Can You Run A Generator Under A Tonneau Cover?

How Do You Fix A Ripped Tonneau Cov...
How Do You Fix A Ripped Tonneau Cover?

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Taking down a generator from the truck bed and returning it during camping could be a hassle, especially when you have a tonneau cover. Due to this, many truck owners seek alternatives.

Some create a permanent spot for it in their truck. What can you then do if there is no spot for the generator? This led to the popular question among truck users and safety enthusiasts; is it possible to run a generator under a tonneau cover?.

Yes, you are free to run a generator under a tonneau cover but how safe is the act? If you must do this, some conditions must be fulfilled. For instance, you must follow all safety precautions. Check out this article for more information.

Safety precautions when you want to run a generator under a tonneau cover

While you are free to run a generator under a tonneau cover, you should however be concerned about your safety, your neighbor’s safety, the truck, and the generator. For you to run it successfully, the following are some important safety tips.

Inspect the generator

There is a high chance that a generator that is not in good condition will compromise safety when you run it under a tonneau cover.

Therefore, you should thoroughly inspect the generator before you start. Check for potential fuel leakage, oil, and pipes. If possible, you should get rid of all forms of dirt on the generator.

Secure it

The generator could drift when it is not working. In such a situation, it could fall off the truck. To avoid this type of situation, it is recommended that you secure the generator to the truck. Make sure you do not do this with flammable material.


The exhaust could become hot and cause potential havoc. If you want to run the generator under a tonneau cover, you should place the generator in a manner that the exhaust will face the rear. Not only that, make sure it is not close to any flammable material in the truck.

Periodic checking

You should not leave the generator to run for a long duration without checking it. It could have drifted, developed fault, or any other potential hazard. You might not know this until it becomes full-blown if you do not monitor it.

It is recommended that you check it once every 2 hours. Apart from this, you should not run the generator all day under the tonneau cover.

Risk of running a generator under the tonneau cover

You are free to run a generator under a tonneau cover, provided you can follow the safety precautions highlighted above.

Doing that, however, does not eliminate the risk involved in the act. The following are some of the potential risks of running a generator under a tonneau cover.


Well, you should know that the generator is at the risk of being stolen once you run it under the tonneau cover. Though you might have secured it to the truck you could get there and discover that the generator is gone. Not only that, the thieves might decide to steal other valuables in the truck along with the generator.  


Did you know that carbon monoxide is poisonous? You are at the risk of being poisoned if you run the generator under the tonneau cover for a longer duration. The carbon monoxide emitted by the generator would be trapped under the cover and this could be poisonous.


Recall that some of the parts of the tonneau cover are flammable. For instance, the fabric cover, the plastic hooks, and many more.

If left to run for a longer duration, there could be excessive heat that can lead to fire hazards. Not only this, there are instances where people sustain different degrees of burns due to this.

Potential damage

You are subjecting the tonneau cover to the risk of being potentially damaged when you run the generator under it. The heat could expand the cover and lead to misalignment. It might start popping up due to improper locking and other types of potential damage.

Void of warranty

Most tonneau covers have a three years warranty. In a situation where you run a generator under it and it gets ruined, you could be denied your warranty claim. The implication of this is that you will be responsible for fixing the damage.

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What are the problems associated with the use of tonneau cover?

Many people install the tonneau cover for its aesthetics, security, ease to clean, and many other benefits. It comes with an instruction on how you can install and maintain it.

Most users find the instructions helpful while some opt for watching YouTube tutorials. However, installing it rightly does not guarantee that you will not have issues with the cover. Below are some of the likely problems of a tonneau cover.

Popping up 

You might think that your valuable cargo is secured under the tonneau cover but you discover when you get to your destination that the cover has pooped up.

If you are lucky, your cargo might still be intact. This problem is usually caused by the misalignment of the cargo, improper latching, poor installation, mishandling, and wear.

The first thing you should do when you discover this is to close the cover again and be sure that the latch is properly secured.

At times, the cover could have drifted. All you need to do is gently push it back to shape and retighten the bolts. You can contact the tonneau manufacturer for more assistance or you go to a professional in your vicinity.

Water leakage

The tonneau cover is usually water-resistant and is designed to drain water. If properly installed, the truck bed should be dry when it rains, depending on how heavy it is.

However, there are reports of water leakage in the truck bed, especially during a heavy downpour. Though it might be negligible, it is a source of worry to many users, especially those that have cargos that could be destroyed by water.

Leaking tonneau cover is usually caused by holes on the cover, sagging, leaving a pool of water on it, misalignment, and improper installment.

The first thing you should do when you notice this is to check the cover for any holes. Block the hole immediately with a weather seal or any other one recommended by the manufacturer.

You should also get rid of any pool of water on the cover. However, in a situation where the issue is caused by improper installation, you should seek the help of a professional.


Hearing unwanted sounds when you are driving could make you feel uneasy, especially for the first time. Though other parts of the vehicle could make noise when you are in motion, the noise from a tonneau cover is usually loud.

The noise would become louder when you move at a higher speed and become negligible at a lower speed. This is because there is a possibility that the cover is being penetrated by air.

In most cases, the problem is caused by holes. These holes would serve as the channel for air to penetrate the cover. Fixing this problem requires you to block the channel. You should first block the holes with a weather seal. If doing that doesn’t suffice, you can seek the help of a professional.


Though they come with at least 3 years warranty, how durable are they? With proper installation and care, many users have complained that tonneau declined significantly at the end of the warranty.

However, most manufacturers will claim that the problem is due to a lack of care. If you want to use your tonneau cover for a longer duration after the expiration of the warranty, you should care for it rightly.

How to care for tonneau covers

Caring for the tonneau cover not only makes it look neat but also increases its lifespan. Below are some of the things you can do to care for a tonneau cover.

Inspect it

After some period of usage, some parts of the tonneau cover will likely become loose or worn. If not managed quickly, the worn part could degenerate and ruin the whole cover quickly. You can discover such a part during the inspection and also fix it appropriately.

Wash it

Mud, dust, and other forms of dirt are one of the greatest enemies of the tonneau cover. They can clog the drain, ruin the material, and many more.

You have to wash the cover so that you can get rid of these contaminants and also keep the cover neat. However, you should not make use of harsh cleaning agents such as acid-based soap or high-pressure washers.

Avoid excessive sunlight

Though you can cruise the truck when it is sunny but you should not park the truck under the sunlight for a longer duration.

The color would be ruined easily if you do this. Apart from this, the paint of the truck is also at risk. All you need to do is to park in shady locations. If possible, you can construct a garage for the truck.


You can run a generator under a tonneau cover but you should be conscious of your safety. All the needed information has been provided in this article.

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