Mods 2 and 3: Spray-in Bedliner and Toolbox
Well, the next two modifications are complete. The first of these was a spray-in bedliner. I originally wanted to order the truck with the factory bedliner applied, but the dealership told me it could add 1-2 months to the order time. Plus the cost of the factory liner was pretty pricey. Ergo, I ordered the truck without a bed liner and instead found a local company ("The Option") to perform an aftermarket installation. The liner is the brand name of "bullet liner." I'm really impressed with both the review of this liner and how well guys at The Option did installing. Very clean, professional job (the dirt footprints in the photos are mine):
The second thing I did was install a tool box. I looked at a lot of options, including Decked (pricey and a bed killer), Diamondback (very pricier and not quite what I need), and various saddle boxes. On my previous trucks, I've always used a saddle box, so this is the route I went. The big problem, however, is the stupid sloped sheet metal inside the bed that Jeep installs to accommodate the fuel filler system. This one little protrusion means that most of the aftermarket mid-sized truck tool boxes can work. Argh. Long story short, I eventually found this one at Lowes. It's built by Craftsman and has sloped side walls that clear the jeep filler sheet metal. The exact model is: Craftsman Mid-Size Matte Black Truck Box, p/n #CMXTBAD73217204.
To be honest, I'm not impressed with the quality of the box (it's kind of cheap, thin-walled aluminum) but it should suffice for my needs, which primary entails carrying things like hand tools, some recovery gear, tied-down straps, and such. Note also that I moved the front factory tie-down "trail rail" from the truck bed to the rear of the toolbox to maintain functionality and provide more tie-down options.