Big Fuel Savings Frequently Offset Cost of Tonneau Cover

By: Matthew Paolini

If you're the proud owner of a new pickup truck, don't overlook an essential aftermarket accessory for your pride and joy: the tonneau cover. If you're still pondering the purchase of a tonneau cover, here's a trio of reasons that make a truck bed cover not just a good idea, but even a great one!

1. Whether it's a new flatscreen TV, groceries or sod for the lawn, a tonneau cover is great at protecting your valuable cargo from the effects of Mother Nature and the elements While it's probably true that no tonneau cover is 100% waterproof, several features help a cover keep the elements out of your truck bed. Weather seals do a good job of keeping your cargo dry and arched support bows give the tonneau cover a slight curve not unlike the camber of a road. This promotes water run-off, which in turn helps keep your cargo dry.

2. A tonneau cover is also a barrier between your cargo and someone who might be interested in stealing it. By hiding your cargo from the prying eyes of a potential thief, you make a theft much less likely. Beyond the obvious benefits of covering up your possessions, different types of tonneau cover take different approaches to security. Most hinged covers, for example, can be locked down completely by using a locking tailgate. Hard tops and retractables usually have their own lock and key system that latches shut at the rear of the truck.

3. One of the biggest benefits of a tonneau cover is improved gas mileage. Left uncovered, a truck bed traps air that presses against the tailgate, causing an enormous amount of drag that reduces gas mileage. Adding a tonneau cover creates a sleeker, more aerodynamic profile that can significantly increase gas mileage. Experts say a tonneau cover will boost your truck's gas mileage by anywhere from 5 to 10 percent, something almost universally confirmed by real world experience. At today's gas prices, these fuel savings can go a long way to offsetting the cost of a tonneau cover.

There are roughly a dozen manufacturers of tonneau covers in the United States and it's possible to get a great deal on brands like Extang, Pace Edwards or TruXedo at any number of truck-related websites. J C Whitney or AutoAnything are good places to start your search for an aftermarket tonneau cover.

Mileage and Fuel
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