How do I make my roll-up tonneau cover last as long as possible?

A good tonneau cover is an important investment for a truck owner. We want you to get as much out of that investment as possible, which is why we offer these tips to protect your cover and extend your truck bed cover’s life.

  1. Keep your tonneau cover closed when not in use. Roll-up covers are designed to be used in the closed position most of the time but can be rolled open to transport large cargo. Avoid storing your tonneau in the rolled-open position for long periods of time to decrease the possibility of the cover’s interior components being damaged by the sun.
  2. Keep your tonneau tight. Tension matters. A tight tonneau cover will last, but a loose cover will wear out prematurely. Most tonneau covers have tension adjusters for fine-tuning; the vinyl should sound drum-like when tapped on. Also, always finish securing the truck bed cover by sealing the sides with the hook-and-loop system.
  3. Protect your tonneau cover. We treat our vinyl covers against UV damage, but the sun’s rays are relentless. We recommend periodically treating the cover with ACCESS® COVER CARE® Cleaner. This water-based spray conditions, cleans and protects any vinyl, leather or rubber surface but won’t leave an oily mess. Just spray and wipe your vinyl as needed to preserve your tonneau cover’s function and appearance.

Can I install a tonneau cover on a Ram truck with the RamBox package?

Ram Trucks has offered its RamBox Cargo Management System with its trucks since the 2009 model year. This package turns the area over the wheelwells into locking storage for smaller items. The system also adds a cargo rail system and bed divider to the main portion of the bed.

Many truck buyers will want to add a tonneau cover to protect larger pieces of cargo in the main bed, and there’s no reason they can’t have it.

We make versions of the ACCESS® Original, LITERIDER, LORADO and LIMITED Roll-Up Covers for RamBox beds (both 5’7” and 6’4” beds). Because of the cargo rail system, installing one of these covers on a RamBox-equipped Ram truck requires some special steps. This is why we have special instructions for these trucks. You’ll want to use these instructions in conjunction with the owner’s manual to your cover (All our owner’s manuals and special instructions are available for download on this page).

As you can see in this video, the installation isn’t too complicated.

You just remove the cargo rails and replace the bolts with longer ones that also add clamps and nylon spacers in certain locations. You can see each step in detail in this video.

The cover in this particular video is our ACCESS® Limited Roll-Up Cover, but the steps work for any cover made for trucks with the RamBox system.

There are many other truck bed accessories you can add to a truck with the RamBox system. For example, this truck was also outfitted with our ACCESS™ Truck Bed Mat. It also has our ACCESS™ AA Battery LED Light, which comes included for free with the Limited Roll-Up Cover.

For more information or to find a dealer near you, go to

Q&A: How do I make my tonneau cover last as long as possible?

We often get asked how long our roll-up covers will last. That’s a really hard question to answer with any certainty because how long one of our covers — or any tonneau cover, for that matter — will last depends on how well the owner cares for it.

We build our covers to last as long as possible, but it’s up to you how many years of service you get out of your cover. We recommend two steps to help your cover last as long as possible.

  1. Keep it tight, and I mean drum tight. A loose cover will flap about in the wind and wear out prematurely. All ACCESS® Roll-Up Covers have built-in tension adjsuters that let you set the cover’s tightness. Just roll up the cover, add or reduce some tension by turning the dial, and unroll the cover to check the fit and tightness. Repeat and adjust as needed.
  2. Keep the cover clean and use the right cleaner. Ultraviolet rays never take a day off, so we recommend using ACCESS™ Cover Care™ Cleaner to clean and protect your cover.

But here is a case study into how long an ACCESS Roll-Up Cover can last. Take a look at this photo:

This photo was sent to us by John N. in Minnesota in July 2013. Here’s what he had to say:

“I purchased my Access Cover from you in November 1995 for my new 1996 Chevrolet pickup. I wanted to tell you how well your product has held up to the harsh environment here in Minnesota.

“I was a pilot for Northwest Airlines and my truck sat in the employee parking lot for …at least half of every month. It was out in the elements, no covered parking. Also my truck has 160,000 miles on it so your cover took a lot of wind buffeting. After all this time your cover is completely serviceable and still looks good. I replaced the Velcro once.

“This fall I am purchasing a 2014 Chevrolet pickup and the first thing I will do is buy one of your covers for it.”

Q&A: Will this tonneau cover let me tow with a 5th-wheel or gooseneck hitch?

ACCESS Roll-Up Cover on pickup with fifth-wheel hitch

A good question to ask when choosing a tonneau cover is what sort of work will the truck — and especially the bed — be doing? This is important if you ever want to tow a trailer using a 5th-wheel or gooseneck hitch.

All ACCESS® Roll-Up Covers are designed to roll up out of the way whenever you need complete use of your pickup’s bed.

That means that all you have to do is roll the cover to the front of your truck box and secure it with the straps any time you want to hook your pickup to a trailer using a gooseneck or 5th-wheel hitch (assuming you already have that hitch installed).

ACCESS® Roll-Up Covers are built this way so you never need to remove the cover and frame to carry a large load. Just roll the cover up and you’re ready.

And once you’ve reached the campsite and parked the trailer, the cover rolls out flat to protect any cargo from the elements while you’re out getting supplies or exploring. Since you never have to remove the tonneau cover for large loads or towing, covering the bed up again is simple.



Q&A: How to have an ACCESS® Roll-Up Tonneau Cover and ladder rack on your pickup

Many truck owners find themselves torn between installing a tonneau cover or a rack for ladders and other long pieces of cargo. But the ADARAC™ Truck Bed Rack System can let them have both.

Tonneau Cover and Ladder Rack

This adjustable and sturdy rack system is made model specific for the best fit on most Ford, GM, Chevy and Dodge pickup trucks. The ADARAC™ rack sits neatly behind the cab with no obstruction of view, and is capable of carrying a 500 lb. load with ease.

The ADARAC™ is compatible with ACCESS® Roll-Up Covers and other inside-the-rail tonneau covers. For example, here is a review by a pickup owner who installed the ADARAC™ with his hard folding cover. Also, here’s a pickup owner who installed an ADARAC™  even though his tonneau cover went partially outside the rails (See posts 8-10).

The rails on the ADARAC™ system feature tie-down holes running their whole lengths, and the optional load dividers mount to the top bars to help keep loads secure.

Installation is simple and the sturdy stake pocket inserts make attaching and removing the rack easy. It bolts on and unbolts just as easily.

Here is a video detailing the steps involved in installing an ADARAC™ Truck Bed Rack System: