Are Truck Bed Extenders Universal?

Most people choose to buy a truck for its great storage features. However, there is a limit to the length of cargo you can load in your truck. That's why truck bed extenders are useful. But are they universal? We did some digging regarding this question and here is what we discovered. 

No, all truck bed extenders are not universal. There are bed extenders that are made and sold specifically for certain makes and models of trucks. Universal extenders are typically width-adjustable and designed to fit the majority of full-size or mid-size truck brands and models.

However, some universal models, according to consumers, don't fit their trucks. Make sure before buying one.

Let's now delve into the types of truck bed extenders. We'll also discuss the benefits of using one, how much it costs, and when you should buy one. We'll also recommend to you the best truck extenders you can choose from. 

Rear viwe with two dirt bike motorcycles on the back of the truck with safety gear in residential setting - Are Truck Bed Extenders Universal

What Are The Types Of Truck Bed Extenders?

There are three types of truck bed extenders: standard, bedside, and cargo slide.

StandardWhite Truck Bed, empty bad of an modern white truck, daylight

The material of this U-shaped bed extension is often metal or plastic. It is perfect for moving objects that are not longer than your truck bed.

You attach it to the truck's tailgate to add two inches of room capacity. The optimum use for this kind of extension is for items that are not overly hefty.


The hauling capacity of a bedside extender is greater than that of a traditional bed extender. It includes support arms that hold objects longer than your truck bed securely in place.

It has a hitch mount so you can attach a rear receiver to your truck with it. Using the nightstand extender, you can travel somewhat large items without worrying about losing, destroying, or harming them.

Cargo Slide

Pick Up Truck Bed

With this kind of bed extension, you may easily load and unload by sliding the truck bed in and out like a drawer. It also functions as an extension, therefore it has two uses.

For improved cargo support, especially when the bed extender is locked in place, you will need a right-mount hitch.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Truck Bed Extender?

Here are some of the advantages when you use a truck bed extender:


Without having to purchase a second truck or van, a truck bed extender facilitates work by allowing for the addition of longer and larger loads. Long term, this may be less expensive and simpler.

More Space

Carrying enormous, lengthy, and/or heavy goods is common in numerous industries. A vehicle can gain more space using a truck bed extender without losing any existing space. Additionally, buyers can save money on expenses like fuel.


There are many different trucks, vans, SUVs, and other vehicles that can use truck bed extenders. To transport objects securely and safely, they can also be used in conjunction with a roof rack and hitch receiver.

They may also be readily withdrawn or shared between coworkers if necessary, and they are simple to install.

How Much Does A Truck Bed Extender Cost?

The price of truck bed extenders ranges from $70 to $400. Every necessity or price range can be satisfied.

Customers can purchase extenders that are strong, light, and manufactured of high-quality materials at either end of this price range. This list features both well-known and lesser-known brands that offer a variety of goods.

How Much Space Does A Truck Bed Extender Add?

looking out from the bed of a pickup truck isolated on white

Traditional truck bed extenders raise your cargo space by around two feet, depending on the height of your tailgate. When transporting long goods that you wouldn't even think of transporting in the bed of your truck otherwise, hitch-mounted extenders provide much more space than that.

A full-size pickup with a hitch extender can easily and safely handle 12- and even 16-foot boards.

What Factors To Consider In Buying A Truck Bed Extender?

If you've been looking for a truck bed extender, you are aware that there are particular models from which to choose. Some attach to the truck's hitch, while others lift out from inside the bed of the vehicle. 

When selecting a truck bed extension, keep the following factors in mind:

Your Truck's Corner

Although the corners of some models are still somewhat rounded, you gain that extra space. In contrast, the extension sides of other cages veer diagonally toward the center point at the back border of the tailgate.

The transporting of wide, flat products may be challenging due to the absence of an additional corner room. Look for more squared-off corners if you anticipate having a large amount of tailgate surface space needs.

You Need Vertical Bars

If whatever was holding flat objects like planks of wood in place broke, they may fly through the horizontal bars on an extender.

There would be nothing to prevent the boards from slipping through the extender's horizontal bars, for instance, if you had them secured with bungee cords and the cords snapped. An extension with vertical bars that can prevent objects from slipping through.

There are some extenders with relatively few vertical bars and others with so many that they resemble a grid.

If Sides Are Open Or Not

The sides of the tailgate are not blocked by all extension designs, only the back. If you're moving something large, like a couch, these open sides are acceptable.

Smaller items, however, require edges that prevent objects from falling out. Although it may seem obvious, if you don't adequately plan, these smaller spaces will catch up with you.

Type of Material

When selecting an extender, you have a variety of materials to choose from. Some are constructed of metal, some of plastic, and some of both.

Although many plastics are extremely sturdy in and of themselves, metal will be less prone to shattering.

Take into account the load's weight and the chance that it will slide into the extension after escaping its confines. Metal might be preferable for heavier loads.

Ease Of Installation

Choose a bed extender that is simple to install and won't need professional assistance if you are not an expert at putting things like that together.

Additionally, it is advantageous if the bed extension is simple to remove and store to prevent leaving it on the vehicle and subjecting it to the elements.

Is It Difficult To Install A Truck Bed Extender?

Rear viwe with two dirt bike motorcycles on the back of the truck with safety gear in residential setting.

There are various levels of installation knowledge needed for various truck bed extenders. It is preferable to get a professional to install the extender if you have no experience with it.

For individuals who are accustomed to installing parts to their trucks, certain models are rather simple to install. Make sure your addition complies with all traffic safety requirements and is roadworthy. For DOT requirements, make sure your brake and taillights are visible.

Even if you put together the truck bed extension on your own, it can be beneficial to have a skilled installer look it over to identify any weak spots.

What Are The Best Truck Bed Extenders To Use?

Here are some of the best truck bed extenders we found based on our research: 

TKMAuto Black Aluminum

This bed extender is designed to be a general full-size pickup solution. For beds 59 to 69 inches wide, the width is movable. It can function as a bed separator when the tailgate is raised.

The extension adds an extra two feet of cargo length when the tailgate is lowered and turned such that it forms a fence around the tailgate's borders. Rust-proof aluminum alloy is built with a powder coating.

Click here for this product on Amazon

Moab SPE-2

The Moab extender is a solid option for mid-size pickups, including the new Jeep Gladiator, thanks to its tough rust-proof construction, width adjustment of 48 to 61 inches, and ease of removal.

Click here for this product on Amazon

MaxxHaul 70231

This extends the cargo length of a pickup truck by four more feet, similar to other hitch-mount extenders.

However, it also includes practical additions like reflective tape to warn other drivers of the increased weight. The side arms can be folded down to support a work surface. Another key benefit is the price, which is among the lowest on sale.

Click here for this product on Amazon

Is It Worth Buying A Truck Bed Extender?

The occasional hauling of large, heavy loads is the most popular reason for using a pickup truck bed extender. A bed extension is a versatile addition to your truck because it can be used for regular duties like grocery shopping and transporting tools and equipment to the farm or construction site.

The enhanced protection provided by a truck bed extender lowers the danger of damage during transportation, regardless of what you are hauling, making it a wise investment for any truck driver, whether you need it for regular use or occasional extra loading space.

Final Thoughts

What you intend to haul around will determine which bed extender is best for you. Although most bed extenders are suitable for most medium- to full-size truck brands, there are still units that may not fit. So make sure that you get the best one for your vehicle.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check out these posts: 

What Are The Best Kayak Racks For Pickup Trucks? [6 Options Explored!]

How Deep Is A Truck Bed?

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