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September 17, 2009
Outfit My Rig! - 11

 

After being without a truck for some months, I finally bit the bullet and bought a used 2001 Chevy Blazer LT. While I'd prefer a truck, the Blazer fit the four requirements I had: four-wheel drive, big enough to haul the dog, room/a place to put the kiddo's car seat and within my budget (those aren't listed in any particular order, by the way...).

What accessories have you SUV (and truck/car guys) enjoyed the most? Are there certain brands you like better than others? Are there budget-saving brands/ideas out there? I want to hear some thoughts on how best to outfit this baby for hunting, fishing and dog training.

Below are some ideas on things I might want to add on, please let me know what, if anything, I'm missing and/or things that really aren't worth it.

In-Cab Cargo Caddy

Like in the picture, something that can fit in the far back cabin of the Blazer and can securely hold all my dog-training gear: bumpers, collars, check cords, blank gun, ammo, etc.

It has to be low-profile enough, however, that a Lab-sized dog box can still fit back there.

External Cargo Carrier

The internal caddy is great for all the little stuff, but I think I'll need a heavy-duty external carrier that fits into the receiver hitch for larger items like bags of decoys, deer stands, etc. I found these at Cabela's:

Option #1: Valley Industries Heavy-Duty Cargo Carrier: The price looks pretty good and I like the high-rising sides around it.

Option #2: Bumper Buddy Cargo Carrier: Aluminum would make it lighter but the price is a bit more. Not sure if the railing around it is as high as the Valley model.

Option #3: Masterbuilt Magnum Hitch-Haul: Plain Jane, but the price is definitely right!

 Gun Rack

With the dog box in the back, I could just lay the guns in their cases on the back seat (provided it's not filled with hunting buddies, other gear or my kid's car seat), but what truck is complete without a gun rack?

Which option is the best?

Option #1: Overhead Rack: I like the fact that the guns would be a little more out of sight (maybe?) and the price isn't too bad, but how hard are these things to install (keep in mind, I'm about as useful as teats on a boar when it comes to mechanical skills) and how often would I smack my noggin on a gun barrel or butt?

Option #2: Behind the Seat Rack: I'm liking the easy installation here, accessibility and especially the price with this one! Little worried about how secure the guns would be; I mean, are they going to jiggle back and forth going down a washboard gravel road?

Option #3: Shelf System: I've always been intrigued by this set up. Anyone every use it? It says simple setup, but they always say that!

Fishing Rod Rack

I'm also thinking some type of fishing-rod rack would be needed. I believe the overhead gun-rack can be used to hold fishing rods, but I wonder how many?

Something like the Rod Bunk Deluxe might work better.

I could team the behind-the-seat gun rack with the overhead fishing rack and be set for either, without having to pull out an overhead gun rack.

Other Stuff?

There are other things I'm missing, from spotlights to little iPod mounts, but I think the listed items should get me started. What are some of the little things you've found useful in SUVs, passenger cars or the cab of your truck? What am I missing?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Comments (11)

Top Rated
All Comments
from rodger parkhurst wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Hey Brian congrats on the new vehicle. After what you went through with the ford.... The big thing here on the coast for fishing rods is the "Thule" rod rack it's roof top like the surf board racks but made for rods with built-in reel covers and locks and not too $ painfull. So far as dog equipment for hunting and training $ for $ you can't beat plain old rubbermaid totes. Load them up, take them out, and put them away at days end.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from SCHuntman wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I've got an 08 F250 SD 4x4 extended cab and the only thing I'd like to add to it is an in bed tool box. I have not gotten one yet because I wouldn't be able to fit the 4 wheeler in the back and shut the tail gate. I really like being able to keep everything (4 wheeler, stand, deer) closed in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdement12b wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I really enjoyed this article. I looked at alot of cargo organizers for my SUV... I couldn't find one that my guns and gear would fit into, that didn't cost an arm & a leg. Finally I built my own. It ended up costing me less that $100. I actually did a write-up and took some pictures in case anyone else may want to build one for themselves. Here is a link to the article I wrote about it. http://www.ehow.com/how_5123517_build-profile-storage-boxes-suv.html?ref...
Now I have a place to securely store my guns and gear in my rig.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I think Bama's got a point. Last year at camp one of the guys was telling me that when SUV's first became big, pickups nearly disappeared out of the camps withing 5 years. As soon as extended cab trucks came out in 5 years everyone had pick-ups again. Would certainly solve my tick infested carcass in car while driving back across PA issue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bullridingbamaboy wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I drive a 2000 F-150 4x4 extended cab.This truck suits all my needs in the woods on the road and on the farm.I have plenty of room to haul all my turkey hunting gear,which never leaves the truck until season is over,then I have plenty of room to haul the kids without everybody being piled in up front.This truck has been on long trips one day and hauling hay the next.Plus the dogs love riding in the back with the kids when we are just putting around in the woods.This is the first ext. cab I've owned and it's all I'll ever own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

Now you're outfitting my rig, brutha! Thx. -S.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

Hey Chris, I bought the Blazer from a college roommate (fraternity brother) who sells used cars. I went over to Seattle with him to the car auction and gave him instructions to find me a truck with extended cab, 4x4 in my price range. He found a nice Ranger '04, nothing fancy but met requirements. Thought it would go for around $8k.. thanks to Cash for Clunkers, the used car market is taking a beating and it went for almost $13k. He had a few mini-vans on his lot and I thought of you and how maybe "it wouldn't be that bad..." :) Still glad he found the Blazer!

Jcarlin, thanks for the homemade rod rack idea! Too funny about the ticks!! Can't imagine the infestation..I can picture them swarming from the back, covering the backseat aand moving forward in search of blood as you race to the processor's... :)

Steve! Gotta get the iPod adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter so you can play it through your car stereo! Got mine loaded with thousands of songs from Willie, Cash, Jennings (both Waylon and his son Shooter, who is frickin' awesome), Hank Jr and III to Crue, AC/DC, Skid Row, Aerosmith and then nerdy writing exercises and lectures.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

P.S. Can't drive effectively with my iPod's ear buds locked and loaded . . . think is has something to do with my singing . . .

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

A broad collection of CDs, from Aerosmith to Willie Nelson to Warren Zevon . . . -S.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I've been thinking abouta low profile cargo drawer myself. Would feel better if I could lock up firearms back there on long rides with rest stops.
One thing that I did in my Explorer that was cheap and highly effective was a DIY rod rack. I sunk two small hook-eyes in the plastic molding at the junction of the roof and rear side windows about 2' forward of the tailgate. I strung a piece of small gauge insulated wire between them and strung another piece of wire between the two grab handles above the rear doors. I can now keep 4 or 5 7' rods overhead comfortably between the driver and passenger resting on those lines and a number of shorter rods that aren't long enough reach the occupants of the front seats. I also use it for kayak paddles which works just as well. Total cost was maybe $2 of hardware and wire that I had laying around the barn. If anyone has a brilliant idea for keeping ticks from getting to the front of an SUV while driving a deer home in the back I'd appreciate it. I can tell you on good authority that it takes about 1.5 hours for the first of dozens of ticks to find you in the driver's seat when placed in the rear of a 99' Explorer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBrownDog wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

B - Glad that you got a new vehicle after everything went wrong with that blue pickup. I was in the market for my "new" (read: somebody's used) Suburban this year but with my job and market decided to hold off one more year. You do know how uncomfortable it is pulling up to dog training or hunting with one's buddies in your wife's minivan? Best of luck with that new rig. Oh yeh, you'll see that the blazer is a bit more practical with youg Tucker as he grows. Regards, Chris & the Big Brown Dog

+3 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from jcarlin wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I've been thinking abouta low profile cargo drawer myself. Would feel better if I could lock up firearms back there on long rides with rest stops.
One thing that I did in my Explorer that was cheap and highly effective was a DIY rod rack. I sunk two small hook-eyes in the plastic molding at the junction of the roof and rear side windows about 2' forward of the tailgate. I strung a piece of small gauge insulated wire between them and strung another piece of wire between the two grab handles above the rear doors. I can now keep 4 or 5 7' rods overhead comfortably between the driver and passenger resting on those lines and a number of shorter rods that aren't long enough reach the occupants of the front seats. I also use it for kayak paddles which works just as well. Total cost was maybe $2 of hardware and wire that I had laying around the barn. If anyone has a brilliant idea for keeping ticks from getting to the front of an SUV while driving a deer home in the back I'd appreciate it. I can tell you on good authority that it takes about 1.5 hours for the first of dozens of ticks to find you in the driver's seat when placed in the rear of a 99' Explorer.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jdement12b wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I really enjoyed this article. I looked at alot of cargo organizers for my SUV... I couldn't find one that my guns and gear would fit into, that didn't cost an arm & a leg. Finally I built my own. It ended up costing me less that $100. I actually did a write-up and took some pictures in case anyone else may want to build one for themselves. Here is a link to the article I wrote about it. http://www.ehow.com/how_5123517_build-profile-storage-boxes-suv.html?ref...
Now I have a place to securely store my guns and gear in my rig.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from BigBrownDog wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

B - Glad that you got a new vehicle after everything went wrong with that blue pickup. I was in the market for my "new" (read: somebody's used) Suburban this year but with my job and market decided to hold off one more year. You do know how uncomfortable it is pulling up to dog training or hunting with one's buddies in your wife's minivan? Best of luck with that new rig. Oh yeh, you'll see that the blazer is a bit more practical with youg Tucker as he grows. Regards, Chris & the Big Brown Dog

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Lynn wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

Hey Chris, I bought the Blazer from a college roommate (fraternity brother) who sells used cars. I went over to Seattle with him to the car auction and gave him instructions to find me a truck with extended cab, 4x4 in my price range. He found a nice Ranger '04, nothing fancy but met requirements. Thought it would go for around $8k.. thanks to Cash for Clunkers, the used car market is taking a beating and it went for almost $13k. He had a few mini-vans on his lot and I thought of you and how maybe "it wouldn't be that bad..." :) Still glad he found the Blazer!

Jcarlin, thanks for the homemade rod rack idea! Too funny about the ticks!! Can't imagine the infestation..I can picture them swarming from the back, covering the backseat aand moving forward in search of blood as you race to the processor's... :)

Steve! Gotta get the iPod adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter so you can play it through your car stereo! Got mine loaded with thousands of songs from Willie, Cash, Jennings (both Waylon and his son Shooter, who is frickin' awesome), Hank Jr and III to Crue, AC/DC, Skid Row, Aerosmith and then nerdy writing exercises and lectures.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

A broad collection of CDs, from Aerosmith to Willie Nelson to Warren Zevon . . . -S.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

P.S. Can't drive effectively with my iPod's ear buds locked and loaded . . . think is has something to do with my singing . . .

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I think Bama's got a point. Last year at camp one of the guys was telling me that when SUV's first became big, pickups nearly disappeared out of the camps withing 5 years. As soon as extended cab trucks came out in 5 years everyone had pick-ups again. Would certainly solve my tick infested carcass in car while driving back across PA issue.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from rodger parkhurst wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

Hey Brian congrats on the new vehicle. After what you went through with the ford.... The big thing here on the coast for fishing rods is the "Thule" rod rack it's roof top like the surf board racks but made for rods with built-in reel covers and locks and not too $ painfull. So far as dog equipment for hunting and training $ for $ you can't beat plain old rubbermaid totes. Load them up, take them out, and put them away at days end.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Steve Hickoff wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

Now you're outfitting my rig, brutha! Thx. -S.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bullridingbamaboy wrote 4 years 43 weeks ago

I drive a 2000 F-150 4x4 extended cab.This truck suits all my needs in the woods on the road and on the farm.I have plenty of room to haul all my turkey hunting gear,which never leaves the truck until season is over,then I have plenty of room to haul the kids without everybody being piled in up front.This truck has been on long trips one day and hauling hay the next.Plus the dogs love riding in the back with the kids when we are just putting around in the woods.This is the first ext. cab I've owned and it's all I'll ever own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from SCHuntman wrote 4 years 42 weeks ago

I've got an 08 F250 SD 4x4 extended cab and the only thing I'd like to add to it is an in bed tool box. I have not gotten one yet because I wouldn't be able to fit the 4 wheeler in the back and shut the tail gate. I really like being able to keep everything (4 wheeler, stand, deer) closed in.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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