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    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tacoma

    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tacoma

    The Toyota Tacoma is known for being easily customizable. From a vast amount of combinations and options from the factory, the almost limitless amount of aftermarket add-ons, there is almost nothing you can’t do. Sometimes you might want to get a little creative. Henry Ford said that you can have the Model T in any color you want, as long as it’s black. Let’s face it: black looks good. Here is how you can black out your Tacoma, or as the cool kids call it the "Tacoma chrome delete".

    To get the obvious out of the way, you don’t actually need your truck to be painted black to “blackout” your Tacoma. Blacking out could mean a certain part or all parts that are not painted the color of your truck’s body.

    EXTERIOR BLACKOUT OPTIONS

    Blackout "Limo" Window Tint

    One of the most common first moves is window tint. Window tint is cheap and easy to have installed, and it’s one of the most common modifications on any vehicle. Not only does tint add to the sleekness of your ride, but it also provides security from wandering eyes and the sun! Keep in mind that some states in the US and other countries may have some very strict laws regarding certain tint percentages. Check your local laws before spending the money!

    Smoked Headlights, Taillights, and Third Brake Light

    Bright red taillights and chrome headlights can really take away from the look of the Tacoma. “Smoked” is a great way to change that. Generally the term “blacked out” is not used for headlights and taillights since you legally can’t do that (I’ll cover that in a second). With all modern vehicles designed to have interchangeable and easily replaceable parts, you can buy already smoked taillights ($150-$300) and headlights (around $350) that replace the old ones completely!

    If you want a cheaper approach, you can tint the factory ones yourself. There is film/vinyl available for around $60 that simply sticks over the plastic, spray coatings for around $20, and tinted plastic covers for around $40-$80 that go over the factory lens.

    Using film can be tricky and takes a lot of extra time, but it can save you money. Here is a video of it being installed by an average tinkerer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8_cQhR4IDo

    Personally, I would advise a complete swap for a pre-tinted unit for multiple reasons. One, it will last longer. Film will shrink over time, especially if you live in a very hot a sunny environment like Florida. Incandescent bulbs also throw off a lot of heat. Thin film and spray coatings will also crack and potentially start flaking off depending on the quality and thickness. It’s a major pain to get off when it starts doing that.

    Another reason is light brightness, which leads to legalities. Smoked headlights and taillights/brake lights look cool, but they are lights for a reason. They are to help you see the road, and help other drivers see you! In the US, we have the Department of Transportation (DOT). They decide what is legal and what is not. Pre-tinted units are generally DOT approved. Doing something yourself, it may not be. New units also generally have LED lighting which is brighter than incandescent bulbs.

    Blackout Door Emblems

    The TACOMA badge on the side of our doors is sharp and really looks good, but blacking it out can make it look better against any paint color! You can find blacked out emblems to replace your factory ones for around $35. You can buy them here. If you want to be a little more creative, you can get a can of black Plasti Dip for around $6 and spray them down (easier than you think).

    You can also do what I did and go for vinyl replacements decals. For $17.99, you can really give your truck a clean look. The TACOMA badge sticks out, but these replace them giving your door a clean and painted on look. 

    Blackout Tailgate TACOMA

    The ever present TACOMA name on the back of the tailgate looks really good, but it’s the factory color. If you really want to make it pop, black it out! If your truck isn’t black, it’s an instant stand out. For about $20-$40, you can get raised inserts that stick into the factory indents. While they look great, they do offer extra places for dirt and crud to get stuck, so if your truck isn’t a mud runner, for $13 you can use some vinyl lettering inserts for a clean, sleek, and easy to maintain look. 

    Blackout Wheels

    Wheels are one of the easiest ways to instantly stand out, but also can be the most expensive on this list. The three main ways to do it are Plasti Dip (or similar spray), vinyl overlays, or new wheels. 

    While an easy to use $6 can a Plasti Dip is enticing, you’ll need more than one can, and eventually, it may start to crack or peel off depending on how and where you drive, and where you live. For $55, you can use vinyl decals on your wheels. The ones linked are cut to fit, and while a little more time is needed to install them, they look good and last long.

    For the longest-lasting, yet most expensive option, new wheels are easy to find and install if you have the cash. For around $200 each (without tires), you can retain a factory blacked out look by getting some new TRD Pro Wheels. Don’t be afraid to look online for used wheels. They can be far cheaper, but make sure you inspect them first!

    Black Out Grille Emblem and Grille

    The grille is the first thing many people will see on your truck, so it’s worth making it stand out! Much like headlights and taillights, the best ways to do this would be replace, spray with Plasti Dip, or cover with vinyl. Plasti Dip on the emblem can look great, but on bigger parts (like wheels and the grille), it can start to look “cheap.” That being said, it’s a super fast and inexpensive option!

    Replacement grilles can be found everywhere! The Tacoma Grilles on Emypre Off Road are some of the best if I do say so myself! For around $200-$350, you can transform the look of your truck.

    INTERIOR BLACKOUT OPTIONS

    Blackout A/C Vent Rings

    Chrome looks good, but it’s not everyone’s thing. If you’re here, you like black. Two easy options would be replacement vent rings that you can get for around $30, or vinyl vent ring decals for $13.

    Blackout Door Handles

    If your door handles are not already back, it might be time to change that. You can go the expensive and labor-intensive route and replace the whole handle assembly. While not the cheapest at around $60 each, it will be the most durable. I mention durability because the other common methods as seen so far on this post would be paint/Plasti Dip or vinyl.

    While those options are cheap and easy, this is a part that you and your passengers will be handling (pun intended) a lot. Plasti Dip will degrade very quickly being touched frequently, and vinyl will start to peel and break down as well.

    Blackout Steering Wheel Emblem

    If you don’t like chrome, you won’t like the Toyota badge shoved in your face on the steering wheel every time you drive. While you can spray it down with Plasi Dip and peel off the excess, you can also do it “professionally” by following this guide on Tacoma World. There are pictures on the later pages. It can be a pain, and you have to be careful, but if you’re up for the task, it makes a big difference!

    Blackout Interior Trim

    There are a few other bits and pieces on the interior of our trucks that are chrome: shifter trim, start button trim, cup holder bezel... Meso Customs offers a kit that will replace all of those pieces for $50! You can go the Plasti Dip route as well, but keep in mind about what I said: interior pieces get touched a lot, and that will degrade Plasti Dip quickly.

    Blackout Climate Control Rings

    The last bit would be your climate control rings. Meso Customs again come to the rescue, and for $30, that chrome will be gone! 

    CONCLUSION

    The black out look is popular and looks good. The best part is that there are so many different cost options to get the look you want. Just make sure to follow all of your local and federal laws, and have at it!

    Image Credits

    Front - Courtesy of Tacoma World user “slowlane”

    Taillight - Courtesy of i1Motor

    Door and Wheels - Courtesy of Tacoma World user “Nightscape”

    No Exterior Chrome - Courtesy of Tacoma World user “20tacoma17”

    Interior - Courtesy of Meso Customs

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    The History of The 1st Generation Tacoma

    The History of The 1st Generation Tacoma

    It should be clear by now that I am a huge fan of the Toyota Tacoma. It is one of America’s best selling vehicles, and for good reason. It’s great on-road, off-road, towing, hauling, and whatever else you can throw at it. We have covered the overall history of this truck before, as well as the third and second generations, but where did the Tacoma start? Here is a look at the start of one of America’s best selling mid-sized trucks.

    In 1968, Toyota rolled out the Toyota Hilux. It was a small pickup truck with a small 1.5L inline-four making a small 76 horsepower matched with a four-speed manual transmission, and it couldn’t pull much. This sounds laughable by today’s standards, but that was pretty average for small trucks at the time, especially imports. This, in America, became known as the Toyota Truck.

    It was a good and reliable truck. Decade after decade, it got facelifts, more engine options, better suspension upgrades, more power, and so on. It remained true to its form though: it was a basic pickup.

    In the early 1990s, Toyota noticed that the North American market started to demand more from what it drove. Market trends had been shifting away from trucks being only for work, to work and daily drivers. Some people also just wanted a truck as a daily driver and nothing else. Seeing this, Toyota figured it would make the most sense to ditch the Hilux (in North America), and start with something new. In February of 1995, this new creation called the Toyota Tacoma graced the public.

    Toyota wanted to focus and capitalize on this market. Designers and engineers had to design something that mastered handling, driving comfort, and safety over utilitarian nature, but still, be useful off-road and for being a truck. Toyota wanted to come up with a name that suggests what they wanted this truck to have: strength and power all around, in any setting. They settled on “Tacoma,” which is the Salish Indian word for the mountain that provided water to their tribe. The mountain name was later changed to Mount Rainier.

    Development of the idea started in 1989, and the design work started in 1990 at Calty Design Research in California. The design was from Kevin Hunter who has been with Calty since 1982, and still designs the Tacoma to this day.

    When released, there were three engine options: a 2.4L and 2.7L four-cylinder, and a 3.4L V6. They got 26, 20, and 21 MPG respectively, and 142, 150, and 190 horsepower respectively. Four-speed automatics and five-speed manuals were available, depending on the model, two or four-wheel drive, and cab size. Extended cab models featured a 6-foot bed while crew cab models received a 5 foot 5-inch long bed.

    Public reception was initially well-received. By this point, Toyota had well beyond made a name for itself in the US market. It was a household name, and “Tacoma” was on its way to becoming one as well.

    As the years went on, stylistic changes seemed to start off few and far between (the biggest facelifts being in 1997 and 2000). Toyota was focusing more on constantly improving and developing enhanced performance and safety features, and they did so very well.

    A big mechanical change came in 1996 where the spark system changed to coil-on-plug design. The second biggest mechanical change came in 1997 when longer rear leaf springs were added. Both helped the truck tremendously in their own ways.

    In 1998, Toyota offered the TRD Off-Road package on select models. Today, TRD is synonymous with performance. In 1998, it allowed the Tacomas to bolster a locking differential, and an aftermarket TRD supercharger could be added to the 3.4L V6. That brought the horsepower up to 254. This was quite impressive for a V6 engine in the late 90s.

    The PreRunner model was also released that year. An upgrade from the base model, but a two-wheel-drive version of the four-wheel-drive model. You could add the TRD Off-Road Package to it as well. At this point, packages, options, and all-around “giving the customer the ability to get what they want” was really starting to take root, which is what the Tacoma is known for today.

    In the year 2000, the S-Runner trim package was released. This included different shocks, bigger wheels, and a manual transmission.

    Bonus History: The S-Runner sales tailed off rather quickly, and the truck was redesigned and rebranded as the X-Runner. Remember that this was when sports trucks like the F-150 Lightning were all the rage. While they were enjoyed by some, the buying masses disagreed. The only “version” of these trucks left now would be the TRD Sport, which focuses most on daily driving, but still leaves the Tacoma an actual truck.

    One major downside to this generation (1995 to 2000) was poor rustproofing. This led to a recall of about 800,000 trucks in 2008. Some frames were so bad that they had to be replaced. Later, about 150,000 models from 2001 to 2004 were recalled due to spare tires detaching from the vehicle.

    All in all, sales were very good for the first generation, mainly with young buyers. At the end of the generation run, sales surpassed the Nissan Frontier and Dodge Dakota, but the Ford Ranger was still ahead in the compact truck class.

    In 2000, work began on the second generation of Tacoma, which came out in 2004. This gave the first generation of Tacoma a fantastic nine-year run. These trucks can still be found on the roads and in the wilderness today, they paved the way (and rock crawled the way) to the stellar fit, finish, and performance that we know and love today with the Toyota Tacoma.

    Image Credits

    Generation 1.1 - Courtesy of Consumer Guide Automotive

    Generation 1.2 - Courtesy of AutoBlog

    Generation 1.3 - Courtesy of AutoBlog

    2020 Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline - How Do They Compare?

    2020 Toyota Tacoma vs Honda Ridgeline - How Do They Compare?

    With Toyota Tacoma being one of the best selling mid-sized pickup trucks on the market, naturally, some competition has to arrive. On this site, we have compared the Tacoma to the Ford Ranger, the Ford F-150, and the Chevrolet Colorado, but now it’s time for Honda’s competitor: the Ridgeline.

    Let’s see how these two “imports” stack up against each other.

    To start out, let me be clear, I don't think Honda should be in the truck game at all. They make a pretty mean minivan in the Odyssey, but a truck. Nope! The Ridgeline is pretty late to the truck game having come out for a 2006 model. The Tacoma has had much time to learn from the market having come out in 1995. Since many things have changed over the years for both models, this article will focus on the 2020 models of each competitor.

    * Options not available on all models

    ** Up to, with applicable packages/options

    Trims, Sizes, and Prices

    The Tacoma offers six trim levels (SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited, and TRD Pro) and the Honda Ridgeline offers four (Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition). The Honda not only offers fewer trim levels, but they are all far more expensive save for the Black Edition at just a few bucks cheaper. The base model for each is nearly an $8000 difference.

    With both coming in around the same size, the Tacoma gives you a ton of options: bed sizes, cab lengths, and so on. Honda gives you none. With the Ridgeline, you have the option of getting the truck, or not. You get four doors and a small 5.3-foot bed.

    Drivetrain

    Toyota offers two well-proven engines that make respectable power and are known to be quite reliable. Like the Ford Ranger, the Honda Ridgeline gives you one engine. Unlike the Ranger, it’s not a very modern option.

    Honda is known for its reliability, so I’ll give them that, but that is about where it ends. The Tacoma offers two tried and true engines: the 2.7L four-cylinder, and the 3.5L V6. They make 159 and 278 horsepower and 180 and 265-foot pounds of torque respectively. Honda does crank out a bit more horsepower at 280 with its 3.5L V6 but a little less torque at 262 foot-pounds.

    The problem is only having a V6. While gas is cheap at this very moment, it has not always been, and probably will go back up. Highway MPG ratings are better with the Honda overall thanks to its Variable Cylinder Management (being able to turn off a cylinder bank), but it seems that a four-cylinder is standard in today’s world.

    Tacoma offers a six-speed manual and automatic. Honda does win here with a nine-speed automatic. While it is your only option, it does also help the Honda get its better gas mileage. If you need a manual transmission, chances are you want a truck because it’s a truck. Let’s face it… You’re probably not getting a Ridgeline anyway.

    Towing and Off-Road

    As alluded to at the end of the previous paragraph, the Honda Ridgeline does not act like a “truck.” The Tacoma is known for being able to tow and carry pretty much anything, as well as being able to go anywhere. Tacoma and off-road go hand in hand. The TRD Pro is built for it, and there are package options for the other trims. Not enough from the factory? The aftermarket for the Tacoma is extremely vast.

    The Honda in this category makes it seem like it’s a Civic with a pickup bed (one of the smallest beds in its class, I might add). In its best trim, the Tacoma can tow almost 2,000 more pounds over the Honda at its best, and it can carry nearly 200 more pounds in the bed.

    Toyota has plenty of factory options and trim levels to be able to build the best off-road machine that you can think of. The Ridgeline gives you a sunglasses holder standard on the RTL-E and Black Edition trim levels.

    Colors and Interior

    Colors and interior options are pretty equal. The Ridgeline interior is pretty identical for each trim level. It doesn’t look or feel like a truck. I’ll bring up the Honda Civic comparison again. Higher-end trim levels on the Tacoma do give you a luxurious feel, but it still feels and looks like you are in a truck.

    Conclusions

    While it is obvious that I am a Tacoma guy, I’ll give credit where credit is due. The Ford Ranger is a fantastic truck and one that really gives the Tacoma a run for its money. The Honda Ridgeline really is a Honda Civic made to look like a truck. If you want a less expensive truck with endless options, get a Tacoma. If you want a big car with no options, get a Ridgeline.

    2020 Tacoma 1 - Courtesy of CNET

    2020 Tacoma 2 - Courtesy of AutoBlog

    2020 Ridgeline - Courtesy of Cars.com

    2020 Ridgeline 2 - Courtesy of Curtiss Ryan Honda

    2020 Ridgeline Interior  - Courtesy of Motor1

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Fender Flares

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Fender Flares

    Fender flares are just one of the many things that can be done to change the look of our extremely customizable Toyota Tacomas. Fender flares give an aggressive look, and they offer protection when offroading, or to those less fortunate who are behind us on the highways. For around $150 to $600, it’s an inexpensive option that can set your ride apart from the rest. 

    What are fender flares, and what are they for?

    So, what are fender flares? Fender flares are an accessory that you can find for most trucks, SUVs, and even some cars. They are usually a plastic extension that bolts or sticks directly over your wheel well. They extend over the factory wheel well/fender lip.

    That’s great, but what are they for? There are three main reasons people get fender flares: looks, protection, and legalities. If you want to give your truck an aggressive and mean look, fender flares are a great way to do so. They add width to your ride and a diverse color palette to break up the factory color on your body.

    Protection is the next biggest reason. If you enjoy some weekend rock crawling, chances are you may get close to a tree or boulder that would not be very friendly to your paint. A fender flare will be a great line of protection to take a moderate beating first. I say moderate because it is still attached to your fender. Too much of an impact, and it could dent the metal fender it is attached to. The biggest protection it offers is to stop the throwing of mud and rocks when you have oversized tires. Wider tires look great, but when they extend beyond the body of your truck, that exposed tread will throw behind it anything it runs over. You might not care what happens to your truck, but the person in the Lexus behind you on the highway will.

    That leads me to the next point: legality. In some areas across the US, it is illegal for you to have tires that extend beyond the body of your truck. The main reason is for what I stated above with Mr. Lexus. Fender flares extend the body of your truck to cover your wheels to keep everything safe and legal. 

    How do fender flares mount to your Tacoma?

    There are three main ways that fender flare will attach to the body of your ride: bolted to the fender, bolted under the fender using the wheel well liner attachment points, or taped.

    To offer the strongest protection and longest lasting durability, bolting these to your fender is the best option. The downside to this would be the permanent nature of it. This method involves you actually drilling holes into your fender for the bolts of the flares to slide through. Once you do this, you’ve made your decision. Those holes will always be in your fender. Should you decide to take the flares off, you’re stuck with holes. Should you decide to change fender flare brands, the holes may not line up. All that aside, the fender flares won’t be going anywhere on their own. They won’t flap in the breeze or rip off if you graze a tree. Toyota does make it a tad easier for us though: a good amount of their models have small factory “flares” that have the holes behind them already!

    A less permanent method, but still strong would be ones that bolt underneath the fender using the holes already drilled for the fender/wheel well liner. The flare itself will then be secured to the body of the fender with tape or some type of glue. These don’t require any additional modifications to your truck, but they also don’t offer the same durability. Keep in mind the bulk of the weight and mass of a fender flare is above the bottom lip of the fender. The holes for the liner underneath that and usually at the bottom of the fender. They are also placed where they are because they don’t need to support much weight. If you get these types of flares, don’t go too crazy with the off-roading! 

    The last and certainly least method would be tape only. These are purely for looks only. While some brands may look like they have bolts, they are just for show. The whole unit is stuck on your Tacoma with double-sided tape and/or some type of glue. If you want looks only, these can be a good option. Provided the glue or tape doesn’t dry out, they will stay in place and can be removed later. A tree will remove them too when off-roading.

    Fender flare material and finish

    In most cases, these will be a black plastic or composite material. Plastic/composite is light, durable, and easy to make/mold. Some companies offer color-matched options, and you can always get them painted, but let’s be real: black looks so good!

    Fender Flare options for your Tacoma

    As always, here are some popular options that people on the forums and Facebook pages seem to like. Find what works best for you and your wallet. There are way more options out there. Get to looking, and make your truck yours!

    In plenty of searches and posts, Bushwaker comes up a lot. They offer a typical looking flare system that installs using the bolt method. They come in a smooth black finish and can be had for around $450 to $500. These are by far my favorite fender flares on the market. You can check them out and buy them here.

    For around $350, RDJ Trucks offer a wide range of finishes with its models. Smooth, or exposed bolts. Smooth, or textured finish. They are also a pretty decent price and have a good warranty on their products. You can check them out and buy them here.

    A much cheaper option would be these TAC Fender Flares that you can find on Amazon. For just under $200, you get the look of some aggressive flares. These won’t break the bank and will get the job done for looks. You can check them out and buy them here.

    Stage 3 Motorsports will be the most expensive option on this list, but they offer color-matched painted flares. For $688, you can get a set of flares painted to match your ride. If you don’t like the black look, this could be the option for you! You can check them out here.

    Image Credits

    Bushwacker - Courtesy of Bushwaker

    RDJ - Courtesy of TacomaWorld user Darkgoatracer

    TAC - Courtesy of TacomaWorld user ReelAddict

    Stage 2 Motorsports - Courtesy of State 3 Motorsports

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Sport Racks

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Sport Racks

    If you’re looking for a Toyota Tacoma or already have one, you probably want something that can haul stuff, pull stuff, carry stuff, and something that can do all that on any terrain with ease. Tacomas not only do that, but they look good while they do it. While they are great from the factory, sometimes you just might need that extra cargo space, and that is where sports racks come in. 

    What Is A Tacoma Sport Rack?

    A sports rack is a type of rack designed to mount on your vehicle to allow extra storage or mounting space. They can mount to your roof, bed, hitch, and come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and heights. So many options! Which is right for you? Let’s find out.

    Different Types of Sports Racks For Tacoma

    • Roof Rack - A roof rack mounts to the roof/cab of your truck. It usually is just the length of your cab and holds little weight.
    • Bed Rack - A bed rack mounts to the side walls or inner rails of your bed and can match the height of your cab, extend slightly above to make use of the roof of the cab, or lay just above the height of the bed. In some cases, bed racks can have an extension that hangs over the cab/roof, but they generally don’t mount to the roof.
    • Hitch Rack - A hitch rack mounts to the hitch of your truck. They are great for low storage and can fold out of the way when not in use. These are also your most common rack for bicycle transportation.
    • Tailgate Rack - These either drape over your tailgate or replace it completely (generally converting your drop open tailgate to a side swinging one). The drape-over one is common for bike transportation, while the tailgate replacement is for those serious overlanders.
    • Headache Rack - These mount directly behind the cab to the bed. They are mostly used for protecting the rear window from an oversized load in the bed, but can also be used to hang gear from and mount light bars to.

    How To Mount Sport Racks On a Tacoma

    With so many different brands and types of rack, mounting is really up to what the manufacturer states. There are some generalities, so let’s focus on that. Toyota is pretty great when it comes to aftermarket friendliness. They expect people to modify their trucks and have some factory options that prep for. That lends well to roof racks. Back in the day, if you wanted a roof rack, you had to drill into your roof to bolt it in. Third generation Tacomas have them already drilled for you. Put the bolts in for your rack, and you’re good to go!

    Bed racks generally make use of the mounting locations in the bed. Simply slide the feet into the anchor points, bolt down where necessary, and you’re good to go. For this reason, bed racks are great for weekend use. While perhaps not the easiest to take on and off by yourself if they are full-sized and tall, they are easy in terms of simplistic installation and removal (no holes or drilling). Headache racks mount the same way, but only right behind the cab.

    Tailgates racks are not super common, but they generally either drape over your tailgate and have a couple mounting points or velcro, or they replace the entire tailgate. That can lead to a variety of different ways to install it.

    Hitch racks mount directly to your hitch. They are easy to take on and off and great for your weekend camping trips. They generally don’t hold excessive amounts of weight, but bikes and coolers are no problem!

    How Much Weight Can a Sport Rack Hold?

    How much weight one of these can take depends mostly on where it is located on your truck. Generally speaking, if it’s attached directly to your cab/roof only, the weight limit is about 100 pounds, and that number comes from Toyota. Something that is attached to your bed depends on the manufacturer's specifications, but they can be around 800 pounds. A hitch rack can hold around 300 to 750 pounds. It all depends on what the manufacturer says.

    Tacoma Sport Rack Uses

    Since a roof rack can only hold about 100 pounds, you’re limited to what you can put on there. While that may seem like a high number to the common folk, you can quickly surpass that if you’re not careful. A typical canoe is going to weigh around 65 pounds, so if you strap it down well, you’ll be good there! A few backpacks worth of camping gear would be great, though I would recommend putting them in a cargo shell (keep in mind the weight of that as well).

    One of the best uses would actually be a light bar! Without a roof rack, you probably will have to drill into your roof to add a light bar. That’s going to drop your truck’s value for anyone who doesn’t want that light bar, or if you take it off and keep all the lumens to yourself. Most people are not going to take a roof rack off when they sell, so attaching a light bar to that will be sturdy, yet temporary.

    It’s also a great place to mount a full-sized spare tire. It’s out of the way, and easy to access if you’re off-roading.

    Specialty Sports Racks

    If you use your truck to transport your special gear to and from home to your destination, you might find a benefit to having a specialty sports rack. These are designed specifically to hold your skis or snowboard, kayaks, paddleboards and surfboards, and more. If you need an extra “bed,” you can get what’s known as a basket. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a large metal basket that is perfect for throwing stuff in and strapping it down. The good thing about all of these is that they are usually universal and attach to an existing roof rack or another system.

    Sport Rack Options

    As always, here are some options that are popular on the forums and Facebook groups. Since I listed a bunch of different types, here’s a good option for each category.

    OEM is probably your best way to go for a roof rack. Being OEM, the value of the truck won’t hurt, if not go up. They will work, look good, and fit. You can find an OEM Toyota Tacoma roof rack on Amazon for about $300.

    Since hitch racks are more universal, a lot of companies make them, but one that comes up a lot is the Swagman Current Hitch Mount. For around $400, you can get a quality rack for your hitch. You can check it out here.

    While only the height of your bed, bed racks by KB Voodoo Fabrications come up over and over again on the forums as a great option for your truck for around $200, and allow you some serious mounting options with a minimalist approach.

    Tailgate racks are not very common but RaceFace makes one that you can find on Amazon for around $100. This is what I use for hauling around our mountain bikes. It's quick and easy to use and I highly recommend it! You can check it out here.

    A good headache rack comes from Magnum Truck Racks. From around $500 - 700, they have options with window cutouts, lights, and more.

    Image Credits

    Roof Rack by Toyota - Courtesy of Genuine Toyota on Amazon

    Hitch Rack by 1UP - Courtesy of The Loam Wolf

    Bed Rack by KB Voodoo - Courtesy of KB Voodoo Fabrications

    Tailgate Rack by RaceFace - Courtesy of TacomaWorld user ÜberToyota

    Headache Rack by Magnum - Courtesy of TacomaWorld user Whiteknight15

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.