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A tonneau or truck bed is that space on a truck behind the driver’s compartment that is opened, and what is used to cover it is known either as a truck bed cover or more commonly as a tonneau cover.
A tonneau cover is used on a truck for many reasons ranging from protecting the contents of the truck bed from elements of the weather or theft, down to keeping dust particles from the truck bed and your cargo.
They come with different designs and materials which determine their qualities, durabilities and even prices. They are able to protect the truck bed from infiltration by sealing it up completely through leaving no space whatsoever between the sides of the truck and the bed cover.
Where this sealing property is compromised, for whatever reasons, the efficiency of the truck bed cover is reduced. But, what makes a tonneau cover to lose its ability to function properly? This question and many others will be answered in this article.
When the tonneau cover caves in or loops down towards the truck bed, it is said to be sagging. When this happens, water pools on the surface of the tonneau cover giving it the opportunity to leak water into the truck bed and also allow dust particles into it as well.
What Tools Do I Require To Fix Sagging Tonneau Covers?
The tools one requires to fix a sagging tonneau depends on what process one wishes to adopt in solving the problem. This is especially true considering that there are many ways one can approach the problem. All the same, you will require:
- Tonno Pro device
- A pair of gloves
- Duck tape
- A plier or a spanner and
- A screwdriver.
Other tools may be required in addition to these ones, depending on the method of choice, but those mentioned here are the commonest.
Pro Steps To Fixing Sagging Tonneau Covers
You can fix the sagging of truck cover using a device commonly referred to as Tonno Pro, produced by Skid Row Offroad, which has fibreglass or wooden bow and two metallic brackets.
All you need to do is mount the brackets onto your truck at the top of its sides near the position of the truck bed cover. The wooden or fibreglass bows fit into the brackets mounted on the sides of the truck beneath the truck cover and thus prevent it from sagging.
To do this, however, you need to drill eye holes into the sides of the truck, where you will screw in the brackets. The steps below explain the entire process.
Step 1: Dismantle Tonneau Cover
Before you start the process of mounting the device, you must first remove your tonneau cover. Thereafter, proceed to drill holes with suitable drilling equipment at the top of the truck siding just beneath the position of the truck cover.
After drilling the eyeball at the exact position according to your measurements, screw the brackets to the truck tub opposite each other in such a way that they won’t interfere with the hardtop.
Step 2: Drill Hole Then Bolt Brackets
This is the stage where you bolt the brackets to the body of the truck securely using a pair of pliers or a screw spanner.
Read Also: Will A Chevy Tonneau Cover Fit A Gmc?
Step 3: Trim bows Then Fit Into Brackets
Proceed to trim the bows in such a way that they can conveniently fit into the brackets. Should the bows come unfinished, as has been commonly reported, you may have to either paint or polish them to your taste.
Finally, insert the bows into the brackets and re-install the truck cover which should lie horizontally on the bows. Water would easily run off should it splash onto the truck cover after this, either from washing or rainfall.
What Causes A Tonneau Cover To Sag?
There are many causes that can lead a tonneau cover to sags such as the loss of integrity of its material fabric due to prolonged use and continuous removal and installation. Driving a truck with the tonneau cover opened as many people are wont to do, makes it sag quickly.
This is because, when you drive with the truck cover opened, its braces and supports are liable to become weakened thereby leading to premature sagging.
In addition, when water is allowed to pool on the truck cover, especially for prolonged periods, sagging may result. Perpetual exposure to sun rays is also indicted in weakening the material of the bed cover, which can eventually make it to sag too. There are other causes of sagging, but these are some of the commonest ones.
How Do I Prevent My Tonneau Cover From Sagging?
There are several measures you can adopt to prevent your tonneau covers from sagging, or at least to reduce the rate at which it happens.
For example, always park your truck in a garage or under a tree to prevent the sun from weakening its fabric. Similarly, always guard against water pooling on top of your truck bed cover either after washing or the rains, by giving it the chance to drain off.
Furthermore, avoid placing heavy objects on your truck cover or even standing on them, regardless of what the manufacturers might claim.
This is because, from experience, tonneau covers are known to depreciate faster as you continue to place heavy objects or stand on them.
As much as possible, drive with your truck cover either fully closed or opened, preferably closed to reduce the rate of its depreciation. When these measures are strictly taken, even though you may not be able to stop sagging entirely, but at least you will greatly slow down the process.
How Long Does It Take To Fix Sagging Tonneau Cover?
All things being equal, despite whatever equipment you may be using, it shouldn’t take more than between thirty to forty-five minutes to securely fix sagging/flapping tonneau covers. This timing, however, does not take into consideration the time you may require to polish or paint the wood or fibreglass bows.
Do I Need To Get A New Tonneau Cover If My Truck Bed Cover Is Sagging?
You do not need to get a new truck cover simply because the old one is sagging. The replacement may only be necessary where the truck cover is so compromised that even after installing the brackets and the bows it still fail to perform the function for which it was intended.
Read Also: How Do You Fix A Ripped Tonneau Cover?
This is because with a severely depreciated truck cover, even after every effort to get it to function properly, it still leaves spaces on its sides through which water can easily get access into the truck bed and people can still see what cargo you carry.
When this happens, replacement may be the right way to go. In some cases, the truck cover may fit in nicely onto the truck but water can still get into the truck bed through holes or openings in it.
Luckily, there are procedures via which you can plug or seal holes in the truck cover. We shall discuss more on that later in the article.
How Long Will A Tonneau Cover Stay Before It Starts To Sag?
In reality, there is no specific time lapse before the truck cover begins to sag for different reasons. To begin with, truck covers depreciate and sag dependent on the kind of care and maintenance they get.
When you maintain them properly and also take precautions to guard them against the assault of the weather, they can last for as long as five or more years.
Whereas, if they are frequently kept in the sun and regularly travelled with wide or partially opened, chances are they will get torn long before others that are properly used.
Furthermore, truck covers vary in quality and texture too. For instance, the hard tonneau covers are more resistant to stress than soft vinyl types. So, in reality, a lot of factors help to determine how long your tonneau covers last before they begin to sag.
Read Also: Do Tonneau Covers Stretch?
Are There Companies That Produce Sagging Resistant Tonneau Covers?
Tonneau covers are of varying resilience depending on the materials used in their production. The stronger these production ingredients are, the more resistant they are expected to be.
That is much the reason why hard tonneau covers last much longer than the soft vinyl types or those produced from clothes.
That notwithstanding, some companies produce more reliable products than others, and the one way through which you can get any index for evaluating them is through first, their prices and secondly, whether a particular product enjoys good customer reviews or not.
When you put all these into consideration, you will be able to gauge fairly which product is likely to last longer than which. Most of these products are sold subject to various guarantee and warranty terms.
After purchase and in the advent of any production defect, the products will gladly be replaced or refunded for in full. Additionally, their warranty terms offer you free maintenance for a long period.
However, where the product or even its supply pack is tempered with, these purchase terms are essentially rendered null and void. So, if you plan or hope to enjoy these provisions, be sure to guard against whatever will void both your guarantee or warranty agreements.
Sagging has a lot to do with both the quality of the truck cover as well as how well the item is used and maintained. It is therefore expedient that we discuss the different types of truck covers available and their various qualities. This will enable us to know which ones are better than which.
Types Of Tonneau Covers
Basically, there are canvas truck bed covers, one-piece fibreglass hard bed covers, roll-ups and flip-up bed covers. We shall take them in turns, for a most effective analysis.
The one-piece type of truck covers are both beautiful and equally quite durable indeed.
However, this product reduces the space available to you for the haulage of cargo, not to talk of the fact that they have to be removed entirely whenever you have large goods to accommodate in the truck, but they have the advantage of being provided with fibreglass locks that close very securely, thus making your goods safe.
The canvas truck bed covers are equally very good for the fact that they are easy to both remove and store conveniently, but on the downside, they cannot be locked.
This makes them, more or less, a security risk. You should be aware of this fact before you purchase them.
On the other hand, the fold up and roll up truck bed covers are suitable for truck drivers who seldom close their truck beds quite often.
They, however, have reliable locks which makes your cargo safer than it would otherwise be under say, a canvas bed cover, for instance.
Another type of truck bed cover worthy of mention is the snap tonneau cover. The snap tonneau covers are equipped with Velcro straps which are used to tie them securely to the back of your truck.
These truck bed covers are not very popular with truck users because they give you a lot of stress, because while opening them, you will have to unfasten several buttons before you gather them and secure at the back of your truck using Velcro straps.
How To Fix Sagging Tonneau Cover – Conclusion
You can’t avoid getting your truck cover developing faults, but you can slow down the process significantly. One basic fact is that most people venture into buying truck bed covers without actually making enough research that will enable them to buy the ones which will perfectly fit their trucks.
Should you install an I’ll-fitting truck cover, chances are that it won’t serve you satisfactorily and may also depreciate faster than would otherwise have been the case.
There is also the matter of cleaning. Be sure to wash your truck covers properly with the correct agents, because if you don’t, you risk destroying them out of mere ignorance.
How you drive with them is also very important, because it is known that, if you drive with your truck bed covers widely or partially opened, you are in essence subjecting them to premature damage considering the fact that, under this circumstance, they are very susceptible to damage from wind drags.