Questions to Ask When Buying a Tonneau Cover
One of the more popular pickup truck accessory upgrades or
enhancements is a tonneau cover (also commonly referred to as
a truck bed cover.) Whether you are using your truck for work or
leisure, a truck is not fully functional or complete unless it has a
tonneau. In fact, in our eyes a tonneau-less truck is butt-naked.
We're guessing you're here because you're thinking about
covering up your truck's bare behind. However, a tonneau cover
can be an expensive purchase and there are some important
questions you should ask yourself when you are considering
buying a Tonneau Cover
No matter what type of tonneau cover you want or need, it must fit certain specs, like your budget, before you know it’s the right one for you. Roll and snap covers are usually the cheapest style, starting around $300-$400. Retractable bed covers come in at over $1000, so keep that in mind when you want superior usability and design, you’ll have to pay for it. But here at the Merrillville Auto Glass & Trim, even the inexpensive covers are top quality and are made to last, so you’ll get more than what you bargain for either way.
We can all agree that Tonneau Covers are really visually appealing. They provide a classy element to the image of your truck, covering up the dirty bed that is typically visible. But the benefits of a tonneau cover goes way deeper than this aesthetic appeal.
There are five major benefits of a tonneau cover that we’re going to go over , each of which is a major reason that every truck owner should have one.
1. Safe transport of your equipment or luggage
The most obvious benefit of a tonneau is the protection of whatever you are hauling. Whether it is equipment for a long day of work, luggage for a family trip or a bed-full of mulch this spring, there is no safer way to secure your haul. A tonneau cover can protect you from rain, snow, wind, or whatever element crosses your path. And as you know, it is extremely important to have year-round protection in Midwest Area.
2. Improved Gas Mileage
This may be the most overlooked advantage of a tonneau cover, but it is in fact a big benefit. Due to the aerodynamic design of a tonneau cover, your bed will generate less air drag. This will increase your gas mileage by around 5%, though some vehicles are able to save as high as 10% gas mileage, compared to an open bed.
With these savings, your tonneau cover will pay for itself over time!
3. Increased Security
Keeping your precious cargo out of sight and out of the mind of potential thieves is a great step in protecting your equipment. A truck bed cover does just that; covers up whatever you are hauling, keeping it out of plain sight. In addition to simply concealing what you’re carrying, many tonneau covers also come with some sort of locking mechanism, which helps to completely protect whatever you put in the bed of your truck.
How many times have you loaded up your truck and driven around, just to find later that everything in your truck spilled or shifted? Well, don’t be caught in this annoying dilemma again. Tonneau covers help to keep things in their place, protecting against the wind that so often attributes to the shifting of supplies. Load up your truck and trust that everything will be exactly how you left it when you arrive at your destination.
With all of these features of a tonneau cover, your truck will do well to save you money now and make you more money upon resale. A tonneau cover will help to save you money from low gas mileage, lost/damaged cargo and theft. It will also protect the bed of your truck and help to prevent serious damage that will cause repairs to be needed. But upon reselling your truck, the bed will maintain much better shape than if the bed was exposed. This will help to maintain the value of your vehicle, more than paying for itself down the road. So don’t just upgrade your vehicle; invest in your vehicle with a tonneau cover.
So now you need to answer these questions?
1. What is your main purpose of adding a tonneau to your
Are you looking for function, security, looks, versatility or easy
removal? With or without a tool box? Cargo system?
2. Hard or soft, that is the question?
Hard tonneau covers traditionally cost more and offer more
security, especially if you have locking tailgate. Soft tonneau covers generally are less expensive but are more versatile.
3. How often do you need access to your truck bed and to
Do you need quick access to the entire truck bed on a daily basis or just occasional access? Both hard and soft tonneau's areavailable in folding, retracting and hinging designs. Most offereasy tailgate access and select hard tonneau covers also lock the
tailgate when the cover is locked. A hard retracting or soft roll-upcover can quickly be opened for virtually full truck bed access,without needing to remove the cover. Soft and hard hinging tonneau covers can be lifted open but require some extra effort if
you need to fully remove them. Soft folding tonneau covers caneasily be totally removed or folded forward for bed access. Whereas hard folding tonneau covers can be folded forward for bed access but are more difficult to fully remove.
4. What's your budget for a tonneau cover?
Soft covers generally cost $300 to $550 where as hard covers
start at about $500 and go up to over $2,000.
5. Who is installing the tonneau cover?
Most soft tonneau covers can be installed in 1 hour by someone with limited mechanical skills. Hard tonneau's generally can be installed in 1 to 2 hours by someone with limited mechanical skills. However, most covers work best only if they are properly
installed. If you don't line up a rail correctly on a roll-up tonneau if may be more difficult to close. If you missed the correct seal placement on a hard tonneau it may not be as water tight. Softtonneau covers tend to be more forgiving on the installation than a
6. Do you want to have the tonneau on your truck all the
time or just occasionally?
Most tonneau covers are a clamp on style installation. This generally requires a hand tool or two. However, soft tri-fold tonneau covers install with hand clamps which allows this style of tonneau to be installed or completely removed in seconds.
7. How tall is your truck?
If you have a lifted pickup, a roll-up, snap, folding or hinging coverwill be harder to use since your truck is so tall. A hard tonneau,which is heavier, compounds the situation more. If your truck islifted you may need to get onto the tailgate to operate the cover.
8. The bed liner dilemma. Do you have this issue?
There are 2 basic designs of bed liners; under the rail and overthe rail. A pickup truck equipped with a under the rail bed liner will not have any issues installing a tonneau cover. A pickup truck with an over the rail bed liner, (this bed liner is wrapped over the bed
rails of the truck bed on each side and protect the top of the truckbed), can be very difficult to install. Especially if it's an inside the bed mounted tonneau, it squeezes the width of the tonneau. If you have an over the rail bedliner, than most over the rail mounted
tonneau covers will work, but the installation will be trickier. If youhave an over the rail bed liner, its best to check with the tonneau cover you want to buy to make sure it will can be installed with an over the rail bedliner.
9. Are you planning to use the top of the bed rails?
Will Hard Roll-Up Covers BAK Revolutions' 2We also offer "hard roll-up" tonneau covers which feature a soft vinyl layer covering a wall of individual aluminum slats. In the fully
closed position, these slats line up and lock in place to form a hard shell that can support a great deal of weight (up to 400 pounds in some cases). If you carry cargo that tends to shift or bounce around underneath a tonneau cover, hard roll-up tonneau covers are
strong enough to serve as a barrier to keep things in place instead of falling out. Plus, they're highly theft-resistant. They may cost a little more but if you truly need the protection hard roll-up covers offer, the money spent on them may be well worth it. We've got the
Truxedo Titanium Hard Rolling cover and the BAK Revolver X2rolling cover. more details on - http://www.carid.com/articles/how-to-choose-right-tonneau-cover.html
Roll-Up Tonneau Covers: Are constructed using quality vinyl and use Velcro as there closing application
Snap Tonneau Covers:
A variation of the roll up tonneau cover, they come in roll-up or hinged design. generally consist of an aluminum frame that clamps to your truck's bed
with a snap-down cover attached to theframe These
Tri-Fold Tonneau Covers - Tri-fold covers come in
factory or aftermarket bed rail caps limit your choices? Some tonneau covers are mounted inside the bed and some are mounted on the top of the bed rail. Most roll-up covers mount on the inside of the truck bed and this allows you have access to th etop of truck bed rail to add tie downs or bed rails (provide your truck has stake pockets). Other tonneau covers mount to the top of the truck bed rails and cover your stake covers if you have
them. As for bed caps, all tonneau covers will work with factorybed caps and most aftermarket bed caps. For aftermarket bedcaps, if they are smooth stainless steel or molded abs you won'thave too many issues. However, diamond plate bed caps can
make it harder to install any style of tonneau whether it's an ove ror inside the rail mount. As this kind of bed cap is generaly thicker and effects the tonneau seals and tonneau cover fit. If you have bed rails, bed caps or tie downs installed in your truck bed its best to check to make sure the tonneau you are looking to buy with work for you.
10. Tonneau cover maintenance.
How much are you willing
Every tonneau cover generally has maintenance instructions. However, the more mechanical the tonneau, the more maintenance is required to extend the life of the tonneau cover.Soft tonneau covers should have the vinyl cover cleaned. Each soft tonneau manufacturer suggests various cleaning products and time period. Hard tonneau covers, depending on the style, generally have cleaning instructions for the top of the cover.
Retracting tonneau covers have cleaning instructions for the rails and canister.