Tonneau covers are one of the most popular accessories for truck owners. They give your truck a sleek style while also serving a functional purpose. Tonneau covers allow you to more securely store materials and equipment in the bed of your truck, adding serious cargo space for your vehicle. These accessories come in a variety of styles, from roll-up covers, retractable covers and hard tonneau covers. We explored the pros and cons of tonneau covers in a previous post. If you’ve decided that this is a truck accessory that you’ve got to have, it’s important to understand the maintenance that comes with owning a tonneau cover. They can be very costly, therefore it’s imperative to take care of your investment to ensure it lasts for the life of your truck. Explore these 5 key Tonneau cover maintenance tips:
#1. Regularly Check Your Tonneau Cover
A simple preventative measure is to consistently check the condition of your tonneau cover. Some specific things to check for are “scratches, bumps, dents, lodged debris, looseness and corrosion. If you spot anything out of the ordinary, early on, you’ll be able to stop it from snowballing into a costly issue” according to Red Line. Also, it’s important to check for these conditions so you know not to wash or scrub your tonneau cover in those areas to avoid making them worse.
#2. Is Your Hardware Fastened Tightly?
Prior to washing your tonneau cover, be sure to inspect all mounting hardware and clips. This will prevent them from being torn off or causing other serious damage to the cover while you’re cleaning it. In addition to checking the hardware, consider regularly sliding and fully closing your cover to ensure it operates smoothly, even when you’re not actively using it. “… If that’s not the case, lubricate the rails to prevent any unwanted traction and wear.” (4 Wheel Online)
#3. Understand the Proper Way to Wash Them
The proper way to wash your tonneau cover depends on the type of cover, as well as the material of the cover. In general, if you’re washing your cover by hand, use “cold water and a mild soap such as Simple Green, or a specialty Tonneau cover cleaner, and gently scrub the Tonneau cover from the cab to the bed with a soft bristle car wash brush. Then, rinse the cover with cold water again, and dry it with soft cotton cloths or sponges.” (Street Directory)
Additional tips for washing your tonneau cover include:
- Consider cleaning your vehicle and cover in shaded place like under a tree or in an open garage.
- Make sure to first flood the tonneau cover lid with water to remove surface grit that will scratch the finish when wiped.
- Next, using a hose, rinse the cover well making sure to remove all traces of soap and wipe off excess water using a sponge.
- Be careful to hose down the entire car to prevent soap from streaking your car’s paint finish.
*via Red Line
#4. Avoid Leaving Heavy Gear on Your Cover
It’s important to avoid leaving heavy gear on top of your Tonneau cover for prolonged periods of time, regardless of which type of cover you have. According to 4 Wheel Online, “doing this can cause sagging and/or permanent damage. Always refer to the manual that came with the tonneau cover for weight ratings, and if it is absolutely necessary to stack items, spread them out as evenly as possible.” If you have additional questions, reach out to the manufacturer where you purchased your cover, for advice.
#5. Know Your Cleaning Chemicals
Did you know? Certain silicone-based cleaning products, such as Armor All, can actually deteriorate the adhesives used in specific types of tonneau covers? It’s true! It’s important to never use vinyl cleaners, “such as those made for cleaning the dashboard, as they contain grease and solvents that will accelerate deterioration or fade the color. ONLY if you have a vinyl cover should you use a vinyl cleaner to keep it looking new and working properly.” (Street Directory)
Tonneau covers allow you to protect your truck bed as well as your cargo. They can also safeguard your vehicle against weather elements like messy snow and sleet. Furthermore, they enhance the look of a truck. It’s important to properly maintain your tonneau cover, to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Sources: 4 Wheel Online, Street Directory, Red Line