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A major debate in recent times amongst automobiles lovers and owners of tonneau-covered trucks. The arguments on this topic have lingered on for long and as its heels, more pressing questions had risen. Questions that are not best answered to the knowledge of the people as yet.
We should know that tonneau covers like every other thing have its cons and pros. Though useful to keep thieves, rain and other elements at bay. Thing is, there are some grey areas on the subject when it comes to how hot it gets under truck covers. And in the best of your interests, we will be shedding more light on this in the course of this content.
How Hot Does It Get Under A Tonneau Cover? The truth is, it gets hotter than hell under a tonneau cover especially in summer times. And even hotter at times when the temperature rises up to 90 degrees and more in the early July to early September period.
The lack of airflow under the cover makes it more or less like an oven. And this results in stuffiness and excessive heating within the truck bed. Often times, most truck drivers learnt this the hard way, when forgetting, they placed their hands or leaned their body against the truck.
Is There A Way To Keep Things Cool Under A Tonneau Cover?
Yes, there is. And the way to go about it are in full here. The first option on the table in this aspect is; placing a piece of dry ice in the truck bed to get the temp regulated under tonneau covers in summer or warmer days.
This will ring true with many truck owners who have employed this tactic to keep things real cool under their covers. Though this changes nothing in the OAT, but it will at least keep the heat minimal under your cover.
Another method that has worked with many others is to store items that are heat sensitive in an ice-filled cooler.
Want to go camping with friends and families, and need to keep things like beverages and drinks cool? This method is right for you.
Another option is to set up a venting system in the truck bed or get covers (like the Undercover Ultra Flex Hard Folding Truck Bed Cover) which comes with a design to absorbed the heat and keep things cool within the truck bed. Placing a wet towel on the truck proper sometimes was proffered to help regulate the heating by some truck owners.
Are These Methods Enough To Prevent The Tonneau Cover From Getting Hot?
No, they are not. They are just measures given to contain the situation and are not a permanent remedy to the issue on ground. Their usefulness is a little limited to the time of their use.
However, the venting method may perhaps maintain the degree of hotness under the cover to some extent than the other methods can.
Moving on, one thing to note from here is to get familiar with the types of tonneau covers that are available on Amazon, LINE-X or any other tonneau selling stores, both offline and online. As they can help better our understanding of the basics of the subject matter.
Types Of Tonneau Covers And Their Designs
1. Hard Tonneau Cover
This type of tonneau is firm, rigid and strong in their construction. For better protection and cover security, their surfaces come in ABS, fibreglass and aluminium. Hard tonneau covers come in various designs as retractable, hinged, and foldable, and are model to latch at the tailgate.
- Retractable Hard Tonneau Covers: They are more secure than normal soft tonneau covers and as their name implies, they are easy to withdraw at any time through a motor and remote controller or by manual means. They come in designs of vinyl, plastic and aluminium.
- Hard Heavy Duty Covers: There are different specs that come under the hard heavy-duty tonneau covers. And they are the Diamondback SE and HD, Undercover Elite LUX, LX and SE. This model, like every other type of the hard tonneau cover, is made with your haulage, cargo security and adverse weathers in mind.
- Hinged Truck Covers: With the hinged covers, access to the truck bed is easy. And with their latches, they are able to offer protection and security. They are also known to have a better aerodynamic effect on gas mileage.
- Folding Covers: The folding type of hard tonneau covers are best known for their protection and security. They come in Tri-fold and multi-panel designs that ease their removal.
2. Soft Tonneau Covers
The vinyl cover on them are usually supported by aluminium frames and braces and are attached to the truck bed. Coming under the design of soft tonneau covers are the roll-up, folding and snap. They are pocket-friendly and would fit in with your budget.
- Roll Up: They are the common design of the soft truck cover and are usually topped by a fabric or vinyl. They offer more protection, functionality and ease of use than standard tonneau cover. One interesting feature of this type of tonneau is they can be installed without stress and tools.
- Snap Cover: This model of the soft truck cover has a built-in connector. And comes in various other designs that support easy access to any part of your bed.
- Folding Covers: Simple in its design, the folding type of truck cover offers flexibility that makes for easy installation. A common type of folding covers, the Tri-fold soft covers is now gaining ground. Also, one of its exciting features is the improvement of fuel economy by reducing vehicle drag.
Upon knowing the basic types of tonneau, what comes right to mind after that, is the material from which they are made. And to better our knowledge at knowing this, their names are here.
Materials Used On Tonneau Covers
How Does Each Material Fare Under High Temperature?
Another thing to put into consideration is the performance of each core materials of truck caps under high temperature. Though not proven yet, it can be well accepted that no matter the type of cover in question, all covers would come within a couple of degrees of one another in a controlled test.
Meaning the results would be a little different when every single type of cover are used on the same vehicle parked in the same degree of hotness. Here, we’ll be bringing each under the microscope.
1. Aluminium Covers
They are heavy, strong and durable. And need struts to better aid in opening and closing. Though having all these qualities, they tend to pull more heat and are always warm to the touch due to their high conduction of heat.
Even so, they seemed ideal compared to the other types in that they don’t fade. The aluminium tonneaus comes in several hard folding designs and models as Bakflip G2, ultra flex, Mx4 and the rugged hard/premium hard Tri-fold.
A thermoplastic, vinyl with its high hardness has been employed in the making of tonneaus. And the most enticing of its feature is unlike the aluminium-topped tonneau, vinyl resists heat a little more.
Durable and lightweight, fibreglass is stronger in weight than most metals. It’s also known to keep less heat compared to aluminium when used as a cap for truck bed. Fibreglass due to its properties is moulded into shapes to complement the trucks.
Like vinyl, ABS is a thermoplastic with mechanical properties as impact resistance, toughness, heat resistance and rigidity compared to other polymers. ABS was adopted as a tonneau cover for all the above-mentioned qualities.
Durable, flexible and with a high-resistance against abrasion, wind and the elements, leather is being used for its ruggedity as a tonneau cover. Although lacking the tensile properties presented by other tonneau materials, leather’s advantage over them is its flexibility.
If All Types Of Tonneau Covers Get Hot, Then What’s Best To Do?
With all these fast facts known, it begs the question ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do it’. And the one best thing to do is to keep your truck save from direct sunlight in the summery season, to avoid excessive heating of its cover surface.
It’s best to get your truck garaged when idle. And if a garage is not an available option, then try parking your truck where it can be afforded some screening from the intense glare of the red-hot summer sun. Tarps or Car Covers sometimes may be used to provide the cover with a little more protection when there are no shades or garage.
If You Must Work Under This Condition, Then Do This
If you must work or drive out on a sweltering day, it’s advisable to make use of the techniques given earlier on the introductory page.
And to be on a safer side, it’s best to keep other personal effects that are not safer in the cab in a briefcase, and stored away in the truck bed, as there has been no record of damage to items in the bed due to any case of hotness.
Are There Likely Damages Caused By Heat To Tonneau Cover?
Like humans when exposed to direct sunlight, tonneau covers in their variant designs are always affected by heat and adverse elements.
While the hard tonneau cover is likely to last better and fade less than soft tonneau covers when exposed to some degree of hotness.
We must know that they will also surrender to the inevitable nonetheless. Also, the damages caused by intense heat comes in various ways for the types of truck covers.
Are There Any Damages Taken By The Bed?
Not at all. The truck bed is safe so far as the cover is pulled up. The primary goal of the cover is to see to it that the bed is safe from them.
If It Gets That Hot Under Truck Covers, Can I Still Have My Things Stored Under Them?
The fact that it gets hot under tonneau covers is never a deterrence to the security and protection afforded by them. And though your cargos, tools and luggage may be a little warm or sometimes hot to the touch given the extent of the sunshine, they are never affected.
Read Also: Can You Sleep Under A Tonneau Cover?
They are even far suitable for this condition than the cab of the truck, which offers no or little protection from the sweltering heat and its effects.
Is There A Possible Way Out?
Some truck owners who have gone out of their way to get the hard tonneau covers like the Undercover Ultra Flex Hard Folding Truck Bed, which has matte material underside had given some positive reviews, claiming things stays pretty cool under their new acquired cover.
Some testimonies were also given by truck owners who went for the armour lid type & Extang fold, which with its strong and durable features has been able to keep things cooler in the bed.
Something to note about this type of cover, however, is, they are quite expensive than normal regular and soft tonneau covers.
If It Gets That Hot Under The Cover, Why Use It At All?
In this respect, tonneau covers not only gives your truck an attractive appearance and efficient aerodynamics. It also protects against the elements, that causes weathering, rusting, fading and even corrosion of your truck bed which can be expensive to repair.
Their usefulness is not only limited to that, as they are also able to protect cargoes from both the elements and thieves alike (Read Also:Are Tonneau Covers Easy To Break Into? 3 Covers That Are Breakproof). Plus, several studies have proven that tonneau covers help with gas mileage.
How Hot Does It Get Under A Tonneau Cover -Conclusion
The overall importance of tonneau covers can’t be overlooked. As they are useful for aesthetics and as well serves as all-round protection for the bed, cargoes and all things kept within the enclosure of the bed.
Also, it should be known that all things discussed in this content are by no means a disadvantage of the tonneau cover, but are rather a natural phenomenon that can never be excused.
Finally, regulations given by both truck companies and tonneau selling companies should be strictly adhered to by various truck owners, so as to help with the longevity of the tonneau covers.