Home Car Topics Beginner’s Guide To Tonneau Covers

Beginner’s Guide To Tonneau Covers

by Rae Castillon

If you own a pickup truck, you may have looked at some truck bed covers to help protect your cargo and improve fuel efficiency. However, as you explore possible covers, you may have noticed that there are a lot of options. This is especially true for popular trucks such as the F-150 or Silverado. The following guide will help you understand your options and make a better purchasing decision.

What Is A Tonneau Cover?

Contrary to what you may expect, the word tonneau is referring to the bed of the truck, not the type of cover. It is French for “cask.” The usage of the term started back when cars had open passenger compartments. Tonneau covers would protect the open-air backseats behind the driver.  Today’s cars have roofs, but tonneau covers continue to be used to cover the “cask” in the back of the truck.

Although anything covering the bed could be considered a tonneau cover, the term is almost always applied to a flat cover that is flush with the top of the bed (looking a lot like those early passenger compartment covers). It may be made of hard or soft material. The covering can protect the bed, improve security, reduce drag and look cool.

What Are Different Types Of Covers?

There are a few common types of tonneau covers. Each has its own benefits.

  • Roll Up: These soft covers are anchored behind the truck cab. They can be rolled up for storage or unrolled for protection. They are simple and lightweight.
  • Hinged: These covers are a single, hard piece over the top of the bed. Unlike the other designs, they don’t roll or fold. Instead, they lift straight up like a trunk lid. Typically, they have hydraulics to hold them open once lifted.
  • Folding: These hard tonneau covers can be folded to open up the bed. They are a lot like rolling covers except they are made from a hard material. There are a few types of folding, but tri fold tonneau covers are among the most popular.
  • Retractable: This is another type of soft cover. They work a lot like roll-ups except the sides fit into tracks. They work almost like blinds covering the bed.

How Do You Make Sure Your Tonneau Cover Will Fit?

The best way to make sure that your tonneau cover fits is to simply buy one designed for your model of truck. If you check online retails, you can filter by truck model.

Another option is to measure the width and depth of your truck. You can then find a universal cover that will fit. Soft covers are often easier to fit than hard tonneau cover designs.

Find The Right Cover For Your Truck Bed Today

Covering your truck bed can help you get more from your pickup truck. With the right tonneau cover, you could enjoy better fuel economy, performance, weather resistance and security. It is a smart accessory choice for any pickup truck. Explore some of the options for your vehicle and see which ones will work for your needs.

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