Ok, so secret is a bit of an overstatement, but we discovered recently that the rear seat backs of our 2016 F-150 can both be released and reveal a decent amount of hidden storage space. On the passenger side of the vehicle, Ford provides a release strap for the latch, as this is where our jack and such are stored. On the driver's side, however, the latch is present but Ford engineers have given us no way to release it! If you've been looking for how to fold down the back seat of your F-150, you've come to the right place.
Folding down the back seat of a Ford F-150
Lifting the seat bottom a bit pulls the seat back away from the back of the cab and gives you an opportunity to reach down and feel the latch. I've found it easiest to use the closed end of a 1/2in box wrench to grab the small steel pin and pull up, releasing the latch.
After folding down the rear seat of your F-150, it now lies flat on the seat bottom, exposing the space behind the seat. It's easy to assume that this space is useless, but you can actually fit a good amount of gear back there. We've kept jumper cables, first aid kit, spare blanket and a few other tools back there. This keeps the floor clear for other things when the seats are folded up (and keeps our dog from finding these hidden treasures when we're on trips).
Re-latching F-150 Rear Seat Back
After you've released the rear seat back on the driver's side and need to close it again, things get a little bit tricky. Lifting the seat bottom caused the latch catch bar on the cab wall to move and with the seat bottom back down, the misalignment will keep the seat back from latching again. Your two options are to move the latch catch bar back to where it was (you'll need to guess - good luck!) or to attempt to lift the seat bottom back to the same height before re-latching the seat back.
Having done this a few times and struggled each time to re-latch the rear seat back, we've decided to work towards designing and manufacturing a simple solution that makes this space more easily accessible. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: Rear Seat Release Now Available!
It's been a few months, but the BuiltRight Industries Rear Seat Release kit is now for sale. We've shipped thousands of kits to date and are excited to continue helping others gain easy access to this space.