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FIberglass Tonneau Covers-any advice?

kent123kent123 Posts: 61
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I just bought a '99 Chevy Silverado LT 2WD and I
am thinking about buying a matching tonneau cargo
cover for it. I've gotten brochures on the A.R.E.
and Century brands. Both are in the $725 to $750
range painted to match and installed.

I will mostly be using the truck for commuting to
work and light hauling and would like to have
somewhere to put golf clubs, fishing poles, etc.
without having to clutter up the back seat which is
used by my kids.

Anyone out there have any experience (good or bad)
with this type of accessory and any particular


  • lwflwf Posts: 223
    I paid only $650 for the A.R.E. in NJ. Everything I can say about it is positive. I'm sure you won't regret it if you get one.
  • bribri Posts: 7
    I paid $650 for an Astro - Euro Series II in Oklahoma. I'm glad I bought it, especially for road trips.
  • I bought a fiberglass tonneau (maker was Fibrotec
    out of Canada). It came in the color of my 1998 Dakota (black) so I didn't need to have it painted. It looks great, it's lockable & it's watertight. I had it installed by guys that do this for a living and it took about 20 minutes. There was no drilling involved. If you have a bedliner or plan on buying one it must be the under the rail type to have the fiberglass tonneau installed. If you already have an over the rail type bedliner it can still be done but the liner must be cut (not recommended). FYI-The tonneau cost me about $700. and would have been the same for a fullsize RAM or Ford's F150. Warning...if you plan to frequently haul stuff
    that is higher than the bed walls or if you want to have something dumped into the truck from a
    backhoe/payloader, the fiberglass lid is probably
    not a good idea. Taking the lid off and putting it back on frequently will get tired real fast. Plus storing it when you have it off without scratching it is a chore.
  • kent123kent123 Posts: 61
    Thanks to all who posted here for your input. I haven't yet made a final decision about this, but I am getting closer.

    I am also trying to get info on the Pace-Edwards tonneau which rolls into a cannister mounted at the front of the bed. It doesn't look as nice as a fiberglas cover, but would allow for cargo higher than the bed rails.

    In all likelihood, I will install a Bedrug or similar liner at the same time as the cover.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    If you are looking for optional tonneau covers I found this site which shows three unique solutions:

    The AeroCover is a three section lift. The Scott Top is a two sectional side gull wing type lift and the Fold-a-Cover folds back like an accordion. I think the Fold-a-Cover is the one shown in the Chevy Silverado brochure.

    I'm leaning toward the A.R.E. fiberglass tonneau cover. I like the fact it is installed without drilling and that its arms seem to allow you to lift it higher than most others.

    I had a Guidon fiberglass tonneau cover on my previous truck. One advantage of them over the sectional, roll-ups and others is that when you lift the lid in rain or snow you still keep most of the water and snow out of the bed. The downside is trying to reach in and get things that slide toward the cab in.
  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133
    I just ordered one for my Tacoma. The total came to $499 delivered to my house.

    Here is a link to where I bought it from:

    I'll post the results with it after I have it a
    few weeks here in the snow, sleet and rain of

  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133
    Well, the Aerocover arrived to day... I was ready to install it (or at least I thought I was), but after reading the instructions several times, I decided to call the manufacturer and see who installs them locally. After $100 dollars and three hours wait, it was on.

    It is made by Rugged Liner ( Turns out, if I had bought at "The Colonel's" (formerly Eastern Off-Road) where I had it installed, I could have saved $60. Story of my life...

    Anyhow, I'll post on it's results in the weather as time passes.

  • I got an A.R.E. cover installed in December. Price with labor and Virginia tax, $690. It's an excellent cover that seals well. I also like the fact that A.R.E. has tried to design their covers to match the designs of the trucks. The RAM cover looks good on the RAM and the Chevy cover looks good on the Chevy. Not a cookie cutter look that is then just fitted to the truck bed.

  • woj1woj1 Posts: 48
    Have had a A.R.E. cover on my modified 1995 K2500 Ext Cab SB and have always liked the looks. However, A.R.E.has twice repaired the piano hinge at the front of the unit due to shearing of the rivets and as I wait for my Siverado to come in it looks as if a few more rivets are breaking. Check warranty coverage on any lid before buying, they are not as sturdy as you might expect.
  • I just ordered my lid for my new Silverado. $725.00 plus clamps plus tax. (Get the coupon from the ARE web site and save $20.00).

    I had an ARE lid on my 94 Z71 and had no problems. The new lid has a different design, lifter shocks plus hinge. The salesman at the camper place said that it was changed to prevent the extra stress on the piano hinge.

    It does look sharp, matching the hood and better locking mechanism thatn my old top.

  • Jim,
    Has A.R.E. done anything about redesigning their cover to accommodate the black plastic tailgate protector on the new Silverado?

    I had checked with the local A.R.E. distributor around Christmas and was told they would have to remove the protector to install the cover. That would leave 4 big holes in the tailgate from the mounting screws.

    What have they done to address this problem?
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    I checked out the A.R.E. tonneau covers today and was told you do indeed have to replace the tailgate protector with a version that slips over and has enough length to cover the holes. The A.R.E. dealer suggested I go back to the Chevy dealer and get one at about $40 cost. And then he told me the Chevy dealer I bought my truck from had them backordered. With that he lost a sale. If A.R.E. wants to sell their covers for Silverados they'll have to make the tailgate protector replacement a part of the package. I'm not going to do a runaround to accomplish getting an A.R.E. cover.
  • ladyblueladyblue Posts: 326
    You're absolutely right, Davydd!!

    With the prices A.R.E. charges, they really ought to include the tailgate protecter replacement in the package.
  • The fiberglass tonneau made by Century does accomodate the Silverado tailgate. But, I don't like the hinges as well as those on the A.R.E.

    I have heard so many favorable comments about A.R.E., but I'm not sure I want to shell out over $850 for the lid, new gate protector, installation, tax, etc.

    Seriously considering going with the Pace-Edwards or Roll-N-Lock type cover.
  • The price that I mentioned above includes a new tailgate cover to replace the existing flare. I had the salesman at the ARE dealer check to make sure the replacement would cover the exisitng holes. It does and they use the existing bolts to hold it in place. There was no extra charge at this dealer (Alec's in Perrine Florida) for the cover.

  • dhb58dhb58 Posts: 2
    I like the way the tonneau covers at this site fit even with the top of the truck bed. They come in soft, hard, or diamond finish!
  • kjtgkjtg Posts: 49
    I have one of there soft covers, it looks real nice, and they have some good prices..
  • tungletungle Posts: 56
    I am looking for some info on the so-called multi-piece cover. From the Silverado brochure, it looks like 4 hard vinyl boards which are hinged together. Anyone has this type of cover? I would like to know if it will seal water well and how convenient it is.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    I found the following web page that covers just about all the multi-section covers including the AeroCover and the Fold-A-Cover.

    The Fold-A-Cover looks like the same one in the Chevy Silverado brochure.
  • tungletungle Posts: 56
    Thanks, Davydd. I visited the site. Their fold-a-cover is made of light weight aluminum and steel (vs. the heavy duty vinyl made by GM/Chevy). Theirs costs roughly $420 vs. $270 from GM/Chevy. What I still can't find out is whether the cover will seal water well or not.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121

    They look awfully similar to me (Fold-A-Cover and multi-section cover in Silverado catalog). The Silverado catalog doesn't give any info. Did you get it from the dealer. My dealer didn't know anything about it and the accessory brochure they had didn't have it. If you learn more, I'd like to know too.
  • tungletungle Posts: 56
    I talked to the parts dept. at a local dealer. He
    said it probably can't seal water very well (as I
    suspected). He couldn't find out further specs like thickness and mounting mechanism. Most (if not all) of dealers around here (N.E. Mass) don't have them in stock, so it's really hard to obtain any info.
    Davydd, if you could get any info, please let me know. My email is
    By the way, I think I'll go for it. Seems to be cheap and looks pretty cool too.
    Thanks a lot.
  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133
    tungle and others,

    I bought an Aerocover ( and pictures at about a month ago for my Tacoma. It has three hinged panels that open and slide out quite easily if you need to haul something tall. I took it to the car wash and sprayed the rails and seams of the cover very well to clean off winter's salt and slime. When I crawled inside the bed to check, there were only a few drops of water from the high pressure hose, but nothing that would have damaged anything (except maybe paper sitting in the drops).

    It's worth checking out. E-mail me if you have specific questions.

  • fish6fish6 Posts: 50
    I was really considering a hard tonneau until I saw the soft hinged tonneau from Checkmate. I decided that that cost difference, $625 for the hard fiberglas I was considering, and the $177, $159 plus shipping, for the soft hinged, was too much difference to justify the hard cover. Also, this one from checkmate can be removed a lot easier when I need to.
  • kjtgkjtg Posts: 49
    I got that cover a while back, I like it a lot. It look good and keeps the back dry, it would be better with more pictures and directions for installing. that me know what you think.
  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121
    I called Fold-A-Cover and it is indeed the cover featured in the Chevy Silverado brochure. It is GM Part No. 12496216 for the Silverado shortbox. The cover is Aluminum with a foam core. Other parts are stainless steel. It mounts on rails that are clamped to the truck. The locking mechanism locks both the tailgate and the cover. The panel closest to the cab opens independently so it can be used as a tool box access. The other three panels open, fold and rest on the fourth panel near the cab.
  • fish6fish6 Posts: 50
    ktjg......I got my cover today and put it together tonight. I will install it on my truck tomorrow. Your are right. The directions were a little vague. I think the worst is over though and the rest should go fairly easily. Word to wise...make sure when you assemble the frame you make sure it is narrower than the width of the box. I had to do just a little adjusting in during the assembly process. I think I will like it though.
  • Got my ARE FIbergalss lid installed yesterday, but not after a slight problem. Seems that a guy with an old body style 1999 ordered a lid the same color as mine and had it installed the day before. You guessed it, they installed my lid on his truck and neither the installers or the owner noticed a difference (the should take his truck away from him!) When I got there to get mine installed I told them that was not my lid, and they called the other guy. After some convincing he agreed to come and exchange the lid (he was happy with what he had). When he saw the difference he was happier with the correct lid.

    Now I have a spare tail gate flare for sale. Thats the only thing I did not like about the ARE, the flare was replaced with a stock protector, looks ok but not as ggod as the flare. The piano hinge is better than my last top as are the locking mechanism and the lock itself. Not I can fill the bed up with my boat trailer stuff.

  • DavyddDavydd Posts: 121

    Does the A.R.E. lid lock the tailgate?
  • fish6fish6 Posts: 50
    Here is some advice for you who have a soft tonneau. I won't be affended if you disregard though....I installed my Checkmate soft hinged tonneau on my truck today. I took it for a drive and it seemed like it bounced in the wind more than I was expecting.. .so I placed two large pieces of cardboard between the frame and the soft cover and that bouncing of the cover was nearly eliminated.
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