Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re probably aware that the new pickup truck market is as dry as a mouthful of kitty litter in July. Truck dealers are mastering solitaire on their iPhones while shoppers wander the lot like zombies, looking for something to buy. A lot of folks are shopping for used trucks and we’re here to talk about the Top 5 easy upgrades you can make to the new, used truck.
After you’ve purchased your used truck and christened it with an appropriate name (do not skip this step!), it’s time to get down to identifying those accessories/upgrades that will make your used truck seem like new.
1. Seat Covers
Seems like an easy place to start, for good reason. It’s where you’re going to spend all of your time and the first thing you see when you open the door. And typically, used truck seats are kinda gross. Seat covers have taken off over the past years with brands like Carhartt and RealTree (great for camouflaging stains) and Kryptek (stores 100lbs of fruit leather and firearms) among many others jumping into the market. Seat covers come in a few basic material choices: polycotton (cheap) neoprene (more expensive), canvas (a bit more spendy yet), good ol’ fake leather, and real leather (the high end).
In seat cover land, you more or less get what you pay for. Neoprene tends to look the best when new but will stretch and fade over time. Canvas is great for durability and stain clean up, but maybe feels a little like an 1800’s covered wagon. Fake leather is an interesting choice as they look pretty good, but (like vinyl seats) are hotter than Hades when you sit down in a pair of Daisy Dukes. And the real feel of genuine grain leather… well that’s just civilized. So choose wisely.
Recently the tactical crowd has gotten into the seat cover realm with some pretty cool options that feature numerous types of seat backs with pouches, MOLLE panels, and the like for more organization.
2. Cold Air Intake
Believe it or not, your stock air intake is not the most efficient system for your truck. Adding a cold air intake from K&N will not only boost your horsepower and torque but also help with your fuel economy.*
These are a fairly easy DIY install and you’ll notice the benefits the moment you leave the driveway. Probably the easiest gratification you can get from doing something mechanical to your truck.
*Please be aware that after you install one of these you will be more likely to punish the accelerator, negating any fuel savings you may have realized,
3. DECKED Drawer System
The DECKED Drawer System is an easy way to make your new-to-you truck more functional and efficient. With an easy DIY install, you can drop this bad boy in the bed, clear out your backseat–tow chains, jumper cables, spare parts, tools, and everything else–and place it all in an easily-accessible storage system.
For everything from tools to camping equipment to firearms and fishing gear, rolling up with perfectly organized drawers in lieu of a used truck junkshow in the bed, will make you feel like a boss. And when that new truck option comes around, there’s a likely chance (if you purchase the same make/model/bed length) that you can take it out and drop it into your new rig. Please refer to our vehicle selector for SKU information as trucks do change their bed shape and tie downs occasionally.
Secure, weatherproof, organized storage is about the easiest, best upgrade you can do to any truck, whether new or used.
4. New Tires
Chances are the factory bologna skins that came with the truck are still on it. Or something easily as cheesy and classless. Dropping in on some new rubber will make your truck handle better, give you a better ride, and more peace of mind when rallying offroad. Some of the better aftermarket truck tires are the Falken Wildpeak AT/3W, BFG T/A KO2, and General Tire Grabber Series. These sure seem to be the most popular among the tough guy, offroad crowd and are known to boost testosterone and sense of accomplishment.
5. New Wheels
Nothing says “sweet new used truck!” like some aftermarket wheels. This is like a haircut or style of dress–it’s mostly personal preference. Wheels come in a mesmerizing variety of styles and colors– black being timeless, bronze being somewhat avant garde, and fake bead lock bolts being a way to look rougher and tougher than you ever thought you’d be.
Something from Method Race Wheels, like their reliable Gloss Titanium 703s, will make your rig feel like it’s living up to the name you gave it. These are pretty sweet and with their Bead Grip Technology you can run those tires at lower pressures without worrying about popping a bead.
Another way to really say “hasta la vista, baby” is to grab a set of the Black Rhino Abrams wheels. Those things look tough enough to survive IED’s as well as stray shopping carts in the Walmart parking lot.
The way things are going, it may be a while before new models reappear in dealership lots or showrooms. If you can’t stand the waitlist, take a good look at used vehicles in your area. A lemon is still a lemon, so do your homework before committing to buy. But there are lots of tried-and-true rigs out there just itching for a loving new owner who’s willing to give ’em the love they deserve.