Here at Audio Designs and Custom Graphics we are big fans of truck bed covers, or tonneau covers as they are commonly known. We like how they transform the truck, making it look much classier. They can also improve the fuel mileage as there is less wind resistance or drag when driving down the road at highway speeds.
What we like best about truck bed covers is their practicality. It transforms the usefulness of your bed. Have you ever used a truck before and it started to rain or snow? A bed cover sure would have come in handy, eh? What about the time you wanted to go somewhere in your truck, only to realize you had something valuable in your bed and you were concerned it may be stolen. A bed cover sure would have been handy then as well.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular styles of truck bed covers and their advantages and disadvantages.
Soft covers or vinyl truck bed covers were all the rage for twenty years. They have many advantages, but the biggest one comes down to price. They are simply less expensive and are much lighter in weight as they are based on one large piece of vinyl with a metal frame supporting it. They come in three major designs: roll up, folding, and hinged styles. The roll up style is the most popular as it is easy to use and is the most cost effective design on the market. The folding and hinged styles are designed to mimic the design of the hard bed covers at a lower price. These covers do a decent job of keeping the weather out of your bed. Their major disadvantage is that anyone with a pocket knife can cut into them and access whatever you have stored in your bed.
Hard Truck Bed Covers
Hard or solid truck bed covers have overtaken the vinyl covers as the most popular style these days. In years past you were limited to a one piece solid bed cover that was made of fiberglass most of the time, and could be painted to match your vehicle. These covers are still available but have lost much of their popularity as they are very heavy and bulky. Composite bed covers from people like Undercover have become very popular as they are much lighter than fiberglass units. They can still be painted to match the vehicle, and are the ultimate in protection from thieves and weather. This design wraps over the sides of the vehicle, virtually eliminating the possibility of water getting in the bed. If you are looking for the ultimate in water rejection and security, this is the cover for you. They do have some drawbacks. If you want to use your whole bed, they have to be removed, and you still have a bulky cover to store somewhere. Plus, you have no access to the front of the bed as they hinge from the cab area and open up from the tailgate side of your bed. If you need to have easy access to the full length of your bed then you may want to consider a folding or roll up hard bed cover.
Folding Truck Bed Covers
Folding truck bed covers are typically three pieces, and all of them will hinge up from the rear of the truck. Some of these systems will even hinge from the cab area as well. They are easy to work with and are almost as secure as the one piece designs, though they will let in a little more moisture, so bear that in mind. Some designs will even flip up behind the cab to allow you full access to your bed, so they never need to be removed. This is a popular style for us here at Audio Designs and Custom Graphics.
Roll Up Truck Bed Covers
The roll up bed truck covers are a popular option as they are very, very easy to operate. They come in two distinct styles. One design comes with a canister that goes under the cover right behind the cab and stores the cover as you open it up. It is a very clean, elegant design and does a great job at weather protection and security. The downside is the canister is not removable, and you will lose a little cargo space. These covers are also the most expensive design, but if you want the ultimate in looks and ease of use, it may be the cover for you. These systems also come in motorized systems where the cover will open and close with just the push of a button.
The other roll up style is quite simple. It takes the ease of use of the vinyl soft roll up covers and marries aluminum slats to the design. So now you have a hard bed cover when it is down, and it rolls up against the cab of the bed when you need the whole bed accessible. They are less expensive than the canister style designs, so if you want a roll up bed cover, but need to save a little money, ask us about this style.
Let Us Help You Pick
As you can see, there are many, many designs from which to chose. There are also dozens of brands as well. The good news is that Audio Designs and Custom Graphics knows all the advantages and drawbacks of each style, and we know who makes the best quality units. And, as always, we offer professional installation on all of our bed covers.
We invite you to call, Contact Us, or stop by today with your truck and get to know us. We will help you in choosing the best solution for your unique needs.