How to Buy a Tonneau Cover for Your Pickup

There are many reasons to use a tonneau cover on your pickup. The primary reason is protection of the gear in the bed of the truck. The original tonneau covers were used in horse and buggy times. These were tarps cut to fit over the bed and tied into place. We moved from the horse and buggy to Ford pickups based on the Model A. The tonneau cover later served as a method of protection of gear from weather and theft. To accomplish this today, you need to buy a tonneau cover for your truck. Modern versions are designed to be pulled tight using hoops, thus offering better protection. The pickup has moved from a utilitarian vehicle for farm and construction items to take its place beside the family car in the 1970s. Aftermarket purchases to dress up and make the pickup truck unique have also increased.


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    Choose a tonneau cover that fits your needs. The tonneau covers today are made from high-tech waterproof fabric and range up to hard-shell fiberglass painted to match your truck. Your choice depends on the intended use of the bed of your truck.
    • Realize that a hard-shell cover is easy to maintain and offers maximum protection if your only uses for it are fuel economy and to protect your groceries.
    • The downside of a fiberglass, hard shell tonneau cover becomes evident when you must carry items that are taller than the top of the bed. Hard shell bed covers are actually heavier with permanent mounts that complicate their removal.
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    Grasp the fact that an alternative to fiberglass hard shell tonneau covers are weatherproof bed covers. They still offer protection, but also have the ability of being rolled up out of the way when you have unusually sized items to carry. The soft tonneau cover can be unrolled and snapped back into place when your tall items are unloaded.
    • One disadvantage of the soft tonneau cover is that the colors seldom match your vehicle. It also comes with a mounting system that is left long after the tonneau cover has been worn out. Naturally, removing and discarding that system mars the look of the truck. Thieves can also cut the fabric and easily get access to the bed.
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    Consider a third alternative to the fiberglass hard shell and the fabric tonneau cover. There is a foldable, or retractable, hard shell tonneau cover. This style mounts similar to the fabric version in that it tends to be flush with the bed. Made of aluminum or extruded plastic panels, these versions are light, allowing the cover to fold up out of the way at the front of the bed when your haul taller goods.
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    Break down the three main types and consider their advantages. There is a variety of styles on the market, like the assortment of pickups available as we have discussed here. The decision breaks down to how completely you do your research.
    • Think about the pros and cons of the different types and imagine what will best suit your needs. You should not have any regrets on buying a tonneau cover for your pickup with this in mind.
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    There are two ways to buy the tonneau cover: mail-order using the phone or through the Internet and by visiting a brick and mortar store.
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    Find a seller of tonneau covers in a magazine or catalog and order what you want if you are comfortable with installing it yourself.
    • The same can be said for ordering online through a retailer like Amazon. When ordering, though, don't forget to add the cost of shipping. You can save money by ordering online from one of the big discount stores and having it delivered to your local store.
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    Go to a local truck dealer, perhaps where you bought your truck, and buy one that will fit. There are also independent or franchise stores that supply truck enthusiast needs. They may also install the tonneau cover for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Personal computer
  • Internet access
  • Pickup enthusiast publications

Article Info

Categories: Trucks