How Long Do Tonneau Covers Last?

Tonneau covers do not particularly come cheap and most time, the cheap ones are less durable. If you are wondering about the average lifespan of tonneau covers, how to boost how long they last, factors that affect how long they last and how to maintain tonneau covers, then keep reading till the end to find out.

so, how long do tonneau covers last? While there may be no fixed number of months or years a tonneau cover can last for, on average, it is said that this could be as long as 10 years.

This, however, depends on several factors which include most importantly the quality of the tonneau cover and your maintenance habits.

Irrespective of how impeccable your maintenance qualities are, there is only so much you can do about an intrinsically defective product of poor quality.

Similarly, even with the best quality tonneau cover, a careless habit and a non-caring personality can significantly reduce the expected lifespan of a tonneau cover.

If you are constantly caring for your tonneau cover such as washing it at least every 2 to 3 months, you will get to notice the first sign of wear or tear and get it fixed before getting out of hand. 

One of the things to however keep in mind is that certain brands have made a reputation for themselves in terms of being durable and long-lasting, it is best therefore to go for such reputable brands.

factors that determine how long a tonneau cover lasts

similar to any product out there, the longevity of the tonneau cover is directly affected by how much its owners care for it.

The most important thing to do is to learn how to best take care of the tonneau cover and also study what harms it or reduces its lifespan

durability is also strongly linked to the type of material the tonneau cover is made from. Based on this, tonneau covers are categorized as either hard or soft.

The hard types are usually stronger and more durable. Ensure the tonneau cover is made from highly durable and quality material, else, irrespective of how much care you show, the longevity may not be of any good.

So, in general, the key determines of tonneau cover’s longevity are how good the quality is, how well the cover is installed, and the owner’s maintenance qualities.

Trending Searches

how to boost the lifespan of tonneau covers

tonneau cover functions primarily as a means of protecting whatever load is in the bed of the truck from thieves, the sun’s rays, rain, wind, snow, and other harsh environmental condition.

It also requires some form of protection and cares to increase its lifespan. If you plan on using your current tonneau cover for a couple of years without the cover malfunctioning, then follow the following tips.

  1. Always keep the tonneau cover when not in active use. Driving the truck while the tonneau cover is wide open may reduce how long the tonneau cover lasts. this is because, in this state, the more delicate inner lining of the cover is exposed to the harsh blowing wind and could get damaged by it. The wind also pulls on it and may affect its functionality sometime later such as the inability to open or close properly.
  2. Keep the tonneau cover in sound condition by cleaning it regularly. Clean using a recommended spray appropriate for it. Also, a tonneau cover can be protected from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun by anti UV technology. Ensure to purchase a brand of tonneau cover with this technology.
  3. How well a tonneau cover is installed also determines its longevity. Ensure the cover is tightly fitted to the bed using tension adjusters. If poorly installed, the blowing wind while driving could rip the cover open or cause serious damage to the cover over time thereby reducing its longevity.
  4. Ensure the plastic trim part of the tonneau cover is well taken care of. The cover starts its deteriorating journey from here if it is mishandled. On clean with a spray with a PH tolerable by plastic material. Keep the plastic trim clean and shiny always.

factors that decrease the lifespan of tonneau covers

While there are tips on how to boost the longevity of the tonneau cover, there are also examples of practices that could result in shortening the natural lifespan of the cover.

Part of ensuring that the tonneau cover serves for a considerable time duration, therefore, is by avoiding these practices.

One of the commonest sources of damage to tonneau cover is washing it through an automatic car wash. Sure, some manufacturers advertise their product by stating its compatibility with an automatic car wash, even for such brands, it is advisable to remove the cover before running your truck through the car wash.

This is especially through for a soft tonneau cover which can be removed without the hassle and installed back easily. One of the damaging effects of washing the cover with an automatic car wash is thr scratching effect of the spinning brush on the tonneaus paint.

The painting contributes to the impervious nature of the cover to water and allows the cover to better protect your load.

The spinning brush may also affect the functionality of the tonneau cover especially the ones with retractable style. The cover may begin to malfunction and prove difficult to open or close properly.

If removing the tonneau cover or reinstalling it is a complicated process that requires more than one person, washing your truck through an automatic car along with washing along with the tonneau cover becomes unavoidable.

In this case, ensure to make use of the touchless automatic car wash which simply makes use of water and soap to get the truck clean. Without the spinning brushes, tonneau paint is protected from scratches.

While washing the truck, ensure the cover is tightly closed. This is to avoid water from getting into the inner aspect of the truck bed cover which might be susceptible to water. 

So, what is the best way to wash a tonneau cover? This would be by hand washing. Rather than running the tonneau cover through spinning brushes or light touch automatic car wash, washing it with your hands gives more satisfaction and protects the point and hinges from damage by the brushes.

One thing to also note about washing the tonneau cover is to avoid wax special treatment. Treating the truck cover with wax makes it stiff especially the soft type of tonneau cover. The stiffness reduces the durability and consequently the lifespan.

The durability of hard and soft types of tonneau cover do not vary much. Generally, they are said to both last for an average of 5 to 7 years, but with proper maintenance, this could be extended to about 10 years. 

Irrespective of the design or style of the tonneau cover, good maintenance practices will sure extend the cover’s lifespan just as a careless attitude towards the cover will surely cause it to deteriorate faster.

General maintenance tips for tonneau covers

Some persons possess a natural maintenance quality and are protective of their property, others just do not care and show concern over their property.

Depending on how well cared for a tonneau cover is, the longevity can either be lengthened or shortened. Here are some of the general maintenance practices that have a longer lifespan for your tonneau cover.

  1. Clean the tonneau cover regularly, do this at least every 2 to 3 weeks. While cleaning, keep an eye out for early signs of wear and tear on the cover. Ensure to promptly repair any damage as soon as possible. 
  2. Wash the tonneau cover with soft and compatible soap. Do not wash with a soap that could be harsh on the paint or other aspect of the cover. 
  3. Avoid the habit of placing something on the cover. Only carry luggage that can fit perfectly into the truck’s bed and allow the cover to close properly. Do not exceed the capacity of the truck by placing some of the items on top of the cover. This will not only scratch the cover’s painting but may also affect its functionality.
  4. Ensure to check the bolts intermittently and replace defective or missing bolts. Do this with the quality bolt. Also, check the cover for rust and treat with the anti-rust agent to keep the cover protected.

Always make sure the cover is properly covered when not in active use. More importantly, select the best quality tonneau cover for your truck irrespective of the cost, this is a better investment than a cheaper but less durable type. Ensure to install it properly and take regular care of it.


So, now you know there are ways to extend the tonneau cover’s life span and also practices that decrease its longevity. To save some cost, apply these tips and avoid factors that the tonneau covers lifespan to have a long enjoyable experience with your tonneau cover.

Leave a Comment