What Is A Tonneau Cover, Why Should You Own One, and How Do You Take Care Of It?

What Is A Tonneau Cover, Why Should You Own One, and How Do You Take Care Of It?

A Tonneau cover is a trendy term for a pickup truck bed cover. Your pickup's bed is typically open to the skies and pickup owners want to cover and make it into protected space. Adding a  tonneau cover is a simple and inexpensive way to cover and protect that space. There are countless truck bed cover options available on the market, but they all serve the same purpose: protecting the contents within the bed of your pickup.  With so many tonneau options on the market, you should start by reading ‘How to Choose The Best Tonneau Cover For Your Pickup Truck’. There are several reasons why pickup truck owners want tonneau covers. 

Truck bed covers are well-known to improve your truck's utility, especially when you have to keep your tools and equipment Protected and safe. In addition, tonneaus offer a wonderful finishing touch to the overall appearance of a pickup, typically with a black finish. 

Tonneau Covers are undeniably attractive. They add a refined touch to the appearance of your truck, covering the typically evident dirty bed. However, the tonneau cover benefits extend far beyond its aesthetic appeal. 

Let’s discuss the primary advantages of a tonneau cover, each of which is a significant reason why every vehicle owner should have one. 

red chevy colorado with tonneau cover

Sawtooth Stretch Tonneau on Chevy Colorado


How often have you filled your truck with cargo, travelled around, and then come back to find that everything shifted or something missing? Well, you don't have to get yourself into this unpleasant situation again. Using a tonneau cover keeps your items in the bed of the truck and prevents the wind and rough roads from displacing things. 

Improved Fuel Economy

Despite its importance, this feature is usually ignored and is a debatable subject. Because this is a debated subject you may want to refer to  our previous blog: ‘Do Tonneau Covers Really Save Gas?’ Your bed could have reduced air resistance thanks to the tonneau cover's aerodynamic shape. On average, you get about 5% more gas mileage, and with certain vehicles, you can save up to 10% more. Essentially, the tonneau cover might pay for itself in the long run thanks to these savings! 


Given some of these features, a tonneau cover might help you save money now and help you make more money when you sell it in the future. Low gas mileage, damaged/lost goods, and theft can all be avoided with a tonneau cover. Additionally, the bed of your truck will be protected from major damage, which may result in costly repairs. When you put your truck up for sale, the bed will be in better shape than if it had been uncovered. In the long run, this will pay for itself in the form of increased car value. That is why it is important to get a tonneau cover for your vehicle instead of merely upgrading your vehicle. 

Better Protection 

Keeping your valuables hidden and out of sight of would-be thieves is a smart way to safeguard your valuables. Picking the best truck bed cover is a difficult choice to make; it hides whatever you're hiding from view. Many tonneau covers come with some kind of locking mechanism, which helps to totally safeguard everything you place in the bed of your vehicle in addition to keeping everything in place while traveling. 

Equipment or Baggage Safety  

Protecting your cargo is the most obvious advantage of a tonneau cover. There is no better way to secure your cargo, whether it is tools for a long day of labor, baggage for a family vacation, or a bed full of mulch this spring. Rain, snow, wind, and anything else that may come your way can be shielded by a tonneau cover. A truck owner's favorite and most essential addition is a tonneau cover. 

When you have a truck, you already know that a tonneau cover has many advantages. The cover not only enhances the aesthetic of your truck, but it also protects the contents of the truck from the elements, such as snow and sleet. You must take good care of them because these covers are essential.

red ford ranger with tonneau cover over kayak

A Sawtooth Stretch Tonneau securing a yellow Kayak on a Ford Ranger 

Cleaning Preparations 

Cleaning your cover requires a few preparatory actions. Among other things, you'll need to verify and inspect the following:  

The cover should be regularly inspected for problems such as corrosion, debris, dents, scratches, bumps, tears, and waste while washing with a mild soap or other mild cleaners. Remove any large debris or garbage that might be on the tonneau. It is not recommended to wash your truck or tonneau cover in direct sunlight. Washing in direct sunlight can cause the soapy water to dry, before rinsing, on the vehicle.  

What Is The Best Way to Care For Your Tonneau?

It's best to clean your cover with just a mixture of warm water and a mild g soap or cleaner. 

Using harsh detergents, bleach, or solvents to clean the cover is a big no-no. Because of the dangerous element in the mixture, these chemicals can destroy your cover and will void the warranty. Depending on the tonneau cover type, there are many tonneau cover cleaners and methods available from nearly every manufacturer that sells a tonneau cover. Here are a few methods depending on your tonneau make and manufacturer. Choose the one that’s perfect for the type of cover you're going to use. Here are some simple steps to caring for your Sawtooth STRETCH tonneau Cover:

  1. Keep cover closed when not in use and always seal cover edges the full length of bed on both sides with “J”-Hook sealing system.
  2. Make sure tonneau is sealed around the perimeter before driving or entering a drive-through car wash.
  3. Periodically inspect the cover assembly and the condition of all parts. Check for loose bolts and parts, tighten if needed. Test the operation to ensure that the parts are functioning properly and that the cover is in top operational condition.
    1. Inspection and/or maintenance should also be performed anytime a malfunction is observed or suspected.  If you need assistance inspecting and/or servicing your cover, or if you want to order a replacement part, please e-mail us. Always use original equipment replacement parts for your cover.
  4. When cleaning, for best results use mild liquid soap and water. Never clean with petroleum or citrus-based products. After cleaning and dried, treat the cover with a UV protectant and hydrophobic coatings instead of petroleum-based products. UV Protectant coatings will keep the composite textile from greying, preserve the water-resistant membrane, and maintain the warranty. The hydrophobic coating will also help maintain the water-resistance properties of the cover.  WAXEDSHINE Fabric Guard or UN-DUZ-IT Protectant are Sawtooth's approved UV protectant/ hydrophobic coatings. Do not use petroleum based products. Petroleum based products will dry out/ damage the composite textile and void the warranty.


A tonneau cover is a terrific product to help keep your truck bed clean and dry.We have briefly mentioned a few basic steps you can take to make cleaning your tonneau cover a snap. 

Considering Buying a Tonneau Cover?

Check out the Sawtooth Tonneau Cover. It is the world’s only expandable tonneau cover that uses patented adjustable truck bed cover material that expands to cover large and tall cargo. Not all tonneaus are created equal. Don’t be limited by other tonneaus. Load More, Haul More, and Do More with Sawtooth.

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