2015 Chevrolet Colorado: We Install a Bed Extender
July 17, 2015
We've talked a lot about the relatively short 5-foot 2-inch bed in our 2015 Chevy Colorado. I decided to see if the utility of our smallish truck could be enhanced simply by adding a bed extender. Specifically, the $249 GM Accessories Bed Extender, which is labeled as a Lund International product and designed and manufactured by AMP Research.
Full disclosure is in order here. I'm taking the Colorado on my annual Wyoming vacation in which I do all sorts of truck stuff like catching fish and riding bikes. And I need room for four-people's worth of adventure gear, including at least one bike. The bike itself is too long for the bed without dropping the tailgate, which makes the bed extender an ideal solution.
It arrived in a cardboard box which was sized perfectly to reveal that some assembly would be required. It also had a suspicious-sounding rattle that made me think most of the small important parts weren't properly contained inside.
And I was right. When I opened the box most of the fasteners fell out on the floor along with the plastic bag that once contained them. Notice I said "most" of the fasteners. The first step in assembly is to inventory all the parts. I discovered that I was missing one of the M8 bolts which holds the brackets to the bed. Hardware store here I come.
Removal of the taillights is easy with two Philips-head screws per side. Then use the included templates to determine the location of the mounting bolt holes for the brackets. The templates can be taped in place over the bolts which locate the tailgate stop cable. Removing the cable from the bolt is easy and the template can be slid into place like this:
Use the template to mark the location for the upper mount hole in the bed with a center punch. The lower hole location is determined using the bracket itself. Here you can see that the hardware store didn't have a black bolt like those included with the extender so I later used a Sharpie to make it less obvious.
The extender itself assembles using plastic uprights, 12 self-tapping screws and four pop-rivets. The instructions detail the nuances of its assembly fairly well.
Total time, including the hardware store visit, was about 1.5 hours.
I'll have the Colorado out of the office for the next few weeks. Plan on seeing more Wyoming shots when I return.
Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor