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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PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019
Trucks are incredibly versatile 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 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 guide below reviews three of the best truck bed extenders for hauling things around.
- Best OverallAMP Research BedXtender HDSummarySummary
Made with aluminum alloy tubes in a clamshell design, this model can be used with the tailgate up or down for added versatility.ProsPros
Easy to put together and install, this option is ideal for everyday use. It can give you up to two extra feet of enclosed cargo room, or it can help keep loose items contained in the bed when used with the tailgate closed.ConsCons
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.
- Best ValueMaxxHaul 70231 Truck Bed ExtenderSummarySummary
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.ProsPros
Made to be compatible with two-inch hitch receivers, this unit can be used with more than just pickups. The side arms fold down when not in use and can double as a work area if necessary.ConsCons
It can wobble under heavy loads and at high speeds. Lack of instructions can make installation confusing the first time you set it up.
- Honorable MentionLUND 601021 Truck Bed ExtenderSummarySummary
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.ProsPros
Excellent for transporting kayaks and other personal watercraft. It can be installed in as little as five minutes and folds up for easy storage after you’re done.ConsCons
Components fit together loosely, which creates quite a bit of play under lighter loads. Also, be aware that it does not come with a hitch pin, so you’ll have to supply your own.
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- 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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.