FIberglass Tonneau Covers-any advice?

kent123kent123 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 7
    I paid $650 for an Astro - Euro Series II in Oklahoma. I'm glad I bought it, especially for road trips.
  • In41TimeIn41Time Member Posts: 8
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.

  • EdBedsworthEdBedsworth Member Posts: 12
    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 Member 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.
  • pharmaseapharmasea Member Posts: 25
    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.

  • kent123kent123 Member Posts: 61
    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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • kent123kent123 Member Posts: 61
    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.
  • pharmaseapharmasea Member Posts: 25
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 49
    I have one of there soft covers, it looks real nice, and they have some good prices..
  • tungletungle Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 [email protected]
    By the way, I think I'll go for it. Seems to be cheap and looks pretty cool too.
    Thanks a lot.
  • GischpelGischpel Member 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.

    [email protected]
  • fish6fish6 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • pharmaseapharmasea Member Posts: 25
    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 Member Posts: 121

    Does the A.R.E. lid lock the tailgate?
  • fish6fish6 Member 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.
  • pharmaseapharmasea Member Posts: 25
    Yes the ARE lids do lock the tailgate. Remember that the flare tailgate protector is replaced by a regular protector.

    The lid fits over the tailgate and locks it.

  • tungletungle Member Posts: 56
    Davydd and others,

    I called Fold-A-Cover and some dealers around North East of Mass. They told me that the cover
    will be 90% water tight, and no drillings is required like Davydd's post. It's also strong enough for one to stand on top. The price is about
    $677.00. One dealer said that he could give it for
    $600.00 if I'd prepay for it. What prices do you get?

    Sorry, the price on my previous post must be for
    a soft cover.

  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    The California Concepts web site has the Fold-A-Cover full size truck short bed listed regular price $549 and special price $419 at...

    But then again, by the time you pay shipping and installation it could very well be $600 plus via a dealer.

    90% water tight is ambiguous. So I asked exactly what that meant. They said if you powerwash at a self-wash you will get some water leakage. Not clear about a normal rain.

    The rail mount and panel installation is drill free but I think there might be some drilling to attach the locking devices.
  • jerryg4jerryg4 Member Posts: 13
    Other than the obvious (more room), what are the advantages of a tonneau over a cap or vice versa?
    Are the tonneau's lockable? Easy to remove? Easy to access stuff at the forward end of the bed? I have a 1998 Ram SB with a cap but am considering switching to a tonneau to improve visibility. Does anyone recommend a brand that looks good on a Ram?
  • kent123kent123 Member Posts: 61
    After looking hard at the fiberglass tonneau covers for my 99 Silverado (I started this topic), I ended up opting for the Pace Edwards Roll Top Cover ($649 installed) with a molded carpet bedliner ($199 from Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops).

    The liner I installed myself last night, the Pace cover should be in sometime next week.

    With the roll top, you can easily access stuff in the front of the bed and also haul stuff that's taller than the sides of the bed (the #1 factor against one-piece tonneaus that hinge in the front. Hard choice since the fiberglass tonneau painted to match is the more attractive choice.
  • fish6fish6 Member Posts: 50
    I too had a fiberglas lid as my first choice. $625
    I bought my soft tonneau that has lifters that lift it just like the fiberglas...This cover can be removed from the truck in 1 minute . Unhook the lifters by pulling the pins...lift the cover right out of the ez hinges on the front and it is off. I really like it. See it at
  • fish6fish6 Member Posts: 50
    Sorry.. I forgot to state the price I paid....$177 which includes the shipping to my home here in Minnesota. $159 + $18 shipping
  • mwinter1mwinter1 Member Posts: 40
    I'm deciding betweem the pace edwards roll top and a soft tonneau cover. For those who have the pace edwards: is it electronically opened and closed, does it lock the tailgate on the new '99 silverado or is that an option that you have to purchase. Finally, who do you think makes the best soft cover tonneau? Thanks.
  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    I saw and I bought the Fold-A-Cover previously discussed here. Will get one put on my Silverado Tuesday. I posted more info in the Silverado Cont'd topic. Will post my impressions after I get it put on.
  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    I had the Fold-A-Cover installed on my Silverado today. I like it. It comes in in four sections attached together with continues hinges. It seems properly sealed all around including the hinges. The rear most cover locks the tailgate and opens by folding over the next panel. There are aluminum slide locks to hold it shut tight at the rails or to hold it folded over. The panel closest to the cab locks and opens separately. The other three panels all fold over the one panel near the cab so that your bed can be 3/4 open.

    The panels are maded of black painted dimpled aluminum both sides with about a 1/2" hard sandwich material between. There is some drilling required to attach the two side rails. The panels rest on a vinyl seal along the rails.

    Fold-A-Cover is a company located in Grand Rapids, MI. When I called them they said the local dealer is the Chevy Dealer. My understanding is the technician at the dealer had installed a few covers before mine. They estimated 4 hours. I don't think they took that long considering what they charged for installation. The Chevy Dealer sells it for $595 plus tax and labor. I've seen cheaper pricing mailorder online but don't think I would want to attempt to install it myself.

    It has a low, flat profile and appears with panel, vinyl seal and rails to appear about one inch thick.

    I figure most of the time I will only lift the rear panel to load groceries and the cab forward panel to store tools. Occasionally I will fold back all the panels to haul a large item. The advantages of the Fold-A-Cover over a fiberglass shell is that you can haul tall items and get at items that are toward the cab without having to unload stuff in the way. Compared to a rolling shutter type cover is that it is a hard shell and you don't have to open it all the way to get at items stored toward the cab.
  • DavyddDavydd Member Posts: 121
    I've gone through a couple of all day steady rains and the bed stayed dry. I parked facing slightly downhill so if any water did get in it would not drain out. I took my truck to one of those self-wash high pressure spray places and again the bed stayed dry. This was better than I expected. Fold-A-Cover told me about 90% dry whatever that means and that spray washes might get the truck bed wet. I'm satisfied.
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