If you are in the market for a bed cover for your truck and stumbled upon this article about reasons why you should have a bed cover, then you are likely in the “research phase” of your purchase. I know because I was there too not that long ago. I was getting ready for a road trip in my truck and had all but decided I needed a tonneau cover for my bed to store all of our stuff in, but I wanted to know all the advantages to having one. So I did some research.
I found all the ways it can benefit me and made a mental list of them. I then took those reasons along with the cost of the tonneau cover I was looking at and had to decide if owning a bed cover was going to be worth my hard earned money. I decided it definitely was.
Here are the main reasons I came up with:
Reasons You Should Have a Bed Cover for Your Truck
Let’s face it, bed covers look cool on trucks, it’s one of the reasons I bought one. There is no science or anything technical to this one, it’s just a preference. Trucks without tonneau covers look good as well but there is something about trucks that have them that make them look a little more complete, more secure. That’s because well, they are both.
This is definitely one of the main reasons people buy bed covers, regardless of the type they choose. A cover over your truck bed will protect its contents from a number of different things. Some of these things are:
- The weather – Rain, snow, sleet, hail, to name a few. Usually your truck bed and it’s contents are wide open to anything mother nature throws at it, so you have to be extra careful of what you have riding around back there. With a proper bed cover you no longer need to worry about this. While most tonneaus aren’t 100% waterproof, most are water resistant and for the most part will keep your stuff nice and dry.
- The sun – Yes, UV rays can be and are harmful to your truck bed itself. When I say that I am mainly talking about the paint. Ever remove a bumper sticker, magnet, or vehicle wrap from a car and see the difference in the paint under it and the paint around it? That’s due to the sun’s rays. It really takes a toll on a paint job over time and a good bed cover will protect the paint as well as anything you carry in the bed regularly. If you have a bedliner you can protect it and keep it looking new rather than the paint under it, they get washed out looking as well from the sun.
- Prying eyes – It’s almost natural when walking by a pickup truck to take a peek inside the bed, I know I do. I’m not hurting anything, it’s just curiosity. While looking doesn’t hurt anyone it unfortunately can lead to theft of property which is very bad.
Going back to the last item from the above list, a bed cover gives you a certain element of privacy. No one can just look into your bed anymore when the cover is closed, which will be most of the time. Although if you have a nice retractable bed cover like this one from GatorTrax on Amazon, you can lock it in place at any point along the tracks and take off. For most of though, our bed covers will stay closed all the time giving us 100% privacy as to what is in our truck bed.
This ties in with privacy. If you keep your truck bed and its contents private, there’s less of a chance that someone will steal something from it. So just the privacy of a bed cover provides a certain element of security.
If you also have a locking tailgate or both the bed cover and tailgate have locks, then you can rest assured that your stuff is very safe. With a soft tonneau cover all someone needs is a sharp knife to cut through the vinyl, but is someone really going to go to that trouble with now guarantee that there is anything of value to be had? Likely not. But with a hard tonneau cover, especially one that locks, your stuff is much safer and secure.
5. Fuel Economy
This one is iffy for me. The theory is sound, but I’m just not sure if a tonneau cover saves fuel all that much.
Basically your truck bed creates drag when the airflow rolls off your cab, into the truck bed, and hits the tailgate. When you have a bed cover this extra drag is eliminated thus increasing your aerodynamics and fuel economy.
There have been many studies done on this but it seems like they’ve all been done by tonneau cover manufacturers or distributors so it’s hard to not see them as possibly bias. The general consensus seems to be that you can increase fuel efficiency by about 10% in a best case scenario. I have personally not seen this in my experience, possibly it’s been just a little bit better than before but even that is hard to say.
In the end I don’t think we are really buying a bed cover for better fuel mileage, are we? Having said all that I did want to still mention it here because many people out there claim to get MPG with one and I am certainly not calling them liars. So if having a bed cover ends up saving a little in gas, icing on the cake right?
I added this as a pro for getting one rather than a con because I actually think they are very affordable and are totally worth the price tag that comes along with them. This holds true regardless of the type you get I think. In my eyes you have 3 basic price ranges for tonneau covers and each price range is very fitting for what you get in most cases.
- Below $500 – You have a lot of options in this price ranges for very nice soft bed covers. Check out Amazon to get an idea. This price range is affordable for most people, many high quality tonneaus can be had for around $200. Just browse Amazon and you’ll see.
- $500 – $1000 – Plenty of great options in this price range as well with quite a few hard tonneau covers to choose from as well.
- $1000 and above – These are the high end ones. Think painted to match your truck or retractable bed covers with all the bells and whistles. Sure $2k might be a lot to pay for a bed cover but if it’s protecting the bed and the contents in that bed of a 40 or 50 thousand dollar truck I think it’s easily worth it.
They are really very convenient to have for several reasons. Here’s a prime example of how mine was very convenient for me.
I recently took a 2000 mile road trip (roundtrip) with my 3 daughters. I checked the cost of plane tickets and a rental car and it was going to be around $1500 total to ly everyone to our destination and rent a car. Instead I bought a great soft tri-fold bed cover and put all of our luggage in the back and made the drive. After gas and everything I probably saved a thousand bucks on that trip just by having a bed cover for my truck. I could have put everything in the bed and just strapped it in sure, but it would have all been ruined! It rained and stormed so much on that drive and guess what? All of our stuff stayed completely dry!
So these are just 7 reasons that were floating around my head when I wrote this article, I’m sure there are more. If you have been on the fence about making the purchase, I hope I’ve helped you in your decision to buy a tonneau cover for your truck! I think most of us that did buy one love them and are glad we have them now.