Are truck bed covers universal? Or Can I Buy Just Any Truck bed Cover? Well, the answer will be always no. Truck bed covers are specially designed with the specific measurements of a type of truck make and manufacturer. Moreover, trucks are not created equal and most of them differ largely in size and dimensions.
Some manufacturers these days offer designed covers that perfectly fit the dimensions of a given truck of a specific year. Hence, you can find a cover that perfectly fits your exact make and model.
For instance, if you own a Ford F-150 from the 2012 model year, you can get a customised and pre-fitted cover available for you in the market.
However, they are not universal for all different trucks. But if you purchase them correctly, then the truck bed cover can be universal to the specific manufacturing and model year of a specific vehicle. O, you need to match your vehicle dimensions with those listed by the manufacturer.
Factors to consider while buying a truck bed cover
If you are planning to purchase truck bed cover for your truck, then you need to consider a few things while buying. At first, you need to determine the quality of security you want, how much space you have in your truck bed, how much you can spend, and the reason you want to invest in a truck bed cover.
While purchasing a truck bed cover, you need to consider the following features:
- Level of difficulty while application
- Quality / Durability of the truck bed cover
- Weatherproofing of the cover
- If the truck bed cover is scratch resistant
- User-friendly installation and application
- Appearance of the truck bed cover
You need to determine what type of truck bed cover you want for your truck. Remember different truck bed covers give different results. At first, you need to decide between hard cover and soft cover for your vehicle.
Why should you take the right dimension of your truck bed while buying a cover?
You should make proper research while buying a truck bed cover. You have to measure the truck bed correctly if you want the truck bed cover to perfectly fit your truck.
First of all you need to measure from the inside of the bulkhead to the inside of the tailgate at the rear of the bed. The correct truck bed cover size should fit within 2” of the dimensions mentioned by the retailer.
Once you are done with taking the right dimensions of your truck bed, you need to choose the style of hard or soft cover that best suits your needs.
Always remember that certain cover styles will not be available in the market to all kinds of vehicles. Sometimes much older models may be more difficult to accommodate as they are very old and lack consumer demand.
Hard vs. Soft Covers
Truck bed covers are available in many different styles, shapes, and sizes. They come with high-quality materials that range from synthetic fabrics and reinforced fibre-glass, to titanium. There are two main types of truck bed covers available in the market:
- Hard Covers
- Soft Covers
Usually hard covers are heavier, which makes them stronger. They also help keep your cargo more secure. They are the safest options and give your truck a sleek and neat look to your truck bed. If you want something that is durable as well as aesthetically pleasing, then choose a hard cover.
Soft covers are comparatively lighter, cheaper, and more user-friendly to install and remove. However, the materials of some soft covers can make them less secure and not as weatherproof as a hard cover.
Soft covers are usually feature durable vinyl materials whereas hard covers come with fiberglass, or heavy-duty ABS plastic, which makes them the first choice for weatherproofing.
Besides these two covers there are also toolbox covers available in the market, which feature an area designated for a toolbox. These covers fit around the toolbox, which usually fixes to the truck bed behind the cabin of your truck.
Are truck bed covers universal?
No, Truck bed covers are not universal. However, truck bed covers can fit on more than one model. You have to install it to know if they fit your truck bed or not.
You have to enter the year of manufacturing and the specific model of the donor into a vehicle fitment guide. You can do this on a website that sells truck bed covers. Doing so will cross-reference to the truck you are planning to purchase. However, this will need a lot of work and most of the time you fail to find the exact fit for your truck bed.
Sometimes, your old truck bed cover may fit your new truck, but it may not be secured and water-tight. There are chances that you may have to modify it by cutting the rails to fit in the bed or you may have to trim the cover itself, which may not look great on your truck bed.
If you own a truck bed and are planning to buy a used or old truck bed cover, then use the tape measure, and measure the truck bed cover as well as the truck bed to become sure that it will fit your new truck bed.
When you need to measure your Truck Bed
You need to measure your truck bed from side to side if your truck has the exterior step in front of the rear wheel. In this case, you need a specific truck bed cover that is specifically designed for that style of truck bed.
Always remember that truck beds will be of different lengths depending on the year, manufacturing, and model of the truck. In addition, some models also differ from one year to the next; in this case, it is very difficult to swap truck bed covers.
It is difficult and challenging, but not impossible. Sometimes truck bed covers that you use for a Chevy Colorado fit well on a Jeep Gladiator. At the same time, a truck bed cover that you use for a 2018 model Chevy Silverado will NOT fit on a 2019 model Chevy Silverado’s truck bed.
It is never going to be easy to use the old truck bed cover for the new model trucks because truck bed covers are specially designed for the trucks they are intended for. However, soft roll-up truck bed covers are the easiest to swap because they are attached with velcro and also they do not require rails or clips. And, hard covers are the most difficult ones to fit on trucks that they are not meant for.
In most cases, truck bed covers do not fit with other trucks. You can try to check if it fits your truck or not, but there are less chances. You may also waste your valuable time and money trying to fit it on.
You can also try some heavy-duty tarps or super-duty cargo nets that are made of fabric or possibly vinyl. They look nice, but they are attached with bungee cords, which may damage your paint. If your truck is an old one and already broken, you may try this type of truck bed covers.