How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your Truck
How To

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your Truck

Trucks are one of the most durable, reliable, and weather-resistant vehicles out there. However, they do have a weak spot, and that’s the bed. Without proper protection, it will fail “victim” to Mother Nature. Debris, rain, snow, mud, UV rays: over time, the tonneau will get rusty. More importantly, the stuff that you carry around will turn into a mess.

The good news is – all that can be avoided with a proper bed cover. It will also protect your cargo from thieves (you won’t believe how many drivers get their things stolen from back there). So, let us go ahead and talk about tonneau covers. The market has a lot to offer, and today, we’ll master the art of  choosing the right one. We’ll go over the different types, groups, the locking system, the price, and more!

The Benefits of a Bed Cover

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your Truck

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to get with a good tonneau cover:

  • Weather protection
  • Protection against thieves
  • Improved fuel efficiency
  • Extended bed lifespan
  • A sleek, eye-grabbing appearance
  • Extra weight capacity (with hard folding covers)

These are just some of the bed cover pros. Read on to find out more about these accessories and to learn how to pick the perfect cover for your truck.

Different Covers for Different Needs

With bed covers, we’ve got two different types: hard and soft. Aluminum is the most common material for a hard cover, and it serves as a brick-strong layer of protection. Soft covers, in turn, are usually made from vinyl (industrial-strength). Both hard and soft covers can be rolling or folding. On top of that, we’ve got the one-piece lid and retractable groups. Let us take a closer look at each.

Rolling Covers

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your TruckAccording to statistics, most drivers buy soft rolling covers. They are very easy to use and provide full access. For transporting groceries, clothes, or, say, some chairs and a table for the camping trip, a soft rolling cover is perfect. And if you want more security, go with a hard rolling cover. The mechanism is the same, but you’ll get extra protection thanks to the aluminum on top of the vinyl.

Say, if you’re looking for a reliable Tonneau Cover for Tundra, it would be best to invest in a hard-rolling cover. This is a full-size truck and can carry a lot of stuff in one go. So, the cover needs to be both “user-friendly” and secure enough not to worry about thieves.

Folding Covers

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your TruckNext, we’ve got the folding covers, and, as the name suggests, they fold instead of rolling. With soft folding covers, you’ll get more protection and reliability than with the rolling design. Crafted from leather-grained vinyl, they’re sturdier and, overall, more durable. To get an even stronger security, go with hard folding covers. Again, they work pretty much the same as the “softies” but have a more rigid surface.

And another thing: hard folding covers can carry extra weight: on average, you’ll be able to carry 300 pounds on top of them. Premium-quality covers can even hold up to 600 pounds, which is quite impressive. The price-tag will be a bit steep, though. But, this could be the Best Tonneau Cover for Jeep Gladiator, as you probably won’t need 100% bed access with this vehicle, but will appreciate its ability to carry that extra weight.

Retractable and One-Piece

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your TruckDrivers looking for an alternative to a rolling cover might like the retractable type. This one is rolled into a tiny canister (installed inside of the truck’s bed). You get aluminum stats on top of the cover and the freedom of locking the cover whenever and wherever you want to. The retractable design is perfect for folks looking for that golden middle between usability and protection. The rails do require some lubrication once in a while to stay in shape, however.

If you don’t like the way the “regular” covers look, pay extra attention to the one-piece option. It’s very common for drivers to order a custom one-piece tonneau cover so that it matches the truck. Plus, thanks to weather-tight seals, the bed will be safeguarded against road hazards and thieves. One-piece lid is arguably the Bed Cover for Dodge Ram 1500 with Rambox. The reason: you’ll get brick-strong protection for all your tools/cargo while riding in style.

Ease of Installation + Compatibility

With the different types and groups out of the way, let’s talk about the installation process. In general, the rolling covers are very easy to mount. Everything can be done in less than an hour with a set of “garage” tools. Hard folding covers, in contrast, take a lot longer to mount, and you might need to do a lot of drilling and ask a friend to help you out.

On the bright side, hard covers mostly follow a so-called aerodynamic design. That improves the truck’s acceleration, ride control, and even fuel efficiency (thanks to less wind resistance). Also, check for compatibility. For example, a lot of folks use anchor points (tie-down) to keep the cargo secured. Unfortunately, some bed covers restrict access to the stake hole pockets where the anchor points supposed to be installed into.

Weather Resistance

You never know what kind of weather you’ll be facing: rain, snow, mud, dirt, or dust. And while bed covers are specifically designed to protect the truck’s bed from all of that, they’re not all super effective. First of all, look for a tonneau cover that’s protected against the sun rays. Next, check whether it’s water-proof or not. A cover might look to be sealed tight, but in reality, it could end up letting the water soak through into the bed.

If you see “weather-proof” in the specs, that means it will keep the rain (along with snow and mud) at bay. Or, you’ll see “adjustable tension system”, which is practically the same thing.

The Locking Mechanism

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your Truck

Moving on, it’s time to choose the actual locking system that will keep the thieves at bay. Without a proper tonneau cover, it won’t take some low-lives long to steal from you. Auto-locking panels are the most advanced option on the market. Every time the tailgate goes up, these panels create a tight seal. If you were wondering what the Best Tonneau Cover for F150 looks like, this is it right here.

That’s because F150 one of the most popular trucks among thieves; so, you need to make sure the bed is well-secured. The price-tag will be a turn-off for some drivers, however. If you’re looking for something less expensive, but still reliable, you might want to invest in a more traditional lock.

The Price-Tag

How to Choose The Right Tonneau Cover For Your TruckLast, but not least, we’ve got the price to consider. As I just mentioned, brick-strong locking mechanisms cost a lot. Hard covers with aluminum surfaces will make the price-tag even steeper. Premium weather resistance and enhanced compatibility don’t come for cheap either. But, you’ll get advanced protection for your truck’s bed and it will serve you for many years. A high-quality hard folding tonneau cover could cost you up to 1K US dollars, or even more.

A soft rolling cover will be available for +/- 200 dollars. That’s a five times less expensive offer, by the way! Yes, there’s enough room to maneuver, and only you can decide which bed cover will be the best investment for you. If this is your first purchase, I’d recommend going for a really cheap product, so that you can grow out of it in the future and know exactly what kind of improvements you’re looking for.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment