Best Truck Bed Extender Reviews And Buying Guide From An Experienced Trucker
When you have a long dimensioned load to haul, bed extenders give you the best security on the road. It has several other uses that we have described in our article. You will also find all the features that an ideal extender should have with the recommendation of the best truck bed extenders in the US market.
In this article, we have focused mainly on two types of extenders, they are;
Other types of extenders fail to satisfy one or two primary requirements that was expected from them. No wonder why we ignored those anyway.
Best Truck Bed Extender Reviews
Companies have flooded the extender market these days. It was not easy for us to find these 7 products that offer the best value. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Darby Industries 944 Extend-A-Truck
The biggest problem with long loads is to stabilize them. Darby made its extender to give you the highest stability on the road. You can use it for all kinds of long items.
Extensions will give you support for 48 inches. It also arrives with cords that will help you to achieve higher stability. The 48 inch size is measured from the hitch receiver.
But when your tailgate is opened, only the length from the tailgate counts.So the length from the tailgate is 35 inches. It can differ according to your tailgate size.
Manufacturers gave it five height adjustments. Holes of these height adjustmentsare 1 to ¾ inches apart. The extender works for 2 inch by 2 inch hitch receivers. Don’t worry, Darby will send one receiver, 5/8 inch hitch clip, and pin free of cost.
It is very easy to store and can sit flat in any convenient position in your truck or garage.You can also use it in an upright positionif you have a ladder rack, headache rack or anything else on your truck.
It can be taken apart by sliding out two quick pins. Take it apart and reinstall in a standing position and you will have a 48 inches tall extender.
- Easy mounting
- Comes with a receiver hitch
- Ideal size for trucks
- Good built materials
2. Erickson 07600 Pick-Up Bed Extender
Now, let’s take a look at the Erikson big bed load extender for two inches hitches. It uses three height settingsto accommodate different struck bed heights. And you can easily do that by removing the bolt, and then raising the mast and then placing the bolt in your desired height.
At the end of the bed extender,red reflective tapesare gonna help you and your gear from other drivers running behind you. With black powder coated steel incorporated in its build, you will find it enough durable and rust resistant.
It fits in two by two inch hitch receiver and the weight capacity is 400 pounds. This steel extension weighs 38 pounds. You will be able to extend you bed by 4 feet with the big bed. The best thing about this is that it can be folded up for compact storage.
The manufacturers say that it’s gonna be perfect for trucks, SUVs, vans or any other vehicle capable of hauling loads.Well, this really is a heavy duty tool and there is little if no chance of breaking or bending.
It matches every detail that stated online. So if you are interested in having this delivered to your home, you can do that without worries. This also has a minimum wind resistance that allow you to speed in the highway without being the best driver.
- Heavy duty
- Black powder coated
- Folding system
3. ECOTRIC Pick Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender Review
This is the best set up for the value you will find in the market. The Ecotric extender works very well and it is one of the cheapest compared to other products of its class. In some areas, the Ecotric extender is even better than other more valuable products. This is the best truck bed extender for kayaks.
It can carry up to 750 pounds which is better than most other extenders. The product has also a benefit over the hitches it can be mounted on. It is ideal for 2-2 inch hitches but this will also work for1-1/4 inch ones. You can easily take it apart and store it somewhere else when it is not needed.
Not only you will be able to change the height of the extender but the width as well. Its height comes adjustable from 4 inches to 10 inches and the width can be fine-tuned from 28.25 to 48.75 inches. The length of the extender from its half inch hitch is 53 and a half.
Weighingaroundjust 27 pounds, the extender stands outas one of the lightest in the market. You will also have a flag with it that can be used as a warning to other drivers of the hitch.
To sum things up, it is very sturdy and strong. This is probably the best truck bed extender that we have in our list compared to its price.
- Best product for the money
- Adjustable width
- Higher loading capacity
4. Dodge Ram Black Aluminum Tailgate Bed Extender Mopar OEM by Mopar
It is one of the best tailgate extender in the market. If your needs tell you have a tailgate extender, with no worries can go for the Dodge Ram.
This extender will need you to drill 3 holes on each sideit to attach the brackets. But you don’t have to bother measuring anything as the drilling places are dimpled or marked for your convenience. Thedevice comes with a kit that has everything you need.Align the extender to the bed liner to have an accurate fitting.
Its aluminum metal bars are very high quality. They are as strong as they are light.You should be strong enough to manage this 6.79 pound extender with one hand. The extender goes into the mount with a 45 degree angle. And, it’s only going to come out with that particular approach making it more secure in the road.
There are two straps on each side that can be used to lock the extender with the bed if it is rattling too much. According to the manufacturers, you can hook this up easily with Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Ram 2500, and Dodge Ram 3500.
- Easy installation
- Very light
5. Lund 601021 Hitch Mounted Truck Bed Extender
The message is very clear from Lund, if you wanna do something then do it right. And you will hardly have a better option doing it right with anything else other than the Lund extender.
It extends 39.5 inches which is a big leap outward your vehicle. You can store anything here. It is very strong. Even heavy lumber should not be a problem for this beast. If you are gonna use it rough then better take it tough.
The string piece is also very durable. It will stay strong under regular weights. There could be anomalies but our research didn’t showed us anything. The extender fits easily in a two by two hitch.
Another useful feature is that it not only extends outward but also upward. The same length of about 40 inches that goes outward can be installed vertically if you are mounting something on the roof. This feature comes in handy when carrying something very long and has to be tilted to store in the back of your truck.
It creates a portable sawhorse. For ensuring security, the extender comes with a flag and a safety tape. Its lower extensions have eight adjustable lengths. The side arms also has eleven stages of expandability on all sides of the bar. Furthermore,the upper extension comprises of nine stages. So, it scores the highest on expandability.
- Highly adjustable
- Can be mounted vertically or horizontally
- Portable sawhorse
- Very tough
6. MaxxHaul 70231 Hitch Mount Truck Bed Extender
The MT70231 is a versatile extender making it the safest place for all of your loads. Its ratchet straps give you the stability you want with your load. You don’t want them to bounce up and down in every bump of the road. With the straps and adjustable side arms,you can ensure the best fit for the load.
It boasts a 53.5 inch extension. You will rarely find any other extender as long as this one. This length is measured from the pinhole to the end of the extender. You are gonna have a lot of room for your loads.
The side arms also have a good length. Minimum spread of the arms is 28 inches where maximum spread is 48 inches with one inch intervals. The base of the cross bar will be 15.5 to 23 inches higher than the receiver opening. The taller arms will shift the load to you truck bed.
Arms are independently adjustable in this extender. Its long bars allow you to use it as a roof extender or a roof rack. Starting from the receiver opening, the height can be adjusted from 55 inches to 63 inches. You can take extra-long loads like kayaks and lumber with this extender.
It has a nice concave angle which will allow it to go around the bumper. It will also work around your spare tire that are on the back of the vehicle. This extender works with a 2 inch hitch.
- High adjustability
- Nice concave shape
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Reflective tape included
7. AMP Research 74813-01A Black BedXTender HD Max
This extender will work with everything from your groceries to your cargo and everything else you tie to the back of your truck. It gives you the easiest access to your cargo. Guys with tonneau are gonna enjoy it the most as it prevents the load from sliding forward.
There are two ways to install it. The drill bucket method is going to be easier than the other methods. However you can also go for modifying some parts of your truck which will save you 50 or 60 bucks. Our research tells us that the drill bucket is preferable among these two.
This extender has three version. They are the MAX, sports edition, and the MOTO. Here, we are primarily discussing the MAX. The HD Max will increase your bed to the length of your tailgate.
The T6 aluminum makes the construction very strong. This also has a textured black powder coating. This coating prevents rust and wear and the textured part guaranties strong grip when assembling the thing. There is also a tie down strap as like all the other good extenders.
It has an installation manual which is very easy to follow. You will need no one to DIY the extender. Lastly, this is a US made product which guaranties the best service for the value.
- Easy to install
- T6 aluminum body
- Black powder coat
Factors To Consider Before Buying A Truck Bed Extender
There are a few things you need to know about Best Truck Bed Extender before you buy one. Especially, if this is your first purchase.So, here are those factors;
- Bed Type
First of all, you need to decide which type of extender you want. There are two types;
The first type is the tailgate extender. It is best for the people who use tonneau covers or don’t need a huge extension.
The second type is the hitch mount extender. It mounts on your hitch behind the vehicle. It can double the size of your bed and can even be used as a roof extender for other vehicles. It will give you the longest extension.
There are other types of extenders like the storage drawer extender or the slide out extender but the first two are the most popular and useful.
There isn’t any point in buying an extender that does not fit with your intended vehicle. This specially happens in case of the U-shaped tailgate extenders. You buy your tool, then you realize that the width of your bed is either too long or short. So be very careful about the compatibility of this product.
This can also happen in case of hitch mount extenders. These are generally made for two inch hitches. More or less can cause trouble. So be careful to check the compatibility.
- Construction Material
An extender that holds long and heavy items needs to be strong. Steel and aluminum are the best choice for these. If you are going for a tailgate extender, the materials need not to be that strong. Good quality plastic or carbon fiber will do the job finely.
Make sure that the material is corrosion or rust free and easy to assemble. It will make life much easier.
This is a tool that you are going to be playing a lot with. It should have a simple assembly. And, the instructions should not be hard.
The different pieces should not be so heavy that it becomes hard to handle them. It should also have roof mounting capabilities if it is a hitch mount extender.This also requires it to have a concave shape when mounted vertically.
For tailgates, no drilling is preferred. All the tools should come with the extender kit.
- Supplementary Components
A good extender should include some additional components that help to use it with more security and efficiency. If the extender is coming out from the bed or back of your vehicle, then it should have a reflective red tape behind it. This tape makes your extender visible when the headlights of other vehicles hit it in the dark.
But accidents can also happen in day light. So there should also be a red flag that enhances your visibility and reduces the chances of getting hit by a speeding car in the highway.
The kit that comes with it should have all the hardware that will be needed to mount the extender. Some extra small parts can also be very useful.
Benefits of A Truck Bed Extender
We live big in America. That’s why we buy trucks. Now, the truck bed is not enough. We need more.And that more is an extender. The load extender primarily helps you to haul long cargo in your bed. You can use it for trucks, SUVs, ATVs or UTVs.
When you come back home from the shop, you don’t want to go all the way in your tonneau cover to get your groceries. Because, when you hit the brakes they move to the front of the bed.You can tie your purchase to the extender with the strap. It will prevent them from rolling all over on the truck bed.
People who use tonneau covers should get a grill extender or tailgate extender. Without it, the driver will have to open the cover each time he needs to get something from the truck bed.
Extenders are also very useful for vans or other vehicles which do not have a bed behind. They can use the extender vertically to store large items on the roof of the vehicle. It reduces the need of a truck that has a higher maintenance and fuel cost.
The extender has several professional uses as well. It is highly recommended for the farmers, ranch owners and the people who need to carry a large tool box with them. People with kayaks and other long sport items can also use it.
This will also come in handy in the summer season and weekends. For the urban duelers, the nature can be far away. So the large equipment that is needed to enjoy the countryside can be transported easily with an extender. There are many other benefits to it that you will realize after purchasing one for yourself.
How To Use A Truck Bed Extender?
These tools are not hard to use. You need to know what cargo you are gonna store and what is the type of your extender. You need to set the lengths of the different bars according to the sizes of your cargos dimension.
If you are using the tool as a roof extender, then mount it vertically.You need to measure the height of the roof from the hitch to determine the correct height of the extender.If you are using a tonneau cover, then you might need a tailgate extender.
All in all, you can use it according to your convenience keeping these primary facts in check.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some common questions regarding bed extenders are here to help you understand more about the tool.
Q: How can I get my exact hitch size?
A: It is very simple. You can get any scale and measure the length and width of the sides of the hitch. Make sure that you are measuring the inside of the hitch if your extender is going to go inside. You can also check it online if that is available.
Q: Are sliding beds a good option for an extender?
A: Sliding beds are great at what they do but they generally do not perform the primary role of an extender which is to haul long loads. This will create extra space for you which is secure for even the smallest of tools but that is more of a toolbox than an extender.
Q: Which is the best type of extender?
A: There are two primary types of extenders; the hitch mount and the tailgate. If you don’t have to haul long cargo, you can go for the tailgate. Otherwise, our favorite is the hitch mount extender.
Q: What is DOT regulation?
A: It is a set of rules that needs to be followed by the drivers specially truckers in the United States of America.
Q: What should I do if my extender and hitch receptor sizes don’t match?
A: You can buy an adaptor that can be used as a bridge between your extender and the receptor.
I hope that you have completed your PhD on truck extenders by now. And, if you don’t wanna do the hard work, just order one from our list. You can also follow our buying guide to roam around online markets for the best truck bed extender.