Picking out a roll up tonneau cover for your truck can be tricky. You want one that keeps your gear safe and dry. But you also want a cover that does not make a lot of noise flapping in the wind as you drive. So what are the quietest roll up tonneau covers to choose?
Which Brand Of Roll Up Tonneau Cover Is The Most Silent?
When looking for a quiet roll up tonneau, pay attention to the brand. Some brands design their covers to cut down on noise.
The TruXedo brand is known for making covers that are simple, tough, and quiet. Their covers use pre-set tension control. This keeps the vinyl tarp tight across your truck bed. The tarp stays tight as the temperature changes. This prevents noisy flapping at highway speeds.
Gator ETX soft roll up covers are also pretty quiet. They are made to fit your truck bed snugly and securely. This helps stop the cover from flapping and making noise.
Extang tonneaus have a great reputation, too. The Extang e-Max Tonno cover is considered one of the best soft roll up tonneau choices. While not known for being extra quiet, it is very high quality. It’s worth checking out.
What Features Make A Roll Up Truck Bed Cover More Silent?
Certain features can help a roll up tonneau cover stay quiet as you drive. Here are some to look for:
- Tension control – Covers with adjustable tension allow you to tighten the vinyl. This prevents flapping in the wind.
- Snug fit – A cover shaped to fit your truck bed closely won’t flap around and make noise.
- Quality materials – Covers made with thick, sturdy vinyl or aluminum stay tight and quiet.
- Clamping system – Rail clamps that securely hold the cover in place help prevent noise.
- Weather sealing – Seals that keep out the elements also prevent wind from entering and lifting the cover.
- Roll-up design – Covers that roll up neatly and compactly are less prone to catching the wind.
How Is Noise Measured For Tonneau Covers?
So how do you know just how noisy or quiet a tonneau cover will be? Most manufacturers don’t provide noise ratings for their covers. But there are a few other ways to get an idea:
- Read reviews – Check reviews from customers who comment on noise levels they experience. This can give you real world feedback.
- Ask the seller – Reach out to the seller before buying to ask about noise levels and flapping at highway speeds.
- Consider materials – Covers made of canvas or vinyl will likely be louder than ones made of aluminum or hard polymer.
- Watch videos – Look for product videos that show the cover in action. Listen for flapping noises.
- Test drive it – If possible, test drive a truck with the cover installed to hear it for yourself.
What Factors Affect The Noise Level Of A Tonneau Cover?
Even the quietest covers might make some noise due to certain factors:
- Speed – Noise will increase with faster driving speeds as wind flows over the cover.
- Weather – Wind, rain, and other conditions can cause a cover to flap and make noise.
- Installation – A cover installed loosely or incorrectly is more prone to be noisy.
- Design – The specific design and shape of the cover affects how quiet it is.
- Maintenance – Lack of lubrication or wear and tear can lead to a noisy cover over time.
- Material – Covers made of canvas will likely be nosier than aluminum or vinyl covers.
- Road conditions – Bumpy or uneven roads can cause vibration and noise in the cover.
How Does Vinyl Material Impact Tonneau Cover Noise?
Vinyl is a very common material used in roll up tonneau covers. The type and quality of the vinyl impacts noise levels:
- Thicker vinyl – More heavy duty vinyl is less likely to flap and make noise. It holds its shape better.
- Reinforced vinyl – Layers of reinforced vinyl are harder for wind to penetrate. This prevents flapping.
- Marine grade vinyl – This high grade vinyl is durable and tear resistant. It stays tightly stretched across the truck bed.
- Soft vinyl – Vinyl with a softer, more pliable feel may move more and lead to noise.
- Textured vinyl – Vinyl with a textured surface helps break up airflow. This further reduces wind noise.
- Fitted vinyl – Vinyl cut to fit the exact contours of the truck bed leaves little room for wind and noise.
What Are The Quietest Aluminum Tonneau Covers?
Aluminum tonneau covers are also popular. Their hard surface remains tight and quiet at highway speeds. Here are some top aluminum covers to consider:
- BakFlip MX4 – This solid one-piece aluminum cover opens and closes smoothly to seal tightly.
- Roll-N-Lock LG220M – With reinforced aluminum slats, this cover maintains tension to stay quiet.
- Extang Solid Fold – The aircraft-grade aluminum panels are rigid and shake-free.
- UnderCover Flex – The aerodynamic low profile limits noise-causing wind turbulence.
- RetraxPRO XR – This cover features aluminum slats coated with a polymer finish for durability and strength.
How Does Tonneau Cover Design Impact Noise Levels?
The overall design of a tonneau cover greatly affects how noisy or quiet it will be:
- Roll-up design – Covers that roll up and stow out of the way leave little surface to flap.
- Low profile shape – Covers with a curved, contoured shape have less wind resistance.
- Adjustable tension – Ability to tighten the cover prevents looseness and flapping.
- Rigid material – Covers made of aluminum or reinforced polymer stay tight.
- Secure mounting – Clamps and rails that hold the cover firmly help prevent noise.
- Minimal gaps/seams – Smaller gaps and seams means less wind penetration.
- Weather seals – Seals that close off the edges keep wind from entering and lifting the cover.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of A Noisy Tonneau Cover?
Noisy covers have some drawbacks but also some benefits:
- Provides alert that cover is not secure
- Can signal need for maintenance or lubrication
- Allows airflow which prevents moisture buildup
- Causes distraction while driving
- Indicates poor fit, worn parts, or damage
- May lead to cover damage from flapping
- Reduces privacy and security for cargo
What Can You Do To Quiet A Noisy Tonneau Cover?
Here are some tips to silence a noisy, flapping tonneau cover:
- Tighten tension knobs or clamps to improve fit.
- Adjust alignment if cover is installed unevenly.
- Clean and lubricate hinges.
- Replace any worn or loose hardware.
- Add weather seals around edges.
- Use noise dampening materials or mats.
- Modify cover with baffles or deflectors to reduce wind lift.
- Upgrade to a multi-layer vinyl or aluminum cover option.
What Questions Should You Ask When Buying A Quiet Tonneau?
To choose the quietest tonneau for your truck, ask sellers these key questions:
- Is this one of your more quiet, wind-resistant covers?
- How is the cover secured and sealed to limit noise?
- What materials are used, and how rigid/flexible are they?
- Does it have tension control or adjustment features?
- What do customers say about noise levels at highway speeds?
- How is the cover designed to reduce flapping and turbulence?
- Will installation and adjustment help with noise issues?
- Is this cover ideal for my truck height, bed size, and use case?
What Are Top Tips For Installing A Tonneau Cover To Minimize Noise?
How you install your roll up tonneau also impacts noise. Here are some top tips for a quiet installation:
- Carefully measure and cut the vinyl tarp for an exact fit.
- Seal all edges thoroughly with provided weather stripping.
- Tighten rails, clamps, and tension knobs completely.
- Roll up cover neatly and secure at back with provided straps.
- Lubricate hinges and bearings to prevent squeaking.
- Adjust alignment if cover is uneven or sags on one side.
- Consult manual for any break-in period to allow materials to settle.
- Periodically check and adjust tension as needed.
Finding a roll up tonneau cover that provides protection without annoying wind noise can really improve your truck bed. Quiet covers like TruXedo soft covers, Gator ETX covers, and Extang eMax covers are all great options to consider.
Focus on covers with secure designs, snug fits, quality materials, and easy tension adjustment. With good installation and periodic maintenance, you can enjoy noise-free truck bed protection for miles down the highway.