Top Must-Have Pickup Truck Accessories You Should Own

Top Must Have Pickup Truck Accessories You Should Buy

As pretty much every truck owner will know, pick-up trucks are built to assist with virtually any task you undertake. But to get the most out of your truck’s potential there are so many tools and add-ons that can elevate its utility even further.

In this post, we will take you through the best must-have pick-up truck accessories that you need to own.

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Bed Liners and Bed Rugs

Bed liners are one of the most important accessories that can help to preserve the value of your truck.

Without a bed liner, your original bed surface will be more exposed to brutal treatment caused by heavy bulky cargo moving around during loading/unloading and driving, and the weather. 

These factors can, over time, scratch and break down the protective paintwork of the bed floor, leaving it exposed to rusting. Getting a bed liner is a convenient way to protect the bed floor against this. 

What’s more, there are several different types of bed liners available ranging from drop-in bed liners to spray-on bed liners – each with its advantages and disadvantages.

So no matter what your design tastes are, you should be able to find a bed liner that looks great in your truck and is fit for purpose.

Spray-On Bedliner
Drop-in Bedliner

Step Bars, Nerf Bars, and Running Boards

These accessories are really useful to assist people with access to the truck.

This function is inherited from the running boards which were originally found on vintage trams and cars from the early 20th century, which were a lot higher from the ground than modern cars.

A more in-depth guide on running boards can be found here, but overall they really do serve to assist the user experience of passengers and drivers alike.

As we know some full-sized trucks are absolute beasts and as such can benefit from having running boards to simply help people get in and out of the vehicle safely.

No doubt this is the preferable option in contrast to, say, having to take a running jump every time you need to enter the vehicle!

Other uses include: 

  • allowing you to reach the roof without the need for a step ladder 
  • to stand on while the vehicle is moving – as is usually seen in the military or other well-trained scenarios.
  • they can protect your vehicle from damage caused by any built-up rubble and road grit you might encounter in more off-road environments. 
  • used in track racing to protect vehicle wheels from colliding with each other and causing undue accidents

Tailgate steps

Similar to running boards, tailgate steps provide people with a step in order to easily access the truck bed.

This is particularly useful for those who will be constantly loading and unloading the truck bed with cargo requiring you to board the truck bed frequently. 

Tailgate steps are usually retractable making it easy to hide away when not in use.

Tonneau Covers

Tonneau covers are an extremely useful addition to make to your truck. They serve multiple purposes, but perhaps the main reasons people will get one are: 

  • For security 
  • Protecting cargo against weather
  • Improve the look of their truck

They are available in many different designs, from both an aesthetic and functional perspective. Which type you get will depend on your requirements, budget, and taste.

One thing that is for sure is there will be a tonneau cover that will suit most peoples needs.

However, those that do get one rarely regret it, and some even claim that it makes a significant saving on fuel consumption.

Seat Covers

Seat covers are an oft over-looked upgrade that can really enhance your truck. Additionally, in a similar way to how bed liners protect the truck bed, seat covers also serve to protect your original factory seats from spills and dirt.

This in turn will undoubtedly contribute to preserving the value of your vehicle and reduce the need for detailing your interior. 

Even if preserving the value of your vehicle isn’t at the top of your concerns, seat covers are still a great way to freshen up your interior and give your truck a new lease of life. 

Seat covers are available in many styles and colors and are made from a variety of materials

Such variations in availability mean that there is something for everyone, irrespective of lifestyle.

If your looking for something luxurious then a leather option might work, if you want something light and waterproof, then perhaps a neoprene option will do.

Or perhaps you want something more rugged and durable for the great outdoors, then tough woven cotton options are great for this.

Floor Liners and Floor Mats

Protecting your floors is advisable if you are inclined to spend a lot of time trekking in the countryside, in bad weather, or in a working environment where dirt is impossible to avoid.

Floor lines and mats are a cost-effective and convenient way to provide your truck’s original floors with valuable protection from said dirt. 

In general, you can get either a floor mat or floor liner.

The main difference between these is that floor mats tend to be flatter, universally fitting, and provide basic protection against scuffs and dirt to the floors, etc. 

Floor liners are more robust in appearance, usually made from reinforced rubber or plastic with higher walls so as to hold more fluid and dirt that might find its way into the pick-up truck.

These deeper floor liners are particularly effective as they can be emptied and cleaned whenever you are ready and sprayed clean, ready for the next use. 

Floor mats and liners can be found in different styles to match your interior, which also makes them another easy way of upgrading your interior.

Bug Shield and Vent Visors

Vent visor for Ram 1500

Vent visors (sometimes called side window deflectors) are tinted shields that are attached to the top of your windows to protect you from bad weather, dust, grit, etc while allowing you to keep the window slightly open.

This is useful if you just want some air without being showered with remnants of the great outdoors.

Vent visors are available as in-channel or exterior versions and are blithe very easy to install.

In-channel vent visors are basically attached to the inside of the window frame and the visor part is displayed outside of the window. Exterior vent visors are attached to the outside.

Play Video about Vent Visor and Bug Deflector overview video

Bug shields (or bug deflectors) are usually attached to the front of the truck at the end of the hood. These help to deflect bugs and debris from the road away from your truck front and windshield.

The install of bug shields is a little more involved than the vent visors, but still an easy DIY in our opinion. 

As mentioned above, they usually come in a tinted finish which adds to the aesthetics nicely.

Vent Visors
Bug Deflectors

Tool Boxes, Swing Cases, and Bedslides

Being able to open your trunk and know exactly where everything is should make life so much easier and efficient. There are several storage solutions available to help with this, all differing slightly depending n the specific need. 

Toolboxes are a must-have for many people working in the relevant sector. Many toolboxes available on the market are usually placed close to the cabin and can contain the vast majority of hand tools and small to medium-sized equipment.

Swing cases are also a great utility for storing belonging. Much smaller than bed slides (discussed next), swing boxes are usually attached to the end of the truck bed and can be swung outward to gain easy access, and then swung back in neatly once you have what you need. 

If you need something more substantial than a toolbox, then you should consider getting a bed slide. Bed slides take toolboxes to another level completely.

They are a set of long sliding drawers that can be the length of the bed and can be used to store much larger and longer equipment that would normally fit in a toolbox. 

They are designed to utilize the volume of the truck bed, and so are made up of several large to smaller sliding compartments that can house a variety of different things.

A truly excellent addition for those that need to haul loads of tools and equipment sound regularly. 

However, due to its size and number of compartments, installation of bed slides will be more time-consuming, and the cost more expensive than toolbox and swing case options. 

Depending on your needs, we think that the vast majority of truck owners will require some form of organized bed storage and as such, the above options are well worth looking into.

Truck Bed Toolbox
Truck Bed Swing Case
Truck Bed Slide

Tow Hitch / Trailer Hitch

Tow Hitch

Tow hitches (or trailer hitches) allow you to haul small to large objects with your truck by attaching them to the end of your trunk.

They vary in specification depending on your requirements and the weight/size of the cargo you need to tow. 

The price of tow hitches depends largely on the weight capacity you need the tow hitch to carry. This is generally measured in Gross Trailer Weight capacity (GTW). This GTW is split into several classes (1-5) with each class representing the range of GTW the tow hitch will be able to handle.

Things to consider when looking for tow hitches are explained well in the video and table below.

Play Video about Tow Hitch overview

Tow Hitch Classes and their uses

Tow Hitch Class Gross Trailer Weight (lbs) Typically vehicle type Types of haulage
1 2,000 Small cars Bikes, Luggage
2 3,500 Small cars, small SUVs Small campers
3 8,000 Full sized cars, pickup trucks Family campers
4 10,000 Full sized pickups trucks Large campers, construction equipment
5 17,000 - 20,000 Full size trucks, larger commercial vehicles Commerical uses, heavy duty

Truck Bed Lights

Truck bed lights offer a game-changing solution for pretty much every pickup truck owner. Bed lights are portable, easy to install, and will give you excellent visibility when searching your truck bed in the dark. 

They can be attached to the bed rails or to the underside of the tonneau cover. Once installed they can be easily switched on and off whenever you need it.

Tailgate Assists

Tailgate assists allow you to open the tailgate without it dropping to clang with gravity.

Specifically, the shafts of the tailgate assist work like hydraulic struts, slowing down the tailgate when opening and thus avoiding potential damage and noise. This allows you to drop the tailgate open without a care in a world needed.

While some may argue that tailgate assists are not essential, they will at the very least add a touch of finesse to your pick-up.

What’s more, they are easy to install and generally quite cheap to buy. A no-brainer really.

Tie Down Straps

Truck Tie Downs

Pickup owners will know how great it is to be able to transport stuff around without needing to hire a larger vehicle like car owners might need to.

The only thing is that, because the truck bed is basically a vacuous space, cargo can move around freely with the momentum of the vehicle.

Tie-down straps ensure that any cargo you wish to transport around will be held in place throughout the duration of the journey. Needless to say, this is really useful. 

They come with high-quality ratchet clips and straps, making them effective with heavy-duty cargo.

Not only is this convenient, but this also increases safety, decreasing the chances of cargo potentially falling off during transit.

When not in use they can just be folded away and nested stored in your truck until you next need to use it.

Tow Strap

Tow Strap

Similar to tie downs, tow straps are an accessory that is worth getting just in case you need it. They can really get you out of a spot of bother, or help someone else that might be in trouble.

For example, they can be attached to the truck’s tow hook/tow hitch and used to pull vehicles that may be stuck in the mud, or clearing debris. 

A simple but effective tool to help you get the most out of your pickup truck.

Roof Box / Cargo Carriers

Car rooftop basket

One of the great advantages of pick up trucks, over almost any other type of personal transport, is the flexibility and capacity they allow for storage. 

Given this, one may still find the need, or a preference, for using the cab roof to store extra belongs. One way to do this easily is by using roof cargo carriers

Roof cargo carriers are an excellent storage solution that really come in useful, especially when your trunk is full.

Whether it is for camping gear, skiing equipment, or just more belongings there are different types of roof cargo carriers that will prove effective for many uses on the road. 

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