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Fifth Wheel Tailgate Options for the Toyota Tundra

If you decide to make the move to a fifth wheel trailer hitch, then you are going to have to also eventually replace your Toyota Tundra’s tailgate. While some people choose to drive around without a tailgate at all, this represents a fairly big compromise in terms of the type of cargo you can carry safely, a problem which might rear its head at the worst possible moment and leave you in the lurch.

There are a number of different aftermarket companies out there that manufacture tailgates that feature a fifth wheel cutout that allows enough room for safe operation. Many of these tailgates offer a louvered, grille or bar design, which is intended to allow air to pass through the tailgate while towing and theoretically reduce the amount of drag encountered by your truck while traveling at highway speeds. The fact that the air is simply passing through the tailgate and hitting the trailer head-on seems to be ignored by the manufacturers of these units, and it’s in fact almost impossible to find a non-pass through fifth wheel tailgate design.

Let’s take a look at a few of the available fifth wheel tailgates for the Toyota Tundra.

The Auburn Pro LSD for the Toyota Tundra

Last month, we ran a post discussing the benefits of the ARB Air Locker differential for the Toyota Tundra. Today, we’re going to talk about a different type of aftermarket differential, the Auburn Pro LSD, which is also designed to help Toyota truck owners out wherever traction might be at a premium.

LSD = Limited-Slip Differential

Unlike the Air Locker, the Auburn Pro is actually a limited-slip unit, not a full-on locking differential. The Auburn Pro makes use of a cone clutch design that is capable of maximizing straight-line traction and efficient torque transfer from one axle shaft to the other during cornering and hard acceleration.

A look at the internals of an Auburn LSD.

Since the LSD clutch setup allows the inside and outside wheel to rotate at different speeds – up to a certain point – the chatter and binding that can be associated with a full locking differential is absent. This helps to make the Auburn Pro design very streetable in a daily driver while still providing the extra grip that Tundra owners are looking for.

Differences between Auburn Pro LSD and Toyota’s Auto LSD

To get a better idea of how exactly the Auburn Pro LSD improves over the electronic Auto LSD feature provided in the Tundra, I spoke with Ralph Traycoff, Sales Manager from Auburn Gear.

CalTrend Seat Covers for the Toyota Tundra

Seat covers have come a long way since the days of fuzzy faux-fur and cheap elastic straps. These days, if you are tired of the look of the seats in your Toyota Tundra you can choose between a bewildering variety of materials with which to recover each throne, ranging from basic patterns all the way up to form-fitting full leather sleeves.

One of the biggest seat cover manufacturers currently on the market is CalTrend, which has been in the accessory business for more than two decades. Based out of California, CalTrend is most notable for the fact that it produces a startlingly wide range of custom-fitted seat covers…it is possible to select from 11 different cover materials.

Camouflage seat covers - great for when the deer are hiding inside your Tundra's cabin.

CalTrend Seat Covers – A Materials Breakdown

The seat cover fabrics used by CalTrend can be roughly lumped into a few specific categories.

Tundra Tool Box Buying Tips

When Jason was at SEMA this year he was able to speak to several different representatives from truck tool box companies about the details of their various products. What emerged from the interviews was a series of interesting takes on what goes into making a solid, safe and secure tool box for the truck bed of your Toyota Tundra. With that information in mind, we’ve put together a brief tutorial to help you use this knowledge to your advantage when selecting a tool box of your own. Special thanks to the video assist from Orion Newman of Better Built tool boxes.

Materials and Design

One of Orion’s main recommendations was to choose a tool box built out of a single piece of aluminum, reducing the number of welds to a bare minimum. Obviously there is the need to fully weld each of the five lower pieces of the box to each other, but aside from that each “side” of the box should be cut from a single piece of metal. This dramatically improves the overall strength of the box.

ARB Air Locker for the Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is a decent off-road vehicle right out of the box, but more serious all-terrain pursuits often require the installation of upgraded drivetrain, suspension and chassis components in order to get the most out of the Tundra platform. A popular way to improve the trail capabilities of any pickup truck is to install a locking rear differential in order to maximize traction in a variety of different driving situations.

Stock Tundra = No Locking Rear Diff

Stock four-wheel drive Tundras don’t offer a traditional locking differential.