Pickup trucks are the best way to move heavy things. You can put almost anything in the bed of a pickup truck, but things in an open bed can be stolen or get damaged by the weather.
You need a way to cover your things, and a tonneau cover can do that. What is a tonneau cover, though?
A tonneau cover is a flat piece of material that is put on top of your truck bed. It protects the things inside from things like weather and theft. There are different kinds of tonneau covers made of different materials that open in different ways.
What we’ve talked about so far about tonneau covers doesn’t even come close to telling you everything you need to know about them. Read on to learn more about what a tonneau cover does, what kinds there are, and why you might or might not need one.
What Do Tonneau Covers Do?
There are many uses and benefits for tonneau covers for truck beds. Their main job is to cover the bed of your truck.
There are many good reasons to cover the bed of your truck. Let’s talk about the most important ones.
#1 Protect Your Stuff!
One of the most obvious uses of a tonneau cover is to protect whatever you are hauling in your truck.
But there are two kinds of protection: from the weather and from thieves!
Part 1: Protection from Weather
A tonneau cover can keep the weather from getting to your things in the truck bed.
For example, if you are helping a friend move from one house to another, you would usually need to think about the weather. With a tonneau cover, it won’t.
Let’s say you have materials for a home improvement project in the back of the truck. You won’t want to get caught in a rain or wind storm that could ruin your materials or blow them away.
Some tonneau covers even come with a tube that can drain water from your truck if it gets wet.
These are just a few ways that tonneau covers keep your things safe from rain, wind, snow, and other things.
Part 2: Protection from Theft
Another way that tonneau covers protect your stuff is by making it harder for people to see what you have.
If you can’t unload the things in the back of your pickup truck right away, you’ll want to make sure that no one can get to them.
Tonneau covers are like lids for the back of your truck. Some of them even lock shut. This makes sure that no one will steal anything from your truck.
#2 Add Privacy
When you put a tonneau cover on your truck, you also get privacy.
Sure, this makes it harder for thieves to take your stuff, but it’s also nice to know that no one can see what you’re hauling in your truck.
For example, if you’re going to fix something up or make something for someone as a gift, you can hide the materials until you’re ready for a big reveal.
#3 Clean Up Your Truck’s Look
A truck looks great with a tonneau cover.
The inside of truck beds is known for being dirty. It’s hard to keep them clean. Dirt and dust don’t get into your truck bed as much when you have a tonneau cover.
Plus, it’s much easier to clean the cover if it gets dirty than the inside of a truck bed.
There are even fibreglass tonneau covers that can be made to fit your truck and match its colour. A sleek black is always a good choice.
#4 Traps Your Things In
Have you ever worried that your camping gear would fly out of the back of your truck while you were driving 75 mph?
Well, you’re not alone!
In this way, a tonneau cover will give you peace of mind. If you have a tonneau cover on your truck bed, your stuff can’t get out.
#5 Improve Fuel Economy (sometimes)
Some people say that tonneau covers help your truck be less windy, but this hasn’t been proven by science yet.
People say that a tonneau cover makes it easier for air to move around the truck, which saves you money on fuel.
We still don’t know what to think about this, though. But it’s important to note that a camper shell that is taller than the cab is less aerodynamic than a tonneau cover.
Why is it Called a Tonneau Cover?
Tonneau covers are also called truck bed covers. Their name comes from the French word for “cask” or “barrel.”
If you don’t know how to say “tonneau,” it’s “tuh-NO,” with the emphasis on the second syllable. If you say it quickly, it also sounds like the words “to know.”
“Tonneau” refers to the open back part of a car that looks like a barrel. This word can be used to talk about the back of a truck or the open part of a racecar where people sit.
Back in the day, racers used tonneau covers to hide the seats when they weren’t being used and to cut down on drag while racing.
Even though cars have changed a lot since then, we still call the open area of a truck or car a tonneau and the thing that covers it a tonneau cover.
Types of Tonneau Covers
Now that we’ve talked about the basics of tonneau covers, we can talk about the more advanced features that some of them have. You may choose one tonneau cover over another based on your needs.
Some can be opened in different ways, are made of different materials, and serve other different purposes. Now, we’ll talk about all the different kinds of tonneau covers.
#1 One-piece Tonneau Cover
One of the simplest kinds of tonneau covers is made of a single piece of material. They are stiff and can be opened at a hinge behind the cab.
You can lock these tonneau covers to make sure your things are safe. But you won’t be able to carry things that stick out of the top of your truck bed if you have this type of tonneau cover.
In this case, you will have to take the tonneau cover off completely.
#2 Roll-up Tonneau Cover
These tonneau covers are the most common ones. Most of the time, they are made of vinyl, which is a soft material. With the help of strong velcro along the sides of the truck bed, these covers are easy to roll open or shut once they are in place.
Roll-up tonneau covers are safe because you can’t roll them back unless you open the tailgate first. This means that your things inside are locked and safe.
If you need to haul things that stick out of your truck bed often, these types of tonneau covers are better. You can do this by rolling back the tonneau cover and locking it.
#3 Hard Folding Tonneau Cover
A hard-folding tonneau cover has three parts that fold up and down. This is also called a tri-folding tonneau cover. When folded up toward the truck bed, some models even flip up, so you can store almost anything in your truck bed.
These hard-top tonneau covers are strong and will last for a long time. They also lock safely.
They are not cheap, though, and it may be hard to take them off if you need to use the whole truck bed.
#4 Soft Folding Tonneau Cover
Soft folding tonneau covers work just like hard folding covers, but they are made of soft material.
This type of tonneau cover locks from the inside and seals all the way around to keep the weather out.
The good things about this type of cover are that it’s cheap compared to the others, and it’s usually easy to take off when you need it out of the way.
#5 Retractable Tonneau Cover
Retractable tonneau covers are similar to hard-top tonneau covers, but you don’t have to open and close them by hand.
A retractable tonneau cover can be opened by pushing the cover back or pressing a button.
These are some of the most expensive tonneau covers you can buy, especially the ones that open electronically.
#6 Toolbox Tonneau Cover
Some pickup trucks have a toolbox already built into the bed. There is a tonneau cover made for these kinds of trucks, which is good news.
The only thing that makes these tonneau covers different from other ones is that they are made for
#7 Snap Tonneau Cover
Snap tonneau covers are very simple and are one of the more affordable types of tonneau covers. After installation, all you have to do is manually snap the soft cover off and on.
The truck bed stays dry because the snaps on this cover go over the truck bed.
Handling the snaps may take a little time, but they give you the most options for how to open the cover. This type of cover might be best for someone who doesn’t worry as much about safety.
Tonneau Cover: Hard vs Soft
With all the different kinds of tonneau covers made from different materials, it may be hard to figure out if you need a hard or a soft top.
Here is a quick list of pros and cons to help you decide what to do.
Hard Tonneau Cover Pros
Most secure option
The material of a hard cover is usually flush with the inside of the truck, giving it a cleaner look.
Can choose from different finishes, such as shiny, matte, aluminium, etc.
Hard Tonneau Cover Cons
Hard to remove if you need all of the space in the truck bed.
When you have a hard, one-piece tonneau cover, you can’t haul long items.
Soft Tonneau Cover Pros
Simple to handle by hand
Putting it in yourself is easier.
Soft Tonneau Cover Cons
Least safe choice. If someone really wants your stuff, it’s easy to cut through the material of a soft cover.
Some materials don’t last as long as hard covers over time.
Most of the time, only matte finish
Are Tonneau Covers Universal?
You might be wondering if the tonneau cover you like will fit your truck and if all tonneau covers are the same size. No, because every truck bed is different, the answer is no.
So, when you’re looking for a tonneau cover, you need to make sure it fits the make and model of your car. If you bought a tonneau cover and then found out it didn’t fit your truck, that would be a real pain.
Don’t worry, there are a lot of different covers for you to choose from because manufacturers have made covers for every make and model out there.
If you go to an online store that sells tonneau covers and use the search bar, you may be able to find covers that are made for your car.
Is a Truck Bed Cover Necessary?
You’ve probably seen a lot of pickup trucks without covers, which might make you think twice about getting one. Even though you don’t have to have a truck bed cover, you should if you care about the things you are hauling.
If you never put anything in the truck bed, you might not need a truck bed cover. If this is true, then why do you even have a pickup?
You will need to move things with your truck, so a truck bed cover is almost a must-have.
You might think it’s important because it keeps your stuff safe from the weather and thieves, keeps it from flying out of the truck when you’re driving down the road, and could help you save money on gas.
You might be more likely to buy a truck bed cover because of these savings.
Tonneau covers make a lot of sense if you want to keep your valuable cargo safe.
Now that you have much more information about tonneau covers, what kinds there are, and how to pick the right one for you, you can buy one with confidence!