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Done in a Day: Bestop Roughrider Tailgate Shelf

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on July 18, 2018
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Whether you have a two-door or four-door Jeep Wrangler JK, it’s easy to run out of room when you start adding gear for the trail. We’ll admit that we sometimes overpack, as we would much rather have too much than not enough when civilization is miles away. Since we don’t run a tire carrier on the back of our ’13 Wrangler Unlimited, we typically secure the spare tire in the cargo area on longer trips. While laying the 37-inch-tall spare flat in the back still gives us plenty of room to secure gear on top of it, it robs us of a clean, flat surface to use on the trail.

Sure, you can always improvise in a pinch, but it’s nice to have a small area on which to set tools and lunch supplies when you are on the go. Thankfully, we found Bestop had a simple solution that solved our problem without us having to reconfigure how we load our Jeep. It’s called the Roughrider Tailgate Shelf and it’s an easy bolt-on upgrade that brings convenience to the back of the Jeep. Designed for the ’07 to ’18 Jeep Wrangler, the Tailgate Shelf is a collapsible table that attaches to the inside of your JK’s tailgate.

Attaching in just a few minutes, the Roughrider Shelf was one of the easiest upgrades we’ve done to our JK. While Bestop might be known for its line of soft tops, we’re digging the fact that they’ve expanded into practical upgrades such as this. For more info on the product, be sure to check them out at

To install the Tailgate Shelf you’ll need to remove the plastic cover mounted on the inside of your tailgate. It’s only held on with a few clips and can easily be popped off using a plastic body panel tool. With it removed, you can press in the four provided inserts to the existing tailgate holes.
The bottom of the shelf slides into the vents at the lower portion of the tailgate. Once these are in, you can tilt the shelf up and screw the back of the table into the tailgate inserts.
At this point your install is complete. The table primarily consists of a heavy-duty polymer, which is durable but extremely lightweight. Closed, the unit sticks out around 4 1/2 inches, so you’re not losing much cargo area when not in use.
Simply press the quick-release latch at the top and the shelf will automatically fall open. The net you see is included and gives the shelf around 1.7 cubic feet of gear-holding capability. If you don’t think you’ll need the net, you can easily clip it out of the way or remove it entirely. We don’t use the net feature too often, as we tend to make the 276 square inches of table a mobile workbench or food prep area. While it’s designed to hold up to 35 pounds, we rarely put anything remotely that heavy on it.
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Broomfield, CO 80038

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