To prevent this kind of damage and ensure the longevity of your Tacoma’s bed, many owners opt to install bed stiffeners. In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we will cover everything you need to know about bed stiffeners, including their purpose, benefits, installation process, and the top 10 options available on the market.
What Are Bed Stiffeners?
The weight of these items can cause the bedsides to flex, leading to potential cracking and deformation over time. By installing bed stiffeners, you can limit this flex and prevent damage caused by repeated abuse. Think of bed stiffeners as an investment in protecting the integrity of your Tacoma’s bed.
Do You Really Need Bed Stiffeners?
The need for bed stiffeners depends on how you use your Tacoma and the weight you regularly carry in your bed. If you have a rooftop tent, camper shell, or frequently load heavy-weight items onto your bed, bed stiffeners are highly recommended. These accessories serve as a preventative measure, preventing potential cracks and damage to your bed. Investing in bed stiffeners can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs down the line.
When Do You Need Bed Stiffeners?
Determining the right time to install bed stiffeners depends on your specific usage of the truck and the weight you regularly carry. If you frequently load heavy items onto your bed or plan to install a camper shell or bed rack in the future, it is recommended to install bed stiffeners as a preventive measure. Camper shells and rooftop tents can weigh several hundred pounds or more, and the more weight you have and the more you flex your truck off-road, the more valuable bed stiffeners become.
Benefits of Bed Stiffeners
The most significant benefit of installing bed stiffeners is the prevention of cracking in your Tacoma’s bed. Over time, this stress can weaken the bedsides and lead to cracks. By installing bed stiffeners, you provide additional support to the bedsides, reducing flex and minimizing the risk of cracking. Investing in bed stiffeners now can save you the headache and cost of repairing or replacing a cracked bedside in the future.
Tie-Down Points and Accessory Attachment
Many bed stiffener manufacturers integrate tie-down points into the design of their products. These tie-down points serve as sturdy anchor points at the rear corners of the bed, allowing you to secure your cargo more effectively. These added features increase the versatility and functionality of your bed and provide convenient attachment points for various accessories.
Considering the potential cost of repairing or replacing a cracked bedside, bed stiffeners are a relatively budget-friendly solution. Installing bed stiffeners early on can be a cost-effective way to protect your investment in your truck and ensure the longevity of your bed. If you plan to install gear or a rooftop tent in the future, bed stiffeners should be one of your first modifications.
Downsides of Bed Stiffeners
Depending on the design of the bed stiffeners and their protrusion from the bedside, they may interfere with the functionality of your drawers and prevent you from fully accessing them.
Installing bed stiffeners is a relatively straightforward process that can be done at home with basic tools.
- Unbolt and remove the tail light on each side of the truck bed.
- Drill holes inside the bed through the tail light housing.
- Bolt the bed stiffeners into the side of the bed using new and existing hardware. The base of the “L” bracket will utilize the holes for the factory tie-down points.
- Ensure a secure and tight fit for each bed stiffener.
- Reinstall the tail lights.
The entire installation process typically takes about an hour, and most bed stiffeners come with detailed instructions and all the necessary mounting hardware. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation and maximize the effectiveness of your bed stiffeners.
Top Bed Stiffeners for Tacoma
Here are the top bed stiffeners for your Tacoma:
- Cali Raised LED Bed Stiffeners
- All-Pro Off-Road Tacoma Bed Stiffeners
- Runnin4Tacos (R4T) Bed Stiffeners
- DRT Fabrication Bed Stiffeners
- Total Chaos Bed Stiffeners
- Bell Fabrication Bed Stiffeners
- Westcott Designs Bed Stiffeners
- ATH Fabrication Bed Stiffeners
- Victory 4×4 Bed Stiffeners
- Leitner Designs Bed Stiffeners
Each of these brands offers high-quality bed stiffeners that provide added strength and support to your Tacoma’s bed.Detailed information about each brand and their specific bed stiffener models can be found in the original reference article.
These reinforced L-brackets provide essential support and prevent excessive flexing of the bedsides. With numerous brands and models available, you can choose the bed stiffeners that best suit your needs and preferences.