Tonneau cover serves the purpose of protecting your truck bed along with the goods stored in it. However, you need to protect it too if you want to keep it in a good condition for a long time. Proper cleaning and maintenance is the key to it!
How to Protect My Tonneau Cover
Convertible vehicles and pickup trucks mostly use tonneau covers to protect their interiors. So, one must regularly maintain them for better durability. With proper maintenance, a tonneau cover can serve you and your vehicle for years with both looks and utility.
Besides cleaning and maintaining, the use of a protectant has proved to be fruitful. Protectant protects the covers from the UV rays and keeps the dirt off for quite some time.
Although it is always better to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to protect the tonneau cover. Here is how you can protect your tonneau for a continued period.
Although there are different tonneau covers, the soft vinyl made cover is the most common type. Generally, leather, vinyl, or other similar soft and flexible materials make up tonneau covers. Regular use can damage these materials.
However, it is necessary to choose the right material for your tonneau cover from the very beginning. Which, in terms, ensures smooth service from your cover even for years.
First of all, you must ensure that your tonneau cover is in the right place. You should also check the mounting hardware regularly. Besides, you have to lubricant the locks which hold the cover in place.
Next, you need to look out for roughcasting or molding marks on the plastic hinges for the fold-up frame under the tonneau cover. If there are such areas, you ought to clean them up using a razor blade or sandpaper.
Once the cover is in place, you can start cleaning it. It is better to ensure that the vehicle is cleaned in a shaded place. Firstly, you should wash the lid with water. You can also use soap to wash the lid. Some soap might have elements that can damage the cover. Hence mild soap is a good option.
After that, rinse off the soap and remove the water. You should never use hot water. It can damage the cover for certain. Use a microfiber towel to dry the water off.
Use of Protectant
After removing the water, it is time for the protectant. There are a lot of different protectants in the market. You can find them at various online shops as well. You must choose the protectant according to your tonneau cover and its material.
For example, silicone or petroleum-based protectants can damage soft vinyl tonneau cover. Some of the best protectants, according to users, out there are:
- 303 (30510) Convertible Vinyl Top Cleaning and Care Kit
- Truxedo 1704511 Pro-TeX Protectant Spray
- Meguiar’s M40 Mirror Glaze Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner & Conditioner
- Extang 1181 Tonno Tonic
- Wolfstein’s Tonneau Cover Care Kit
However, before applying the protectant, you need to dry off the cover. Generally, vinyl tends to stretch when it’s warmed up. So, it’s better to dry it in direct sunlight. Otherwise, the protectant may streak.
Using Right Brush and Towel
The wrong type of brush can really damage your cover so look out for it. You can use a microfiber applicant or horsehair lather brush, which is super soft. Spray the protectant over a small two feet by two feet area and apply it equally. Work in different directions for applying the protectant between the textured surface.
When you are done applying the protectant over the whole area, use a microfiber towel to remove the excessive protectant. This also helps to apply the protectant equally all over the surface. Once the protectant is applied, you can get the tonneau to serve you for another month or two without applying another layer.
Furthermore, it is important not to overburden your tonneau cover. Even regular heavy loads can cause your tonneau to sag. You should try avoiding stacking objects on top. In case you have to, distribute the weight as evenly as possible.
Exposure to Sun and Rain
As tonneau cover is exposed to the sun and rain regularly on the road, it will get damaged. Black vinyl heats up quickly as it absorbs the sun instead of reflecting it. So, it is necessary to keep it out of regular, direct sunlight as much as possible.
Again, keeping it in the shade the entire time can be harmful as well. It causes mildew and mold to form. Thus, a balance between the sun and the shade is required.
Frequently Asked Question
Q: Are Tonneau Covers Waterproof?
Ans: Tonneau covers can resist the water from entering but it is not 100% waterproof. Depending on the design, water may leak from a few drops to a whole lot. You can fix the leaking tonneau cover using silicone, caulking strips, rubber strips & vinyl foam tape.
Q: Do tonneau covers save gas?
Ans: A tonneau cover can improve gas mileage by as much as 10% as it helps to reduce aerodynamic drag.
Q: Can A Tonneau Cover Go Through A Car Wash?
Ans: A tonneau cover can go through a car wash. It is recommended not to apply any wax or silicone treatment as it could void the warranty.
Proper cleaning and maintenance not only protect your tonneau cover from wearing off but also keeps it looking good as new for a long time. However, make sure to use the right products for maintenance as using the wrong products and techniques can really damage your cover.