How to Make a Hard Tonneau Cover

How to Make a Hard Tonneau Cover

Tonneau covers are constructed either using hard or soft materials and are built to span the back of a pick-up truck. These covers come with a lot of advantages, but they can be quite expensive. With a few simple tools and materials, anyone can get themselves a truck bed cover for their truck.

Major Benefits of Having a Tonneau Cover

  • Increase in gas mileage and savings. These covers are designed in a way to help a truck’s aerodynamics and cut air resistance and any turbulence that occurs as air moves past the truck bed. The fact that at least 90 percent of trucks on the road spend most of their time with an empty bed, this can help save truck owners huge money upfront and at the pump.
  • Protect valuable stuff. One of the main benefits from the covers would be the extra level of security it provides – whether for loss, theft, or from weather elements. There are several types of covers, depending on your specific needs and level of protection you require.
  • Increased car value. A cover will help maintain the value of your vehicle by preventing serious damage on the bed and maintaining it in much better shape.

Making an aerodynamic tonneau requires a little bit of patience, but the results are great, and you can have your truck bed ready without spending a fortune.

DIY Tonneau Cover Making Guide

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What You Will Need

  • A piece of vinyl fabric that will cover the whole truck bed
  • Two sheets of ½ inch plywood that will match the size of the truck bed
  • Six pieces of 1 by 2-inch plywood
  • Drill
  • Spray or contact adhesive
  • Table saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Staple gun
  • Screws
  • Hinges
  • Paint (preferably black)
  • Rubber seal

What You Need to Do

Step 1: Measure the Truck Bed. Place the measuring tape at the bulkhead, move along the bed rail, and extend the measuring tape to the inside edge of the top of the tailgate.

Step 2: Prepare the bed frames. Make two-bed frames using the one by 2-inch woods. Both frames should fit in the bed borders with one frame attached to the truck bed and another to the cover. These frames will give enough structural strength to allow people to walk on it.

Step 3: Attach the sheets of plywood. Cut the two sheets of plywood to the truck bed size and shape. There will be one plywood for each frame, and these pieces will be the cover. There should be no overlap along the line where the frames join, as this is where the hinges go.

Step 4: Paint the frames and the plywood. Paint the two frames and the plywood sheets to avoid moisture and make the last longer.

Step 5: Wrap the plywood. Spray as much contact glue on the sheets of plywood and stretch the vinyl fabric tightly over the wood pieces and wrap it in place. Take care not to leave any part loose. Use the staple gun to hold any excess vinyl to the back of the frames with staples placed about every inch. Your tonneau cover is finally ready to be installed.

Step 6: Install the truck bed cover. Using screws and hinges, install the truck bed cover. Add a rubber seal to prevent water damage, corrosion and provide an airtight barrier for your cover.

The cover you’ve just built is a simple one, but it will provide the needed functionality, and protection truck drivers need to transport their goods securely. With all the added features and benefits of having your tonneau cover, you will not only save on low gas mileage and prevent serious damage to your bed, but you will also add a sleek and sophisticated element to your truck.

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