EDITOR’S NOTE: The following excerpt is from an article published by RV Enthusiast. Click here to read the article in full.
There’s a world of difference between a gadget and a gimmick. Both attract attention, but a gimmick is more of a ruse — it grabs your attention (and maybe your wallet) but proves to be of little real value. Gadgets, on the other hand, tend to be inventions with a purpose, designed to help make something you do either quicker, faster or easier. There is an abundance of both in the RV industry — but here are three products that definitely fit within the “gadget” parameters. We tried each of them out and found each enhanced a certain aspect of the RV lifestyle.
Hold On: Hatchlift’s Stake Hand offers a good grip when climbing into/out of a pickup bed.
Climbing into a pickup truck bed can be less than graceful. Major truck manufacturers, like GMC/Chevrolet and Ford, finally figured this out and now offer unique tailgates that unfold, and/or have bumper cut-outs for better footing when stepping into and out of the bed. There are even add-on steps available in the aftermarket that facilitate safe boarding.
But what about all the millions of owners who don’t have pickups with such features?
Hatchlift Products, a Colorado-based company which specializes in high-quality struts for compartment doors and mattress platforms, has developed a gizmo called the Stake Hand that lends a helping “hand” when climbing into and out of the pickup bed. It’s simplicity personified — and is one of those “why didn’t I think of that” products.
The device is a 13 ½-inch, straight metal handle that slips into a special-designed receiver mounted in the stake pocket at the rear of the bed rail. It provides a stable handle to hold on to while stepping on the bumper and over the tailgate to reach the bed. Without such an aid, users must grip the tailgate, which can be awkward and unsafe, lower the tailgate and climb on butt first — or use a step stool.