How To Secure A Cooler In Truck Bed

Secure from what exactly?

Securing can mean preventing the cooler from moving around the bed during motion, or from actual theft.

I assume what concerns you the most in this blog post is reducing the possibility of theft, so I’ll begin with that.

How to deter cooler theft

You can lock a cooler to a truck bed by getting the right bracket, and a cable lock on top of that.

The bracket sits in a spot between the lid and cooler body; it provides a point through which you’ll be able to route the cable lock, and into a tie down point of your truck’s bed.

I like this Beast Cooler Accessories (Amazon link) system. It’s a bracket and a lock in one package, though you can purchase just the bracket alone from other vendors, if you wish.

Having done that, a wrongdoer may still access what’s inside the cooler. Thankfully, protecting those valuables ain’t that hard either; coolers normally come with holes in the lid and body you can attach a padlock through. The image below gives you a great idea:

This is a very interesting solution. To start with, the cooler is kept from budging with a ratchet strap. Doing so also restricts access to inside of the cooler, though does not prevent it. That’s why a padlock is used too, with what it seems a bike lock.

Image by Reddit user Sdpad321

Preventing its movement

Preventing, or at least reducing, the cooler’s movement back there during a drive is a bit more simple, I think.

It mainly depends on how slippery the bed is. If you have a good quality bed liner installed, chances are the cooler won’t be sliding too much around there; particularly so if it’s already secured with a cable lock.

But for even better results, you can put the cooler on a type of rubber mat, such as this universal kind. That way the sliding can be put to a minimum.

The tried and true, as well as inexpensive, method of really keeping anything a bit more stable in the back of a truck is by using a bungee cord, wrapping it around the cooler in this case, and tying it to a tie down point, like a D-ring. Can’t go wrong with that.

The last, but definitely not least solution, and I may even call it rather elegant, is by using a ratcheting cargo bar. If you haven’t used such a thing before, let me tell you, they’re amazing.

You can really keep any piece of equipment in place with such a thing. It provides a barrier for the stuff you want to keep in place, and guess what, it’ll work for much more than the cooler we’re talking about here. This solution will provide more than enough stability for the cooler to not go anywhere.

The two in one solution

Deny lock is a system that comes with a lockable bracket and a stiffarm that uses the cooler’s tie down point to secure it in place.

Not only does it keep the thing from moving, but also deters theft as the arm which holds the cooler is bolted into the bed.

Here comes the question – are you willing to drill a hole in your truck bed for such a modification? That is a thought to ponder.

The other thing to think about is the way it is mounted. The lock is made up of one arm; that is, only one side of the cooler is going to be held in place.

As the video above shows, the guy has to put it right by the bed side, in order for the cooler to be stable enough for transportation.

With that said, I still like this product mainly because it is a bit more permanent and proper. While the price is a bit steep, I think it may be a good solution for those who want a more solid, and nicely looking solution, that simply works.

It’s also made in the US of A. If this looks just like the thing for you, check it out here.

Should you place the cooler closer to the cab or tailgate?

Great question. This is all just a personal preference, really.

If I were to say, hooking up a cooler closer to the tailgate is a more strategic place. I just like that I won’t have to dig too deep inside the bed to reach for it.

Though the same could actually be said about the other option. If the truck ain’t too tall, you may have an even easier time digging in your cooler if it’s right by the cab, just like the picture above shows.

I mean, you are always free to move the cooler wherever you see fit, depending on the availability of tie down points around the bed. Though if you will go for the drill-in-bed mount way, there won’t be much going back.

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