Having pulled our RV around the country last year we carried a LOT of things in the truck bed. Our camper shell allowed us much space but did not allow for any real organization nor access. The solution, for us, is a truck bed slide.
We chose CargoGlide CG1000-7548 70% Extension Slide Out Truck Bed Tray, 1000 lb Capacity – 75” Long & 49.25” Wide
. The locking platform will give us access to the things towards the front of the truck without emptying everything out.
I found this one on Amazon for around $1200. They are all very expensive. Free shipping is nice but it is probably calculated in that price. Shipping weight was about 150 pounds. It was delivered in an 18 wheeler!
Luckily the driver was kind enough to help me get it into the shop. It was late in the day so installation will have to wait till tomorrow.
We got started the next morning around 11 am. Unpacking the crate was easy enough. After cutting the straps, the carton came apart in two pieces. Standing the assembly on edge allowed the entire shipping container to be removed.
The entire assembly is comprised of two parts. The frame rails that will be mounted to the truck bed came off the slide itself without much difficulty. The instructions are fairly clear on the process. As you can see, the slide is a ¾ inch sheet of plywood with aluminum side-rails all bolted together. Very sturdy construction. Moving the slide around I found no flexing.
The parts box came with the mounting hardware composed of: 8 mounting compression nuts, 8 bolts, 1 compression tool and 4 tie-down T-Bolts.
The truck is a 2016 F-250 Laramie – King Ranch Edition. While the inside is really nice and clean, the bed shows signs of much use. I decided to power wash the bed before installing the slide. It did a fair job cleaning out the dirt. With the camper shell in place it was a little difficult for me to get in and maneuver around.
The frame that mounts to the bed is narrower than the slide so it was necessary to calculate the mounting position by determining the exact center of the bed. The mounting bolts go through slots, as you can see above. This allows you to locate the mounting holes properly. As you can see, you might have a choice of on top of a ridge or in the valley of a ridge. NOTE: If possible, locate the truck frame rails under the bed to try and position your mounting holes off of the rail. You will need enough space under the hole to insert the compression nut completely. They are about 1 ½ inches long before compression.
We actually spent a great deal of time trying to position the mounting rail properly. Things to consider are: The fuel tank will be under the bed. Be sure not to drill into it. We drilled a small pilot hole each time to peek at what was under it and how much room there was. Luckily, we had room under each hole for the nuts to be inserted completely. The nuts are compressed using a drill (Impact is best). The tool and washer are slid over the bolt and screwed into the nut until snug. The tool is held in place with an open end wrench while the bolt is driven to compress the sleeve under the bed of the truck. When fully collapsed the nut will no longer spin and is quite secure. The bolt and tool are removed and it is ready for mounting. We used four mounting bolts. The steel bed of my truck is strong enough for the job. If you have an aluminum bed, there are separate
instructions which require using more bolts.
All things considered, it was a fairly simple install of the mounting rails. We did have to use two shorter bolts where we were over the fuel tank and over the truck frame. The ones that came with the kit were just too long.
To install the slide it was necessary to come in at an angle, with the back end raised up, so the front rollers fit within the lower rail assembly. Once the rollers were inside the rails, we straightened out the slide and lowered it down onto the frame. It took some maneuvering but we managed. The slide has a lock handle on the left side that allows the slide to lock in place in two extended positions. The first is about halfway and the second is full extension. NOTE: Your truck may have a slant to the bed if the rear is much higher than the front. The slide may tend to move until it is locked into one of these positions.
We did run into one issue, which was mentioned in the instructions. If your tailgate has anything built in such as this climb assist handle, it could be higher than the slide while it is being extended and will prevent it from being pulled out. There are two possible solutions. One is to remove the slide and place spacers under the mounting frame to raise it up. The other is to try and remove the obstacle. We chose the latter. The only thing hindering the slide coming out was the plastic panel covering the assist handle. The handle itself was fine when stowed. We chose to remove the panel.
It took us about two hours to complete the install. I would estimate half of that time was spent being cautious of drilling the mounting holes. The slide operates quite freely and is very stable.
The next step will be to figure out the best way to load it up! That will take some time. A big thanks to James Burns for his assistance with the more physical parts to this install. Thanks also to Tina Burns for being our “Safety Officer” for the day. :–)
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Roger & Tina