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DECKED Storage for Our 2020 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab SR

Not your average truck toolbox.

Verne SimonsAuthor, Photography

Trucks are all about utility, and we love that. They are the Swiss army knives of the automotive world, and there isn't much a 4x4 truck like our 2020 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 SR can't do. Still, being who we are, there is always room for improvement, and we want to share that with you, our FourWheeler.com audience. Truck beds are great for storage, and there are several ways to secure items in the bed of a truck. Truck boxes, bed caps, tonneau covers, and the like all provide some way of locking the stuff that's in your bed in place. The problem with all the above lockable storage solutions is that they change the shape of your truck's bed. A bed-mounted toolbox makes your bed shorter. A tonneau makes it harder to carry items that won't fit under the bed's edge. A truck cap, even the ones with raised room lines. sometimes won't allow you to fit a quad or motorcycle in the bed. The crux of this tale is we found another solution. One that raises the floor of your truck's bed but allows for lockable storage and maintains the inside dimensions of your truck's bed.

A few years back at SEMA we bumped into a display showing off the DECKED Truck Bed System, and it caught our eye as being something that makes a lot of sense. It's made from durable yet affordable recycled HDPE for full- and mid-sized trucks and cargo vans. A modern design with intelligently placed American steel tubing inside for support and other metals for most of the threaded anchors. Decked parts are all made in America. The system has large drawers with smooth rolling wheels with a 200-pound weight limit (for the drawers). The deck of the Decked system can support 2, 000 pounds, so you can load up your bed with any items that fit its footprint without any height restrictions (other than bridges and other low-hanging obstacles). The system is weatherproof and durable, lockable and modular, and can be customized with trays, dividers, CoreTrax anchor systems, drawer bags, and toolboxes available as add-ons separately. The Decked System can also be installed by the end user (like we did) or at one of their many dealers around the country. The system also comes with a three-year warrantee. For now, here's how we installed our Decked system in a 5-foot 1-inch, third-gen, short-bed Toyota Double Cab a few hours one weekday evening. Once we've had some time to test the system, we will update you with the details at FourWheeler.com.

Our DECKED system came in a huge box. It came on a drop deck truck, and we were able to easily slide the box into the bed of our truck with some help from the delivery man. DECKED has a series of installers around the country too if you want someone else to do it.
Everything in the box was packed securely. The first step in installation is to find the install manual and unpack and identify all the parts. We kept some of the smaller parts bags in a cardboard box so they didn't go missing. Here you can see the American-made steel tubing that is molded into the Deck lids, right and left.
Next we cleaned out our truck's bed as best we could and, following the directions, made a few reference marks in the bed per the instructions. We then used some acetone (the instructions recommend rubbing alcohol) before placing the surfaces where the bed shims will go. These shims help spread the load of the DECKED system to the bed floor.
We then mounted the tailgate brackets per the instructions. The passenger side bracket is located via one of the factory bolts, and then you have to drill for the lower hole. The driver side on our truck required both holes to be drilled, but it was easy using the supplied instructions. You will need a second person to help tighten the supplied nuts and bolts that secure the tailgate brackets. Hardware is 3/8 on the supplied bolt head and 7/16 on the supplied nuts.
The next step is to bolt the center vert to the cabside vert. These are vertical parts that help create the backbone of the DECKED system. Once these two pars are bolted together you will loosely bolt the driver and passenger side stud to the back of the cabside vert. You want to leave these bolts loose for now. Then place the driver and passenger side ammo cans to support the tailgate ends of the right (wide) and left (narrow) decks. With the decks installed you can loosely insert the four bolts (per side) that locate the decks on the underlying parts called the studs (driver and passenger side specific). With these bolts loosely installed you can tighten the three bolts per side that hold the studs to the cabside vert. Then remove the four bolts per side that held the decks to the top of the studs and put the decks to the side for now.
We then went back and drilled half-inch holes with a unibit in the two marked locations (per side) in the ammo cans. The DECKED "ammo cans" are small cubbies that you can access from the top of the system. They can fill with water so these two cubbies need drains if you ever have the DECKED system uncovered in the rain.
Then slide what you've assembled (the cabside vert, center vert, and two studs) into the bed of the cab and use your previously marked center marks to make sure the system is centered in the bed. You can then drill holes for the brackets that hold the studs to the bed of the truck. This requires drilling three 1/4-inch holes in the bed's wheel tubs. Then three bolts (per side) are secured to the bed with three nuts and a backing plate (per side). Either use a drill stop or otherwise make sure you don't drill into the inside of your rear tires. That would be difficult, but it's still is a concern if you wield your electric drill like a drunk.
There are two steel C-channels per side that tie the studs to the ammo cans using supplied bolts and nylon washers. Torque to spec from the manual.
Now you can do the final install on the two decks, right and left. Five bolts per side attach the decks to the center vert, and then 12 bolts (per side) attach the decks to the studs and ammo cans, respectively. These last 12 bolts (per side) each need a nylon and a rubber washer to seal the system. Torque the bolts to spec from the manual.
Each of the two drawers need brackets and wheels that will support and allow the drawers to roll from the cab side of the bed back. We installed these per the instructions. The wheels spin nicely.
With the cab side wheels and brackets on the drawers you can slide them into their homes and install the weather strips. Make sure you orient the blade of the weather strip the correct direction. With each drawer as far forward as possible you will need to lift the back of each drawer and install two more wheels per drawer. With them in place, the drawers are locked in place in the DECKED system. Now you can test open and close them, but you're not quite done yet.
Then bolt in place the torsion brace, bottle opener, and rulers.
The last step is to install the J-hooks that secure the back of the DECKED system via the right and left ammo cans to the tailgate brackets. Hand tighten the rounded nuts on each side checking the side gaps to make sure the unit is centered in the bed. You can then pop the right and left ammo can lids in place. These don't lock with the tailgate (see the video) but do offer some small non-weatherproof storage (unless you have a tonneau or bed cap).
The DECKED system gives you locked drawers and effectively raises the floor of your truck's bed. You can still load heavy stuff on top of the DECKED system, and it's easy to secure stuff in the bed and to the DECKED system with the factory bed mounts as well as optional CoreTrax anchor systems. The drawers can be packed as they are, or you can add dividers, special made to fit toolboxes bags, and other optional items.


DECKED, 208.806.0251, decked.com