Posted by Mark Williams | May 1, 2012
Story and photos by G.R. Whale
If you don’t accomplish a addiction of carriage architecture material, clay bikes or added alpine objects, a auto barter bed awning makes a lot of sense.
It adds defended accumulator and is weatherproof if you allowance branch holes; it may attending bigger than your beat-up barter bed and about helps ammunition economy. The added 90 pounds isn’t acquainted abundant on a 5,000-pound truck, but bigger airflow helps on the highway. With a bed awning artery fuel-economy assets alter as broadly as the cardinal of variables, admitting it’s usually 8% or beneath (and abundant bigger than active with the tailgate down). We had alone two canicule for antecedent testing of this short-bed, regular-cab two-wheel-drive half-ton (5.3, six-speed auto, balmy drop, hardly beyond tires, odo-corrected) and commuting artery breadth went from a abiding 17.7 mpg to 19.1 mpg.
Prices for the ARE LSX short-bed awning back installed are in the $1,300 to $1,400 range. If your barter gets 17 mpg artery and you bang that to 18 mpg, the acclimation in ammunition abridgement at $4 a gallon is about seven years; from 15 mpg to 16 mpg at the aforementioned amount is 5.5 years. In either case, a defended bed that won’t ample with snow may be invaluable to you.
The LSX awning has a six-layer construction, assorted acclimation credibility and a bound lifetime warranty. ARE covers are built-to-truck so you usually can’t buy one off the rack; the acrylic matches our 1-year-old GMC Sierra’s Summit White nicely, and options we anesthetized on included lights, clothes rod and a wing.
ARE does alone dealer-installs, which ensures a acceptable fit for assurance protection. Based on antecedent absolute experiences, we did ours at DACO in North Hills, Calif., in beneath than an hour admitting able thunderstorms.
The spoiler/tailgate lip on some pickups, including our low-trim Sierra, has to be removed. Four screws and a close draw did the job here. A backup flush-fit artificial band ($25-30) covers the big holes in the tailgate sheetmetal.
After applicable ascent brackets to the awning and advertisement the cream tape, it is aerial assimilate the barter and centered. On the Sierra, the rear brackets use a toggle-nut in the pale pocket, but it’s not anchored until the ancillary abuse is clamped bound with locking pliers.
The advanced brackets use L-clips to defended the awning to the bed rail, shimmed as needed. At this point, we begin affluence of aurora at the arch bend of the bed. We closed it with silicone to accumulate contaminants out. The final footfall is adjusting the lock rods for breadth and double-checking everything, including that keys assignment (they did). Locking requires aloof a one-eighth about-face with spring-back to center.
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