Action Car & Truck Accessories Blog

Buying Guide for Fiberglass Truck Caps

CategoriesGuides

What Are Truck Caps?

Truck Caps are enclosed, hard-bodied, lockable units that you mount in or over your pickup truck’s bed. They typically have windows and a rear hatch, with individual models having features unique to them—and they usually give a pickup truck the stylish appearance of an SUV while maintaining the practicality associated with a truck bed.

There are several other names for this type of truck cover, including:

  • Truck tops
  • Pickup truck bed toppers
  • Camper shells
  • Truck canopies
  • Box shells

No matter what you call this truck accessory, it’s the one that covers the large empty space in the back of your pickup truck.

How Are They Different from Tonneau Covers?

Tonneau covers, also called a box cover, truck bed cover, or a pickup bed cover—spans the bed to protect what’s inside. They can be hard or soft, and they can be retractable. When these covers are used, the pickup retains the styling of a truck (versus the SUV-like appearance a cap provides).

What Benefits Do Truck Caps Offer?

This durable, weatherproof canopy protects whatever you’re hauling in your truck’s bed from the elements while also protecting the truck bed itself. In addition, truck caps provide protection against theft of your cargo by enclosing what’s inside.

Plus, fiberglass truck canopies can be one of the best ways to finish off the customized look of your vehicle, providing an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The color of the shell can match the factory paint, creating a seamless look, and you can care for the outside of your truck canopy in the same way that you clean and protect the rest of your vehicle’s exterior.

As a bonus, if circumstances arise when you need to sleep overnight in your truck, a truck canopy can keep you safe and protected inside the cargo bed space.

What Brands Are Available?

We have a number of quality brands for sale, including Action and A.R.E. truck caps, with the latter company being the first to manufacture fiberglass ones. We also have commercial truck canopies from Spacekap with room for everything you need at the jobsite. Here is just a sampling of what we have available for you:

Types of Truck Bed Toppers

As with just about any truck accessory, there are a range of styles at multiple price points to choose from. As you go through the options on our site, we’ll provide a quick overview of that topper, along with information about its installation method, overall type, style, mounting, locking, extras, and warranty.

For example, by looking at the A.R.E. Truck Cap, CX Evolve, you’d see the following information:

  • Install: Clamp On
  • Type: Hard
  • Style: Camper Shell
  • Mountain: Top of Bed Rail
  • Locking: Keyed Lock
  • Extras: Includes Paint, Side Windows, Front Window, Rear Door, Dark Grey Interior Headliner, 12V LED Dome Light
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

In this model, the CX cap is paired up with a true innovation: the industry’s first tailgate-style rear door. To create a sleek and functional experience, the handle is OneMotion™.

Compare that to another A.R.E. model, the ToolMaster Series, and differences you’ll see are in the extras. This rugged model features toolboxes on both sides, heavy-duty doors, the commercial-grade Prime Design AluRack ladder rack and brake light, and painted aluminum insert in side and rear doors.

How to Choose the Right Truck Cap

What are your needs? Do you, for example, want to use the vehicle when going hunting, fishing, or camping? In each case, there are options that will work well for these uses. Do you want to haul cargo? There are rugged varieties that will provide the toughness and extra durability that you require.

No matter what you need, Action Car and Truck Accessories will help you find the right solution!

If you have questions about which model will best match your usage needs, our chat box option is available to you. You can also use our contact us option or call us, Monday through Saturday, during business hours at 1-855-560-2233.

Shop at Action Car and Truck Accessories

We’ve been providing customers with just the right truck accessories for more than 40 years, taking the guesswork out of the process. We offer the best truck caps and have numerous local dealers to help you find the best one for your lifestyle. Whether you need your truck canopy for recreation, work, or commercial use, we offer them all.

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A Guide to Cargo Liners

CategoriesGuides

At Action Car and Truck Accessories, you’ve got nearly 200 options to choose from, including those from top brands like EnthuzeWeatherTech, and Husky Liners.

Here’s more helpful information about these cargo area liners, including their benefits, material, and cleaning/maintenance—as well as how to make the right choice for your specific needs.

 

What Are Cargo Liners?

In short, these are cargo trunk mats that are custom-fit to protect the inside of your vehicle. They are designed to dovetail with the contours of your vehicle and their installation is short and sweet, with no need for screws, bolts, or other types of fasteners. In fact, instructions often recommend that you roll out the liner, place it in the cargo area of your vehicle, and then briefly lay an object with some weight—perhaps a nice-sized book—in each corner to flatten the material.

You might hear the terms “cargo tray” or “cargo area floor mats” being used. If so, it’s referring to the same general product.

Benefits of a Cargo Area Liner

The cargo area of your vehicle is ideal for transporting a wide variety of items, from your landscaping supplies in the spring and summer to your Christmas tree in winter. You can use it for suitcases when you’re going on a trip, or to bring your groceries home, let Fido go for a ride, transport tools, and so much more.

Convenient as this cargo area is for transporting items, landscaping leaves behind dirt, Fido has muddy paws, your jug of milk can leak, and your saw can scratch the finish of your vehicle—and that’s where the cargo liner comes in. These car/SUV/truck interior accessories protect your investment and keep it looking new.

If, say, the back of your truck is already stained or scuffed, then these cargo liners can cover that up—making this area of your vehicle look new all over again.

Additional benefits include the following:

  • These cargo area floor mats add a layer of cushioning, which can protect fragile items as you transport them, from glassware to antique furniture and more.
  • Ones with a more textured surface can keep your cargo from slipping and sliding around, protecting your belongings.
  • They make cleanups easier, something you’ll appreciate if, for example, you didn’t realize that the milk had spilled until your vehicle started to smell bad.
  • They can add a touch of personal style to your vehicle.

Liner Material

These liners are typically made from rugged thermoplastic (a type of plastic polymer material) that is both flexible and durable. The flexibility is what allows the material to form-fit to your vehicle and remain that way despite the temperature, from extreme hot to extreme cold. The durability is what makes the liners so long-lasting.

More specifically, cargo liners can be constructed out of:

  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE): This is a plastic-rubber hybrid that combines the maximum flexibility of rubber with the ability of plastic to retain its shape and be easily cleaned.
  • Thermoplastic olefin (TPO): This type of thermoplastic typically also contains a rubber/elastomer and a filler. TPO holds tough under solar UV radiation, making it ideal for liners.
  • Polypropylene (PP): This rugged plastic is especially easy to clean but can become slippery when wet. It can also fade more easily than TPE and TPO.
  • Polyethylene (PE): This is the most common form of plastic, very tough and cost-effective.

Cargo Area Floor Mat Maintenance

One of the benefits of these mats is how quickly and easily they can be cleaned. You should refer to the cleaning instructions of the manufacturer for specifics, but here are instructions from a WeatherTech cargo liner, shared so you can see the ease of cleaning and maintenance:

“The easiest way to clean your liner is with a damp cloth or sponge. If using a cleaner, 409® or Glass Plus® work well. We do not recommend Armor-All® or STP Son-of-A-Gun® as these types of products make the liner slick and cargo will slide.”

Although cleaning and maintenance instructions may vary by brand and liner model, recommendations are generally simple and straightforward.

 

Choosing the Right Liner

First, be clear about what you need. For example, if you use your vehicle in a way that needs bumper protection, as well, then it’s important to choose one with that feature. Here’s a WeatherTech cargo liner with bumper protection.

As another example, if your vehicle has a third-row seat option, you’ll want to look for a cargo liner that can fit over a folded third seat. Here’s a Husky cargo liner that can do just that.

You’ll also want a rugged product that fits within your budget—and Enthuze cargo liners are especially cost-effective. Other features that may factor into your decision include texture, color and so forth. Color choices are often black, gray, or tan.

It also makes sense to select a liner from a trusted, time-tested brand. Now, here are our three top brands. 

 

The Best Cargo Liners

We ranked our top brands based on customer reviews, quality, price, durability, selection and fit. Below are our recommendations for the best liners.

  1. Enthuze Cargo Liners
  2. WeatherTech Cargo Liners
  3. Husky Cargo Liners

If you need more information so that you can make the right choice for your needs, from cargo liners to other truck interior accessories, contact us online or call us during business hours at 1-855-560-2233.

Read More...

Optimize Your Truck, SUV or UTV Performance with S&B Filters

CategoriesSupplier Spotlight

S&B Filters manufactures a full range of air filters, particle separators, cold air intakes, body mounts and fuel tanks to improve performance on your truck or SUV. The goal of S&B Filters is to reduce the airflow restriction of stock systems and protect your engine at the same time. High quality and low pricing are made possible through mostly in-house construction and United States labor.

 

S&B Filters designs cold air intakes to seriously upgrade your performance through reduced airflow restriction. Cold air intake kits include a one-piece airbox that is fully enclosed to protect the air filter from debris while also protecting it from engine heat. Each cold air intake kit also includes a signature S&B air filter that is incredibly efficient to increase your performance and protect your engine. Options include a cleanable and reusable air filter with eight-layer cotton or a dry extendable media air filter that you simply dispose of once it's dirty.

 

S&B air filters are extensively tested to make sure that only the best filters are sold. Filter capacity is stringently tested and monitored to see how dirty it can get before needing to be cleaned or replaced. The idea behind performance air filters is to get more air into the engine while also protecting it from dirt and debris. More air in your engine equals more power and performance. S&B intakes and filters are designed to run with either stock calibration or performance tuning, so you won't have to worry about check engine lights.

 

Coming soon is a truck particle separator to remove over 97 percent of dust to keep your air filter clean. If you need to drive your truck in consistently dusty or dirty conditions, then you also have to maintain your air filter way more often. The particle separator keeps your air filter clean for much longer than it would be without it. Failing to maintain an air filter in dusty conditions could lead to engine damage. Driving with a particle separator allows the air to be sucked into the separator, which uses centrifugal force to separate the dust and allow it to exit. The clean air moves through the tube to your air filter and then engine.

S&B particle separators for trucks are designed to work with stock systems. It replaces the entire intake system, which includes the box, tube and air filter. Install time is roughly two hours with no drilling necessary. It also provides quick access to the air filter, which will allow it to be changed in less than a minute without tools. 

Upgrade your engine's performance with increased airflow by investing in S&B air filters and S&B cold air intakes.

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Upgrade Your Off-Road Experience with Rough Country

CategoriesSupplier Spotlight

As one of the leading retailers of suspension parts and automotive aftermarket accessories for off-road vehicles, Rough Country provides durable and rugged parts to upgrade your 4WD vehicle for the toughest trails. Rough Country suspension parts and Rough Country lifts are some of the most popular aftermarket kits for off-road enthusiasts.

In order to conquer the outdoors, you can't count on stock 4WD vehicles or stock suspensions. You need rugged parts and modifications to add rigidity and ground clearance to your ride.

Suspension parts like Rough Country shocks are designed to stabilize your vehicle on rough terrain and keep you from being jolted around in the cabin. The ride off-road may be rough, but it doesn't need to be that rough. The standard suspensions on most vehicles are too easy to bend and warp with the punishment you encounter when going off-road. Rough Country kits are made of forged solid steel to keep you ahead of the game. The kits are easy to install with bolt-on applications.

One of the most popular aftermarket upgrades for an off-road vehicle is a Rough Country lift kit. These kits increase the ground clearance of your vehicle and allow it to run taller tires. Rough Country offers an exclusive line of lift kits that do not require major or any modifications to the exhaust, frame or drivetrain.

Along with lift kits, the Rough Country leveling kit is another popular upgrade. These are simple and inexpensive modifications that can easily be reversed if necessary. What do lift kits do? Stock 4WDs usually always have a raked stance with a slightly lower front end. This ultimately helps increase gas mileage by decreasing the vehicle's wind resistance. However, if you're taking your vehicle off-road, you need better handling and ground clearance, not good gas mileage. The leveling kit levels out your stance and gives you more ground clearance. The extra lift can give you better handling on-road as well as off-road. It also usually allows you to install bigger tires.

Do you take your machine off-road in the dark? If you do, then it's important to see where you're going. A Rough Country light bar offers powerful illumination with long-life LED lights. Installing a light bar takes the place of adding several extra off-road lights to your rig. Whether you're traveling a dark trail for fun or for camping, hunting or hiking, a light bar gives you the most illumination for the least amount of hassle.

Rough Country bumpers are a great way to improve the look and efficiency of your off-road vehicle. Stock bumpers aren't always great places to add extra lights, tow hooks or winches. Aftermarket bumpers give your vehicle a more aggressive look and more function. Rough Country offers front bumpers, rear bumpers, winch mount bumpers, and grille and brush guards to improve your existing look.

When you need durable aftermarket off-road parts, Rough Country has the solid reputation and varied selection to improve your off-road experience.

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The Best Pickup Truck Tool Boxes for 2020 - A Buyers Guide

CategoriesGuides

At Action Car and Truck Accessories, you’ve got nearly 200 options to choose from, including those from top brands like Enthuze, WeatherTech, and Husky Liners.

Here’s more helpful information about these cargo area liners, including their benefits, material, and cleaning/maintenance—as well as how to make the right choice for your specific needs.

What Are Cargo Liners?

In short, these are cargo trunk mats that are custom-fit to protect the inside of your vehicle. They are designed to dovetail with the contours of your vehicle and their installation is short and sweet, with no need for screws, bolts, or other types of fasteners. In fact, instructions often recommend that you roll out the liner, place it in the cargo area of your vehicle, and then briefly lay an object with some weight—perhaps a nice-sized book—in each corner to flatten the material.

You might hear the terms “cargo tray” or “cargo area floor mats” being used. If so, it’s referring to the same general product.

Benefits of a Cargo Area Liner

The cargo area of your vehicle is ideal for transporting a wide variety of items, from your landscaping supplies in the spring and summer to your Christmas tree in winter. You can use it for suitcases when you’re going on a trip, or to bring your groceries home, let Fido go for a ride, transport tools, and so much more.

Convenient as this cargo area is for transporting items, landscaping leaves behind dirt, Fido has muddy paws, your jug of milk can leak, and your saw can scratch the finish of your vehicle—and that’s where the cargo liner comes in. These car/SUV/truck interior accessories protect your investment and keep it looking new.

If, say, the back of your truck is already stained or scuffed, then these cargo liners can cover that up—making this area of your vehicle look new all over again.

Additional benefits include the following:

  • These cargo area floor mats add a layer of cushioning, which can protect fragile items as you transport them, from glassware to antique furniture and more.
  • Ones with a more textured surface can keep your cargo from slipping and sliding around, protecting your belongings.
  • They make cleanups easier, something you’ll appreciate if, for example, you didn’t realize that the milk had spilled until your vehicle started to smell bad.
  • They can add a touch of personal style to your vehicle.

Liner Material

These liners are typically made from rugged thermoplastic (a type of plastic polymer material) that is both flexible and durable. The flexibility is what allows the material to form-fit to your vehicle and remain that way despite the temperature, from extreme hot to extreme cold. The durability is what makes the liners so long-lasting.

More specifically, cargo liners can be constructed out of:

  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE): This is a plastic-rubber hybrid that combines the maximum flexibility of rubber with the ability of plastic to retain its shape and be easily cleaned.
  • Thermoplastic olefin (TPO): This type of thermoplastic typically also contains a rubber/elastomer and a filler. TPO holds tough under solar UV radiation, making it ideal for liners.
  • Polypropylene (PP): This rugged plastic is especially easy to clean but can become slippery when wet. It can also fade more easily than TPE and TPO.
  • Polyethylene (PE): This is the most common form of plastic, very tough and cost-effective.

Cargo Area Floor Mat Maintenance

One of the benefits of these mats is how quickly and easily they can be cleaned. You should refer to the cleaning instructions of the manufacturer for specifics, but here are instructions from a WeatherTech cargo liner, shared so you can see the ease of cleaning and maintenance:

“The easiest way to clean your liner is with a damp cloth or sponge. If using a cleaner, 409® or Glass Plus® work well. We do not recommend Armor-All® or STP Son-of-A-Gun® as these types of products make the liner slick and cargo will slide.”

Although cleaning and maintenance instructions may vary by brand and liner model, recommendations are generally simple and straightforward.

 

Choosing the Right Liner

First, be clear about what you need. For example, if you use your vehicle in a way that needs bumper protection, as well, then it’s important to choose one with that feature. Here’s a WeatherTech cargo liner with bumper protection.

As another example, if your vehicle has a third-row seat option, you’ll want to look for a cargo liner that can fit over a folded third seat. Here’s a Husky cargo liner that can do just that.

You’ll also want a rugged product that fits within your budget—and Enthuze cargo liners are especially cost-effective. Other features that may factor into your decision include texture, color and so forth. Color choices are often black, gray, or tan.

It also makes sense to select a liner from a trusted, time-tested brand. Now, here are our three top brands. 

 

The Best Cargo Liners

We ranked our top brands based on customer reviews, quality, price, durability, selection and fit. Below are our recommendations for the best liners.

  1. Enthuze Cargo Liners
  2. WeatherTech Cargo Liners
  3. Husky Cargo Liners

If you need more information so that you can make the right choice for your needs, from cargo liners to other truck interior accessories, contact us online or call us during business hours at 1-855-560-2233.

Read More...

A Buyers Guide to Floor Liners and Floor Mats

CategoriesGuides

With over 5,500 floor liners and floor mats to choose from, Action Truck knows a few things about floor mats and floor liners. Below we break it down for you so you can make an informed decision when selecting what’s best for you. We’ll start with floor mats and then move on to floor liners later in the article.

Floor Mats vs Floor Liners

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, there are differences between the two:

  • Floor mats are flat and only cover a portion of the floor of the vehicle. They provide some protection from spills but are generally used to prevent wear on the floor of your vehicle’s interior. In general floor mats are less expensive.
  • Floor liners have a raised lip to completely contain spills. They offer the most protection from damage to the floor. Most floor liners are specifically designed to fit your vehicle’s interior.

What are Floor Mats?

The purpose of a floor mat is to cover your vehicles’ original flooring which is susceptible to spills, dirt and debris. The floor mat’s job is to protect the floor of your vehicle from these things and in turn, keep its resale value from decreasing.

Types of Floor Mats

Floor mats are available in 3 different materials, carpet, rubber and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) which is also called thermoplastic rubber.

Carpet floor mats are a good choice if you’re goal is to match the floor of your vehicle and are interested in a floor mat that is a little more stylish and comfortable as opposed to utilitarian. They do get dirty more easily and cleaning them can be a chore. They are also more prone to staining. If you have kids, you probably do not want to get carpet floor mats.

Rubber floor mats are much easier to clean and typically do not stain. They also tend to be less expensive than carpet. In general, rubber floor mats are a one-size-fits-all universal fit. This is a less than desired quality for adequate protection from dirt and spills. There are not a whole lot of choices when it comes to rubber floor mats. Brown or black is pretty much what options you have.

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) floor mats are made out of a combination of plastic and rubber. With that, they have advantages typical of both rubbery materials, like flexibility, and plastic materials like the ease of cleaning, stain resistance and the ability to be formed into any shape. Thermoplastic elastomers are very good at returning to their original shape if they are stretched. This tends to give them a longer lifespan when being used in a vehicle’s interior which is subject to a wide variety of temperatures and abuse.

Installation

Installing floor mats is easy, no special tools are required. If you have old floor mats remove those and throw them away. Do not place your new floor mats over your old ones. This can cause the new ones to slip and cause the gas or brake pedal to become stuck.

You simply take the new floor mats out of the package and place them where the instructions say they belong. The driver’s side floor mat usually has a shape cut out at the top right of the floor mat. This prevents the floor mat from interfering with the gas pedal.

The passenger side floor mat does not have this cut-out and is typically a rectangle shape. If your floor mats came as a complete set you will have 2 rear seat floor mats. They can typically go on either side of the floor in the back seat.

If your floor mat came with a small hole with a metal circle in it, there is an anchor hook on the floor of your car that that hole goes through to keep it from sliding forward. Not all floor mats have this hole. They may have a different method of preventing slippage.

It’s very important to make sure your floor mat is not interfering with your gas, brake or clutch pedal (if you have a manual transmission). Every once in a while it’s good practice to check your floor mats when you get out of your car to make sure they have not moved to a place they should not be.

Care and Maintenance

Your floor mats should last for as long as the vehicle is running. However, to keep them looking their best, it’s a good idea to give them a good cleaning from time to time. Depending on what floor mat you have will determine what cleaning method will be ideal.

  • Step 1: Take the floor mats out of the vehicle making sure to keep it level to prevent any dirt or debris from spilling off onto the floor.
  • Step 2: Vacuum up any dirt with a power shop vac or vacuum at your local car wash.
  • Step 3: Clean the floormats:
    • Rubber or TPE - Hose them down with water, add a little interior car cleaning liquid. Scrub with a brush. Rinse well. Air dry and then put them back in where they were located previously.
    • Carpet Floor Mats - Use standard carpet cleaner and follow the directions on the container. Use a scrub brush for the best results. Vacuum up any additional dirt the cleaner loosened up. Air dry and then return them to where they came from.

The Best Floor Mats

We ranked our top brands based on customer reviews, quality, price, durability and selection. Below are our recommendations for the best floor mats.

  1. Weathertech Floor Mats
  2. Husky Floor Mats
  3. Lund Floor Mats

What are Floor Liners?

Floor liners are made out of plastic or a plastic/rubber material called TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). Floor liners have a lip around the edges that prevents spills from getting on the floor of your vehicle. Floor liners typically are designed to exactly fit the unique interior of each car or truck. Floor liners offer complete protection and that includes cargo liners that cover the trunk or floor of the rear of a hatchback as well as the third-row floor liners for vehicles with third-row seating. There are even some that cover both the rear and third row

Types of Floor Liners

The one thing in common with all floor liners is they are made from some form of plastic/rubber hybrid which makes them able to be form-fitted to your vehicle type, offers complete coverage and is 100% waterproof. Additionally, they retain their shape regardless of extreme heat or cold.

TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) floor liners are made out of a combination of plastic and rubber. With that, they have advantages typical of both rubbery materials, like flexibility, and plastic materials like the ease of cleaning, stain resistance and the ability to be formed into any shape. Thermoplastic elastomers are very good at returning to their original shape if they are stretched. This tends to give them a longer lifespan when being used in a vehicle’s interior which is subject to a wide variety of temperatures and abuse.

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) is a polymer/filler blend usually consisting of a mix of a thermoplastic, an elastomer or rubber, and usually a filler. TPO does not degrade under solar UV radiation which makes it perfect for interior accessories like floor liners.

Polypropylene (PP) (aka polypropene) is a thermoplastic polymer. It is similar to polyethylene (see below) but it is slightly harder and more heat resistant. It’s a rugged material and is the second most widely produced plastic after polyethylene. It is very resistant to chemical solvents. Floor liners made from Polypropylene typically have a more slippery surface which can make them easier to clean but may be a disadvantage when they become wet. It is also more susceptible to fading and oxidation which may give it that white chalky appearance as it ages.

Polyethylene (PE) is the most common plastic. It’s a mixture of similar polymers of ethylene of various amounts. Polyethylene is a thermoplastic. It has high impact resistance and is very tough. Polyethylene is the least expensive of the materials used in creating floor liners but by no means is it the least in quality.

Floor Liner Installation

  • Remove all other floor mats or floor liners.
  • Remove any stickers (like safety stickers) from the floor liner itself. The safety label can be put in your owner’s manual.
  • Sweep up any dirt or debris with a heavy-duty vacuum
  • Identify which side the floor liners should go on
  • Attach floor liner to factory-installed retention hooks or use those supplied with your floor liner
  • Test to ensure there is no interference with brake, gas or (in some cases) clutch pedals

Care and Maintenance

Floor liners are a breeze to clean and we recommend cleaning them every time you wash your car. Below are the steps to take for the best results.

  • Detach the floor liner from the factory-installed retention hooks or fasteners provided by your floor liner’s manufacturer.
  • Remove the floor liner and be sure to keep it level to prevent dirt and debris from falling onto the floor of the vehicle.
  • Shake it outside to remove any loose dirt
  • Spray it with a garden hose or water spray gun at your local car wash. If those are not available use a bucket and splash the floor liner with water.
  • Add a mild detergent (like dish soap) to a bucket of water and scrub the floor liner with a soft sponge, cloth or brush on both sides. Be aware, harsh cleaners and abrasive cleaning materials will likely cause damage to the floor liner.
  • Give it a thorough rinse with water until all soap is gone.
  • Air dry or towel dry floor liner on both sides
  • Put the floor liners back where you removed them from and attach to factory-installed hooks or use manufacturer-provided fasteners.
  • Check to make sure there is no interference with pedals

The Best Floor Liners

We ranked our top brands based on customer reviews, quality, price, durability, selection and fit. Below are our recommendations for the best floor liners.

  1. Enthuze Floor Liners
  2. Weathertech Floor Liners
  3. Husky Floor Liners
  4. BedRug Floor Liners
Read More...

Tonneau Cover Buying Guide

CategoriesGuides

Tonneau Cover Buying Guide

What Is a Tonneau Cover?

A tonneau cover (also called a box cover, truck bed cover and pickup bed cover) is a hard or soft cover that spans the bed of a pickup truck in order to protect the contents. 

There are various types of tonneau covers available, from fiberglass to vinyl, snap-on, hinged, roll up, retractable, you name it. The reason why there are so many types is that they can adapt to the way you use your truck. Each type of tonneau, soft or hard, has features that allow it to be used in a different way. 

We’ve also noticed that it’s also a difficult word to spell! We’ve seen many variations but tonno cover, tunnel cover, tono cover, tonnue cover seem to be the most popular misspellings. Tonneau is a French word that means cask or barrel and originally referred to the open passenger compartment you see on a lot of really old cars.

Hard Tonneau Covers

Advantage: These are typically painted to match the body color of the truck and they not only look good, but they also offer unbeatable cargo protection. They often have lights inside and most now clamp in and require no drilling. 

Most hard tonneau covers have a hinge system that makes them easy to open and some even open with a handheld key fob remote. If matching the color of your truck is not important that important to you, there are also hard roll-up tonneau covers available.

For the best of both worlds, there is the Double Cover from A.R.E. which is an aluminum tonneau cover that is also retractable. You might also like a hard folding tonneau cover. They are available in aluminum and fiberglass and hold up to the harshest weather and protect your possessions from being stolen.

Disadvantage: You can’t use the hinged type for loads that sit above the bed rails as they have to be propped open or must be removed. It typically takes two people to remove and it takes up a lot of space in your garage when it’s not on the truck. 

Soft Tonneau Covers

Advantage: Soft tonneau covers have the classic tonneau look that comes from covering the bed with black vinyl. Many people like the look of these tonneaus and they can come in a variety of styles. The traditional style is the roll-up tonneau cover which uses bows that straddle across the bed and are linked to a clamp-on frame. These are easy to remove if you have cargo that sits taller than the bed rails. 

Other types are the folding tonneau cover which is hinged to fold in three sections and others include hinges in the center of the tonneau to allow it to fold in half. They make loading and carrying cargo much easier. There is also the snap-on tonneau cover as well as others that are designed as tonneau covers for trucks with a toolbox.

Disadvantage: Over time, the vinyl can fade and stretch leaving a tonneau that flops in the wind. Soft tonneaus also don’t offer much theft protection as they can be easily cut and your contents removed. Some people do not like the bow system and others still condemn the button snaps as they are often cumbersome to reinstall and require lots of time to put together.

Retractable Tonneau Covers

Advantage: Just like the term implies, these tonneau covers retract into a compact roll. This allows the bed to be nearly fully open, fully closed, or set anywhere in between. Retractable tonneau covers can come in a variety of materials, including hard plastic and cast aluminum. They are made up of many pieces that are linked together to bend and fold so that it can be rolled up at the front portion of the truck’s bed. 

Some manufacturers offer a motor-operated roll-up function while others are open and closed manually. These types of tonneaus also offer unbeatable bed security and are almost impossible to break into. They also mount on a track system that clamps to the bed rails so that typically, no drilling is required.

Disadvantage: Cost is one of the factors in this type of tonneau cover. Most are more expensive than hard or soft tonneau and they take a little more time to install. Because the tonneau rolls up into one area the size of the roller can also take up some space at the front of the bed. Motorized units take up more room than manual roll-up units do. Some truck enthusiasts also don’t like the look of the roll-up tonneau and they can’t be painted to match the color of the vehicle; most come in black powder coat or with a vinyl top layer.

What to Look For In a Tonneau Cover

It's easy to determine what type of tonneau cover you should use. First, always start with what you like. For example, many people like the look of a hard tonneau but may want a different type of removal system in case they consistently haul cargo that is taller than the factory bed rails. If this is the case, look for a hard tonneau with a quick-disconnect hinge system.

If you're a custom truck enthusiast, you may be looking for a hard flush-mounted tonneau cover that looks great. If this is the case, look for a lightweight design as many flush tonneaus can eventually sag in the center if its inner structure is too heavy or doesn't include any kind of mid-section support.

You say you want convenience? Then a soft tonneau may be right for you as it is simple to roll up and use the entire bed to carry large cargo. Likewise, should you want security as your top priority, then a retractable hard tonneau would be the best choice to prevent theft of any tools or other valuables in your truck's bed.

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