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Accessorizing Your Tacoma Bed: Accessories and Rails

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Shop Tacoma Bed Acessories

Bed rails are a simple mod you can do to your Tacoma's bed to add some extra utility to an already adept truck. Bed rails add extra tie down points, as well as extra protection from stray branches while out on the trail.

Tacoma Bed Rails

Aftermarket bed rails are both a smart and sexy upgrade for your Tacoma. Best of all, aftermarket bed rails can preserve your paint finish and add significant value to your Tacoma, offering a return on investment in no time. Whether you're looking for polished stainless steel rails or nylon tipped rails with additional tie down points, we have you covered. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll help you find the right bed rail and accessories for your Tacoma, no matter the purpose, protection, style, or cost.

What is a Bed Rail and What They’re Used For?

Aftermarket bed rails are steel tubes that are mounted around the walls of your pickup truck to add additional points to tie down cargo. Depending on the manufacturer, aftermarket bed rails may come in a variety of styles, whether it’s raised steel tubes or collapsed steel tubes that run close to the edge of the pickup bed.

Bed rails may seem like a purely aesthetic accessory to the pickup philistine, but they can actually add additional cargo weight capacity to your Tacoma when transporting extremely long and heavy objects. Depending on the manufacturer and material used, some bed rails can add an additional 500-1000 lbs. of hauling capacity.

With additional tie-down points, a new set of aftermarket bed rails allow Tacoma owners to safely secure cargo during long hauls. Owners get the peace of the mind that their cargo won’t be damaged on long hauls and that their pickup bed and paint job won’t suffer any dings or dents in the process. Depending on your cargo rail manufacturer, new aftermarket rails may fit within pre-existing holes in your pickup bed.

Protection, Style, & Utility: Types Available for the Tacoma

Depending on the manufacturer, you may encounter different bed rail construction styles, including raised rails or flush caps that add additional height to your vehicle. Depending on the construction style and steel material, the cargo weight capacity of your rails may increase or decrease. 

Generally, most stainless steel rails are made of Type 304 steel with a high weighted hauling capacity. But Type 303 and 302 can offer even greater capabilities if available by the manufacturer. Tacoma owners can choose from a variety of finishes as well, including: 

  • Polished stainless steel
  • Black coated finish
  • Black tinted, chrome finish

How to Properly Tie Cargo to the Rails

Depending on the size and length of your pickup bed rails, you have a number of options for tying cargo down. Your bed rails offer tie-down points for everything from cargo straps to bungie chords. Simply use loop and fasteners available in your tie-down kit to securely tighten against the tie down points on your bed rails.

If you’re transporting long or heavy equipment, your bed rails give you the option to stand objects up and fasten them securely so they don’t wiggle around during transport. Again, tightly wrap and fasten straps to your bed rails to give you additional leverage for standing objects up and just be careful not to go over any potholes that are too deep!

Rails and Tool Box Compatibility

Depending on your Tacoma’s make and model, you can find bed rails that are compatible with your toolbox installation. Some toolboxes feature prefabricated holes and options to install bed rails directly in.

Of course, some bed rails will obviously be too long or too raised to accommodate your toolbox, so it’s a good idea to talk to your manufacturer and even mechanic before installing either if you plan to install both.

How to Mount Rails

Depending on your set of bed rails, you can either mount your bed rails directly to pre-existing holes in your Tacoma bed, or you will need to drill mounting holes manually.

  1. Inspect packaging and ensure that all necessary components are available.
  2. Line up bed rails with the side of your pickup to ensure fit and identity mounting holes.
  3. Mark out mounting holes if none are available.
  4. Drill stake pockets into the bed of the truck from the underside to securely bolt the rails into your Tacoma

We recommend looking at specific manufacturer information for installation, especially if you are also installing any additional accessories or a toolbox.

How to Your Maintain Rail Finish

Finally, most bed rails don’t require much maintenance in order to maintain their strength and appearance. In fact, most stainless steel rails will last without fading or rusting for many years.

But if you’re looking for that additional sparkle and shine, you can always apply a wax or finish designed to fight against rust. Mainly though, bed rails are built to last with rest of your Tacoma and protect your paint and cargo in the process.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro