We use the bed of our truck as a garage: It has some tools, some chairs, a generator, bike helmets, our BBQ, and other various items. Covering the bed is a Retrax rolling bed cover. I added yakima rails on top of that, so we could load the bikes just above the bed of the truck.
To show you how it all goes together, here is a video of packing the truck, sped up just a bit. This was recorded the day we drove away from our house in Lehi, UT. The new owners (of the house) showed up in the middle of the video actually, so I cut the piece where we were talking to them.
We take the truck bed from empty to packed, then add the rack and the bikes. On the road, we rarely remove the rack entirely, and just access the bed contents through the back hatches or between the bike racks.
Having the back of the truck has been great. While we could tow with something like an SUV, the truck gives us an ‘outside space’ to keep things. We carry a generator and a 2 gallon gas can, and those cannot be carried in the interior of a vehicle. As it stays ‘outside’ I never have to empty the gas from the generator.
The bed cover and bike racks deserve their own posts, so I’ll save the details on those for another time.