A common question truck owners have is whether they can utilize the space under a soft tonneau cover for additional storage. With some clever solutions, the answer is yes! Here’s what you need to know about maximizing your truck bed storage with a soft tonneau cover.
What Are The Benefits Of Under-Bed Storage?
Having the ability to store items underneath your tonneau cover offers some great advantages:
More Cargo Space
You gain extra room for hauling bulky gear or tools that won’t fit elsewhere in your truck. This comes in handy for tradespeople, offroad enthusiasts, and anyone needing to maximize cargo capacity.
Protection From Weather
Storing items under the cover keeps them clean and dry compared to tossing them in the truck bed. They’ll be shielded from rain, snow, dust and UV rays.
Out-of-sight storage keeps your gear hidden and less likely to get stolen. It’s much more discreet than throwing a bunch of stuff in the open truck bed for all to see.
Under-bed storage allows you to neatly organize and secure items in their place so they don’t shift around. No more rummaging to find what you need!
What Are The Challenges With Under-Bed Storage?
While gaining extra enclosed space sounds great, there are some considerations to keep in mind:
Soft covers aren’t designed to hold a lot of weight, so heavy storage solutions could put too much strain and cause damage.
Reduced Truck Bed Access
Opening the cover will be more difficult with bulky storage containers in the way. You lose quick and easy access to the full bed space.
Added Wind Resistance
Any cargo you place under the cover can create drag and wind noise at high speeds. Aerodynamics suffer compared to an empty bed.
If storage bins aren’t sealed properly against the cover, gaps can allow dust and moisture into your gear. Ratchet straps help reduce this.
Interference With Bed Features
Storing items in certain spots could get in the way of accessing tiedowns, lighting, or other utility features in your bed.
Choosing The Right Solution For Your Needs
Storage Bins And Containers
Plastic bins, canvas bags and other containers are an easy solution for gaining enclosed cargo space under your soft tonneau. Models with flat tops are best to keep a low profile. Be sure to secure them well to avoid shifting.
Truck Bed Toolboxes
Low-profile toolboxes are made to install under covers. They allow easy access through the cover when needed. Choose a chest style rather than drawers for best compatibility.
This unique storage unit is designed specifically for tonneau covers. It rotates for access from either side of the truck. The weatherproof hard case keeps your gear protected.
Bedslide Cargo Trays
These handy trays mount to your truck bed rails and slide out for easy loading. Choose a low-profile size to fit under your soft tonneau cover. They also work great with hard folding covers.
Think about whether you want your storage to be removable or permanently mounted. Removable options allow flexibility but may not hold cargo as securely. Permanently installed solutions hold gear tightly in place but reduce bed access when not needed.
Helpful Tips For Smooth Operation
- Use soft-sided bags and cases with foldable designs to minimize bulk.
- Make sure your cover has enough mounting clearance to open and close smoothly over your cargo.
- Add padding or smooth rubber caps on storage bin corners to prevent wearing through the vinyl cover.
- Position strapped-down bins toward the cab or tailgate to avoid blocking cover hinges.
- Test opening and closing the cover fully before hitting the road to ensure adequate clearance.
- Keep weight evenly distributed and under 100 lbs total to avoid overstressing the cover framework.
- Check ratchet strap tightness regularly on a long trip to prevent load shifting.
With careful selection of storage solutions and proper setup, you can absolutely create enclosed under-bed cargo space with a soft roll-up or folding tonneau cover. Just be mindful of weight limits, bed access and potential clearance issues when loading bulky gear underneath. But with the right approach, you’ll maximize your truck’s utility while still keeping things secure, organized and protected from the elements.
So go ahead and put those empty spaces under your tonneau cover to good use! With a bit of creativity, you can haul even more gear and get your truck ready for any adventure.