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  • When it comes to buying gear for a summer cookout, it’s important to buy accessories that increase cargo space.
  • Cargo straps, cargo carriers, nets, and bed extenders will help you carry cookout necessities like coolers, grills, and boxes of food.
  • Other useful accessories such as tie downs and bags keep your belongings secure as you drive.

The warm summer months are great for going on road trips with family, camping with friends, and hosting cookouts at public parks.

Before the summer festivities kick off, it’s a good idea to check your rig and ensure you have the accessories needed to safely transport must-haves like your grill, cooler, tents, and more.

man enjoying summer cookout next to cars
The warm summer months are great for going on road trips with family, camping with friends, and hosting cookouts at public parks.

To make planning easier, here are ten things you can install on your vehicle to prepare for the next cookout:

Cargo Rack

A cargo rack is an excellent purchase for drivers keen on improving their storage game. Installing this on your truck bed or the rear of your 4×4  is a great way to get an additional flat surface in your vehicle.

Cargo racks are ideal for storing lighter items such as bags, while heavier things go on the bottom. When it comes to cookouts, the space below can be used for coolers or grills, while other cargo goes on top of the rack.

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Tie Down

If you’re planning on hosting or taking part in an outdoor cookout, you’re going to want to bring all sorts of things with you like grills, coolers, tables, and chairs. The tricky part isn’t just finding a way to get everything to fit in the back of your vehicle. It’s also figuring out how to stop them from moving around.

Installing tie downs can help you secure your cargo, provided you have the straps.

Bed Extender

Drivers of pickups will occasionally lament the surprisingly limited storage space of the truck bed. Fortunately, an aftermarket bed extender lets you expand your cargo space just enough to make life easier. You won’t have to worry about not having enough room to accommodate the gear needed for a cookout ever again.

Cargo Carrier

If you’re looking for extra space for bulky, unwieldy cargo, getting your hands on a cargo carrier will help get the job done. You can easily maximize your cargo space by utilizing both the interior and the exterior of the vehicle. Even after you’re done hauling cargo for the cookout, you can use the carrier to lift the cooler or boxes of snacks for easy access.

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Cooler Tie Down

No cookout is complete without a cooler. The tricky part is transporting your cooler alongside other necessities. A cooler tie down will help keep your cooler secure in the back of your ride, preventing it from sliding or knocking over other items in your cargo space while your vehicle is in motion.

Cargo Strap

Another essential item for this summer is a cargo strap. This handy accessory is used to secure anything you might be hauling in your cargo space. They help tie down loads as you drive, preventing them from shaking about.

Bed Liner

Loaded coolers, metal grills, and folding tables can easily scratch the truck bed, ruining its finish. If you drive a truck and plan on bringing things to a cookout, it’s a good idea to pad the truck bed with a quality bed liner. This will protect the surface of the truck bed from any damage it might take from your cargo.

Cargo Net

Another way to keep all your cookout necessities secure in your vehicle’s cargo hold is to use a cargo net. This is mostly for trailers and pickup trucks with exposed cargo spaces. They’re great for bringing supplies on trips since you can set them up quite easily and accommodate significantly more cargo.

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Reusable Trash Bag

During cookouts, people will need a place to dispose of their garbage. If you plan on hosting your cookout in the great outdoors, you’ll need to bring your trash bags. Not only is this trash bag leakproof, but it’s also perfect for road trips and family outings. The bag itself is reusable, only requiring you to clean it every once in a while.

Cargo Bag

For drivers planning on bringing a lot of supplies, it’s a good idea to pack them in a cargo bag. Having everything in one big bag makes it easier to load onto the roof or rear of your vehicle. It’s also more convenient for unloading and organizing your space. The fact that most bags are waterproof also helps protect your things from getting wet in case it rains or anything spills.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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