What are the best aftermarket parts for my new F-150? We highly recommend you check out our selection of tonneau covers, truck bed covers, fender flares, pick-up truck step bars, and even some floor liners or floor mats to protect that interior. And don't forget about your new wheels and tires? You've gotta lift that truck and stack on some sweet rims. Come chat with us. We'll hook you up with Ford Ranger love.
Rather than spend too much time on the broad and long of it, let’s cover some must have accessories for any Ford pickup truck that are fairly universal and bound to increase your enjoyment level rather you’re driving on the highway, off-road, or down backwoods country roads.
3 Transformative (and Affordable) Ford Truck Accessories
Here at Midwest Aftermarket, we get phone calls and comments on the website all the time with people just like you asking us what they should order first for their F-150 or their Power Stroke. And while power and performance bumps from things like tuners are great, they are also super specific. But without even knowing your year, make, or model, if you just tell me you have a Ford pickup truck and want to know which accessories you should consider first for upgrading that beast into the best damn truck it can be, there are a few go-to transformative upgrades that won’t break the bank that we recommend for any first time truck owner or first time aftermarket customer.
Let's start with the basics.
If this is your first real truck ever, your first mid-sized to full sized pickup, whether you plan to lift or level, or even if you don’t know what that is, you should first consider picking up a set of steps.
Step Bars and Running Boards for Ford Trucks
When you’re young and in top shape, you might think you don’t need no stinking step bar to help you get up into or out of your truck’s cab. But let me tell you, a few too many steps up into the vehicle with a baby in one hand and a six pack in the other and your back and knees will be begging to differ.
The reality is that step bars and running boards for Ford F-150’s, 250’s, and up aren’t just for old people or lifted trucks. These truck accessories make your life easier and they add a bit of style to differentiate your truck from everyone else’s out there on the road.
Truck steps and boards have become so popular and ubiquitous that many manufacturers, including Ford, have started partnering with aftermarket companies to have these parts installed before the truck even hits the showroom floor. But we’re gonna let you in on a little secret. Most of those step bars that come with the truck are cheap, poorly made, not built for serious use, and they come with an exaggerated upcharge to boot.
Avoid like the plague.
I’m guilty of it myself. My first time truck purchase that wasn’t off a buddy of mine but from the dealer, they got me. I didn’t even realize the upcharge since it was tacked on with a load of other options. But the board that came with my F-150 was cheap plastic garbage.
It’s pretty simple really. Major manufacturers like Ford don’t want to invest a lot of money in this aftermarket accessories. So they tend to cut deals with cheaper parts makers and then pass along the “savings” to you. The only issue is that these cheap running boards and steps aren’t designed to last long. So even if your Ford F-350 came with a set off the lot, you should probably consider upgrading in the near future, especially if you live somewhere that has harsh winters, cause those stock boards might not last much more than a single winter or two. Installing a step bar can be easy and in most cases done from the comfort of your home garage. Most of the boards and bars we carry are bolt on, meaning you simply follow the instructions and bolt the steps onto your rocker panels and you’re good to go.
These products do more than just make it easier on your knees and back to get into and out of the vehicle. I use my steps all the time to just get higher alongside my vehicle, such as when I want to push snow off the top of my truck, when I want to look over the back and check for clearance, or even when I’m backing up with a trailer on I might open the door and put a foot on my board to get a better eye view.
These products also make it easier to passengers to get into your truck. All our step bars are sold in pairs: one for the driver’s side and one for your passenger side. So whether you drive along with your kiddos in your truck with you or your dog, your little old grandma or your old lady, these kinds of products are great for anyone trying to get into your vehicle regularly with ease.
If you ever decide to lift or level your truck, these step bars and running boards will really shine, as suddenly the amount of effort required to get up into the cab is minimized. And these boards are essential in icy or muddy conditions to maximize traction when entering or exiting your vehicle.
Step bars transform the look of your truck as well. These truck accessories extend out along the side of your cab beneath your truck doors, giving your vehicle a different look for other F-150’s on the road. Improving entry and exit ability is a huge change to any pickup truck as well. Once you get your first set of step bars, you’re unlikely to ever want to drive a full or mid-sized truck that doesn’t have boards or bars.
So the question becomes what style of step bar or running board is right for you and your truck? First, let’s quickly distinguish between the two types of products.
A Step Bar typically has step pads or locations designed to be specifically stepped on. There are a wide variety of styles of bars, but one of the most popular is the hoop style or drop down step. These bars feature a step area that is lower than the rest of the bar, hanging down and out away from the vehicle, presenting an easy and obvious location to place your foot.
Running boards on the other hand are a long board that typically runs the length of your cab and is covered in a friction material designed to be stepped on at any area along the full length of the board.
Both have their pros and cons. Some like the look of one style of step bar or board over another. Others like the versatility of being able to step on the board wherever they want. Some customers find the boards to look more aerodynamic, while others like the aftermarket or modded look of angular step bars. It really comes down to your personal preference. All of the products in this category will help you ingress up into and then back out of the vehicle. As far as dollar signs go, step bars and boards are a great first aftermarket product to install on your vehicle because for the amount of use you will get out of them, the cost is minimal. Most of the boards and bars we carry are under a thousand dollars, with many top sellers coming in under $500. Obviously, if you want all the bells and whistles, the top of the line running board may run you closer to double that.
For instance, if you want a powered running board, like AMP Research's Power Steps, you’re going to be above that thousand mark. But then you are getting a step that retracts up under your cab when not in use, and is lowered back into place automatically via a motor when you open or close your door respectively. This is a very cool and crowd pleasing effect, but if that’s not in your price range, there are plenty of more affordable options.
If you’re looking for mounted steps that are high quality with at a solid price point, we highly recommend N-Fab’s latest EpYx textured black step bars. This angular hoop step, from the company that originally designed the first ever hoop step, looks great, is built to last, and a DIY install.
Looking for an alternative style step that has a bigger step area and a unique look? Check out the Armordillo AR Drop Step.
Regardless of what style fits you and your truck, we know you’ll be pleased once the product is installed. Step bars and running boards instantly upgrade the way your truck looks and the means by which you get up into your cab. Seriously, once you install your first step bar, you’ll never want to be without one again on your Ford F-150.
Already got a sweet board or bar? Maybe you’re looking to upgrade your truck bed. Let’s take a good long look at some of the best truck bed covers for Ford F-150.
The Hottest Tonneau Covers for Ford Trucks
Once you have entry and exit from the cab down pat, it’s time to take a look at your naked truck bed. Whether you’re driving off the lot in a brand new F-250 or just bought a used Ranger off some guy named Jim, chances are good that you’re going to want to install a truck bed cover very soon to protect your truck bed, any gear you might store in that truck bed, and reduce aerodynamic drag.
Two of those were obvious. So let’s start there.
Truck bed covers, or tonneau covers, are designed to fit over the top of your truck bed, preventing both the elements and would-be thieves from getting into your bed. While not all tonneau covers are created equal, and there are many different styles of truck bed covers, all of them are better at keeping your gear dry and secure than not having a cover at all.
These products allow you to seal up your truck bed so that while you are driving down the road hauling something in your bed you don’t have to worry about the wind or rain getting in.
Please do note that pretty much no truck bed cover is 100% rain or snow proof. These products are very good at limiting the amount of water that can get into your truck bed. But if you’re in a serious storm or leave a load of snow sitting on top of your truck bed cover for weeks and it starts to melt, chances are very good you’re going to get some water at least in the corner or along the edges of your truck bed. That’s just the truth. Other sellers and manufacturers might try to exaggerate their protection from the elements, but water is sneaky and often finds ways in. If you’re in a particularly humid environment, you can even have water perspire on the inside of your truck bed and there’d be no fault at all to the truck bed cover for that. So again, these products help to prevent your gear from being exposed to the elements, but they aren’t 100% sealed up like the cab of your truck. When in doubt, haul gear in water proof bags or containers and/or stow parts and tools that might be more susceptible to water damage towards the center of the truck bed.
Rant done. Truth told. Your welcome.
So tonneaus are great for those of us who want to throw some gear in the back and not worry too much about tying everything down. If you’ve ever been moving someone with a truck and suddenly it starts to rain all over your cardboard boxes, you know, you need a tonneau cover. Having personally experienced both ends of this one, let me tell you, while it might take an extra trip or two with your tonneau on and sealed, in case of rain, these babies will save your butt every time. Been there.
Furthermore, if you use your truck like I do as the work truck and the family truck at the same time, whether you’re hauling expensive tools to go do odd jobs at your parent’s house or around town or just heading out to the grocery store, having the versatility to lock up your tonneau cover and still go out to eat or see a movie or just go into another store to get something else without worrying that your gear or groceries might be gone when you come back out more than makes this product a must have for any truck owner.
Now for that other lesser known top feature: tonneau covers make your truck more aerodynamic. In other words, something as simple as installing a tonneau cover can make your truck more fuel efficient. And before you call BS, we’ve got the numbers and the proof over in the blog. SEMA has tested this out and everything, and it’s legit.
When you think about it, it makes sense. Your tailgate produces a lot of drag. The wind catches is in as you accelerate. But if you cover up your whole truck bed, you eliminate that part of the drag and increase your aerodynamics, thereby improving fuel economy.
In most cases, a good tonneau cover, even if it is in the thousand dollar plus range will pay for itself over the life of the vehicle and the cover.
Yup. Not playing around here.
So if you are driving around without a tonneau cover, there should be nothing holding you back. Improve your fuel economy and protect your gear in your truck bed with a tonneau cover today.
The beauty of these truck bed covers for Ford trucks, by the way, is that they come in a wide variety and a range of price tags. So if you just want something very affordable or just like soft roll up style covers, you can get a decent starter tonneau cover for under $400 in most cases. If you’re rocking a long bed, you might be pushing that number, but a soft vinyl cover will still be sub $500 if you’re looking at price tag alone.
However, if you want something a bit more durable or with a bit more style and security, you can get a great retractable cover for between $800 and $1,500 these days for most makes and models, including Ford Super Duties.
Pace Edwards comes to mind. Their Switchblade retractable cover is very secure, easy to use, and a great value for a retractable Armortek over aluminum cover. when it comes to a great tonneau cover for a Ford Ranger.
If retractables covers aren’t what you’re looking for, then you should consider hard folding truck bed covers for your F-150. These tonneau covers feature three or four solid panels that lock together, and each can be folded up accordion style onto the other, giving you quick access to your bed at the tailgate, and true full bed access when you really need it.
One of the top sellers in this particular category is the BAKFlip G2 Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Cover for Ford F-150. This bad boy has great seals, is easy to install, and intuitive to use, with bonus points for style galore, all for under a thousand for most makes and models.
And again, if you’re just looking for quick value. You want a tonneau cover without too many bells and whistles, and you don’t want to fork over a ton of cash, we highly recommend you start your truck bed cover journey with a soft vinyl roll up, like the TruXedo TruXport Roll Up Cover for F-250 and F-350 SuperDuty trucks, even with long 8 foot beds!
Typically vinyl covers are seen as less secure, not quite as durable, but more affordable with the added aesthetic value of a leather grain top. These are also the classic tonneau covers that you likely saw growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. They do a great job of protecting your gear stowed underneath and keeping the wind and elements out of your truck bed. Many truck owners like the look of these sweet roll up covers on their F-150’s as well.
And remember that while we are highlighting a few great options here, there are many more excellent tonneau covers that we carry for Ford pickup trucks. You just need to find the one that’s right for you and your truck. But trust me when I saw this transformative upgrade really does change the way you use your truck bed.
Already have a truck bed cover? Got some sweet steps too? Then let us hit you with another great, affordable truck accessory that will transform the way your Ford pickup truck looks.
Ford F-150 Fender Flares that Give Your Truck Custom Appeal
One of the best DIY install upgrades you can make on your Ford pickup truck is to add on a set of sweet fender flares. These products which serve both an aesthetic and technical role install over the top edge of your wheel wells and provide additional clearance out and over the top of your tires.
When we talk about fender flares around the shop, there’s really only one brand that truly dominates the conversation: Bushwacker. These guys are the O.G. fender flare manufacturers, literally. It all started with them back in the 60’s and they’ve been crushing it ever since. If you want style and innovation, Bushwacker is a great place to start your search for the perfect fender flares for your truck.
Fender flares transform the way your wheels, rims, and wheel wells are viewed as you’re driving down the street. This is the aesthetic part of these products. Whether you’re looking to have a paint matched set that appears to be part of the stock vehicle or a rugged off-road bolt on look, there’s a fender flare style for you.
On top of the style marks, fender flares help to catch and deflect mud, rocks, and any other debris that might be kicked up from your tires and thrown into the side of your vehicle or traffic in general. This is especially an important upgrade if you have upgraded your wheels and tires in such a way that the offset means your tires extend out away from the wheel well. In some States, law even requires that you have a fender flare that covers over the top of your tire tread when you purchase aftermarket wheels and tires like this with an offset.
Finally, for some older trucks, if your wheel wells have started to rust out, picking up a set of fender flares can hide the unsightly damage and make your truck look new again.
Either way, these affordable products upgrade the look of your truck in some pretty astonishing ways. Since they come in pairs and are custom to your particular vehicle, once you’ve installed a full set over each wheel, you’ll be surprised just how different your truck looks.
While we’re focusing on Bushwacker for this particular example, we do carry a number of other fender flare companies, but especially if you’re looking at your first set, you really can’t go wrong with the company that started it all.
Fender flares come in a variety of styles and shapes and colors even. So when in doubt, give us a call if you want to color match or just aren’t sure what the difference between one set and another is.
In general, when guys are looking for flares, they either way something that matches their truck’s stock style, something rugged and off-road, or the biggest fender you can find and then some to cover up their massive new wheels and tires.
So let’s take a look at one of each, shall we?
Let’s say you want something that won’t be too extreme but a slight change from your stock vehicle, giving your Ford truck an aftermarket look without being too over-the-top. In this case, we’d recommend you check out Bushwacker OE-Style Fender Flares. These subtle flares accent your truck’s natural curves and black trim, giving it an upgraded look without too much in your face accent.
Or maybe you’re like me and you think everything should be matte black with as many bolts as possible! If you want that off-road look or a more aggressive rugged style, then you should definitely feast your eyes on these Bushwacker Pocket Style Fender Flares for your F-150.
Please do note that all of Bushwacker’s bolts are just for show. Most of these fender flares are easy to install using 3M style automotive tape and/or preexisting mounting holes.
Finally, when the pocket style just isn’t enough for you or when you’ve lifted your ride and slammed the biggest wheels you could find on it, then you can’t settle for anything less than these Bushwacker Max Coverage Pocket Style Fender Flares. These babies extend even further out over your tires, protecting your vehicle from flinging debris and your pocketbook from unnecessary fines.
Regardless of which style appeals to you, we know there’s a great flare out there for your particular Ford truck. Hit us up via chat or on socials and we’ll help you get the right set at a great price. Give us a call for maximum savings.
What’s Next for Aftermarket products for Ford Pickup Trucks?
Once you cover these three easy upgrades, the sky really does become the limit. Got your tonneau cover? Already installed sweet step bars? Have so much fender flare you don’t know what to do with it?
Maybe it’s time to take a look at custom tuning? Or have you considered starting with a throttle response booster maybe? We have a great selection of wheels and tires. Also, there are some great interior options like floor liners and in cab storage. Once you start customizing your Ford truck, you’ll realize just how easy it is to make your pickup into the exact dream truck you always wanted. And if you ever need help picking out the right product for you and your Ford truck, just give us a call at 1-800-951-3955.
We hope you found this beginners guide to upgrading your Ford F-150 pickup truck useful and informative. Until next time, keep customizing your Ford truck!
Our Promise of Exceptional Service and the Lowest Prices on the Interwebs
When you’re ready to order your first aftermarket parts for your Ford truck, we hope you’ll get them from us here at Midwest Aftermarket. We only promote products we believe in and sell them at the lowest prices, shipping quickly to you for free if you’re in the lower 48 states. We have an excellent return policy and strive to get you the right product in perfect condition the first time.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call or place an order directly through our website. We’ll get your product out to you ASAP so you can enjoy your vehicle and make it your own. If you have a vision of what your truck or Jeep could be, let us help you achieve that image, that goal. We put aftermarket right at the tip of your fingers on your smartphone, web browser, and even via various apps, making ordering the parts you need super easy. Let us help make your aftermarket dream possible. Let us help you build your dream machine. We want you to drive the truck or Jeep of your dreams right now. So when you get it installed and love it, make sure you share us some pics on social media so we can live vicariously through you. Because we too are aftermarket enthusiasts, truck and Jeep owners, who love and own many of the products we sell. In other words, we don’t just work aftermarket--we are aftermarket.
Midwest Aftermarket's collection of air intakes, pickup bed covers, truck running boards, and much more includes all the leading styles and brands. Midwest Aftermarket is the #1 online retailer for aftermarket truck and Jeep accessories, selling products at the lowest prices and providing the best customer service in the industry. With the goal to provide the highest quality product with the fastest shipping at affordable prices, look no further for your vehicle’s aftermarket accessories. From UTV’s to Jeep-fanatics to F150’s or Chevy Silverado’s, Midwest Aftermarket will give you the customer support you deserve. Ask us about our new 2 day shipping options available on many of our fine aftermarket accessories.