Discontinued back in 2011, Dakota is still a popular choice among truck drivers. It’s got all the traits of a premium-quality pickup and comes at a very reasonable price. The chassis, suspension, and powertrain are on par with the rivals. However, just like any other truck, Dakota has zero protection for the bed. Do you need to worry about that, though? Aren’t beds crafted from stainless steel?
Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean they’re 100% immune to rain, snow, debris, or UV rays. So, if you want to safeguard it from elements, take a close look at the Best Dodge Dakota Tonneau Covers & Bed Covers. Crafted from vinyl and aluminum panels, they do an excellent job of securing the bed and the cargo from the weather and thieves. Here are my top picks!
Is It OK to Go Through Car Wash with Tonneau Cover?
This depends on the actual cover. If it’s a hard folding bed cover, you won’t have to worry about anything, as it can easily handle strong water streams and harsh brushes. Hard roll-up covers are also safe against car washes, but you might want to avoid the standard 10-/15-dollar automatic washing centers that we’ve got all over the States. The reason: if they implement the spinning brushes technique, it can be harmful.
For a soft folding cover, my recommendation is a soft-touch car wash. It will do a great job of cleaning the tonneau cover and not damage it in any way. And what about soft rolling covers? This is the most fragile type, which is why touchless wash is the only real option. So, that’s pretty much it: as long as you know the right car wash for your bed cover, you’ll be alright.
Best Dodge Dakota Tonneau Covers & Bed Covers Review
1. Tyger Auto T3 – Best Soft Tri Fold Tonneau Cover Dodge Dakota
If you’re not really sure whether you want a hard folding or a soft rolling cover, Tyger Auto’s soft tri-fold cover might be exactly what the doc ordered. T3 is crafted from 24 oz. marine-grade vinyl. This is a wear and tear-resistant, weather-tight material. The aircraft-grade frames, in turn (crafted from aluminum), make the cover durable and long-lasting. Sadly, the stainless steel clamps aren’t at all reliable and tend to break.
When treated carefully, they do alright, but this is still a con. On the bright side, T3 features an advanced aerodynamic design. It maximizes the truck’s MPG (miles per gallon) ratio and even provides a slight performance boost. And you won’t have to spend big bucks to get this tonneau cover. Tyger Auto is one of the least expensive aftermarket covers and will be a great choice for a Dakota driver on a budget.
Water-tight, resistant to wear, tear, cracks, and low-priced, the Tyger Auto cover is a perfect match for the Dodge truck. The gas-saving design, sleek appearance, and aluminum frames are even more reasons to consider it over the competition. The included clamps aren’t particularly sturdy, though.
2. TruXedo TruXport – Best Soft Roll Up Tonneau Cover Dodge Dakota
The best thing about soft roll-up bed covers – they’re very easy to use. TruXedo can be opened and closed with one hand. This makes it a great choice if you constantly do grocery shopping or carry lots of goods as part of your job. In addition, the installation process is straightforward, hassle-free, and not at all time consuming. The whole thing will take +/- 30 minutes: all you’ll have to do is secure the clamps, attach TruXport, and hit the road.
Another big pro is the adjustable tension control mechanism. Use it to keep the cover nice and tight and waterproof. Snow won’t be a problem either thanks to the support bows. There’s a downside, though: while leather-embossed vinyl is pretty strong against natural elements, it doesn’t pose a challenge to thieves. So, if you’re worried about someone stealing your precious cargo, this won’t be the best investment.
Ease of use is the TruXedo cover’s biggest selling point. Quick, simple installation, advanced functionality, and adjustable tarp tension turn it into a must-have. However, this tonneau cover isn’t at all protected against theft, because the rails, clamps, and even heavy-duty frame don’t do much in terms of security.
3. Undercover – Best Hard Folding Tonneau Cover Dodge Dakota
And here we have a hard folding cover by Undercover. It is the most secure option on the list thanks to the dual-action tailgate and auto-latching panels. Crafted from a lightweight, impact-resistant composite material, it easily handles whatever nature has in stores. The gloss black finish provides even more protection. Flex is a US-made product using globally sourced materials and is backed by a local customer support service.
As for the cons, this is the most expensive bed cover on the list. But, that is to be expected, as it’s a hard folding cover made from premium-quality materials. Besides, compared to other hard “folders”, it’s actually quite a good deal, which is why it comes highly recommended to Dakota drivers that take cargo security seriously.
As far as the best hard folding bed covers go, Undercover’s Flex is right there on top of the list. It is lightweight, highly resistant to weather, and well-protected against thieves. Plus, as a US-made unit, it is just right for the harsh American climate. The price is a bit steep but only compared to soft covers.
Like any older truck, the Dakota by Dodge needs special care. When it comes to the bed area, while it’s not particularly fragile or soft, it still can’t handle natural elements on its own. To keep it in good shape, you’ll need to invest in a decent-quality tonneau cover. It will protect the bed from scratches, UV rays (peeled off paint), rain/snow (rust and corrosion), dust, dirt, debris, and more.
Today, I introduced you to three market-leading covers. TruXedo is quick to install, easy to use, and looks great. Undercover, in turn, is brick-strong and hard to penetrate, but a bit expensive for some drivers. Finally, Tyger Auto is like the golden middle between the two. So, which one do you think offers the best value? Share your thoughts in the comments!