Tonneau covers: What type to choose?

miken69miken69 Member Posts: 2
edited April 2014 in Nissan
I am planning to buy a tonneau cover for my new
2000 Nissan Frontier and am curious if anyone can
offer some advice on what type to buy. I know they
make them in Fiberglass, and roll-up Vinyl. Which
holds up better and is easier to store.


  • devontiedevontie Member Posts: 35
    I just bought the Extang tonneau cover and I don,t like it. I can't get it to snap in the cold weather.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    Pace Edwards did the job for me. Just by a $2.00 latch lock for the tailgate. That is a lot cheaper than a $150 electric lock.
  • hall2hall2 Member Posts: 40
    I got the Black Max Extang that I installed in September. I had a hard time snapping them too. Use pliers to pull for an easier snap and don't forget to use rags between the pliers teeth to prevent tear. I don't like them either but it was cheaper than fiber glass(not so versatile) or Pace Edwards. How much is Pace Edwards?
  • smcpherrsmcpherr Member Posts: 114
    Those of you who have the vinyl tonneaus, be careful in the winter time if you live in an area that gets cold and lots of snow. The cold shrinks the vinyl quite a bit which might make the cover tear. If it doesn't tear, it may deform your bed rails slightly. Any snow build up on the cover increases the chance of tearing the cover or bending the rails. If you do have a vinyl cover, I would suggest to you that you remove the cover during the winter season. It will last much longer. My vinyl cover got very hard to snap at +40 degrees, so I take it off in the winter and I have had the same cover for three years and it still looks brand new.
  • devontiedevontie Member Posts: 35
    Thanks I think I'll give the pliers a shot.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    I used to have a soft cover but the snaps were offset and reversible for the winter/summer
  • jerobbinsjerobbins Member Posts: 48
    I used to have an Extang Black Max on my 2000 Silverado SB, but it was too hard to snap shut when the temperature got below 50 degrees.

    The big advantage of a vinyl cover (besides price) is that is can be easily rolled up to get full use of the pickup bed. I've had an aluminum cap on a pickup before and it was a pain to take on and off so I could help people move.

    I've gotten a new vinyl cover that work much better in the cold. Yesterday I rolled up my cover to haul some firewood - I won't have any problem rolling it back today. It's a Berlin cover that I got from Northeast truck caps. The vinyl is slightly looser than the Extang, and the latches over the tailgate are on springs, which allow them to move in a couple of inches for easier snapping in cold weather. The only thing that I don't like about the cover is the clamps - they are designed for a cap. They slip too easily - they don't work as nearly well as the Extang clamps. I also think the clamps on my camper attached a lot tighter than these. I'm on the lookout for a new set of clamps that attach tighter.
  • jaijayjaijay Member Posts: 162
    I have an extang cover and have had little to no problem with snapping it in cold weather. I agree that vinyl gets stiff, but after I reversed the snaps into the winter mode, the cover fits with little problem.

    I also must admit that I have not seen super cold weather up here in the Northeast. It appears that this is going to be a snowless if not poopy winter.

    Whatever you do, do not use Armor All on the vinyl, it will shrink it. The installation instructions warns about this.

    Good luck.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Member Posts: 594
    Soft top is cheaper but youWILL have trouble snapping in cold weather and eventually it will crack if used often in the cold.

    Roll top looks good and functions well. It can freeze up IU'm told if ice gets caught in the track, but it's not a big problem. The downside is that it takes up cargo area in the front of the bed for the roll canister.

    The fiberglas lid has no cold weather problems. To use the whole bed you must remove the lid (4 clamps) and find some able bodies to help lift it off. They are not particularly light, but they lock and are removeable if you are so inclined. Prices about $600-$850.

    If you are keeping the truck more than two years don't buy the soft top unless you know that the cold will not be a factor for you.
  • postalmanpostalman Member Posts: 11
    Hi, I'm also in the process of buying a new 2000 Nissan Frontier, the new Crew Cab. I've seen fiberglass tonneau covers that can match the color of the truck. My question is, does the lock on the tonneau cover also lock the tailgate?
  • jaijayjaijay Member Posts: 162
    I have never seen one and if it did, a potential theif would just have to whip out a knife, cut the cover and take what they want. I think if you want trunk like security you need a hard cover top.
  • stevekstevek Member Posts: 362
    I have a hard cover that does not lock the tailgate. I just went to a hardware store and got a $3 latch type lock, drilled holes in ths tailgate and the side and installed the lock.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I bought a fiberglass and spent quite a time looking into it. I finally went with A.R.E. LSII and couldn't be happier. They color match (with a lifetime guarantee against fading), have custom covers for each make with a profile that matches the hood of your truck, and they have a better lift mechanism than virtually all the other makes.

    That's not my opinion, scientific fact but I won't go into all the details unless people really want me to, because when I did so on a previous topic some months ago we all went off at a tangent for a week.

    The A.R.E. doesn't lock the tailgate, but the rear lip does prevent the tailgate from opening.
  • postalmanpostalman Member Posts: 11
    Andy, let me know what the difference is in the lift mechanism. These are the things I need to know about the hard tonneau cover. And since you say that the ARE keeps the tailgate from opening, then technically it does lock it, right? I just want to go on vacation, throw my bags in the back with the tonneau cover locked, and not have to worry about my luggage while at a motel or restaurant.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    OK, but I accept no responsibility for people who can't accept this logic - initially it sounds stupid but it is correct.

    A.R.E. build their lift mechanisms with a combination of gas shock and steel hinge. This might not look as attractive as most other applications which use gas shock only, but is a lot beeter for your truck.

    The gas shock only, used by most all the other companies puts a lot of strain on your truck bed - now I know this sounds a little off, but the physics are correct. As previously noted on this topic these lids are heavy - close to 100lbs. If you have only two shocks then all the stress of lifting and holding that weight is being passed down the shock and into your truck bed (actually into the tonneau frame, but this amounts to the same thing because it is bolted to the truck to prevent movement). In addition the direction of this force moves as the shock angle, and consequently the weight distribution, changes. Now I know that pick ups are built sturdy, but problems can arise when the force is applied in ways different to what the design is intended for - which is what happens, it is a twisting force.

    I don't have figures for how often problems really occur, but I can understand that the potential exists. Given that I frequently lift and lower my tonneau I wasn't prepared to take the risk.

    Sorry if that wasa bit technical, but I hope it made some sense.

    As far as locking is concerned, you are right. The locks actually fit the end of the frame, but with the tonneau lowered and locked the tailgate cannot be dropped and so your bags should be secure. I am not sure how secure the arrangement is against a determined thief, but an opportunist would be put off.
  • bookittybookitty Member Posts: 1,303
    I had an ARE cover on my '95 Dakota Club Cab, and loved it. In conjunction with a York liner, it suited my needs to a "Tee". I traveled a great deal representing a manufacturer of rough terrain construction material handlers. Using 2X12's slid into the slots provided by the York liner, I divided the bed into compartments. My tool box and other maintenance/repair items along with hard hat, boots and rain gear were stowed forward. The next section provide for neat storage of brochures, sales manuals, etc. Then there was a section for my luggage and lap-top computer, and a rearward section that held grocery bags and such. All very tidy and totally handy. The drawback occurred when something taller than approximately 17" laying down needed to be hauled. That didn't often occur, and the separator boards were very easy to take out and/ or relocate. I have a Dakota Quad Cab on order, and will purchase the same combination. The ARE is available, but the York liner is one or two months away. Good luck with ARE, it is a worthwhile investment.


    P.S. The original hinge failed because it was too light, and the dealer called me and made arrangements to replace it with a beefier hinge at no cost to me.
  • moparmadmoparmad Member Posts: 197
    I have a fairly cheap vinyl cover on my Ram.It attaches to a rail which runs around the truck bed,but it uses a hard vinyl lip which fits into a groove in the rail.It works very good in the summer and winter alike.I had a vinyl cover on a previous truck which attached with velcro,or at least it did in the summer,it wouldn't stay on the tailgate in the winter.I would like a fiberglass cover but I don't want to spend the money.
    My only complaint with the cover I got is that it won't just roll up out of the way,if you want to take it off you have to take it all the way off.You can drive with the cover on and the tailgate open,and I have even driven with 2X4's sticking up out over the tailgate with just the back of the cover off,but the sides need to be attached.This cover is made by Saddleman I think(can't remember I've had it almost 2 years).I don't use anything special on it(just soap and water)and it still looks good.I bought it at Western Auto for about 200$
  • sanderlesanderle Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone had any experience with an Access
    Roll-up Cover? In Minneapolis, dealers claim that it is the best soft cover for a cold climate.
  • dsmazzdsmazz Member Posts: 5
    I have had toppers with the rear hinged glass door and windows on the side. Two trucks ago, I decided to buy a fiberglas tonneau and went with Century. It was a good one. But so darn hard to lift, especially in the winter. And the lock was located on top. A vinyl boot was provided to protect the lock from dirt and water, but it just did not appeal to me.

    In '99, I purshased a new GMC Sierra. Went to order the Century, but was told the delay would be 10 weeks.

    Went to another dealer and ordered an A.R.E. with a 5 week delay. Am I ever glad I got the A.R.E. The lift arm supports aid the gas shocks to make lifting the cover a breeze. (By the way, it's the hinge that takes the majority of the stress when you lift the tonneau. The lift arm supports distribute the weight of the tonneau away from the hinge.)

    Both the Century and the A.R.E. are designed with a rear downturn to capture the top of the tailgate. This prevents the tailgate from being opened with the lid down. When the cover is locked, in effect, so is the tailgate. The lock on the A.R.E. is on the rear vertical surface and has a palm type lever that is painted to match the body color.

    The Century had a piece of black vinyl trim that went around the entire lid's edge. The A.R.E. has a piece of trim that is body color. Looks so much better. Some lids have no edging at all.

    The A.R.E. is designed with the lines of the hood for a specific vehicle. So instead of looking like a flat piece of fiberglas laying on the truck's bed, it looks more integral with the design of the truck. I weigh over 300 pounds and have stood on my A.R.E. to wax the top of the cab without causing any damage to its looks or its function.

    I paid a little more for the A.R.E. (about $680 vs. $660). My wife as a GMC Sonoma High Rider and we just ordered an A.R.E. for hers.

    Sorry for the long post.
  • runawayrunaway Member Posts: 1
    I bought the Roll-n-Lock retractable. You can open and close it while standing at the tailgate. It will lock open at various points so that high standing cargo can be hauled.

    The cover locks to the unlocked tailgate, but makes the tailgate more difficult to open/steal.
    I chose the manual operation, but a remote operation is an option.
  • myersedmyersed Member Posts: 102
    Is anyone aware of an address or Phone # to
    I have searched the net and can not locate the
    Protecta company which manufactures the bedliner
    mats. I want the Protecta Heavy heavyweight Bedmat for the Dakota QuadCab and have been unable to determine if there is one even made yet. I do not want the standard Protecta bedmat.
  • dropperdropper Member Posts: 47
    Had to look this one up on

    ton·neau (tah-noh, tuh-noh)(couldn't reproduce the characters)
    n., pl. ton·neaus.

    The rear seating compartment of an early type of automobile.
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    Please describe your cover a little more because I just can't see myself paying 439 for something that attatches with velcro. My old one that I bought for 100 dollars attatched that way and it was crap. It always sagged If I left it on in the rain and just didnt seem very durabllle or weather tight. I paid 220 for an extang snap on that has none of those problems. Please explain how your cover works. Does it attatch directly to the truckbed or to a frame? How many support bows are there and are they thick ones? Maybe this access system makes actually works well with velcro i dont know
  • edharri3edharri3 Member Posts: 35
    Anybody with a tonneau had tears around the snaps on their vinyl covers or breaking snaps? I've never seen them, I've known people who've had heir vinyl snap on covers for 3 or 4 years or even more without a problem. One thing I've heard though is that If Ice builds up in the trakcs of those roll up covers they get very hard to work with. I will concede though that the ability to lock them is a definite advantage.
  • jcmdiejcmdie Member Posts: 594
    I had a vinyl tonneau on my last truck and I had snaps that broke and the material will crack and tear in the winter if you attempt to unsnap and roll the cover back. In addition to that it is nearly impossible to snap a cover back on in below freezing tempratures. In 3-4 years light use it was tattered. Soft tonneaus are for warm climates only.
  • wetwilliewetwillie Member Posts: 129
    have to disagree with jcmdie. my vinyl tonneau survived a minnesota winter great shape, thank you. there are no snaps with this tonneau and it tilts and removes easily. i considered the roll top style but ruled it out after operating one in a display showroom (seemed too flimsy to be durable and looked as if it would rattle with wind buffeting). it was also double the price of the one i bought. just my $.002.
  • anchorsaweighanchorsaweigh Member Posts: 4
    First of all, any security system can be defeated by almost any thief. The reason for the security is that if it isn't out in the open, a would-be thief will walk away. As far as the tonneau itself, it's vinyl with an aluminum grid beneath. If a thief cuts through the vinyl they will then have to cut through the aluminum. As for locking, a sliding bar extends through the siderails when you turn the key. The tailgate lock is by a company called Pop & Lock. Descriptions and illustrations for both tonneau and lock are at the Pace Edwards homepage ( Incidently, during a recent snowstorm I had around 600 pounds of heavy, wet snow sitting on top of this thing and it didn't so much as move it. As for noise? Not a single rattle.

  • jerrycarjerrycar Member Posts: 4
    Somebody asked about more details on the Access Cover. Like most of them, rails are mounted on the inside of the bed and attach with clamps that do not scratch the paint. The rails have a lip that runs the full length of the bed. The cover has 3 cross bars built in and roll along this lip as the tonneau cover is being rolled back towards the pickup cab. There is a quick release bar that is built into the cover also and that is what's used to attach and secure at the tailgate. The Velco is fairly wide so it does a good job of holding - I've been on the freeway at 70+ mph with no problem. The tonneau cover material is probably the heaviest I have seen and should wear fairly well. I'm sure there are other good covers out there - I liked the fact that it was quick, no separate cross bars to remove and the design allows the cover to lay flat. It is more than I wanted to spend, in fact I walked out of the store to look at others but came back because of the features. Hope this helps. I listed their phone number under listing #25. Good luck in your search.
  • ll7ll7 Member Posts: 16
    I have the A.R.E. LSII on my Nissan Frontier CC. It is a fiberglass cover painted to precisely match the vehicle color. It is easy to operate and looks great. It is very sturdy and does not rattle one bit. However, it was not cheap. I paid around $700 including installation. It does lock the tailgate. As far as the vinyl covers are concerned, a brutal Texas summer can do as much damage as a frigid Minnesota winter.
  • jerobbinsjerobbins Member Posts: 48
    What brand of cover do you have?
  • wetwilliewetwillie Member Posts: 129
    i mail ordered from california concepts ( the Craftec brand. if you access the web site you'll find a more thorough description. note - this unit has to be assembled and, not that it's that difficult, but if your not mechanically inclined i'd look elsewhere.
  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    i also looked at the pace edwards but a friend of mine has a roll up from a company called roll-n-lock, their unit locks the tailgate also, and i didnt have to get a pop & lock, i didnt like the idea of having 2 keys to open my bed. the roll-n-lock is great, it roll itself up automatically, and just seems to float on the tracks, i love it, like i said i like the pace edwards also, they are both made of aluminum interlocking slats covered by vinyl to give it a really fantastic look. and the roll-n-lock fit my needs perfect.

  • anchorsaweighanchorsaweigh Member Posts: 4
    I also looked at the Roll-n-Lock. Very nice unit, but being the frugal Yankee that I am, I opted to save some dough and bought the Pace-Edwards. If it wasn't for the extra money I would have gone for the Roll-n-Lock.
  • snitselasnitsela Member Posts: 47
    Any experience with the gm tonneau cover? I recently ordered a silverado with the factory installed cover, it sounded/looked good, but no one at the dealership could confirm its function, only the usual say what you want to hear stuff. I ordered it anyway.

    My father in law has the roll up one you are talking about. There is an aluminum track that the cross members slide/roll on, and the outer edges have velcro to attach to the top sides of the bed. The back has a locking mechanism which flattens the cover out nicely. I dont know how much it cost, but I thought it was very quick to open and close. No security though.

    Supposedly the GM cover is lockable. I have also heard the dealer can install a locking tailgate mechanism?
  • g8trg8tr Member Posts: 77
    Hello to all,
    I just bought a 2000 F150 SC and am looking for a tonneau cover. I have used toppers before but they are limiting. For those of you who have the Pace-Edwards or the Roll-n-Lock, are they waterproof? How strong are the covers? Can they hold up 200 lbs.? I like the concept but I need to keep the bed dry. I am also considering a hard lid, probably an A.R.E.

    Thanks for the advice and I'll keep you posted on my choice.
  • snitselasnitsela Member Posts: 47
    I was told that the rolling cover is not waterproof by itself without adding rail covers to seal it and cover the stake pockets.

    I like the rolling cover concept though. You can buy a locking mechanism for the tailgate to work with you keyless entry from Pace Edwards also. That way your bed is more like a trunk.

    I elected to order the factory tonneau cover from GM on my new Silverado for price reasons only...If I order it from the factory it is $200, from aftermarket the same cover is $700. That also elimated the $800+ for a fiberglass lid!

  • wallifishrmnwallifishrmn Member Posts: 11
    Several people have said the pace-edwards was cheaper than the roll and lock. What is the price for each one of these for a standard bed-6 foot. Just wonder how much more expensive the rock and lock is and if its worth it. Several people feel it isn't and bought the pace. Thanks Paul
  • speedybirdspeedybird Member Posts: 29
    I am considering a roll-n-lock for my new '00 Chevy Silverado. I am a little concerning about purchasing one without trying it out or even examining one. Can someone who has a roll-n-lock provide any feedback on the product?
    I live in Phoenix, Arizona and am also concerned about the vinyl covering on the V-series during the hot summer months.

  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    i have the v series that is alot like the pace edwards, the original roll-n-lock was a real heavy and expensive unit, and it is still the best choice for heavier trucks and applications, the pace edwards is a good unit, but i have owned both units and i like the roll-n-lock better, rather its the old style or the new v series, i have had the v series for about 2 months now, and i have had it in snow and on the mississippi gulf coast and it has already gotten into the 90's a couple of times this year. and the unit works great in all applications, except when it snows youll need to clean the snow off first, if you dont youll just put all that snow in your bed. like i said i like the roll-n-lock better than the pace edwards, ive used both but its my opinion. the roll-n-lock locks your tailgate, the pace doesnt, you have to spent more money and have another key other than the pace key, so thats 2 keys to unlock your bed. now you can get an electric tailgate lock for the pace, but you can also get the same lock for the roll-n-lock, now i have a friend with a electric tailgate lock and it failed, he had to take the tailgate handle apart to open the tailgate, not an option in my book.

    just my experiences,

  • mikespike1mikespike1 Member Posts: 2
    has anyone had a folding tonneau cover,either fold-a-cover or advance cover,if so any problems to be aware of ?
  • hulk66hulk66 Member Posts: 37
    Has anyone put the new lt 2000 leer cover on yet?? It is a tylene hard cover.It is hard to install?????
  • rcoosrcoos Member Posts: 167
    The dealership installed my soft tonneau cover. I have a 2000 Silverado extended cab 4WD pickup. I think it was around $200.00. It slides on the alum. frame. There is three bars across it. I am very happy with it so far. It is not locking but the dealership installed a locking tailgate device.

    I have a ATV & didn't want a hard cover, also the hard cover is about $1000+. That's too much money to pay for a hard tonneau cover.

    There is no snaps on this cover. Also, since it was installed on a new truck - the warranty is the same as the truck warranty (3 years).
  • bobmaxbobmax Member Posts: 2
    I just wanted to add that the A.R.E. cover is one of the best fiberglas covers I have ever purchased along with its ease of use. The cover is easily removed by 4 clamps and it does lock the tailgate very securely and snugly regardless of speed. More importantly, A.R.E. backs up the product with a lifetime warranty. It is my second A.R.E tonneau cover that I have purchased, and its worth mentioning that when this particular one arrived ready to be installed, I wasn't too pleased with the finished paint job. So without hesitation the retailer sent the cover back to A.R.E. and they repainted it as backed by their warranty. (returned within 10 days)
    I have had it for approximately 1 year now and it is still in showroom condition with absolutely no problems.
  • gatorbaitgatorbait Member Posts: 2
    How dry are these roll-up covers? It doesn't just rain in Alabama,it POURS! Also,does anyone have experience with their reliability when rolled up & sand or mulch is hauled? Are they prone to "jamming"??
  • g8trg8tr Member Posts: 77
    I agree with bobmax the A.R.E. tonneau lid is a nice one. I'm new to the tonneau lid idea--have had toppers before this. I like the A.R.E. lid and the warranty is hard to beat. The bed stays bone dry and that is a must for me.
  • woody2269woody2269 Member Posts: 52
    How do I get a hold of A.R.E.? Is there a 1-800# or a particular dealer?
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764

    They have a dealer locator on their site.
  • g8trg8tr Member Posts: 77
    They also have a coupon worth $20 off your purchase. It's not much but money is money. They also have pics of their products on all sorts of different trucks. It's a nice site.
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