MrSmokey
MrSmokey Reader
7/7/19 9:17 a.m.

I’m gonna be going on a fairly long trip towards the end of this month. I’ll be pulling a small cargo trailer there and possibly back so I’m taking my 14 Chevy 1500. I’ll also be taking a couple of my buddies along. The question is since I’ll be using the trailer for other stuff we’ll be using the pickup be for our luggage. I’ve wanted to get a bed cover for it for a while now and now seems to be the perfect time. What do y’all recommend? I’ve been thinking down the line of a roll up cover or a threefold. I’d like to be able to take it off without too much trouble if I ever need to. I’m not really a fan of the hard covers so that’s why I’m thinking of the soft type. What last the longest? Handles the sun the best? I’d rather not spend an atrocious amount of money for one but will spend a little more for quality. So what says the hive?

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
7/7/19 10:08 a.m.

I put a rigid three fold on my Canyon. It's not hard to fold back when needed and it gives me a sense of security (probably misplaced). I can fold it from one side. Downside , it was almost $900. The day after it was installed I found the same unit on Craigslist for $500 OBO from a lease return.

Rodan
Rodan Dork
7/7/19 11:29 a.m.

I have an Extang Trifecta that is on its second truck and about 4 years old.  Generic Google pic:

 

It's a soft cover, but there's no access to the bed without opening the tailgate, and it folds in three sections.  You can run it all the way closed, and the rear 1/3 lifts for easy loading/unloading, or you can fold the rear 2/3s up to the front and it secures with straps for carrying larger loads.  Comes on/off easily.  It's not as secure as a hard cover, but keeps things out of sight, and out of the weather, and it's much easier to remove than a hard cover.

Mine has weathered the AZ summer sun and winter cold/snow (we're in the mountains) pretty well over 4 years.  I treat it with 303 about once a year.

Here's a shot from this winter... you can see it's strong enough to support a bit of snow.

The Extang looks to have about doubled in price since I bought mine, but I found this, which looks about the same for a pretty reasonable price, and has good reviews:

American Tri-Fold Tonneau

MrSmokey
MrSmokey Reader
7/7/19 12:43 p.m.

Do those have a lock of some sort or is a lock only available on hard covers?

Rodan
Rodan Dork
7/7/19 12:47 p.m.

They don't lock, per se, but can only be unlatched from inside the bed, so if your tailgate locks, it's reasonably secure.  Of course, a box cutter is a universal 'key', but 90% of the time 'out of sight, out of mind' is good enough.

I don't store anything valuable in the bed, but no one has ever messed with it.  

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
7/7/19 1:17 p.m.

Had this hinged soft cover https://extang.com/fulltilt-snap on FS 6.5' bed. Mostly weatherproof, easily removed (tonneau on frame) in under 2 minutes, bows support snow, cheaper than most hard tonneaus. Cons: Security, removing on breezy day is two person job.

Since, went w/ BakFlip MX4 tri-fold hard tonneau https://bakindustries.com/bakflip-mx4 . More secure than soft cover, tailgate closes w/o tonneau open. Cons: Higher price, some water in deluge, not removable but folds against rear of cab losing rear window sight. 

stumpmj350
stumpmj350 New Reader
7/7/19 7:06 p.m.

I know you said you.were thinking of a cover but I'd highly recommend an actual topper.  Lots more space and they're pretty easy to remove with a couple of buddies to help lift.  Used they seem to be $500 and under.

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
7/7/19 7:57 p.m.

I have one just like that American Tri-Fold that Rodan posted on my 16 Tacoma. Folds and secures open in about 2 minutes. Comes completely off in less than 5 minutes and goes back on in about the same time. That's one of the reasons I got it. I thought the cost was very fair for what it is and have no complaints about it. Cost was a factor as my kids were paying for it, was my Xmas present a couple years ago.  I knew they couldn't afford the one I really wanted, I couldn't even afford it. A metal roll-top. Those lock and are secure but very, very costly. Have a friend with one on his truck. Need secure then the roll-top is the way to go. Out of sight and out of the elements then that tri-fold works great.

Had a roll-up one on my previous F150 that snapped. Those snaps were always breaking and wouldn't fasten if the temp was cool, needed the sun/heat to stretch to fit. Even the velcro fastening type have similar issues. Won't have another roll-up type.

Convertible top and tonneau cleaner/treatment keeps it looking good and helps longevity.

edit* This is the one I have. TrailFX tonneau

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/7/19 8:27 p.m.

Truxedo roll-up. Lifetime warranty and after 9 years and a couple of seriously high wind situations (like semis blowing over) I’m starting to think about replacing it. It gets completely out of the way when you’re not using it and is quite waterproof when you are. I’ve purchased several for different trucks and haven’t regretted one. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
7/7/19 8:31 p.m.

Pickup covers are not my thing, but two guys I work with are enthusiasts. They swear by the Tonneau-Pro.

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS HalfDork
7/7/19 8:43 p.m.

I just drove 1500 miles in pretty bad weather at times with my Colorado.  I installed a Peragon cover.  It folds and stows easily.  The seals kept everything nice and dry.  It’s made in the USA, built to order and aluminum.  I wouidn’t stand on it but felt everything was quite secure inside.  

They also sent me some coupons to share if desired.

http://www.peragon.com

 

 

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
7/7/19 8:50 p.m.

Ask ten guys, get twelve different answers laugh

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
7/8/19 6:04 a.m.

I've had Extang tri-folds on my last two trucks. Really can't fault them and the price isn't insane.

I've had topper caps in the past and while they can be convenient when you need to remove them they are a PITA.

A hard cover is essentially a topper with no headroom and even less utility because of the way they pivot up only at the rear.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
7/8/19 7:47 a.m.

I had a Leer fiberglass tonneau on my 8ft. Chevy bed.  It locks, but heavy as hell when the struts fail.  It added a lot to the overall weight.

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
7/8/19 8:10 a.m.

I run a Gatortrax on my work truck. It has been perfect. Easy to open, easy to close and retracted fits in a 12" x 12"  box as wide as the bed. 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
7/8/19 8:39 a.m.

I put a vinyl tonneau cover from Access on the long bed F250 I had - it came with aluminum extrusions that clamped to the bed rails and had an aluminum extrusion at the rear that latched down. The edges of it velcro'd to the siderails. You could roll it up and secure it behind the cab in no time and it was completely out of the way. Once I RTV'd the seam between the side extrusions and the bed rails it was completely weather tight. It was also cheap - I picked it up for about $200 with Amazon Prime free shipping. My 80lb dog jumped up on it and walked around a couple times (the goober) and it didn't collapse or show any ill effects. Worked great in all weather I encountered in Georgia.

The new pickup came with a Roll-N-Lock brand retractable cover. It's not water tight, the roll up box takes up bed space, and it's sometimes a PITA to keep closed on rough roads. If I'd spent the $2k on it new I'd have been pissed off. It is somewhat more secure, you'd at least need a large screwdriver to break the lock instead of just a pocket knife to cut the canvas, but in every other way the cheap vinyl roll-up was superior.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle SuperDork
7/8/19 10:10 a.m.

I have owned a Bakflip G2 and a cheap over the rail hard fiberglass cover. The G2 I bought for my Ram shortbed. I liked it because I could fold it up against the cab if I needed the whole bed uncovered. It was pretty water tight; only a few drips from around the tailgate in the heaviest rain in Tampa. You could not open it without the tailgate being down. The only issue I could think of was the rubber "hinge" in between the panels could degrade from being exposed to the elements. I only had it on my truck about 10 months before I traded the truck in so I can't really speak for long term longevity. Based on my experience, I would buy one again.

The hard tonneau I bought for my F150. I found a dude on CL that had like 20 of them. They were all cheap foreign made covers but it was carpeted on the underneath and included hardware but no struts. I think I paid $220 (this was like 12 years ago). It was not painted but had black primer(?) but I didn't care because my truck was black. With it being over the rail, the only place it could leak was at the front of the bed. It had a pretty thick "bulb type" weatherstrip and I never had any water get in. It was heavy as hell and I never did get struts for it. It was on the truck about 2 years before I traded it in. I had to remove it a few times by myself which was a huge PITA.

All bed covers have some sort of inherent compromise. Some are light and easy to roll up but lack security. Some are solid fiberglass and cannot leak but weigh a ton. Some are stupid expensive (I'm looking at you Pace Edwards).

It really depends on what you want from it. Looks? Security? Weatherproof? Cost?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
7/8/19 11:23 a.m.

The Access roll-up cover would be my pick.  I had one on my Dooley for about 12 years before I replaced it.  The extrusions were very robust, the vinyl cover very heavy gauge, and it worked perfectly.   The "new" cover I have on is not nearly as heavy, and the hardware is weak. 

morello159
morello159 Reader
7/8/19 11:33 a.m.

Another answer... I wanted a hard cover but didn't want to spend a grand on some of the fancier tri-folds. The Gator Evo bi-fold was enough for me. It seals pretty well, and allows me to carry all of my music equipment safe from prying eyes and the elements. I also liked that it didn't sit above the bed, but down in it. It cost about $500 when I got it last year. 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
7/8/19 1:37 p.m.

In reply to Toyman01 :

your CHMSL is baller

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
7/8/19 2:08 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

You know, I had planned to take that off when I bought the truck but never cared enough to actually do it. I was also going to remove the chrome door handle covers and never got around to doing that either.

It's a work truck. I practically live in it. Once I get home I don't want to look at it much less work on it. 

 

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
7/8/19 6:43 p.m.

It didn't click when I first read this thread, but I often have similar needs.  My truck came with a cap, but it's a pain to mount/remove so you kinda have to plan on using it.  I'd love a soft cover but I'm not willing to pay for it.

We saw an el Camino at the fort Wayne power tour stop that had a set of roof racks mounted in the bed.  They had a car top carrier attached.  I'll dig up the picture.

I just so happened to pick up a free car top carrier on the way home today.  When SWMBO gets mad I plan to bring up that el Camino, because shes often distracted by el caminos.

Another advantage of the car top carrier is you can pack it in the garage ahead of time and load it up when you're ready to go.

Vracer111
Vracer111 Reader
7/11/19 12:40 a.m.

Truxedo low pro on my Nissan Frontier I'm happy with...though if wanted to spend over well over double, wouldn't mind going with a BAK Revolver X2/X4. Looks just like a regular low pro cover... but its metal slats covered with vinyl that form a solid surface which can take quite a bit of load, and locks along the ENTIRE length of the bed with a simple lever/rod mechanism... Neither the Gator HR1 or Truxedo Sentry have such a mechanism. Just wish the slats were colored black like on both the Gator and Truxedo.

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