4 low and is enabled by the standard TorqShift 10-speed automatic transmission. Tremor trucks equipped with the 7.3-liter gas engine have a 53:1 crawl ratio and those with the diesel have a 44:1 crawl ratio.

For the first time ever, Super Duty gets Trail Control, which is like cruise control for off-road driving.

The Tremor Off-Road Package on the 2020 Ford Super Duty when it arrives on dealer lots later this year.

AutomotiveMap's writers chose their favorite vehicles to use to make a large Costco run.

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

It's always the paper towels. They take up more room than you think and then you're left trying to figure out where to put the rotisserie chicken.

When you're ready to upgrade your vehicle, consider these AuotmotiveMap picks, which are perfect for shopping trips to Costco, Sam's Club, and the like.

​2020 Ford Escape

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sue Mead: The 2020 Ford Escape has been completely redesigned for the new model year. The sportier, more powerful, and more premium Escape comes in front- and all-wheel drive variants. It's also available as a hybrid that has up to 400 miles of range. The value-priced Escape has standard Ford Co-Pilot360 safety and driver assistance technology and a large rear cargo space.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Harvey Briggs: Start with 165 cubic feet of passenger volume, the convenience of stow-and-go seating, side doors and a tailgate that open wide and there's no better vehicle for hauling a 65" flatscreen, five pounds of crab legs, and four all-season radials than this. Get a black 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with the S appearance package for a look that's bad to the bone.

​2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Jesus Garcia: When you absolutely, positively need to buy and carry everything you buy at Costco, accept no substitute than the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van with its efficient 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine and available 4x4. Like any good passenger van, it has gobs of storage space.

2020 Honda Ridgeline

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The unique cargo carrying ability of Honda's pickup truck – a lockable trunk below a proper cargo bed – make the Ridgeline an excellent option for the run to Costco.

2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Nicole Wakelin: Like is hybrid counterpart, the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica offers lots of cargo room without having to fold down the seats so you can head straight to pick up the kids at school without a stop at home.

2020 Honda CR-V

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: The Honda CR-V ticks a lot of boxes for the average family and many of them are likely big box retailer shoppers. The compact SUV seats up to five and has cavernous cargo space which means you can easily fit a stroller alongside your load of toilet paper, roasted chicken, wine, and fruit snacks.

2020 Ford Expedition Max

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Chad Kirchner: The 2020 Ford Expedition Max is the way to go because the extra 12-inches of cargo space is needed for the bulk buys when you're toting along your whole family for an excursion.

A new technology developed by General Motors may change the trailering experience as we know it, making it safer for everyone involved.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

For some folks, towing a trailer is second nature. It's like riding a bicycle or going for a swim. But for a vast majority of others, towing can be intimidating, scary and even downright dangerous. No matter what category you fall into, truck makers have been working feverishly to come up with new and exciting technologies to make towing easier and safer for you.

One of the biggest challenges of towing, at least at speed, is the abrupt need to come to a stop. Whether it be someone pull out in front of you or the traffic light turned red sooner than you'd expect. Towing down a grade in high winds can create even more issues.

eBoost braking assist trailer This diagram shows the impact of the new eBoost technology.Photo courtesy of General Motors

To help with towing and stopping, electronic trailer brake controllers are common on rigs that tow. They help control the trailer by apply the brakes in the trailer. Setting up a trailer brake control is often described as an art, not a science.

That's where new General Motors tech comes in. Using their electronic brake system from their heavy-duty pickup, the company has fitted it to a trailer for the purpose of improving braking. Their goal was to equip a trailer with the company's eBoost braking system and see how well they could stop with it.

Their goal was to take a 2020 Silverado HD without a trailer and see how far it took to stop. Then they attached a trailer with 9,000 pounds and set a target of stopping in the same distance. They were within three feet.

That means in a full-on, emergency stop scenario a truck towing a 9,000-pound trailer can stop as short as a truck without a trailer. Not to overwhelm you with hyperbole, but that is a game changer.

Why? There's no complicated setup of the trailer brake controller. The equipment already exists, and GM managed to do it with around $1,000 worth of hardware that's already available. It would require a trailer manufacturer to integrate it with their trailers, but the safety benefits are huge.

Unlike some aftermarket anti-lock braking systems, primarily from Bosch, this system communicates with the truck, and can even use electronic stability control to reduce trailer sway.

It's a prototype at this point. GM is hoping to find a trailer maker to help develop the technology. The marketing department is still figuring out all of the details, but in addition to offering it on a brand-new trailer, it might even be possible for certain dealerships or installers to add it to existing trailers after the fact.

While there is a truck war going on with how can tow and haul the most, the efforts that GM is making right now for improving towing safety, such as their invisible trailering system and this prototype trailer brake system, makes the roads safer for everyone – even if they don't drive a GM.