A pickup truck is a great way to haul cargo or use for storage space, but sometimes it may not have enough room.
Hitch bed extender is a great way to add a few inches more when you need to transport extra-long cargo like a ladder or kayaks. With a high-quality bed extender, you can increase the amount and type of items you can haul, plus you can increase your truck’s overall functionality.
With the ability to flip back and forth, cage-like devices are easy to hook into place once you the extender installed. You can flip the tailgate extender towards you when you put the tailgate down and you instantly get two more feet of storage space. Then, flip it away from you and put the tailgate up to create a small storage area that will allow you to stop your gear or things like groceries from keep your groceries from flying all over the bed of your truck. From small to big loads, a bed extender is perfect to for carrying large items like large lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle. They can also be easily removed if you need to haul something without it. Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best bed extender and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Truck Bed Extenders Styles
As with many things, you need to know what type of extender you want before you buy it. Here are the two different styles of the standard extender.
Tailgate mount truck bed extender brackets – This type of extender is used for general hauling and is typically made of plastic and metal and uses a cage design.
Trailer Hitch Extender – With a look similar to an extendable arm, this extender is used for commercial loads like pipes or lumber called “payloads”.
Best Bed Extender Reviews
Hitch mount extenders
Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender – Best Versatile Truck Bed Extender
Featuring a black roof and turbo rack with a lashing strap bundle, the Extend-A-Truck Bed Extender includes a four-foot-wide support and can be stored flat when not in use behind the seat. This bundle was created for safe and secure hauling of long loads and also includes a red flag.
This bed extender has a design that is intended to carry a heavy weight and includes high-density towers that won’t scratch the roof of your truck.
The Extend-A-Truck is easy to attach and remove thanks to its lightweight construction and installation that does not include drilling.
Suing a cast metal clamp made of solid steel, your cargo loads will be securely tightened. This is a dependable and high-quality bundle that features a 100-pound use strength and a 300-pound break strength.
- Sturdy and well-built
- Versatile and a good value
- Heavy and easy to use
- Loose fitting
- Too heavy
TMS T-NS-HITCH-BED-EXTENDER – Most Adjustable Truck Bed Extender
This heavy-duty bed extender is made with steel tubing allowing it to evenly distribute weight up to 750 pounds. Reflective strips are found on the front and sides while an orange safety flag is included to attach to your load. You can also adjust the width and height of the support arm so you can use you the TMS Bed Extender for several different types of jobs.
*green This extender uses a standard 2-inch square hitch receiver, but you can also use with the 1 1 /4-inch receivers when using a hitch adapter. This is a great bed extender to transport long payloads as well as a handy work table when you fold down the side arms. The TMS Bed Extender has a load capacity in the bed of 150 pounds and a distributed load capacity of 300 pounds. *green
- Width and height is adjustable
- Makes a great portable work station
- Easily fits inside a short-bed truck when not using
- Difficult to tie down c-channel “goal post” support
- Need tie down points for the ratchet straps
ECOTRIC Pick Up Truck Bed Hitch Extender – Best Bed Hitch Mount Extender for Kayak
Featuring a weight capacity of 750 pounds, the Ecotric Bed Hitch Extender fits 2-inch square hitch receivers but it can also be used on 1 ¼ inch receivers when you use a hitch adaptor. The height and width are both adjustable allowing you to adjust to the project at hand. This is a great choice when you need to transport a longer load.
*green Also included with the Ecotric Bed Hitch Extender is a flag to attach to your load for safety. This bed extender is made with heavy duty steel tubing making it sturdy enough to use on those heavy loads. This is an easy to assemble bed extender that will make your track versatile enough for a variety of hauling needs. *green
- Sturdy and easy to use
- Easy to assemble
- Works perfectly for hauling
- Reflectors are flimsy
- Included hardware is poor quality
Lund 601021 Hitch Rack Truck Bed Extender – Best Short Bed Extender
Created for carrying extended length cargo, the Lund 601021 Bed Extender gives you an additional 7 inches of ground clearance. Fits a standard 2” receiver hitch, this bed extender can handle a distributed load capacity of 750 lbs. It also easily becomes a portable work station with side wings that are easy to adjust from 27 to 49 inches.
*green Also included are red reflective tape and a safety flag to attach to your load. The Lund 601021 Bed Extender is a heavy-duty tool that is durable and easy to install. It is also DOT approved and a great addition to any short bed. *green
- Very heavy-duty and holds up great
- Good quality and not hard to install
- Great addition to a short bed
- Tends to rattle and wobble
- Reflective decals are poorly installed
AMP Research 74509-01A Black Motoxtender – Best Bed Extender for Motorcycles
Designed for short beds, the AMP Motoxtender features a durable finish made of black powder and reinforced uprights that are made of nylon and rugged glass. This is a lightweight but strong extender constructed with aluminum tubes. Easy to use, the Motoxtender will add an additional two feet to your truck’s bed.
*green The Motoxtender is also easy to use as an extra work space when at your jobsite or even at a campsite. When not using the extender for hauling, you can easily flip it forward to help protect your cargo. This is a versatile product that works with most trucks on the market. *green
- Good craftsmanship and durable finish
- Good price for a great product
- Easy to use and flip up for a secure cargo area
- Lining up the holes is difficult initially
ReadyRamp I-Beam Full-Sized Bed Extender – Best Full-Sized Tailgate Bed Extender
Not only can you the patented ReadyRamp® as a bed extender, but you can also use it as a ramp for your motorcycle. It also stops parts from falling out of your truck as well as provides space for gas cans and gear. Available in two sizes, the ReadyRamp® will fit pretty much every truck on the market.
*green Featuring a black color that is set off by silver hardware, the ReadyRamp® will enhance the look of your truck and can unfold to load bikes that weight up to 600 pounds. Constructed of a lightweight but strong aluminum, this is an easy to remove or install bed extender that you can have working in just a few seconds. Plus, it has a unique hinge design and a rubber coated ramp that prevents your truck from getting scratched. *green
- Sturdy and strong
- Works well, very functional product
- High-quality product with a nice design
- Instructions don’t match
- Holes aren’t threaded
AMP Research 74815-01A BedXTender HD Max – Most Sturdy Bed Extender
If you are looking to add an instant two feet to your truck bed’s length, the AMP BedXtender is worth checking out. Strong but lightweight, the BedXTender is made from aluminum tubes and is available in either a silver or black powder coat finish. Plus, it comes with a five year or 60,000-mile warranty.
*green The BedXTender also includes uprights made with a nylon composite and reinforced with rugged glass. When you don’t need the extra length, you can flip the bed extender to create an enclosed cargo area. The classic U-shape of this design helps to create the maximum cargo capacity. *green
- Easy to set up
- Durable powder finish
- Sturdy but lightweight design
- You need to drill holes
- Materials aren’t very heavy-duty
Bed Extender Buying Guide
If you are one of those truck owners that has more stuff in the back of your truck then you have space, a bed extender can help increase the cargo space you have so you can go about your business safely and efficiently. A bed extender is easy to install and remove when you no longer need it. With the increasing popularity of pickup trucks, the towing and open bed capacities have become insufficient for some owners requiring another trip for hauling or the need to find another vehicle.
The ideal accessory for a truck, a bed extender will save you on fuel for all those second trips. You get all the support you need for oversized cargo with a bed extender when securely fastened. When you flip them inward, the bed extender can be used to secure loose items like tools and gas can during a bumpy ride.
Universal functionality is not a feature of all truck bed extenders. Since they aren’t one-size-fits-all products, you need to know the product details to make sure it will work well with your vehicle. You need it to fit correctly when it is installed. Even though there are some extenders that are said to be universal bed extenders, make sure to still check its product specifications on size. You will find that most of the products on the market are actually designed for installation in a specific truck model or make.
Varying depending on brand and model, the materials that are used in making a bed extender can include plastic or metal or even a combination of both. Aluminum bed extender are tougher and can withstand corrosion and chipping while still maintaining a light weight.
It is important to know how to store your bed extender and know how it operates. Some truck owners prefer the extender to be installed permanently while other may prefer an extender that can fold up or pivot so it can be easily used when needed. If you use your truck bed for different things, the model that can fold up may be more preferable for your needs.
Other components that you can use for the right installation can include a hitch mount adaptor or models that include a lock every few feet that helps you have better control when positioning your cargo.
Easy installation is definitely a feature you want to look for in a bed extender. With a standard extender, you can attach the brackets to the end of the bed of the truck or even the tailgate. With an installation kit, you should get detailed installation instructions that include bracket mounting. Other common features should include extender snaps and adjustable sizing.
With as many different types of truck bed extenders as there are on the market, it doesn’t take a lot to get confused. It’s important to figure out what your needs are before you start shopping so you can make sure you get a bed extender that fits your truck as well as your needs.