Bed Extenders.....

Lt.FireDogLt.FireDog Posts: 1,112 Officer
I've had a couple questions lately about using a bed extender and the models that I have.....so here goes.

I use a modified Harbor Freight Haul-Master unit on my Ford Explorer Sport-Trac (4'bed).
I bought this about 4 years ago when I wanted a quicker load/unload (than the roof rack w/Malone SeaWings) when fishing tournaments and for transporting a single boat over longer distances. So far it's been south to the Keys and as far north as Virginia.

First thing I noticed was that on any type of incline (driveway or parking lot entrance), the rear end of the extender would drag.....I later found out that the receiver hitch on my truck has a slight downward angle that is multipled by the length of the "long bar".
Solution; I had my local fabricator cut a slight "V" on the long-tube near the hitch and rewelded it, giving it a noticible upward angle...problem solved.

Next; due to the shape of the hull, I found that I needed some type of saddle to get the most secure fit without having to reef-down on the straps, which could damage the hull.
I ended up installing a pair of Yakima Land Shark saddles....worked perfect with many different kayaks.

Knowing that at the same time I'm hitting the road to get to the water before 0'dark thirty, many of the seasoned drunk drivers are on their way home.....so I decided to add a pair of Harbor Freight LED traler lights to the crossbars.
Along with a flashing LED bike light velcro'ed to the rear grab handle on my Pro Angler, they (hopefully) can't miss noticing the rear of my truck.

Note- since moving to a PA12, I removed the kayak saddles and replaced them with a marine carpeted bunk on the crossbar.

13' was about as long as I would want to carry with the Sport-Trac-
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I found that a almost 16' kayak is just a bit too much for my truck....FHP felt the same way! :nono
IMG_20130112_231105.jpg

PA12 is an easy on/off with Hobie scupper cart-
IMG_20130316_082637.jpg

Islamorada bound-
IMG_20130331_145731.jpg

The bar has held up pretty good considering it's made of cheap pot-metal from China. I did add a aluminum strap over the weld for the extra weight of the Pro Angler.

I think my next purchase (along with new truck) will be the new BooneDox T-BONE aluminum bed extender-

https://boonedoxusa.com/product-category/t-bone/

Replies

  • PickledvolvoPickledvolvo Posts: 189 Officer
    The T-Bone is a sweet unit.
    "I throw empty beer cans at the TV when I'm watching the news.
    I hate republicans, I hate democrats, I hate liberals too!"
  • Android77Android77 Posts: 474 Deckhand
    I got one from Bass Pro catalog about 4 years ago that can either be a bed extender or if you turn it around it can be turned into a roof rack type mount. It's held up very good had my canoe on it all the time for over 11/2 years and my Pro Angler for over 2 years and its still in good shape. Haven't tried to roof mount the PA yet but my Tarpon or Outback would be no problem and leave the bed of truck empty if a camping trip was in the plans.
  • ApexApex Posts: 33 Deckhand
    That BooneDox T-bone looks ****! I am going to look into picking up a 56" unit in the near future.
  • chefdtachefdta Posts: 188 Officer
    X2 on this extender. Been using the same one from HF and it can't be beat. I built a yak storage rack the same height as extender and back the yak right onto the storage rack when I get home - easy on and off.
  • CookinmanCookinman Posts: 880 Officer
    Have one I got at Northern T and E.....Basic setup w one exception - The rail that you'd place the kayak on adjusts and extends out horizontally to match the width of the tailgate or past if I want... - VERY useful when piling multiple yaks in the bed - I usually put one of the old Malone foam blocks I used to have on the crossrails of my SUV on the rail making a perfect cradle....

    Easiest load and unload Ive ever done.

    ONLY downside is not being able to shut the tailgate .....

    So -

    On longer trips, I invert the bed extender and use the block on the roof of the cab - load the yaks high and shut the gate when going on long trips w kids, luggage bags etc....

    That is actually kind of a short bed ya got there....lol but it does WORK.
  • NELBAGNELBAG Posts: 251 Officer
    By a real truck. :grin
  • Lt.FireDogLt.FireDog Posts: 1,112 Officer
    NELBAG wrote: »
    Buy a real truck. :grin

    Brian, get gas back down to $2.00 a gallon and I'll go back into another F-150 shortbox 4X4 in no time. :cool:

    ....hell, I bought my daughter a 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback for college (36mpg) and I've been driving it everywhere, and she drives the Sport Trac to the beach & mall. I have to give it up next week, as it leaves for UT soon.
    I've been looking at a 2013 Nissan Frontier crew cab for my next ride....I think it has a 5' bed, I'll be spoiled.
  • summer dazesummer daze Posts: 883 Officer
    I also use the HF bed extender with my F150. Haven't had a problem with it scraping the ground yet. That is a funny picture of the Ocean Kayak hanging out behind your truck about 10'.
    jgocnk.jpg
    Tight Lines..
  • ZimmerNoleZimmerNole Posts: 9,244 Officer
    Lt.FireDog wrote: »
    Brian, get gas back down to $2.00 a gallon and I'll go back into another F-150 shortbox 4X4 in no time. :cool:

    ....hell, I bought my daughter a 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback for college (36mpg) and I've been driving it everywhere, and she drives the Sport Trac to the beach & mall. I have to give it up next week, as it leaves for UT soon.
    I've been looking at a 2013 Nissan Frontier crew cab for my next ride....I think it has a 5' bed, I'll be spoiled.

    Great truck, a friend has one. No issues, takes a lick and keeps on ticking. Check out the Tacoma Prerunner as well, there is a reason why both trucks are rarely sold. Love the Nismo package with the sweet, funky looking roofrack.
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  • CookinmanCookinman Posts: 880 Officer
    Dont buy W out considering a Tundra - THE BEST quarter ton out there IMHO - I picked em all apart quite well before buying mine in 2011.....HUGE Cabs and no shortened beds - ( The scupper pro is like 15 and change ) The Smaller v-8 ( mine ) - still tows 9K and is geared for driving NOT hauling - Its gets better than 20 mpg in city driving ( 6 speed **** helps ALOT ) and of course the 5.7 is a Tow Monster for you boaters out there.....
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