Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cover It Up...

Okay, so I find myself in the market for a bed cover for my truck. I've been half-heartedly looking for a used cap for a while now, perusing Craigslist off and on whenever the mood strikes. I've come across a few caps, but they are either for the old style Ram, are the wrong style, or the seller thinks they're made out of cold-pressed latinum. I've been thinking of getting a simple nylon bed cover - something like this or this - as something that would cover the bed for long trips in the truck or when transporting precious items (like, say, rifle cases to a blog shoot).

Something like this:


(picture from here)

I know with a lot of the lower priced covers, you really do get what you pay for, with the covers needing to be stretched almost to the point of breaking, etc. I've talked to a few different truck owners who have had the soft covers, some have sworn by them, others have sworn at them. I don't want to spend a ton of money - otherwise I'd buy a new cap - but I'll spend more for a better quality cover if I have to.

One of the problems with buying from an online/catalog warehouse like JC Whitney is that you really have no idea what kind of quality you're dealing with until it's been shipped to your house. On more than one occassion (and not meant as a poke at JC Whitney; I bought some motorcycle accessories from them years ago that were very good quality) I've opened the box and cursed under my breath. My only parameters for the cover are that it not involve drilling or other permanent modifications to the truck and it be priced under $400 or so.

Anyone have any thoughts on tonneaus - ones to avoid, ones to look for, etc.? - or leads on used caps/covers?

That is all.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've had an Extang on my truck for ten years, I am very happy with it.

Rick

Chris Byrne said...

I personally like the softtopper folding cap.

HAd one for years, LOVE it.

Soft tonneau covers and snow... BAD combo.

ZerCool said...

Several guys in my FD have used the Extang Full-Tilt with great results. If I was going to get a tonneau, it'd be that one.

BS said...

I have the Undercover Tonneau cover on my 2500 Sierra, and have been very happy with it.

http://www.undercoverinfo.com/

It is light enough to remove and install without help, if needed. With help I can remove or replace it in about 5 minutes, without help about 10. It is also sturdy enough to stand on. And it locks, which for transporting firearms is handy.

nguyenhm16 said...

It's "gold"-pressed latinum :D

B said...

no cover last more than about 5 years. But you can have them remade at any upholstery shop.

Extang is probably the best material for the top.

THe bows will wear out if you put 'em on and off a lot.

Be aware that a soft cover, while lowering wind resistance, offers NOTHING in the way of security.

THe advantage of a soft cover is that you can easily remove it. THe hard covers give more security (but not much) but you can't just take them of the truck and roll them up.

Dirk said...

I've been pretty happy with the Mopar cover I got from my Dodge dealer for my 2003 Dakota. It involves clamping some rails to the bed, and two ribs that fit into sockets on those rails to keep it taut and thus preventing water from collecting. On the end where the tailgate is, you have an easily-removable rail that slots into the side rails and just rests on the closed tailgate - though it doesn't require the tailgate to be closed to stay in position.

The cover itself is thick nylon, and has a hard plastic edge that slots into the outer portion of the rails. No velcro to wear out, no snaps to break off or rust. It's held up quite well for the almost 10 years I've had the truck.

Dave H said...

My wife had the same kind of cover Dirk describes on her S10 for a number of years. I think we paid about $300 for it. Hers had a mock leather finish instead of nylon, but otherwise it was identical. It held up to the typical Lake Ontario winters here (where Canada sends the snow they don't want) with no problems.

The cover finally tore when I wedged a hand truck underneath it so the wheels were poking up into the cover, then drove 250 miles on I-90. I was able to find a replacement cover that fit the existing frame for about $100.

I don't remember what brand our cover was, but it's possible a bunch of different brands are all made by the same manufacturer.

Coop said...

I've had both. Living in the northeast, the soft cover wears out quicker due to the snow and ice that accumulates and stretches the fabric and bows.

Here's what I have, installs in minutes, no drilling.

http://www.extang.com/docs/solidfold.html

New is out of your budget (~$750 to $800), but perhaps you can find one on CL.

Nothing in this price range is totally secure, but a bad guy can get into any soft cover with little or no effort and a box cutter. Lock the tail gate and its going to take a bit of effort and noise to get through the solid cover.

Good luck!

Jay G said...

"Gold" pressed! That's right - I remember talking with SCI-FI when that episode was on, because they talked about the latinum being pressed in worthless gold...

I'm talking about security as in from prying eyes, not prying bars. Specifically not seeing that there are gun cases in the back should I be traveling, that sort of thing...

Thinking going out to the sooper seekrit range for the Northeast Bloggershoot and NOT having a stack 'o' gun cases in the back of the truck visible should I get pulled over... :)

JFT said...

I've got a Truxedo Low Profile on my 2007 (pre-bailout) Silverado. The only real problem is that the seal along the top of the tailgate is separating from the cover, and one of the strips holding one of the support rods has broken. Otherwise,in good shape even after several SD winters, though it does sleep in a garage. Using ArmorAll cleaning wipes a couple time a year constitutes the maintenance.

Heath J said...

Truexedo is good stuff, got one for the wife this past winter. IIRC, lifetime warranty. They've replaced my buddy's twice now at no charge. Not all that pricey either.

Lance R. Peak said...

I will back up BS regarding the Undercover tonneau. I have used the "Classic" model for the last four years through South Texas summers and North Dakota winters (I work in the oilfield) and two collisions that involved the bed with no damage to the Undercover at all.

This is the standard cover that the Texas DPS uses on their duty vehicles.

Parrym said...

Bak-Flip F1 on my wife's Ram. Holding up beautifully in the blasted ice-hold that is MN. Strong, water tight and flips out of the way when you want to use the bed.