Although trucks have become somewhat of a casual driving experience as of late, the real reason for that box behind the cab is to haul stuff. The practical nature of trucks is the driving force for owning one. Whether you use a truck for work or play, managing your truck’s cargo space can sometimes be a tricky affair. And what is the bed when you aren’t hauling everything from dirt to dirt bikes? It becomes an unsightly eyesore full of dents and scratches, badges of courage to prove your truck’s mettle.

Today’s trucks feature some pretty short bed lengths to compensate for the ever-enlarging cabs. Many trucks see more time commuting to an office than they do hauling hay to the back forty, so the manufacturers are turning to creature comforts as a selling tool. If you’re trying to figure out how to safely get more stuff in your shortbed, then Amp Research has the accessory for you. It’s called the BedXTender, and it allows your truck’s tailgate to be used as extended floor space when in the open position. It’s simple to use, thanks to its pivoting mount, and stows neatly inside the bed with the tailgate closed so you can keep smaller items from bouncing around.

When not in use, open beds tend to be a bit of a bore, but bedcovers are usually problematic for carrying anything taller than the bedside. With a Pace Edwards Bedlocker Electric, you are able to have a fully enclosed bed when not in use, a completely open bed to allow normal access, or nearly any combination in between. The multipanel, weather-resistant hard cover retracts into a canister at the front of the bed either manually or by use of a remote fob and is mounted on the bedrails to allow as much floor space as possible. Optional over-the-cover accessories make it possible to still keep the bed covered and have a contractor rack or multisport rack for all your outdoor gear. With a quick call to the knowledgeable sales team at Andy’s Auto Sport, both the tonneau cover and bed extender were ordered and arrived within three days.

1. Our 2012 Ram 1500 had a spray-in bedliner as the only cargo accessory to date. With its diminutive 5-foot, 7-inch bed, cargo space was at a premium.

2. The Pace Edwards retractable Bedlocker had very few pieces to install and used a clamp-on rail mounting system for a non-permanent solution to securing our bed’s cargo.

3. Dropping the cable from the top down allowed us to use gravity to run the power supply wiring down to the frame below.

4. Pre-terminated wiring ends with an included fuse made attaching the wires to the battery quick and simple.

5. Using two small jackstands for support, the Bedlocker canister was set between the bedsides near its final position.

6. The paneled cover was pulled from the canister and fed into the mounting flange on the rails.

7. We set the canister against the front bed panel, squared the rails to the canister and bedsides, and pulled the rails to a measured ⅛ inch from the tailgate.

8. Aluminum rail clamps squeezed the rails and the bedsides together, allowing a painless installation of the bedcover with no damage to our expensive truck.

9. The top cover was screwed in place and the electrical harness plugged in to test for proper function, both manually and with the included remote control fob.