Seen at SEMA
Miles of aisles at the world’s largest automotive aftermarket-equipment event showcased the latest products for your tow vehicle
It started in 1963 when a handful of automotive businesses formed what was then known as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association, or SEMA. Today, SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, representing a far broader spectrum of products than speed equipment alone. The association’s annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is the largest automotive-equipment event in the world, with more than 2,400 exhibitors, and 140,000 buyers and media representatives. The mega show covers 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space and features more than 1,500 one-of-a-kind project vehicles. The bad news is that it’s a trade-only show that’s closed to the public.
|Beautifully tailored Covercraft DashMats protect vinyl surfaces in vehicles from damaging sun and eliminate annoying glare. The company specializes in
custom-vehicle and RV covers.
The good news for those not in the business is that, outside the convention halls, many of the amazing specialty vehicles are on display. As the show winds down on Friday afternoon, thousands gather in bleachers and along the parade route, as all manner of super cars and trucks rumble out to the SEMA Ignited event just across the street. Food stands and live bands add to the carnival atmosphere.
We spent four days walking the miles of aisles looking for new items that may already be available at your local auto-parts and RV stores. The unique products the industry invents are always amazing. Who would guess that you could use a battery-powered hand drill to pull 1,000 pounds up a ramp? And can you imagine a ball mount that tells you the hitch weight of your trailer at a glance? We can’t possibly show you everything — we’re not even sure if we saw it all — but here you can get a glimpse of some of the products that caught our eyes. All you need at the end of the show is a foot rub.
|For full-size trucks or vans, the innovative Decked Storage System (1) incorporates two bed-length drawers that roll out to provide easy access to tools, equipment and additional gear. The deck of the storage system is built from recycled high-density polyethylene co-molded to a steel sub frame, providing a 2,000-pound load capacity; drawers are claimed to hold up to 200 pounds. The storage organizer is weatherproof and can be configured to accommodate tie-downs or rack systems.
|Long the world standard for transporting gas, diesel or water, NATO-style containers are now available again in the United States. The Wavian Jerry Can (4) is the first EPA/CARB/DOT/OSHA-compliant military-spec steel fuel-can system in North America, according to the company. The cans
are available in 5-, 10- and 20-liter
sizes in red (for gas), yellow (for diesel) and blue (for water).
|A convenient single-use bottle of Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean (3) was introduced to round out the company’s line of premium diesel additives. The new 8-ounce size is ideal for applications treating 15 to 20 gallons of fuel. Amsoil Diesel Injector Clean is formulated with a concentrated alcohol-free chemistry that is said to provide optimized performance in diesel applications. It removes performance-robbing deposits found in fuel injectors and the combustion chamber.
|Though not a brand-new product at this year’s show, we appreciated the Weigh Safe Drop Hitch (6), which features a built-in scale that measures trailer hitch weight. Available with 4-, 6-, 8- and 10-inch adjustable drop bars, the ball mount comes with 2-inch and 25/16-inch stainless-steel balls.
|The Bolt Receiver Lock (7) locks trailers, bikes and equipment with your car key and now comes in models for all trailer-hitch receivers. The unique Receiver Lock — and all other Bolt locks — can be coded to your vehicle ignition key, keeping your keychain uncluttered.
|Torklift’s HiddenPower Battery Mount (10) is designed to hold an auxiliary battery under the vehicle with a no-drill installation and works for all types of Group 24, 27 and 31 12-volt batteries. With quick-disconnect electrical connectors, the system attaches to the truck’s frame and connects to the vehicle’s charging system.Torklift International
|The new Odyssey Performance Series Battery uses the same thin-plate pure-lead technology as the Odyssey Extreme Series but with a slightly lower reserve capacity and cranking amps — and a 20 percent lower price. All other features remain the same, including an expected service life of three to 10 years and a four-year full-replacement warranty.Odyssey Battery
New Hellwig LP-15 Helper Springs for the 2015 two- and four-wheel-drive Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon are rated up to 1,500 pounds. The kit includes four multi-leaf springs that bolt onto the top of the factory leaf pack on either side of the axle U-bolts. The U-bolts can be adjusted to change the rate of the helper springs, allowing the user to match them to their specific loads or to level the vehicle for improved handling, braking, better ride and aesthetics.
|The CarGo Apron is an innovative cargo liner you can leave in your van, SUV or hatchback, or easily store until you need it. The woven-polyethylene liner has flaps that go up the side walls and rear seat backs inside the vehicle to keep the cargo area clean. CarGo Apron
The sleek new Truck Covers USA American Truck Rack can quickly be reconfigured to extend over the pickup’s cab to hold kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and other long equipment. A lower secondary cargo level over the bed can also be added when needed.
Truck Covers USA
End of the Road
Whether it’s taking a load of camping gear on an adventure or a pile of trash to the dump, TuffTruckBag keeps the dirt out of your nice clean truck bed and the rain off your camping equipment. Heavy-duty rings and four bungee cords secure the bag to the bed. When not in use, the bag stores in —what else? — an included tote bag.
Tuff Truck Bags
ATC Truck Covers