The XLT and Lariat Ford Maverick with full package options includes a handy rail and cleat system from the factory, but lower trims like our 2022 XL long term tester come only with a couple pairs of fixed tie-downs.
There is a way however with common off-the shelf materials from your local hardware retailer to build your own rail and anchor system that is every bit as practical as the factory one, in fact likely even more versatile with all the options you can do.
Ford themselves created a video for a DIY rail and anchor system that our project follows, but we did ours a little different using full length 40-inch rails instead of the shorter 30-inch size that Ford did. We even found a huge mistake in their video that we won’t be repeating here – more on that in a couple minutes.
Parts you will need start with a commonly available 10-foot length of 12-gauge slotted B-Channel strut. The brand here is Superstrut but your retailer may carry another brand. It comes galvanized and ready to use. We cut it into two 40-inch lengths for our project and drilled one additional hole needed to line up with all the pre-drilled and threaded bolt-holes in the cargo box wall.
You also need four plastic end-caps for B-Channel for a finished look and feel. The brand we purchased came in a bright blue but I shot them with some black paint so they didn’t stand out so much.
I am using four bolts to attach each rail to the sides of the cargo box. You will need M8x125 x 1-inch long body bolts, three for each side for a total of six. I used factory style Torx head bolts with attached washers. An important note, Ford’s video actually called for M6 bolts for this in their parts list which is incorrect as they are too small.
You will need one of the Torx head M6 bolts however for the front bolt hole, where the factory steel tie-down is to be removed. I just used the bolts leftover from removing them. All of the bolts need a minimum 5.16” x 1” washer to be used.
Also needed are 3/8” nylon strut cone nuts compatible with your B-Channel Strut for attaching your eye bolts. Here we used 3/8” x 1” shoulder style eye bolts which have a flat shoulder flange to tighten down flat and securely against the 3/8” x 1.5” fender washers.
Before you get started, verify all of your holes are clean and give them a test with the bolts. They are pre-threaded but do have paint on them. If you have a spray-in bed liner they also likely have the coating on the threads and will need to be cleaned or tapped to use.
While there are a total of six holes in the bed structure on each side, I used the rear of the two holes where the front tie-down was attached with the M6 bolts and three of the others where the larger M8 bolts will be used for a total of four. As I stated earlier, an extra hole had to be drilled in the channel to accommodate a bolt because the slots didn’t line up with all of the factory holes.
Before placing the 40-inch length of channel, I installed the plastic caps first. Holding it in place, I fed the first M8 bolt through the 3/8” hole I drilled as it was closer to the middle to support the piece while I hand threaded the remaining bolts. The process takes a few minutes as feeding the bolts into the tight channel takes some patience. I used the Torx bit and an extension to work them in one by one. Lastly, feed the factory M6 bolt at the front hole where the factory tie-down was once attached.
Once all four bolts were threaded into their holes I tightened them down working from the middle holes to the ends.
Next step is installing your anchors using the nylon strut cone nuts. They are shaped so that you an twist them into place, the nylon cone retains it in place and allows you to move them around and holds them while you install your hardware whatever it is.
To add them, simply press it into the channel and then twist it 90-degrees. Once it’s placed you should be able to slide it about freely. Once in, you can thread the shoulder eye-bolt and washer combo down and into place. Once you get it where you want it, you can hand tighten it to keep it snug. To make it tight enough to use for securing cargo however use your ratchet handle to give an extra 180-degree turn.
It’s that simple! You can as many or as few of these as you want. You can also use these strut cone nuts and the rails with other hardware options or use them to secure custom rack systems that you might come up with on your own. These are just a great way to attach such things super securely without drilling additional holes into your truck or depending on clamps!
3/8” x 1.5” fender washers (4-6)
3/8” x Shoulder Eye Bolts (4-6)
3/8” Nylon Strut Cone Nuts (4-6)
M8x125 x 1 Torx Head Body Bolts (6)
M6 Torx Head Body Bolts from factory cleats (2)
5/16” x 1” washers (8)
40” 12-gauge slotted B-Channel Strut (2) (Comes in 10′ lengths)
Plastic end-caps for B-Channel (4)