How to Protect your Truck Bed

How to Protect your Truck Bed

Written By: John Linden

While the bed may be the one area of your truck expected to take some damage, those dings and marks will hurt the resell value all the same. When you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on a truck, you want to protect every inch of it.

The trick is to keep your vehicle functional while also ensuring that you are not damaging it in the process of using it. There are many products available today that can help you with this. In this article, we will cover the significant methods of protecting your truck bed without sacrificing functionality- ultimately preserving the vehicle’s resale value.

The 3 Main Methods of Protecting a Truck Bed

If you don’t take the time to protect your truck bed, it will start to show signs of use after only a couple of trips to the furniture or hardware store. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to protect the bed, and they are not mutually exclusive. We are going to describe these basic methods and how you should think about approaching them.

Even if you only follow one of these tips, the bed of your truck will look exponentially better in the end when compared to one that did not. Each one of these tips is easy to apply and will save you money in the long run if used early enough and done correctly.

Preventing Build-Up

1. Preventing Build-Up

The first main culprit in substantial truck bed damage is build up. While rain and general moisture won’t do much on their own, the dirt and grime that rain and wind can leave in a truck bed will build up over time. This dirt and sludge can contain contaminates and can stop the proper draining of rainwater from your truck bed. The result is often rapid and substantial damage.

Every item you haul something will also leave behind bits of dirt and debris that can become a hazard once it rains. Here is an example: You’ll have some bits of wood and sawdust from the boards you moved, some paper that fell out of those backpacks you threw back there last week, and then a soda can from when you went backpacking. Then one day it rains. Soon your truck bed is full of water, wet trash, and thick mud. It would help if you kept the bed clean to prevent these moments.

If you are not going to buy a truck cover to stop the elements from entering the truck bed, you must be diligent about cleaning out the resulting build-up.

2. Get Yourself a Truck Cover

Now, if you don’t want to deal with build-up, you wish to store items safely in your truck bed, or you simply want a failsafe way to stop the elements from damaging the truckbed -than the truck cover is your answer. There are many variations of truck covers available ranging from soft cloth variations that are better for quickly taking on and off in the rain, to automatic rolling covers made for the traveling professional.

If you take the time to look it is almost guaranteed that a truck cover has been made to fit your unique needs. From lounging spaces to heavy-duty mobile work stations, truck cover solutions are as diverse as the people who need them.

“Camper shells” are the larger variations of truck covers and can come in varying degrees of quality, with the most expensive shells being made from fiberglass to match your truck’s original look. These shells are large enough at the higher-end for you to include internal shelving and storage space -truly maximizing the area you have to work with back there.

Tonneau Cover

Tonneau Cover

If you don’t like the look of the big bulky shell covers, then perhaps a tonneau cover is for you. A tonneau cover will allow you to keep the original lines of your truck while still keeping out mother nature and prying eyes. They typically sit flush or lie just above the lip of your bed and can be slid, rolled, or snapped into place.

Tonneau covers also come in a wide variety of styles and materials. Some forms of tonneau covers like the metal-slat roll-away type are great for protection and very easy to remove and replace, but they are also not as watertight as other versions. Ensure you do your research into the type of cover you plan on getting. Many are made to fit a specific set of needs.

Put in a Bed Liner

3. Put in a Bed Liner

A bed liner can be used for added protection if you cannot attach a truck cover for some reason, or can be used in tandem with a truck cover for double protection and increased functionality.

A bed liner will apply directly over the bed of your truck to provide increased protection from dents, scratches, and weathering. Some liners can come with an increased grip texture, or a myriad of other features to boost your quality of life.

Be careful when choosing a bed liner, however. Cheaper drop-in liners often do not seal as tightly and can cause damage at the points where they touch. Looser fitting and cheaper liners may also trap moisture between the two layers -ultimately defeating the purpose.

Spray-on liners will do a better job keeping out moisture and resisting damage but are also a permanent solution and may not do you any favors when it comes time to sell.

Your best bet is to get a high-end and professionally sealed bed liner that you can remove at the time of sale. This process will give you the highest possible resale value, and may even allow you to reinstall the liner into your new truck (if they are comparable sizes).

Treat Your Truck Bed Right

Whether you want the highest resale value possible, or you simply want to ensure your truck can stay working well and looking good for the foreseeable future, you should invest in protection for your truck bed. Truck beds need to work hard, and will often be the firsts places to show signs of damage or neglect.

With only a little bit of effort and the correct form of protection, you can rely on your truck to keep looking and working the way you want it to.

Featured Image Credit: pxfuel / Creative Commons Zero - CC0

In Post Image 1 Credit: SoapWitch / Pixabay
In Post Image 2 Credit: DiamondBack Truck Covers / flickr
In Post Image 3 Credit: ArmorThane / Wikimedia Commons