I remember way back in the day when Toyota had those really cool commercials. You know, the ones where people are jumping in the air like they just won the lottery? Lol. Maybe I’m showing my age a little too much. Those were the days when we dreamed of having a cool truck to conquer the trails never discovered.
Fast forward about 25-30 years and off-roading doesn’t seem as simple as the past. With all the technology involved in traction control systems, crash sensors, rear cameras etc.. I can go on and on. It basically, never ends. Regardless of all the tech, trucks still break, just the same as 30 years ago. Mother nature hasn’t changed and will definitely dish it out if you ask for it and ask we do.
Evolving as an off-roader is a never ending process and a never ending bank roll $$$. As we drive our first truck home with excitement, pride and a sense of domination, something happens slowly. The Dreaming starts and you can’t pin point it, but it draws you into aimlessly searching for new parts, wondering what you can add to your new ride. Maybe those cool commercials of the past really left a lasting impression; But you’ll never know. There is no turning back now… you’re in too deep.
Step 1 Rims/Tires, Step 2 Ditch Lights, Step 3 Roof Rack, etc.. But what we don’t really think about, at least until its too late, is the non-cool stuff like preventative products such as Bed Channel Stiffeners. Products like these are not something we brag about or even show to our friends, but they are a necessary evil if you move up in the off-roading evolution. Building a vehicle is a game of give and take. For example, if you add a bumper, you need to up the spring weight of the vehicle. If you add a fridge, you’ll need to add a secondary battery, and if you add a bed rack your going to need bed channel stiffeners. Upgrades like these are necessary because on with out the other is asking for trouble when you don’t want trouble to show it’s face.
When we set out to design a product like bed channel stiffeners, we look for a vehicle by posting on a local Facebook group. Normally we get someone who is fairly new to off-roading, but that definitely was not the case this time. Mark showed up in 2nd Gen Tundra. His vehicle was a TANK, and you could tell he definitely did not baby it.
“Mario, look at this! I have a ratchet strap holding my bed sides together so my tailgate can close. I put this camper shell on, and with all the off-roading I do, it bent my bed sides out. I can’t close my tailgate anymore. “ As I’m looking at this strap, I’m cracking up. Off to work I go! After a few revisions, the final product had evolved. We bolted the stiffeners on the truck and I crossed my fingers as we undid the ratchet strap… BANG! (holy crap, there was a lot of tension on that strap!) The moment of truth, closing the tailgate. Perfect! I’m not going to lie, I was pretty worried the tailgate wasn’t going to close. Luckily, everything ended up working out.
Moral of the story
So as you are dreaming about that cool dual swing out bumper or that epic bed rack with a tent, don’t forget about products like bed channel stiffeners even if they aren’t as cool to talk about. Those are the things that are going to keep your trip completely drama free.
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