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Tonneau Covers & Tonneau Cover Accessories

Over the last 40 years, pickup trucks have come into their own as personal vehicles and not just work haulers. Years ago, aluminum camper shells started to become popular on many trucks, but camper shells have their disadvantages – they make it impossible to fit many large or awkward loads, they’re heavy and bulky enough to require two men to remove, and they tend to hurt a truck’s aerodynamics and fuel economy.

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Tonneau covers offer a great alternative to camper shells or open truck beds; not only are they watertight and convenient, but they look great as well.

Fiberglass tonneaus are fastened and hinged at the front of the truck bed, right behind the cab; they open like a vehicle’s hood and are usually supported by gas struts, like a hood. Some fiberglass tonneaus can even open on the side or open back-to-front. The chief disadvantage of one-piece fiberglass tonneaus is that they make it difficult to manage a large load that’s taller than the truck bed.

Folding tonneaus come in several different designs, but typically are either vinyl-coated canvas or hard fiberglass, aluminum or ABS plastic sections that are braced by ribs and hinged to easily fold up and accommodate differently-sized loads. It’s hard to beat a folding tonneau for sheer convenience and ease of use.

Hard tonneau covers can come in several different designs (such as folding, tri-fold or one-piece) and are typically ABS plastic, fiberglass or aluminum. Hard tonneaus have the advantage of durability and weatherproofing, but are often a little less convenient for the user.

Tri-fold tonneaus are typically vinyl-coated canvas and are mounted using side rails that mount to the edges of the truck bed. Tri-fold tonneaus are easy to mount (often without tools) and look great – many truck owners have noticed a boost in fuel economy as the tonneau cover cuts the turbulent air currents that swarm in a truck bed and hurt aerodynamics.

Roll-up tonneaus are one of the most common styles, made from cloth or vinyl with aluminum or fiberglass ribs to keep the fabric’s shape. Roll-up tonneaus usually fasten with heavy-duty snaps for a weathertight seal, but some manufacturers use other attachment systems. When it’s time to haul a larger load, simply unsnap as many of the snaps as you need, roll the tonneau toward the cab, secure it in place and you’re on your way!

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