Best Truck Bed Extenders: Give Your Truck More Room in the Back
These truck bed extenders will give you a little more room to haul your things
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Trucks are incredibly versatile heavy-duty vehicles, and that’s in no small part due to their beds. They give you plenty of room to haul just about anything—but sometimes you still need a little more space or load capacity than your pickup can provide. These extenders add a few feet to the bed, so they’re lifesavers when you have to haul long, unwieldy items like kayaks or lumber. The buying guide below reviews three of the best truck bed extenders for hauling things around.
Made with aluminum alloy tubes in a clamshell design, this model can be used with the tailgate up or down for added versatility.
- Easy to put together and install, this option is ideal for everyday use
- Can give you up to 2 extra feet of enclosed cargo room
- Can help keep loose items contained in the bed when used with the tailgate closed
- May not be compatible with all bed liners or tonneau covers, so double check that it will work with your make and model before purchasing
Designed for longer loads such as boards and ladders, its quick-release pins make it a cinch to put on or take off in a hurry. It has reflective tape along the sides and back for safety.
- Made to be compatible with 2-inch hitch receivers, this unit can be used with more than just pickups
- Side arms fold down when not in use and can double as a work area if necessary
- Can wobble under heavy loads and at high speeds.
- Lack of instructions can make installation confusing the first time you set it up
This unit can support up to 750 pounds, and its side wings are adjustable from 27 to 49 inches. It creates an extra seven inches of ground clearance when in use.
- Excellent for transporting kayaks and other personal watercraft
- Can be installed in as little as five minutes
- Folds up for easy storage after you’re done
- Components fit together loosely, which creates quite a bit of play under lighter loads
- Be aware that it does not come with a hitch pin, so you’ll have to supply your own
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Benefits of Truck Bed Extenders
- More space. If you are the type of person who is constantly hauling things around, then you will need a truck bed extender. This is because you can save more time, effort, and gasoline by hauling more things and going back and forth fewer times than you usually do.
- Strap included. A truck bed extender comes with a strap that secures your things in place to avoid breaking them during transport and for easy unloading. It is quite a task to unload things that move around when you brake suddenly. They usually end up in places that can be hard to reach.
- Compatible with other vehicles. If you do not have a truck, you really do not need to buy one to haul your stuff. A truck bed extender can be used with a van or SUV as well. They can also be used to haul stuff on the rooftop of your vehicle. Plus, they are easy to install and remove, so you will not have problems attaching and detaching them to other vehicles.
Types of Truck Bed Extenders
This U-shaped bed extender is usually made of plastic or metal. It is ideal for hauling items that are not longer than the bed of your truck. You connect it to the tailgate of your truck in order to provide an extra two-inch space capacity. This type of extender is best for things that are not particularly heavy.
A bedside extender provides more hauling capacity than a standard bed extender. It has support arms that secure things that are longer than your truck bed. It comes with a hitch mount for connecting a rear receiver to your truck. You can also carry relatively heavy things using the bedside extender without worrying about losing something during transport or breaking or damaging them.
This type of bed extender transforms your truck bed into a “drawer” that you can slide in and out for easy loading and unloading. It also serves another purpose: It also doubles as an extender. However, you will need a right-mount hitch for better cargo support, especially when the bed extender is locked in place.
Darby Industries has been around for five decades. It is a family-owned business that is known for its cargo management solutions. Among its products are truck bed extenders that make cargo management easier for the common folk. The company offers a variety of truck bed extenders that will match any consumer's preference. The Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender is one of its best products.
ECOTRIC may be known for its bikes, but it manufactures truck bed extenders as well. It does not have a variety of options to choose from because it mainly manufactures racks and extenders for bikes. However, the truck bed extenders that it makes are high-quality and durable. One of the best bed extenders this company offers is the ECOTRIC Foldable Pick Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender.
Lund International specializes in cargo management, aftermarket parts, and automotive performance enhancement products, such as truck bed extenders. It is committed to making products that make hauling and transporting things easier, more enjoyable, and convenient. If you want to test out a Lund product, thy the LUND-in-Motion Universal Truck Bed Xtender by AMP Research.
Truck Bed Extender Pricing
- $60-$100: These are the cheapest truck bed extenders you can get. They are usually designed for objects that are not longer than your truck bed. Many are durable enough to carry heavy loads.
- $200-$300: This price range features better truck bed extenders. They are made of high-quality materials and can be used for hauling heavier and longer objects. Both unknown and known brands have products within this price range.
- $400 and above: These are the most expensive truck bed extenders you can get. They are premium brands that offer the best support. They are ideal for heavier and longer loads.
Look for a truck bed extender that is made of heavy-duty materials so that you can be sure that it is able to carry your heavy things without failing. You should look into either aluminum or heavy-duty steel for the best results. Carbon fiber will do if you want to get a tailgate extender. Also, do your research to find out whether a truck bed extender is corrosion-resistant.
Ease of Installation
If you are not an expert in assembling things such as a bed extender, then you might want to select one that is easy to install and will not require the help of a professional. Also, it is an advantage if the bed extender is easy to uninstall and store to avoid leaving it on the truck and exposing it to harsh elements.
- Compatibility. The size and load specifications of some truck bed extenders may not be compatible with every vehicle, so you have to make sure that the bed extender you buy will fit your truck. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money.
- Additional Components .There are other cool features that a truck bed extender can offer. You can look for one that locks in order to secure your cargo in place. You can also look for one that has an adaptor for its hitch mount to make sure that the truck bed extender stays firmly in place.
Best Truck Bed Extender Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- The right bed extender for you will depend in large part on what you plan to haul around. If you want something that will give you a little more room in the bed while keeping things organized, a clamshell extender is likely your best choice. However, if you plan on lugging around lumber, canoes, or other extremely long items, a T-bar-style model will be more appropriate.
- Check your receiver before buying if you’re considering an extender that hitches onto the truck. Most extenders are compatible with two-inch receivers, but it’s always best to double-check before you put your credit card down.
- Many extenders have reflectors or flags to increase visibility, but if yours doesn’t, be aware that you’ll likely need to fashion your own to be in compliance with traffic laws.
Q: Are extenders universal?
Some are, but most are designed for specific makes and models of trucks. Be sure that the extender you’re considering will be compatible with your vehicle before making a purchase.
Q: How easy are extenders to install?
Most are designed to be put on or taken off in a few minutes, so installation shouldn’t be too challenging. The first time may be a bit of a pain, though, so read the instructions carefully.
Q: Will I have to damage my truck to install one?
It depends on the extender. Most hitch-mounted units will slip right into a receiver, assuming you have one installed. Others require drilling a few holes in the frame for installation. Regardless, any damage should be minimal and unobtrusive.
We feel the AMP Research BedXTender HD is a smart choice for the everyday user, as it can provide a few extra feet of room with the tailgate down, or it can hold loose items in place if you have the tailgate up. It’s also relatively stylish, and won’t require you to remove it after each use.
For smaller budgets or hauling longer items, we recommend the MaxxHaul 70231. It’s excellent for contractors, as it makes hauling lumber a breeze, and even doubles as a work surface once you get to your destination.