We’re fussy when it comes to pickup truck bed modifications. We want to have unobstructed access to the cargo bed so we can use it as intended, but there are times when we don’t want rain, snow, ice, dirt, mud, and prying eyes in the bed. It’s times like these when we want the bed covered. We’re fussy about that too, which led us to the Tekstyle Roll-Up Tonneau Cover. This cover keeps all of the aforementioned things out of our bed when we want ‘em out, but very important to us, this simple cover can be quickly rolled up in seconds so it’s out of the way when we need full access to the cargo area.
The roll-up cover is one of two available from Tekstyle (the other is a snap-on tonneau cover) and it includes a heavy-duty black vinyl tarp, all-metal frame, and a simple clamp-on design that requires no drilling to install. The installation of the Tekstyle cover on our Midwest-based ’05 Dodge Power Wagon was quick and easy (removal of the entire unit is also quick and easy if it needs to be taken off for whatever reason). We’ve had the cover on for over a year, which gave us the opportunity to test it in a number of weather and usage situations before we rendered a verdict. The cover has flawlessly endured blazing hot sun and high temperatures as well as minus 24 degrees below zero F. We appreciate the fact that the cover can be quickly rolled up to access the cargo area or when we need to use our B&W Trailer Hitches Turnover Ball for either fifth-wheel or gooseneck towing. We love that it kept mud and dirt out of the bed, and off our gear, while we were wheeling in northern Wisconsin. In the winter, it has kept snow and ice out of the bed, which has kept the cargo area dry and ready for hauling or towing. On long summer trips, with the bed gear-stuffed, the cover has kept prying eyes at bay while offering dry storage during rainstorms. And we’ve found that lightweight gear that normally would fly out of the cargo bed at highway speed is now safely ensconced in the bed with the cover closed.
The simple and rugged Tekstyle Roll-Up Tonneau Cover has exceeded our expectations and we wonder how we got along without it.
Our kit contained the cover assembly, driver- and passenger-side rails, a clamp kit, and a pair of hex keys. The kit for our application had a street price of approximately $300 at time of print.
To install the unit, we set the side rails on the bed of the truck with the tensioners facing the rear and then we snapped the side rails into place into the front rail of the cover assembly, which we set at the front of the bed by the cab. There is a thick foam-type material under the rails and cover assembly to create a weatherproof seal and guard against scratching. For proper latching, the ends of the two side rails at the rear of the truck must be properly spaced before connecting the clamps that hold them in place. There’s a sticker on the passenger-side rail that shows the width (63 1/8 inches for our application) and we simply set the width of the rear rails to that figure.
This is one of the six aluminum clamps that are included to hold the side rails in place on the bedrails. Note the rubber end at the bed contact point, which offers good grip without scratching the paint surface.
All of our upper clamps were preinstalled on the side rails, so it was just a matter of installing the six clamps using the supplied hardware. As we tightened the set screw, the threaded composite insert helped pull the clamp tight with the bedrail. These clamps were designed to eliminate corrosion and seized screws.
Here’s the tonneau cover installed with the cover rolled up. Note that bungee straps are incorporated into the design to hold the cover securely while rolled up. Our factory bedliner messed up the flat mounting surface on the front and rear of the bed, so we tucked the front of the bedliner underneath the front bedrail to create a flat mounting surface for the Tekstyle cover assembly. We left the rear bedliner in place on the lip of the tailgate. It made for a bit of a tighter fit of the tailgate with the cover closed, but we’ve had no problems with leakage or operation. If your truck has a bedliner you may have to make some modifications to ensure a flat mounting surface along the top of the cargo bed and tailgate.
To close and latch the Tekstyle cover, simply set the rear rail down into the tensioner at the ends of each side rail and rotate it downward from above until both latches click closed. This tensioner is preset from the factory, but can be adjusted if necessary. A Velcro hook-and-loop system is used to fasten the cover to the side rails.
Here you can see the closed tonneau cover from the inside of the bed. Note the bows support the cover. These bows, as well as the rear rail, are designed to roll up with the cover.
The cover fits taut, and at highway speeds it generates no noise. There’s a center strap to release the latches on the rear rail so it can be rolled up and we like that this strap is located inside the closed tailgate for security.
We’ve been impressed at how the cover sheds water to eliminate pooling. Even in hard rain, the water hasn’t collected in a specific area.
The cover offered security and kept our gear dry on a camping trip to northern Wisconsin.
We never really thought about the benefits of a tonneau cover in the winter until we used the Tekstyle tonneau cover in the winter. Whether the truck is blasting snowdrifts or sitting at the airport, the cover keeps snow from filling the bed. We’ve rolled and unrolled the cover in temperatures as cold as minus 2 degrees F with no problem.