Create the Ultimate Truck for DIYing with These 13 Accessories
A DIYer's pickup truck has to be hard-working on the weekends and family friendly the rest of the week. So, aftermarket truck accessories for the DIY truck need to be reversible and storable, or at least inconspicuous. Here are 13 products that qualify.
Whether you’re hauling brush to the composting site or bringing rolls of insulation home from the home improvement store, the last thing you want is to hit a bump and see your load bouncing down the road in the rear-view mirror. Cargo nets provide a catch-all to prevent this. They are inexpensive, easy-to-find, fit under the front seat and there are many options to choose from.
Truck Bed Extender
As much as you may covet a giant half-ton ultimate truck that makes a statement on the road, most DIY pickups are smaller and more practical. This means the bed might not be long enough to handle an extension ladder or a 10-ft. section of gutter. You can solve this easily and safely with a truck-bed extender that mounts on your trailer hitch and can be easily removed when not needed.
Need to drive across town and mow your in-laws’ yard? Just unfold a pair of sturdy truck ramps and roll your riding lawn mower right onto the bed of your truck. This also works for ATVs, motorcycles and just about anything else on wheels that you need to haul around. The folding, aluminum ramps seen here have a 1,500 pound capacity.
Getting in and out of your truck bed to unload cargo or sweep the bed can be dangerous. Enter the tailgate ladder. This clever accessory snaps against the inside of the tailgate (on most but not all truck models) for storage and then flips down when you need it.
Pickup truck beds take a beating, whether you are a pro or a DIYer. You’ll find a host of ways to protect the bed, from factory-applied liners, to spray-on liners, or custom-fit molded bed liners. The advantage of a bed mat over these other options is that it can be removed if you don’t need it or for cleaning, and most are nonslip to help steady boxes or other loads that like to skid around. One size fits all, because they can be trimmed to fit.
Think about it this way: You’re doing a remodeling or painting project and you need a place to stay for a couple of nights. Ta–da! A truck tent is an ingenious solution.
Tie-Down Straps and Cords
If you own a pickup you need to have real straps and tie-downs, not just bungee cords and twine, and you need to store them in your truck so they’re there when you need them. This basic set of ratcheting tie downs comes with a low-profile carrying case that slips under the front seat so you are not constantly chasing tangled cords all over the cab.
Even if you drive your truck every day and love to amaze your friends with your backing-up-a-trailer skills, safety should always be on your mind. These two-piece blind-spot mirrors affix directly to your side mirrors and greatly improve your visibility, whether you are driving on the highway or backing into the garage next to the family car.
Tailgates are heavy, and if one falls open bad things can happen. A pneumatic closer significantly decreases the drop rate so the gate closes soft and safe, even if you accidentally let go of it. Custom-order for your truck model, one per gate.
A full-coverage tailgate protector, like this diamond-plate model, eliminates scrapes and other damage to your tailgate, which is perhaps the most-abused part of any DIYers truck. It might be an unintended benefit, but it also raises cargo just enough to help it slide over that pesky gap between the gate and the bed.
A mesh bed bag that can be attached to a tie down or extension rod helps keep small items from rolling around your truck bed. This one is also available as a triple-bag unit.
Truck-Bed Tie-Down Anchors
What is the point of having a full set of cargo straps if you have nowhere to attach them? Aftermarket tie-down anchors expand your options for securing your load. Some are designed to fit into predrilled holes in in the sidewalls of specific truck models. Others fit into the holes in the top ledge. Others require drilling. Whichever you choose, some extra tie-down anchors in your truck bed is an advantage you will appreciate.
Telescoping Cargo Bar
Every DIYer who owns a pickup should keep a cargo bar somewhere in the cab. Because they telescope, they are easy to store, and when extended in the bed, the telescoping tension rods will hold grocery bags or boxes in place for the trip home. Afterward, you just tuck them back in the cab until you need them again.
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