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Pickup Truck Cab And Bed Sizes Are Important When Selecting Accessories

We clarify the variety of descriptions used by U.S. market pickup truck manufacturers to define their cab & bed size offerings - knowledge that's essential to order parts & accessories that fit correctly.
Pickup Truck Cab And Bed Sizes Are Important When Selecting Accessories

Americans love to have choices. Buying a dress or shirt. Deciding between solid or stripe, short or long sleeve, cotton or poly blend, button or spread collar, regular fit, slim fit, or big & tall. How about a meal at your favorite steak house? Will it be porterhouse, T-bone, or sirloin? Cooked rare, medium-rare, or medium? With baked, mashed, or French fried potatoes? Thirsty for a fancy cup of coffee? Let's not even get started on options that let you end up with a "grande caramel macchiato with 1% low-fat milk, 2 Splendas, and an extra espresso shot".

Main Banner 2021 Pickup Trucks

If you're in the market for a pickup truck, in addition to color, upholstery, and engine choices, you will need to choose: Two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive? Light duty or heavy duty? Short, standard, or long bed? And for cab sizes, you'll have to decide among standard, extended, double, quad, crew, access, king, or mega. Whew.

F-150 Accessories List
Side steps, bed rails, floor mats, and tonneau covers are just some of the accessories which will vary based on cab and bed sizes.

After you've made your new truck purchase, you have smartly come to our site to accessorize your new ride. You soon find that for some accessories, our website (or our sales agents) will ask you "what size bed do you have?" or "extended cab or crew cab?" Why? For many products, we need to know this to make sure you get the correct-fitting part. Because of different cab sizes, bed (box) lengths, and wheelbases, the fitment of these accessories (among others) is affected:

Our Scope

The purpose of this article is to help you understand the terms used by pickup truck makers when they describe their vehicles. We will define the various cab and bed sizes as determined by all manufacturers of "conventional" (we'll define that too) pickups sold in the U.S.:

Redesigned 2021 Ford F-150
The redesigned 2021 Ford F-150.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500.
Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger.
Jeep Gladiator
The Jeep Gladiator.

In order to keep our scope to a manageable size, we will detail current model year pickup truck offerings. Some of these are new designs for 2021 (Ford F-150) or were introduced in the last several years (Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, Jeep Gladiator, Ford Ranger). Others have been in production for a longer duration (Toyotas, Nissan Frontier).

2021 Ram 1500 / 1500 Classic Sold Concurrently
The 2021 Ram 1500 (left) and 1500 Classic (right), sold concurrently since 2019.

Note that since the current Ram 1500 was redesigned for the 2019 model year, Ram has continued to build and sell the previous generation of the truck alongside it badged as the "1500 Classic". While the Classic lacks the higher towing capacity and technological advancements of the newer 1500, it is priced lower and remains available in regular cab 2-door configuration (the new 1500 is only available with 4 doors).

If your pickup is on the same platform as current models, much of this info will apply. Do check with your manufacturer if necessary, as specifications can and will change from year to year. We don't have the space to cover discontinued vehicles such as the Dodge Dakota. You can still use this info, however, to educate yourself about pickup trucks in general.

Basic Definitions

We refer to these as "conventional" pickup trucks as they have a separate cab and bed, each bolted to a full frame. This construction is in part what makes it easy for the manufacturers to offer different cab and bed sizes. Non-traditional pickup trucks, such as the new Ford MaverickHonda Ridgeline and Hyundai Santa Cruz, are unibody construction, and there is no variability in number of doors or length of pickup beds. These trucks are outside the scope of this article.

The pickup "cab" is the passenger compartment, the enclosed space where driver and any passengers sit. The attributes which typically define a cab are the number and types of doors, as well as the number of seats.

Pickup Truck Body-On-Frame Illustration
A pickup truck body-on-frame illustration. Note that the pickup bed or box is separate from the cab or passenger compartment.

The pickup "bed" or "box" (the two terms are interchangeable) is the rectangular open area behind the cab which is used for cargo-carrying. The bed is always defined by its length, measured on the inside of the bed from the front inside wall to the inside of the tailgate.

Wheelbase Scheme

Cab Sizes And Styles

Among our manufacturers, there is some commonality, and quite a bit of variability, in how pickup truck cab sizes are defined and named. This has become a marketing tool, with some truck makers striving for unique cab styles and/or unique names for their styles. In almost every case, the cabs are defined by door count, length, and/or door hinge placement. Let's start defining the cabs.

Regular or Standard Cab

2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD Regular Cab With Dual Rear Wheel Option
A 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500HD regular cab with dual rear wheel option. Note that this cab size means there is no room behind the front row seat.

The industry defines these as 2-door cabs, with a single row of seats. There is little or no space behind the seat. The seat may be bench or bucket; seat configuration has no effect on the definition. Among the new pickups sold today (2021), the Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ram 1500 Classic, and Nissan Titan are available in a regular/standard cab configuration. Smaller models such as the Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon are not.

Extended Cab

By definition, an "extended cab" has a set of rear doors which are rear-hinged - that is, the hinges are opposite the front door hinges. (This door style is sometimes called 'suicide doors'.) A rear-hinged door can ONLY be opened or closed if its adjacent front door is open. There may be a small jump seat for occasional use behind the front seat, or the extra space may be used for storage.

Ford Ranger "Super Cab" (Extended Cab) With Doors Closed
The Ford Ranger "Super Cab" (extended cab) with doors closed. Note the cut lines around the rear door, and the lack of an exterior door handle.

For the 2021 model year, pickups available in an "extended cab" style are the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, Ford F-Series, Ford Ranger, Nissan Titan, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma. GM calls these trucks "extended cabs". The other makers have unique names for them:

  • Extended Cab Model Names:
    • Ford F-series & Ranger 'SuperCab'
    • Nissan Titan & Frontier 'King Cab'
    • Toyota Tacoma 'Access Cab'
Toyota Tacoma Access Cab (Extended Cab) With Doors Open
A Toyota Tacoma Access Cab (extended cab) with doors open. Note that the rear doors are rear hinged. The lack of a B pillar aids in passenger access to the rear seat.

Double Cab

The term "double cab" is the industry phrase to define a 4-door pickup cab with 4 conventionally-hinged (front hinged) doors, but with the rear doors noticeably shorter than the front doors. Double cabs have a rear seat which can reasonably accommodate adults, but with limited legroom.

Chevy Silverado 1500 Double-cab Pickup Truck
A Chevy Silverado 1500 double-cab pickup truck. Note that the rear doors appear to be approximately half the length of the front doors. Also note the exterior door handle in the conventional location.

This design evolved as a better compromise compared to the extended cab style. A set of rear doors continues to allow easy rear seat access, but the shorter doors keeps the overall vehicle length reasonable. The forward-hinged doors mean they can be operated independent of the front doors.

Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab
A Ram 1500 Classic Quad Cab. Like the Silverado above, rear doors are forward-hinged but noticeably shorter than the front doors.

Today, GM's full-size pickups (Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra), Ram 1500, and Toyota Tundra all offer "double cabs". GM and Toyota call theirs by that name. Ram refers to this cab style as "quad cab".

Crew Cab

Aptly named as it's the body style which most easily carries "the crew", a crew cab has 4 full-size forward-hinged doors (front and rear doors about the same size) and a full rear seat. Be careful, as at a quick glance a crew cab can easily be mistaken for a double cab, or vice versa. Today, all six pickup truck manufacturers sell crew cabs. While GM, Nissan, and Ram call theirs "crew cabs", the others have unique names for them:

  • Crew Cab Model Names:
    • Ford F-150: SuperCrew (note that Ford Super Duty reverts to "Crew Cab")
    • Toyota Tundra: CrewMax
    • Toyota Tacoma: Double Cab
Ford F-150 Lightning SuperCrew
A Ford F-150 Lightning SuperCrew.
Toyota Tundra CrewMax
A Toyota Tundra CrewMax.
Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab
A Toyota Tacoma DoubleCab.

The Toyota naming convention is particularly confusing, as a Tundra "Double Cab" is a true double cab, but a Tacoma "Double Cab" is a crew cab. With Toyotas, "double check"!

Mega Cab

Unique to Ram, and found only in their heavy-duty (2500 and 3500) series, the "Mega Cab" is a crew cab plus a little more. While the 4 forward doors are similar to a crew cab, the cab itself is stretched behind the rear seat to provide additional inside storage room.

Ram Mega Cab
The Ram Mega Cab, available on 2500 and 3500 series models. Note the stretch in the cab behind the rear door.

Bed Or Box Sizes

All of our pickup truck manufacturers offer pickup truck beds in different lengths. Full-size trucks from GM, Ford, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan each offer three different bed sizes. Mid-size trucks such as the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier offer two bed lengths. NONE of the above offer more than TWO different bed sizes in combination with any ONE cab size. This is done to keep overall truck length reasonable, and to promote certain popular cab/bed sizes.

The answer to the question "how big is your bed?" can be answered either in LENGTH or by NAME. Here are each manufacturer's makes and models, with the available bed lengths listed. In every case, we are using the same terms as the truck makers use:

  • Ford:
    • F-150:
      • 5.5 ft.
      • 6.5 ft.
      • 8 ft.
    • Super Duty:
      • 6.75 ft.
      • 8 ft.
    • Ranger:
      • 5 ft.
      • 6 ft.
  • GM:
    • Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra:
      • Short
      • Standard
      • Long
    • Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon:
      • Short
      • Long
  • Ram:
    • 1500:
      • 5' 7" (1500 and 1500 Classic)
      • 6' 4" (1500 and 1500 Classic)
    • 2500 & 3500:
      • 6' 4"
      • 8' 2"
  • Jeep:
    • Gladiator
      • 5'0"
  • Nissan:
    • Titan:
      • 5’ 7”
      • 6’ 6”
    • Frontier:
      • 5’ 0”
      • 6’ 1”
  • Toyota:
    • Tundra:
      • Short
      • Standard
      • Long
    • Tacoma:
      • Short
      • Long

Note that Ford, Ram, and Nissan use numbers to define bed lengths. The actual lengths in every case are fractionally longer than the named size. For example, a Ford Super Duty with an 8-foot (96") box has an actual measurement of 98.1". Likewise, the 5'7" (67") boxes on Ram 1500s and 1500 Classics measure out at 67.4".

Ford F-350 With Dually Wheels
On an unrelated note, dually rear wheels are only available on Ford Super Duty F-350 (shown), Chevy Silverado HD 3500, and Ram HD 3500 models.

Do not presume that a "long bed" is always longer than a "standard bed", even from the same truck company. It depends on the vehicle! For example, a Chevy Colorado (mid-size truck) "long" bed is 74.0"; but the Silverado (full-size truck) "standard" bed is longer at 79.4".

If an accessory product asks you for the exact bed length, you can either refer to your vehicle manufacturer's website (you must know your specific cab and bed sizes) OR you can take a tape measure to the bed, remembering that it is the inside length measurement you want.

Nissan Frontier Crew Cab
This 2021 Nissan Frontier crew cab has a wheelbase of 125.9" and the shorter of two available beds (59.5").

In some rare cases, you may be asked to select an accessory based on your truck's wheelbase. Remember that wheelbase lengths will vary greatly depending on cab and bed sizes. Please don't guess! Your best bet again is to check the manufacturer's website, provided you have a late-model vehicle. You can also measure it yourself, or call your vehicle manufacturer's Customer Service Department.

Ford F-250 Regular Cab With 98.1" Box And 141.6" Wheelbase
A Ford F-250 Regular Cab with 98.1" Box and 141.6" Wheelbase.
Ford F-250 Super Cab With 81.9" Box And 148" Wheelbase
A Ford F-250 Super Cab with 81.9" Box and 148" Wheelbase.
Ford F-250 Crew Cab With 81.9" Box And 159.8" Wheelbase
A Ford F-250 Crew Cab with 81.9" Box and 159.8" Wheelbase.

Attached to this article is a chart entitled "2021 Model Year Conventional Pickup Truck Data Sheet". Here, you will find each truck make and model listed in grid fashion by cab style, box size, and wheelbase. Use this data as a tool to ensure that you are getting the correct-fitting accessory for your truck.

If you've made it this far, we hope that you now have a better understanding of "cab" and "bed" sizes. You may have even found this information helpful if you are currently in the market for a new pickup. It's important to you, and it's important to us, that you end up with the component or accessory which is guaranteed to fit your truck, and armed with this information, you will!

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