How to Create the Ultimate Summer Tailgating Truck

Originally published on May 24, 2023 | Updated on Sep 26, 2023

Let us paint a picture: It’s a gorgeous sunny day out; the weather may be hot, but the healthy breeze and shady trees are keeping you cool. Loved ones are lounging around while you’re standing at the rear of your truck; ice-cold beverages are in the cooler, tunes are playing through your pickup’s open windows, and there’s an inviting smell of burgers and dogs roasting on the old Coleman camp grille. Whether you’re parked by the lake, waiting to storm the stadium, or hanging in the campsite, nothing hits the spot like the perfect Summer tailgating sesh. 

With Summer around the corner, we’re digging into the top tailgating accessories for your truck. This season, the experts at RealTruck are here to help transform a good tailgate into the ultimate tailgate!

Top Tailgating Accessories

You don’t need much to have a great time when it comes to tailgating. It’s an activity that showcases the enjoyment brought about by nice weather, tasty food, and good company. However, that’s not to say your tailgating setup can’t use an upgrade! At RealTruck, we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just upgrade the design to make it roll a bit smoother. Now, in the spirit of Summer, let’s check out our expert’s top recommended accessories for the ultimate tailgater!


No tailgate is complete without cold drinks, and there’s no better way to keep them icy for hours than a high-quality cooler. This staple of the Summer tailgating session does it all, from a fridge and freezer to a makeshift seat to take a load off between flipping burgers!

Pelican RC 45QT ELITE Wheeled Cooler

What can hold all your drinks, measure your fish, open your bottles, and look good doing it? The Pelican RC 45QT ELITE Wheeled Cooler of course! Pelican is a long-standing name in the premium cooler game, and the RC 45QT ELITE is no exception to the company’s renowned quality. With refrigerator-grade insulation, integrated all-terrain plastic wheels, a grab handle, and up to 10 days of ice retention, the Pelican is the ultimate addition to this Summer’s tailgate. 


  • Polypropylene construction

  • Polyurethane foam insulation

  • Available in white/gray and tan/orange

  • Up to 10-days of ice retention

  • Features heavy-duty wheels and handle

  • Press & pull latches

  • Integrated fish scale

  • Molded tie-downs and lock hasp

  • Built-in bottle opener

  • Anti-skid and non-marking feet

  • leak-free sloped drain and tethered threaded plug

  • Certified bear-resistant!

  • USA-made

  • Limited lifetime warranty

Pelican DayVenture Sling Cooler

If you’d prefer to keep the beverages separate from your food in the primary cooler, check out the DayVenture Sling Cooler from Pelican. This innovatively-shaped, soft-sided cooler features a tall form factor to stack up to twelve canned beverages or four wine bottles! A leak-proof zipper protects your truck’s bed/interior from spills while the integrated sling makes carrying the cooler a breeze. Like the ELITE, Pelican offers the DayVenture in two colorways: Gray/Mint and Tan/Orange. 


  • Double-coated 840D TPU construction

  • High-density closed-cell foam insulation

  • Available in two color options

  • Wide-top opening for easy drink access

  • Leak-resistant zipper and seal

  • Holds 12 cans and ice or 4 wine bottles

  • Features padded shoulder straps with a rubberized handle 

  • Exterior storage pocket

  • Limited 3-year warranty

Trustmade Portable Fridge/Freezer

For the lover of all things excess, why opt for a standard cooler when you can pack a portable fridge? The TrustMade Portable Fridge/Freezer is the ultimate tailgating supply; never again worry about melting ice or lukewarm drinks; this compact and portable fridge/freezer keeps all of your food and beverage supplies at the proper temperature while plugged into a simple 12 or 24-volt outlet. For extra insurance, the Trustmade fridge/freezer is vibration and drop-resistant. 


  • Offered in various sizes

  • Fast cooling with premium insulation

  • -18°C/14°F to 10°C/50°F temperature range

  • Energy saving consumption

  • Low voltage protection

  • Sub 45-decibel operation

  • Electromagnetic interference protection

  • Overcurrent protection

  • Anti-shaking and drop protection

  • Voltage: DC12V/24V

  • Adapter voltage: 100V - 240V

  • Power: 45W


Unfortunately, not every campsite or parking space offers ample shade. Especially on those steaming-hot, triple-digit Summer days, shade is essential to keep the tailgate safe and comfortable; if there isn’t any shade available, make your own with a premium awning!

Body Armor 4x4 Sky Ridge 270XL Awning

Provide your tailgate with 270 degrees of shade with the Body Armor 4x4 Sky Ridge 270XL Awning! This premium polyurethane-coated polyester awning offers exceptional protection from the elements, whether rain or shine! The universal mounting kit attaches to any roof or bed rack without any cutting, trimming, drilling, or modifications. The 270CL offers a substantial 129-sq/ft of coverage and comes in driver or passenger configurations, mounting to either side of the rack to best suit your setup. 


  • 420D polyester oxford ripstop fabric construction

  • Waterproof polyurethane coating

  • Available in driver or passenger mounting options

  • 129 sq/ft of coverage 

  • Twist-lock telescopic legs & aluminum frame

  • Easily mounts to almost any existing roof or bed rack

  • Mounting brackets & hardware provided

  • Includes 8 stakes, 8 guy-ropes & 2 tie-down straps

  • Includes heavy-duty travel cover

  • Limited 2-year warranty

Rhino Rack Sunseeker Vehicle Awning

For a sturdy, budget-friendly, mid-sized awning, it’s tough to beat the Rhino Rack Sunseeker Awning. This compact, easy-to-use awning is available in two sizes–2 and 2.5 meters–to suit the needs of most tailgaters. The included installation kit allows you to mount the awning onto most crossbar-style roof racks from Rhino Rack, Yakima, Thule, and others! The Sunseeker provides between 43–55 sq/ft of shade depending on the size, plenty for a couple of chairs, a table, and a cooler to keep you and the family out of the sun! 


  • 210D rip-stop canvas construction

  • available in 2 & 2.5-meter sizes

  • Quick and easy to setup and tear down

  • UV50+ rating

  • PU 2000 mm water resistance

  • Mold & rust resistant

  • Includes aluminum telescopic poles, ropes, & pegs

  • Mounts to existing roof racks/cargo bars

  • Includes bracket to fit your awning to your Rhino Rack Vortex bars, Heavy Duty bars & Pioneer Platform

  • Fits all Rhino Rack, Thule & Yakima Bars, and more!

  • 1-year warranty

Body Armor 4x4 Sky Ridge 270 Awning

The 4x4 Sky Ridge 270 Awning is the perfect middle ground between the massive 270XL and compact, square awnings like the Sunseeker. The 270-degree wrap-around awning offers exceptional coverage, totaling 80 square feet to provide shade to the entire tailgate! A polyurethane-coated polycotton shell provides exceptional weather resistance, while rugged aluminum legs and frame keep the awning rigid. The Sky Ridge 270 offers a simple installation onto most roof racks and comes in driver or passenger configurations to best integrate with your existing rack setup.  


  • 280G polycotton ripstop fabric construction

  • Waterproof polyurethane coating

  • Available in driver or passenger mounting options

  • 80 sq/ft of coverage

  • Lightweight, twist-lock aluminum telescopic legs & frame

  • Easily mounts to almost any roof or bed rack

  • Includes stakes & tie-down straps to secure

  • Heavy-duty travel cover included

  • Optional wall kits available (sold separately)

  • Limited 2-year warranty

Bed Liners

While bed liners are typically used to guard your truck's bed against impacts and abrasions, they’re also ideal for increasing in-bed comfort! Check out these comfortable bed liner options to make any tailgate more enjoyable.

BedRug Full Bedliner

The BedRug Full Bedliner offers the ultimate balance between comfort and protection. Unlike most rigid spray-on or drop-in liners, the BedRug features a soft-touch polypropylene fiber finish for a carpet-like feel. ¾-inch thick padding cushions your knees from the stiff bed floor, preventing knee pain and discomfort; with a truck bed this comfortable, the tailgate won’t ever leave your truck! And if you spill a soda or condiment in the bed, don’t fret! The BedRug Full Bedliner is easy to clean; simply hose it out and let it air dry for a rejuvenated appearance! 


  • Complete bed protection

  • Premium polypropylene construction

  • Soft-touch polypropylene fiber finish

  • Non-skid

  • Resists water-absorption

  • Mold and mildew-resistant 

  • Chemical-resistant

  • Stain-resistant

  • Vehicle-specific fitment

  • ¾-inch, knee-friendly bed-floor cushioning

  • Maintains access to OE tie-downs and accessories

  • UV and fade-resistant

  • Limited lifetime warranty

Husky Liners UltraFiber Full Truck Bed Liner

Keeping along the trend of comfort and durability, check out the Husky Liners UltraFiber Full Truck Bed Liner! This rugged, soft-touch polypropylene bed liner offers complete truck bed protection while loading and unloading cargo like benches, camping chairs, a camping stove, and more! The soft surface is plush and comfortable, making your truck’s bed the ideal spot to kick back and relax at the tailgate. The Husky Liners UltraFiber bed liner is entirely water, chemical, and stain-resistant, shrugging off even the deepest mustard stains or spilled wine. When you’re back home and unpacked, just hose-out the bed for a like-new appearance! 


  • Constructed from highly durable 3/4" polypropylene

  • Full truck bed protection

  • Cushioned floor protects your cargo and truck bed

  • Anti-skid surface

  • Installs with included 3M hook and loop, no tools needed

  • Installs and removes without damaging your bed

  • Waterproof, chemical, and stain resistant

  • Includes tailgate mat

  • Works with factory drain holes

  • Works with other truck bed accessories

  • USA-made

  • Limited lifetime warranty

BedRug Bedtred Impact Bed Liner

For the rowdiest of tailgates, check out the BedRug Bedtred Impact Bed Liner! This high-quality, full-coverage bed liner pairs BedRug’s proprietary polypropylene carpeting sidewalls with a rugged non-skid bed mat, perfectly blending comfort and durability. Compliant, ¾-inch foam padding backs the TPO bed mat, guarding against impacts and sore knees while climbing around the bed to grab another drink! With the BedRug BedTred Impact Bed Liner, you can do it all; haul a load to the dump in the morning, hose out the bed when you’re done, and load up for a cozy tailgater in the evening! 


  • TPO floor with polypropylene sidewalls

  • Complete truck bed protection

  • 3/4" thick closed-cell foam backing

  • Integrated tailgate gap guard

  • UV, chemical, and stain resistant

  • Non-skid

  • Installs with 3M hook and loop fasteners

  • USA-made

  • Limited lifetime warranty

Shop Now

RealTruck is your home for the best products to outfit your build for unforgettable adventures.

Drivetrain | Suspension | Lighting | Performance