The compatibility of GMC tonneau covers between different model years is a common question for truck owners looking to buy or replace their truck bed covers. While some tonneau covers may fit multiple years, it is generally not accurate to assume full interchangeability of GMC tonneau covers across all years and models. Careful consideration of design differences between years is required before selecting a tonneau.
What Factors Determine Tonneau Cover Compatibility?
Several key factors impact whether a tonneau cover designed for one model year will properly fit another:
Truck Bed Dimensions
The most important factor is the bed length, width, and shape. Even minor dimension changes from one year to the next may prevent a perfect tonneau fit.
Mounting Hardware and Attachment Points
Attachment systems differ between tonneau covers. Even if underlying bed dimensions are the same, changing hardware can prevent interchangeability.
Tailgate shapes, sizes, and angles where the tonneau cover sits can vary by model year and impact fit.
Additional Bed Features
Additions like bed rail caps and inner bed designs can also change and cause fit incompatibilities.
So while underlying bed basics may be similar across years, these other altering truck features explain why all GMC tonneau covers are not interchangeable.
Do Any GMC Tonneau Covers Fit Multiple Years?
While rare, some tonneau cover manufacturers design versions that intentionally fit multiple years. For example:
- The Extang Solid Fold fits 2014-2018 Sierra 1500 models.
- The BAK Revolver X4 is advertised to fit 2014-2019 Sierra 1500 models.
- The Roll-N-Lock LG220M fits 2017-2020 Canyon and Colorado models.
So in select cases, manufacturers may engineer their covers to accommodate minor truck changes between model years and support broader compatibility.
How Can I Check Tonneau Cover Fit for My Specific GMC Model and Year?
Rather than assuming interchangeability, the most reliable approach is to actually check for fit. There are two recommended ways:
Use Manufacturer Fitment Guides
Most tonneau companies provide model/year fitment guides for their covers. Locate the guide for your desired cover and see if your truck is listed. For example, Extang’s fit guide lets you enter specifics to get accurate compatibility results.
Consult Owner’s Forums
Owners who have installed tonneaus on the same GMC as yours will know the fit realities. Search forums asking about your truck model, year, and desired tonneau brand and you can get feedback from those with experience. For instance, GM-Trucks.com has a forum covering tonneau compatibility questions.
In summary, while some GMC tonneau covers may interchange between model years, it’s unsafe to assume full compatibility. The best practice is to verify fit for your exact make, model, and year before purchasing. While not universally interchangeable, there are options designed for multi-year fit if the right match for your GMC is selected.
What Are Some Examples of GMC Tonneaus That Are Not Interchangeable Between Model Years?
To further illustrate the need for model-specific tonneaus, here are some examples where covers are incompatible between different years:
GMC Sierra 1500: Do All Years Use the Same Tonneau?
- The UnderCover Flex fits 2014-2018 Sierra 1500s but not 2019+ models due to truck redesigns.
- The BakFlip MX4 only fits 2017-2018 Sierra 1500s and not other years.
So clearly Sierra 1500 tonneaus are not interchangeable across all years due to truck generation changes.
GMC Sierra HD: Different Tonneaus Between 2500HDs?
GMC Canyon: What About Smaller Pickups?
Even compact GMC pickup beds change over time. The Tyger Auto T3 tri-fold was designed for 2009-2012 Canyon models, not newer versions.
So across GMC product lines – light duty, heavy duty, and small pickups alike – OEM tonneau cover interchangeability between all years and models is uncommon. Carefully verifying fitment for your specific truck, regardless of brand, is advised.
What Are Some Tips for Finding the Correct Tonneau Cover for Your GMC Model Year?
Since interchangeability cannot be assumed, here are some tips for making sure you get the right GMC tonneau cover:
- Carefully check manufacturer fitment guides for your truck specifics
- Ask fellow owners in forums for model-specific tonneau advice
- Measure your truck bed length and dimensions firsthand to check stated sizes
- Avoid used/salvaged tonneaus since prior vehicle fit may differ
- Order from places with easy returns in case it doesn’t align perfectly
- Read customer reviews of the exact cover and look for fitment complaints
- Consult GMC parts departments for model year-specific tonneau recommendations
Taking the time upfront to verify precise fit will ensure you get a tonneau cover that works with your GMC’s make, model, and year. While some limited interchangeability exists, there are no shortcuts around checking for fit with your exact truck’s details. With extra diligence, you can find the right tonneau for your GMC that avoids any installation or functionality issues resulting from mismatching parts across model years.
Conclusion: Verify Specific Fit Due to Minimal Interchangeability
In summary, exercising caution before assuming GMC tonneau cover compatibility across multiple years is wise. While examples exist of covers designed to fit limited model year ranges, truck bed and design changes from year-to-year make interchangeability the exception, not the norm.
Following the recommendations to check fit guides, owner experiences, and measurements for your particular GMC model and generation will avoid disappointments. Selecting an incompatible tonneau risks wasted money, time, and frustration. With ample research and fitment verification for your exact truck, you can confidently choose the right tonneau cover that fits properly and functions as intended.