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Old 11-28-2018, 10:04 AM
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Tonneau covers for Trucks?



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Hard for $900 plus or soft (so by nature less secure and more wear prone) for $215 and up..

Experiences? Just kicking tires so to speak for now.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:19 AM
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Had both. Never have a hard top again. Mine was a full length and I could never use the truck to haul anything with vertical height like a washer or dryer, etc. Now I prefer a folding style like an accordion. It's stiff from side to side but flexible in length to be folded up against the back of the cab. Strong enough to even lie on and locks to the tailgate for security. My middle son just got a nice one for his Ford 150 Platinum. It cost about $450 installed.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:31 AM
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I like the kind that fold up and Velcro down on sides to seal another layer with the lock on the rear. Hard caps inhibit your ability to put tall items in the bed as alum572 said and they also can have problems getting twisted and not latching on both sides well especially if you open and close it a lot. If you don't really haul much and it rarely gets opened they do look nice as well as a matching cap/topper does.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:34 AM
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I've had an Undercover (hard 1 piece ABS plastic) on my 2008 Tacoma since new. Very sturdy, and I can R&R it by myself. I often put all kinds of stuff on it while shooting, camping etc. and it still looks new. Hardly a scratch on it. I'd buy another.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:36 AM
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I only have experience with the soft cover. It's handy to roll up and stow depending on the load. We've only had one time when it failed. It was a cross country holiday trip, the winds were atrocious and ripping at us from a side angle. We were able to pull over and get it snapped back into place. A real fight in that cold, frenzied wind. I didn't fault the cover or its design though.

One thing about security, if they want the contents badly enough, a hard cover won't stop them.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alum572 View Post
Had both. Never have a hard top again. Mine was a full length and I could never use the truck to haul anything with vertical height like a washer or dryer, etc. Now I prefer a folding style like an accordion. It's stiff from side to side but flexible in length to be folded up against the back of the cab. Strong enough to even lie on and locks to the tailgate for security. My middle son just got a nice one for his Ford 150 Platinum. It cost about $450 installed.
Hard cover is more of a hindrance than a help. Had one on my GMC Sierra, never again on any pick up I might own.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:59 AM
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Hard covers look nice and will do the job at a price. I have been using the soft covers on my last four trucks. My last two covers have been the tri-fold type. As mentioned you have more flexibility for using your truck bed and if needed they are easily removed. Had one with Velcro and didn't care for it when it came to fastening the cover to the Velcro (the cover can shrink if left unattached). The tri-fold is mounted on a folding frame & can be carried in one hand when folded. Attaches with an over center clamp on each corner of the bed rails.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:06 PM
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If you use your truck like a car, hard cover.

If you actually plan on using it like a truck... removable soft, or none.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:08 PM
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I had one of the soft covers with snaps on the rails that where attached to the bed. It was ok for a year or two. Then I removed for a few months during the summer, and when I tried to put it back on for winter it was no go. I had to soften it with Vaseline intensive care lotion, use a hair dryer, and two bars clamped to the back, while pulling with ratchet straps. Never again for that operation.

I have since had two of the tri folds , and love them. Four integrated clamps, and you can fold it up and have access , or easily remove. I have had two of the Extang models that I got from Real Truck. https://www.realtruck.com/extang-tri...tonneau-cover/ They have a good selection from other makers also.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:54 PM
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ARE for me

I am a fan of ARE tonneau covers. Great covers with a lifetime warranty. I put one on my new Tundra when I purchased it in 2001. My wife and I used the truck for traveling for several years and the bed and cargo always stayed dry. Never had a problem carrying large cargo items; just closed the cover and tied it down.

Two years ago, I noticed a spot on the cover where the paint was starting to bubble. Took it back to the distributor where I purchased it. He removed it and shipped it back to ARE. A few weeks later it was back and completely refurbished with new paint on top and fiberglass coating underneath. The hardware was also upgraded with their latest. Best part, no charge.

After 17 years, the Tundra was just replaced with a Nissan Titan XD. A new ARE cover has been ordered. They are a little more expensive, but worth it to me.




Last edited by Namboonie; 11-28-2018 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 11-28-2018, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alum572 View Post
Had both. Never have a hard top again. Mine was a full length and I could never use the truck to haul anything with vertical height like a washer or dryer, etc. Now I prefer a folding style like an accordion. It's stiff from side to side but flexible in length to be folded up against the back of the cab. Strong enough to even lie on and locks to the tailgate for security. My middle son just got a nice one for his Ford 150 Platinum. It cost about $450 installed.
Pretty much the same for me and ditto on the sliding trifold up covers. Another disadvantage of the hard one piece, albeit not so much now with backup cameras, is the increased height over the tailgate reducing visibility looking thru the middle rear view mirror.

The major disadvantages of the soft covers is snow load stretching and lack of theft security.
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Old 11-28-2018, 03:25 PM
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I figured I'd get some good replies and you folks have given some good ones for certain.

I'm thinking a tri-fold soft cover is in my future. Specific pluses and minuses that any of you have encountered with a brand would be appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:21 PM
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Not a soft cover, but a tri-fold. Yes, I'm sold on ARE.

https://4are.com/product/fusion/#
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:25 PM
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one thing about soft tonneau covers is the stitching. It will sun rot in about five years in the South West. Still a good option, just plan on replacing the vinyl if you keep the truck a long time.


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Old 11-28-2018, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmd1950 View Post
I'm thinking a tri-fold soft cover is in my future.
My truck came with a tri-fold "hard" cover not at all like the one shown in Namboonie's third pic with the one-piece, full-size cover. The salesman made a big deal of it but I was "meh, don't really need it so not a feature, thankyouverymuch." I've since changed my mind and am very happy with it. More below.

One of my hunting buddies, may he rest in peace, had one like that shown by Namboonie and it certainly was a hindrance. He couldn't put anything large in the bed of the truck and had to use a boat hook to retrieve things that made their way forward.

By contrast my tri-fold model offers security and protection from the elements like that one-piece hardtop but, when folded up, allows me to put larger things in the bed and to climb up there to arrange or rearrange the load. For example, I buy bags of feed in town then have an hour drive to get home. It's handy to be able to fold up the top to get things loaded but then put the top down to make sure things don't get rained on in a passing thunderstorm on the way home. And being fairly sturdy it also allows me to secure things in the bed when I'm running errands around town.

The only real downside for me, with a short bed truck, is that the top is wider than the bed is long. I have to decide ahead of time whether I'm going to need the whole bed uncovered or not since I can't remove the cover and carry it in the bed (I could on the diagonal but there would be something in the way which is what caused it to be removed, eh?) That wouldn't be an issue with a 6' bed. It takes me about five minutes to remove it when needed and about five minutes to remount it. I just take it off and set it in the garage on those days when I know I'll want the whole bed open. I'd guess it weighs about 40 pounds.

The only other downside is that even when folded into the open position there is 1/3 of the bed covered so you only have 2/3 of the bed completely unobstructed. That hasn't been an issue for me but it might be for someone else.

My cover is hard plastic over a metal framework and sturdy enough for me walk on but I wouldn't recommend it, especially since I imagine most folks weigh a bit more than I do. I do, however, often stack things on it (not while moving).

For something completely different, I sometimes lust after one of these:

https://diamondbackcovers.com/produc...12428674334819

They are supposedly very easy to remove but I imagine not quite as easy as my current cover and, more of a factor, they have the same limitation as those full-size hard covers in that they tilt open rather than flip up out of the way. Still, that design is something I think about when I think about converting the truck to a full-time hunting and camping rig replacing my Jeep.
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Last edited by Sophia; 11-28-2018 at 11:34 PM.
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