One thing we had trouble wrapping our head around in the beginning of our Airstream journey was storage space. Vintage Airstreams (and maybe new ones too) only have small storage compartments on the exterior that’s barely enough room for things like hoses and small accessories. We’ve watched folks at RV parks pull entire ladders from storage compartments on their traditional travel trailer. But our Airstream? We can’t even fit a step stool in one of our compartments! And forget about storing a generator. That’s when we realized we needed to make good use of our truck bed space. But how to keep everything safe and dry? We thought of truck bed covers in general as cheap, flimsy things that anyone could open up and would leak water inside every time it rained. The last time we owned a truck was fifteen years ago back when fancy truck bed covers didn’t exist. Before heading west on our trip this summer, we knew we had to do something to secure our higher value items like our power generator, tools, bikes, etc. Some of the items could fit in the crew cab, but that filled up quickly and storing the generator inside the truck was out of the question. I asked around my group of friends to see what they had and the Retrax cover kept coming up. It locked and was waterproof. This was exactly what we needed.
The folks at TruckHero.com got us all set up with a flat black Retrax Pro MX. Installation was so easy—Sheena and I installed it at an RV park in under an hour with limited space and basic tools. Where before we had our stuff chained down in the back, it is now hidden from sight and kept clear of the weather. The Pro MX model is locking (secure if your tailgate also locks), made of very solid aluminum, and did not require drilling into the truck. It’s all clamp on and very sturdy. It opens and closes with ease—just a quick one-handed tug and the spring loaded coil does the rest of the work. Visually, the Pro MX couldn’t be any lower profile. It does what it’s supposed to and looks great at the same time.
Here’s an overhead look at just a small portion of our storage space. We have plenty of room for our generator, tool kit, car wash supplies, RinseKit, hiking gear, lawn chairs, blankets, etc. Sheena even stores her camera bag back here sometimes.
After a couple of months of use, we are thrilled with the cover. There’s nothing about it we would change! Next, I’m going to try the BedRug Impact Mat (3/4” protective layer) to help keep our stuff from moving around as well as protect the truck from denting. I’ll keep everyone posted when I pick one up and have a chance to put it to use.
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