Types of Dodge Ram Covers

Types of Dodge Ram Covers

Written By: John Linden

Whether you are taking on roads in the harshest of environments, or simply running the carpool for your crew, your Dodge Ram has been painstakingly engineered to provide the best performance and comfort possible. This level of sophistication means that anything you add on to your truck must be just as carefully designed. You don’t want to compromise the integrity and performance of your Dodge with a poorly thought out addition. With that said, truck covers are one of the most popular additions for a Dodge and can provide you a myriad of additional benefits (if you choose the right one). A good truck cover can help reduce weathering on your truck bed, protect your items and tools from rain and snow, and thwart criminals -the very best will also give you added storage options and shelving.

To help you understand your choices when it comes to truck covers, and which may be the most beneficial to you, we are going to provide a brief overview of the general types of Dodge Ram Covers readily available today. We won’t be getting into too many specific brands; rather this guide should allow you to better understand exactly which type of cover you should be looking to buy for your Dodge.

A Primer on Truck Covers

A Primer on Truck Covers

Truck Covers

 Before we get too far in, it is worth mentioning the difference between a truck cover and a truck shell. A flat truck cover is often also called a tonneau cover and is a hard or soft covering for the bed of your truck that stays very close to the original height of your truck bed. There are some exceptions, but a ‘cover’ or ‘tonneau cover’ is generally a flat roof for the bed of your truck. Covers add security and protection to the bed of your truck but add little to the overall shape. Many prefer truck covers over shells for aesthetic reasons.

A truck shell, on the other hand, encases the bed of your truck and will typically have a height that matches the truck cab. Shells are used more often for camping, storing substantial items, or if you are using the bed of your truck as a small worksite and require ample secure storage.

Roll-Up Covers for Your Dodge

Overall Cost: Low

Roll-up covers are covers that can be attached or detached relatively quickly and provide a moderate amount of protection. The most common form of this is in a soft canvas material that is draped over the bed and secured by a large number of snaps. While putting it on is a chore, they are low cost and effective. For the soft covers, it is recommended you get one coated in vinyl or another form of water/weather resistant material since a good roll-up cover should protect your bed and its belongings from both the sun and various types of incremental weather.

Good soft covers, when attached correctly, canactually bemore watertight than many of the hard covers that come in slats or folding sections. Of course, the more water resistant the material for your soft cover is, the better it will be at this. While vinyl, for example,is very water resistant it is not entirely waterproof. The only genuinely waterproof covers will be the those made from a single piece of solid material (high-impact plastic, aluminum, fiberglass, etc.).

Security in these covers is not as complete due to the softer material -but it still provides exceptionally better protection than an open bed.

Roll-Up covers are recommended for those that often need to store larger items in their bed but still need general weather and visual protection in their day-to-day tasks.

Retractable Covers for Your Dodge

Overall Cost: Mid to High

Retractable covers extend from, and return to, a cylinder or canister placed at the cab end of the truck bed. Like roll-up covers, retractablecovers can be easily extended or returned to allow you easy versatility. This versatility comes in handysince it allows you to both moving large items and rest easy knowing your tools are protected from the weather (or thieves). Retractable covers also come in a variety of materials and styles including types that utilize aluminum I-beams or metal slats.

The metal infused covers provide great security but sometimes offer less than perfect water resistance. You will have to balance the material with your environment and goals.

Retractable Dodge Ram covers are mainly recommended for those who want to beef up security during transportation but still need to be able to remove and replace their truck cover with minimum time and effort. Retractablecovers are the most versatile of the solid locking covers. Many retractable covers can be locked into place in various configurations, such as a half-covered bed, something most other cover types are unable to replicate.

Folding Covers for Your Dodge

Overall Cost: Low to Mid

Folding covers can also be made from both hard or soft materials and come in a variety of styles. While soft folding covers are going to made from types of waterproof (hopefully) canvas stretched over a metal frame (this allows easy folding and unfolding) the hardcover versions are typically made from an aluminum or fiber-reinforced plastic. The hardcovers provide an extra layer of security for your truck but will weigh more. The soft covers have many of the same advantages and drawbacks as the soft roll-up covers but the added folding frame saves you a whole bunch of time when it comes to placement and removal.

Folding covers are popular for the added security they provide (even soft covers will obscure what is in your bed), the versatility that allows you to quickly switch between a covered bed or one that needs to hold larger cargo, and their low profile.

These covers add versatility to your Dodge without sacrificing the aesthetic of your vehicle. Recommended for those that need quick access to the top of their bed but also require some added security and weather protection for their day to day truck usage.

A Primer on Truck Covers

High-Impact Plastic Covers

Overall Cost: High

High-Impact plastic covers are semi-permanent (typically weigh less than 75 pounds and can be removed withminimal tools and effort) and provide near perfect security and weather protection for the items in your truck bed. Since the lid comes in basically one section, there is very little fear of any moving parts breaking or jamming up. In short, these plastic lids are durable, tough, and reliable. Many of these hard covers have internal shelving storage areas to maximize the internal truck bed space.

These lids come in stationery and liftable versions, but neither will allow you to move taller cargo without first removing the cover. These covers are recommended for Dodge drivers who often work out of the back of their truck and require not only extra areas to store their tool, but also an area to safely store them away from thieves and the weather.

Fiberglass Covers

Overall Cost: High +

Fiberglass Lids are very popular due to their near perfect weatherproofing, security features, and visual profile.These often provide the same type of added cargo space as the solid plastic lids and, like those covers, are also semi-permanent.

Fiberglass lids are tough and generally come in a single piece, making them ideal for keeping tools safe from weather and thieves. While the rigidity of these covers limits the access to the bed of your Dodge, they often contain large amounts of added storage and shelving space to the bed interior.

The major selling point of these covers outside of their utility, is the fact they can be made to perfectly match the rest of your truck’s body -making it both useful and visually appealing.

Featured Image credit: DiamondBack Truck Covers  / Flickr

In Post Image 1 credit: Qwiktarp Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

In Post Image 2 Credit: Mr.choppers / Wikimedia Commons

In Post Image 3 Credit: DiamondBack Truck Covers  / Flickr