Load Up: ‘Ozark’ Bed Shell Boasts 1,500 Pound Static Load Capacity

Photo By: Venturous

When building out an overlanding rig on a pickup truck, one of the first bits to get tossed is the flimsy bed shell – if there is one at all. Most pickup truck bed shells are molded plastic or fiberglass and are built to be both lightweight and to keep the rain and prying eyes off of whatever is in the pickup bed. They’re typically not strong enough to mount up rooftop tents, kayaks, and overlanding extraction gear. That’s what racks are for. LTA Manufacturing, which makes a wide variety of bed shells, including ATC, Ranch, and Jason brands, has decided to bridge the gap between rack and cover.

Photo by Venturous

A new sub-brand called Ventourous has been launched by LTA, and their first product is the $3,495 Ozark bed shell. It looks and works just like a typical fiberglass bed shell, and that’s intended, but the real difference is in how it’s built and what it can carry. LTA says the Ozark is made with a new process called PolyFuse, which has resulted in a win/win for overlanders.

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The company claims the PolyFuse material is “up to 38% lighter and has triple the strength” of a fiberglass shell. Additionally, the company claims the new process results in an improved fit and better finish than older bed caps, with “uniform, consistent shape and thickness, minimizing the presence of air pockets and preventing moisture buildup.” The shells can be color-matched to the truck and include tinted glass windows for security, a fitted rear door skirt, and a third brake light already wired in. Pre-set kits for Yakima and Rhino Rack gear are also an option.

Photo by Venturous

Photo by Venturous

Photo by Venturous

Photo by Venturous

Best of all, Venturous claims the Ozark can be loaded up with 750 pounds of gear while underway and 1,500 pounds of gear once on site. Those specs should allow for saddling up heavier crossbar-mounted gear like rooftop tents and bicycles without a need for a rack. And again, they look just like a typical shell, which might slip under the radar of anyone looking to nick some gear off an overlanding rack.

LTA/Venturous claims they are the only company making such a rack-free product at present. They have published a fitment chart that currently includes select Chevy/GMC, Dodge/RAM, Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator, and Toyota models. Contact the company for options and availability.

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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