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Old 05-18-2004, 09:37 AM   #1
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Truck bed covers? Could use some help!

Now that we have our new tow vehicle truck, we are considering a cover for the bed. I have mixed feelings about a cover, wondering about the ease of removal for times when we want to haul something tall such as trees from a plant nursery or furniture from an auction. (We are 60's and not as limber as we once were!) We would appreciate thoughts on that. We are also uncertain about selecting a tonneau cover or the taller camper-style shell with sliding windows for side and rear access. We do like the idea of having dry storage when in camp or traveling. So, thanks for your comments about what you have as a truck bed cover and why or why you have chosen not to cover. Also, if you have a preferred maker, we would appreciate that info as well! As always, I think this Forum will have lots of information for us to think about
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:54 AM   #2
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My Denali comes with a tonneau cover and I LOVE it. It is super easy to remove/put on, it makes the truck look great, stuff doesn't blow around, and, best of all, it keeps things completely dry. I hope it lasts for ever!
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Old 05-18-2004, 10:10 AM   #3
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I just went through this with my truck. I really wanted a fiberglass lid (the kind that fits flush with the top of the bed), but decided that I would need to remove it too often and that, at 160 lbs. or so, it would be too cumbersome. I ended up with a fiberglass cap (roof high) and a Bedrug liner. I am very pleased with both. However, I also own a small utility trailer which I use for hauling messy, bulky items.

There are some really nice roll up covers now that appear fairly secure. Truxedo, Access, and Retrax are brands that seem to be liked by owners.

Another alternative is one of those polystyrene lids. They are relatively inexpensive, and virtually indestructible. You pull four pins, pick it up (very lightweight), and just toss it on the ground - you can't hurt them.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:09 AM   #4
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Roll-n-Lock

I'm on my 3rd truck on which I have installed a Roll-N-Lock rolling bed cover. It is the best of all worlds. I can open it fully to have all but 9" of the bed clear or close it and it is almost rain tight. Just some small leaks at the rear corners in a heavy rain. I can open it partially to clear smaller loads.

It is not cheap, but it is sturdy enough that their ad shows a small woman standing on it. My current cover was moved from my 2000 truck to my 2004 truck.
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Old 05-18-2004, 11:53 AM   #5
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I agree with John. I have a tambor type locking bed cover. I went through all of the pros and cons of the various alternatives and chose this one. It locks, and with a locking tail gate, is very secure. It also locks in place every foot so you can safely travel with it partially open for tall items. The only downside is it is not 100% waterproof. I have a ridged bedliner that holds my load above any water that may enter. The amount of water is no more than a cup in the worst conditions. I've never regreted my decision.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark

Another alternative is one of those polystyrene lids. They are relatively inexpensive, and virtually indestructible. You pull four pins, pick it up (very lightweight), and just toss it on the ground - you can't hurt them.

Good luck,

Mark
Mark, this sounds interesting to me. Do you have a brand name or two so I can do a search?
Thanks.
Eugenie
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:05 PM   #7
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I got the hard tonneau cover made by snug top. It's called snug lid. It is very water proof and looks real good. Color matched to the truck. The nice thing about this SL model is the hardware is all inside. The springs and lock mechanisims, so you don't see anything on the outside. I operates just as a trunk does.

Last time out we were able to put three bikes in the bed along with everything else and still close it. It is very nice to have that security and weather protection while camping.

However, it is very heavy to remove. Fairly simple, but heavy. And you have to have a place to put it when you take it off. A long bed cover is huge.

I do love mine and would purchase it again. Keeps the truck looking like a truck and does what I want.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:17 PM   #8
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I have hadtoppers and lift up hard covers and I must say that the camper shell with side doors was the most friendly. The full topper was big enough 98% of the time. The other 2% was wehn I was moving and I just took it off. On one truck I had a pully system rigged in the garage to remove it. It worked very well. I liked the someway secure storage area but anybody that wants in knows it's just a matter of yanking real hard and that topper will usualy open. The exception is the comercial versions made from steel.

I Tossed my needs around and ended up with a Suburban and a cheap Utility trailer for messy or large loads. The utility trailer sure comes in handy more then I thought it would.
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Old 05-18-2004, 12:54 PM   #9
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Mark, this sounds interesting to me. Do you have a brand name or two so I can do a search?
Thanks.
Eugenie
Sorry, no I don't. Any truck accessory store or catalogue will have one or more to choose from.

Mark
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Old 05-18-2004, 01:53 PM   #10
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Fiberglass tonneau

After switching from the idea of a "5th wheel" to an Airstream I struggled with the truck bed issue for quite awhile. I have another truck with a full-height Leer topper and I swore that I was never going to crawl in and out of a pickup bed again to get stuff! At the same time, I wanted to buy a pair of Honda 2000 generators and the Airstream sure didn't have room to carry them. I liked the security of a solid fiberglass tonneau cover - but it makes the front end of the bed virtually inaccessible. At a camper show in Augusta Maine I came across the "Mobile Workshop" (www.mobilworkshop.com) and a workable solution quickly developed! I ordered the rolling workshop and a ARE fiberglass tonneau cover (www.4are.com/products/lsii/). Last night I finished putting a plywood floor in the truck, along with small plywood side bins. One of the rear-most side bins holds my 2-gal/1/2 hp Sears air compressor and the other rear-most side bin holds two 2-gal fuel cans. The forward bins will be used for infrequently-needed tools, accessories, 30-amp extension cord, and the like. The workshop holds the pair of Honda generators, an aluminum stand (Campers World) for the generators (---or to use for work on the Airstream and washing the truck) and other items yet to be determined. The remaining four feet of the truck bed holds two large Rubbermaid containers and 2 X 6's for trailer levelling. There is still room for groceries and other purchases just behind the tailgate. For a short stop, I can roll the workshop out onto the tailgate and crank up the generators - or install the two auxillary legs and roll it entirely out of the truck with the remaining end resting on the tailgate. This means that I can very quickly crank the generators to cool down for an overnight stop - or run the air compressor to check the tires. This is just the basics so far - but I'm real happy with the results, the functionality of the workshop, and the security of a fairly strong locking top. One of the other "security" advantages is that everything is out of sight. By the time this rig gets completely "decked out" it'll have gadgets and gilhinkles mounted everywhere! The only problem is that the "dually" still isn't anywhere near it's capacity. As such, I will probably remove the OEM overload spring pack sometime in the near future.

One last concern I had with a full-height topper was that there was invariably a "blind" spot in that critical area just over your right shoulder to the rear. The GMC is tall enough that I really have to watch for compact cars that dive in to that spot when I'm trying to re-enter the right lane. I'll have to admit that the fiberglass tonneau still creates a problem (---it stands about an additional 4" higher that the side rails) but, at least, there aren't any vertical posts or cargo to hide things.
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Old 05-24-2004, 08:35 AM   #11
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maxandgeorgia:

I was wondering if you had made any decisions about setting up your truck? You had a good response to your posting!
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Old 05-24-2004, 06:32 PM   #12
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MaxandGergia,

I have a roll top pickup bed cover on my truck that I am generally pretty happy with. It is made by Pace Edwards. The specific product that I have can be found at the following website. I bought mine by ordering it through Baxter Auto Parts here in the Portland area. I think I paid about $625 or so for it about 2 years back. It was a self-install project which took me longer than it should have. It turns out that the pieces that fit into the tracks for clamp on mounting have left and right versions which was not easily apparent. The unit has an interior light that I wired into my electric.

http://www.paceedwards.com/jackrabbit.asp

As noted in an earlier posting in this thread the unit is not 100% waterproof but I too have a bed liner that keeps contents off the floor is there is a little water there. One other thing I found pretty anoying (not usually a problem here) was that we had some very cold icy weather this last winter. I found that there was a small bead of water frozen between the edge of the bed cover and the tailgate that I had to break loose before I could open the tailgate.

My install is on a 2002 Doge Ram 1500 (the newer body style) and there is a suprizing amount of bed taper (the front of the bed is about 3" wider than the back. The rails have to be parallel. I added plastic bed rail covers before I installed the roll top and it looks just fine.

Malcolm
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Old 05-24-2004, 07:52 PM   #13
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Thanks to all of you who responded. I agree, Cracker, we got lots of ideas, including yours! If you get a chance, could you please post some pictures of your set up? It sounds very interesing because I am thinking about the Honda generators too, but space and accessibility is a puzzle. I printed off all your posts so that we could take them along when we are out looking. While we have found some of the tonneau covers and camper-style taller covers, we have not yet had a chance to look at the roll top which sounds interesting. Well, as you can tell, we are still undecided, but thanks to the good people of this forum, we are better informed than we were before. When we place an order, we'll post our choice here! Thanks again, all, for terrific information.
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:13 AM   #14
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One of the things to watch for with the Honda generators is that their height is awfully close to the height of the bed rails on the pickup - at least it is on the GMC. As such, when I added the Mobileworkshop I was real concerned that the 4 1/2" height of the workshop floor would make the generators hit the tonneau. As it turned out, the ARE tonneau, when installed, provides about a 4" to 5" rise over the bedrails. I could have put a "drop-down" deck on the workshop - but I was happy that I didn't have to go to the extra trouble. Over the weekend I installed a removable transverse 3/4" galvanized pipe to keep the rearmost cargo boxes (Rubbermaid) from climbing up on the generators in a panic stop. It also works in reverse to provide an additional "chock" to secure the 500-1,000 pound weight of the workshop in place if I get rear-ended. The 30-amp parallel hookup box travels very nicely in a protected position hanging from one of the generators. Incidentally, I just looked at the "new" parallel hookup for the Hondas from Gen-Tran. They've gone to a lot of trouble to "streamline" the 30-amp box - but the old style box is, IMHO, far more versatile. My Honda's control panels are facing each other with about 7" between them. This permits their exhaust to go left & right - both in the truck (---when rolled out onto the tailgate) and when they're on the Camper's World stand (---look for a long, about 20" high, folding aluminum step stool in the CW current catalog) alongside the trailer. Gen-Tran's new box mounts semi-permanently at the top of the Honda control panel, leaving insufficient room to mount the generators in a facing position. That said, there's always more than one way to "skin a cat!"
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