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Nitrousbird

Help me find the right tonneau cover for me

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oldjeep
1 minute ago, Nitrousbird said:

It looks easy to remove...easier than everyone else. And usually I only need two covers pulled.  I think it is probably the best quality option out there. 

The bak stuff is pretty easy to remove, just 2 knobs.  Not that i will ever buy one again. Lomax is one of the nicer looking covers ive seen. 

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wedge88
18 hours ago, Nitrousbird said:

It looks easy to remove...easier than everyone else. And usually I only need two covers pulled.  I think it is probably the best quality option out there. 

I thought the same thing with past covers.  "I'll just remove the cover if I need to as it take 2 minutes in the driveway."  Problem is I was never in the driveway when I needed to remove the cover.  I was always in a store parking lot or someplace inconvenient.

If you want absolutely 100% watertight then you need to be shopping for over the rail, single piece, flip up covers.  I had Undercovers on the my previous two trucks and loved that they were 100% waterproof but a pain to haul anything taller than the bed rails like a power washer, snow blower, etc.  I would just drop the lid and throw on a bungee. Now I have the Undercover Flex Tri-Fold on my Superduty and it is the so much better for hauling and bed access.  It leaks slightly at the tailgate but any cover that isn't over the rail is going to do the same.  

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Nitrousbird

I have decided I want a hard tri-fold cover.  The roll-up's I like are pricey ($1200+) and I'm not in love with the canister setup.  I don't remove the covers frequently enough to make a roll-up a smart move for me.

Now I discovered ANOTHER issue.  Some of these covers require you to lift the back cover to close the tailgate!!  Who in the fly F would think that is acceptable?  I do open my tailgate frequently - any cover requiring that is a hard no.

From videos I've seen, the following covers require that BS:
BAKFlip G2 and FiberMAX.  
Gator - all folding covers.  Gator is OUT
UnderCover Flex

So that leaves me
ACI Lomax
Rugged Liner
BAKFlip MX4 and F1
UnderCover Ultra and Armor Flex
Extand Solid Fold 2.0 and Encore
 

I'm still trying to find some other options.  GM offers two Fold-A-Cover units, though I like the Lomax better.  They also offer the REV cover, but it's just a different name for the BAKFlip MX4.

Edited by Nitrousbird

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ahopkinsVTX

Every cover I’ve ever seen that seals on top of the tailgate requires you to have the cover open to close the tailgate. How is that a big deal? I guess depending on the latch... I’m in and out of my tailgate all the time and it takes an extra two seconds of my day to close the tailgate then snap the cover back down into place. The latch is on the drivers side all the way at the back just inside of the bed. Now if the latch was not at the back, agreed that could be annoying. I feel you are crossing off a lot of really nice covers due to this and are looking for a unicorn. 

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oldjeep
53 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

Every cover I’ve ever seen that seals on top of the tailgate requires you to have the cover open to close the tailgate. How is that a big deal? I guess depending on the latch... I’m in and out of my tailgate all the time and it takes an extra two seconds of my day to close the tailgate then snap the cover back down into place. The latch is on the drivers side all the way at the back just inside of the bed. Now if the latch was not at the back, agreed that could be annoying. I feel you are crossing off a lot of really nice covers due to this and are looking for a unicorn. 

Plenty of them do not require you to open the top to close.  Mine for example.  The difference is the type of seal that they use. Having to open my bakflip to close gate was a pain in the winter when the cover was froze to the rail. 

Edited by oldjeep

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wedge88
1 hour ago, Nitrousbird said:

I have decided I want a hard tri-fold cover.  The roll-up's I like are pricey ($1200+) and I'm not in love with the canister setup.  I don't remove the covers frequently enough to make a roll-up a smart move for me.

Now I discovered ANOTHER issue.  Some of these covers require you to lift the back cover to close the tailgate!!  Who in the fly F would think that is acceptable?  I do open my tailgate frequently - any cover requiring that is a hard no.

From videos I've seen, the following covers require that BS:
BAKFlip G2 and FiberMAX.  Can't tell on the F1
Gator - all folding covers.  Gator is OUT
UnderCover Flex and Ultra Flex

So that leaves me
ACI Lomax
Rugged Liner
BAKFlip MX4
UnderCover Armor Flex
Extand Solid Fold 2.0 and Encore
 

I'm still trying to find some other options.  GM offers two Fold-A-Cover units, though I like the Lomax better.  They also offer the REV cover, but it's just a different name for the BAKFlip MX4.

I never raise my Undercover Flex to close the tailgate.  

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ahopkinsVTX
31 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

Plenty of them do not require you to open the top to close.  Mine for example.  The difference is the type of seal that they use. Having to open my bakflip to close gate was a pain in the winter when the cover was froze to the rail. 

I haven't had that issue either, and I have had this cover for 4+ years now. Friends have had it for probably 10 years. Idk , This search for a cheap, hard cover that seals up perfect and functions exactly how NB wants, seems like a wild goose chase. Maybe it is out there though.

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oldjeep
13 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I haven't had that issue either, and I have had this cover for 4+ years now. Friends have had it for probably 10 years. Idk , This search for a cheap, hard cover that seals up perfect and functions exactly how NB wants, seems like a wild goose chase. Maybe it is out there though.

Could be there are plenty of crappy expensive covers, maybe there are some good cheap ones ;)  None of them are particularly cheap, I think I paid around 800 for the bakflip HD I had on my 09 (which was replaced under warranty with an F1 after about a year of fighting with them)  The current one I have was about $1400, but really has nothing that will ever wear out unless the locks rust up.

The cheapest soft tonneau I ever had allowed you to close the tailgate without opening the tonneau and it sealed on top the tailgate, that was the old style frame and bow cover on my 02 F150.  It lasted about 2 years before it shrunk so much that it wouldn't close any more.  You do need to take care of the seals though, especially the one at the tailgate so that they continue to work and not rip.  This stuff works great.  The easiest way to tell if you have to open the lid is the type of seal.  The best seals are the hollow round rubber ones that they bias towards the gate which allows them to flex and roll.  The others I've had that allow closing are more ramp shaped.  The long flat seals like on a bakflip G2/F1 just invite the tailgate getting slammed into them and damaging the seal.  Pretty crappy design and it doesn't seal that great either

 

IMAG0634[1].jpg

Edited by oldjeep

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ahopkinsVTX

My gator roll up which is the same as the truxedo lo pro qt was $200. Yes I know it’s soft cover but I agree with @UWSkier that is more a deterrent then an actual theft protector like a safe. It’s been great for two years now. Only leaks a bit at the front of the bed where it mounts and it gives me full bed access in seconds or a completely covered bed in seconds. Looks great and functions easily. I use boat bling vinyl cleaner and conditioner a few times a year and it still looks and feels new. To each their own though. 

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oldjeep
6 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

My gator roll up which is the same as the truxedo lo pro qt was $200. Yes I know it’s soft cover but I agree with @UWSkier that is more a deterrent then an actual theft protector like a safe. It’s been great for two years now. Only leaks a bit at the front of the bed where it mounts and it gives me full bed access in seconds or a completely covered bed in seconds. Looks great and functions easily. I use boat bling vinyl cleaner and conditioner a few times a year and it still looks and feels new. To each their own though. 

I had a few soft covers in the late 90s and  early 2000's and they kept the rain out pretty well but didn't last for more than a couple years - I'd assume the materials have continued to get better.  At under $200 it wasn't a big deal to have to replace them every couple years.  They meet a lot of peoples requirements

Edited by oldjeep

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Nitrousbird
35 minutes ago, ahopkinsVTX said:

I haven't had that issue either, and I have had this cover for 4+ years now. Friends have had it for probably 10 years. Idk , This search for a cheap, hard cover that seals up perfect and functions exactly how NB wants, seems like a wild goose chase. Maybe it is out there though.

Where did I ever say cheap?  I mentioned price twice.  Once was the $800 - $1200 range yet still quality concerns. The other was roll ups that I have now decided against being $1200.  I never mentioned a budget or looking for the cheapest model.

Almost all Tri-Fold hard covers are in the $800 - $1000 range, so you don't really get to select a budget. 

I'm not the only person that opens my tailgate and lifting the cover is a hard no for closing the tailgate, especially when there are options designed to not need to do this. I imagine there are units you are supposed to lift that you can get away with not doing so but likely damages the seal over the long haul.

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oldjeep

FWIW it appears that the loMax is also re-branded as Weathertech Alloy cover for about $880 - so if that is what you decide on you may get a better deal from them

Edited by oldjeep

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minnmarker

Back before my Big D when I had a pickup and was hauling horses around I had one of these: https://www.4are.com/product/lsx_ultra/

In case the link doesn't work it was an ARE Tonneua cover.  Fiberglass, lockable, and with struts.  Worked real nice.

Probably been mentioned in this thread already but I was too lazy to look.

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Hemmy
1 hour ago, minnmarker said:

Back before my Big D when I had a pickup and was hauling horses around I had one of these: https://www.4are.com/product/lsx_ultra/

In case the link doesn't work it was an ARE Tonneua cover.  Fiberglass, lockable, and with struts.  Worked real nice.

Probably been mentioned in this thread already but I was too lazy to look.

Nice looking, but the problem with those is if you put anything in the back of the truck with some height, the cover gets in the way.

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UWSkier
3 hours ago, oldjeep said:

I had a few soft covers in the late 90s and  early 2000's and they kept the rain out pretty well but didn't last for more than a couple years - I'd assume the materials have continued to get better.  At under $200 it wasn't a big deal to have to replace them every couple years.  They meet a lot of peoples requirements

It's a bit of a "you get what you pay for" thing.  I had an Access Lorado on my Titan for 10 years and other than a small cigarette burn on it from some a-hole who flipped a butt onto it when it was brand new, it was fine.  No dry rot, no cracking, etc.  It'd stretched slightly but the built-in tensioners would get adjusted about once a year.  I actually didn't treat it with 303 or anything as was recommended.  It survived having hundreds of pounds of snow on it, going through car washes, parking in summer sun, etc.

It was their higher-end cover at the time, but it worked great for me for 10 years and 175k miles.

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minnmarker
17 minutes ago, Hemmy said:

Nice looking, but the problem with those is if you put anything in the back of the truck with some height, the cover gets in the way.

True.  In that (rare for me) case I had a simple system to lift it off and store it on the garage ceiling.

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oldjeep
14 minutes ago, UWSkier said:

It's a bit of a "you get what you pay for" thing.  I had an Access Lorado on my Titan for 10 years and other than a small cigarette burn on it from some a-hole who flipped a butt onto it when it was brand new, it was fine.  No dry rot, no cracking, etc.  It'd stretched slightly but the built-in tensioners would get adjusted about once a year.  I actually didn't treat it with 303 or anything as was recommended.  It survived having hundreds of pounds of snow on it, going through car washes, parking in summer sun, etc.

It was their higher-end cover at the time, but it worked great for me for 10 years and 175k miles.

The only reason i owned the soft tonneaus was that i couldnt shell out the cash for a hard tonneau at the time.  So I'm sure i bought the cheapest thing I could find. 

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Eagle River Mike

I have a WeatherTech Alloy and love it.  Super low profile and easy to open and remove.

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oldjeep
40 minutes ago, Hemmy said:

Nice looking, but the problem with those is if you put anything in the back of the truck with some height, the cover gets in the way.

That is the main reason I don't run a topper.  The one topper I owned was super useful 90% of the time, but removing it was a pain and always had to be done at home

That was a sweet ride, first new vehicle I ever bought.  Super basic, 5 speed, 2wd  and no AC

 

94S10.jpg

Edited by oldjeep

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Nitrousbird
9 hours ago, wedge88 said:

I never raise my Undercover Flex to close the tailgate.  

Do you have a Flex, Ultra Flex or Armor Flex?  After further research I've found only the cheapest model (Flex) requires you to put up the cover before closing the bed.  Found it right on the comparison page on their website.

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Nitrousbird

Below is the spreadsheet I came up with on every folding cover I could find (I decided folding was for me).  Those highlighted in green are my finalists.

In my opinion, anything that requires you to lift the cover before closing the tailgate is a piece of crap.  

Gator = piece of crap.  All of their stuff requires lifting before closing the tailgate.  Why would someone accept that in a cover?    
Extang = why buy that when you can buy a ACI Lomax / WeatherTech Access (same thing).  The Lomax/Access sit lower and reviews have shown they are better built while costing less.
Fold-A-Cover = pricey.  Yes, a GM accessory, but that doesn't make it good.  They sit really high.  Their latching setup is awful

I'm most closely leaning toward an UnderCover Ultra Flex at this point.  I fear the BAK quality.  My real concern is the UnderCover at highway speed.  I want the Lomax/Access, but not folding to the cab really hurts my love for it.  

Tonneau-Spreadsheet.jpg

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Nitrousbird

I just placed an order for the UnderCover Ultra Flex.  Found a damaged box Warehouse Deal on Amazon that saves $215 over the next cheapest option for that cover.  I figure if it is jacked up I'll simply send it back; if it is good, then I save a bundle.  That was the cover I was leaning the most toward.

I have found the Lomax for about $750 shipped, which is a pretty good price for that cover.  Not folding up to the cab bothered me a bit, so hopefully the UnderCover is the right choice.

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wedge88
On 10/26/2018 at 4:27 PM, Nitrousbird said:

Do you have a Flex, Ultra Flex or Armor Flex?  After further research I've found only the cheapest model (Flex) requires you to put up the cover before closing the bed.  Found it right on the comparison page on their website.

Mine is just the Flex.  Never had to lift the cover to close the gate.  I've had this truck 2+ years and the cover was on it when I bought.  I also see in your excel sheet that you're concerned that the cover is offset from rear window when open.  I have driven to our hunting lease 2-3 times with cover in open position and never had an issue and our hunting lease is 4.5 hours away at mostly 75-80mph driving.  I was skeptical as all my other trucks had over the rail lift up covers except for the last one.  That truck had a Pace Edwards switchblade which was noisy when rear window was open, couldn't hold any weight and I was locked out of it a few times with ice in the rails.  

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Nitrousbird

Installed my UltraCover Ultra Flex.  It seems they provide the instructions for the regular Flex, which as an FYI reminds you to pop the cover open before closing the tailgate on that model.

Overall, it is a nice cover.  I don't like the seal design on the the back corners of the tailgate, as it will let rain in if it is sideways toward the tailgate.  Install was easy.  Can't tell yet how much (if any) it is leaking as water in the bed could be residual from when it was wet before I pulled it in the garage for the install.

20181102-175203-HDR.jpg

20181102-175209-HDR.jpg

20181102-175224-HDR.jpg

20181101-182900.jpg

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oldjeep

Looks good

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