Pickup trucks are so versatile that you might not think you need much in the way of accessories. But as all tailgaters know, some accessories make hauling supplies easier, safer, and more convenient. Other accessories are just fun, helping older trucks adapt to newer uses. Here are five accessories every pickup truck should have.
Triple-Ball Trailer Hitch
With three standard-size balls, this modification provides three trailer hitches in one so that you don’t have to switch out your trailer hitch every time you change the type of trailer you’re hauling. These adjustable hitches fit into a receiver to make your truck a more versatile towing machine. For example, if you’re hauling a big barrel smoker or a grill on its own trailer, you may need a different-size hitch than if you were towing a horse trailer or camper.
Tie-down straps are essential for transporting large or awkward objects, from a grill capable of barbecuing six slabs or ribs at once to the old upright piano you’re donating to the local youth center. Tie-down straps need strong, reliable anchor points. If your truck doesn’t have them, you can consult Professor Live on YouTube for instructional videos on how to install them in your pickup’s stake pockets.
If your truck didn’t come with stake pockets, you may need to hire a professional welder to attach D-rings as anchor points in several places in or on your truck bed. Discuss specifications such as the weight and dimensions of the loads you regularly haul with a welder before they attach D-rings on your truck.
A little rain shower won’t deter tailgaters, but it would be bad form to arrive at the game with soggy napkins, wet folding chairs, or a grill sloshing with morning rainwater. Many times, you’ll be transporting things you need to keep clean and dry, so you’ll need a tonneau cover for your truck bed to secure and protect its contents. Most pickup brands offer the covers as accessories, and they’re worth the investment.
If the game goes into overtime, it may start to get dark before you leave. If you want to see what’s in your truck bed without having to grapple with a flashlight, bed lights are the answer. Make sure that whichever lights you choose are easy to turn on and that you can place them in easily accessible spots in the bed.
Splitter Extension Cord
When you get to the parking lot, where are you going to plug in the speakers, the TV, the mini-fridge, and your phone charger? The time will come when you need to charge or power more than one device at a time using your truck’s cigarette lighter port. A splitter with an extension cord can charge your phone and even reach into the bed to power a mini-fridge or vacuum, both of which will come in handy for a tailgate party.
There are many more items to add to this list of five accessories every pickup truck should have. The next time you’re in the market for a new truck, check out the list of available accessories—outfitting your truck to do all the things you want it to do may be worth the extra cost.