How To Measure For a Tonneau Cover?

You want to get a new car cover, but you’re unsure “How To Measure For a Tonneau Cover?” Don’t worry; if you look at the article below, it gets much easier. Prepare a tape measure before you begin, follow our instructions, and you will have the answer.

1. Types of Tonneau Covers

We proceeded to discover the many kinds of tarpaulins, their characteristics, and their advantages. You may think about and pick the greatest tarp for your automobile based on that.

how to measure for a tonneau cover
Types of Tonneau Covers (Source: Internet)

Folding Tonneau Covers:

Folding visors are usually designed to fold towards the cockpit. There are many different sizes such as triple, double, or even four-panel. This is probably the most popular style of tonneau cover. Its usual material is hard synthetic plastic with metal hinges. Therefore, they are more expensive than other soft plastics but are still relatively affordable.

This is more durable than soft rolled tonneau sheets. It is designed with a latch and is extremely useful when you need to carry unusually sized items higher than the bed. You should choose one with a lock. This is extremely handy. However, that means higher cost and heavier weight.

Retractable Tonneau Covers:

For a full-featured and easy-to-use yet stylish car cover, check out the retractable tonneau visors. The reason it is featured is that it can roll up to the truck’s cabin when you’re not using it. It has a manual type and an electric type, very easy to use. Just press a button as specified, and the lid will close automatically.

The retractable tonneau case has a fresh look and is easy to use. However, they are usually made of soft fabric so they are prone to tearing or damage. Not only that, they are designed with a lock feature to help you easily store your belongings.

Hinged Tonneau Covers:

This is a hinged cargo cover that is supported on hinges near the cockpit and fixed via struts. The material commonly found in them is a hard shell synthetic material but is sometimes made of a soft fabric with an inner frame. They are useful for protecting the finish of your bed, and at the same time, it helps to reduce aerodynamic drag.

However, when opened, they reveal the entire trunk of the truck. Moreover, the hard shell tonneau will make it difficult for you to carry items higher than your bed level. The tonneau covers are hinged with a hard shell. It is designed differently and is beautifully painted, so it is quite good-looking.

Snap-On Tonneau Covers:

This is probably the cheapest type and the quality is not good. They are moderate in weight and can still cover your custom items. If you don’t have a lot of requirements with a hood, a built-in tonneau cover is a safe solution.

Compared to rigid tonneau covers, snap-on tonneau covers are comprised of a softer fabric that is more easily torn. Most are supported by metal crossbars and have aluminum frames that are bolted to the truck headboard. However, if you need to move heavy objects, these crossbars could be awkward or inconvenient. Find snap-ons with detachable crossbars.

Roll-Up Tonneau Covers:

You may choose to have as many or as few beds exposed by rolling up the cargo cover that faces the truck cab. They provide quick and simple access to a bed portion for little goods as well as the ability to cover objects of unusual shapes. If you need the entire bed to pick up the yearly Christmas tree or assist a friend with a relocation, look for roll-up beds with removable crossbar supports.

Roll-up sheets can be more dependable than tonneau covers with lids even though they effectively serve the same purpose as a cover with a lid, exposing only the portion of the bed that is required. No fractures occur, and the corners rip as they extend.

However, the majority of roll covers are likewise constructed of cloth and are therefore less enduring than tonneau covers for hard cases. Once rolled up, they must also be fastened. Some of the more recent roll tonneau tops are made of tough composites and are only partially rolled up. Although they are a little more expensive, in the long run, we believe their durability will pay off.

2. Steps to prepare for measurement

Steps of the Procedure:

  1. Initiate the measurement from the bulkhead of your truck, extending to the inner edge of the tailgate.
  2. Convert the measured inches into feet.
  3. Note that most tonneau cover bed lengths are rounded, so your measurement should typically fall within a 1-2 inch range of accuracy.

Additional Measuring Tips:

The bulkhead is a protective wall-like structure positioned at the front of the truck bed to shield the driver from the cargo area.

To convert inches to feet:

Remember that 1 foot is equivalent to 12 inches. Therefore, divide the total inches measured by 12 to obtain the corresponding measurement in feet.

3. How To Measure For a Tonneau Cover?

how to measure your truck bed
How To Measure For a Tonneau Cover? (Source: Internet)

First, prepare a measuring tape about 8 to 10 feet long and a notebook to record the measurements.

Next, carry out the following procedures to measure your shield:

  • Stand back your truck and open the tailgate.
  • Tape a line down the truck’s bed from the bulkhead.
  • Take measurements at the bed’s gapped end.
  • Your dimensions in inches should be converted to feet by dividing by 12.

Manufacturers typically round tonneau dimensions to an even number. You ought to remain a few inches away from that. Even if your dimensions differ somewhat from what you see when you shop, it doesn’t matter. The majority of manufacturers unify their tonneau sizes to meet the make and model of your truck.

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4. Some more ways to measure for a tonneau cover

As long as you know the brand and model of the truck, choosing a Sawtooth STRETCH tonneau cover is simple.

You most likely already know the truck’s manufacture and model year when you purchase it. Even though you may be aware of the bed of your truck’s manufacturer standards, it’s still a good idea to double-check the measurements you took.

There won’t be any common sizes among producers, though. Truck bed lengths are listed by some manufacturers in feet, while others publish them in inches.

The words “short decks,” “standard decks,” and “long decks” are commonly used to refer to truck decks, however, they have distinct connotations for various truck models.

You simply need to measure a few millimeters outside of the specified tonneau size, as we previously said.

5. Some common standard sizes when measuring measure for a tonneau cover

Every vehicle has a distinctive size and type. So don’t worry if your measures differ by a few inches from the length specified below or from the manufacturer’s specs.

Although it is customary to round up bed lengths, your measurement should be close to the given length. When determining the appropriate bed length, measure the length of your vehicle’s bed and compare it to the chart below to see how it all fits together.

You can refer to the data table below:

Modes of Transportation

Bed type Actual lengthened

d length

Chevy Colorado Short Bed  62.7 in.  5’3” (63 in.) 
Chevy Colorado Long Bed  74.0 in.  6’2” (74 in.) 
Chevy Silverado Short Bed  69.3 in.  5’9” (69 in.) 
Chevy Silverado Standard Bed  78.8 in.  6’7” (79 in.) 
Chevy Silverado Long Bed  97.8 in.  8’2” (98 in.) 
Dodge Ram Short Bed  67.4 in.  5’7” (67 in.) 
Dodge Ram Standard Bed  76.3 in.  6’4” (76 in.) 
Dodge Ram Long Bed  96.3 in.  8’0” (96 in.) 
Ford F-150 Short Bed  67.1 in.  5’7” (67 in.) 
Ford F-150 Standard Bed  78.9 in.  6’7” (79 in.) 
Ford F-150 Long Bed  97.6 in.  8’2”(98 in.) 
Ford F-250 Short Bed  81.8 in.  6’10” (82 in.) 
Ford F-250 Standard Bed  98.0 in.  8’2” (98 in.) 
Ford F-350 Short Bed  81.8 in.  6’10” (82 in.) 
Ford F-350 Standard Bed  98.0 in.  8’2” (98 in.) 
GMC Canyon Short Bed  62.7 in.  5’3” (63 in.) 
GMC Canyon Long Bed  74.0 in.  6’2” (74 in.) 
GMC Sierra Short Bed  69.3 in.  5’9” (69 in.) 
GMC Sierra Standard Bed  78.8 in.  6’7” (79 in.) 
GMC Sierra Long Bed  97.8 in.  8’2” (98 in.) 
Nissan Frontier Short Bed  59.5 in.  5’0” (60 in.) 
Nissan Frontier Standard Bed  73.3 in.  6’1” (73 in.) 
Nissan Titan  Short Bed  67.1 in.  5’7” (67 in.) 
Nissan Titan  Standard Bed  78.9 in.  6’7” (79 in.) 
Nissan Titan  Long Bed  84.0 in.  7’0” (84 in.) 
Toyota Tacoma Short Bed  60.3 in.  5’0” (60 in.) 
Toyota Tacoma Standard Bed  73.5 in.  6’2” (74 in.) 
Toyota Tundra Short Bed  66.7 in.  5’7” (67 in.) 
Toyota Tundra Standard Bed  78.7 in.  6’7” (79 in.) 
Toyota Tundra  Long Bed  97.6 in.  8’2” (98 in.) 

6. Things to consider to buy a suitable covering

When you are prepared to buy tonneau covers and have properly studied them. The one that best suits your requirements will be your next step. There are so many wonderful alternatives to suit every preference.

Your budget

Decide how much you are willing to spend on your tonneau. Prices for fiberglass hardtops often start at $1,500 and upwards. The cost of Soft Toneaus often ranges from $200 to $900. For a vehicle visor, those are the perfect pricing. Lower-priced truck bed linens are frequently produced at low cost outside of the United States. They could not be sturdy or offer much security.

No of your budget, you are sure to discover a truck bed cover that will assist you get the greatest value out of your vehicle given the large choice of options on the market today.

Style and materials to match

The second thing you should consider is the material and style of the tonneau. You can refer to the following 2 options:

Soft type

This is the most common type. With friendly prices and diverse designs on the market, this is probably the choice of the majority of consumers. Not only that, the soft visor is also much lighter and easier to install.

Some common designs: roll, retractable, extendable… Some people think that soft materials are easier to cut and the safety is poor. However, this is not true. Some brands, such as Sawtooth’s soft Tonneau, have a thick design that can be compared to hard lids.

Hard type

Aluminum, fiberglass, and hard plastic are often seen as materials. Such materials will increase their cost and decrease their appeal. Their weight is also important to note, and installing them might need several persons (some even need specialist lifting equipment or tiny cranes).

However, they also come in a variety of styles, from triple or quadruple covers to one-piece hinges. When the folding crate is folded out of the aisle, foldable versions enable you to use a portion of the truck bed to haul tall merchandise. Soft tonneau covers are not as secure as hard ones, although they may frequently be secured.

7. Some tips to measure for a tonneau cover

Carrying valuables through the trunk of a truck without a roof might be very problematic. In transit, things can be pushed, shifted, and broken. Because of this, producers produce tarpaulins to aid in protecting the trunk of your vehicle. Here are some suggestions to help you choose the best tarp for your truck.

Measure bed length

The first thing you must do is measure the length of your bed to get the appropriate automobile cover. Lower the vehicle’s rear door first, then cautiously enter the truck’s trunk. Next, attach one end of a tape measure to the front railing. Then calculate the distance from the marker to the trunk’s interior edge. The bed’s length is indicated here in inches.

Data provided by the manufacturer

You should continue to refer to the numbers supplied by the official source after measuring the length of your bed. That data is available directly from the makers. Try searching for user guides or manufacturer-provided data on the official website.

Selection of car cover

After following the instructions to obtain the right values, choose the visor design you want. You may freely scan the market for the items that best fit your demands because there are so many available right now. Best-selling coverings, including triple soft tonneau covers or soft roll tonneau covers, should be taken into consideration.

8. FAQs

Q: What is the ideal fit for a tonneau cover?

Ensure that your cover is taut and free from any sagging between the bows. Simply unroll the body to reach the tension adjusters if you need to make any modifications. Both tension adjusters should be turned clockwise to release.

Q: Can any tonneau cover be used?

Not just any truck will accommodate a tonneau cover. Each automobile will require a tonneau cover that was made specifically for its measurements because truck beds are not all identical in size.

Q: How is the length of a truck measured?

It’s easy to gauge a truck’s bed length. Initially, get your tape evaluation. Then, determine the distance between the inside of the tailgate and the interior of the bulkhead of the bed. The estimation should be made using this distance, which is the number that is used.

Q: Is a tonneau cover preferable to none at all?

Your truck bed will function like a bucket while you’re driving if it doesn’t have a tonneau cover. Your engine works harder as a result of the drag. By shielding your pickup truck bed from this wind, tonneau covers increase gas efficiency by enhancing aerodynamics.

Q: Are tonneau covers universal in size?

Tonneau covers are made in various lengths and widths to match certain models, yet nothing can replace a precise measurement with a tape measure.

Q: Can you rest on top of a tonneau cover?

Sure, tonneau covers may be folded or rolled up to make a truck bed into a sleeping area, but they don’t provide the same level of security as bed toppers.

Q: Is it worthwhile to invest in tonneau covers?

Your bed will produce less air drag because of the tonneau cover’s aerodynamic construction. Your gas mileage will go up by around 5% as a result, while some cars can save as much as 10% when compared to an open bed. These savings will eventually allow your tonneau cover to pay for itself!

Q: Should the Tonneau be left open all the time?

Keep your truck bed cover resolved when you’re not hauling anything or when the bed is empty. When not in use, a roll-up tonneau cover’s internal materials might be exposed to dangerously high temperatures, which would shorten its lifespan and impair its performance.

Q: What are the typical truck’s length and width?

The typical pickup truck measures 19.8 feet long by 6.7 feet wide by 6.3 feet height. These figures differ significantly depending on the particular ride you select to claim as your own!

Q: Why is it called tonneau?

The French term “tonneau” designates a winemaking barrel or cask. The nomenclature for open-compartment coverings changed as transportation evolved from the carriages pulled by horses and buggies of the 19th century to the developing automobile sector in the early 20th century.

9. Conclusion

Make sure you’ve properly investigated the methods we’ve come up with if you’re seeking information on how to measure a tonneau cover. Today’s market offers a wide variety of goods. Finding a product that meets your needs is crucial. You can discover the ideal tank cover for your truck from the various alternatives available.

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