A tonneau cover is a popular truck bed accessory that can provide many benefits, including helping to keep cargo clean. However, the effectiveness of a tonneau cover in protecting cargo depends on several factors. This article will examine the key considerations when choosing a tonneau cover to keep cargo clean.
What types of tonneau covers are available?
There are three main types of tonneau covers to choose from:
Hard tonneau covers
- Made of aluminum, fiberglass or plastic
- Very rigid and durable
- Offer the most protection from weather and debris
- Can be locked for security
Soft roll-up tonneau covers
- Made of vinyl or fabric
- Roll up for easy accessibility
- Affordable option
- May allow some water seepage
Retractable tonneau covers
- Made of vinyl or aluminum slats
- Retract partially or fully into canister
- Convenient access to bed
- More expensive option
How effective are tonneau covers for keeping cargo clean?
The effectiveness of a tonneau cover for keeping cargo clean depends on the specific model. Key factors include:
- Hard covers are generally more waterproof than soft covers
- Soft covers may allow water to leak in during heavy rain
- Waterproof soft covers are available for improved protection
- A cover alone won’t keep cargo from shifting
- Properly securing cargo is still important
- Inspect for rips, gaps or malfunctioning hardware
- Damaged covers compromise cleanliness and security
- Performance varies in wind, rain and off-roading
- Hard covers offer the most rugged protection
What maintenance is required?
To maximize effectiveness, tonneau covers need proper care and maintenance:
- Inspect mounting hardware before washing
- Clean cover in shaded area with flood of water
- Wipe gently with microfiber cloth
- Avoid harsh cleaners or brushes
- Lubricate snaps, hinges and clamps
- Fully open/close cover regularly
Proper maintenance prevents damage and keeps the cover functioning properly.
While not every tonneau cover is 100% waterproof, most will help reduce dust and debris in the truck bed. Hard covers provide maximum protection, but soft covers are also effective if properly maintained.
The key is choosing a high quality tonneau cover suited to your specific needs and budget. With proper installation, maintenance and cargo securing, a tonneau cover can significantly contribute to keeping cargo clean.