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Each year about this time, I drive from my home in Arizona to the Cedar River Lodge campground in Michigan between Beaverton and Gladwin. I make the trip in a Nissan Frontier pickup, the bed of which I fill with stuff I need — from reference books to clothes, from camera and laptop to golf clubs — and this year a waffle iron and coffee maker as well.

Usually, I put everything into covered plastic bins, which I wrap within a couple of opaque plastic tarps. Overnight security in a motel parking lot is one issue, but just as worrisome is rain. Seems no matter how securely I try to make those tarps, the late-spring thunderstorms I encounter as I drive across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri somehow soak something I wanted — and needed — to keep dry.

So this year I tried a different solution, the Original Tuff Truck Bag. I’m very happy to report that I’ve arrived in Michigan and despite several deluges along the way, my stuff is dry.

“We invented the Tuff Truck Bag to solve a problem,” Philip, Adam and Tim Dozier of Dothan, Georgia, say on the company website.

“We were tired of having to worry about the possibility of inclement weather on a trip or outing that would get luggage, cargo or camping and hunting supplies wet. What we needed was an inexpensive solution.”

After three years of development and the patent process, the Doziers launched Tuff Truck Bags in 2011.

The bag measures 40 inches by 50 inches and is 22 inches tall, which means it holds 26 cubic feet of gear. That leaves room in your truck bed for a toolbox or cooler.

The bags are made from layers of a waterproof heavy-duty PVC material. Seams are sealed with epoxy and heat fusion.

A heavy-duty zipper with pulls from either end is 40 inches long and wraps around one end of the bag, and is protected by an overlapping flap. There are corner rings and bungee tie-downs included to secure the bag in a truck bed.

When not in use, the bag folds and rolls into a compact carrying bag that comes in the delivery box.

The interior layer of the bag has a grippy surface that can make it difficult for your stuff to slide around. But that also means you can’t simply slide your stuff in or out. However, I found a quick and easy solution — put a couple pieces of cardboard in the bottom of the bag and you can easily slide your gear in or out.

The suggested retail price of the Tuff Truck Bag is $200. Buyers have their choice of black or khaki color.

The company also produces a Tuff Tote Dry Duffle Bag that’s 24 by 11 by 12 inches that holds about 2 cubic feet for $80, and Tuff Tote Dry Bags that hold 1 cubic foot for $35.

For information, visit the www.tufftruckbag.com website.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.

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