I was invited and hosted by SEMA to attend this year’s show. It is my 10th The SEMA Show, even having my own vehicle builds on display three times in the past.
This year’s show attracted around 160,000 attendees and about 2,100 vendors. It is one of the largest trade shows in the world, and the largest car show in the world. It’s all about the automotive aftermarket, which is a massive industry.
As per usual, I walked nearly every inch of the show to find you the most interesting and truly new products and vehicles. This post is about the best new products that you might want to upgrade your vehicle with for the adventures ahead.
Let’s dive in!
The SEMA Show 2023 New Products: Best in Show
RinseKit Tailgate Pad
Combine a 12V shower and a tailgate bike pad and you get the RinseKit Tailgate Pad. It holds 10 gallons of water in a bladder on the inside of the tailgate and has a 12V 50 PSI water pump powered by a four-pin trailer plug. A 7-foot hose and shower head deliver the water to whatever your need to clean off. A felt inner liner helps keep the paint looking right on your tailgate. It holds five bikes, will be out in early 2024, and will likely cost around $400.
Organized storage in your adventure rig is always in short supply and always appreciated. Flated has a new take on the vehicle storage bin, with an inflatable walled and insulated bin with internal Velcro adjustable dividers and a zippered lid. It fits under the Flated Air-Deck truck bed platform, and can also be hung vertically from a truck topper or rack.
Expect the Flated Air-Storage bins — small at $199 (shown here) and large at $299 — to hit the market in early 2024.
Getting bulky gear like bikes and kayaks on and off a roof rack, especially on today’s big crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, is no easy task. Norwegian-based DropRacks has come up with a solution. Its rack system easily drops the horizontal roof loading platform down to a manageable height, in about 20 seconds. The rack can be accessorized with rack components from a wide range of rack brands and can hold up to 175 pounds.
DropRacks come in three sizes, starting at $2,150, plus $230 shipping to the U.S.
Combine the benefits of a quick-deploy ground tent and a rooftop tent and add a hitch mount and you’ll get the Thule Outset. It is a hitch-mounted “car tent” that is super easy to deploy, offers spacious accommodations off the ground, and weighs 155 pounds. The tent features integrated brake and license plate lights and has wheels on it for super-easy storage off the vehicle.
The Thule Outset car tent was shown for the first time in North America at The SEMA Show 2023 and hits the U.S. market in September 2024 for about $4,300.
Kuat IBEX Panel Kit
Following up on the impressive Kuat IBEX truck rack system launch earlier this year is a new Panel Kit. It turns the truck bed rack into a full truck topper. The panels can easily be removed and added, including when an RTT or gear is on the roof rack.
First on offer will be second- and third-generation Tacoma racks with panel kits, in the summer of 2024. The racks will run around $1,500, with the panel kit costing an additional $1,600-ish. The panel kit flat packs for shipping and shouldn’t be too heavy — the final weight is still TBD.
If you want a super-comfortable bench seat for your camper van that converts to a bed, then you’re going to want to check out the SmartBench. It is designed to glide on tacks to position optimally for your needs, and to fold out and collapse, on the SmartFloor system. It also has a narrower bottom cushion than other van benches that convert to beds, which makes it much more suitable and comfortable for kids.
The SmartBench is just hitting the U.S. market now and is available from RRE Global in three different widths. It starts at about $4,800.
Nomadic Cooling Co. X2
The Nomadic Cooling Co X2 shown at The SEMA Show 2023 — and pictured above — is designed for small trailers and pop-tops. It’s a 12V AC unit that puts out 8,188 BTU, weighs 44 pounds, and costs about $3,000. It comes with a remote and has a flush-mounted internal faceplate, maximizing volume in your adventure vehicle of choice. The unit fits in a standard 14-inch by 14-inch roof opening.
The bigger Nomadic Cooling Co X3 is designed for bigger vans and runs about $4,000.
A leader in exterior van accessories for many, many decades now Aluminess continues to innovate. For The SEMA Show 2023 the company showed off a new drop rack design for rear doors on vans. The Aluminess Cyclone was primarily designed as a bike rack, but it could also be used to drop down a storage box, outdoor kitchen, or even create a rear table. Of course, it is full aluminum construction.
Aluminess says it will work with a few brands of rear door accessory plates and fit all modern vans. It has a 100-pound load capacity. Pricing is still TBD and availability is expected in spring 2024.
Rockslide Engineering R-Step
Rockslide Engineering introduced the R-Step at The SEMA Show 2023. It is a retractable two-step system for trucks and SUVs, specifically to make it easy to access roof racks and get in and out of truck beds.
The Rockslide Engineering R-Step comes in two sizes — $499 for small (shown) and $549 for the larger size. It will be available by the end of the year with a wide range of mounting brackets for different vehicles and placements on those vehicles.
ARB Earth Camper
For the first time, ARB showed off its Earth Camper in the U.S. at The SEMA Show 2023. It also officially announced that it hopes to have a North American spec version available for purchase before the end of 2024. Its unique exo-cage and composite construction — at least unique on U.S. market — will turn some heads. Add in a custom off-road independent suspension system and just about every RV feature you can think of, and you have one super-capable and comfortable camper trailer.
While pricing is not yet locked down, the ARB Earth Camper will likely start at about $50,000. The U.S. version will likely have additional options over the Australian version as well, like air conditioning.
Another awesome new camper trailer shown at The SEMA Show 2023 is the Lightship L1. This 27-foot, double-axle, fully electric camper is designed to be super-efficient on the highway, both through a pop-up hard-sided roof design and through a built-in electric propulsion axle.
The Lightship L1 is expected to hit the market in about a year, at the end of 2024, with versions ranging from about $125,000 to $151,000. The trailer has so much solar on board that it qualifies for current solar tax credits, which could help reduce the price quite a bit.
Ironman 4×4 Tundra Premium Triple Hoop Bull Bar
Modern Toyota 4x4s are hard to design bumpers for, because of their complex front ends full of sensors, plastics, and air vents. Ironman 4×4 has come up with a solution for the latest Tundra that not only looks good, functions with all the sensors, and has all the features you want in a full protection off-road bumper, but is also fully crash tested — something Australian companies are required to do for off-road bumpers in their home country.
The Ironman 4×4 Premium Triple Hoop Bull Bar is just hitting the U.S. market this month. It’s quite the value at only about $2,000.
Rhino Linings Hybrid XP
Bedliners are nothing new, but lighter, stronger, and more eco-friendly liners are worth talking about — especially when talking about modern aluminum truck beds. The latest from Rhino Linings is Hybrid XP. It is a lighter, thinner, and stronger coating. It is also made in the USA and is made of 30%+ recycled content. Like all Rhino Linings products, it comes with a lifetime warranty and can be installed at any of the company’s 500+ applicators across the U.S.
AEV GM HD Snorkel
American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) continues to bring OEM quality parts to the aftermarket. Its latest line of products are for the GM HD pickups, both Chevrolet and GMC. One part that really stood out to me, which will be available in spring 2024, is the AEV GM HD Snorkel. It will come in four different versions, ones for specific fitment for gas and diesel for both HD truck models. Pricing is still TBD.
DARC Carbon Sprinter Parts
RRE Global is introducing a full line of carbon fiber parts for vans into the U.S. market, under the DARC brand. First up will be carbon Sprinter van-specific parts. A snorkel, fender flares, a front facia bumper, and rear bump-outs are the first parts on offer.
These new DARC parts are available to order right now, but are custom orders and will arrive in 6-8 weeks. Pricing is being fine-tuned right now, but it won’t be inexpensive, so reach out directly to RRE Global for specifics.
The DARC carbon Sprinter parts are for those who really want to stand out from the sea of Sprinter vans and have some extra cash to do so. They do look sharp! Especially the snorkel.