A Step-By-Step Install Guide and Initial Review for the Budget Friendly, Bed Rack Option from Hobbs Off-Road
Bed racks are a must-have item for the Tacoma. The sleek design and the endless accessory options make it optimal to carry all your overlanding gear out on your next adventure.
Being able to mount your gear but still use your bed and have ease of access is a big selling point to those of us who like to get off the grid. Since bed racks cost significantly less than a camper shell or habitat, it’s a good way to get your tent and other gear elevated out of the bed, leaving more space for the rest of your stuff.
There are a ton of options on the market, but I decided to go with a Hobbs Off-road Freedom Cab Height Bed Rack. It is a budget-friendly, good looking, heavy-duty bed rack that is new to the market. Hobbs looked at the pros and cons of other available bed racks and designed their own that encompasses all the wants and needs of Tacoma enthusiasts.
The rad design and unique cutouts make it perfect to mount anything you want without any drilling. Mix it with HOBBSWRKZ accessories mounts and you’ve got the beginning of a super functional bed setup.
This article will serve as a step-by-step install and initial impressions/review for the new Hobbs Off-road Freedom Cab Height Bed Rack.
Let’s get into it!
Find it Online
- Hobbs Off-Road Freedom Cab Height Bed Rack: Check Price
Tools & Materials
- Mechanic’s Tool Set
- Extension for ratchet
- 9/16″ socket
Step 1. Lay Out Your Parts
After opening the box, which was well packaged and protected, lay your parts out as seen above. It’s always good practice to do to ensure you’re not missing anything.
A hardware box is included with instructions and all the necessary nuts/bolts.
You should also have:
- 4 legs
- 2 crossbars
- 2 top bars
- 2 side panels
In the hardware kit, you will receive (32) 9/16″ carriage bolts, flat washers, and locknuts.
This will be the hardware you use to assemble the bed rack. Furthermore, you will also have (8) 9/16″ hex bolts, flat washers and locknuts to attach your rack to your truck.
Some spacer plates are included, as well as angled brackets if you were mounting on a Jeep Gladiator. 10 mounting blocks to insert into the bedside rails for bed rack attachment are also included.
Step 2. Assemble Base Legs & Crossbars
Take your two crossbars, as depicted above, and lay them about four feet apart from each other upside down.
Make sure to orient the square cutouts inside the top plate on the outside edge so they’re facing away from each other.
Grab one of your base legs and insert the short end into the crossbar with the long end sticking upwards.
Make sure you orient the leg with the circle and square cut-outs facing away from you. When you flip the rack back upright, those circle and square cutouts should be facing inward, towards each other.
Grab four of your carriage bolts, washers and locknuts. Insert them into the square cutouts on the crossbar with the washer and lock nut on the inside as shown above.
Using your ratchet and 9/16″ socket, begin tightening the bolts down making sure to not fully tighten them down just yet. You’ll need to make adjustments when the assembled bed rack goes on the truck.
Repeat the same steps on the three remaining crossbars and base legs, ensuring you have them orientated correctly.
Step 3. Install Top Bars
Flip over your now assembled crossbars and base legs upright.
If done correctly, the circle and square cutouts on the base legs and the square cutouts on the crossbars should all be on the inside facing one another.
Next, grab eight carriage bolts, flat washers, and locknuts for the top bars.
Locate your two top bars and adjust your base leg assemblies to accommodate the length of the top bars. Lay the top bars onto the crossbars, ensuring you line up the square cutouts to each other. Now insert the carriage bolts into the top bars using the same washer and nut combo as for the base legs.
This is where you may need a ratchet extension. Tighten down the lock nuts on the underside of the crossbars.
Step 4. Attach Side Panels
The square cut-outs need to be oriented towards the inside because this is where the side panels will mount.
Insert your side panels in between the two base leg assemblies. Take your four carriage bolts, washers and nuts and insert the bolts from the inside of the side panel and the washers and lock nuts from inside the base legs.
Repeat on the other side. Make sure you tighten down all of the bolts.
This is what your side panels should look like when assembled together.
Fully assembled bed rack.
Step 5. Prep Bed for Install
After getting your bed rack out to your truck, it’s time to get your bed ready.
Start by removing the end caps alongside the bedside rails. Now is the time to install the Toyota bedside attachment point brackets. Once the bed rack is attached, there is no way to get them on or off without taking off the whole rack.
To attach the bed rack to the bed, you will need to break out the second, smaller bag of bolts, washers and nuts that were included in the hardware kit. There should be eight of everything.
The threaded blocks are pictured above. These blocks will insert into the bed rail. A total of eight will be inserted, two for each base leg.
Go ahead and slide the blocks into position.
Send two blocks down, four total on each side of the bed rail, closest to the rear of the cab, and leave two up by the tailgate, estimating where the bed rack will sit.
Step 6. Mount Bed Rack
Now it’s time to place the bed rack up onto the bed. You will need two people to do this part as the bed rack is heavy and awkwardly shaped. Have one person step up into the bed while you guide the rack up onto the bedsides.
Do the best you can to get all four base legs onto the bedside. This part is where you’ll see why you left those base leg bolts loose. While someone holds the base leg brackets up against one side of the bed rails, adjust the base legs by pulling them in or out to get them to sit flush up against the bed rail and bedside.
Once in position, tighten down bolts so the rack doesn’t move.
With the base leg brackets set into position, slide the blocks until they are lined up with the slots in the base legs.
Locate the plates that were in the hardware kit. These will be used as a spacer in between the bolts and the base leg.
Only using the bolt and washers, start threading the bolts into the blocks. Using your same ratchet and socket, tighten down the bolts until snug.
Finished Rack Install
Congratulations! You have successfully installed your new Hobbs bed rack.
Make sure to go back and double-check that all bolts are tight but be careful to not strip or overtighten anything.
Accessory Mounts & Attachments
HOBBSWRKZ a sister company of Hobbs Offroad and it offers tons of accessory mounts that make it super easy to load the rack up with gear. Their mounts require no drilling; the mounts bolt directly to the rack.
From Rotopax mounts, bike rack, fishing pole, storage boxes and even a fold-out table, they have you covered with all types of accessories and mounts to suit your style of overlanding and offroading.
After seeing the bed rack on the truck, it is obvious that it is a product built with attention to detail and a ton of care. From the packaging, all the way up to the easy install, rest assured you are getting a top-notch product.
A really neat feature of the Hobbs Off-road bed rack is the ability to change the rack from a cab height to mid-height just by switching the legs. It requires no extra drilling or otherwise. Just unbolt the cab height base legs and swap them out for the mid-height depending on your preference.
Hobbs is expanding its brand quickly and starting to come out with lots of bed rack accessories and even roof racks in the near future. If you haven’t already, check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s now time to load this rack up with gear and accessories and get out to explore!