A tonneau cover is used for covering the back of a cargo vehicle, a car, or a truck. They can be of various types depending on the type of material that they are made up of. They can also be classified on the basis of which they are attached to the vehicle and the way they operate.
Getting a tonneau cover for your vehicle is a good idea as it protects the goods that you wish to carry and, at the same time, it gives aerodynamic stability to the vehicle. These vehicle shields or sheaths are great for your vehicle and the goods that they carry; however, for long-term use, you need to maintain them well.
Things To Do To Keep Your Tonneau Shields Safe For A Long Time
Keep A Check For The Signs Of Deterioration
The only way you will notice small signs of damage on the tonneau sheath of your vehicle is if you keep a tab on it. So inspect the cover on a weekly or on monthly basis. Look out for signs of damage like scratches, debris, small nicks, etc. If the damage is minor, it can be fixed with some quick patchwork.
However, even small repairs should not be delayed. Always keep in mind that tonneau sheaths that are made out of materials like vinyl can get bruised or nicked quite easily, and if they are not repaired on time, the nick becomes a full-fledged tear. Also, if the damage is bad and a small patchwork will not be of help, it is better to replace it soon.
However, if your cover is made up of hard material like fiberglass, carbon fiber, etc., be careful to protect against scratches when you are driving your vehicle.
Fasten The Cover Properly
Tonneau sheaths can be attached in a variety of ways. Some are retractable; some come with a snap-based system, and others can be folded or locked shut. Whatever the type of attachment, it is vital to see that the cover is attached properly. At times the drilling for the screws or the adhesives used for attachment may cause structural damage to the vehicle.
If your cover is of the type that can be slid open or close, then make sure that the sliding is smooth. If it is not, you can add some lubricant to the movable joints so that the sliding becomes smooth.
If the attachment is causing strain on the cover, it can show signs of strain and eventually give way. So it is vital that the initial attachment should be properly in keeping with the make of the vehicle, the type of cover, etc.
Wash The Cover Properly
The way in which you wash your tonneau sheath affects not only how clean it is but also how long you can use it. If the cleaning agent is not proper, you will see signs of hardening or cracking. However, the type of cleaning to be used depends on the material of the cover.
For all kinds of surfaces, the first step is to remove all the dust, debris, and dried leaves that have accumulated on the cover by simple handpicking.
So if it is a soft vinyl sheath, use a soft sponge or a microfiber cleaner. Also, use an agent that is safe for soft vinyl surfaces. Never use harsh scrubbers on soft vinyl surfaces. Check the manufacturing date written on the body of the cleaning agent since expired chemicals can do more harm than good.
Constant exposure to UV rays is known to degrade vinyl material. The tonneau sheath is exposed to constant sunlight; if you want it to last long, cover the surface with a UV protectant after washing.
However, it is essential to let the surface be completely dry before you start applying the protectant. Also, it is better to use a microfiber applicator while applying the protectant. It is also advisable to use a protectant that is not greasy. A non-greasy protectant will not attract dirt, and hence the vehicle cover will require less frequent cleaning.
For hard cover materials like fiberglass, you can use bleaching agents for cleaning but do not use a strong bleaching agent. Use a mild soap solution, and hose water to clean away all the soap residue. Soap residue is bad for the surface as they are notorious sites for the growth of fungus, and the fungus can eventually cause odors and discolorations.
Do Not Put Undue Stress On The Tonneau Cover
One common way to put undue stress on your tonneau cover is to overstuff the cargo carrier. If you load more weight or volume than a vehicle is expected to carry, you are subjecting the cover to undue pressure. If you are unaware of the load capacity of your vehicle, you can contact your vehicle supplier or read the user manual for more insight.
Also, never leave anything heavy on top of the cover. Even if your cover is made up of carbon fiber or any rigid material, any heavy weight on top of it for too long is bad, and cracks will start showing up sooner or later.
Also, park your vehicle in such a manner so that exposure to direct Sun rays is minimum. This will protect the cover against UV ray-related damage.
There are different types of tonneau sheaths, and there will be one that will be a perfect fit for your vehicle and your purpose. When choosing a cover for your vehicle, keep things like security, ease of use, durability, and warranty in mind.
Great features in a tonneau sheath come at a price, and if you do not want to go for expensive repairs, you must work hard to maintain your vehicle.
If you are good at maintaining your stuff, you may not need the warranty cover too frequently. However, there are several companies that offer lifelong warranties, and it is better to go for one of these companies.