Most off-roaders consider truck bed covers as standard gear. And that’s for good reason. No matter what you carry with you into the great outdoors, you need to protect it from the elements. And without a cover, you may as well shout to the sky, “Please rain on all my gear and ruin it!” Even if water won’t harm your essentials, you don’t want to deal with a bunch of wet stuff when at your destination. Just like shopping for truck wheels and tires, you should take just as much care when picking out a tonneau cover. Check out this useful guide for some tips to keep in mind.
Know Your Bed Size
Truck models have standard specs for everything from total vehicle weight to engine power. Bed sizes are also relatively standard, but they can differ between different submodels of the same truck. The 2019 GMC Sierra comes in three submodels – the 1500, the 2500 HD and the 3500 HD. And the 1500 has three bed types – standard, long and short.
Most truck bed cover manufacturers make it easy to pick the right size for your vehicle. If you’re shopping for the BAKFlip MX4 tonneau cover, for example, you just have to know your submodel and bed type. Many online retails let you select it from a drop-down menu. This selection does make a huge difference. The long bed version of the Sierra 1500 has a bed length of around 8 feet. On standard bed 1500s, it measures around 6.5 feet.
If you don’t have this information ready, you may want to measure your bed. All you need a retractable tape measurer. Just extend the tape up the center of the bed until the end hits the back of your truck cab. After you note the length on your tape measurer and record it, you’re done.
Evaluate Each Cover’s Features
You want your truck bed cover to look cool, but it must also protect your gear. That’s where the cover’s specs can help you evaluate its performance. Let’s look at the BAK Industries’ BAKFlip MX4 again as an example. The MX4 features durable aluminum panels on a high-density foam core. This unique construction makes it both lightweight and strong – capable of bearing up to 400 pounds of evenly distributed weight. And if you do a lot of off-roading in wet weather, you’ll love its side rails with built-in rain channels. Add EPDM outer rail seals and you’re golden. Water travels safely out of your bed and away from your cargo.
Shop at a Reputable Dealer
Fortunately, e-commerce has maintained some of the personal touch. This is especially important when you’re buying tonneau covers, tire and wheel packages, lift kits or any other off-roading equipment. When buying gear, shop at a trusted off-road parts and accessories dealer. Even better, choose a dealer with friendly and knowledgeable customer service. That expert assistance comes in handy when you’re gearing up for your next overlanding trip or your summer weekends in the backcountry.