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Best Truck Upgrades

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Summer is almost over⁠—but don’t give up on your travel plans just yet. Crowded airports and popular tourist destinations may be risky in this pandemic, but driving across the country to your favorite national park is still very much an option. With your trusty pickup truck and a rented trailer, or perhaps even a camper van, you can easily enjoy the rest of your summer without worrying about running into large crowds.

There’s also been an upswing in people purchasing used vehicles these days because of the significant price drops. So if you recently bought a used truck, you may want to spruce it up with some upgrades.

10 Truck Upgrades You Should Consider Adding to Your Ride

To boost your truck’s performance or perhaps enhance its overall look, this guide lists some of the best truck upgrades to help your ride get ready for your next great adventure.

offroad trucks
Enhance the overall look of your truck by installing some upgrades.

Brake Disc & Pad Kit

Your vehicle’s braking system is responsible for reducing its momentum and speed⁠—which means that having a reliable set of brakes is essential for safe vehicle operation.

If you’ve been noticing some signs of bad or worn-out brake pads, such as noises or abnormal pedal feel, you should definitely consider swapping them out.

Check out our top-rated Powerstop brake pad and rotor kits to find some great options for your truck.

brake disc and pad kit
A reliable set of brakes is important for your safety.

Shock Absorbers

Shock absorbers dampen the effects of uneven and rough roads on your truck. The suspension strut is a great example. It limits excessive suspension movement and supports the weight of the vehicle.

Shock absorbers are important because they ensure a smooth ride and better handling. You might want to get a performance upgrade for this part for better comfort and control over your ride.

Another one of the best truck suspension upgrades you can install on your vehicle is a performance control arm. The control arm is a metal component that’s part of your truck’s suspension system. Its primary function is to guide your wheels as they move upward and downward. Without this component, you’re likely to experience a very uncomfortable ride.

Having a performance control arm is important, especially if you’re the adventurer type who loves to drive outdoors. Investing in a good replacement control arm gives your truck the advantage it needs in rough terrain and unforgiving road conditions.

shock absorber of a truck
For smooth and better handling, get a suspension upgrade.

Towing Accessories

If you’re also planning to camp out with a trailer, you’ll need a towing hitch and some other towing accessories. The type of hitch you’ll need will depend on the size of your truck and its hauling capacity, so it’s a good idea to look up some towing and trailer guides to give you an idea of what accessories you’ll need.

Explore our high-quality Curt, Westin, Go Rhino, and Luverne towing accessories to find the best upgrade for your truck.

Investing in a good hitch step is also one of the best truck upgrades for towing and hauling that you can add to your ride. The hitch step is installed on your truck’s receiver hitch to help you gain better access to your truck bed.

You might consider getting other hitch and towing accessories, such as hitch pins and clips, hitch locks, brake controllers, and safety chains. Remember to source these parts from a reliable source to avoid any problems on your trip.

truck towing accessory
Install a towing hitch and other towing accessories if you’re planning to camp out with a trailer.

Bumpers

Bumpers are your truck’s first line of defense in a low-impact collision. These metal reinforcements are attached to the vehicle and help absorb and redistribute the energy from the impact.

Most trucks have stainless or carbon steel bumpers. However, if you want a performance-boosting upgrade, go for aluminum bumpers, which are lighter, more corrosion-resistant, and require minimal maintenance.

Take your pick from our first rate Go Rhino, Westin, and Dee Zee bumpers to level up your truck. Enter your vehicle’s year and model in the search bar to narrow down your options.

truck bumper
Bumpers are your vehicle’s first line of defense.

Mudflap

Mudflaps, along with fenders, are installed to help keep debris, rocks, and mud flung by your vehicle’s rotating tires from hitting the body of your vehicle, pedestrians, and other cars on the road.

Also called a mud guard, mudflaps are usually made from a flexible material like rubber. Given their location, they can easily get worn out from constant abuse.

If your truck needs new mudflaps, check out our offerings from WeatherTech, Husky Liners, or Dee Zee.

truck mudflap
Keep debris, rocks, and mud from hitting the body of your truck by installing mudflaps.

Fender Flares

Fender flares, as mentioned above, also help keep the body of your truck safe from stones and debris flung by your wheels. This exterior upgrade is both a functional and an aesthetic upgrade.

Some people might not choose to change their factory fender flares, but it’s a good upgrade to have for wide-wheeled trucks. Frequent off-roaders will also benefit from the additional protection fender flares give.

Find the perfect fender flares for your truck from our EGR, Husky Liners, and Bushwacker selections.

truck fender flares
Fender flares can protect your truck’s body from stones and debris flung by your wheels.

Bull Bar

Bull bars provide both an aggressive and powerful look as well as protection from collisions. These are usually installed over the center and underside of the bumper and are directly attached to the frame of the vehicle.

Bull bars cover a more specific area at the front of the vehicle and don’t have hitch mounting plates, which grille guards usually have. They are one of the best exterior truck accessories because of their aesthetics and functionality.

For top-quality bull bars, check out our Go Rhino, Westin, and Dee Zee offerings.

truck bull bar
Add a bull bar to your truck for a more aggressive look and additional protection.

Nerf Bars or Running Boards

Running boards, or footboards, act as an additional step that helps passengers enter or exit a truck. They are usually flat and run along the sides of the truck, just below the doors.

Running boards are flatter and wider, and can be retractable in some vehicles.

Nerf bars have the same basic function as the running board. The biggest difference between them, however, is their application. Running boards can be used in a wider variety of applications while nerf bars are better for off-roading and other rugged applications.

Nerf bars also protect your vehicle’s body from side impact. If you’re shopping for nerf bars, our Westin and Go Rhino selections are a good place to start your search.

Check out our Westin, Go Rhino, Bestop, Aries, and Dee Zee running boards if you’re looking to upgrade your truck’s steps.

truck running board
For a wider step and better footing, install nerf bars or running boards.

Tonneau Covers

Tonneau covers protect your truck bed and your cargo from the elements⁠—and from theft. This component is also known to many as a truck bed cover.

These covers also enhance your truck’s aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. Typically, an open truck bed creates a lot of wind drag, and having it covered up streamlines the truck’s profile and improves its aerodynamic performance.

Start your search for the best tonneau covers for your truck with our top-rated offerings from BAK Industries, Truxedo, Extang, and Access. Type your vehicle’s year, make, and model into the search bar to filter your options.

truck tonneau cover
A tonneau cover protects your truck bed and cargo.

Floor Mats

Floor mats may be the most important and best interior truck upgrade you can get as they help protect your vehicle floors from the elements. You may think that you don’t need this interior upgrade, but if you’re a regular off-roader, you’ll need this more than the average driver.

Floor mats capture spills, moisture, dirt, and other debris that can seep into your truck’s flooring and cause it to corrode. You’ll need to replace your old floor mats especially if they’re worn or have visible signs of damage like holes and tears.

However, you can also change your floor mats for aesthetic reasons (i.e. to match the interior trim). Explore our high-quality WeatherTech and Husky Liners floor mats to find the best one for your truck.

truck floor mats
Keep your truck’s interior clean and aesthetically pleasing by using floor mats.
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In the Garage with CarParts.com is an online blog dedicated to bringing DIYers and devoted car enthusiasts up to date with topical automotive news and lifestyle content. Our writers live and breathe automotive, taking the guess work out of car repairs with how-to content that helps owners get back on the road and keep driving.

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