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The Ongoing Hard Vs Retractable Tonneau Cover Debate

When you're trying to decide between hard or soft, you're probably staring at a taco shop menu or a little blue pill in your mitts. But, when you're trying to pick between hard or retractable, you're probably caught in a truck bed cover dilemma. Read on for a good guide to making the choice. Oh, and get the soft tacos and pop the pill.

Every truck owner needs a tonneau cover to, well, cover their gear, save gas and keep junk out of the bed. But, if you care about your stuff not getting stolen, you shouldn't even consider a soft tonneau cover, which is your cheapest bed coverage option. You should stick with the two most popular options for a serious truck owner and their rig: a hard tonneau cover or a retractable model.

Hard tonneau covers are one of the most popular styles around. They're the unquestioned choice of truck customizers and anyone who places smooth looks above all else. But, there are plenty of ways to use a hard tonneau cover for utility, and plenty of no-frills models that give you hard tonneau security without all of the custom-painted pricing. A hard tonneau also securely locks to your bed and wraps over the top of the bed rails autel ds808, giving a thief virtually no chance of getting at your gear.

Hard tonneau covers have one big drawback, though: they're hard to remove when you need to carry a big load. You can't have full access to your bed without taking the cover completely off, which you'll have to do when your load is taller than the top of your bed. Since hard tonneaus weight in excess of 100lbs., there's not easy or fast way to do it, either. So, in terms of security and looks, a hard tonneau cover is king. But, when you need to carry a big and/or tall load, it may cause more hassle than its worth.

Let's look at retractable covers now. Think of these tonneau covers as a rolling garage door for your bed. They usually operate manually with a pull strap, and lock closed at several positions including the end at the tailgate. The panels comprising a retractable tonneau cover are typically made of a resilient material like aluminum that can take a beating and keep working right, though they're not quite as rigid as a hard tonneau cover. Some retractable tonneaus can even be opened and closed by remote. That's right—you can get a motorized bed cover for your truck. And, whether you open it by hand or by remote, it just takes a few seconds to get relatively unobstructed access to your truck bed's payload capacity.

Here come the downsides. First, installation is much more difficult. The rails have to be shimmed to be perfectly level before the cover will operate smoothly. The entire cover rolls into a heavy canister that stacks behind your rear window; this canister collects moisture that must be drained, which requires drilling holes for drainage lines. About that canister: it's pretty big, and the space it occupies is space you'll never get back for bed storage. Except for long, flat items that slide along the floor of your bed, the front foot of your carrying capacity is essentially gone. While a hard tonneau cover can give you all of your bed space after tricky disconnecting of hardware and lifting the bulky lid, a retractable cover never really gives you all of your bed space. That is, unless you're willing to unscrew the canister Advanced Version of DS708, remove the rails, and unhook the drainage tubes to get your bed back.

Generally speaking, if you hardly ever carry big loads and want a cover to secure your smaller stuff, a hard tonneau cover will do your truck right for the rest of its life. If carrying big gear and having the fastest access to the most space sounds more like your brand of beer, a retractable tonneau cover will never have you thinking twice about the hard cover you passed on. And, either way you go, you'll be quite happy to not have wasted cash on a soft tonneau disappointment.

The best way to pick between hard tonneau covers and retractable tonneau covers is to examine how you would use it, along with the pros and cons of each.
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