Pickup trucks are incredibly versatile vehicles that can readily haul and tow all sorts of things. One of the main aspects that makes them so versatile is the truck bed. However, sometimes truck owners struggle with how to best utilize bed space.
Truck beds in their natural state are most ideal for hauling large, bulky loads, but small items have too much room to shift around. Not only that, but an open truck bed is an invitation for theft and extreme weather to ruin your cargo.
Not all truck bed storage ideas require a truck bed cover, but it’s a good idea to have a truck bed liner installed as your first step. Truck bed liners protect your factory finish and preserve resale value.
Do You Need Truck Bed Storage?
Before we get into the different options for truck bed storage, it’s important to understand that many truck bed storage options are more or less permanent. At the very least, some options are difficult to remove on short notice.
If you use your truck to haul large loads that take up most of your bed, you might need to consider carefully whether you want to add permanent storage options that might hamper the full capacity of your bed.
On the other hand, if you primarily need your truck bed to haul smaller items like tools, camping gear, or items from regular shopping trips, then truck bed storage options are probably for you.
Let’s take a look at some popular options for organizing your truck bed.
Bed extenders are a great option for truck bed storage and organizing because they serve two purposes. A typical bed extender flips out over your tailgate to allow you to haul longer items while keeping them from falling out. When you don’t need it to extend your bed, it flips back over your tailgate to provide a smaller, confined area to store groceries, toolboxes, or other smaller items. It also provides an easy-to-reach space right next to your tailgate.
Cargo Bags and Nets
If you carry sports equipment, groceries, or weekend adventure gear on a regular basis, you probably know how hard it is to keep these items from freely floating around in your truck bed. Cargo bags and nets can keep that from happening.
Cargo nets are more or less what they sound like–a net that you can place stuff in to keep it from moving around. Cargo bags come in different styles, but a common style is a rack of fabric compartments that are usually attached at the end of your bed nearest to the cab. As these have up to five or so separate compartments, they’re ideal for organizing different types of small cargo.
Truck Bed Drawers and Sliders
Truck bed drawers and sliders, as mentioned earlier, are a fairly permanent way to organize and store things in your truck bed. These systems have a lot of benefits, however. Truck bed drawers and sliders are very roomy as they stretch the length of your bed.
They are made of durable materials and are lockable and resistant to bad weather. Most drawers and sliders are specifically made for individual pickups, so they will offer a custom fit.
Truck Bed Tool Boxes
Truck bed tool boxes are probably the top most popular option when it comes to truck bed storage and organizing. Most toolboxes mount directly behind the cab and stretch the width of the bed from rail to rail. Truck bed tool boxes come in a wide variety of styles. You can get metal ones, hard plastic ones, locking ones, and non-locking ones.
Truck Bed Ladder Rack
Another tried and true choice is a truck bed ladder rack. This type of storage will raise your bed profile, but it’s a good way to add storage to your bed and keep it organized. A truck bed ladder rack installs on your bed rails and provides a cargo area up top.
You can combine it with other storage options inside your bed. A good combination for maximum storage is a truck bed ladder rack combined with a drawer system.
Truck bags are a very simple storage method. These are weatherproof bags that usually zip open to offer different sizes of storage space. You can get these bags in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. You simply fill them up, secure them with bungee cords, and be on your way.
Truck bags are more of a temporary storage option when you need to haul luggage or gear for a weekend adventure.
Wheel Well Storage
Wheel well storage boxes are handy items that mount to the rear of your truck bed on either side of the tailgate. They swing into or out of the wheel well cavity as needed. You can easily bring them out when you need them, and you can also swing them out of the way when you need more bed space for hauling.
Decked Storage System
The Decked storage system is one of the more innovative truck bed storage ideas ever invented. It’s essentially a box that spans your entire pickup bed from length to width. The top deck of the box serves as your new bed floor for loading.
Underneath the deck is where you can store all your tools and gear under whatever you’re hauling. It’s also totally customizable with additional nesting storage boxes, dividers, and more.
No matter which storage system you choose for your truck bed, you can protect your factory finish with a truck bed liner from DualLiner. DualLiner bed liners are designed for a custom fit in American full-size pickups, and they keep your bed safe from rust and other damage that might happen in everyday use.