What is the best type of Tonneau cover for Ford Trucks

What is the best type of Tonneau cover for Ford Trucks

Writer John Linden

There are many types of truck bed covers for Ford Trucks, choosing the best one for your needs can be overwhelming. Each style has advantages and features, with so many options finding the perfect fit can be difficult but with so many options on the market you can find the perfect fit for your needs!

The best cover for your Ford depends on what you do with you truck, where you drive it the most, and the weather conditions. If you use your truck without a cover often a retractable cover or rollup cover may be the best option – a cover that can be easily retracted and give full bed access is the best options. If you store goods in your truck bed and security is important to you a folding cover with an over the tailgate lock could be the best option.

Weather conditions where you use your truck are important, too. If you live in areas with many rainy or snowy days a hard cover offers better protection from the elements. Soft covers are made of marine grade materials, but the way they are installed make them more prone to leaks.

Before you buy a cover,and have it installed consider everything you use your truck for and how often you need to access the bed to make the best decision for your Ford.

Types of Cover

Types of Cover

Most styles of truck bed cover come in two types – Soft or Hard. Each type has great features and different price points.

Hard covers offer better options to secure the bed of the truck. When paired with a locking tailgate hard covers can be locked. Most soft covers cannot be locked, and the fabric covers that can be locked can be cut easily.

Soft covers offer a more economical price point. If cost is a major factor, then a soft cover is your best option. Hard covers are more customizable but more expensive. Hard covers do last longer and require less maintenance, though the purchase price and installation cost are higher.

Hard covers offer an aerodynamic, lower profile fit. Soft covers have a smoother, uniform look but they sit one or two inches about the sides of the bed in most styles. Some varieties of hard covers can be custom painted to match your truck, too!

Styles of Cover

Traditional look, easy bed access, and the ability to utilize the entire bed without removing the cover are the best points of a Rollup cover. These covers come in hard and soft variety.

Rollup covers attach to the truck with snaps, Velcro, clips, or latches and can be rolled completely back to use the entire bed or partially to access just the space needed. It is quick and easy to roll the cover up and can be done with one person.

Aerodynamics make rollup covers a top contender, too. These covers are low profile and do not cause a lot of drag when driving.

They are easy to install and one of the most economical covers on the market. Soft Rollup covers start around $500 for Ford Trucks and install with snaps or Velcro.

Toolbox covers are hard covers that easily accommodate or have a toolbox built in. These covers are perfect if you need a toolbox on your truck and the security of a hard bed cover.

They only come in hard cover type and offer over the tailgate locking mechanisms.

The traditional hard type cover – the hatch. These are great hard covers that lock over the tailgate keeping the bed secure.

Hatch covers can be custom painted to match the color of the truck. These covers are low profile and aerodynamic, but they do limit bed access if you need access to the entire bed. For full bed access the entire hatch cover must be removed, which is time consuming.

Instant bed access with one hand makes Fold up Covers a great choice. These covers come in hard or soft type, when not in use they fold flat against the back window, so the entire truck bed is accessible.

Much like Rollup covers, fold up covers give you easy access to all or part of the bed, Fold Up covers can easily be folded with one hand while standing beside the truck.  They are great for people who use their bed often for carrying large items but still need the security of a locking bed cover or the protection from the elements a cover offers.

Retractable covers come in hard and soft versions and are the most aerodynamic option. These covers may retract by battery power or manually crank into a canister mounted in the bed by the cab. Many retractable covers have a locking option, when fully extended they lock over the tailgate.

Installation and purchase costs are highest for retractable covers. These covers require regular maintenance on the retraction motor and disassembly to clean the canister.

These covers are a great option for those with limited mobility because they retract themselves with the push of a button but offer the same security as a fold up or rollup cover.

So, which cover is best?

I use my truck in all kinds of weather, and since we had our son a few years ago I find myself storing lots of things in the bed that need to be protected from theft and the elements. We use our toolbox for storing tools and farm gear in and the bed for storing the car seat when our son is not in the truck, the diaper bag, carrying the stroller, carrying feed and hay in all weather, and the usual truck stuff of moving big items. Recently we had a toolbox hard folding cover installed and it is a great fit for our family. An even better fit would be a crew cab truck, but that just is not in the budget for a few years!

Featured Image credit: Benfulton03 / Wikimedia Commons

In Post Image credit: OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay