CAR ID
Time for reading: 8 min.

Pickup Truck Cab And Bed Sizes Are Important When Selecting Accessories

Pickup models each feature 2-3 different wheelbases, bed lengths, and cab configurations. Because many accessories are sized accordingly, we clarify the pickup measuring system.

Americans love to have choices. Buying a dress or shirt? Decide 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".

New Trucks 2015

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.

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:

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

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 5 manufacturers of "conventional" (we'll define that too) pickups sold in the U.S.:

Ford F-150 Regular Cab Small
The Ford F-150.
Chevy Colorado Extended Cab Small
The Chevy Colorado.
Toyota Tundra Access Cab Small
The Toyota Tundra.
Nissan Titan Crew Cab Small
The Nissan Titan.

In order to keep our scope to a manageable size, we keep to current model year pickup truck (2018) offerings. (At the time of this writing, the most recent data for the Nissan Titan was for the 2017 model year. We expect no changes for the 2018 model year.)

Some of these have been redesigned in the last several years (Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado & Colorado, GMC Sierra & Canyon, Nissan Titan), while other platforms have been in production longer (Ram, Toyotas, Nissan Frontier). If your pickup is on the same platform as the current truck, much of this info will apply. But do check with the manufacturer if necessary, as specifications can and will change from year to year.

We do not have the space to cover discontinued vehicles such as the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger. 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 Honda Ridgeline and Subaru Baja, are unibody construction, and there is no variability in number of doors or length of pickup beds. The Honda and Subaru (and similar 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.

Truck Body On Frame
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

"Wheelbase" is defined as the distance from the center of the front wheel to the center of the rear wheel on the same side of the vehicle. It should be obvious that cab and bed size have a huge influence on wheelbase size.

1. CAB SIZES AND STYLES

Among our five 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.

A. Regular or standard cab

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 (2018), Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ram, and Nissan Titan are available in a regular/standard cab configuration. Smaller models such as the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon are not.

Nissan Titan Regular Cab
A Nissan Titan regular cab. Note that the cab size means there is no room behind the front row seat.

B. 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 F-150 Raptor Extended Cab Blue
The Ford F-150 Raptor “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 2018 model year, pickups available in an "extended cab" style are the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins, Ford F-Series, 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 'SuperCab'
    • Nissan Titan & Frontier 'King Cab'
    • Toyota Tacoma 'Access Cab'
Toyota Tacoma Access Cab Black
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.

C. 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.

GMC Sierra Double Cab
A GMC Sierra 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.

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".

Dodge Ram-1500 Quard Cab
A Ram 1500 quad cab. Again note that the rear doors are forward-hinged, but noticeably shorter than the front doors.

D. 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 five 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 SuperCrew
A Ford F-150 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"!

E. 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, providing additional inside storage room.

Ram 3500 mega cab
A Ram 3500 mega cab. Note the stretch in the cab behind the rear door.

2. BED OR BOX SIZES

All five 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.
  • GM:
    • Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra:
      • Short
      • Standard
      • Long
    • Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon:
      • Short
      • Long
  • Ram:
    • 1500:
      • 5' 7"
      • 6' 4"
      • 8' 2"
    • 2500 & 3500:
      • 6' 4"
      • 8' 2"
  • Nissan:
    • Titan:
      • 5’ 7” (base crew cab models)
      • 6’ 6” (XD crew cab models)
      • 8’ 1”
    • Frontier:
      • 5’ 0”
      • 6’ 1”
  • Toyota:
    • Tundra:
      • Short
      • Standard
      • Long
    • Tacoma:
      • Short
      • Standard
      • 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 ft. (96") box has an actual measurement of 98.1". A Ram with a 5'7" (67") box measures out at 67.4".

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 78.9".

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 2017 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.

2015 Chevy Silverado Regular Cab
A Chevy Silverado Regular Cab with 78.9" Standard Box and 119.0" Wheelbase.
2015 Chevy Silverado Double Cab
A Chevy Silverado Double Cab with 78.9" Standard Box and 143.5" Wheelbase.
2015 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab
A Chevy Silverado Crew Cab with 78.9" Standard Box and 153.0" Wheelbase.

Attached to this article is a chart entitled "2018 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!

Shop Now
Low Prices Price match guarantee
In-House Experts We know our products
Guaranteed Fitment Always the correct part
Easy Returns Quick & Hassle Free

All manufacturer names, symbols, and descriptions, used in our images and text are used solely for identification purposes only. It is neither inferred nor implied that any item sold by CARiD.com is a product authorized by or in any way connected with any vehicle manufacturers displayed on this page.

SECURE SHOPPING