Cool truck tech: Ford patents climate-controlled pickup bed

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Ford makes some pretty cool pickups, and one of them may be about to get even cooler. Or hotter, depending on the time of year.

The automaker has filed a patent for a novel system that provides climate control for a pickup bed, Muscle Cars & Trucks first reported.

Ford has patented a ventilated pickup bed that would work on unibody pickups like the Maverick.

Ford has patented a ventilated pickup bed that would work on unibody pickups like the Maverick. (Ford)

The patent describes several ways to connect the cabin ventilation system to the bed of a unibody truck like the Maverick, although it doesn’t mention the compact pickup by name.

The patent describes several methods for connecting the bed to the cabin climate control system through ducts and vents.

The patent describes several methods for connecting the bed to the cabin climate control system through ducts and vents. (Ford)

Ducting in the front wall of the bed or the bed sides could provide cooled or heated air to the storage area through vents that could even be installed within a bed liner.

The ventilation system could work in concert with a bed cover. 

The ventilation system could work in concert with a bed cover.  (Ford)

The system would presumably be used in concert with a bed cover, but could potentially work with a slide-in camper.

The Maverick is currently Ford’s only unibody pickup, but the midsize Honda Ridgeline features a similar construction, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Ford could add a larger unibody model down the road.

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In fact, while Ford’s first electric pickup, the F-150 Lighting, features a separate body and cab, some purpose-designed electric pickups like the GMC Hummer EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV have bodies integrated with their beds.

The electric Chevrolet Silverado EV has a Multi-Flex Midgate feature that allows the bed wall to be folded down into the cabin.

The electric Chevrolet Silverado EV has a Multi-Flex Midgate feature that allows the bed wall to be folded down into the cabin. (Chevrolet)

Both GM trucks are available with a Multi-Flex Midgate option that allows the bed wall to be folded down into the cabin. It’s not the same as Ford’s ventilation system, but can provide climate control to an enclosed bed.

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