REVIEW: Bull Ring Retractable Tie Downs

There have been brief times in my life where I thought I could get by without a truck. Times when I thought that an SUV and a trailer would be sufficient. I have come back full circle and its a mistake I won’t make again. The usefulness and convenience of a truck bed are unmatched. But that’s not to say that there aren’t improvements that can be made to your toy hauler. Something I had noticed was a need for more tie down locations. Most trucks have a set of down locations in the corners of the bed as well as the stake pockets on top of the bed. I wanted a cleaner and more secure location than the stake pockets as they come so I picked up a couple of sets of Bull Ring Retractable Tie Downs. Bull Ring is not new to the market. They have been producing tie downs for over 30 years and have sold over 1 million pairs of tie downs.

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Down

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Downs mount in the existing stake pockets and secure by clamping against the top and bottom of the bed rail. No drilling or special tools are required, only a Phillips head screwdriver. The installation takes only a couple of minutes each.

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Down

To install, start by removing both screws from the top. Insert the tie down into the bed rail pocket and center it. Pull up on the ring until it clicks into the up position. Now put both screws back in and tighten them down snug.

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Down

The rings snap into place in the upward position and snap back down flush to a smooth, clean look. The base plate is available in the black plastic finish shown in our samples or in a smooth stainless steel finish.

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Down

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Downs are made of stainless steel to last as long as your truck does. They are rated at 1,000 lbs. each and are sized to accommodate two ‘S’ hooks. They are also covered by a lifetime warranty. A pair to Bull Ring Retractable Tie Downs will cost you a very reasonable $29.95 in the black base finish or $32.95 in the stainless steel base finish. Bull Ring also offers many other tie down anchor points for Most Ford, Chevy/GMC, Dodge and Toyota trucks. To order you own pair (including free shipping!) check out

Bull Ring Retractable Tie Down

REVIEW: Bubba Rope Lil’ Bubba Recovery Rope

There are two vital lessons to off-roading that are often learned the hard way. Don’t do any serious riding alone and always, ALWAYS bring a tow rope. Over the past couple of weeks we have put the Lil’ Bubba recovery rope by Bubba Rope to the test and it is certainly one of the best ropes money can buy.

Bubba Rope tow ropes are considered “snatch ropes” because they will stretch and are designed to not just pull, but jerk a stuck vehicle free. This can be especially helpful to overcome the suction effect that mud can have. The elastic also makes the recovery effort smoother for passengers and the vehicles themselves. All Bubba Ropes are made of 100% double braided nylon with a urethane polymer coating. The large loops on both ends are commercially spliced and seized. The ends are then dipped in a high performance elastic polymer coating, a process Bubba Rope calls “Gator-ize.” This coating helps to protect the heavily used loop ends. 

The Lil’ Bubba recovery rope is 1/2″ thick and 20 feet long. It has a breaking strength of an insane 7,400 pounds! That’s way more than enough to get your ATV or side-by-side out of anything. Bubba Ropes have their capacity and other necessary information printed on a label that is attached directly to the rope. Bubba Ropes are also resistant to UV, water and abrasives that are harmful to most tow straps.

We were able to find several testing opportunities for our Lil’ Bubba. Combined with a shackle, the Lil’ Bubba was easier to use than a standard tow strap.  The kinetic energy produced from the jerking motion easily pulled our full-sized ATVs out of the muck. Clean up is as easy as rinsing it off, though don’t expect it to ever look quite as clean as new.

Bubba Ropes come with a strap and a mesh duffel bag for easy carry. MSRP on a Lil’ Bubba is $69.00. The loops, or eyes, of the rope are available in yellow by default. For an extra $20 you can get them in black, orange, green, blue or red. If you tend to get bigger objects stuck they have a rope for that too. Bubba Ropes are available in several diameters and lengths with breaking strengths up to 131,500 pounds.

We’ve all seen the remains of broken ropes and straps around mud holes. Having a Bubba Rope means you won’t have to worry about whether or not you are prepared.

For more details or to purchase see:

REVIEW: Quadboss Weekender Storage Trunk

Nowadays you can’t have enough storage when riding long distances. ATV manufacturers have been increasing the amount of dry storage found on most units but sometimes you just need more. There is no limit to the things a rider could or should take. Smart carry-ons include first aid kits, air compressors and tire kits, belts, a jacket, snacks and drinks, tools and any number of items specific to your riding environment and conditions. With the adventures we tend to get into we decided it was time to get one ourselves. We picked up a couple of Quadboss Weekender Trunks at Halls Motorsports in Mobile, Alabama. The Quadboss Weekender is a hard plastic storage trunk. It has a large amount of storage space internally and a shelf on which to strap a small cooler or fuel can. The Weekender also adds a comfortable cushioned seat.

Quadboss Weekender Trunk. Quadboss stock photo.

Mounting the trunk is accomplished using four U bolts and wing nuts. It’s designed to be pretty universal so you’ll have to drill your own mounting holes in the trunk. You may find it’s best to remove the rear rack to help make marking the mounting holes easier. We found that mounting it to our Polaris rear rack was a bit of a pain thanks to the Polaris rack design, but it is quite secure once in place. Installation on the Yamaha Grizzly was much easier. Remember to frequently check the wing nuts and tighten them up as needed.

Be sure to check the fit with the driver in place to make sure the trunk is not mounted too far forward. Unfortunately, the Weekender is so long that is can be hard to get proper placement for the driver without modification to the rear rack. In both our Grizzly and Hawkeye installs we found that placing the trunk in front of the lip on the back of the rear rack placed it too far forward to be comfortable for long rides. We cut the plastic lip off the Hawkeye rack. On the other hand, the bottom seat cushion is removable, held in place by just velcro.

Looking at the Weekender you would expect it to serve as a passenger seat. Afterall, it has plush back and bottom cushions, comfortable hand holds and sits back too far to be used by the driver. However, Quadboss disclaims that it is “not for passenger use while operating vehicle.” I would imagine this is for their own protection from mis-use, improper installation and driver stupidity. Most parks will probably enforce their passenger rules against this seat as well, too. However, there is some level of expectation that it will serve as a passenger seat at times. In controlled tests it worked well, but it certainly pushes a single passenger ATV beyond its designed limits, especially on inclines and sidehills. It makes a comfortable spot for a small passenger, but if your need is to have a place for a constant second rider, there are plenty of 2-up ATV’s that will accomplish this much easier and safer.

Most comfortable seat in the house for sure! Disclaimer: Neither Quadboss nor condone using the Weekender as a passenger seat. Always heed manufacturer warnings.

The Weekender opens up on both sides. It opens from the rear so access while seated is a bit difficult. The elastic cords work well for holding the trunk doors closed. The openings measure (get measurements). It’s not quite big enough for most adult sized helmets, but youth helmets will fit inside nicely. It would have been nice if they had included padlock holes so you could lock the trunk. The design of the openings is pretty water-resistant thanks to the lip it has. It would be easy to add a little foam water-proofing strip to the edge if you need.

The Weekender has a textured finish that helps keep scratches from being too visible. This is especially good on tight trails. The size of the Weekender makes it as wide or wider on some ATVs, and you may find that it gets hung up on branches and vines that the ATV itself easily clears.

Overall, the Quadboss Weekender Trunk is a solid accessory. An MSRP of $333.99 may be a little steep for a plastic box, but its pretty well inline with other industry-specific offerings. Dealers should also be able to provide a full line of replacements parts. This may come in handy if you forget to remove the seat cushion before heading down the highway. And no, we haven’t had that happen yet.

To find a Quadboss dealer near you or to see other trunks they offer check out the Quadboss website at If you are on the Gulf Coast check out the Hall’s Motorsports locations at

REVIEW: Dee Zee Specialty Series Narrow Tool Box

Truck tool boxes are a way of life for many truck owners. Having secured storage for tools, straps, tow ropes and other items is often more necessity than desire. Unfortunately a tool box can take up valuable bed space. For several years manufacturers have worked to overcome this issue with specialty boxes that limit the amount of space they take up. One such example is the Specialty Series Narrow Tool Box by Dee Zee. The box is only 12 inches wide compared to the 20 inch average width of other commonly found tool boxes.

Time to move up the logo!

Most of the remaining features are standard. Construction is made from .056 brite-tread aluminum and can also be ordered in black powder-coat. The .056 is a little on the thin side and may not hold up well to heavy abuse. The front, bottom and back of the unit are bent from a single piece of aluminum like heavy-duty origami. Closed cell foam across the lid keeps the 5 to 5.75 cubic feet of storage space dry. The locking lid is controlled by a single gas strut to add to the longevity of the unit. But the real seller is the price tag. The MSRP is $301.95 but you can find it online for under $250 shipped.

I ordered the DZ6170NB through an online retailer and in two days it was delivered. At only 35 pounds the package was easily maneuvered. I noticed a couple marks on the shipping box but nothing of concern. Once I opened the box I realized there was no padding whatsoever and my new toolbox had suffered some small dings and scratches from the shipping process. A higher end tool box with thicker metal and without the black painted finish would probably have held up better, but a budget unit like this should really be packaged a bit better. I also noticed that one of the latch rivets was poorly done. The latch is firm and it’s really only a blemish close up.

Shipping damage.

Weak rivet.

Installation is simple. The box comes with a pair of J-hooks used to catch the lip of the bed and hold it tight. Once you have the box centered between the bed rails a pair of holes need to be drilled to insert the bolts through. Overall installation is only about a 10 minute process. The provided instructions are weak. They appear to have been photocopied several times and are very blurry. There were duplicated pages and some instructions were apparently in error. It recommends drilling 1/4″ holes to insert the blunt 3/8″ J-hooks into.

A tool box with room to spare.

Overall this is a prime example of “you get what you pay for.” If you have a smaller budget or don’t expect heavy abuse to the tool box, this unit is probably enough for you. If money isn’t an issue or you plan to really push the durability of your tool box there are thicker units on the market that will probably hold up much better.

REVIEW: DU-HA Truck Storage Systems

Several months ago I switched from an SUV to my Ford F250 Crew Cab truck. The transition has been very well enjoyed but I was quickly reminded of the vast difference in enclosed storage space between an SUV and a truck. I have room for six passengers and as a primary family transportation system I need to keep the seating space available. Sure, you can add a toolbox but that exterior storage isn’t always appropriate. Plus you can lose valuable ATV space in the truck bed by adding a toolbox.

DU-HA stock before photo.

During my search for an alternative I came across DU-HA Inc. and their storage solutions for pickup trucks. DU-HA offers storage systems to fit behind and/or under the seats of most full size trucks. The DU-HA storage boxes are significant upgrades to the stock storage options (or lack thereof) and provide a great deal

DU-HA stock after photo.

of hidden space. The units are even capable of safely carrying rifles and are considered legal gun cases in most states.

The factory behind-the-seat storage versus the DU-HA. DU-HA stock photo.

I picked up both the Underseat and Behind-the-seat models for my Ford F250 Crew Cab. The amount of space added was incredible. The space is secure and out of the sight of prying eyes, removing any temptation that toolboxes and bed covers often give. Peering through the windows the boxes aren’t noticable at all. They do not interfere with the functions of the seats or the passengers in them.

The storage boxes come in several colors to match most interiors. The boxes average about $199 for understeat models and $179 for behind-the-seat models. Boxes are available for full-size trucks from Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, Dodge, Nissan, Toyota and the Honda Ridgeline. They come with a 30 day money-back gurantee and a lifetime warranty. Installation is easy and takes only moments using a couple of tools and existing hardware. Accessories include anti-theft locks and subwoofer boxes for some models. Since my own purchase I have recommended these to others who have bought them and been equally pleased. For more information see

The storage systems make a great place for my first responder gear. My radio and lighting controls are mounted in the box to keep them safe.

REVIEW: D&G Enterprises Tool Rack

A year or so ago I stumbled across an ebay auction for a homemade tool rack. The small setup was designed to hold a couple of tools like a shovel and axe as well as a fire extinguisher. I liked the idea and convenience and since the price was right I ordered one. It had a couple of universal mounting options and I found the one that best mounted to my rear rack. It has proved invaluable over the last year and has recieved many comments and compliments.

Polaris Lock and Ride Install. D&G Enterprises Stock Photo.

I looked up the same rack again a couple of months ago and found that the seller had created a new and improved version. I immediately got in touch with Dave at D&G Enterprises to see the new system. Dave is an experienced metal fabricator who came up with the rack idea to comply with his local riding requirements during fire season. Dave shipped out my new rack and when it arrived it was out with the old and in with the new.

Universal fit usually means it kinda fits everything, but doesn’t fit anything well. D&G Enterprises has done a great job of overcoming this issue by providing several different mounting options. When you order one you can specify bar mounts for a 3/4 inch bar, a 1 1/2 inch bar or an L bracket. The 3/4 inch bar mount will fit most standard ATV racks. The 1 1/2 inch bar mount is a good fit on side by side roll cages. The L bracket works great for the Polaris Lock and Ride system. The unit could also be bolted directly to storage boxes or other scenarios as appropriate. The rack itself is welded steel. The rack and mounting hardware are laquer finished and the tool mounts are rubber coated. I have seen some rust spots in places where the laquer has been scratched, but that’s no different than the luggage racks and bumpers on most quads.

A D&G Enterprises Tool Rack with all mounting options. You’ll need to pick the best one for you.

For tool mounting there is a designated spot to hold two tools horizontally. It’s perfect for a small shovel and axe. Other tools may make sense for your own adventures. The tools are held tightly in place by two plastic finger nuts. The fire extingusher is held into place by a spring-loaded bar. You simply compress the spring and turn it out of the way. The extinguisher slides right out of the bracket and is ready for use. It takes only a couple of seconds to remove the extingusher.

A loaded D&G Enterprises Tool Rack

Certainly there are benefits to having tools on the trail. Shovels can be used to dig you out of certain situations. They can also be used as a winch anchor if there is nothing else around. Having a fire extinguisher can help if an ATV overheats or a campfire gets out of control. There are many OHV parks that actually require them to be carried on ATVs. The D&G Enterprises Utility Rack makes hauling these tools convenient without taking up valuable rack space. At less than $40 the unit is well worth it. Pick one up for yourself at