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Bed Covers For Pickup Owners

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Put the order in for a 2018 Canyon today. Had to order because i wanted the 2.5l 4 banger with the manual 6 speed. Yes i live in the north, Yes it's rwd only, Yes I'm crazy.

Any one have any experience with the different tonneau covers offered today? I see there are the segmented flip up ones as well as the regular roll up and hard top variants. I'll also probably put running boards on it so if you have advice there as well. I didn't get them as dealer options because the price they quoted me was quite a bit on the expensive side.

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I just boght my first pickup truck, a Ridgeline.  I went with the factory 3 panel hard tonneau because I didn't want any fit or warranty issues.   I also picked the 3 panel because I didn't believe the vinyl roll up would last. 

I bought it from a Honda dealer different from where I bought the truck and saved a few hundred.  My wife and I installed it in under an hour without swearing once.

It does leak a little around the edges, which I knew going in, but it doesn't interfere with opening the "trunk" and it keeps out the snow.  Another draw back is that only two of the panels will fold, so if I want to use the whole bed I have to remove the cover.  Some after market units will fold up and secure against the back window exposing most of the bed.  The latch mechanism could be easier to operate.

If I were buying another pickup I would be concerned about fit first and foremost.  Can it be installed and removed easily and does it interfere with any compartments in the truck bed.  Next I would look at how easily it opens and latches and how much of the bed can be opened up.  I am told that all the tonneau covers leak, but obviously it would be nice if it didn't.

By the way, I didn't go with running boards.  I found they made getting in easier, but getting out more difficult.  But the Ridgeline is not as tall as other trucks.

Congratulations on the new truck.

 

 

 

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I had the kind that is made of aluminum segments & has a vinyl layer on the top. It rolled up into a box at the front. The roll up box took up about a foot at the front, which got old real fast. New, it worked very well, but within 3 or 4 years I took it off & trashed it. Parts started wearing out & it couldn't be taken apart to repair it because every single screw I tried to remove had corroded in the aluminum & broke off.

So, I'm no help at all, but I'll follow this one. My truck is 15 years old & will soon be replaced & I'll need a cover as well.

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30 minutes ago, Mark J said:

I just boght my first pickup truck, a Ridgeline.  I went with the factory 3 panel hard tonneau because I didn't want any fit or warranty issues.   I also picked the 3 panel because I didn't believe the vinyl roll up would last. 

I bought it from a Honda dealer different from where I bought the truck and saved a few hundred.  My wife and I installed it in under an hour without swearing once.

It does leak a little around the edges, which I knew going in, but it doesn't interfere with opening the "trunk" and it keeps out the snow.  Another draw back is that only two of the panels will fold, so if I want to use the whole bed I have to remove the cover.  Some after market units will fold up and secure against the back window exposing most of the bed.  The latch mechanism could be easier to operate.

If I were buying another pickup I would be concerned about fit first and foremost.  Can it be installed and removed easily and does it interfere with any compartments in the truck bed.  Next I would look at how easily it opens and latches and how much of the bed can be opened up.  I am told that all the tonneau covers leak, but obviously it would be nice if it didn't.

By the way, I didn't go with running boards.  I found they made getting in easier, but getting out more difficult.  But the Ridgeline is not as tall as other trucks.

Congratulations on the new truck.

I tried to figure out what brand made the Honda one. I seriously doubt that Honda made it. From their website it looks like the Extang brand cover. I was initially interested in them because they removed so easily but the poor water sealing on them from reviews made me look at other brands.

I've been eyeing the Undercover flex, reviews seem favorable but thought i'd ask the hive mind.

5 minutes ago, drzaius said:

I had the kind that is made of aluminum segments & has a vinyl layer on the top. It rolled up into a box at the front. The roll up box took up about a foot at the front, which got old real fast. New, it worked very well, but within 3 or 4 years I took it off & trashed it. Parts started wearing out & it couldn't be taken apart to repair it because every single screw I tried to remove had corroded in the aluminum & broke off.

So, I'm no help at all, but I'll follow this one. My truck is 15 years old & will soon be replaced & I'll need a cover as well.

No this is helpful, avoid the ones that roll up into the front of the bed. I can keep you informed on what i end up getting and how i like it. Like i said before the covers from Undercover specifically the Undercover Flex Ultra seem really nice. I like that they don't lean against the cab which would rub and cause wear on the paint and glass. I also like that the reviews on them give them higher marks for watertightness.

I had a full fiberglass cap and loved it but can't put another one on. There were enough things about it that i didn't like that will keep me away. If they weren't so dang expensive and have to be pained i'd probably do it again. It was nice having a platform on the top of the bed that i could stand on. Used the pickup as a ladder multiple times. Even though it warped around the edge of the box it still leaked so water tight is just something that won't ever be perfect.

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I've used a solid cover, and an accordian-fold aluminum cover. My favorite design is what's on the Avalanche I drive now. 3 solid pieces that use half-lapped edges and cam levers to lock in place. 

Of course, this is an integral design, not an add-on, but if I was moving to a new pickup, I would strongly consider building one like this from plywood, and covered with fiberglass, like a boat. 

The panels can support 300 lb each, and until the weather stripping began to dry-rot (2004 model), it was totally rain-tight.

Another caveat is that the Avalanch bed is extra deep, so a panel can be stored inside the bed sidewall without sticking up over the top.

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6 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

I've used a solid cover, and an accordian-fold aluminum cover. My favorite design is what's on the Avalanche I drive now. 3 solid pieces that use half-lapped edges and cam levers to lock in place. 

Of course, this is an integral design, not an add-on, but if I was moving to a new pickup, I would strongly consider building one like this from plywood, and covered with fiberglass, like a boat. 

The panels can support 300 lb each, and until the weather stripping began to dry-rot (2004 model), it was totally rain-tight.

Another caveat is that the Avalanch bed is extra deep, so a panel can be stored inside the bed sidewall without sticking up over the top.

I think the avalanche is what inspired these folding tops because they seem to be about the same except instead of being able to remove each panel they just fold like a map. I like the idea of the Avalanche but they are too big, and their initial visual styling was difficult for me to ummm get used to. The later ones that did away with all the sun faded looking plastic looked far better.

Making my own from fiberglass now that is an interesting idea ... Or even doing Cedar strip bowing it up in the center slightly and clear glassing it like a canoe. Maybe next time.

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Agree about the horrible plastic cladding. Mine has no lower cladding, just the 'rim' around the bed and back of the cab. I really wish GM would bring the Avalanche back to production. It isn't right for everyone, but it meets my needs better than any vehicle I have ever driven.

Little-known feature: the bed sidewalls have storage built in. Most folks don't realize that the plastic-lined storage boxes have drain ports, so they can be filled with ice and used as beverage coolers!

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I have a Gaylord Tonnau on my Silverado. It's the normal fiberglass on air shocks. 

I like the look of it being black on black with my truck. Looks sleek.

I don't like how heavy it is to put on and off as well as not being able to just use part of the back.

If I had the opportunity, I would definitely look at the multi section ones that allow you to uncover part of it without the whole cover propped up.

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I don't have anything on my bed but I have two friends that are extremely happy with this one.  Extang Solid Fold    One has had it on his truck close to ten years.  The way they latch, if you lock your tail gate the bed is pretty much as secure as a car trunk.  Of course both these guys live in California so ten years may be different then ten Minnesota years.

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Last fall I put in a Retrax polycarbonate roll up cover.  So far I have been extremely happy with it.  Rolls up easy, only down side is it takes up about 14" when rolled up.  My truck is 18 yrs old and I am trying to keep it for another 18, I think this is going to help.

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22 minutes ago, Chet said:

I don't have anything on my bed but I have two friends that are extremely happy with this one.  Extang Solid Fold    One has had it on his truck close to ten years.  The way they latch, if you lock your tail gate the bed is pretty much as secure as a car trunk.  Of course both these guys live in California so ten years may be different then ten Minnesota years.

Sun is what kills these things are you guys get more of that so it'd probably last quite a while up here. Those were the ones that i read reviews about not sealing as well as the others.

3 minutes ago, Just Bob said:

Last fall I put in a Retrax polycarbonate roll up cover.  So far I have been extremely happy with it.  Rolls up easy, only down side is it takes up about 14" when rolled up.  My truck is 18 yrs old and I am trying to keep it for another 18, I think this is going to help.

I grew up in the town where they make those so I've seen a lot of them. They are great covers i just don't want to lose that 14" of space. They have been selling the same cover for like 20 years quite successfully.

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2wd 4 banger...I didn't even know they made that version

I've had most of the tops mentioned above at one time or another and have settled on no cover on my current truck 2015 Canyon. The roll up in the box (97 F150) like stated just takes up to much room especially on a short box pickup. I had the roll up vinyl one (73 Ford) and it worked fine but a pain to roll up. 2006 Avalanche it worked well but still a pain to deal with. My current solution is just a spray in bed liner and I actually prefer not having to deal with a  cover at all. Having said that mine is a crew cab so dry storage is not really an issue for me.

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3 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

2wd 4 banger...I didn't even know they made that version

They do, very very few. I think the closest one that had some of the things i wanted was TN, but still wasn't in the color i wanted.

I thought about just going open but i always leave smelly stuff in the back. Also i like the out of sight security. I feel safer leaving the stuff in the back even though it's easier to break into than the cab because if you walk by you can't just see it through the window. My office is in a seedy area of Anoka.

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6 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

They do, very very few. I think the closest one that had some of the things i wanted was TN, but still wasn't in the color i wanted.

I thought about just going open but i always leave smelly stuff in the back. Also i like the out of sight security. I feel safer leaving the stuff in the back even though it's easier to break into than the cab because if you walk by you can't just see it through the window. My office is in a seedy area of Anoka.

Better to wait a few weeks and get exactly what you want then to settle, for sure. Yeah mine is really used more as a car with a box and even at that since I work from home it rarely sits unattended.

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50 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

Better to wait a few weeks and get exactly what you want then to settle, for sure. Yeah mine is really used more as a car with a box and even at that since I work from home it rarely sits unattended.

A few weeks ... lol it's more like 12-16 weeks. I gave the sales person a good ribbing because my Subaru was made to order in japan and was delivered in 8 weeks. Wish i could do that work from home gig. It'd save me an hour of driving every day. Though it's usually 30 min construction just stinks....

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I've got the Undercover SE on my 2015 Colorado, that thing is so strong you can stand on it and it comes off easily and goes back on in the same spot every time. It's so light my wife and i can take it off without help. Three years in and no problems, locks, water tight, I have no water in the box, snow slides right off of it. My only advice is to stay away from anything made by Leer, absolute junk IMO and awful customer service. The only downside i see on the SE is that when you take it off you have to find somewhere to put it until you put it back on.

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2 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

Good call on the Canyon, I think they actually look better than the Colorado, and the Colorados are attractive trucks.

Agreed I sure like mine :) 

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2 hours ago, treeslayer said:

I've got the Undercover SE on my 2015 Colorado, that thing is so strong you can stand on it and it comes off easily and goes back on in the same spot every time. It's so light my wife and i can take it off without help. Three years in and no problems, locks, water tight, I have no water in the box, snow slides right off of it. My only advice is to stay away from anything made by Leer, absolute junk IMO and awful customer service. The only downside i see on the SE is that when you take it off you have to find somewhere to put it until you put it back on.

I'd never seen that one it looks pretty slick

 

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RWD, Manual and enough snow to make the artic jealous, no thanks.  Leave the cover off the snow will add some weight to the rear end.

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10 hours ago, Woodenskye said:

RWD, Manual and enough snow to make the artic jealous, no thanks.  Leave the cover off the snow will add some weight to the rear end.

Weight doesn't help as much as people think. It's not a substitute for good tires. For swinging the tail end around the weight can make things worse actually. More weight to carry the rear tires off track. In the last 15 years i wished for 4wd once or twice. Both times i was a teenager doing stuff i shouldn't be doing going places i shouldn't have been. I feel 4wd is very over rated.

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13 hours ago, treeslayer said:

I've got the Undercover SE on my 2015 Colorado, that thing is so strong you can stand on it and it comes off easily and goes back on in the same spot every time. It's so light my wife and i can take it off without help. Three years in and no problems, locks, water tight, I have no water in the box, snow slides right off of it. My only advice is to stay away from anything made by Leer, absolute junk IMO and awful customer service. The only downside i see on the SE is that when you take it off you have to find somewhere to put it until you put it back on.

That's an interesting top i like that it's easy to remove and put back on. My dad had a Leer topper on his 98 GMC and it was terrible. The lifters never worked ended up breaking off. It was just a piece of junk.

The downside for the SE is I'd think to remove it AFTER i got to where i needed to move something.

A friend of mine think's i'm weird for wanting a pickup as much as i do. He told me to just go rent a pickup from Home Depot when i needed one. People that have pickups don't really get that once you have one you find a LOT of uses for it and so do all your friends with out pickups.

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So if your bed cover does leak a little any one have any thoughts on keeping stuff dry?

The only thing I would carry back there that I would be concerned about is luggage, and then only on a road trip with more than two people.  

The only idea that's crossed my mind so far is to put the bags inside of 50 gallon heavy duty garbage bags.

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10 minutes ago, Mark J said:

So if your bed cover does leak a little any one have any thoughts on keeping stuff dry?

The only thing I would carry back there that I would be concerned about is luggage, and then only on a road trip with more than two people.  

The only idea that's crossed my mind so far is to put the bags inside of 50 gallon heavy duty garbage bags.

When ever my current one leaked it was very little water and it only ever got the bottom of the box wet. I usually just put things that couldn't get wet on top of something. I almost always had a tire or 5 in the back of the pickup. :D I stored my winter or summer tires in the back typically and just pulled them out when i needed the space. Other options would be to make a platform with edges to set luggage in that was maybe a 1x4 off of the bed. The water was more of an annoyance when i had debris in the back and it would just make things messy.

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3 hours ago, Chestnut said:

... In the last 15 years i wished for 4wd once or twice...

I would agree I put mine in 4wd probably twice last winter the rest of the time i left it in 2wd its quieter and gets better mileage that way. Having said that living in MN there is zero chance I would buy a 2wd truck unless I never planned on getting rid of it. IMHO resale would be difficult at best.

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