As outdoor enthusiasts, we are darn rough on our gear. Just think about how much wear and tear we put on our pickups each year. It doesn’t take too many backroad adventures to ruin the exterior and trash the interior. In reality, just a few close encounters with ricocheting gravel, weeds, overhanging limbs, mud and brush can make your truck look like something that barely survived the battlefields of World War II.
Fortunately, you have your pick of a bunch of quality after-market truck accessories to beef up the protection of your truck. If you don’t have a new truck in your budget right now, with a thousand bucks or just a couple hundred, you can make your old pickup feel like a new ride with these after-market truck accessories.
It might just be me, but it seems the invasion of bugs and flying insects is getting worse. A few late night trips back from the woods or lake is all it really takes to completely cover your hood and windshield with a blanket of kamikaze nighttime flyers and creepy crawlers. Undoubtedly, a spray of insect guts and goo can mess up your paint job, but this fog of gunk can also make it very difficult to see the road. This is exactly why I recommend installing a simple hood protector or bug shield to avoid problems with the nightly storm of swarming bugs and creatures.
Currently, there are a number of different brands and styles of hood protectors on the market. I recently added the Vigilante Premium bug shield from Stampede Truck Accessories. These low profile shields are specifically designed and manufactured with an aerodynamic reverse flip for superior deflection. This particular unit provides full hood and front fender protection and is contoured to custom fit just about any make or model truck that is on the road. In addition, you can choose from a variety of popular colors or go with your favorite camouflage pattern for maximum off-road concealment.
PROTECT YOUR INTERIOR
At one time or another, we’ve all jumped into our truck soaking wet from a rainy day hunt or one of those unplanned showers on the lake. Within a few days, our interior inevitably begins to reek of a musty mildew smell that will just about knock you down. A truck’s interior can be a headache to take care of on a daily basis. And it’s so easy for anyone to stain or rip a hole in your seats. These are just some of the reasons why adding a waterproof and stain-resistant pair of seat covers can be the best investment you make this season.
A company called Hatchie Bottom makes an unbelievable seat cover called the Armour-Suede. This 11-ounce, automotive grade upholstery fabric incorporates a state-of-the-art micro-suede construction to provide a very comfortable feel. The material is also very water repellant, and its UV treatment provides added protection against everyday spills and long-term damage from the sun.
Hunters will also like the Custom Neoprene seat covers that come in just about every popular camo pattern you can imagine. These high-tech covers are silky soft and fit so snug that everyone will think they were installed at the factory. hatchiebottom.com
Another piece to the protection puzzle is a set of heavy-duty floor mats that cover a large area. Husky Liners floor mats have features outdoorsmen appreciate:
- an extra thick driver’s heel pad
- a raised perimeter around the edge to contain the water, mud and dirt
- embossed ribbing to keep your feet out of the crud. huskyliners.com/gamefish
FLARES AND FLAPS
We all know that our tires can be notorious for kicking up road debris and bouncing jagged rocks or gravel off our truck’s paint jobs. Dents, dings, and chips around your fenders are a major eye sore. Equip your truck with some hardcore fender flares to combat this problem without spending an arm and a leg in the process.
Stampede Truck Products currently offers an extra tough fender flare that is constructed from a tri-blend material that shields your truck from just about anything the road or Mother Nature can throw at it. The fender flares are very durable, easy to install and UV stable. This off-road accessory is engineered to perfectly fit your truck and available in standard black or a variety of camo patterns.
A pair of super stylish mud flaps is another inexpensive addition to your truck that can keep things looking sharp. Check out the new Husky Liners Custom Molded Mud Flaps. Unlike most OEM flaps, Husky’s are longer and wider. They come with all the fasteners you’ll need.
Another smart move is equipping a standard truck with side-wind deflectors that can really add some attitude to your off-road ride. These innovative accessories enable you to ventilate your interior and beat the elements at the same time. In fact, you can even crack your windows during a heavy rainstorm without feeling a single drop. The modern aerodynamic body style of the side-wind deflectors will channel airflow around the outside edge, which creates a small low-pressure area underneath it. This generates suction to prevent a strong wind from entering the cab of your vehicle, but still draws stale air out.
CAREFREE CAMO HIDES
Without question, the lower sections of your truck that are closest to the road generally receive the most abuse and damage from scrapes, scratches and dings. However, you can add an extra level of protection to your truck by covering these vulnerable areas with Stampede’s Camo Hides. These self-adhesive camo films are printed with high-definition UV-stable inks that will not leave residue or harm the vehicle’s finish. They give you enough camo film to cut custom designs that will make your truck the envy of all your hunting and fishing buddies. Camo Hides are great for preventing damage from road debris or covering up existing unsightly marks.
CAPS AND COVERS
The easiest way to protect the top of your truck’s bed from scratches and dents that result from hauling your outdoor equipment around is attaching a sturdy set of bed rail caps. A pair of Rail-Topz offers both a ribbed or smooth surface that adds superior protection to the top of your truck bed. These rail-toppers are easy to install and require no drills or power tools. The caps can be custom painted to match any truck or decked out in one of your favorite camo patterns.
Finally, throw on a set of stylish taillight covers that will add the final touch to the exterior of your ultimate off-road vehicle. Stampede’s ABS taillight covers are very simple to install with 3M Red Tape and can safely protect your expensive factory lenses from many kinds of damage.
PEDAL TO THE METAL
You really owe it to yourself — and your truck — to invest in some vehicle protection that is capable of handling almost anything a rutted out, mud soaked back-road can throw at it. And you’ve got to admit that it’s probably going to fire you up just a little to cruise down the street in the ultimate off-road mean machine.
Right now’s the perfect time to break out of the city’s concrete jungle and get some backwoods country on your tires.