Love to go on off-road trips? Then make sure to equip your ride with the right bed bar. This accessory is designed to instantly jazz up your ride while providing a secure mounting surface for auxiliary lights. And once these extra lights are properly installed on the bar, traversing through tough terrains is easier especially at night. But don't just grab the first bar you see since not all vehicle accessories are created equal. Here are some tips to help you choose the right bar for your vehicle:
1. Select the right material and finish for your needs.
When it comes to material and finish, you have plenty of options, which includes chrome, nickel, and stainless steel. All these materials and finish types may have their own pros and cons, but when it comes to durability, nothing beats stainless steel. This may be more expensive that its chrome or nickel counterpart, but it will definitely last a long time even when regularly exposed to harsh elements. Keep in mind that since the bed bar is installed on your vehicle's cargo bed, it will have its fair share of exposure to extreme temperatures, road salt, and grime. So to get the best deal for your budget, choose a bar that can withstand these elements and won't easily rust.
2. Go for a bed bar with nifty features.
When choosing a bar, take note of these nifty features that are definitely worth every buck:
- Extra wide diameter . The bar tubes can come in a variety of diameters. When choosing a bar, make sure you go for one that has an extra wide diameter; a 3-inch diameter for the metal tubes is a good choice because this means extra durability.
- Bolted construction . To make sure the bed bar will last for many years, choose one that has a bolt-together construction. This means there are no exposed welds that can easily corrode or crack when exposed to harsh elements.
- High-quality gaskets . Another feature worth looking into is the type of gaskets included. The best type is the one that's made of high-grade plastic that won't easily wear out even after years of use. With top-grade gaskets, you're sure to avoid metal-to-metal contacts between the bars and your vehicle's cargo bed or rail.
- Pre-drilled holes . If you're planning to install a bar to serve as a mounting surface for auxiliary lights, then go for one with pre-drilled holes. With these holes, installing lighting equipment is faster and easier because there's no need to drill the bar.
3. Choose an easy-to-clean bed bar.
Because this accessory will constantly be exposed to mud, grime, dust, bug juice, and other elements that can easily cause stains, choose a bar that you can clean in minutes. With a maintenance-friendly bar, getting rid of stains is easier since you just need to wipe them off with a rag dipped in auto cleaner or car soap. If the bar has a special coating or finish, it may require you to use a special type of cleaner or polish to prevent the coat from tarnishing, which can make maintenance a bit more expensive.