Having a pickup truck has plenty of benefits. One of the biggest ones is that you have a lot of room to hold your valuables. However, most of the things you are carrying in your bed will be exposed. A tonneau cover will protect whatever you are carrying from weather elements and potential thieves. The type of cover you choose should match your needs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right tonneau cover.
Brand and Budget
There are lots of tonneau cover brands and some research may help you pick the most appropriate one for your needs. Consider reading online reviews to determine the best brands. Learning about the experiences of previous customers will help you determine if a brand is worth purchasing. Consider getting recommendations from family and friends.
Consider the amount you are willing to spend on your cover and stick to it. The amount you pay should match the quality of your cover. While the cheapest cover is not always the best one, you shouldn’t be paying too much just for a brand. Generally, hard covers will cost more than the soft ones.
Choose a cover that is compatible with your vehicle and other accessories. Just because a tonneau cover fits one truck does not mean it will automatically fit yours. Compatibility depends on bed size, shape, and the presence of a liner. Poor compatibility results in installation issues. If a tonneau cover is incompatible with your vehicle, it may appear to sit awkwardly. You may need to change elements of the truck bed for a better fit.
When shopping for a tonneau cover, have the size of your truck bed in mind. Take note of its shape and how it is built. That way, getting the right cover will be easy. Getting measurements with your tape measure will ensure that you have the most appropriate cover for your track. Measure from the bulkhead and move to the inside of your tailgate for the perfect fit.
Tonneau covers are made using various materials. Some are better for certain needs and environments than others. Every material has unique advantages and learning about them will ensure that you have the best option for your driving needs.
Vinyl covers are perfect when you are going for style. They are simple, attractive, easy to install, and easy to clean. However, they aren’t great for security. Even though aluminum is sturdy, it dents easily. It may be unable to withstand impact. Fiberglass and plastic tonneau covers are some of the best options. They are lightweight, weatherproof, and impact-resistant. They are more durable than most other options.
Consider your climate when choosing a tonneau cover. Some covers take up beatings from the elements better than others. Aluminum, for example, may be a great option when you live in a dry area. Plastic is perfect for wet climates as it does not corrode.
Ease of Installation and Maintenance
The right tonneau cover should be easy to install and maintain. Ease of installation is especially important when you are looking into DIY options. Hinged, hard tonneau covers, for example, are heavy and hard to install. You need multiple people to lift them onto your truck bed. On the other hand, roll-up covers are compact and lightweight. They can be installed with no help.
Cleaning and maintaining your cover should not take too much time or effort. Some materials are delicate and easy to damage. They may require extra care during cleaning. Others can be cleaned with just soap and water. If you drive for long hours, pick materials that do not accumulate a lot of dirt. You should be able to clean them with readily available material.
Why do you want a tonneau cover? Your reasons should determine the kind of cover you get. If your main aim is to secure your valuables from theft, go for options that offer maximum protection. Aluminum may be one of your best options. You need hard covers with reliable locking mechanisms.
If your main goal is to protect the truck bed from harsh weather conditions, the cover material and locking mechanism may not be very important. Vinyl and other soft tonneau covers are appropriate when you are going for good looks. They improve the appeal of your truck and don’t cost much.
The Cover Style
Different tonneau cover styles are appropriate for different needs. Roll up covers are some of the most popular options. With these covers you can access your truck bed by rolling the cover out of the way. Most of these covers have hook and loop fasteners to hold them in place. When rolled up, you may be able to access the entire bed. Roll up covers may be soft or hard. The hard options offer more strength and security.
Retractable tonneau covers allow you to access your truck bed from the tailgate onto the front of the bed. Even when retracted, these covers will not add any height to your track bed. Some of them are motorized, so they can be retracted with just the push of a button. You may be able to personalize the amount of truck bed that is covered or uncovered.
Hatch-style covers have a traditional design. They are the first options that come to mind when most people think of tonneau covers. They lift up from the tailgate in one piece, allowing you to access the truck bed.
With the above considerations in mind, picking the right tonneau cover no longer needs to be a hard task. There are lots of options to suit your budget, style, and other needs. The most important things to consider are compatibility with your truck, the cover style, and ease of installation.